Jump to content

GDS cue light outstations

Recommended Posts

I have a couple of older GDS prompt desks, and am in need of more cue light outstations for them. I am aware that GDS sold the IP for their cue light systems to ETC some time ago, but ETC no longer support this system, rather opting for redesigning as CueSpider outstations.

Does anyone have any bright ideas?

E2A: The existing outstations are 3pin XLR.

Edited by jonathanhill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The old GDS outstations are not electronically complex, though have a little more in them than the old old two lamps and a button style.

We reverse engineered one to make a solid state relay controller for some rope light and buttons on the fly floor (saves the flys op walking back to the cuelight every cue!). I think the notes for the reverse engineering left with a member the staff who did it, or were possibly binned once we finished the job. I remember needing to add a diode so that the cuelight controller could detect a cuelight was plugged in.

Depending on how pretty you want to make them you could probably do it all point to point in a project box with no need for any circuit board. If you're making a few of them up then a circuit board would make your life easier and not cost very much.

I'm off for a few days now, but if I remember I'll open one up when I've next got 5 minutes and see if I can reverse engineer it again.

Edited by J Pearce
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jon.

GDS used to do an OEM version of the outstation, without the metal package, which is ideal for us, as I can fit those to the the eight doors (!) and re-use the current ones as temporary ones.

We have shows in all venues currently in the mad rush to complete everything before the end of term. I should be able to look at one once the activity is done.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Assuming you mean the 'LED only' style cuelights rather than the one with the screen - I did exactly this a few years ago. We bought the OEM packages to go in MK Metalclad/Edge style panels to on existing containment rather than buy any of the premade outstations. I also reverse engineered the circuit so that we could build ones with massive buttons and LEDs for the fly floor (sounding familiar!) 

I do remember clearly that the circuit on the OEM board wasn't at all in the order I was expecting - and interestingly, also didn't match the circuit diagram that GDS made available for the OEM module which seems to have disappeared from the internet, but it seemed to work. There are diodes in series and parallel with the LEDs, the purpose of which was unclear - other than maybe adjusting the voltage drop? I've attached the note I made myself at the time but I give no guarantees of usefulness! 

Whatever I ended up doing, I didn't use a circuit board either, I just soldered the components onto the legs of the buttons and LEDs and it all worked fine. I think I adjusted the resistor values to suit the different LEDs we were using; the controller is only able to source a certain amount of current though so anything beyond a simple LED will need a more complex circuit. 

GDS outstation.png

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

GDS are still offering spare parts for their older products (in the process of obtaining some button covers for an analogue rollacue desk.)

So they might still offer the outstations for sale?

Their website also seems to offer their bespoke Qlx desk bulding service, and one would assume the outstations to accompany them?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m not familiar with the unit under discussion here, but you have drawn a diode in parallel with the LED but in the same direction. From what I recall of my electronics, I would suggest it’s probably in the reverse direction, and would protect the LED in the case of a reverse DC voltage being applied, or a back EMF coming from somewhere (like a relay coil). The diode in series with the LED would only drop 0.7v and so a volt dropper is unlikely. The supply voltage could be AC, DC or reversed-polarity DC, which may explain the diodes being there. Do you know what the supply voltages are?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From memory the diode is in reverse parallel with the LED which we surmised allows a small current to pass which the base unit uses to detect the presence of an outstation (the absence of this diode prevented the system from working).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.