Frequently Asked Questions
What is EASY SWITCH?
EASY SWITCH is a professional stand-alone upgrade especially developed to extend the life span of your dimmers.
By a small adjustment you can continue to use your existing in-house dimmer installation for many years to come and makes an expensive investment in a complete new installation unnecessary.
EASY SWITCH provides your connections -coupled to your dimmers- with 230 Volt (fixed power) by means of a relay, which is not present in your current installation.
EASY SWITCH has initially been developed for various types of ADB dimmers but it is possible -with some adjustments- to use for other dimmer brands that do not have a relay.
Why should I choose EASY SWITCH?
By using the Pino Solutions EASY SWITCH your ADB dimmer can last many years and it will have a double function: you can still dim all your connections but also feed them with real fixed power from a relay.
This saves a lot of time and unnecessary work!
Why would you trade in your ADB dimmers -which are still working perfectly- for new dimmers with built-in thru power?
The ADB dimmer was developed during a time when there was no demand for fixed power via a house installation.
These days installations are required to be multi functional. I.e. devices that only work on 230 Volt must be able to be connected to the existing infrastructure without having to put loose wiring in truss, flybars, wings, proscenium and on the floor from an unaccessible or inconvenient, far-away outlet boxes.
What gear at this time is not suitable to connect to my dimmer?
We are talking about currently used equipment such as LEDpar, moving lights, sound equipment and active speakers, boosters, Artnet nodes and effect equipment (e.g. projectors, mirror balls, lasers, strobes, smoke machines, fans). These all work with a transformers or switched power supplies. The ‘dimswitch’-function is not suited for this equipment.
By using the EASY SWITCH all above mentioned equipment can be connected to your dimmers!
What is the difference between the 4.3, 7 and 10.1 touch screen?
The size of the touch screen determines the overview fo the number of circuits that can be operated simultaneously.
The touch screen contains the control panel for the control of all dimmers.
4.3” is suitable for 12 circuits per page.
7” is suitable for 24 circuits per page.
10.1” is suitable for 48 circuits per page.
Only the 4.3” is suitable to be built into a ADB Eurorack or ADB Memorack 180.
All touch screens can operate max. 240 circuits.
If you have more than 240 circuits we advise to use several touch screens.
The EASY SWITCH touch screens are available in several several casings and can be installed at any required distance.
For further information on the use of the EASY SWITCH, please consult the manual.
What advantage do I have if I use EASY SWITCH for my dimmers?
The EASY SWITCH is completely autonomous and does not require a DMX signal to work.
This has the big advantage that the dimmer cannot loose the setting, even after it is powered off.
So above mentioned equipment no longer requires repair after it has been connected to a dimmer!
This means no unnecessary repairs and a considerable cost reduction.
By using the EASY SWITCH display and hot keys the circuits are clearly arranged and can be operated from dim function to fixed voltage and back.
A clear colour touch screen gives a correct and quick overview of how the connections are set.
If one should choose a new dimmer installation with an included relay switch, often the outgoing cabling must also be changed to meet the newest safety standards. This involves a considerable additional cost that can be avoided by using the EASY SWITCH! By using EASY SWITCH you also choose not to unnecessarily remove a reliable dimmer.
This helps the environment by preventing waste and is also good for your budget.
What is VESA mount?
Some touch display casings can be provided with a VESA plate attachment. This a universal mounting system that is suitable for wall mounting, on an arm or tripod. This makes your EASY SWITCH flexible in use and adaptable for every application.
Can fixed or recurring settings be called up easily?
If the same connections are always used for the same equipment (i.e. LEDpars) they can be pre-programmed under a hot key. This requirement can be specified when ordering the EASY SWITCH.
Wasn't it already possible to supply fixed power via my dimmers?
Yes and no. The 'dimswitch'-option in the ADB menu is a curve setting that only works with a DMX signal. Say an ON/OFF function. This has been developed for resistive loads (e.g. an incandescent lamp). The 'dimswitch' allows loads to be switched instead of dimmed.
The 'dimswitch' settings are controlled by DMX. By using this 'dimswitch' curve setting the following will happen: You control the channel to 15% and the curve is corrected to 100%. This should be an equivalent of "fixed power". When the signal falls below 12% the curve will be corrected to 0% and this channel is supposed to be "switched off".
However, the circuit still continues to respond to a black-out or transfer command.
Unless it is 'parked' by the light controller so it no longer listens to transfer or black-out commands.
But this means that the current is still sent via the thyristors or triac.
Why is fixed power thru thyristor or triac not suitable for equipment with transformers, switched power supplies or mechanical/electronic ballasts?
Thyristors, triacs and common Solid State Relays (SSR) are phase angle and are only suitable for a resistive load (e.g. a halogen lamp) or heating element (for clarity: no smoke machines).
The most common dimmers, including the aforementioned ADB dimmers, are phase angle and therefore only suitable for resistive loads.
However, equipment that has transformers or switched power supplies, LEDdrivers, mechanical or electronic ballasts are not resistive loads but inductive or capacitive loads that cause a phase shift between voltage and current.
Due to this phase shift thyristor, triac and common SSR do not work well.
The degree of the shift between current and voltage is indicated by the power factor (PF) that is specified in the technical description (data sheet) of a device. An resistive load has a PF of 1.
An inductive or capacitive load has a PF of less than 1 (e.g. 0,95).
I.e. for a new generation moving light ballast this is already very good, but still not 1! Some equipment -e.g. a smoke machine with a single transformer- has an even bigger phase shift and thus a much worse PF.
A power factor of 0,98 is already a problem for a phase angle dimmer.
In short, devices with a PF <1 are not suitable to be connected to a phase angle dimmer.
Heat generation in the components (caused by pulses and deformed output voltage of the dimmer) causes malfunction of the equipment after some time.
What is a Solid State Relay (SSR) and can I safely switch my non-resistive loads with this?
A common Solid State Relay is basically developed to switch heating elements in ovens on and off. In order to prevent interruptions in the mains, which are caused by switching the heating elements on and off, a common SSR switches on and off on the zero crossing of the alternating current. A heating element then remains on for a certain time and is then switched off again when the desired temperature is reached. Thus, no phase angle is applied.
Because a common SSR consists of 2 thyristors or one triac, the same goes for an SSR as it does for a phase angle dimmer: it is only suitable for a resistive load.
I heard that it is safe to control a HMI ballast via the 'dimswitch'-option. Is this correct?
No, this is not correct. Each type of ballast is not a resistive load and can therefore not be controlled without risk via a 'dimswitch'-option (see above).
Does the EASY SWITCH have to be controlled with DMX?
EASY SWITCH works completely autonomous and does not require a DMX signal to work at all. The dimmer does not lose the setting anymore, even after turning power off.
Why a triennial maintenance?
As with any device, your dimmer and EASY SWITCH must also be periodically checked to ensure safe and reliable operation. We therefore recommend you have your system checked and services by us at least every 3 years. Contact us for the possibilities.
My dimmer installation is already 20 years old, does it make sense to use EASY SWITCH?
Certainly! A well-functioning and maintained ADB dimmer will last for at least 30 to 40 years. With the EASY SWITCH upgrade you can continue to use your existing installation for many years, even with devices that did not exist when the dimmer was designed. When an EASY SWITCH is installed, maintenance is also included (ex. repairs and spare parts).
What is Remote Device Management (RDM) and why is this an option?
RDM is a protocol conforming to ANSI/ESTA standards and suitable for changing remote settings. The protocol is sent via the DMX line. This means that an RDM remote controller can read and set up devices that have the RDM option. If the EASY SWITCH is equipped with the RDM option, a controller with RDM option can change the EASY SWITCH settings.
How long is the warranty on Pino Solutions products?
Pino Solutions products have a 2 year warranty. With a maintenance contract this can be extended to 5 years.
Why has the EASY SWITCH been developed?
Roadtech Services is an independent repair service for AV equipment. From experience we have seen a huge number of defective equipment in our workshop in for repair which have accidentally been connected to a dimmer. The bulk of these repairs are moving lights, LED pars, active speakers, smoke machines, boosters and Artnet nodes. Because of a demand from the sector we have decided to develop an upgrade for existing dimmer installations in collaboration with JG Electronics.