Rhyme and reason
The Robe Strobe certainly has the rhyming part right, but does it have a good reason to exist? It’s by no means the first LED strobe to hit the market, but as we discovered it does have a few features that make it quite unique.
The front lens is occupied by 120 high power white LED chips with a native colour temperature of 6000K. The chips are grouped into four columns across three rows, allowing the strobe to be controlled in 12 different sections. The fixture includes a selection of preset control macros, allowing users to quickly generate interesting looks without the need to pixel map. The beam angle spec is 32 degrees at 1/2 beam, or 60 degrees at 1/10 beam. A special rigging system allows up to four Robe Strobe fixtures to be ganged together vertically for really serious strobe effects.
The Robe Strobe is pretty big – its front face measures 450x190mm, and at 300mm it’s physically deeper than it is tall. It weighs 10kg, no doubt part of which is accounted for by the rather solid yoke with dual tilt locks. The locks have a nice positive action and secure the fixture well, and in addition to this there are dual safety wire attachment points on the head itself. The yoke allows the fixture to be tilted through about 180 degrees.
We tested a pre-production model because at the time of writing the production units were yet to arrive in the country, and since our unit was built, the housing of the Strobe has been re-designed to provide a higher IP rating. We understand that production units will be usable in light rain showers, so they’ll be okay to use on an exposed front truss on a festival stage. Typically this space would be occupied by traditional mole-faye units, so it’s nice to see the Robe Strobe provide a more flexible alternative.
As you’d expect from an LED based product, the Robe Strobe provides adjustable strobe rate and duration, as well as the obligatory ‘blinder’ effect. Each section can be individually dimmed, and there’s high resolution master intensity control as well. Ramp up, ramp down, ramp up-down, random flash, single flash, and microphone driven strobe effect complement the more ‘user-driven’ control modes. Strobe duration is 0-650mS, and rate is 0-30Hz. Four different control protocols allow for control options from full through to basic.
Rear panel inclusions are the same as standard on many Robe fixtures – 5 pin DMX in and loop, PowerCon in and loop, RNS2 touch screen for setup and control, and EtherCon for ArtNet and such. RDM, MA Net and sACN compatibility is standard, and a wireless DMX module is optional.
I like this fixture. Its sheer output alone places it among the ‘super strobe’ crowd, yet at the same time, its unique aspects place it in a category of its own. I don’t have any specs as to exactly how bright it is, but having seen it in person I’d say ‘definitely bright enough’. We had to dim the thing WAY down just to get a workable photo of it. As if the Robe Strobe wasn’t already cool enough in its own right, there’s talk of a colour LED model on the way too, which adds another dimension of interest.
- Brand: Robe
- Model: Strobe
- Street Price: $4675.00 inc GST including roadcase
- Product Info: www.robe.cz
- Distributor: www.ulagroup.com
First published in CX Magazine (October, 2015)