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the kid

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My mum was listening to Radio 4 this morning and I caught part of a programme where they were talking about travelling circus' etc. Then the presenter mentioned the lighting issues of a circus and one of the performers mentioned that they had gone some where and the rig was all pretty standard as it was set up for outdoors. But the dimming method was several men (3-4) running around with rubber gloves and dipping iron rods, which were attached to the mains and lights in to salt water. The further they were placed the brighter the lights got.

 

This is quite scary. I just hate to think of what might happen.

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and how do you think the dimmed the lights many years ago?

Bloody great big wire-wound variable resistors.

 

What else?

I think Mr Hippy was referring to using salt water dimmers, a truly truly awful invention.

 

See here for more.

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I have a book "Stage-Lighting" by C.Harold Ridge that has instructions on how to make youre own Liquid dimmers, with string, drain pipes, sulphuric acid and a number of chunks of metal. :unsure: I have decided not to try them out.
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and how do you think the dimmed the lights many years ago?

Quite right.

 

There is (or at least there was) a concrete trough in the basement of the ADC Theatre in Cambridge which used to contain salt water dimmers. The room was later used as the props store.

 

I don't know whether its survived the current building work.

 

Marc

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What about using liquid dimmers to make a 10v analogue control desk, would this be possible? This is probably what the kid means. If that was doable it might make an interesting project. I guess the lower current and voltage shouldn't make a difference to its success.

 

PN

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There is (or at least there was) a concrete trough in the basement of the ADC Theatre in Cambridge which used to contain salt water dimmers. The room was later used as the props store.

 

I don't know whether its survived the current building work.

 

Marc

Indeed it has - the props store is still very much in use and is probably the dampest, dustiest, dankest one in existence. Though I believe the dimmers were actually just beside the entrance to this, in the still subterranean scene pit 20' below the stage, next to where the iron drops down to and flattage is stored. But Mr Loxley may well correct me on that.

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What about using liquid dimmers to make a 10v analogue control desk, would this be possible? This is probably what the kid means. If that was doable it might make an interesting project. I guess the lower current and voltage shouldn't make a difference to its success.

There is one very nasty problem making a 10v salt water dimmer. The dimmer would pass DC which would electrolyse the salt causing hydrogen gas to come off one electrode and chlorine gas off the other !

 

Remind me not to be in the same room as this unit.

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What about using liquid dimmers to make a 10v analogue control desk, would this be possible? This is probably what the kid means. If that was doable it might make an interesting project. I guess the lower current and voltage shouldn't make a difference to its success.

There is one very nasty problem making a 10v salt water dimmer. The dimmer would pass DC which would electrolyse the salt causing hydrogen gas to come off one electrode and chlorine gas off the other !

 

Remind me not to be in the same room as this unit.

 

Hmm, yes that could be a small problem. :blink:

 

Well its got to be safer than the mains one surely. :angry:

 

And the pyro people could use the hydrogen for pops, and you could use the chlorine for all those annoying actors. :unsure:

 

PN

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