LDI Preview Part 2 - Ion
Have you watched our talking heads video? You should.
Not a well kept secret, we will be introducing the newest meber of the Eos family of products at LDI -- The Ion console.
You can click on many of the images below for larger ones.
Ever since the day we stopped shipping the Microvision FX - people have been complaining. It is remarkable what a strong role size can play in the purchase of a new lighting desk. When people ask me for a Microvision I know what they really mean is something the size of that desk.
Ion answers that call in a desk that any true dedicated ETC user will appreciate. You have probably seen this form factor before - as Congo Jr and Ion share a similar hardware platform with some significant differences - not the least of which is the operating software. Ion runs the Eos software - with some changes to account for hardware differences.
Ion is also designed for a range of universal master wings (that will also be shared with Congo jr.) These include a single 20 fader wing that fits directly on the top of the Ion unit and preserves the small footprint (See above photo -- MVFX style!)
A 2x10 fader wing
and a 2x20 fader wing.
Notice that the latter 2 wings include LCD's to display what content is loaded to them. This is an important need that cannot be overlooked - especially as we add som many features to the traditional submaster. Each wing also has 2 buttons associated for bump and/or go-pause-back operation when used to playback cue stacks. The wings can be rigidly connected to the console to make a single fixed unit you can pick up and carry away -- or connected via USB cables for use "on the side."
You can connect up to 6 of these wings to the desk - resulting in an unlimited number of configurations for your particular use.
The Ion Facepanel (click the above image for a larger view) shows a great deal of functionality in the desk - but a very straightforward layout. Every desk ships with 4 rotary encoders. Yep - we just had to make the investment in physical encoders as we predict even the smallest of venues will be using them inside of 5 years. The encoders and softkeys are labelled via an integral LCD - something at least one manufacturer has left off of their highest end consoles. Again - labelling items on the desk is not a luxury any more - but fundamental. We can't imagine not doing at this level of desk, not to mention on the larger desks!
The Ion screens are beautiful - but maybe I am biased. The show a lot of thought - easy to read and view in a dark location without spoiling your view of the stage. The CIA (central information area) from Eos is really the only major part of the desk that requires the use of a mouse. The CIA appears when it is needed for soft-functions. It is not needed that often and even things like patch have been offloaded to the Desk LCD and encoders (ala Smartfade ML!)
Ion is highly networkable - as you might guess. It runs on the Net 3 Platform, which is our ACN based network - but it also has Net 2 compatibility for existing nodes. Ion can be networked to other Ion's -- Remote Video interaces and PC's running client software -- Net 3 gateways and Net 2 nodes -- and Eos systems. An Ion connected to an Eos system becomes a remote facepanel with the full capability of that system. And Ion uses our channel partitioning setup from Eos - which is very powerful for multi-programmer systems. You can easily rack mount a unit backstage and have electricians working on stage while pre-writing cues elsewhere.
Ion offline software has been rolled into the Eos offline package - with the addition of a full on-screen keypad (shown above and clickable.) This makes working on your shows easier and is useful for training as well.
Ion has been asked for by ETC customers for a long time! You will be surprised how much is in there and how easy it is to use.