Drafting simplified

LD Studio from Design & Drafting is an intuitive cross-platform set of sophisticated software tools designed to work with the venerable VectorWorks (MiniCAD) drafting program. Rufus Warren has designed the program for maximum versatility and speed.

After using the CAD program to input the dimensions of the stage and/or facility profile, LD Studio provides many time-saving features in the Lighting Design (Plots), Rigging, and Paperwork sections (some of these are patent-pending). LD Studio lets a designer quickly locate a lighting instrument from the large and up-to-date fixture library (as many as 30 parameters for many instruments) and adding it to a truss. After the height is added, the software automatically calculates the resulting "cone of light" and illustrates it graphically. Changing the angle either graphically or via numerical values in a worksheet automatically updates the other fields.

Paperwork fields in LD Studio are simultaneously updated and the program allows for data to be worksheet-driven. All data can be imported/exported to Lightwright and any database-type program, such as MS Excel. LD Studio and the images drawn in VectorWorks are able to be read as a block within AutoCAD; in addition, LD Studio can import AutoCAD architectural specifications of a facility and allow for the immediate placement of lighting instruments and truss.

Designers, electricians, and technical directors can be more productive and precise with LD Studio. For instance, after adding fixtures, cables can be added to the truss, and the program will automatically calculate the weight and cable lengths, as well as updating the drawing. The capacity of the truss and hoist motors can now be accurately compiled and a materials (bid) list can also be printed. For FOH, the drawing, calculation, and spacing of chairs/tables can also be done simply and effectively; they can also be manipulated to account for changes in aisles, table counts, and in the stage dimensions.

LD Studio offers a convenient method of exporting design data directly to the control console for easier building of cues, patch lists, and complete show information. Currently this feature is fully operational with the Leprecon LP 3000 console, and consoles from other manufacturers will be added in the near future.

Brian Hire, events presentation consultant for Steelcase, adds, "The rendering feature is outstanding. Previously we would sit in production meetings and no one had a clue as to what I was talking about. Now, they see the views, and they expect to see them. People are really wowed by seeing the complete stage--including screens and truss, the colors, templates, and even the sections lit by a special." Warren says this particular stage design [top] took about three hours to draw, and only three minutes to render.

Through the use of QuickTime and Adobe Acrobat, both on the CD-ROM software demonstration and the website, all of the software tools are fully shown for using this program. The website URL is www.design-drafting.com. DESIGN & DRAFTING SERVICES Oak Lawn, IL

Leviton lockout The Leviton Smart Lock GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) is designed to prevent a GFCI from being reset after it has been damaged and can no longer provide ground fault protection. Steve Campolo, vice president of Leviton Engineering, says, "We invented Smart Lock to prevent a user from incorrectly assuming that a GFCI that has been reset is still providing ground fault protection when it actually may not. Once ground fault protection is compromised, its lockout-action feature mechanically prevents the reset button on the device from re-engaging. This ensures that power to the GFCI and downstream devices connected to it remain off." The GFCI device is compatible with the Decora designer-style devices and is available in different colors, and in 15A and 20A versions. Leviton Manufacturing Little Neck, NY

Measure for measure The Minolta T-10 Illuminance System features an expandable modular design using compact and interchangeable components. The measurement output is selectable for analog or digital, and the system features a standard RS232C interface, enabling connection to a computer. User-selectable measurement operations include illuminance, illuminance difference, integrated illuminance, setting of reference, and color compensation values. As many as 30 receptor heads can be connected to a single meter unit for fast multipoint measurements. Special receptors for small area measurement and underwater applications are available. Optional data management software is also available, providing for visual data display such as graphics--grids, trend graph, and sensor position outputs. Software-controlled automatic measurement also can be performed at user-selected intervals. Minolta Ramsey, NJ

Lighting that lasts Endurance linear fluorescents provide adjustable, high-output, energy-efficient lighting indoors and outdoors where a corrosion-resistant, vandal-proof, water-resistant luminaire is needed. The low-profile contemporary housing design with curved edges is double-insulated for electrical safety. All hardware is stainless steel and self-contained for corrosion and vandal resistance. The housings snap securely into stainless-steel brackets mounted on ceilings or walls for secure positioning. Designers can specify the precision-sealed and gasketed housing with self-contained components. The luminaires are supplied with extruded, UV-stabilized, fiberglass-reinforced plastic housings. Standard housing color is white; other colors are available upon request. Morlite Erie, PA

Sparky's new tools Jensen Tools is offering a versatile set of tools, specifically for electricians, that even includes a Cordura-type holster with a contained belt-loop for easy storage and portability. The Multi-Tool Kit IV includes the Crescent ToolZall Electricians' Tool, featuring a wire stripper, wire cutter, wire bender, awl, can and bottle opener, and a serrated drop point knife; a mini-Maglite flashlight; three flat-head screwdrivers; a Phillips screwdriver, and a mini four-in-one screwdriver with two slotted/Phillips bits. The kit can be purchased individually or in combination with other types of kits and/or tools. Jensen Tools Phoenix, AZ

Foggy notion The Tiny-Compact F90C is a continuous-duty fogger that can add another dimension to events due to its portability. The Tiny-Compact (manufactured in Germany, by Look-Solutions), provides virtually instantaneous effects, due to a less-than-one-second warm-up cycle. The 12V battery supplies energy only when necessary (under a microprocessor control) so the fog time is greatly improved as compared to other battery-powered machines. It can be operated at any angle, and with one hand. Features no reheat cycle, simple controls, and an on-board 1.5oz fluid tank for 20 minutes of continuous fog. The Tiny-Compact is supplied with a battery, charger, and fluid (fully charged, the battery has enough power for 10 minutes of continuous fog). An optional wireless remote, DMX interface, and digital timer are available. The dimensions are almost 3"x4"x8", and the weight including the battery is 50oz, with a power consumption of 70W. Theatre Effects Hagerstown, MD

Brighter dimming Rosco/Entertainment Technology has introduced the Capio series of Intelligent Power System Dimming Racks, using Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) dimming technology in an industry-standard rack configuration. According to the manufacturer, the Capio rack configuration will enable IGBT dimming to be offered at a price competitive with current Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) products. The Capio rack series can be used as a stand-alone solution, or incorporated with existing Rosco/ET IPS dimmer strips. The standard 48-slot rack accommodates up to 96 20A dimmers (in dual dimmer modules) or 48 50A dimmers (in single dimmer modules), or a mix of the two. Twenty-four and 12 slot racks are available, as are Constants, Non-Dim, Fluorescent, Value 20A, High Performance 50A, and High Performance 20A module types. The Capio also features numerous control capabilities via DMX512, 10Base-T Ethernet TCP/IP protocol, contact closure inputs for panic/emergency situations, and other specialized processor and control console features. Rosco/Entertainment Technology Portland, OR

Fiber talk The ITT Cannon Fiber Optic Multi Channel (FOMC) series connector is a single-mode fiber-optic connector that is field serviceable and for use in rugged (outdoor/wet) environments. The special connector is designed to hold a supply of extra fiber bundled inside the connector housing, allowing the user to change a single contact without the need to re-terminate the entire connector, as other conventionally used models necessitate. In addition, terminating (attaching) the FOMC series connector is easier, since the pin and socket comes pre-assembled and does not require special tooling. According to Cannon, the FOMC connector has an optical loss range of 0.22dB typical and 1.0dB maximum, equal to or better than the performance of any single-mode fiber-optic product currently being used. ITT Cannon Santa Ana, CA

Period pieces Period Lighting Fixtures has unveiled the Mashapaug and Canton chandeliers, part of an 18th- and 19th-century collection reproduced from original fixtures at Old Sturbridge Village, MA. The Mashapaug design was typically found in taverns, ornamented with whimsical pear pendants and painted folk art leaves. It is available with seven or eight arms. The Canton chandelier [above] is more elaborate and features a turned wood center and flowing arms decorated with metal acanthus leaves. The five arm chandelier is 16" high and 20" wide. Period Lighting Fixtures Clarksburg, MA