Monday, 28 September 2009

Up on the Roof With U2, Part 2

For the LED drivers, I had it in mind to use off-the-shelf products. These days a lot of manufacturers make standard drivers to just drive LEDs with or without DMX. I couldn’t find the right driver that could handle the power but also have a smooth dimming curve and understand DMX. There are a few products out there, but in my opinion, they still have a way to go to get to a smooth dimming curve. Plus, nothing was available in that short of lead time. I ran into James Powell at Lightfair; he was one of the founders of PixelRange and has now moved on from there to his company JAP Optoelectronic, based in Manchester, England. I knew he could deal with the whole electronics and software side of an LED product. James and I discussed this project, and I asked if he was interested, did he have the capacity and more importantly, did he have components in stock, which he did. He decided that it would be best to design a custom driver board for this fixture. It makes more s to have a board that does exactly what’s wanted, that’s not over particulared, and that is dependable. We always had to remember these units were going on tour and are hard to access, so you don’t need to have problems on the road. Once James came onboard in the first week of May, he designed a custom board and laid out all of the electronics and control system, basically with DMX input. He is known for his fantastic dimmer curves and reliable electronics; in my opinion, he has the best dimming in the whole field of LED products. I have known James since I started Xilver back in 2002. It was very exciting to work with him and his well organized professional team.

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