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Outdoor DMX Enclosures


michael.farney
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michael.farney

I didn't want to derail of any of the other threads more by adding another enclosure question. I am curious if there are more enclosure pictures other than the iDMX1000 thread http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum76/16499.html and the CD case enclosure http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum75/16503.html.

A dome type structure makes the most sense to me. I have been looking at http://www.cleardomes.com/domes.htm, but it seems a little pricey. I really don't want to enclose the top so projecting up will still work. I think it makes the most sense to design an enclosure that will allow for all projection angles of your moving head device. I was thinking along the lines of a clear done and bottom exhausting. Obviously, the base the DMX unit sits on would need to be raised a foot or so. Then you can exhaust into the hollow bottom, and you'd probably want to some bottom vents to prevent having a closed loop. Rain certainly wouldn't be an issue, but we get plenty of snow here. I am thinking the exhausted heat will melt the exhaust paths. Extreme temperate changes are terrible for these units, so I am planning on leaving the light on 24/7 to heat the enclosure. This will also help ensure snow doesn't close of the exhaust paths. For my fixtures, the one with the worst bulb life is 500 hours, so and it's worth the $25 bulb to leave the fixture on to keep it warm. Perhaps I'll get a Christmas gobo and project on the house. If I'm going to leave it on, it might as well be doing something useful.

Anyone tried something like this? Any other DMX enclosure pictures?

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Michael,

I am still in the very early stages of this, I have the head but won't have the iDMX 1000 until the sale. One of the methods I am considering is to suspend the head upside down, although I guess there is no real right side up for these things. I am thinking it may be more practical for me as I can cover more "dirt" with it rather than sky. I am trying to figure out a way to modify Brett's cylinder with a dome in the bottom rather than the solid base. Perhaps it would be possible to change his plan from a cylinder to a cone and use a smaller (read "cheaper") dome in the base, or top for you. Perhaps it could be tapered into a small enough cone where a glass mixing bowl or punch bowl or something similar could be used for the dome. Could probably even find a large plastic bowl that could be used for the dome.

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michael.farney

Denny wrote:

Michael,

I am still in the very early stages of this, I have the head but won't have the iDMX 1000 until the sale. One of the methods I am considering is to suspend the head upside down, although I guess there is no real right side up for these things. I am thinking it may be more practical for me as I can cover more "dirt" with it rather than sky. I am trying to figure out a way to modify Brett's cylinder with a dome in the bottom rather than the solid base. Perhaps it would be possible to change his plan from a cylinder to a cone and use a smaller (read "cheaper") dome in the base, or top for you. Perhaps it could be tapered into a small enough cone where a glass mixing bowl or punch bowl or something similar could be used for the dome. Could probably even find a large plastic bowl that could be used for the dome.



You are certainly right about the dirt comment. I didn't want to mess with hoisting the thing 10 feet up into the air and figuring out a mountable enclosure. Are you going to use a truss system, or how are you planning on mounting it?

Some of my effects this year are dependent on sky projection with fog. But, you make a good point. I can't project on the grass with my model. It would be cool to project "Merry Christmas" or something on the sidewalk.


*Edit: I will definitely be hunting walmart to see if I can find something cheap that will modify into an enclosure or dome top. That CD holder enclosure I linked at the top is awesome. If only it was a few inches bigger, then it would fit my winWash.
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Don't forget to look in thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. They always seem to have a lot of odds and end items in the kitchen section. As for how I am mounting, I have not decided for sure, I'm still in the "concept" or brain storming idea stage. I am leaning towards one of two ideas though. The first is a short truss, maybe five feet across and the other is a wooden soldier type guard house. The guard house would be basically a wooden cutout of the guardhouse front. The head would be hidden and mounted on the back side of the guard house. (My wife painted a large (about 8 ft tall) wooden soldier last year, so the guard house would be quite tall.)

Although we don't get snow here, December is the wettest month of the year and we do get a lot of wind. If I mount the yolk "upside down," I am wondering if I even need to put a bottom on the lexan cylinder. If the cylinder is long enough, it should protect the head from any blowing rain and definitely permit adequate cooling. It does have a pan/tilt inversion option for mounting it upside down.

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michael.farney

VetteNut72 wrote:

Here are some clear acrylic globes that might work well for outdoor fixtures. The smaller ones are fairly inexpensive as well.

http://www.1000bulbs.com/Lamp-Light-Covers-and-Diffusers/?gclid=CI6_tPC6kJMCFQJugwod2B7ghQ

Craig



Thanks! I will take a close look at these. The price is right and it's designed for outdoors. It's perfect for my minWashes.
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Here is my variation on a outdoor enclosure for a moving head fixture. The dome is 16 " in diameter. Got it from Global Plastics. The box is just 3/8" plywood painted with fiberglass epoxy resin. Here in FL I needed two 110 cfm fans to keep it cool. The vent on the end is a house vent from Lowes. I added an over temp thermostat, but with two fans running it was probably not necessary.



Bob Chrisp

Sebastian FL


Attached files 153375=8874-yoke box.jpg

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VetteNut72

I plan to build several units that will each fit in small domes. This is my test rig for pan and tilt. As a reference, the stick taped on the tilt axis is 4" long. I am going to use a 15watt RGB LED as a light source with 10 degree spot optics.

pantilt1.jpg

pantilt2.jpg

Here is an available pan/tilt mechanism that looks real good but is a little pricey for my DIY needs.

http://www.servocity.com/html/spt200_pan___tilt_system.html

This is what I am doing for floods, the fixture is from HD and is fairly inexpensive. I am using 3 red, 3 green and 3 blue LEDs in a star configuration running 700mA per LED (close to 20 watts total).

flood1.jpg

flood2.jpg

The electronics (DMX decoder and PWM controlled constant current source drivers) mount on the back of the front plate/heatsink. A 3 amp switching supply mounts inside the fixture and supplies power.

flood3.jpg

Craig

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Dr. Jones

Craig

Where did you pick up the CC driver and the DMX decoder?

Chris

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VetteNut72

Dr. Jones wrote:

Craig

Where did you pick up the CC driver and the DMX decoder?

Chris


The circuit was adapted from an existing open source project for the ATMEL 8515. I added the drivers and designed the boards using ExpressPCB.

Craig

Dsc04334.jpg
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sparky741

Very nice enclosure, Craig! Those high power LEDs are sweet. How expandable is your design? I'm curious because I was interested in using/making some RGB LED light pipes for my Halloween and Christmas displays this year. However, the cost of such items made by Chauvet and others puts it way out of my budget. I was thinking somewhere along the lines of 6 or more drivers per pipe. Your design looks to be very cost effective. Would you be willing to sell some of those boards?

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VetteNut72

Thanks sparky741, although the final configuration I decide on will most likely not include the DMX interface. It looks like LOR is developing a new interface that will do all the hard work (and save space in the fixture) dealing with the LED PWM and servo control signals. Trick now is to see if I can get a switching supply and the constant current drivers on the same size board. A fixture built this way would only require four low current control lines (R,G,B and GND) and 110vac.

Craig

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I was in HD tonight, getting some plywood for cutouts. Saw these light tunnels or circular skylights. The clear dome that mounts on the roof looks like it might be an ideal solution for a dome for moving yolks. I didn't not see any replacement domes there, just the complete kits, but if we could find a source for these replacement domes, it MAY be a less expensive solution for weatherproofing a moving yolk.

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VetteNut72

The problem with some of these flood fixtures is that the cover seal is, I believe, inadequate. I decided to make my own using some mold rubber I had left over from a previous project. This same process can be used to make gasket seals of custom size and profile that would work for any enclosure that you want to make waterproof without using a permanent seal.

First step is to make the mold. I made this one by routing the profile of the gasket in MDF and sealing with polyurethane.

gasket1.jpg

The rubber is then poured in and leveled off. This is Mold Max-30 silicone. Then the fun starts - popping bubbles (next thing to build is a vacuum chamber so I can degauss this stuff before pouring).

gasket2.jpg

After 16 hours it can be pulled from the mold and cleaned up. Here are the first two of three that I am making.

gasket3.jpg

And here is a picture of the gasket sitting on the flood fixture.

gasket4.jpg

Important thing is to keep your electronics dry - hope this helps,

Craig

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