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Brent Allan
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415 Posts

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I love the Showtech system, with the ankle transmitter, computer, portability, etc. However, I just dont have $2700 (or however much it goes for). Plus, I only have maybe 3 sound cues in my show, so that kind of outlay would be hard to justify.

Does anyone know of a small remote control that will start/stop a CD as well as advance tracks?
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Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1829 Posts

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Panasonic has a CD player out right now, that has a remote. It is infared, so you will need to point it in the general direction. However, I have seen it shoot thru one layer of clothing. It cues ahead and back, volume up and down, start/stop and if you hold the volume button down, fades right out. It costs $65 at Walmart. Magician Sean Scott uses it here in Indy and it seems to do fine for him.

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Profile of Peter695

That plus the X-10's DenDowhy spoke of and you're pretty well set for most of the basics. I think you can pick up something similar to the X-10's at Radio Shack.

Someone mentioned, in another thread, that the X-10's may not be dependable. All the lamps and coffee pot in my apartment have run off the Radio Shack version for several years without a single failure.


(edit) There are many boom boxes on the market which operate remotely. I guess that takes care of sound cues.
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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I've had mine with no problems, however, it does say on each module the wattage, so I guess it would not work for a set of bar halogen lights. I have not tried to go over the wattage.

Now I did burn out the "Clapper" after 20 years of usage. My hands hurt more!
Dennis Michael
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Profile of mghia
Yes the Panasonic has an impressive remote on their prortable CD units. The remote is thin but has a lot of features.
I have shot it 30 feet and it worked.
My only complaint about the player is that its output is lower than the Aiwa I tried. On a smaller pa amp I have, it does not work as well volume wise as when I run it through a small mixing board with a preamp.

I was looking into a Creative NOMAD because they put an IR port on their MP3 unit. It was the ONLY MP3 I found that was portable size and we thought it had a remote. It is pricey and I came to find they put the reciever in but at the time have no clue if they will make the remote.
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Shamokin, PA
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Profile of MagicalPirate
I have the Aiwa CSD TD49 and it works great. The remote is a full function remote that can change from CD to cassette tape. You can select the CD track by punching in the number and go straight to the track you want. It will play back CD-R and CD-RW discs so you can burn your own music discs and play them. I'm using this to start. I want to put the laptop system together eventually. I just felt it was better to have something that would improve the show now than just wait until I could spend $2400 on the ShowTech.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
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David Garrity
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Check out Jeff Haas' website. He has info on how to turn your laptop into a show control system for around $150. This may be the kind of thing you are looking for.

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Inner circle
Virden, IL
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Profile of Eldon
I put together one of Jeff's systems and it works great. Be careful with I-R it is not that dependable if you work outside or move a lot of props on stage. Jeff's system is RF. It will work through walls.
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
I have a friend who is a DJ and I discussed this with him. We made a little something that might interest you. It's very simple but it works. I'll outline the cheap way to make this. You can always get more technical if you have the knowledge.

I just picked up a few of those micro RC cars. I rigged the receiver to the buttons in a CD player. That's pretty much all there is to it. You don't have as much control as other devices of course but if you just want to turn the music on and off this can do the trick.

I also took those remote control devices that you can use to make lights turn on and off by remote. You just plug them in. I made foot pedals out of the transmitter by simply gluing something onto them and mounting them to a board on the floor.

Again, this isn't very advanced and I know there are better devices out there. This works great for me in my parlor show though. I only have one lighting change in the act so I just turn one set of lights on and the other off.

Just thought I'd share that.

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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Shamokin, PA
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Profile of MagicalPirate
I just bought a laptop off ebay for 32.51. If it works I'm going to try out Jeff Haas' system. It beats the cost of the product. I'll post later on my results with the system.

BTW has anyone here ever put together Jeff Haas' system and if so what has been your experience.
Martin Blakley, CSH, DASH, CMSA
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Jeff Haas
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A laptop for $32.51?? What are the specs?

For working with the remote I use, you need to be able to plug in an external keyboard...either via a PS/2 connector, or a USB port. The KeyRF just acts like an external keyboard, Winamp doesn't know the difference. Someone could be typing the commands instead.

You can download Winamp and experiment with the commands for free.

I can tell you that I've used the system for a few years now, and it's been great. As long as I've rehearsed the cues (practice doing the routine and pressing the button at the right time) it goes fine.

Mr Phil
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Tilton, New Hampshire
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I put together Jeff's System on my powerbook. It is a dream. I was looking at a showtech or a VSM. I am sticking with this system for now. thanks jeff. If you have any question on doing this on a mac feel free to PM me.

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