Control/Dimming House Lights Messed up

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Robotdjman, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Robotdjman

    Robotdjman Member

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    Hey guys, I help run the lights at my school and we have had some recent issues with our house lights. When we try to control the house lights via the light board or via the light control switches throughout the Auditorium they dont respond in anyway. They remain on and refuse to listen to anything. We checked out lighting network and found out that even when the light network is totally off, they still remain on. I have a feeling that our house light dimmers (Philip's optio dimmers) just are not connected to the lighting network. To add onto that our moving head lights move to a weird position (instead of their base position) anytime the console is turned off, which leaves me to believe there is come dmx command that is being sent through the network. Any help is much appreciated!!
     
  2. Calc

    Calc Active Member

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    Hello, and welcome to ControlBooth! Stop on over to the New Members forum to introduce yourself if you're hanging around!

    Firstly, stay safe- dimmer racks contain dangerous amounts of current, so poking around a dimmer rack should only be done by someone who 100% knows what they're doing. I'd involve at least a teacher or other school employee- both to back you up if something IS broken, and to help keep things safe for everyone.

    I'm not familiar with your dimmers, but I know the failure mode for some dimmers is to push everything to full (for occupancy safety) in case of a failure. I'd also check if your system is tied in to any other emergency system- There is a 'panic' function in most dimmers that forces house lighting to full in the case of a fire alarm, etc.

    To help further, we'll need more info on the whole system- you mention lighting network, but what kind? Manufacturer? The more info you can give us, the more likely someone here will know the answer.

    Welcome to the Booth!
     
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  3. Robotdjman

    Robotdjman Member

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    Thanks so much for the quick response! I will look into the safety system and let the school know! Unfortunately myself and a fellow student are the most knowledgeable about both the lighting and sound networks. Out school has a Pathport Quatro connected to a Cisco network switch, with a UPS all on the same wall rack. We have shut down both the light board and pathport network but the lights still remain on. So I think that it might be the saftey system you were talking about. The school district cut the power to the while auditorium, the turned it back on restarting everything inside. This is about when the issues came up. One more thing I forgot to mention above is that we have 2 dimmers, on for each side of the house. One dimmer (based on the status LEDs on the dimmer) says that I should "Check console for DMX output.
    Check the data cable". The other one (according to the LEDs) is working as normal, yet it doesnt listen to any commands. Also I have the manual File I have been referring to below! Thanks for your help!
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Sounds like they dunked your dimmers when they cut power to everything. Hopefully they didn’t blow them.
     
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  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Or it sounds like the DMX signal to the address of the house light dimmer is stuck high after a 'Trouble' alert from the central controller. That is to say it may not be 'Tanked' it may simply need a reset.
     
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  6. Robotdjman

    Robotdjman Member

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    Yeah that's what we were thinking, there is a wacky signal on the network that is causing the moving heads to point in a weird direction and not returning to their origin when the light console is turned off
     
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  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Does anyone about have a DMXter or some form of tester that would allow you to read the signals currently on the DMX network?
     
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  8. Robotdjman

    Robotdjman Member

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    Yesterday I used the pathport software and used the tester that showed the traffic, but nothing from the console seemed to show up, even the lights that respond to the light board (on stage dimmers and LEDs) weren't showing up on the display. I'll check again once I get access to the network again.
     
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  9. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    Is there perhaps a keyed wall switch hidden somewhere? I wonder if there's a bypass switch so that the house lights can be flicked on without needing the console.

    Alternatively, I too will bet on the idea that a "trouble" condition is sending out a signal for things to turn on.
     
  10. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Since the problem occurred after a power interruption, it could be a microprocessor in the dimmer rack that woke up wrong. I would turn off the power to the dimmer rack for a few seconds to see if a reboot corrects it.
     
  11. jordandare

    jordandare Member

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    After looking at the manual, I'm betting a panic input was tripped by something (you said they cut the power at some point) might be from cutting the power, might be an emergency lighting system.

    It could also be a power-up preset, but the preset would be overridden by DMX/PathPort input as far as I know.

    Your best bet would be to have the school look into the safety system and/or obtain the original wiring documentation.

    But PLEASE don't touch the dimmer system yourself unless you have school staff and/or a trained professional(that has approval from the school) with you. You can easily injure or kill yourself on these things if you aren't careful.

    Here is a link to the manual for the dimming system: http://www.ca.lightingproducts.sign...ilips Controls/PDF/85-6256_IG.OPT_120-277.pdf
     
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  12. JAC

    JAC Active Member

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    Regarding your moving lights, many DMX controlled devices have a "do this when DMX is lost" function. "Do this" might be "go to full," or "go to zero," or "go to X position," or even "keep doing what you're doing." Hard to be more specific without knowing what fixture you have, but this might be consistent with having lost DMX signal.
     
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  13. Robotdjman

    Robotdjman Member

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    I will definitely pass that on to our district. From what I can tell there was nothing during that day that should have caused this signal but it could have gone off without anyone noticing. Thanks!

    Yeah I definitely agree. I am trying to get the school to bring someone in to restart the auditorium. Unfortunately no one at the school can do it, a special person from the district has to. Thanks!

    Like you said I think that it was some sort of panic signal that has caused them to enter this state, and I was thinking the same thing about the DMX override. I thought that if they are programmed to turn everything on when they boot, it could be taken over by the pathport network. Our pathport network has switches throughout the auditorium to allow easy access to the lights without the light board. They can turn on different sections and will even override the console if they are not set to OFF. Also, we have expressed great caution with the lighting dimmers and have only turned off breakers to continue with the scheduled events. Thanks so much for you help!!!

    Before the house lights went crazy, the moving heads would return to 0,0,0 when they weren't told to do anything like when the console was off. Now 3 of the moving heads point 1 direction, and the last one points another directions (we have a total of 4 moving heads in the house). From what I could tell something on the network is telling them to do some weird stuff. I am going to check the network traffic when I get the chance. Thanks for your help!


    Again thanks all for your help! I am going to try and see if I could get a screenshot of the lighting network's traffic. Thanks again guys, this is an amazing community!
     
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  14. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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    If the console is sending data to the Quattro, the LEDs will be solid green; not flashing. If amber, the Quattro isn’t configured for output. Using the dial, rolling to Port A-D, you should see Active DMX. Check which UNIV it’s set to receive. Simple patches to full universes can be changed via the front dial. If you see the patch has some sort of custom name (i.e., FOH) don’t use the front dial to change it; only use Pathscape.

    On the main screen, (not Port A-D), push in and see if configured to Rx sACN, or Pathport, or Shownet or ArtNet. It can receive any or all simultaneously.

    If Pathscape’s DataScope is not seeing data, you either have a switch issue or the console’s outputs are disabled. Try pinging the console. Cisco switches are not fun.
     
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  15. jordandare

    jordandare Member

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    Another thing I would do is create a diagram of how you have things setup. That might help with troubleshooting if you can logically follow it with a diagram. Here's an example of ours:
    DMX.png
     
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