LSC rule the roost at The Bird’s Nest PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 October 2012 00:00

A state-of-the-art black box theatre, complete with retractable seats, motorised truss systems, operable walls, an impressive digital sound and lighting system, recording studio, dressing rooms, and box office are just a few of the features of Redcliffe State High School’s new 260 seat blackbox theatre ‘The Bird’s Nest’.

The Queensland School will now be able to engage their students through the performing arts as well as through vocational education with students able to complete a Certificate II in live production theatre and events, as well as technical operations, and a Certificate II in set production and prop making.

As a blackbox theatre, The Bird’s Nest has the flexibility to host any kind of performance, ranging from traditional theatre set up, theatre in the round, or they can run conferences.

The lighting installation was installed by Macrosphere. The system consists of Clarity (VX20) and a single 12 channel Redback dimmer (controlling low wattage conventional lighting), an LSC Delta DT12/10A suppling power to LED par cans, an MDRR distributing DMX, and a Redback Patch system for 96 channels.

“Clarity seemed the ideal choice from a user point of view,” commented Ian Tucker, Technical Co-Ordinator at Macrosphere. “The venue has a mix of incandescent lighting and digital DMX-driven lighting so Clarity was perfect. Students can use the software on multiple computers simultaneously to commence their own program before connection to the system. No more large groups of students crammed around one console.”

However according to LSC’s QLD Sales Consultant Greg Hughes, it became quickly apparent that something was amiss with the mains power supply.

“Conventional lamps were only lasting a matter of hours and then prematurely failing,” reported Greg. “Power related problems were also apparent within the sound system. At this point, investigations into the mains supply were commenced by the Electrical Engineers who designed the building, the Electrician that installed the power throughout and me.”

For LSC’s part, Greg measured approximately 255 volts from both the three phase outlets and normal GPO’s. It was found that the conventional lighting when plugged directly into GPO’s, failed within twenty minutes. This overvoltage was confirmed by both the Electrical Contractor (who reported this to Energex) and Energex themselves who measured voltage at the transformer (not inside the building) at 251v and pronounced the supply “within parameters”.

Whilst there is a movement to standardise mains supply in Australia at 230v and most states have endorsed this, the exception is Queensland where the mains voltage parameters are 240v + or -  6%. This means that voltage can be as high as 254 volts and still be perfectly acceptable to Queensland (Energex) standards.

Unfortunately, in the realms of filament lamp manufacture, overvoltage equals reduced lamp life. Theatre lamps are manufactured to 220v, 230v or 240v standards and no matter which of these voltages are used, feeding 254v will dramatically shorten life.

Fortunately, the LSC Redback dimmers came to the rescue as they have a minimum / maximum setting. So by limiting the dimmers output to 80%, the Redback Dimmer now supplies lamps with sub 240v - the result being that premature lamp failure has not since occurred!





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