Product Pick of the Month


LDDE X-PEN


LDDE introduces the X-Pen, a DMX testing device and LED flashlight in a cleverly designed unit. The X-Pen can check DMX512 protocol and serve as a flashlight at the same time and is engineered in a robust metal case to be easy to use as well as hold up under the rigors of backstage use. The beauty of this product is that it is designed with the idea that a technician is hanging off a truss or ladder and needs to check a DMX connection. You need one hand for the ladder, one hand for the DMX cable, one hand for the tester, and one hand for the flashlight. I count a few too many hands for one tech.

The combination of testing tool and flashlight in one handy-to-use device will make technicians happy when trying to diagnose DMX issues in most situations, under pressure and in the dark. The unit either hangs from a lanyard or is fastened in its own leather belt holder. You turn the X-Pen on and off without a switch. Unscrew the unit from the cap, hold the tester under the sensor, and the flashlight turns on. After a period of time, the flashlight switches itself off.

The X-Pen has seven LED segments of indicators for testing DMX and it helps to differentiate between DMX lines. The LED for the flashlight is inside in the XLR connector. It doesn't matter where the problem is, with the X-Pen you will always have one hand free. The unit comes in a miniature case and comprises an X-Pen with lanyard and a lithium battery. Leather belt holders are also available as accessories.

There are quite a few LED and DMX products coming out of the Benelux region as well as Europe in general. LDDE has come out of the gate with one of the coolest new tools. I believe that lighting technicians will want to get their hands on the X-Pen.
LDDE Vertriebs GmbH
www.ldde.com

I Need a Light Over Here
Acolyte Systems introduces a series of LED products designed for backstage use. The TagLyte is a small LED fixture that comes with a Velcro pad making it easy to position and aim its 60°-spread beam. This light will stay lit for over 100 hours of continuous one-time use. When it's done, these lights are inexpensive enough to just pop a new one in its place! Available in daylight white or backstage blue. The SmartLyte, with a 180° throw of light, hangs from a lanyard on the neck and is a lot lighter than a small regular flashlight around your neck. They are completely disposable and Acolyte provides a recycling program for volume customers.
Acolyte Systems Inc.
www.smartlyte.com/theaterlyte.html

Think Outside the Box
CDS advanced technology bv announces the version 3.0 release of LCedit+, the LanBox lighting editor, for multiple platforms, including Mac OS, OSX, and Win98/2000. This new release of LCedit+ can be downloaded for free from the website. The LanBox-LC, -LCX, and -LCM are DMX512 lighting controllers, with built-in sequencers, faders, and patches. The LanBox-LC can communicate with the lighting editor LCedit+ via MIDI, serial, or an AppleTalk network. The LanBox-LCX also has USB and Ethernet (TCP/IP, AppleTalk) ports. Lighting programs are stored and executed in the box, and can be synchronized through MIDI, MIDI Show Control, serial ASCII, and Network commands.
CDS advanced technology bv
www.lanbox.com

Punch Light
ETC introduces the Source Four MultiPAR family of fixtures that provides a new take on the theatrical striplight. It uses the HPL lamp, which offers very good energy efficiency, giving more illumination than a 1,000W PAR lamp with more than 40% less energy use. The Source Four PAR design is maintained throughout the MultiPAR fixtures, allowing easy lamp replacement and a factory focus from the first moment you use them. The base striplight comes in three configurations: three-, four-, and 12-lamp strips. Also available is a yoke-mounted nine-light array either vertical or horizontal. Customized lengths for projects are also available. The MultiPAR can use the 575W HPL or lamp at 750W for more punch.
Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.
www.etcconnect.com

View Master
Artistic Licence introduces Net-View, a software application that runs on all Windows CE or Pocket PC products such as the Compaq iPaq. Net-View is a hand-held network tool for the Art-Net Ethernet Standard. The intuitive user interface allows all network devices to be monitored and configured. It even allows products to be updated with new firmware. As Pocket PC devices support both cabled and wireless Ethernet interfaces, Net-View can be used as a complete rigger's remote. Features include an oscilloscope display that can display channel data from any point on the network. Net-View also provides preset memories and dynamic data generation to aid fault finding.
Artistic Licence
www.artisticlicence.com

Flash of Brilliance
Birket Engineering's new Strobe-Brik multiflash light controller is an efficient solution to your multistrobe requirements. Strobe-Brik packs the electronics for eight, 16, or 32 strobe lights into one slim package that drives remote strobe bulbs. The multichannel controller saves space, speeds installation, and simplifies maintenance. It's ideal for when you want many strobes with minimal effort and expense.

Strobe-Brik is designed for safety as well as utility. The controller constantly monitors every circuit for wiring and bulb problems. If the controller detects an unsafe short or ground fault it shuts down the affected channel to avoid shocks. LED indicators show the status of each channel to make it easy to find and replace exhausted bulbs. Protective circuits guard the controller from power spikes and miswired cables.
Birket Engineering Inc.
www.birket.com

The Hub of Power
Artistic Licence launches the Power-Hub 4, a four-port Ethernet hub that supplies low-voltage power via the data connection. This allows Ethernet devices, such as Artistic Licence's Net-Lynx, to receive both data and power over the Cat5 cable. The product is designed to support the forthcoming IEEE802.3af “Power over Ethernet” standard. Power-Hub 4 is housed in an extruded case designed to withstand the rigors of touring. An optional adapter allows simple conversion to truss mounting. All data connections use the latching Neutrik EtherCon connector. The front panel provides a comprehensive range of indicators allowing fast fault analysis in show conditions. Power-Hub 4 is compatible with all 10BaseT Ethernet equipment including the Artistic Licence Art-Net range. The Power-Hub 4 is totally self-managed with no user controls.
Artistic Licence
www.artisticlicence.com

Any Port in a Storm
James Thomas Engineering adds the PAR-16 Outdoor, specially developed for all weather conditions and rated to IP65. It is constructed from corrosive-resistant cast aluminum and is robust and durable. It can accept a 49mm-diameter dichroic glass filter inside the fixture. Two versions are available — one for all MR-16 12V lamps, and the other featuring the new GU10 lampholder for 230V PAR-16 lamps. The unit comes with a standard cable length of 60cm, but any length can be specified. Transformers should be housed separately and in a suitable housing for the application. A disposable barndoor can be fitted to the lantern for beam shaping. All models conform to the low-voltage directive and are CE-marked.
James Thomas Engineering Ltd
www.jthomaseng.com

Smoke 'em If You Got 'em
Jem Smoke introduces the Magnum 950, which houses a more powerful 1,500W system. Supplied with remote control with a 5m cable, 2.5-liter fluid container, and fitted with the same overheat protection as models from Jem's professional range, the 950 will give many years of maintenance-free operation. The Magnum range offers users the very latest in safe and high-quality fog generation at affordable prices with absolutely no compromise on the specification of key components. 1,500W at 230V vaporizing system (1kW at 110V) and fluid consumption/fog output of 90ml/min.
Jem Smoke, a division of Martin Professional
www.jemsmoke.com

The Energizer Bunny
Martin introduces the MX-10, a high-speed 250W scanner packed with power, colors, gobos, and more. With its mix of super-fast features and razor-sharp gobos, the MX-10 guarantees clubbers a fresh new surge of energy. It combines an achromatic lens system with 250W of power to produce unprecedented brightness for a scanner in its class. High velocity pan/tilt and an improved shutter design make this one of the fastest scanners out there. Ideal for use in larger disco and nightclub environments, the MX-10 houses 12 colors with split-color possibilities, eight rotating gobos, and a rotating, three-facet prism. For added flexibility, the prism, gobos, and colors are all replaceable.
Martin Professional
www.martin.dk

Get Freekie
Martin introduces Freekie Control, a new concept in creative lighting control that adds a new element to a DJ's repertoire. Features easy pitch and pan/tilt control for an instant light show synchronized to music. Freekie is the first DJ lighting controller with direct pitch control of the entire show on one fader. Analog joystick with fine adjustment gives fast and easy access to pan/tilt during programming, or grabs any fixture manually during a show. Freekie also features a smart macro function for easy creation of circle movements, controls up to 12 fixtures, each with 12 channels, multipurpose buttons, strobe and smoke controls, MIDI and audio control.
Martin Professional
www.martin.dk

Glitch Detection
Power Standards Laboratory introduces the PQ1 Power Quality Relay, which announces when disturbances on the power line are damaging or disrupting electronic lighting control systems, theater sound systems, and other sensitive electronic devices. Less than one-tenth the size and one-twentieth the cost of traditional power quality monitors, the tiny PQ1 has the simplest possible interface: AC power in, relay contacts out. Engineers can use it as a diagnostic tool, or it can be built into larger lighting control systems, including theatrical systems as part of a remote diagnostic system. The PQ1 automatically adjusts to 50 Hz, 60 Hz, and 400 Hz power for worldwide use.
Power Standards Laboratory
www.pqrelay.com

The Artful Solderer
Lee Tingler, ISBN 0-9171307-0-9, 39pgs, photos, illustrations, index, $19.99

From the person that brought you the Solder Buddy®, Lee Tingler has produced The Artful Solderer™, a booklet about the art and techniques of soldering. This is a handy compendium of all things soldering and the booklet is designed to stand up on your workbench so you can follow along with many how-tos and practice projects to improve your soldering, as well as being a handy reference for the more advanced solderer. The booklet is aimed at the beginner as well as the more experienced solderer. Sections include thoughts on craftsmanship, safety practices, choosing your tools, wire connection prep, making great connections, splices, oxidation, problem solving, and more.
T.I. Press
www.solderbuddy.com