Galaxy (1980 - 1996)
96, 144, 190, 240... 768 channels
Affectionately known as Lightboard III by David Hersey and Richard Pilbrow.
The first in the West End was installed at the Apollo Victoria for The Sound of Music, lit by David Hersey.
The Galaxy desks were also in common use at the BBC, and were only taken out of service when ETC's Congo desk was brought in. Many were installed at the BBC production centres in White City and at Elstree.
When Galaxy 3 was launched, around 300 systems had been produced (between 1980 and 1987).
Galaxy 1 (originally just Galaxy, of course!). Produced for the 'Television, Theatre, Conference & Exhibition Centres' market. (1980 - 1983). D54 outputs (up to 768 control channels in total, in multiples of 48. Two x 384 channels of D54).
Galaxy 2 (1983/4)
Three different models:
Arena (basic control for theatres, concert venues, nightclubs)
Premier (major opera houses and theatres)
Studio (TV / Film)
D54 outputs (up to 768 in total - 2 x 384 channels of D54).
The Premier version, for larger theatres, had Learn Profile function to reproduce complex lighting changes. Media storage on 8.5 inch floppy disk.
Galaxy 3 (1987): 999 control channels, up to 1536 dimmers. DMX512 control. 3.5 inch disk drives.
Galaxy Nova (1993 - 1996)
A Galaxy system consisted of a control pod (the case for the control surface panels, which can be built into furniture or be a stand-alone wooden desk) and a processor crate (containing power supplies and the processing electronics and dimmer / control outputs). The crate could be mounted under the pod, or remotely in the dimmer room. The pod was connected to the crate via a pair of 9 way D connectors (one for data relating to button / wheel movement and displays on the pod, and one for control signals between the pod and crate).
Additionally, a display (Galaxy 1 was monochrome, Galaxy 2 introduced a colour display, and by Galaxy Nova up to 4 displays were supported). and external back-up system were used.
A number of different options were available for control pod sizes and the control surface configurations. Some studio installations used custom-built cases which were integrated into the control room furniture.
Memory and Output Module
Motion Control (Galaxy 3 onwards): Recording and playback of pan, tilt, colour, focus and iris for Strand PALS luminaires.
The software to run the various components of the desk was stored on EEPROM memory chips on the cards.