“Haute Couture” LED Spot/profile Robe DL7S: complete SLU test

ROBE DL7S Profile

ROBE DL7S Profile

Decidedly, for some time now, Robe has been surprising us. Renowned for its extremely reliable fixtures, which have been integrated into the stocks of most lighting vendors, this manufacturer has now fully entered into the world of touring at the highest level with the famous BMFL, acclaimed by leading lighting designers in the "premium" market.

Robe now aims to satisfy the demands of theater, opera and studio applications with the DL7S, with 100% LED fixture based on an 800 W, 7-color source, available in Profile and Wash versions. Declaring outstanding light quality and no compromises, it stands to shut the mouths of even the most demanding of theater people and directors of photography, who cling to their traditional-source references like moss to a rock.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, unless I am mistaken, it will perhaps be necessary to review your ideas about LED fixtures . . .
We tested the DL7S, a super-complete moving head spot/profile, if you please ...

Here is the extensive test we conducted some time ago on this now "classic" led fixture on our french speaking site, you deserve to know all about it, dear international readers !

Construction of the unit

The construction of DL7S is a recognizable Robe design – a well-balanced machine with well-built plastic covers, a slightly stocky and pointed head, a large touch screen on its base, nice carrying handles; in short a very classic mover.

Connection panel.

The connection panel.

The interface panel has XLR5 input/output DMX connectors, XLR3 input/output connectors (for our DJ friends . . . ), an RJ45 port for connecting the unit to ArtNet/MA Net/MA Net2, and a Neutrik PowerCon TRUE1 mains connector, next to the primary fuse.
In terms of size, the DL7S might look like a small BMFL or a big Pointe. . .
It weighs 36 kg, which is about right for such a comprehensive fixture of this caliber. A mechanism allows the pan and tilt to be locked for transportation or for maintenance.
As for rigging and mounting, the DL7S can be installed in any position, on any structural element, totem or truss using a conventional mounting system that employs two omega brackets with quick-release camlocks for mounting the truss clamps. The omega brackets can be installed on either of two perpendicular axes, according to the application.

Not a "mini-menu"
The display on the base is served by a set of four keys for the navigation in the menus of the unit, but the range of possible options is easier to access directly from the touch screen. Here, you can, of course, set the address of the unit, configure the operating modes and select different ventilation options, but there is also temperature control, pan/tilt reversal, various electronic calibrations, etc ...

Menu display

The touchscreen.

Many parameters are configurable and the user has instant access to the memory of two different configuration settings that can be saved in the unit. The "User A settings" (original, factory settings) and "User B settings" can be recalled directly, which can be very handy if the units go out for different applications but must return regularly to a specific configuration. Just call up a "User B setting" that you have previously programmed and presto!Your configuration will return!

There is a choice of four operating modes, corresponding to 51, 42, 59 or 46 DMX channels. We aren't particularly happy with most reduced mode still having 42 channels. Although this fixture is more than complete, it is a pity that Robe hasn't provided a "basic" mode with 20 or 30 channels, allowing access to most functions in a simple way, without this amount of "finesse" that we don't necessarily need every day. It would save channels (on an installation where there aren't NOT ONLY some DL7S. . . )

What's inside ? By The Insider.

Rear part of the head, the cooling system for the LED engine.

Rear part of the head, the cooling system for the LED engine.

Regarding access to the head, the two covers open simply using four 1/4-turn screws on each side, leaving the unit completely open to allow routine maintenance or to work on the modules.

The entire rear of the head is reserved to the "source" section.
The LED engine is completely surrounded by a heat sink with copper heat pipes, through which a cooling gas circulates. These, in turn, are topped with a good-sized fan. It generates its airflow through a system of lenses towards the effect modules.

The internal layout of the head consists of a few easily-removable modules, and can be disassembled by turning two 1/4-turn screws and disconnecting the small connectors (that need to be carefully spotted!).

Inside the fixture, the gobo module and framing module.

Inside the fixture, the gobo module and framing module.

The first module to receive the light coming from the source – so the furthest back – is the gobo module.
It includes a wheel with six indexable rotating gobos, a wheel with eight fixed gobos (30,8 mm diameter gobos, all glass), and a metal animation wheel perforated with long stripes. The latter can enter and exit the beam on a motorized arm system and comes to life thanks to a second motor, which drives its rotation or its positioning through a belt.

The module with the gobo and animation wheels.

The module with the gobo and animation wheels.

The gobos are mounted on removable "Slot & Lock" system, which facilitates handling when changing gobos and allows the operation of replacing them to be carried out easily outside of the unit.
After these comes the Profile blades module.
This module is very well designed, with a neat and clear construction, and equipped with no less than 10 motors that move the four shutter blades, and that can rotate the whole set at will to any position on the desired axis. You can see perfectly that mechanical intervention on any of the elements should be very simple, with easy access to everything. This isn't always the case with every fixture when it comes to delicate items like motorized framing modules.
The module that manages the zoom and the focusing system is just beyond the profiling shutters. A classic rail system provides variable zoom of the beam from 7° to 43° and allows for focusing (or not focusing, if you wish).
The 5-facet prism can be inserted at will into the beam and can be freely rotated or precisely indexed.

The Frost module.

The Frost module.

The frost module is located just behind the output lens.
There is no color module in the head of our DL7S, since everything is managed directly by the LED engine, of course!

La machine ouverte

Inside the unit.

The arms of the yoke contain the belt drive system for the tilt of the head, some electronics and the wiring conduits from the base to the head.
As is the practice with most fixtures of the latest generation, thanks to the miniaturization of many components, there are no longer bundles of 50-plus cables that run between the base and the head of the unit, which would always wind up and get damaged under the effects of torsion...
The signals are now multiplexed and distributed directly in the head and the projector arm. The electronics that manage the motors are now near the parameters they control.

The light.

 

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