Walking the show floor yesterday, day one of LDI... Apollo always seems to have those ideas that you just smack your forehead. Apollo’s PrintScenic Printed Gobos are designed for LED or low heat profile instruments. The innovation is the print method and the material they print on. Apollo can print these gobos on plastic or glass, the latter giving the gobo the rigidity it really needs to continue to have a great projection for hundreds of hours. The big take away is they can fill in blacks to make solid fields, getting rid of the “gray” background seen in many printed gobo solutions.

The legendary Baxter Controls Par-B-Que is back. Texas-style beef cooked under PARs with Salt Lick dry rub and sauce imported from Driftwood, Texas. Head to booth #1142 in the afternoon to get some great beef and see the Pocket Console, a device every lighting tech would find useful.

Robert Juliat has two new LED profiles that caught my eye. The Zep replaces the company's previous LED profile. The Tibo is almost like a little brother to the Zep. The RJ optics are always excellent, but my favorite feature is that they both use the new PowerCon connector. It's a black connector instead of the blue one we’ve all gotten used to. There are several technical reasons why the new connector makes more sense for a theatrical fixture too. I plan to stop by the Neutrik booth to find out more. Also of note at the RJ booth is a “concept” light they put together for the show. Using the Zep backend with a Cricket yoke and front assembly, RJ has created an LED-based followspot. Again this isn’t even really a prototype, but the potential for smaller venues, clubs, schools, and corporate events is easy to see. Check it out in booth #501.

A few months ago Rosco released a web application called MyColor. It features a searchable index of all current Rosco filters. Users can organize their shows and particular palettes, exporting them to PDFs. The PDFs show a small swatch and notes the designer might make about the color. ;The whole host of technical information on a filter is also easy to get to. Here at LDI, Rosco is showing the beta iPad version of myColor. It's set to release in December. Should be another useful tool for anyone involved with lighting to keep on their iPad.

Searching for a good Gigabit switch? Thursday night I had a conversation with an electrician friend who needed to find a good Gigabit ethernet switch with Ethercon connectors. There’s not a lot thats flashy and fun about a switch, but it's a core piece of equipment that your whole show relies on. The idea that a cheap plastic connector can take down your rig is just unacceptable. Luminex, Pathway Connectivity, and TMB are offering robust switches that seem like they would fit the bill for my friend. All are worth a serious look if you use a network in your lighting rig.

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