The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Control/Dimming Expression RFU malfunction

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by quarterfront, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    So I've got the RFU-2 unit for my Expression 3 powered up and for all I know everything about it works great ('cept of course the display backlight's burned out, but that happens to, like, everybody, right?). Then I go to bring up a dimmer and realize that when I press "Dimmer" nothing happens. Lo and behold, I realize that all of the buttons on that column of keys (the far right column, with "Dimmer", "At", "Full", "F-Point" and "Level") are dead.

    Anybody else run into this? Can't imagine it's a loose wire, but hey, no sense not asking if it's an easy fix before I box it up and send it to Middleton....
     
  2. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Yes! That happened to us too, but, since our screen works, all it says is error and actually, its our entire unit. I talked to the TD at the theatre about it, and he said that when he called ETC about, they told him that most likely there was a problem when the line was run (since we plug our RFU backstage into the wall)...and eventually it would stop working...well it did. Now we just do our shows without the RFU, since apparently there's nothing to do about it. I would have someone check the wiring, maybe. (and we are also on an expression console, kind of weird, if you ask me...)
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,462
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    If either of you need a replacement, might want to look at the focus phone. It runs just like an RFU, and is wireless.

    Just throwing that out there.
     
  4. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    make sure that the little switch on the side is flipped on. Yes there is a switch on the side and it makes all the difference in the world. Also consoles sometimes do not like it when you plug in the RFU after the console is already booted i would try rebooting the console after plugging in the rfu and the switch. If that does not work, try plugging the RFU directly into the board to eliminate possible cableing problems besides the rfu cable itself. Also make sure the RFU is enabled on the console, if memory serves correctly this is an option.
     
  5. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Yeah, I've seen that switch. It's the one for turning the RFU on, so I'm aware of it. (Geez.... Dude, I've been doing this since 1984.)
    Never been a problem before, but alas, already tried that, no soap.
    Yeah, I haven't done that yet. Will give it a shot.

    Yeah, but I really LIKE my RFU-2 - After focus I leave it at the tech table. We're a theatre where the SM runs the "GO" button in performance, so he can use the "GO" on the RFU to get into the swing of cuing at the beginning of the first tech.

    Anyway, thanks to all. I'll drag my butt up to the booth and try patching it to the back of the board.
     
  6. DavidNorth

    DavidNorth ETC Rigging General Manager Premium Member Fight Leukemia Departed Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    240
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    quarterfront,

    The keys are scanned by row and column in the RFU2. If you have an entire column not responding, then most likely you either have a broken solder connection, corroded solder connection (soda spill?), or a bad input on the chip that does the scanning (same chip does row and column).

    You can either open it up and check it out or send it in to your freindly repair center. Should be a quick fix. Oh, and the backlight can be fixed too as it is almost always the HV transformer that has broken off the board from an errant drop along the way. Happens a lot and we now have a better way to keep in place for the future.

    DHSLXOP,

    Try plugging the RFU directly into the back of the console. If it works, then the facility wiring has an issue, if not then it is the RFU. Let me know exactly what the error message says and I can help you figure out what to do next.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  7. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Followup....

    Didn't figure out exactly what was wrong, but it's up and working again. I popped the backplate off of the RFU, nosed around looking for anything obviously wrong, then plugged it in to the board and found that it was working fine. Must have touched whatever was the problem connection nosing around. Will put it back in service and let it go until it fails again, then be more tactical about my diagnosis next time.

    Joy.
     
  8. Sparkinium

    Sparkinium Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    This actually reminds me of a similar problem at my high school, with our Express. All the buttons worked, but only some of the time. It was a similar setup as mentioned above where the plugin for the RFU was located backstage. It generally worked fine, but for lack of a better way to describe it, sometimes it didn't. Seemingly random characters would begin scrolling on the RFU display, and all control would be lost. Normally using the side switch to toggle the power would solve the problem, but not always. In those cases we had to try toggling power a few more times.

    Any ideas why this could happen?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice