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Control/Dimming Lights - dim to full and sometimes won't shut off

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by aloralis, May 8, 2009.

  1. aloralis

    aloralis Member

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    OK. I'm working with an old NSI Board and two four channel NSI Dimmer Packs. These things have been in storage for a while but I'm told were in good working condition.
    The problem is that our lights are not doing as told. We try to fade them up slowly and they will suddenly pop to full brightness. We try to dim them out and they stay on, maybe a minute later shutting off. The odd thing is that it's not the same channels doing it every time. It's killing our light design.
    So, is it the board? We have two NSI boards and they are both doing it. Is it the dimmers? One thing to note. The dimmers are far from the electrical outlet so I'm having to plug the each dimmer to an extension cord and feeding that to the outlet. Could this be the issue?
    My director/ designer is very good at what she does but is embarrassed at how our show is looking.

    Please help.

    A.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  2. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    Some more information might be useful.... such as what is the load (lamp wattage) on each output of the packs. Also what model of dimmer packs and boards?

    If there is enough load, the extension cord could be an issue. How long is the extension? What gauge?

    A "simple" test to see if the extension cord is the problem: move the dimmer and lights next to an outlet, and see if you still have the problem.

    -Fred
     
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  3. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    the NSI boards are often powered from the Dimer packs over the data cable. If the run is long enough, you may need to use an external power supply for the board. Typically, a generic power supply can come from radio shack or other local big box store.
     
  4. aloralis

    aloralis Member

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    fredthe,

    The extension cord leading to the outlet is a 50' in length and is 16 gauge. The lights I'm using are low wattage (100W). We used the same lights a year ago with a different set of dimmer packs and boards and had no problems. Two differences being, the equipment from last year was newer and I was able to plug the packs straight into the outlet. I will try the "simple" test. (and feel pretty moronic for not doing that first). I have to look up the model numbers of the dimmer packs and boards.

    jonliles,

    The board is getting it's power from the dimmer pack. There was an external power source included in the bin of equipment. When I first tried it, it seemed to mess up the board but perhaps I should look at this again.
     
  5. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    On the older NSI boards, make sure you do a memory reset (process varies by board). This will prevent ghost signals....Don't forget to keep those stupid cell phones away from all data sources as well!
     
  6. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Before I forget, BillESC is in Virginia, he's a priceless resource for equip...
     
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  7. aloralis

    aloralis Member

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    Looking online, the board looks identical to an NSI MC 7008. Any thoughts on memory reset for this one. I pulled up the manual but it does not mention it.
     
  8. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Follow the support link on their website for the board here on NSI's website. They helped me out with my MC7524.

    Also, check out page 8 of the Manual. You may need to program each of the "Scene Masters" to a zero value. This is fairly simple, and you are essentially over writing what is pre-existing in the Non-Volatile Ram. If I remember correctly, the instructions are screen printed on the bottom of the board.

    If that still does not work, you might be able to get the local electronics shop to clean the pot's. Or return it to NSI for "overhaul." They've quoted me fair prices for the repair of my board.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
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  9. aloralis

    aloralis Member

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    The dimmers were the issue. We changed dimmers and the issue stopped. Thank you for all your help. This is a great forum.

    A.
     

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