Like most of you, I’m always searching for tidbits of useful information to share with others at the show; some folks’ gossip is golden in the proper ears, so I’ll endeavor to truly share with you as we roll toward the weekend at LDI in Vegas. I’ll also be the tradeshow’s token virgin blogger, so feel free to court me with your hot news. In that vein, here is one to get you started.

Exhibitor Elation Professional has announced that Everlast Productions, based in Dania Beach, FL, will serve as its East Coast Service Center. The move will enable customers on the East Coast to have warranty and non-warranty authorized repairs on Elation products performed at Everlast by factory-trained technicians. According to Everlast president Washington Arias, his company is gearing up for its role by opening two new offices in Tampa and Orlando.

Let’s virtually head to the show floor, in anticipation of what we’ll see later in the week. It will take a while to experience all the technology tucked in ETC’s booth, so here’s your path. A fine place to start is with the new Unison® building-control system that brings some green technologies to theatre lighting and lobby lighting. It includes the Paradigm™ lighting control system—a deep library of conventionals, moving lights, LEDs, and more—with touchscreen control that helps create dynamic lighting environments. After Unison you’ll find SmartLink™, a low-cost lighting control solution for smaller applications, with the SmartLink TimeClock for time-of-day control for ETC Unison, Sensor®+ and SmartPack® dimming. ETC is also showing the new 70W version of the Source Four® HID family; a 375W HPL lamp option for Source Four tungsten fixtures; SmartSoft™ for SmartFade 1248, 2496, and 1296 desks; and a new version of Congo software.

From across the pond, UK-based displayLED is revealing its flexible LED video skin, digiFLEX, to the US market. The skin is manufactured in 320mm x 160mm magnetized tiles that can flex smoothly both horizontally and vertically, so they can be attached to almost any metal surface without a dedicated support structure. The company will also unveil the Mirage m40, a semi-transparent, lightweight, large-scale video screen with a 40mm pixel pitch.

One of the “uplifting” companies you’ll see represented at the TMB pavilion is Kinesys, who will launch two new significant devices: Libra, a load-cell system, and Pulse, a pendant controller. Libra comes in the form of a Crosby shackle with a load-sensing pin. Currently 3.25-ton and 4.5-ton versions are offered, both with a 5:1 safety factor. A Libra load-cell can either be connected directly to a Kinesys Elevation 1+, providing feedback about the motor being controlled by the Elevation, or daisy-chained together with other Libras and connected to an interface unit positioned on the floor. A PC is connected to the interface via USB or Ethernet, and all the loads can be clearly viewed onscreen using Libra’s free software. Pulse is a pendant controller designed for use with any Kinesys product. It sits between the basic Rigger hand controller and the full version Vector and K2 software automation packages.

If an automated curtain system is in your future, investigate Thern and Hall Stage North America’s DGH variable speed curtain winch. The 8DGH includes standard winch features such as a 3⁄4 hp motor with control, four-pole rotary limit switch, and grooved drum for up to 65’ of 1/8” wire rope on a closed loop and drum guard. It also supports low voltage remote control options. Rounding out the winch is a range of customization options including variable voltage packages, motors with brakes, handles for manual operation, and DMX control interface. Factory modification capabilities will also be available to address line speed changes and increased drum capacity to support greater travel distances.

In architectural lighting news, Germany’s Kobold cuts loose with another accessory for its DE 200 HMI event lighting system. The IP54-rated DE 200 HMI can now be used with the company’s flush mount wall or ceiling Downlight PAR reflector. The reflector itself is gimballed with a static mounting plate to project the light where needed. It’s powered by the EWB 200 AC ballast or the EBE 200-400-575-800 DMX AC ballast. To control the light spread, four PAR lenses are offered; Super Spot – 11°, Medium Spot – 11°x17°, Medium Flood – 19° x 50°, and the Super Wide lens at 56°. There is also a black aluminium honeycomb grid for an even tighter spot.

Mega-Lite brings out a cool and bright new stationary RGB LED fixture, the Color Cannon. Using 36 3W LEDs, the manufacturer claims the Color Cannon offers three times the brightness of their comparable fixtures. For optimal mounting, a double yoke is included. It‘s compact enough to fit in standard 12X12 truss, and uses six channels of DMX control for RGB color, macros, strobe and dimming.

I must be almost out of time and/or screen words, so I’ll leave you with my hot tip du jour: Word on the street is The Swingin’ Johnsons are performing at The Tropicana Grand Ballroom at 9pm on Saturday. Blog me!