Pawn shop bargain

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Petebass, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I was wandering through a pawn shop today, just killing time before an appointment, when I spotted an unusual lighting chaser. Normally you plug 3 or 4 lights into these things and they flash at random. This one seemed to have 3 lighting outputs, all marked in texter, one for "Bass", one for "Mids", and one for "Treble". There was also a 1/4 jack marked Audio input. Can this be right? Can this ancient looking device actually split an audio signal into 3 frequency ranges, then make the corresponding lights flash?

    I asked the guy behind the counter and he didn't even know "what the stupid thing is, but it's been here for years. You can have it for $30." I offered $20 and the deal was done.

    The 1/4 jack had to be cleaned out but darn it, it works exactly as I thought it would. But wait, there's more........

    When I got it home I flipped it over and noticed some more texter markings. It reads "The Aztecs". I'm not sure if Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were ever famous outside of Australia but they were HUGE here in the 60's. They're a big part of our Rock & Roll history. It seems this unusual device was once owned by them.

    All this for $20.

  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Those things used to be really popular in the 70's, like during the disco era. They'd hook up different colored lights to each output, which would then appear to pulsate in time with the music. I forget exactly what they called them, but they were big for a while. I remember articles in Popular Electronics about how to build them. A lighting guy I once knew built a series of stage controllers using high-current SCR's, which he then plugged into one of these devices, so he could control many thousands of watts of lighting from each output. If you can identify the manufacturer, it's very likely that you can still find a schematic diagram for the device, and that would tell you how many lights you can safely plug into it. Nice find!
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It's called a "Colour Organ". I didn't want to post that originally because I can see the teenz having a field day with the sexual inuendo.

    It looks like it's manufactured by "Ceitex Electronics Sydney Pty Ltd". I've never heard of them and I'd be very surprised is they still exist. I guess I'm just gonna have to ask Billy Thorpe how they used it :)
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    What kind of lights do you have? Just to be safe, I'd just use those little DJ par cans. Then again, I suppose you could use ETC Source 4 Jr. Zooms if you want, complete with rotating texture gobos :D :D.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Nothing that fancy I'm affraid. If I had that stuff I wouldn't need a chaser :)

    All I have so far are 4 Par 30's with coloured globes. I only ever use them for parties and for the occasional Duo gig, so Par 30's are more than adequate. I don't have to worry about lighting for "normal" band gigs. It's usually supplied by the PA company or the venue. In the past I've had all 4 lights "ON" all night just splashing colour onto the walls. Next time, they'll be'a flashin :)

    Just to put that $20 in perspective, the last time I thought about getting those lights to flash, everyone advised me to get a Jands 4 Pack.. As you can see, they're normally $795. So I hunted around for a cheaper option and found the JET 4 channel Chaser for $299. Then I was going to make one myself using this module. Unfortunately I've alread forked out the $57 for this but that's OK - I might need it when the "Colour Organ" dies.