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Dimmers comming up as different Dimmers?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Thranduil, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    So recently we have had our whole host of problems with the lighting system(20 year old switchcraftamx cables finally breaking, the express psu spiking and frying and what now) Well we got the express fixed, and we also wired new signal cable and so thats all happy happy fun fun. BUT, something which was happening before the board fried, and before the signal cables completely died, was all the dimmers were comming up as the wrong dimmer on the board.

    The way the system is, we have circuts->hardpatch->strand cd80packs->switchcraft amx cables out->AMX to DMX converter box->express 48/96.

    Currently, if i plug something into dimmer one, it is comming up as dimmer 2. This is not a problem with the softpatch, because the light will move channels when i move dimmer two. Each dimmer is getting bumped up one dimmer somewhere between the patch and softpatch in the board. I updated the software on the board, this didnt fix anything, and also its not a time pin in one of the signal cables because those were recently fixed, which didnt make the problem go away. A few people think its a setting on the express, which it may well be. I assume it could also be the converter box, or possibly even the packs. Thoughts?
     
  2. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    sounds like a brain issue on the packs. When were they cleaned last?
     
  3. SketchyCroftPpl

    SketchyCroftPpl Active Member

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    Hey

    Can you try backing up everything on the board, and then clearing it all? Its what we'll have to do on ours because it recently fried itself and now the submasters don't work. But if you have a backup of everything it would allow you to freely change all the system options w/o worrying at all and see if any of them fix it.

    ~Nick
     
  4. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    Clean, pack brains? whoops well im gonna guess the 70s, when they were now, how do you clean it? just contact cleaner or compessed air? and Sketchy, their is nothing on the board, we just got it back from the shop because the PSU was fried. Out of curosity what do you mean the subs dont work?
     
  5. SketchyCroftPpl

    SketchyCroftPpl Active Member

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    I've made posts asking for help which, now that they were working, have much greater detail in answers but a sub on my board, omega II, is a set of circuits which is set aside along with a group of physical sliders. You can program each of the circuits to be any light or group of lights (dimmer numbers) you have in the theatre. You control their level manually with the slider or on a timed prograssion of fade up, stay, fade down by hitting a bump button. Recently the board randomly cleared itself totally and when we loaded it all back on, none of the submasters worked. They are physically and program wise there, they just don't work.

    ~nick
     
  6. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    you have different packs, so could it be an addressing problem? Considering they've all moved up by one. Seems awfully consistant. Did this start when the board came back?
     
  7. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    Sketchy, i guess i prhased that wrong, i know what subs are, i was just wondering what in particular was wrong, like if they just wouldnt program, of if they wouldnt come up after you programmed them.

    Jbeutt, yea their are four packs(each with 12 dimmers) I believe the adressing is right. Pack one has one as the number on its adress, but i can mess with those thats a good idea. This started before the board died, but then again they didnt do anything to the board i dont think, just to the PSU, so just because it came back from the shop doenst mean its fixed, as it wasnt identifyed as a problem with the board. The converter box has some settings on it that i dont know what do, but i dont think anything would cause it to bump everything up one, and the settings are set to what they are supposed to be acording to the box.
     
  8. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    from epanorama.net
    EDIT: this is in reference to amx protocol.

    So it's possible it's that converter and it's possible it's the dimmers. I'm slightly tempted to retract my brain statement, but it's completely possible if they're daisy chained. Because it's something you can easily do, that'd be the place to start, safely of course. Yeah, you can go ahead and vacuum or use compressed air on them. clean out air filters and everything. Considering they haven't been cleaned in a while, that's definitely something to do no matter what.
    Another thing you can do is do a complete reinstall of the software (another easy thing).
    Now the harder possibilities: A funky converter or broken brain/reciever (look at that quote) or a broken board. This would require professional replacement/repair of course, which would be the thing to look at if the afformentioned suggestions don't fix anything. I'd say considering the recent board problems look at it first, but it sounds too consistant to be a burnout.
     
  9. npihl

    npihl Member

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    I've heard of old capacitors on amx receiver boards causing problems like this. Is the problem limited to just one dimmer pack?
     
  10. npihl

    npihl Member

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    You can also ckeck the speed of the dmx output on the express board. ETC boards can send DMX often faster than some equipment can process it.
     
  11. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    Oh another note. I know its not the dimmers because ive plugged an AMX board into them and havent had the problem. which means converter box or express. are their settings on an express aside from dmx outspeed that might affect it?
     
  12. npihl

    npihl Member

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    Another setting in the Express to check is the number of dimmers. Make sure this value is at least 512 (if you are only using the first output, 1024 if you're using both). Some devices need to see a full dmx frame to work correctly. ETC expression series consoles only send as many dimmers as are selected in setup.

    -Nate
     
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Some questions.

    Is it happening on all the packs ?. Is the 2nd dimmer on the pack firing from a console signal that is a different dimmer number ?.

    How many packs ?.

    Have you checked the actual softpatch at the console to make sure it's 1:1 (for testing sake)?, is the problem during a channel check, as well as a dimmer check ?.

    It sounds like the CD80 pack control module is maybe set wrong, or maybe got scrambled. On some systems (not sure about older CD80) you can assign a dimmer to a DMX address, that MAY NOT be the way the pack is labeled. ETC does this on Sensor by allowing an incoming DMX channel to be assigned to any dimmer, all done via the CEM.

    Is there a separate internal dimmer to outlet patch ?, as found on Sensor touring racks. That would explain a labeled receptacle having power on an incorrect DMX channel - if all else checks out

    What fried the Express ?. Is it possible it also did damage to the pack control modules ?.
    More info. would be helpful

    SB
     
  14. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    Steve, the packs arent DMX and as such dont have DMX lables ;) We have no clue what fried the express, it wasnt actually the express, jsut its psu that got fried. They were doing work on the power to the building, and i assume some spike in the whole buliding power fried the psu. The Packs im postive are fine, as I tested them with an AMX board a few days ago, and AMX is the language of the packs. Their are four packs, and yes every dimmer is getting bumped up one. Softpatch is fine. Ive tried it one to one. I can move the dimmers around fine, and they actually move, but what is dimmer 2 in the softpatch is actually one in the hard patch. So if i move dimmer two in the soft patch, im actually moving the lights in dimmer one. And what ever is in dimmer 48 cant be used because its bumped to 49, which doesnt exist. so its a problem in either the board or the converter box, as ive tested the packs with other boards that dont use converter box ect.
     
  15. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    Well that was a bit of unnecessary repetition.

    If the packs are alright, it seems the obvious culprit is the converter, especially if they're known to have problems with age as my previous quote suggested.
    I found this off a quick google search:
    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Lightronics_TX30_Translator_converter_with_free_TX30.html
    I'm sure you can find more though.

    I'd worry a little about the board, even if it was only the PSU that fried. Any surge that was enough to damage it, could easily have damaged electronics, although I'm sure the repair shop looked at that. good luck
     

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