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Dynamite Dimmer

Published : 27th Sept. 2005


Look at these little gems I'm making these days. It's a 500 watt dimmer in a tube so it fits easily in light kits with stands etc.

I call it the Dynamite Dimmer.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

http://www.bluesky-web.com/images/dyna7.jpg

Disclaimer: My opinions, thoughts, and beliefs are my own and may not reflect yours. The use of the pronouns "you, "some", and "many" to name a few are generalizations and without a proper name attached to them are not references to anyone reading my posts.

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.
www.bluesky-web.com
Offices in NYC and Amherst Mass.



> Any thoughts or suggestions?

Numerical scale, I'm not sure it would have to correspond with anything, think DV camera focus ring (or I'll have to cross-post to the erasable marker thread !)

Here's the oft-repeated "I would've used it on _____ and ______ and_____ if I'd had it." Cool tool, Walter !

Sam Wells



>Numerical scale, I'm not sure it would have to correspond with anything, >think DV camera focus ring

I thought about the scale but then again where does it go, eleven?

Perhaps some time clock serrations would be appropriate.

Then again I could stamp "Dynamite Pro" on it and everyone would suddenly be able to dim like a pro!

Thanks for the suggestion!

Walter Graff



Don't know if there's room in the housing, but my problem with most small dimmers is how easily they get tapped out of position. Many car stereos have control knobs that one can push in when not adjusting so that they won't be easily repositioned. This would be a great feature on your dimmer.

Likewise I fear with a cylinder design that the whole tube would roll as the attached cables push/pulled it along and the tube would invariably spin until the knob hit the floor, repositioning it. Perhaps you could have one side flat or even a flat bar that attaches to the cylinder only in the centre so that it could be rotated out into a cross configuration. This would keep the dimmer from rolling but will still store very compactly.

Mitch "I wanna free one for that idea!" Gross
NYC DP
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Oh yeah, and use a knob with a reference line that runs down the side (or a notch) so that a pencil mark can be made on the tube for settings. I have no need for a numerical scale, just a spot to put my own reference point.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP
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Walter wrote:

>Then again I could stamp "Dynamite Pro" on it and everyone would >suddenly be able to dim like a pro!

Stamp it "Digital Dynamite Pro" and you can sell them as compatible with DV Cams. Later you can come out with a "New and improved" HDV upgrade.

Brian "marketing Consultant" Heller
IA600 DP


Walter writes :

>Look at these little gems I'm making these days. It's a 500 watt dimmer >in a tube so it fits easily in light kits with stands etc. I call it the Dynamite >Dimmer. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Oh dear, I hope it doesn't live up to it's name.

(Actually it's usually the little electronic lamp supplies that usually do their dynamite impersonation when they overheat.)

Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com
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> Oh dear, I hope it doesn't live up to it's name.

> (Actually it's usually the little electronic lamp supplies that usually do >their dynamite impersonation when they overheat.)

With the big heat sink that is in the tube it will not be a problem for the unit. Burned a 600 watt halogen load at 40% for two days strait pushing the rating with no problem. I'm also thinking about "fusing" it too. I'll add a fuse holder in the recessed cap at one end and a power indicator, maybe even a series of blinking LEDS to live up to it's dynamite name.

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


>Perhaps you could have one side flat or even a flat bar that attaches to >the cylinder only in the centre so that it could be rotated out into a cross >configuration.

Thanks Mitch.

I added a hood to the knob so that you can not accidentally move it during operation.

Another good thought!

Thanks!

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


Hey Walter,

How about putting the Edison socket right on the end of the tube instead of hanging off a lead? I know it goes against the design ethos you've described elsewhere, but in this case I think it could be a better, sturdier design. If a ready-made Edison socket doesn't fit properly, you could simply epoxy the crap out of it. The male end should of course remain on a lead to dandle from a wall outlet.

Mitch "full of ideas" Gross
NYC DP
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>Hey Walter, how about putting the Edison socket right on the end of the >tube instead of hanging off a lead?

Because as someone else suggested, they might want to hold this dimmer and dim live so they would like to see a four foot lead hanging off so your connectors don't interfere. It's real easy to hold now and adding all that connector and such would make it to bulky and throw the centre of gravity off. I never liked connectors embedded in certain types of fixtures like dimmers, etc as it makes for too many potential problems. As for the cable ends, you could pull on them with an elephant and they are not coming out.

Two indented caps are where the cables come out but now I am having both cables come out a the bottom so I can put a fuse holder in the top. The leads will be three feet each allowing one to hold the dimmer easily with the plugs on the floor. But maybe I will offer both versions as adding connectors to the top and bottom is real easy. Consensus?

Cable or butt plug? I may also include a hanging clip on top to hang it off a stand, etc. I added two clear Lexon protectors to the switch, both placed horizontally above and below so if it hits something the wheel is protected.

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.



Brian writes :

> Stamp it "Digital Dynamite Pro" and you can sell them as compatible >.with DV Cams. Later you can come out with a "New and improved" HDV >upgrade.

Oh yeah, it should totally have a firewire port, for in-line post-camera pass-through dimming of digital video...

In seriousness, I'd make this a box, rather than a tube. A box, you can put down on the floor and except for the people constantly tripping over it, it'll maintain its orientation. A tube with a switch on it would probably want to roll until the switch came in contact with the ground, which could change the switch's position at an inopportune time.

If it had some method for securing it to a stand, then ignore this comment, but I couldn't see one from the picture.

Felix Gallo
Independent
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>Look at these little gems I'm making these days. It's a 500 watt dimmer >in a tube so it fits easily in light kits with stands etc. I call it the Dynamite >Dimmer.

Walter,

I suggest you put the dimming knob on one of the ends, so there's less risk of it being sheared off in the rough-and-tumble world of a lighting kit bag.

Cheers,

Clive Woodward,
Perth, Western Australia.


class="style7"
> I may also include a hanging clip on top to hang it off a stand, etc.

Good idea too, I was going to ask "is it Cardelliniable ?" but some kind of clip could work.

Sam Wells



If it's light enough, perhaps a magnet or Velcro would hold it. Of course I still like my scissoring back plate idea, only now just make one end hooked for hanging. Also punch a hole in the plate to hang off a nail or screw(make it big enough for the head of a drywall screw to fit through).

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


>If it's light enough, perhaps a magnet or Velcro would hold it.

Not reliable enough. Magnets don¹t stick everywhere and velcro gets dirty and eventually fails. I thought of the hole idea and think is an option.

Perhaps just a hole and let anyone who wants to attach something to it if they want to hang it or just stick it over a drywall screw. I¹m thinking of maybe putting a 3/4 diameter aluminium plate down the back so that you can place it on the floor and give it stability. And I will make that plate part of the heat sink scenario.

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


Walter writes :

>With the big heat sink that is in the tube it will not be a problem for the >unit. Burned a 600 watt halogen load at 40% for two days strait pushing >the rating with no problem.

Hmm, the triac dissipates the most heat at 100% since the power loss is due to the voltage drop across it (approximately a volt). I guess the choke is going to be generating most heat at full output too. How does it handle a full load? I tend to deliberately overload my lighting control modules with a bank of 500W halogen floods and use a thermocouple to monitor the effect.

Can I guess that you've used a conventional torchier (uplighter) dimmer module tucked into what looks like a piece of conventional plastic pipe? (Maybe with an extended heat sink on the triac.) If this is the case, then I recommend you use black pipe to make it look all sexy.

My ideal dimmer would be in an all aluminium extruded case like the car amplifier type. It would have little rubber corners so it bounced, and it would be easily opened to change the incredibly easy to replace triac inside. There would be a power light (there should always be a power light) and maybe even a "blown fuse" neon indicator too.

If it was a _really_ special dimmer, then it would use an IGBT or protected MOSFET device that switched on the falling edge and thus didn't require a choke. It would shut off the switching device instantly an excessive current was detected and therefore never need repair. (Probably)

Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com
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>If it was a _really_ special dimmer, then it would use an IGBT or >protected MOSFET device that switched on the falling edge and thus >didn't require a choke.

Clive - have you been reading my product launch notes???

I am very close to launching exactly what you describe.

We are in the final stages of testing before we launch. I had hoped we would have the unit ready for Videoforum in London later this month but more likely I will have it at NAB in April.

When it ready details will appear on www.photonbeard.com and I'll certainly let the list know.

Regards

Peter Daffarn
Projects Department Ltd
26 Woodlands Road
Camberley
Surrey
GU15 3NA
tel: +44(0)1276 681423
fax: +44(0)1276 62916
mobile: +44(0)7867527394
http://www.projectsdepartment.com


Peter Daffarn wrote:

> Clive - have you been reading my product launch notes???
> I am very close to launching exactly what you describe.

Don’t cha hate it when that happens?

Jeff Kreines


Peter Daffarn writes :

>Clive - have you been reading my product launch notes??? I am very >close to launching exactly what you describe. We are in the final stages >of testing before we launch.

I think every big lighting control company has been working on RPC dimmers.

I hope you're giving it the "violent and repetitive short circuits with a low source resistance" test.

Clive Mitchell
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> I recommend you use black pipe to make it look all sexy.

Naw, Dynamite is cherry RED!

Gerry Williams
Director/Director of Photography
San Diego, CA



Unless it is to stick in a practical light socket, I've found the best hand dimmers to be built into an electrical "handy" box. comfortable to hold, doesn't roll, not too heavy, yet solid.

If you wanted to go nuts with the attachment possibilities, might I recommend something akin to the old Lowell light plate.

Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com


class="style7"
> How does it handle a full load?

No problem yet.

>Can I guess that you've used a conventional torchier (uplighter) dimmer >module tucked into what looks like a piece of conventional plastic pipe?

My own build. I have a 1k and 500 watt version.

> (Maybe with an extended heat sink on the triac.) If this is the case, then >I recommend you use black pipe to make it look all sexy.

Actually making it red. Prototypes are white for now.

This has a fuse on top. Clear polycarbonate nipples protect around the knob and glow when it's on. It has an internal heat sink that attaches to a plate on the fixture which is a combination stabilizer and added heat sink.

> If it was a _really_ special dimmer, then it would use an IGBT or

I'm trying to make equipment that is less expensive and caters to the half million folks who own prosumer cameras and are looking to do more than just soot home movies but don't have the money to spend on big stuff. We should be getting our first fluorescent Wedge back from our plant in China soon. That is going to be a huge fixture. Half the price of what is out there and mounded clear polycarbonate construction make it both indestructible, lightweight and waterproof. Kind of looks like something Apple would make if they made lighting fixtures hangs on the sides and in the middle on the back for options. At 98 CRI/3200k, its a great fixture with awesome specs you'd think you could only find on a $700 fixture. Cool LED indicators inside tell you what's working and what's not too. Best of all four wedges fit in a square travel case and take up half the room of a tripod hard case.

Here is the end design for the dynamite dimmer. 4 foot male and female Edison’s so you can hang it. If you want to hang it, two options, a ring, or a hook latch fastener. If you want it on the floor, the back has a flush aluminium plate that is both stabilizer and additional heat sink. It's fused so it can't be overloaded. It has lexon protectors around the switch so it stays where you put it. The switch is a 270 degree rotation. The top part of the polycarbonate glows read when the switch is active.

Walter Graff
http://www.bluesky-web.com/dynamite-sr.htm



Look great, and the length or cables combined with the size of the tube makes it perfect for beating producers over the head!

I'll take three.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP
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> Look great, and the length or cables combined with the size of the tube >makes it perfect for beating producers over the head!

I haven't tested it on producers. I did spend the day yesterday bloodying some PA's with it. Worked well although you have to watch because if you swing and miss it tends to come around and hit you in the legs and that hurts real bad.

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


How hot does it get w/ a 500w or a 650/w fixture over say, 6 hrs?

I need a cheap dimmer for my Arri/Lowell kits

Nick Hoffman NYDP
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>cheap dimmer for my Arri/Lowell kits

You need a 1k dimmer.

www.bluesky-web.com/merchandise.htm">http://www.www.bluesky-web.com/merchandise.htm

Scroll down to 600/1000/1500/2000 Watt Portable In-Line Dimmers

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


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