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Avolites History A question about Avolite history (?)

#16 User is offline   David Lee 

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:56 AM

But a worthy revival and very interesting.

#17 User is offline   kitlane 

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 10:25 PM

View PostKen Coker, on 12 October 2004 - 08:45 AM, said:

Dear All.

I'm looking to find information on Avolites console #219702. Blue finished, 120 way three preset, analogue, with pin matrix chase. Built for TFA at some point, legend has it for an Abba tour; Abba last toured in 1980 (DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW ,OK!!). Any information gratefully received.

Also, I'm looking for specs or even examples of the Avolite TD. Opera North had one and I think the Blackpool Grand still have one. Any info? if anyone still has one do let me know.

Thanks

Ken


I was reading this article on the history of Bandit Lites and this reminded me of this thread.

"Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Krokus, Ratt and many other heavy metal bands came calling on Bandit for extensive lighting services. The brief from the late Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot on their 1985 world tour was “bigger than Van Halen”, and it was! Avolites custom-built the world’s largest (and only) 120-way console. It was a staggering 10 feet from end to end."

#18 User is offline   dbuckley 

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:58 AM

View Postkitlane, on 22 October 2011 - 10:25 PM, said:

Avolites custom-built the world’s largest (and only) 120-way console. "


Certainly not the "Only". TheatreLight here in New Zealand have done 120 channel boards with fader-per-channel for decades, and they are still in production, should you feel the need to manhandle all those faders...

For rock and roll busking with parcans, this kind of board is still unbeatable :)

This post has been edited by dbuckley: 23 October 2011 - 04:59 AM

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Website: http://www.davidbuckley.name, a good place to go for PCStage tips and techniques

#19 User is offline   Ken Coker 

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

View PostGridGirl, on 19 October 2011 - 02:51 AM, said:

Seven years, almost to the day!! Think that probably is close to a BR record. Interesting information though!



Ian

I'll email you.
If anyone is still interested.
I wanted information because one of my then students was restoring the console for a BSc project. One night I was watching "Spinal Tap" and realised that the film was the same age as the console. I found the concert LD on the credits - Richard Ocean - and emailed him on spec, asking if he'd used a similar console. He then, having emailed some fairly big name US concert LDs, wrote back. Using this email and a few more sources, my student wrote:


The 8100 was the first series of consoles created by Avolites around 1980. Some were a custom build model for TFA/Electrotec/Electrosound and were built just prior to the famous QM500-TD. TFA/Electrotec/Electorsound were a sound and lighting company established in the early 80’s by Colin Waters and Tom Fields. The 8100 consoles were custom built to match a SoundCraft sound desk of the time that had blue stamped fader panels, indented white lettering and wavy brushed aluminium side panels. The amparo blue colour was a limited edition colour also used to match the SoundCraft desk.

The sloped frontage...... and separate inner panel construction were classic Avolites design. A total of six TFA custom built models were made now making them very rare. There were three styles produced; a 72 way, 84-way and a 96-way model.

The departure of the wood and leather look was a radical change. The new design was courtesy of the late Bill Kelsey of Kelsey Acoustics in London. Due to its large bulky appearance and distinctive blue colour, the 8100 was nicknamed, ‘The Blue Steak’.

Rob Steel of was one of the product assemblers at Avolites back in the 8100 days and currently has in his possession a non-custom 8100 series console with the original wooden side panels without the XY feature which gives it a much cleaner look. The wooden case was manufactured by a very high end cabinet maker in London. This desk was used on the Joan Jet tour in 1982 with John Broderick as Lighting Designer who later went on to light Metallica and other successful bands. The non custom models had no chase function and so Rob Steel arrived in the USA on his first visit to add one to this original model.
....... The 8100 was an entirely analogue output control desk using three or four 37-way female Socapex connectors that used one voltage line per channel outputting between 0 and 10 volts. However, Marshall Bissett of TMB Production Supplies recalled the 8100 using an early version of DMX called ‘ProPatch’ that used digital multiplexing for the first time in rock and roll concert systems to try and get away from heavy and bulky analogue multi-core control cables. ProPatch systems still exist today as a serial dimmer interface that converts DMX512 to 64 discrete analogue signals.

........

Due to the 8100 being a limited edition model and with Avolites being a fairly new company unsure of their future, they simply did not believe in instruction manuals despite TFA and other users requesting one. This means there is no actual published information on the operation of the 8100. Only those who used the desk back in the 80’s and early 90’s actually have experience in its operation.

The QM500 began production in 1983 and the 8100 ceased production at this point.



And no, I've never got around to writing my "History of Avolites"...

KC

#20 User is offline   swampman 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM

Two points on this "old· thread just to cause a few moths to fly: 1. Guest_lightnix_* said: "Old lighting desks are a bit like rare sports cars and hold the same kind of appeal for some of us. Their history..." Yes, as a youngster I bug-eyed Avolites Rolacue 60s etc. at university and bought a working one about +/- 20 years later!!! That woodwork, the size, the pose value... Brilliant for busking specials and PARs till moving lights and LEDS perhaps its- time to interface a PC kit with USB VGA GPS DVD etc. or grow up! Will dig out the Serial number sometime; maybe it lit the Clash or Slade ... not quite Quo, Bowie, ELO, Queen size ! 2.The IMPORTANT QESTION; The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...
It's surprising how an empty pocket is full of imagination!

#21 User is offline   timsabre 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:36 AM

View Postswampman, on 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...


Probably RS232 Serial port? The original Rolacue Pearls had this on, for a riggers remote.
Tim Mitchell
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#22 User is offline   ianl 

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:52 PM

View Postswampman, on 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

2.The IMPORTANT QESTION; The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...



well a quick look through my rolacue 60 instruction manual suggests its for linking consoles in master/slave mode

perhaps we should get together and attempt rolacue "desk link mode"

the master desk will display "boss" and the slave desk will display "serf"

my rolacue was recently fitted with DMX output cards :) and the horrible power XLR connector finally retired in favour of a powercon

#23 User is offline   kitlane 

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:52 AM

View Posttimsabre, on 22 November 2011 - 09:36 AM, said:

View Postswampman, on 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...


Probably RS232 Serial port? The original Rolacue Pearls had this on, for a riggers remote.


Are we talking about a 25 pin D-Sub connector? I don't think I've come across a 25 pin DIN connector.

#24 User is offline   swampman 

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:18 AM

To #ianl: I think you would have to borrow DrWho's Tardis: I am near Africa and I can just see the airport desk attendant looking at the case and working out how many time your luggage exceeds the pre-paid size/weight! PS #timsabre it is not a Rolacue Pearl (thank you for idea): we are talking vintage here... One chase at a time of ten, editing channel by channel per step/memory (if you modify), but Plenty of Rolacue-memories and a disk drive (one show only)! Makes you think.
It's surprising how an empty pocket is full of imagination!

#25 User is offline   ianl 

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:24 PM

View Postswampman, on 24 November 2011 - 01:18 AM, said:

To #ianl: I think you would have to borrow DrWho's Tardis: I am near Africa and I can just see the airport desk attendant looking at the case and working out how many time your luggage exceeds the pre-paid size/weight! PS #timsabre it is not a Rolacue Pearl (thank you for idea): we are talking vintage here... One chase at a time of ten, editing channel by channel per step/memory (if you modify), but Plenty of Rolacue-memories and a disk drive (one show only)! Makes you think.


or a very long cable :)

you got a disk drive? I'm jealous. I've just got a blanking plate. I have no idea why when spending 12k on a desk you wouldnt spend the extra to save your show :(

#26 User is offline   timmeh2 

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 08:48 PM

View Postkitlane, on 23 November 2011 - 09:52 AM, said:

View Posttimsabre, on 22 November 2011 - 09:36 AM, said:

View Postswampman, on 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...


Probably RS232 Serial port? The original Rolacue Pearls had this on, for a riggers remote.


Are we talking about a 25 pin D-Sub connector? I don't think I've come across a 25 pin DIN connector.


Hi

Just to clear things up, all the classic Avo consoles from the D2 onwards have a 25-way D connector at the back. It strictly isn't RS232 but a rather odd protocol for communicating with the graphics tablet, which would have been the Genius Newsketch HR-II or HR-III, depending on age.

The riggers remote works by emulating the tablet's output.

All the best
Timmeh

This post has been edited by timmeh2: 24 November 2011 - 08:49 PM


#27 User is offline   ElectricTuna 

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 05:42 PM

Could anyone show me any manuals or circuit diagrams of Rolacue 30 or Rolacue 60?
I got a junk RQ30 and want to repair it.

View Postianl, on 22 November 2011 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postswampman, on 22 November 2011 - 01:59 AM, said:

2.The IMPORTANT QESTION; The Rolacue has/had a mysterious 25 pin DIN connector on the back: was that the DMX Pro-Patch output ? Analog Socapex is evident - we multiplex converted to DMX it when needed...



well a quick look through my rolacue 60 instruction manual suggests its for linking consoles in master/slave mode

perhaps we should get together and attempt rolacue "desk link mode"

the master desk will display "boss" and the slave desk will display "serf"

my rolacue was recently fitted with DMX output cards :) and the horrible power XLR connector finally retired in favour of a powercon


#28 User is offline   swampman 

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:24 PM

What does not work on your RQ30 ? Avolites had a full service schematic for the desks...
However, over the years the compamy evolved and went entirely digital (hidden PC Boris etc based...possibly losing or hiding their heritage and ingenuity) and ignored my emails requesting a manual (It is ironic they sent me one when I was negotiating a purchase in the 80's, and ethically returned it when the deal was unviable where I work ! )
My RQ60 puffed smoke the last time I plugged it in and time is in short supply... possibly just a shorted capacitor. Just as I hate typeing on a friend's tablet surface - so many events need the direct feel of a fader for on the fly action - just what I used last weekend with a music etc. event which was TOTALLY unpredictable, not one chase needed, only ambient and sensitive area levels to focus the public's attention... and YES all lighting was LED 3,4,6 channel controlled from a Sirius 24 ! !
(PS f.w.I.w. the floppy on the RQ was lo density 3,5" single show per disk.)
It's surprising how an empty pocket is full of imagination!

#29 User is offline   ElectricTuna 

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:25 PM

My RQ30 has a problem that is similar to this:

http://forum.avolite...opic.php?t=1056


Outputs of even channels(2,4,6,8...) don't become lower than about 14%, regardless of any operations.
Odd channels(1,3,5,7...) are always about 3~5% too.
I set the GrandMaster to zero, but the wrong outputs are still wrong.

I sent an email to Avolites but they said RQ30 is so old that they cannot show me any manuals...

Does anyone have any ideas??

View Postswampman, on 12 January 2016 - 11:24 PM, said:

What does not work on your RQ30 ? Avolites had a full service schematic for the desks...
However, over the years the compamy evolved and went entirely digital (hidden PC Boris etc based...possibly losing or hiding their heritage and ingenuity) and ignored my emails requesting a manual (It is ironic they sent me one when I was negotiating a purchase in the 80's, and ethically returned it when the deal was unviable where I work ! )
My RQ60 puffed smoke the last time I plugged it in and time is in short supply... possibly just a shorted capacitor. Just as I hate typeing on a friend's tablet surface - so many events need the direct feel of a fader for on the fly action - just what I used last weekend with a music etc. event which was TOTALLY unpredictable, not one chase needed, only ambient and sensitive area levels to focus the public's attention... and YES all lighting was LED 3,4,6 channel controlled from a Sirius 24 ! !
(PS f.w.I.w. the floppy on the RQ was lo density 3,5" single show per disk.)


#30 User is offline   timsabre 

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:40 PM

I would try telephoning Adam at Avolites as suggested in that forum post. A lot of the Avo people have been there from the start and will know the rolacue desks, but their main support system is understandably for their current products so you may need a bit of persistence to get through to someone who knows. Individual email addresses are on their website too, but I would try phoning if you can.
Tim Mitchell
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