Theater Cue Lighting System

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Etchasketch, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Etchasketch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2013
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    So I just started working on a little project for my school's theater. It's pretty basic, just need to make a small, cheap system that can be used to cue actors/technicians that their cue is coming up by turning a light on and off. (Little side note but I have little to no experience in circuiting so if I make a mistake, am misinformed, or just am going about something wrong) I was planning on using some backlit Led push buttons on the control panel and some basic LED's to be used to signal the operator that their cue is coming/on with some 2 core wire going to each station. I was tempted to use actual light bulbs (of a lower brightness so that they only attract the attention of the operators and not anyone else) but I'm not sure if that'd take too much power or make things too difficult. I was having a bit of an issue figuring out how I was going to do power since I was aiming at having 4-6 different stations and I didn't really want to have to have 4-6 different power supplies so I was hoping there was some way I could split those up so I could have minimal wiring and make it as clean and simple as possible. The stations will each be between 10-100 maybe 150 feet away depending on where they each are. Hopefully taking this project on wasn't biting off more than I can chew but I do have quite a lot of time and am willing to go through some trial and error.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Assuming its only 1 "control" station and multiple "only led stations" then you simply put a power supply in the control box.. (any simple wall wart type ac/dc power supply..5V, 12V)

    You simply have 2 wires going to each box carrying the power to each led station.
    Just use regular switches (by that I mean not momentary) and the proper resistor for each led and when you flip the switch..voila...

    assuming a 20ma 2Vf led
    for a 5V power supply use a (5-2)/.02= 150 ohm 1/4 Watt resistor
    for a 12V power supply use a (12-2)/.02= 500 ohm 1/2 Watt resistor
     
  3. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I just want to double check the last part.

    5V: I get 0.06W, you are suggesting 0.25W.
    12V: I get 0.2W, you are suggesting 0.5W.
    Are you just rounding the values up so that they can use commonly available parts?
     
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

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    A "typical" safety margin used for resistors is 2 to 3 times calculated wattage..
     
  5. Etchasketch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2013
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    So I can just throw those all in sequence as long as I have power somewhere on it? Also how can I make sure that each button only turns on one specific light? Or does putting them all in sequence just sort of do that automatically? And I can get those resistors pretty easily right?
     
  6. Etchasketch

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    Oct 16, 2013
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  7. shteii01

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    Thank you.
     
  8. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    How far will all these people be from you?
    How many stations/LED is there?

    150 Ohm is standard resistor.
    500 Ohm is not, but 510 Ohm is also standard so just use that. The small increase in resistance is not significant in this case.
    However, the numbers above were calculated using some usual, but not exact values. Look up in the catalogs some real LED and see what real values they have. Then tell us, and we can recalculate the values of the resistors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  9. Etchasketch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2013
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    There will be 6 ish stations to start with but we'll be expanding it later on as needed. And some of them will be as close as 20 feet and probably 150' is a good estimate (we can't run wire directly as it'd be hanging in the air and we don't want that and it seems...less than safe) since it'll have to go to the opposite side of the auditorium.
     
  10. mcgyvr

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    That LED already has a built in resistor and is meant to be used with a 12V power supply..
     
  11. Etchasketch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2013
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  12. Etchasketch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 16, 2013
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    I mean they're just LED's so I wouldn't assume they need that large of a gauge. But I don't know how small they can go.
     
  13. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Its low current.. Any wire will work just fine..
    20 to 24 AWG is fine.
     
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