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Showtime vs CTB16PC


CLD Kevin
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I purchased 2 showtime LOR1602W which cost a chunk on change, but now that I’ve done more reading and understanding of the product, I probably didn’t need the showtime units. What is the difference between the showtime units and DIY CTB16PC besides the cost…and a few other things?

The showtime units has a nice looking outside metal box, nice inside cover with on/off switch and fuses. Also it comes with Unit ID switches and can be ran as a standalone. But beside that, anything else….except for the obvious $329.95 price tag.

They both are 16channels, 30A total / 15A each.

I can’t tell from the picture if there is also an on/off switch and fuses on the CTB16C like the Showtime units.

I run my show from a PC, so I don’t need the standalone option. Another question, does the hardware utility assign the Unit ID and if it always stay programmed until I want to change it? Even after I unplug the power?

I'm looking at the buying 4 Assemble Required package which is $205.95 each. That would save me $495 from 4 Showtime units....basically I could buy 2 1/2 more units with that savings. Not sure about saving a few more $$ and go for the soldering kit. I can probably do it from reading how easy it is.

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For the most part you are correct.

The major differences are the stand alone features, the unit id settings, and the nice nema enclosure.

With the PC version, there is no face panel with fuses or a switch. You need to program the unit id via the HWU ( you can also program the CTB16D board too - this is the controller that is in the showtime units). The unit id stays in the chip until you use the HWU to change it. - if you open the HWU and see the bottom left corner, this is where you change the unit id.

The fuses on the PC version are on the board, the 16D board can be upgraded to 40A- 20 per side

with that said- the showtime units are more for the comercial aplications where as the pc version is for the consumer

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Thanks for the reply doc...just what I needed to know.

You mention the 16D board can be upgraded to 40A- 20 per side. Can that be added later if needed? I don’t see where I can add that upgrade to the kit, nor see where the 40A heatsink can be purchased separately.

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Cracker.

To upgrade the 16D board to 20 amps per side. It is a matter of replacing the power input cords to be 12ga with the proper 20A plug. Then also upgrading the fuses to 20A fuses.

So, Yes it can be done at any time.

Chuck

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You can also upgrade the PC boards as well.

Another important (to some) difference in the Showtime is that it is UL rated. This is important if you are using it in a commercial application.

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I want to upgrade to 40A on just a few of the units. Both Showtime units and 2 more of the CTB16PC. Just so I'm clear...

Replace the fuses with 20A each side and change out the input power cord from the standard 14ga that comes with the unit to 12ga. cmoore60 mention using the "proper 20A plug". Its just the standard 3 prog plug right? Nothing special like a twist lock plug?

Thanks

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Technically a 20A plug has one blade rotated, so it can not be inserted into a 15A recepticle.. Of course, if you get the wrong blade rotated, it is for 220V instead..

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Also, the plastic enclosures for the PC series won't continuously dissipate enough heat for a PC controller to continuously control 40A...

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iresq wrote:

You can also upgrade the PC boards as well.


Is that true?
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Yes. The components on the board are the same. there could be an issue with heat dissipation. While LOR does not support upping the capacity, Dan has said in the past that it can be done.

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Ok, thats what I figured but I was just wondering if it was documented at all.

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What would you suggest using for a enclosure that would work?

I'm assuming that the showtime enclosers are okay?

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The Showtime package was designed to work at 30 amp. I guess its really a matter of how long you are going to pull 40 amps, were your controllers are located, your local climate, etc.

Hitting a 40 amp peak a few seconds per minute, probably not that bad. If you were going to be playing around the 40 amp mark for extended periods of time, could be an issue.

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I worried incessantly about whether to upgrade my units to 40 amps or not. When I only had the 16 channels I had almost maxed my box out. But once I added other controllers, with the workload spaced out some, I found that amperage was not as much as a problem as before. Of course, I'm adding more lights but 16 to 80 channels gave me a lot of room. When I add more channels this year, I be further spreading out the load and have even less need to obsess over my amperage. Add to all of that the fact that I'll be starting a change over to LED which will make this even less of a problem.

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Charles Belcher

I have (18) 1602 controllers all operating at the 20A level. These units were purchased in 2005, 2006 and 2007. I didn't buy any more units this year as most of my display is DMX driven.

I have never had a problem with the 20A service of the controllers, the fuses nor the wiring. You just have to have a spreadsheet and keep records of your amp loads.

Charles

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Charles...is your load right at 20A or using the 80% rule?

I think maybe I should spread the load around. I only need the 20A per on 2 boxes...the remain 8 units only have 6A total on each box which I was going to combine a couple boxes together on the same outlet. The 2 boxes that I did need the additional amps were max at 16A per each side of the unit or total of 32amps. Within the 80%.

Its the Icicles, C9 bulbs 4 white trees with 12,000 lights that is killing it. I dont see that all 16A load on at the same time being they are different colors, but it probably wont hurt if I could spread it around. And if I can get the 16A to 12A...then I dont need to upgrade anything. I'm also using floods, but they are LED so no problem there.

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Charles Belcher

Cracker wrote:

Charles...is your load right at 20A or using the 80% rule?

I think maybe I should spread the load around. I only need the 20A per on 2 boxes...the remain 8 units only have 6A total on each box which I was going to combine a couple boxes together on the same outlet. The 2 boxes that I did need the additional amps were max at 16A per each side of the unit or total of 32amps. Within the 80%.

Its the Icicles, C9 bulbs 4 white trees with 12,000 lights that is killing it. I dont see that all 16A load on at the same time being they are different colors, but it probably wont hurt if I could spread it around. And if I can get the 16A to 12A...then I dont need to upgrade anything. I'm also using floods, but they are LED so no problem there.






Cracker,

If you are not maxing out the controller, then you don't really need to spread the load around. It certainly doesn't hurt to do so, especially now that LOR S2 allows you to move the channels around so much easier than in the past.

This year, I don't have a problem with loads on any controller. Last year I was at 19A at 100% usage per side on several controllers. If I held the lights "on" for any length of time during a sequence, I would just put the intensity at 95% or so to lessen the amp load.

Charles
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