Wondering what to expect at LDI98 in Phoenix, aside from the usual assortment of old friends, new trends, and sore feet? Theatrical lighting, sound, lasers, and other specialty equipment and services will be represented in abundance at this year's show, as more than 250 exhibitors to date have come on board to show their wares.

To whet your appetites, we've put together a selective sampling of some of the more noteworthy products that were available at press time. All of these and much, much more will be exhibited at the show, to be held November 15-18 at the Phoenix Civic Plaza. Many of these will be making their world debut at LDI; others are scheduled for release at PLASA or AES. Regardless, all are sure to turn heads on the floor.

New at the A.C. Lighting booth will be the Chroma-Q MK II digital color changer, which finds its position via optical encoding and self-calibrates gelstrings between two and 16 frames. Also on display will be the XYZ programming in the Wholehog II software version 3.0, which allows for a lighting instrument's position to be established in three-dimensional space, simplifying the creation and updating of preset focuses.

Altman Stage Lighting's products will include the DC-PAR, a compact alternative to standard PAR cans, using the 575W HP600 lamp with four interchangeable lenses. The Pork Chop is a pipe clamp line available in black or brushed aluminum that includes a slot for the safety cable. Apollo Design Technology is bringing colored glass gobos for theatrical events. The Arrisun 1200 from Arri is a 12,000W HMI PAR that can produce more than 2,000fc at 100' (30m). Automated Entertainment's new items include the HD Little Bruther infrared fixture, the HD P75 miniature effects projector, the HD BlackScan, and other Blacklite expendables.

Bandit Lites is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the show. Bogen Cine is showing its AuraSoft softlight featuring HMI and quartz lamps. New to the show floor this year is Bridgestone, which is introducing a 14mm solid-core side-lit fiber cable suitable for exteriors. On display at the Brightline booth will be the Series One component lighting system. These units feature a bracketing frame that allows for double or triple mounting of fixtures with individual tilt and focus control. The Brightline systems use special two-wire dimmable/non-dimmable ballasts, universal operating voltages, and high-CRI fluorescent lamps. From Buehnenbau Schnakenberg in Germany, the Nivoflex-Airstage is a new generation of stationary platforms with a servo-support for manual height adjustment.

New HMI lighting systems from Cinemills range from the 18/12k Super Silver Bullet to a 400/575/700W three-way, all-weather Silver Bullet. CITC will show the GyroFan, a DMX-controlled stage fan with unlimited positioning for distribution of fog and wind effects. Its Jungle Mist system turns water into a fine foggy mist, and its Little Blizzard SP snow machine is soundproofed, allowing for use in FOH applications.

Continuing to develop accessories for the ETC Source Four, City Theatrical has developed the EFX Plus2, a moving-effects projector with two planes of linear motion, and variable speed and direction control. The Auto Yoke, a DMX-controlled yoke capable of panning 360 degrees and tilting 180 degrees specifically designed for the Source Four, will also be introduced at LDI.

The complete Clay Paky Stage Line, consisting of four washlights and two effects projectors, will be demonstrated at the Group One booth. The six models offer features such as interchangeability of heads, gradual color temperature correction, and 252 degrees of pan and 450 degrees of tilt. Clear-Com Intercom Systems will show its MicroMatrix digital intercom system, which has 24-channel capacity and requires only 2RU of space. From Boston-based Color Kinetics comes word of a waterproof C-Series lighting fixture. Capable of generating over 16 million colors, the microprocessor-controlled, LED-based unit creates colored lighting effects via DMX512, PC control, or DIP switches. Among the benefits of using Color Kinetics' Super Bright LEDs are long life, low maintenance, low energy consumption, and compact size. Creative Stage Lighting's Dura-Flex multicables, specifically designed for entertainment use, feature high current conductors matching Socapex and Veam VSC pin configurations, and are UL- and CSA-listed. Crescit Software's SoftPlot V.6, including extensive 3D capability, is scheduled for exhibition. And the Crosby Group's Sling Saver line of fittings for use with synthetic slings is being exhibited.

From Design and Drafting, the LD Tools software makes set and stage design tasks simple to accomplish through intelligent programming and extensive product capabilities and icons, plus the automatic updating of schedules and device characteristics (like weight factors). At the Diversitronics booth, the Strobe Runner console capable of controlling 4-32 independent strobe lights will be shown. Using DMX, Strobe Runner can vary intensity, speed, and rate, and offers auto program features and a variety of effects.

New from Doug Fleenor Design is the Single Channel DMX512 Controlled Relay Pack, which uses DMX512 to control a 30A dry contact relay. The unit switches the AC input voltage (between 100 and 240) onto the AC output; it is rated at 20A but is supplied with standard 15A PBG connectors on 12-gauge 18" pigtails. Fleenor will also unveil the Color Changer Line Tester, designed to verify the continuity of cables used with many color changers on the market. Argentina's Dexel srl will debut a line of luminaires and accessories for theatre, TV and film studios, and location lighting applications. Discotech Pro Light is showing the Atraxa, an audio-activated color changer and effects luminaire with rotating gobos.

Electrol Engineering's Y3K architectural control system does not require an interface panel to communicate with its other dx control components and theatrical and architectural dimmers--it can communicate simultaneously in DMX, analog, and architectural control protocols for the total control of all lighting instruments and fixtures. Electronic Theatre Controls will debut the new Sensor dimmer module, with integral ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) for use in wet locations. Also being introduced by ETC will be a family of high-power spotlights, with six fixed and two zoom ranges, all with significantly higher light levels than the venerable Source Four. From Enliten Architectural Lighting Products, a division of White Light (UK), comes the Callisto exterior luminaire, a wet location gobo projector that uses a 150W metal-halide lamp for outdoor logo projection and framing.

Eurotronics will show its new compact searchlights, which feature high light output and programmable movement control. Fehr Brothers' Temporary Horizontal Lifeline with an SOA Unitensioner is a specially designed safety device developed for two-person operation and is offered complete with all needed accessories. Future Light will unveil the TileMount, which allows a hanging position to be created for lighting instruments by replacing a conventional ceiling tile within a standard commercial grid/suspended ceiling. Its SwivelPAR is a stem-mounted PAR-20 intended for use with recessed downlights. Panning, tilting, and color gels can be used to provide more control over the lighting from these fixtures and their permanent placement in ceilings.

GAM gets Naked: Color filters known as Naked Cosmetics have been developed by GAM Products to enhance the natural beauty and skin tones of performers in video and television production. GAM Floor is an easy-to-install (and remove) vinyl flooring for stage and studio production available in 13 colors including Chromakey blue and green.

George & Goldberg Design Associates is displaying a programmable DC or AC serve system modular motion control system for chain hoists, which uses DMX as the operator interface. Gepco International's GFC-style multi-pair cable with color-coded jackets for easy identification of pairs, and cables for digital audio applications, will be introduced.

Goddard Design has developed DMX-NET input and output modules for providing flexible DMX512 distribution throughout a facility. Modules are opto-isolated for reliability, some support Rosco/Entertainment Technology's ID protocol, and they are compact enough to fit standard single-gang electrical wall boxes. The "Anything to Anything" protocol converter from Gray Interfaces of Canada provides user-selectable conversions to, from, and between DMX, AMX, AVAB, CMX, K96, ECMUX, and D54 signals (LDI pop quiz: Can you name the companies that developed each protocol?). The Mini-300 short throw followspot, FS300-HO (high output) 300 followspot, and the FS400 HO medium-throw followspot are a new line manufactured by Great Performance Products of Canada.

Making its US debut at the High End Systems booth is the Studio Spot(TM) automated luminaire, a hard-edged beam fixture designed as a companion to the Studio Color(R) automated wash luminaire. The Studio Spot (currently on the road with Michael W. Smith's Live the Life tour, designed by Keith Hoagland) features a patent-pending multiple stage reflector designed to make optimal use of its MSR 575 lamp, creating brightness levels comparable to those of 750-1,200W lamps. Intelite's LaserLumia display system can show holographic images and patterns in RGB or a combination of colors. Irideon is presenting its new family of automated interior units: the AR6(TM) spot luminaires, and the AR7(TM) wash luminaires, plus a new release of Irideon Composer(TM) control system software.

James Thomas Engineering will be displaying Fold Flat Supertruss 20.5", Squarelite 12" and 15.75", Superlite 15.75", and a UL-listed line of PAR cans. Johnson Systems has a firing card for electro control quad dimmers, with many new features, under a five-year warranty, plus a handheld DMX console. Laser Production Network (or LaserNet) will show Lasermax 4, the newest version of the Lasermax graphic software program, with features like geometric correction, multi-layered animation, automatic vertical text sizing, and morphing.

The LeMaitre 8/16 Professional Pyrotechnic Controller offers a programmable sequential firing system, called Step Fire. For larger pyro effects, the Sure Fire Pyrotechnic Controller provides a total of 48 channels with programmable chase and step fire control with programmable speed control. Sure Fire offers optional multi-conductor slave ports for touring and installation applications. Lee Filters is firing up its Heat Shield, designed for use between the color filter and a high temperature light source to extend the life of gel; new color-matched acrylic panels; and a glass series, specifically designed for the architectural and themed entertainment industries. Leviton is showcasing its wall-mounted sensor that turns off room lighting when temporary occupancy is sensed. The Lex Products Distro Tech line, made of rubber, ranges from 20A to 600A, provides ground fault protection, branch circuit-rated breakers, and weatherproofing. Lighting & Electronics' UL-version Mini-Followspot uses both DYD and FLK lamps. Lightspeed Technologies is showing its RFX series, a 16-channel, selectable UHF wireless microphone system, and the Nova series, an infrared assistive listening system.

From Germany's Light-Visions Projeckt GmbH comes Vision-Lite, a modular color changing and effects luminaire system with infrared control for programming. The Vision-Lite also provides 12 options of slides, gobos, and color. MultiNeon is a DMX-controlled color-changing neon system that will be demonstrated by Lowel-Light Manufacturing, along with the LowelDimmer, an intelligent portable location dimmer. LTM's LDI gear includes the 18W HMI Daycam Camera Light and the 24 HMI Minipar Light. LuxArt Conception's Microlux 98 lighting software is premiering at the show. Lycian's Antiquities series are 45A vertical-arc followspots that use a 3/4" carbon trim with a manual feed and a 6" lens to produce an intense beam with a soft edge. MDG of Canada has many new products for LDI, including MM and MAX series touring fog machines. The Ice Fog Generator will also be shown.

New Martin Professional products include the Martin Exterior 600, a compact, specially designed exterior automated luminaire, and the RoboScan Pro 918, a moving mirror luminaire. Martin ProScenium DMX is a complete software package that turns an LD's Windows-compatible laptop/PC into a multi-functioned, fully featured lighting console. Mobolazer's Image player is a 40mW five-color graphics projector that will be demoed at LDI. Moonlight Illumination has newly designed 19-pin connectors, plus ellipsoidals, followspots, and automated luminaires.

National Specialty Lighting's offerings include LED Light Rope with a diode life of 100,000 hours capable of 1,000' (305m) runs. Navigator Systems will be unveiling a multiple location version of its popular HireTrack Production Management System. NJD is conjuring Merlin lighting control software and the Vortex Centerpiece for clubs and discos. NSI/Colortran is demonstrating its Innovator series of control consoles, i series dimming products, and a mini-ellipsoidal luminaire. OmniMount Systems will introduce a mounting system for hanging speakers, TV monitors, and other studio equipment that incorporates interlocking framing sections with concealed aircraft cable.

JVC's XU-301BK is a 3-CD changer and MD unit with flexible programming that will be demonstrated by Pacific Supply & Trading Co. Penn Fabrication will show off its gable roof concept truss system with a redesigned grid for increased load-bearing capability. The Club Stand series, also from Penn Fabrication, is a portable, lightweight truss system suitable for small productions or DJ applications. New lamps from Philips Lighting include a 115V 575W bi-plane unit, plus additions to its MSR/MSD series. Premier Lighting & Production's Versa-Disc special effects wheel for ellipsoidals is being spun at LDI.

The Cable-Path from Pro-Tapes & Specialties is a high-quality gaffer tape without an adhesive applied in the center of the tape strip; cables can be moved and adjusted after they have been taped to the floor. Richmond Sound Design's Showman is a full-featured show control system for the Windows NT platform that can interface with all MIDI-controlled devices.

Rosco Laboratories is featuring many new products, including Prismatics glass dichroic gobos; Flexcoat flexible coating for foam; Roscoleum flooring; and Colorcoat paint, a water-borne acrylic enamel. Rosco/Entertainment Technology is touting Horizon 98, which adds Windows 98 and NT support (among other features) to its lighting control software, and other Horizon options. Rose Brand has a new line of powdered flame retardants, available in a variety of formulas for fabrics of all types, packaged in convenient sizes for mixing on-site.

Sachtler's Compact series consists of 5" 1k, 6" 1k, and 8" 2k tungsten luminaires. At the ShowMasters Theatrical Products booth, the Pro-master synthetic handline will be on display; it is stronger than manila and has a higher abrasion resistance than other line materials. Shrink Markers has developed shrinkable tubing for 19-pin stage connectors. At the Silver State Wire Rope & Rigging booth, demonstrations of the FireFighter sling, which combines the flexibility of a conventional spanset with the fire resistance of steel, will be held. Skjonberg Controls is now renting its motion control, load monitoring, and power distribution equipment. And SMS Entertainment Connectors is touting all-rubber three-pin units rated for 600V at 25A, 60A, and 100A.

Strand Lighting's booth will be highlighted by the Quartzcolor range of fresnels and HMI PARs; with 28 new lights, Strand says this is the first time an entire range is being introduced simultaneously. The line ranges from 200W to 12kW in both HMI and incandescent. On the control front, Strand is unveiling a new-look family of 500 series consoles with updated keyboards, larger trackballs, and faster processors. LDI will also be the North American launchpad for the 510 show controller, a rack-mount console for themed environments.

Solutions By Computer will demonstrate ProStar OpenAccess, designed to provide access to the ProStar rental database from Windows tools such as Excel and Visual SQL. Strong International-Xenotech will have its Nocturn UV visual effects products on display, including long-range, high-intensity UV instruments in spot and flood configurations. Sunbelt Scenic Studios has expanded its Sun Sets line of stock scenery items, and much of it, including new custom road cases, will be on display at LDI. Surety Manufacturing & Testing will exhibit the Gravity Rigger's Harness, which incorporates a sitting harness design for more comfort; it is suitable for rappelling/controlled descent, positioning, ladder climbing, rescue, and fall arrest. Systems Wireless will demo the System 800 UHF wireless intercom system, which features two-channel capability and has a range of 2,000' (610m).

Theatre Effects has a batch of products, ranging from a 12" Blacklight to Mylar Stadium Streamers. The 4150-IPM outdoor architectural image projector will be introduced by Canada's TIR Systems Ltd. Using an HO 150W metal-halide lamp, this UL/CUL wet location-listed luminaire projects a sharp image from standard B-size theatrical gobos. Total Structures will display its Intelligent Pre-Rig truss that can support and "permanently" transport three moving yoke luminaires and has the same overall dimensions as conventional PAR truss. Touch-Plate Lighting Controls has a DMX relay control panel for all non-dimmed loads, while Transverse Industries will demonstrate its Laser Show, a portable disco laser light with manual and automatic modes capable of projecting more than 60 patterns automatically.

Ultratec Fiber Optic of Canada has a new line of Medici fiber-optic endlight fixtures in designer finishes and styles, to complement its fiber, which can illuminate up to 263' (80m). Unique Business Systems is premiering the Windows version of RentTrace and will demonstrate its software for rental companies. Ushio's MHR-150N is a compact 150W metal-halide reflector lamp, specifically designed for fiber-optic illuminators, that does not require a fan for cooling, has a 4200K rating, a lamp life of 6,000 hours, and operates with standard ANSI ballasts or an electronic equivalent.

Vari-Lite Inc. is scheduled to introduce its Virtuoso(TM) control system, as well as enhancements to Series 300(TM) luminaires. Upgrades to other existing luminaires are also expected. Videssence continues to launch lighting products using the latest advancements in fluorescent lighting, including Softspots, focusing small zone SZRGB instruments that can add a controlled "hard" light to small TV/video studios and project plastic gobos. Wiko's daylight task lamp fixture, using its SoLux lamp, will be on display at its booth. Wildfire will ignite its 600W spot flood luminaire, a 100W metal-halide luminaire, and a 1,200W underwater fixture. An Eclipse has hit Wybron: Its new product uses mechanical shutters controlled via DMX and is available for 1k, 2k, and 5k HMIs and other non-dimmable lamps.

The LDI New Product Breakfasts continually draw SRO crowds, and this year should be no exception. The lighting breakfast, sponsored by NSI/Colortran, will be held Friday, November 13, 8-9:30am; Eastern Acoustic Works sponsors the sound breakfast, to be held Saturday, November 14, 8-9am. On Sunday, November 15, Lasers and Special Effects--including a special indoor pyro demonstration by the sponsor, Le Maitre Special Effects--will bring LDI attendees up to date on the latest from leading manufacturers in those arenas. For more information on LDI check our website, www.etecnyc.net, or call 800/288-8606 or 303/220-0600.