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Control/Dimming Dumb Cabling Mistakes

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by elite1trek, May 18, 2008.

  1. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    I thought it would be amusing for people to list cableing mistakes that they (or other people on a crew) have made.

    One time this guy on my crew (who doesnt work there anymore for other reasons) made 20 edison adapters with male stagepin on one end and male edison on the other. He also flipped hot and ground on about 8 of them.

    I once ran a 32 channel audio snake from the booth, with the stagebox end at the booth, and the fanout end at the stage.
     
  2. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    Jeez, if I had a dollar for every time I ran a mic cable the wrong way around I'd be rich. I don't recall any particularly memorable cable run screw-ups, but I do remember the first time I used ACLs and blew all four of them up becuase I didn't know they needed to be run through an adapter. The LD was very patient with me that day. :oops:
     
  3. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    It's really annoying when whoever previously coiled the 100' cable you want to deploy was lazy and didn't tie it up neat and you pull the end through the wrong side, throw the cable and get a knot generator...
     
  4. musictom

    musictom Member

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    ARRGGGHHH!! There's a special place reserved in hell for those people! LOL

    tom
     
  5. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Especially when somebody screws up coiling the feeder cable...
     
  6. Clark

    Clark Member

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    In one of my jobs I work with work-study techies on campus, not all of them really have a good idea what they are doing. When striking lighting in our auditorium I usually find alot of things that just infuriate me, like:

    Cables tied, knotted, or excessively looped around batons to get rid of slack - this is especially cool when there are multiple cables involved.

    Cables supported with a fixture's safety cable, sometimes coiled and hung from a fixture's safety cable.

    Cables run in front of a fixture's lens, or close enough to touch a fixture. I especially like when we have a long row of Source-4s hung on a baton and someone runs the cabling down the tops of all the fixtures, supported by the base handle. :evil:

    Orange construction extension cords run to power lighting, this most often happens when running power to our remote DMX dimmer packs, often our highest-load cable. (I once had someone try to tell me that a 14AWG extension cord was acceptable to power 3 Source-4s. He got a stern lecture from me that I fear went right over his head.)

    Some days, I love my job ...

    Clark
     
  7. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    One mistake I made jumps to mind, even thought it was minor, it just really stuck in may side. (Somewhere around 1984)

    I was helping our sound guy out. We were making up two short 16 channel snakes (used for things like drum riser runs.) Now, I will pat myself on the back and say that when it comes to soldering I could almost do it blindfolded, so there was a bit of a challenge here. We decided to see who could assemble the fan-out end faster. I prepped my work area, set all the disassembled connectors in a row, he prepped his. We both started to work. Of course I finished first, to which he noted- "Would have helped if you had put the connector shells on first!"
     
  8. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Oh yeah if I had a dollar for each time I've done this I'd be rich - same with heat shrink tubing...
     
  9. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I took 40' of fiber curtain to a job and didn't check to make sure the ties were in place when I was pulling the equipment out of inventory. The last renter had removed them and no one checked when it came back. So we had to cut 40 odd pieces of twine from the local hardware and re-do them. Added another hour to the in. I wasn't happy. And I had to pay for the twine, too.
     
  10. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    I've got a few good ones:

    When I was in training I turned on the board and spent several minutes trying to figure out why it wasn't controling the lights. Then asked head tech who picks up DMX cable that was laying on the floor... Never heard the end of that one.

    Making twist and lock extension cords-- First few times I did it I thought you had to take out the screws holding the (don't remember what its called) little pieces that you take out when you use a thicker cable, then try putting those screws back in after finishing putting the rest of the cable together. I got to redo quite a few... long day.

    Other favorite. Teaching trainees how to make a cable tell the 15 times to slide the end piece on the cable first, then forget to do it myself. In fact I tend to screw up a lot while training people-- usually on something I've told them 15 times.
     
  11. tgates

    tgates Member

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    Oh, I've made plenty, some serious, some trivial. The one that I remember most for just being just plain stupid was at a small beach show. The FOH position is about 100 feet away from the stage. The sound guys had dug a trench in the sand already, I just threw in my line and they buried it all back up as we set up the evening before. We did focus that night from on stage, packed everything we didn't need and sent the truck away.

    When I came in the afternoon the next day, the show was already running, having started in the morning. I unpacked my board at the front of house, dug my cable out from the sound guy's pile and went to plug my board in. It's then I realized I was holding a female 5-pin connector in my hand...
     
  12. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    That's easy to fix, just get a soldering iron or gender changer.
    -
    On the the other hand, if you ended up with the video dept's BNC that would be a problem.
     
  13. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Aggg! Beach Shows! Did one years ago. "Dancing on Air", I think it was. Set up the night before, buried the cables, went home. Sometime in the early morning they came through with a beach rake! All our cables were gone!

    Almost forgot that one... Not sure I am happy about remembering it!
     
  14. tgates

    tgates Member

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    Heh, that reminds me of a recent show I did before I left my last company. We were doing an outdoor power distro, downtown San Diego the night before the event. We finished up, and my boss was kind enough to the crew out for dinner (it was just a few of us). We come back.. and my boss points to a 12/5 connector on the ground, wondering why it isn't going anywhere. I stare at it a moment and realize that all the camloc next to it was unplugged too.

    A second latter it dawns on us... the reason it was all unplugged that in the hour we we gone, someone had stolen 50 feet of camloc (250 feet total) and 150 feet of 12/5.. right in the middle of the run, with a guard on duty not 100 feet away.
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Scrap copper currently trading at 2.98/pound USD. So if it was 4/0, that's just under $750 for 250 pounds of material.

    Even leaving it live doesn't seem to work. Story here.
     
  16. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    That's big in PA. Recently, a carnival company here had all of their feeds taken. For those who don't know about the carnival business, that represents several thousand feet of 4/0. Those companies are very vulnerable to that as they are set up outdoors a week at a time. Outdoor shows are a pain! Between wind, rain, and theft, my stomach used to cringe every time we booked for one.
     
  17. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of people stealing the wire out of stadium light poles by opening the access door in the bottom and ripping it out with their trucks. They tried leaving the lights on a random schedule throughout the night but it was too expensive.
     
  18. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Detroit is king when it comes to copper theives. No one is safe. I still thank God no one realize my car was full of copper cable when my high school rented an auditorium downtown.
     
  19. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    This was published in February this year:

    Derbyshire Police are looking for a "badly scorched" wannabe copper cable thief who decided it was a lucrative idea to hacksaw through an 11,000V power line, Reuters reports.

    Almost 800 residents in the village of Creswell were blacked out on Saturday night for several hours after the bright spark made his pitch for Darwin Award glory. Cops found said hacksaw embedded in the cable, and a lit blowtorch at the scene, but no sign of the high-voltage perp.

    Full story here

    You have to wonder about some people...
     
  20. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Did they look around for a small pile of carbon?
    ;)
     

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