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KnowledgeBase: Non-dim vs Switched mode/Regulated vs. Unregulated

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First published by:
Kelsey Aleckson
on 07-02-2009
Last revision by:
Kelsey Aleckson
on 07-24-2009
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KnowledgeBase: Non-dim vs Switched mode/Regulated vs. Unregulated This page is locked to prevent further edits

Quick Summary:
If you've got devices with electronics inside being powered from a dimmer in a sensor rack, set the firing mode to switched. If you're on a Unison rack, a SmartPack, a SmartBar, or a SmartModule, set the mode to non-dim

 What those options mean:

  • Non-dim dimmers output regulated AC voltage when the DMX512 level is higher than the threshold level.
  • Switched dimmers output unregulated AC voltage when the DMX512 level is higher than the threshold level.

 

If you're wondering why:
Setting a Sensor dimmer to full is not the same as a non-dimmed circuit. Dimming systems that have regulation limit the maximum RMS voltage to the level in which regulation was set. More specifically, you can feed a rack higher than 120V and each dimmer will make sure that the maximum is at 120V (or whatever is programmed to allow for 115V or 120V lamps to not get overvoltage). The side benefit of regulation is that it can keep outputs from changing when input feeds change due to power grid loading or unloading. The downside is if a dimmer is set to full and it is regulating, you may not get a full sine wave which some moving lights and other devices do not like.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this. First, you can use a relay module in place of a dimmer module if your system supports that. (In sensor racks that would be a module whose name begins with R followed by some numbers.) Otherwise, you may be able to set the firing mode of the dimmer to Switched or Non-dim (for Sensor use Switched) which will give you very close to a sinewave and will work for almost any load type.

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