Hello all,

I was just wondering whether anyone who has used a DMX lighting set up for stop motion has any advice on what (affordable...) dimmer packs to get to connect through the dragonframe DMX controller. I'm finding it quite hard to get any information from the Dragonframe website. They recommend one brand but it's American and I can't seem to get it here in the UK.
I found some on Amazon and Ebay, but not with a lot of info. One that kept coming up seems like you can only control lights to be on and off and not actually be dimmed.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QTX-DP4-4-Channel-DMX-dimmer-pack-NEW/26...

Another one I came across a bit more expensive or some up for bidding... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Zero-88-Betapack-3-stage-lighting-DMX-di...


With different plug connections it should be easy enough to get converters to get them to work with the lights. I'll be using mostly incandescent lights (for this project Altmans borrowed from the DOP, in the future I mainly have simple par spots, an LED panel (I know these would have to specifically be dmx dimmable) and a UV light, which in worst case I can flick on and off separately. None of the lights are super powerful/high wattage.

I just am a bit in the dark on what to look out for and where, so was wondering if anyone has a set up they're happy with and can recommend something! Bonus would be if you're based in the UK as it seems hard to find the same brands of dimmer packs otherwise...

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I probably won't be a huge amount of help since I'm from the US so I'm not 100% sure of how relevant my suggestions will be, but I'll give it a shout anyways. Although I tend to do very basic DMX setups and run mostly PAR cans and Arri fresnels, I've found the dimmer packs similar to the QTX pack you linked to more than suffice (for my purposes at least). Most that come in that style will have basically the same features with the only difference typically being quality, which on the lower quality models can induce flicker and just generally have a short lifespan. Zero 88 has come up a fair bit in my searches, and largely seems to be high quality professional stuff, but a lot of the used items available seem to be older analogue models that don't have options for selecting different modes or DMX addresses, which may reduce their usefulness for you.

As far as features to look for I would say the main things being selectable DMX addresses with a 'receive' mode (sometimes other names for it) rather than 'chase' modes, should you ever want to daisy chain multiple dimmer packs or other DMX fixtures (like separate LEDs), number of channels, and the last just being the total rated power. Power may be a bit easier with everything being 240V (not sure what the typical amperage per circuit is though). I constantly run into issues of overloading 120V/15A circuits with just my Arri fresnels, but your experience many be totally different. Another thing to mention is that most if not all basic DMX dimmer packs run only incandescent/tungsten fixtures, so you may not be able to use the UV light with it either. As well as fluorescent lights if you ever chose to use though one day, although I don't recommend it since you can get LED lights in either panels or tubes that give the same soft lighting that fluorescent gives but without the flicker. Also, a lot of dimmer packs I've come across have the 5-pin DMX connection rather than 3-pin so keep an eye out for that too if you need to also get an adapter.

On the brands side of things I don't have much experience with a large variety. Personally I've used almost exclusively NSI/Leviton and ETC and have for the most part only steered clear of Elation, which probably isn't helpful. But in the wild at some theaters I've seen a variety of Eurolite products and mentions of Botex brand dimmers. I believe I've seen some selection of each on the Thomann site at one time so those both may be more available to you (although they're possibly a pricier option than other brands that might be available to you). But I would suggest browsing sites that sell theatre/DJ/AV supplies to at least find some brands and maybe a variety of reviews, before going to Ebay or Amazon where there will probably be a lot more cheap models to have to sift through. Even larger music stores like Thomann will often have a selection of DMX lighting.

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