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Don In Kenner-LA

Sequence strobe lights

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Hi All:

Could yall please tell me what is the best way to sequence a strobe light in S2

do you use ON , Shimmer, or Twinkle...



Thanks

Don

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With devices such as strobe lights which have some type of electronics in them, generally it is best to use only ON 100% and OFF. The strobes do their own flashing so just turn them on for a while when you want them to flash.

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Don,

Also xenon tube type strobes need a little charge time. I think if I remember right I needed to turn it on about .3 seconds before the first flash. I seq. Snoopy's Christmas. The version that starts out signing O' Tannenbaum and you can hear some artillery going off. So the strobes do the explosions.

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Don in Kenner,LA wrote:

Hi All:

Could yall please tell me what is the best way to sequence a strobe light in S2

do you use ON , Shimmer, or Twinkle...



Thanks

Don

I was unaware as well until Dan and other answered it. ON. When I was messing with these I did try shimmer (looked no different than ON) ... Twinkle was worse, talk about really skipping and not firing (that was a mess) ... I'm reowrking all my sequences to have them just ON. Prefire about .4/10ths prior

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pokrplr wrote:

Prefire about .4/10ths prior

You might want to test this value before getting comfortable with it on a global scale. It seems a little too long to me. Maybe it will work okay the first time you fire the strobes each evening, but if you use them often enough to retain a partial charge in the capacitors you might have them firing a bit earlier than you want.

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Not all strobes need to be "precharged".

I've been using CLS strobes for the two previous seasons without precharging. The only reason to precharge is when you fire your your strobes and they all go off at the same time. LED strobes are notorious for this. Precharging will randomize the flashing.

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George Simmons wrote:

pokrplr wrote:
Prefire about .4/10ths prior

You might want to test this value before getting comfortable with it on a global scale. It seems a little too long to me. Maybe it will work okay the first time you fire the strobes each evening, but if you use them often enough to retain a partial charge in the capacitors you might have them firing a bit earlier than you want.


too long eh? I was just going with the majority. I really have NO idea?? Its going to be a live and learn on the 1st day.

Lets say during a song I have the strobes firing @ 6 different times. Should they be precharged each time OR just the very 1st time in the song??

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If you are not using LED strobes, there is really no reason to precharge them. After the very first time they are used each night they will all be sitting at various levels of recharge anyway. In fact, it is not unusual to get a random stray flash once in a while from a strobe that was almost entirely charged before power was removed.

Because strobes are supposed to be random, they are not an exact science. Starting them a tenth or two earlier or later makes little difference when viewing the display.

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Max-Paul wrote:

Don,

Also xenon tube type strobes need a little charge time. I think if I remember right I needed to turn it on about .3 seconds before the first flash. I seq. Snoopy's Christmas. The version that starts out signing O' Tannenbaum and you can hear some artillery going off. So the strobes do the explosions.

I have a feeling people are confusing two different issues here.
I suspect Max-Paul was indicating there is a 0.3 second delay from when you sequence it to turn on (100%) for the first strobe to actually flash. And yes the xenon strobes will flash random from the start. Anything less than 100% can damage xenon strobes.

This is compared to the "pre-charge" that some use with LED strobes. One of the complaints regarding LED strobes is that for the first 1-2 seconds all the strobes on the channel flash in sync before they start to randomize. However, people have found that if they turn on the LED strobe channel at 20% for a brief period ("pre-charging") before going to 100% that it will help the LED strobes randomize from the start.

To summarize:
  • Xenon strobes should always be turned on at 100% and it takes about 0.3 seconds for the first strobe to flash, and xenons are random from the start.
  • LED strobes will flash in sync for 1-2 seconds before randomizing unless you pre-charge them at 20% for briefly before turning them on 100%

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One thing I frequently do is copy all of my strobes to thier own track, then when I'm sequencing everything together I use the twinkle effect for building the sequence. This was I can get a better feel for what they will look like in the animation screen during playback. Once I'm done I go down to the strobes track and use the select all in this track, I turn on the Foreground feature and then just hit the "N" key which will turn all of those twinkles into simple ON commands so I dont mess up my strobes.

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