Control/Dimming Colortran i96 and panic mode

Joe Voorhees

Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Location
Springfield, NJ
Hey everyone,

I have a pair of Colortran i96 Dimmers for a high school theatre, when the fire alarm goes off one of them is triggered into "Panic" mode and the entire rack goes to full. After tripping several times with a faulty smoke head across the building I'm getting tired of changing lamps and gel (once it was on for 3 days when the school was closed and no one noticed - they silenced the alarm but were waiting for the company to come out for service). I'm looking to reprogram the rack so that way only the house lights and a few 'no color' top lights come on.

Reading the manual shows there is a switch designate if it goes on in panic mode or not. I pulled the module and there is a jumper where the switch is supposed to be; I pulled the jumper and it still goes on in panic. I called the installer and he said he needs to be re-programed via software (did not see this in the manual) and the rack is set up to go all on by default so a certain number of lumens are on the stage - this I can assure if I control which one(s) are on with out burning out 1/2 my rep plot. The installer is going to send me a quote but if it's fairly simple I would rather save the money and just do it myself; I've use Lumaedit to modify the soft buttons installed around the theatre but thats not it and I've hit a brick wall.

Does anyone have any experience reprogramming these?

Thanks,
Joe
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Somewhere on the internet you'll find a manual or person - maybe try other boards - that can tell you how to configure panic mode so it just turns on selected circuits - or none. I'm pretty certain the feature is there. You could try on the module to just find "panic" but it may be a dip switch on a card.

Sorry. Keep hunting - it won't be hard if you can find out. Try calling Colortran tech support - can't hurt but cost you a little time. (Try ETC support - I'm sure there are people there that know this. :) )
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Hey everyone,

I have a pair of Colortran i96 Dimmers for a high school theatre, when the fire alarm goes off one of them is triggered into "Panic" mode and the entire rack goes to full. After tripping several times with a faulty smoke head across the building I'm getting tired of changing lamps and gel (once it was on for 3 days when the school was closed and no one noticed - they silenced the alarm but were waiting for the company to come out for service). I'm looking to reprogram the rack so that way only the house lights and a few 'no color' top lights come on.

Reading the manual shows there is a switch designate if it goes on in panic mode or not. I pulled the module and there is a jumper where the switch is supposed to be; I pulled the jumper and it still goes on in panic. I called the installer and he said he needs to be re-programed via software (did not see this in the manual) and the rack is set up to go all on by default so a certain number of lumens are on the stage - this I can assure if I control which one(s) are on with out burning out 1/2 my rep plot. The installer is going to send me a quote but if it's fairly simple I would rather save the money and just do it myself; I've use Lumaedit to modify the soft buttons installed around the theatre but thats not it and I've hit a brick wall.

Does anyone have any experience reprogramming these?

Thanks,
Joe
Hello!
Writing from Canada with the following comments.
ALWAYS consult your Fire Marshall prior to altering any programming that takes ALL lights to full every time the fire alarm is tripped. I spent 4-1/2 months in Las Vegas supervising an A/V and show control installation on a newly constructed Tussaud's Wax Museum. The Las Vegas Nevada Fire Marshall decreed that, upon activation of the fire alarm system, all of our audio would mute plus ALL of our lights would immediately go to 100% and remain there until a duly authorized member of his staff reset the alarm system and signed off on it. This is quite a common requirement.
As we were still on site 24/7 programming various rooms of the space, we requested the courtesy of them letting us know when their testing / inspection was complete so we could proceed with our on-line programming. We emphasized we'd really still be working and waiting on site, no matter the hour, even if we weren't obvious, and suggested they might announce their departure via the alarm system's "Fire Marshall's emergency announcement" mic. They really wanted ALL sub-contractors off site but were willing to take a chance on our remaining so long as we didn't interfere with their purposes in ANY way. As they'd agreed they'd announce their departure, we went our separate ways, they to their tests and inspections, us to our off-line programming.

Wax museum / ALL lights at full: You may be able to guess how this went down.
We were working in an out of sight equipment room.
The senior marshall the others were awaiting arrived, along with a couple of bureaucrats, and tripped the alarm for his test.
From within our room, the Alcorn McBride gear let us know all was right so far as sensing the alarm, executing the silence and all dimmers at 100% instructions. We continued off-line programming. Hours passed. We'd observed neither a reset command nor any communication as to their testing being complete and / or their having exited the building. Eventually our company's owner suggested one of us should quietly tour the building, without interfering with their fire inspection in any way. I was voluntold. The place was eerily silent and blindingly brightly lit without any trace of the Fire Marshall or his buddies. They apparently silenced the alarm and departed with out resetting the system or announcing their departure. Upon touring display room after display room finding no one but our wax companions, I arrived in the R&R Hall of fame room. There stood Madonna with a rhinoceros like horn erupting from the middle of her forehead. As I'm off at a gallop to inform our owner and have him contact Tussaud's project managers, I observed traces of sagging and poor posture in a few of our other wax companions. I hurriedly spoke with our owner and he was on his cell to the fire department in a flash. There was no one on site authorized to perform a system reset. Darrell didn't want to phone Tussaud's management as it was well past midnight. Taking our display lights to zero wouldn't have plunged the place into darkness as the overnight cleaning lights were programmed to be on at that hour anyway. The fire department opted to issue a verbal authorization for us to reset our systems. We informed Tussaud's management immediately upon their 9:00 a.m. arrival and the folks who dress and maintain their creations found considerably more . . . modifications than we'd noted but took it as 'all in a day's work' and got down to business.
You may think there's no point in running your Lux 85 backlights at 100% as they're contributing little in the way of illumination once all of the more translucent colors are at full but I can pretty much guarantee your Fire Marshall won't see it that way or buy your argument. If he wastes his breath at all it'll likely be along the lines of 'In certain smokey conditions, those particular wavelengths MAY penetrate better for a fleeting few seconds and save a firefighter's life.' Trust me: Never argue with your Fire Marshall, or ask to speak with his/her superiors. Maybe if you're Donald Trump but I'd NEVER try it.
Oh yeah, we've had experience with Colortran racks in Canada, the same Colortran racks that set Disney ablaze and most of us share Disney's lawyers' opinions.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
I hadn't realized it but when I looked for a manual on line and couldn't find the panic config data, a supplement - addenda - was lurking. It says:

Page 25, Section 19 – There are no individual “panic” switches in e Series. Panic selection is
accomplished in software. E Series racks are shipped with all dimming channels programmed
for “panic” operation in order to facilitate testing. Call Colortran Field Service for further
instructions on how to program the “panic” feature. Observe the second “Caution” notice on
page 25.
 
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STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
I would suggest that any plug and cord connected lighting cannot be relied upon for emergencies and would not be a load that need to be on emergency. Or the other way, emergency lighting shall be permanent, not cord and plug connected.
Just FYI, section 18 of the UL924 standard (Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment) changed recently on December 16, 2015 and now allows cord-and-plug connected luminaires in "high bay" applications. Previously, cord and plug connection was only allowed for "unit equipment" (luminaires with integral backup batteries).

18.1.3 Flexible cord for connection to the supply circuit is permitted on pendant and high bay
luminaires where the intended application is in accordance with Subsection 400.7(A)(1) or (A)(8) of NFPA 70.

18.2 Flexible cord

18.2.1 Flexible cord shall be one of the types specified in Table 18.1 and, if grounding is
required per 20.1, shall be a 3-conductor grounding cord terminating in an attachment plug. The
cord for unit equipment shall be no longer than 36 inches (914 mm) measured from the face of the
plug to the point at which the cord enters the unit.

Exception: An attachment plug is permitted but not required for pendant and high bay luminaires.


ST
 

Joe Voorhees

Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Location
Springfield, NJ
Hello!
Writing from Canada with the following comments...
.
Thanks for the advise and story Ron. Currently it only sends one of the 2 dimmer racks to full, with that in mind it doesn't always light the areas you want to be illuminated... Speaking with our buildings and grounds supervisor (who also as luck has it is on the FD in town) there is not a town requirement for everything to be on just for the "space to be safely evacuated" and he is going to purchase us an many permanently hung LED fixtures as needed to make that happen.

I appreciate the advise.
Joe
 

Joe Voorhees

Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Location
Springfield, NJ
I hadn't realized it but when I looked for a manual on line and couldn't find the panic config data, a supplement - addenda - was lurking. It says:

Page 25, Section 19 – There are no individual “panic” switches in e Series. Panic selection is
accomplished in software. E Series racks are shipped with all dimming channels programmed
for “panic” operation in order to facilitate testing. Call Colortran Field Service for further
instructions on how to program the “panic” feature. Observe the second “Caution” notice on
page 25.
And you sir are the winner! I missed that completely - They are in fact E-Series and I was looking at a different model... I'm an idiot. Looks like I may actually have to have someone come out for this.

Thank you!
Joe
 

Joe Voorhees

Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Location
Springfield, NJ

Joe Voorhees

Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Location
Springfield, NJ
Just FYI, section 18 of the UL924 standard (Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment) changed recently on December 16, 2015 and now allows cord-and-plug connected luminaires in "high bay" applications. Previously, cord and plug connection was only allowed for "unit equipment" (luminaires with integral backup batteries).

18.1.3 Flexible cord for connection to the supply circuit is permitted on pendant and high bay
luminaires where the intended application is in accordance with Subsection 400.7(A)(1) or (A)(8) of NFPA 70.

18.2 Flexible cord

18.2.1 Flexible cord shall be one of the types specified in Table 18.1 and, if grounding is
required per 20.1, shall be a 3-conductor grounding cord terminating in an attachment plug. The
cord for unit equipment shall be no longer than 36 inches (914 mm) measured from the face of the
plug to the point at which the cord enters the unit.

Exception: An attachment plug is permitted but not required for pendant and high bay luminaires.


ST
Thank you Steve, good to know!
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Just FYI, section 18 of the UL924 standard (Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment) changed recently on December 16, 2015 and now allows cord-and-plug connected luminaires in "high bay" applications. Previously, cord and plug connection was only allowed for "unit equipment" (luminaires with integral backup batteries).

18.1.3 Flexible cord for connection to the supply circuit is permitted on pendant and high bay
luminaires where the intended application is in accordance with Subsection 400.7(A)(1) or (A)(8) of NFPA 70.

18.2 Flexible cord

18.2.1 Flexible cord shall be one of the types specified in Table 18.1 and, if grounding is
required per 20.1, shall be a 3-conductor grounding cord terminating in an attachment plug. The
cord for unit equipment shall be no longer than 36 inches (914 mm) measured from the face of the
plug to the point at which the cord enters the unit.

Exception: An attachment plug is permitted but not required for pendant and high bay luminaires.


ST
Define "high-bay"? Would a pendant S4 PAR plug and cord connected on an ELTS (which I think is 1008, not 924) be considered compliant? Lets take that to today - using a Colorsource par plug and cord connected with an ELTS and a DMX Emergency Bypass Controller comply?
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Location
New York
Define "high-bay"? Would a pendant S4 PAR plug and cord connected on an ELTS (which I think is 1008, not 924) be considered compliant? Lets take that to today - using a Colorsource par plug and cord connected with an ELTS and a DMX Emergency Bypass Controller comply?
A Colorsource PAR would not comply, as it currently does not have a UL924 Listing, which is required by NEC Section 700.24, which covers Directly Controlled Luminaires for emergency use. We are currently deciding which of our LED luminaires should get UL924 Listings.

ST
 

JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Seems an "all on forever" panic set would itself be a fire hazard. Two things come to mind:
1) unexpected heating of objects under lights that would not usually be on for 24 hours straight.
2) Diversity? The anticipation in theater is that you would never have all your loads on at the same time for an indefinite period of time.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Seems an "all on forever" panic set would itself be a fire hazard. Two things come to mind:
1) unexpected heating of objects under lights that would not usually be on for 24 hours straight.
2) Diversity? The anticipation in theater is that you would never have all your loads on at the same time for an indefinite period of time.
And when did common sense ever matter?

(My favorite "pro LED" point when I compare quartz to LED - LED fixtures won't be the source of ignition when a curtain gets pushed against or wrapped around one.)
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Doesn't "high-bay" usually mean mounting heights of 15' or higher? In my experience, that's the way it is in industrial/warehouse terminology where it has less to do with the fixture and more with its position in the world (and sometimes a particular lens/reflector setup). When I first read the post, I took the intention to address the LED/Fluoro/Metal Halide fixtures you typically see in gymnasiums. They're a permanent fixture but typically cord-connected.