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HELP! I need a quick fix!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by hans44, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. hans44

    hans44 Member

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    My school is running a Lehigh Millenium dimmer board, using DMX 512 wiring. We have multiple juniors and borders, and a few 6" Shakespeare Ellipsoidals.

    I HAVE checked the Channel <> Dimmer mapping options and setup, so don't say that that is the problem.

    Dimmer 52 doesn't work. Channel 52 is patched to Dimmer 52, and that is it. Raising 52 to 100% does nothing. 52 will occasionally flash "01" or "02".

    Here's the freaky thing: Whenever I raise Channel 51 to 100% (nothing mapped but Dimmer 51), 52 goes to 98%/99% and parks. I'm thinking short circuit or tripped breaker.

    Any Suggestions?
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Are you getting all of these numbers from your lighting board? As in when you hit Channel 52 your screen you see it flickering between 98% and 99% or 01 and 02.

    I don't quite understand your question. Is this problem that the dimmer is not being told to turn on or that the board is not telling it to turn on? Where are you getting these level numbers from?
     
  3. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    sounds like the patching is off, though it says its not. and or the label of the circiut is wrong. and dumb question but its happened to me, you sure the instrument works?
     
  4. EPAC_Matt

    EPAC_Matt Member

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    I've never used a Lehigh Millenium board, so I'm not sure if this will work -- but do you have a dimmer check button/function on the board? On other boards, you can test an individual dimmer by typing 'Dimmer 52 at 100' or similar.

    When you say 52 goes to 98/99%, does the screen (I'm assuming the Millenium has a screen?) tell you that 52 is at that level or do you just see the light go on?

    If you're typing "51 @ FULL ENTER" and 52 begins to act up, it could be a software issue with your board. Software issues are tricky to troubleshoot, as many different things could lead to failure such as unstable RAM or a partial EEPROM firmware memory failure.
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Could also just be a bad dimmer card or connection within the dimmer to it. If it's possible to swap individual dimmer cards, that is where I would start.
     
  6. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Is DMX terminated properly? Sounds like a goofy issue that could be a result of this.

    Not sure how your dimmer system works or where you're getting these numbers. Blowing out and reseating dimmers would be another good place to start as ship mentioned...
     
  7. hans44

    hans44 Member

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    The MilleniumML board available here has a computer monitor and a Windows 95 interface. (You can download the offline editor for free if you want to see what I mean).

    The actual board has 96 dimmers in 2 rows of 48. Pushing dimmer 52 up to full does nothing, while pushing dimmer 51 raises 51 to full and 52 to 98/99.

    I will (hopefully) have 15 minutes tonight to debug the wiring, so I hope that these suggestions are helpful

    Thanks!
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I had a channel that went up and down by itself on our Scenemaster 60 plus, it turned out that the fader was broken.
     
  9. DJErik07

    DJErik07 Active Member

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    We had a dimmer channel acting wierd. It turned out someone played with the dipswitches that assigned the channel during that weekend. It just messed up the patching. Check those.
     
  10. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    If you are comptent in electronics and allowed to, I would open up the lighting desk and check around slider 51, 52 to see if there any bad joints, loose wire, short circuits etc. Does the board work in two preset mode as well as wide. If it does I would try the faders you have been using it in two preset mode. This would probably make the faders control channels 3 and 4. If you have the same problem controlling the lights connected to channels 3 and 4 then it is a hardware problem around those faders.
     
  11. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with cutlunch. It sounds like you have some wires that shorted out and/or crossed somewhere near the slider. I had a similar problem with the grandmaster of a bad American DJ board.

    If you are capable doing it, open up the board and check the connections and resistance in the sliders of channel 51 and 52. If not, try to get an electrician or someone who knows about the board to look at it. It sounds like if someone replaces the two sliders, your problem should be solved.
     
  12. squigish

    squigish Member

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    This is something that I have noticed on my ETC Idea 24 board, but sometimes the patch readout on the CRT monitor lies, especially when dealing with proportional patching (e.g patch dimmer 38 to channel 23 @ 74 percent).

    If you haven't already done this, try re-entering the patch for the affected channels, even if it seems like it's doing nothing.
     
  13. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    I really dont know if this is reccomended or not, but you might want to take a lightly sucking vacuum cleaner and run it over the sliders on your board to pull out anything that might be caught in there. A dustbuster might work well for this. HOWEVER I am not sure if this is something that could inadvertantly dammage your board or not.

    (the way we cleaned our old lighing board was to take nearly pure alchohol (provided by the science department) and wet cue tips with it, and run them up and down inside the sliders..... not sure if this is a good idea... the alchohol evaportated really quickly.... the Tech advisor at my school told us to do it, and the science department said to go ahead with it so we did it and the board worked fine aftewards. I AM BY NO MEANS SUGGESTING ANYONE DO THIS!!!! )
     
  14. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Given this - I would follow the suggestion made by cutlunch and run the desk in preset mode to see if the fault still exists. I not that this desk has "16 user definable dimmer profiles” and whilst you have said that the patching is 1:1, you may just want to look at this feature.

    If not - you could always contact the manufacturer. I noticed that they have a FAQ section, even if it doesn't seem to be widely used.

    Systematic cleaning of the desk is something that has already been raised and if your school is not already doing this, now might be a good time to start. Check with those in charge as for a lighting desk this type of thing is not too difficult to do. Peter – you may want to get your school to spring for a can of contact cleaner/lubricant. Much easier and cleaner than using cue tips and it also lubricates as well. Alcohol, whilst washing away dust and dirt, also removes the lubrication between the resistive material and the wiper, which may cause increased wear.
     
  15. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Sorry - had to post this from the Lehigh site (in reference to their offline editor):

    Note: Do Not attempt to install the "console" version of the software (below) on to a PC. This software will alter registry settings and other configurations to windows. It will take control of your system. Use only the "Offline" version. However, if you do mistakenly install the console software contact using the email below and we can assist you in recovering your system.

    I was wondering what would happen when it took over your computer?
    1. your screen saver strobes?
    2. your house lights chase, whilst the fridge light stays on?
    3. world domination?
     
  16. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    I really doubt the school would spring for something like that.... but no big worries, our new equipment has covers that keep the faders quite clean. thanks for the tip though
     
  17. hans44

    hans44 Member

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    I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but the system is only 2 years old and has only been used for 4 major produtions (2 fall plays, 2 spring musicals including next weekend [Seussical])
     
  18. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    has it been exposed/stored where junk could get into the faders? You are the one with the best view of if you think that something may be in there or not, it's just one of the possibilties that could be causing your trouble.
     
  19. hans44

    hans44 Member

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    I checked the channels, and the ACTUAL lights and dimmers themselves work fine. I am 99% certain that it is the physical faders themselves, so I am requesting to the choral teacher (who is in charge of the booth equipment) that this summer we send the board.

    Thanx to all who submitted ideas!
     
  20. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    prolly just whacks hklm\software\windows\currentversion\run. Would be happy to load it and find out if soemone sends me a link to the download.

    wouldn't be concerned much at all if you know a thing or two about windows. It quite honestly is rather difficult to permanently trash a system if you knwo enough to a) predict what has or will be changed and b) undo this.

    Sort of like Strand's line on their custom hardware and it only works with their model and yack yack yack. Dropped in a 20 dollar NIC rather than theirs which is probably 10X the cost, did a bit of tinkering with DOS config files and I'm a happy camper. Just a matter of knowing which buttons to push. Of course I wouldn't advocate doing this without someone around who knows their way around a DOS prompt. Just have to find myself a short form factor single or dual head PCI video card so I can have two or three screens on the thing. <g>
     

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