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Control/Dimming Leviton / NSI problems

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Oh Well, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Oh Well

    Oh Well Member

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    I'm hoping that someone can help troublshhoot a problem our church is having with a Leviton MC 7016 console and 3 or 4 NSI dimmers. Quite often the lights seem to have a mind of their own and will come on or go out regardless of what the console is calling for. This system uses a microplex data link rather that DMX. I've contacted Leviton but no response so far. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. T.P.Tucker
     
  2. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    I think these are starting to get a bit of a reputation!

    Without more information, I can only recommend the "usual suspects."
    1) Make sure no one is using mic cord in the system. (Although I believe these come with the 5 pin connectors.)
    2) Make sure your line is terminated at the end.
    3) Make sure all your dimmers and controller have the same common ground.
    4) Check to make sure all your connectors are seated and in good condition.

    One thing to try might be to switch over to DMX mode and see if things get better. Is the problem from one pack, or all the dimmer packs? Try simplifying the problem by disconnecting all but one dimmer. Are things better or worse? How new or old is this system?

    The likely problem would be associated with one of the following areas:
    1) Noise / ground loop in data cable.
    2) Pack is not parsing the data at the right speed. (hardware failure)
    3) Board is putting out data off speed. (hardware failure)
     
  3. Oh Well

    Oh Well Member

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    Very good advice. Thanks Is switching from microplex to DMX an easy task and why would anyone choose microplex over dmx. A cost advantage? I am also hoping to find a Leviton distributor in the Dayton Ohio area to borrow or rent a leviton console to confirm or elliminate the console as being the source of the problem. You mentioned that the line should be terminated at the end. Would this be the same as a typical DMX terminator?
     
  4. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I suspect one of your cables has a bad neutral solder joint. When dimmer packs begin to have a "mind of their own" I've often found that to be the cause.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Leviton/NSI dealers within 20 miles of Dayton, OH:

    THE HATHAWAYS 4086 KEMP ROAD BEAVER CREEK, OH, 45431 Distance: 6.57 miles Phone Number: N/A Web Site: N/A

    [​IMG]
    SOUND FORCE 1857 WAYNE AVE DAYTON, OH, 45410 Distance: 7.23 miles Phone Number: (937) 256-6200 Web Site: N/A

    [​IMG]
    ACE MUSIC SUPER STORE 723 WATERVILIET ST DAYTON, OH, 45410 Distance: 7.23 miles Phone Number: (937) 253-4318 Web Site: N/A

    [​IMG]
    MCSI 4750 HEMPSTEAD STATION DR DAYTON, OH, 45429 Distance: 11.26 miles Phone Number: N/A Web Site: N/A

    [​IMG]
    NATIONAL SOUND AND LIGHTING 11 NORTH ELMS ST WEST CARROLLTON, OH, 45449 Distance: 14.59 miles Phone Number: (937) 384-7041 Web Site: N/A

    [​IMG]
    PRO GEAR WAREHOUSE 1026 MITCHELL BLVD SPRINGFIELD, OH, 45503 Distance: 19.56 miles Phone Number: (937) 324-8800 Web Site: N/A


    "...bad neutral solder joint" in a DMX/Microplex cable? Of DataTrue(pin3), DataCompliment(pin2), and Ground(pin1); which would be considered the neutral?
     
  6. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Although I am rather neutral on the issue, my bet would be on pin 1 ;)

    Just don't ground the "ground" because that would be a "bad thing." (Pin 1 should never be jumped to the shell or case.)
     
  7. quarterfront

    quarterfront Member

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    Don't want to throw in a red herring or anything, but just one quickie line of questioning....

    Are the instruments powered by the misbehaving dimmers very low wattage? What is the load that the misbehaving dimmers are seeing?
     
  8. Oh Well

    Oh Well Member

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    Thanks for everyones quick response. Being as I have to drive 6 hours to help these folks out I most definitely want to be "armed " with as much information as possible. The list of local dealers may allow us to use a loaner console. Thanks again and if anyone else has any more input feel free. I won't be making this trip until Sept 16,17,18. T.P.Tucker
     
  9. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    I recently had a problem with NSI dimmers similar to this. The dimmers at this particular venue would come on and off. It was confined to just a few dimmers. After dealing with it for a while, and trying multiple cables, I soldered some new SCRs on the boards, and they worked fine ever since. But that was only 2 dimmers, if your problems are across alot of different dimmers, then its probably not that.

    You can get SCRs ordered at your local theatrical dealer, they are relatively cheap, just tell them the model and they should be able to order it from Leviton (who is definitely not the easiest company to work with).
     
  10. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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