PLASA 2002 Booth-by-Booth Report, Part 1

ADB had one of the strongest buzzes going at the show with its cutting-edge designed Axis ellipsoidal luminaire. By using a revolutionary four-plane shutter system and a series of rings, you can get any shutter cut that your designer could ever desire. The pattern holder and iris also lock into place and can rotate through 360º of rotation. There are two zoom models again, focused by this unique ring system, and the unit can be attached into the ADB automated yoke to automate all of the shuttering, iris, pattern, and zoom control that via DMX can tie into the core of a system very easily. The focus was very repeatable time and time again.

Abstract: New at PLASA is the VRX Bar Scan club effects fixture. Abstact took top honors for the best large stand award at PLASA2002 (over 50 sq m).

Antari UK: New high-tech X range fog and haze machines move this company from the disco and DJ market into higher-end professional markets. Models include the X510, X515, X530, and X310, all DMX-controlled. Antari has also announced that Coemar is their new distributor in the UK.

Apollo Design Technology showed the Comspect II, a scroller with a subtractive color-mixing method. Features include increased aperture size, built-in heat blocker, and universal mounting plate.

Avolites was showing three exciting new products at PLASA 2002, including The ART2000i installation dimmer, the Pearl 2004 console, an updated and streamlined version of the Pearl 2000, and the Avolites Pearl simulator, a useful, timesaving free software download that provides a virtual interface for the popular Pearl 2000 console. Avo still has a loyal following, as attested by the number of consoles out on tour this past Summer and Fall, including Diamond IIIs on Aerosmith and for the Rolling Stones theatre shows. In addition to these, Avolites displayed its full range of lighting consoles--Azure, Sapphire, Pearl, and Diamond 4. The entire range of Avolites ART digital dimmers were also shown. Due to recent events, Avolites took up a new stand position this year, right at the front of the hall.

Bright Lighting: UK launch for Color Stream™, a new LED lighting effect that can change color, create custom patterns, and move an array of red, green, and blue LEDs along a tube. Color Stream won the Award for Product Excellence at PLASA 2002. This US company is now called Pixeon.

Brilliant Stages: In addition to set construction and control for the complicated moving video screens, a giant backdrop, and lighting pods on the current Rolling Stones 40 Licks tour, as well as the musical We Will Rock You in London's West End, Brilliant Stages is also working on several cruise ships for Princess Cruises.

ChainMaster launched its new Multi-BUS control board, which is billed as one board for seven BUS systems. Features include gateway function from BUS to BUS, 16-bit processor, and programmable flash memory with 128KB.

Chauvet had plenty of new things, including the Gyro 150 moving-head unit, the DMX Intimidator moving-mirror unit, and the Micro Scan II and Micro Barrel II miniature DMX fixtures.

City Theatrical: New product launches include: the battery-run WDS (Wireless Dimming System) transmits DMX and dims without wires; a perfect solution for any application where power cables cannot be run, or for lighting in scenery and costumes; A.C.T's moving light hangers which allow automated luminaries to be re-hung without re-focus or re-programming (cues stay on cue with perfect balance and alignment of the fixtures); the DMX iris allows the AutoYoke iris to "stand alone" in ETC, Strand, and Selecon fixtures with power via the scroller power chain.

Clay Paky launched the Stage Profile Plus SV, a 1200W professional moving-body beam shaper, designed for professional uses. It is the most silent of the Clay Paky range, but its most unique feature is the patented profile system, based on a group of four separately moving blades controlled from the lighting desk. It allows for many unique effects. Other features include two rotating gobo wheels that can be superimposed for a morphing effect, linear zoom, electronic focusing, linear variation frost, three prisms, CMY color-mixing, CTO-CTB, iris, dimmer on a single-channel and stop/strobe. Other Clay Paky products included the CP Color 575 color changer, the Color Wave 300 (for uniform color wash displays) and the V.I.P. 1200, billed as the only projector specifically designed for long-distance projection--up to 50m--of stationary and moving images, writing, logos, and advertisements.

Coemar: Coemar UK unveiled electronic ballast versions of the iSpot 575EB and iWash 575EB, offering greater lamp control, brighter light output, Zap-effect electronic strobing of the lamp, reduction of size and weight by up to 40%, and reduced power consumption by up to 50%. Coemar also introduced he DR-1 Display replicator for bi-directional remote monitoring of their auotmated luminaires.

Columbus McKinnon was showcasing its new Pro Commander, a variable speed, computer-controlled motor controller. This new controller allows control of up to 127 hoists at one time. Speeds are selectable in 1" increments. An encoder is installed in the CM Lodestar hoists for positions better than 1mm resolution. The computer program is Windows-based with GUI software. This modular-design controller is housed in a standard 19" rack. All Columbus McKinnon Entertainment Division hoists offers a lifetime warranty on workmanship and materials of all hoists.

Compulite: This Israeli company introduced the new Vector family of consoles for larger theatres and concert tours, and the Rave consoles with 100 channels for clubs, DJs, and smaller venues, with support of MIDI, SMPTE, and DMX control of 40 moving lights and 20 DMX-controlled devices.

DHA Lighting: Company news includes the creation of Scene Change, a new division that will work closely with High End Systems to create content for the Catalyst system. Royalty-free video effects (such as fire or rain) will be available on CD or available for purchase and download on the Internet. Custom effects also available. DHA is also now the exclusive UK dealer for Derksen projection systems from Germany.

The Italian company D.T.S Show Division showed the XR7 moving-head projector, which features that include a Philips MSR 575/2 lamp, a seven-gobo wheel, a color wheel with eight colors with dichroic filters plus white, and an optical unit consisting of three lenses with double antireflective treatment.

Doughty Engineering Ltd: This UK manufacturer of rigging featured its range of lighting hoists, Bulldog grip equipment, Zenith truss lifts, Atom clamps and pulleys, as well as the new Sixtrack curtain track with tubular top hanger bar and rectangular section tube rails, all finished in black powder coat.

ELC Lighting is another of the many Benelux companies that are jumping into the DMX distribution and accessories arena. The DMXlan is for DMX over Ethernet and deals with merging, splitting. You can control it from a laptop PC or via a Windows CE handheld device. Also introduced was the Focus Brain, which allows for remote control of 32 scenes and 512 channels of DMX. It will store cue times and can act as a console remote. Leprecon CAE will handle the ELC product line in the US market.

ETC launched the SmartPack portable dimmer, a new 19" 2U rack-mount unit, which provided six or 12 channels of dimming density in a compact space. Also shown was the Source Four MultiPAR batten.

E\T\C Audiovisuel: The big news is the sale of this Paris-based large-format projection manufacturer to Group INEO, part of Group Suez, a French industrial group. Featured products at PLASA inlcuded the PIGI S500 2.5kW HMI projector and PIGI S700 4kW HMI projector. Both allow simultaneous scrolling of two independent films. Anne Johnston at Fourth Phase continues to represent the projectors in the US market.

f.a.l. showed the Three-Sixty 1200 Pro, a moving-head unit with a beam opening of 14-33º. Cooling, speed, and power of lamp can be set from the control desk. Also on hand was the Three-Sixty HP high-performance projector and the Three-Sixty Laser.

Gala: Recent installations for the Gala Spiralift include the Centre Culturel du Mont-Jacob Ville de Jonquière where 6" lifts are used for seating risers, and the Lyric Theatre at the Esplanade Performing Arts Center in Singapore where the installation includes four orchestra lifts, six stage lifts, and two sound mixer lifts.

Geni Electronics: This Taiwan-based manufacturer has moved to a new 100,000-sq-m headquarters in the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park. Future plans include new architectural products in additional to the popular OBY-3 moving-head fixture and a full range of disco-style fixtures shown at PLASA this year.

Griven was shown on the stand of its UK distrib Ambient Lighting Ltd. New from Griven is its architectural range that includes the Cesuvio CYM250, the Pantheon CYM 400, and the Colosseo CYM 1000, and the Risalot 150. Also from Ambient was the AVR Colourmaster line, which is now distributed in the US by Gear-Source.

High End Systems had its usual large booth stuffed to the gills with products. It probably helps the booth designers that they have so many cool tools at their disposal. On prominent display was the Catalyst system as well as representatives from NEC highlighting the announcement at the show of the NEC and HES alliance, where HES will have better access to the NEC line of projectors and the NEC Nighthawk™ technology, and NEC will have access to the Catalyst for its resellers. HES will continue to work with Barco and other projector manufacturers as well. The whole booth was being run off the Flying Pig Systems Wholehog® III. The console software looks very stable and has some killer apps, including the Library Model, where effects such as gobo rotation will all be measured in real world attributes like RPM and the engineers will figure out the best path to move from color to color. For the designer and the operator this means that they can use fixtures from wildly different manufacturers for their designs and the consoles internal programming will figure out that all fixtures will move from say magenta to teal and follow the most expedient path and give you the same color, not an odd mix.

Howard Eaton Lighting Ltd: New this year is the DMX Crosspoint RDM (remote device management) range of DMX distribution products. The Crosspoint rack-mounted unit accepts four universes of DMX and distributes it intelligently to 20 dual DMXlinkFFL outlets. Eaton also had a hand in building the incredible flying car in the hit London musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

IES bv launched its isine sine wave dimmer and was displaying its full range of dimmers including IGBT and Triac dimmers. IES now offer a breadth of choice, starting with the familiar Triac based entry level dimmers employing Tri™ digital technology. The drawbacks are the comparative size and weight of chokes introduced to help reduce filament noise, and the effect on harmonics. Graduating to itec™ technology, dimmers enjoy greatly reduced acoustic noise, reduced radiated interference, the possibility of harmonic reduction, and they are lighter, more compact and more energy efficient. Finally with the isine™ technology there are completely silent filaments, transformers and cabling and harmonic distortion at less than 1%. isine dimmers also enjoy the benefit of being unaffected by distorted mains supplies and the capability to handle up to 24kW of power.

James Thomas Engineering featured its new relationship with LEDs, showing off the latest products in the Pixel Par range and the Pixel Line range, with RGB LEDs fitted into standard PAR units and Striplight fixtures. The trick part is the variable number of DMX channels for the strip fixture; three channels give you basic control all the way up to 54 channels for finer and finer control over the color mixing.

LSC Lighting Systems: Launch for the e1220 model in this Australian firm's portable dimmer range. Also launched at PLASA is the LSC DMX512 Delta Data Splitter available in both a 19" rack-mount model and a portable version. First time in UK for the Maxim XXL console with DMX control for moving lights in TV, live events, exhibitions with small rig (up to 20 lights max).

Le Maitre: New products include the Prostage two and six-channel effects firing systems, as well as the prototype of the new Touring Hazer that runs on DMX or Ethernet as well as via PC or laptop, and generates little to no heat. This model can sit on the floor or in truss and has a multidimensional arm to direct the haze. Sugar-based fluid leaves no residue. Also new is the rugged and economical Maxi Fogger designed for tours and clubs.

Le Mark had a winner with Gel-Tak, a new heat-resisting, repositionable, and pressure-sensitive fixing for use with lighting filters, which took a product award at the show (It will be distributed in the US by Apollo Design Technology). The product is an ultra-low-profile clear polyester film, double-coated with a high heat and UV light-resistant "peel clean" adhesive layer on both surfaces. It can be stuck on one side to a clean window and on the other to any make of color filter.

Lee Filters: A new range of 11 colors in Lee's 700 designer filter series, created by such LDs as Chris Davey, Chris Ellis, and David Whitehead. Lee also featured CTO and CTB color-correction filters, and a new range of grid cloths.

Leprecon is expanding its international presence and had its LPX-24 console on display. All new on the console is the VGA module adder, which also supports a mouse and a keyboard. New consoles will all ship with this option and existing consoles can be retrofit by an authorized service center to add these features, which will really help when dealing with more than a couple of automated luminaires. Also being shown was the ELC DMX distribution products, which Leprecon will distribute in North America.

Go to Part 2.