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Disabling the Trackpad on an ETC Express?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Spader, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Spader

    Spader Member

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    Is it possible?

    Our board, an ETC Express 125/250 run by an Emphasis system, has a funky trackpad. Lately it has been constantly picking up ghost input and has made individual channel selection next to impossible (I had to tweak a cue using the cue sheet in Blind yesterday -- a workaround, but not a preferrable one).

    So, I want to know if there is a way to just turn it off all together. We don't use it that much anyway, and it would save us plenty of headaches.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    This is a new one for me. You should be able to go to moving light encoders and take it off the tX and tY. I believe that will do it, though I am not certain. I am not sure if the trackpad has a back door into the intensity values beyond that setting.
     
  3. Spader

    Spader Member

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    Thanks, but what I am trying to do is COMPLETELY disable the trackpad. The problem is that it is picking up an input constantly, so instead of capturing channel 148, I capture channels 1, 4, and then 8. It is very annoying, and I'd like to just disable it completey.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have not been on and express in awhile, but I do not believe that you can disable it. Might be worth a call to ETC. Though I have never opened one up, and neither should you, a repair shop might be able to unhook it. I don't know if it is on its own PCB or not, so that they could be tricky.
     
  5. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    You can't disable it, you may well have a bad trackpad and will need service at ETC

    One workaround, for when the Trackpad is configured for ML's (thus sometimes non-functional to set conventional levels) is "Ch - XX - AT - +/-" to refine levels.

    Steve B.
     
  6. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    I have had the same issue with the Express trackpad and it is possible to disable it all together. However, I would assume it is a hardware thing, not a software thing. I wasn't the one that took care of it, so I don't know, but I know it's possible. I would call ETC and explain the problem, and if it needs a "costly" repair, ask them where the nearest ETC certified tech is so they can disable it.

    -Tim
     
  7. Spader

    Spader Member

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    Thanks; I will definitely tell the "higher-ups" at my theatre that. Programming just hasn't been fun lately :( .
     
  8. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Funny, we just started experiencing the same problem two days ago with our old Express. We just firmly pushed down on the trackpad on each corner and it would start working again.
     
  9. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Having had this issue recenlty myself I spoke with my local ETC repairman. Basically its a buildup of dust ect. The inside of the console needs to be cleaned and should be done by liscenced proffesional.
     
  10. MSLD

    MSLD Active Member

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    Is the trackpad on a ribbon cable on the inside and you can just pull the ribbon cable to disable it?
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    How ?

    SB
     
  12. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    I'd say just call ETC in the morning. There are some commands and settings that are not in the manual that they can tell you. Like you will not find deep clear in the manual (basically factory reset-- it's hold 789 on startup then reboot and it will be reset).

    Even if the only way to disable it is hardware they will probably tell you how to do it even if they don't recommend doing it yourself. They seem pretty open and easygoing (I recently had a small nightmare with our express... of course 2 days before a show that I had a trainee LD and TD on (I was the senior TD))
     
  13. ScottH

    ScottH Member

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    Its not like the thing is even under warranty anymore. If you are confident in your electronic skills, i'd say crack it open and see if theres a ribbon cable to pull.
     
  14. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yeah.....about that. Whether its under warranty or not you really shouldn't go opening up a board unless you have the know how to not only fix what's inside but identify any problems while you're there. You never know when you'll knock something off that was important.

    ETC is very reliable when it comes to getting things fixed and helping you out in any situation. There is no reason to open up a board without calling them and consoulting them first. Period.

    I've called them on old school architecule (god my spelling sucks today) controls that they haven't produced in 6+ years and gotten timely and helpful service for free.

    So basically the moral of this story is:

    Call Them: 800/688-4116.
     
  15. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    I am in agreement about not jumping right in to the process of opening the board. The question I would ask myself is "do I have permission from the board's owner". I'm not sure of what kind of institution this board is located in, but I'm assuming (possibly wrongly) it's a high school. I'm all for students taking ownership but that Express is someone's responsibility.

    I would call ETC. It could be as simple as hitting a few keys as a quick fix until you can have it serviced.
     
  16. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Spader,
    Were you able to get it working (or disabled)? If so how? With my experience with ETC it is prabably some funky key combo that nobody would ever think of.

    Speaking of funky key combos... what about some sort of running list of magic key combos for different combos? Many of those reset key sequences didn't make it in the manuals, but are VERY useful.
     
  17. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    If you trust yourself, it is easy to open the console and pull the ribbon cable connecting the trackpad to the rest of the console.

    If you own the console and want to explore this, let me know and I'll tell you more.


    Note: I have never disabled the trackpad in this manner, I cannot guarantee that this will solve your problem (though presumably reconnecting the ribbon cable would fix any issues created). I have, however, opened up an Express various times for maintenance and cleaning.
     
  18. starksk

    starksk ETC Technical Support Specialist Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Unfortunately, in this case there is no magic key combination that will disable the trackpad in software.

    While it is true that it is possible to disconnect the trackpad's ribbon cable from the main board, because of the type of communication that runs between the trackpad and the processor, you may still see the trackpad grabbing phantom levels and channels even when it is disconnected from the processor. Also, this procedure is best done by a certified technician as the circuit boards inside the Express are very sensitive to electrostatic shock.

    Your best solution, long term, would be to arrange for your console to be repaired and that trackpad replaced. Short term, you may see some resolution by disconnecting the trackpad, but it is not a practice that I would recommend as a lasting solution because it does leave active pins open on the connector that may cause unintended results.

    As it has been noted several times above, please give us a call at 800-688-4116 and we will be happy to help get you going again.
     
  19. Spader

    Spader Member

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    I actually don't remember having troubles with it the last time that I worked with it, but that was mid April. If I run into any issues when I am programming the next show in a couple of weeks I will give you guys a call.

    Thanks
     
  20. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Nice to see that we have an ETC person on here.

    You guys really should consider adding the 7,8,9 hard reset (I think you guys call at deep clear) to the manuals. I had a problem on a Friday afternoon and lost the rest of the day of programming (I emailed someone from ETC over the weekend-- they were great). Unless there is some other side-effect of doing that (other than deleting everything), I don't see why you don't provide that info.
     

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