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Allow me to introduce myself

Discussion in 'New Member Board' started by renegadeblack, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    Location:
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    I'm John, I work the lights in a high school in southern Connecticut. I've fallen into a rather unfortunate situation where I haven't been taught much about my system as the formers who decided that they had nothing to do with the crew this year and never allowed me to actually see how things work. I've been taking the, "I wonder what this does" and "I hope pulling the plug will reset it" approach with many things. I have a Colortran i96 rack as well as a Colortran Innovator 48/96 console with a Remembrance panic/entry/rehearsal board that got bashed in when sets were being moved around as the genius who installed our system put it on the stage.

    A few things that I'm looking for some help with is finding a new rehearsal board to install that will still allow me to have the entry and panic system that I have in place now. Currently if I am not able to get into our booth, I need to bang the panel against the wall (no joke) in order to make it work. It seems to have gone into a state of submission because it no longer turns the house lights on in the middle of a show which is a great bonus, but because it's in such a terrible state, we are unable to reset what lights are turned on by our panic/entry system. Our custodial staff has requested that one of the buttons (the one that is locked in our control booth) turns on all of the lights (including stage lights, which I don't think is necessary), but being the state that our Remembrance board is in, is impossible. I have been looking at some new rehearsal boards and the problem is that I'm not sure how to integrate something like that with our current panic/entry system.

    One other thing that I've been trying to understand is how I could take advantage of the ColorNet port that I have on my Innovator console. What I would ultimately like to be able to do is control the lights by either a hand held wireless remote or wirelessly by my laptop (I have a mac). I am personally going to invest in the Enttec open dmx usb box so that I definitely can run things on my laptop but I'd like to be able to out of the control room and controlling things from FOH.

    I am fortunate in the fact that we have just gotten a new advisor as our old one wasn't able to be around when we needed him, no fault of his, it just wasn't practical. A teacher at our school (one who teaches robotics who has actually fixed some of our clear com boxes in the few weeks that he has been our advisor) is now the advisor and being that we have a new advisor, he is getting a chance to have meetings with everyone who is important to finally get things fixed! Money is probably going to be able to trickle into the program and we are getting listened to with things that need to get done.

    All that being said, if you have any suggestions to solve any of my problems, I would love to hear them as they will probably get done.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Welcome Aboard John! Bashing around the gear is generally frowned on but I think Iunderstand where you are comming from;).
    I'm from the left coast so I won't be much help but I bet someone is gonna be along real soon who can suggest some good folks to talk to in your neck of the woods. Until then, read lots, ask a lot of questions, and do some hunting online for manuals < most of the time unplugging things doesn't reset them it only makes them angry, then their electrons stop moving and the magic smoke comes out.>
     
  3. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I usually don't read new member posts but this one called to me. I suffered through a Colortran Innovator 48/96 myself in high school and managed to make some pretty good looking shows if I do say so myself. My initial advise would be that although a lot of good things can be found in manuals just as many good things can come from good applications of common sense and proper organization. Before you do anything take some time to sit down and figure it out the simple way, then go make things more complex.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Why?
    1. See some past threads on PC-based lighting control systems. General consensus is NONE are as good as a dedicated control surface.
    2. See this and following posts: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/7418-board-upgrade-part-2-a-2.html#post89618.
    3. Want to control lighting from your iPhone or iPodTouch? It's coming very soon, but is unlikely to replace the operator in the booth.
     
  5. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Welcome to CB
     
  6. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you all for your comments. I don't think that a new main console is something that we'll be able to get,so far I've been rather happy with it. All that I need to do on a regular basis is set cues for our musical.

    As for my desire to control things from my laptop, its a bit of a pipe dream that I've had. I do mainly want it for being able to have it in FOH for hanging and focusing. From what I understand that may be possible to do with ColorNet, but I'm not sure. I read something along the lines of that my board might have a webserver built in that displays what I see on the monitor through a web browser. That would be mighty cool. Is it possible to control things with colornet from a computer?

    Thanks for the help!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    In theory at least, any "DMX over Ethernet" scheme that supports a PC client can also allow WiFi control. Whether it's worth implementing, or reliable enough to be used in a show-critical situation, is up to you. See NPC > Lighting Control Networking > Lighting Management Systems > All Leviton Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products, and contact your local Leviton/NSI/Colortran dealer.
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
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    Welcome to the Booth, first off.

    As foryour want to be able to control lights from the house. I think you may fid it cheaper and easier to just buy a long DMX cable and set the board up on a table in the house for hang, focus and tech rehearsals. Simple and cheap, and what many high schools do.
     
  9. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
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    Hello and welcome!

    I too, have an Innovator. I too, had the dream of being able to use my computer to control it. Check out this thread. In doing my research, it doesn't look like much can be done via Colornet, but I would LOVE to stand corrected.
     
  10. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    Location:
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    I have another dmx in the middle of the house, but I'd like to not have to lug the whole **** thing down and then have to bring the monitor and you get the picture. I'd just like to be able to do something with my laptop. As I said, a bit of a pipe dream of mine.

    @lieperjp
    I've read that thread before and it has unfortunately seemed to point me in the direction of no colornet.

    As for the usb dongles, what do you guys think is so terrible about them? I'm not looking to run a show with it, mainly just something to toy with and if I can manage to have something running on a PC, I would be able to control things with a PDA w/ wifi and a remote desktop connection from up in a genie lift :)
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    We're not, as a whole, against USB dongles and PC software; it's just that we think a lightboard should have handles and dials and a keypad with keys like "at, thru, full, etc." Using a mouse and clicking on stuff is never as efficient as a dedicated control surface. I used an Enttec USB dongle & Chamsys MagicQ software with an old PC laptop for teching moving lights and wouldn't be adverse to using it as an RFU; but I wouldn't run a show with it (without at least a playback/programming/fader wing).
     
  12. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    Location:
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    I agree. From what everyone was saying, they were making it sound like it has a bad connection and constantly turns lights on and off for no reason. That sounds good to me, thats all I want it for. Thanks!
     

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