Altman SpectraCycs going batty. Any ideas?

matcreyn

Member
I've got a daisy chain of 14 Altman SpectraCyc 100s set up through 3 circuits (6, 6, & 2) set as non-dims (switched). Most of the time they're fine, but after a while (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) one of them at random will start flickering a barrage of colors at full. When this happens, the display on the wigging out SS starts flying through cycles of single digit numbers (like the hundredths decimal on a countdown clock). It's never the same one and power cycling fixes it for the moment, but I'd like to have a more permanent solution. I would say I've got a bad cable or a bad unit, but for the fact that it's a different unit every time. Any ideas?
 

BobHealey

Active Member
Are they on actual non-dimmed circuits or are they on dimmers set to emulate switched mode? If the second, you might want to try them on clean power from a true non-dim source and see if they still go nuts.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Are they on actual non-dimmed circuits or are they on dimmers set to emulate switched mode? If the second, you might want to try them on clean power from a true non-dim source and see if they still go nuts.

That was my first thought as well.
 

matcreyn

Member
Are they on actual non-dimmed circuits or are they on dimmers set to emulate switched mode? If the second, you might want to try them on clean power from a true non-dim source and see if they still go nuts.
They are on ETC Sensor dimmers set to switched by the rack and as NonDimOnAt0 in the Ion. I thought the same, but I've never had that problem with Sensor dimmers under these settings. I'll give it a try.
 

Wood4321

Active Member
They are on ETC Sensor dimmers set to switched by the rack and as NonDimOnAt0 in the Ion. I thought the same, but I've never had that problem with Sensor dimmers under these settings. I'll give it a try.
This is definitely NOT the same. You need a true CC20 module to get clean power out of an ETC Dimmer rack (CEM3 not withstanding).
The power out of the dimmer module can cause problems, and even damage to moving lights as well as LED fixtures.
 

zmb

Well-Known Member
If the number on the display is changing as fast as possible, it could be that there is an issue with one of the buttons causing the circuit to complete with anyone pushing it. I've changed the configuration on some before, and it doesn't take that long of a push not only to change the address, but one of the modes which might be causing the random flashing.
 

matcreyn

Member
This is definitely NOT the same. You need a true CC20 module to get clean power out of an ETC Dimmer rack (CEM3 not withstanding).
The power out of the dimmer module can cause problems, and even damage to moving lights as well as LED fixtures.
I plugged them into convenience outlets instead, changed out all questionable data cables, and even split the data run into two separate chains of 7; and yet, the problem still occurs. I'm out of ideas. Please help.
 

jglodeklights

Well-Known Member
Have you metered your power? If your power isn't wildly out of order just call Altman. I used a set of 10 for several months in a variety of ways, (Yep, CYC lights, set specials and even strobes) without any of these problems. Sounds like they updated the firmware (or you got an early batch somehow) and there is a problem with it.

EDIT: Second thought, what console are you using? Have you checked to see what your DMX transmission parameters are? Although I had no problems using them with an ION on max, you may want to check this as well.
 

Wood4321

Active Member
I plugged them into convenience outlets instead, changed out all questionable data cables, and even split the data run into two separate chains of 7; and yet, the problem still occurs. I'm out of ideas. Please help.
If you have swapped all those items, the only things remaining are the console, or that the fixtures have been damaged.
Start by swapping out the console, and seeing if that solves it.

What type of console are you using?
 

matcreyn

Member
I think I've figured it out. I read and re-read the manual again and again. Finally, I found in teeny-tiny-fine print at the bottom of the last page next to a diagram about spacing the words "requires termination at end of the chain." I've only had the chance to test it during one performance, but terminating the end seemed to do the trick. I know, stupid move, and I should have thought of it earlier, but alas. Thank you all for you assistance.
 

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