Phillips Strand Lighting Board Audio Device Failure Error?

Sargent01

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Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
So I work at a high school and we have a phillips strand lighting board (Im an ETC person and this board is awful in my opinion) we have had nothing but trouble with it since I got here (they've had the board for several years and I only got here last August but they never really new how to use it, they only used the LED strip lights.) The orchestra was using the auditorium this weekend and when choir came in to use the stage this morning the board had no control over any of the lighting. We had no control over work lights (run by panels on stage left and right) and none of our lights will turn on. I restarted the board, and got this message
"Failed to start the audio input device! Please check that you have the latest divers installed, Cant open audio device. -2-2"
I have never seen this message before and neither has anyone else that I have asked. Has anyone seen this or know what to do to fix it?
I tried loading other shows and its only loading the same patch sheet. I tried unplugging and shutting everything down and I keep getting the same error.
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
First off Hello and welcome... second buckle up because here we go!

So so many questions... but let's start with... What console are we looking at exactly here? I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess maybe a Neo based on loading shows and calling it a Phillips Strand? Next, are you using audio input and do you need it? What software version is the console and what's the latest stable software version available?

Next, the lights controlled by panels on the side of the stage are likely not controlling your console, but an architecture processor of some type? maybe unrelated, maybe related. Are we talking DMX, sACN, what's the situation there?
 

Sargent01

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Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
First off Hello and welcome... second buckle up because here we go!

So so many questions... but let's start with... What console are we looking at exactly here? I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess maybe a Neo based on loading shows and calling it a Phillips Strand? Next, are you using audio input and do you need it? What software version is the console and what's the latest stable software version available?

Next, the lights controlled by panels on the side of the stage are likely not controlling your console, but an architecture processor of some type? maybe unrelated, maybe related. Are we talking DMX, sACN, what's the situation there?

Yes,

So, We are using a Neo.
To my knowledge we are not using an audio input. We did run a show with qlab off the mac in the booth a few weeks ago (is that what the board cant find?)
Software 3.8.0 Build 202 (which is the latest to my knowledge)

Correct the lights controlled by the panels do not control the board. I think its just DMX I've included a picture of the panels if that helps ( I know the pictures suck, I have zero light back stage). The panels should control work lights, ROS, and house lights, none of which are responding to anything.
 

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MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Yes,

So, We are using a Neo.
To my knowledge we are not using an audio input. We did run a show with qlab off the mac in the booth a few weeks ago (is that what the board cant find?)
Software 3.8.0 Build 202 (which is the latest to my knowledge)

Correct the lights controlled by the panels do not control the board. I think its just DMX I've included a picture of the panels if that helps ( I know the pictures suck, I have zero light back stage). The panels should control work lights, ROS, and house lights, none of which are responding to anything.
Now we're getting somewhere!

So that looks to be a vision net for your architectural control. Your Neo can/should be able to talk to the same things it talks to.

We can spend all day guessing and hemming and hawing at what might be the issue, but without knowing your setup and being there your best bet might be to go straight to the mother ship and give them a call Call: +1 214 647 7880

the initial guess is a software/networking hiccup... but I'd jump on the phone and get them started on it.
 

MNicolai

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I would contact Strand's tech support phone number. You're not going to find many people on here who can help aside from offering generic troubleshooting advice. The Neo is not a particularly popular console so it's harder to find people with direct knowledge of specific errors.
 
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Sargent01

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
I would contact Strand's tech support phone number. You're not going to find many people on here who can help aside from offering generic troubleshooting advice. The Neo is not a particularly popular console so it's harder to find people with direct knowledge of specific errors.
Yes, unfortunately just not in a position to be able to call right now.

I'm also trying to convince the school district to get me a different board because this one is nothing but trouble. And theres no info online about it because no one uses it because its pretty much trash. (in my humble opinon)
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Yes, unfortunately just not in a position to be able to call right now.

I'm also trying to convince the school district to get me a different board because this one is nothing but trouble. And theres no info online about it because no one uses it because its pretty much trash. (in my humble opinon)
It has its uses, but you have to use it. The fact that your whole system is built around the Strand architecture, may be a reason to keep it that way. I've only dabled on the NEO and for what it can do it's pretty nifty, but you have to live in the Strand world. Don't think of it as ETC does this I want that.... If you're comfortable with the pallettes or even our Aussie friends and the Jands Vista then it's as familiar and comfortable as EOS.... sort of.

Being in Houston if you have a friend or are looking to make one over at the Alley, they are some of the best sparkies I've worked with over the years and their programmers are top notch. Might be worth reaching out to someone local for some help.
 

JohnD

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north central OK
Sorry, I have to ask is "dreamsolutions.biz" really the support addy for Strand?
 

Sargent01

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
It has its uses, but you have to use it. The fact that your whole system is built around the Strand architecture, may be a reason to keep it that way. I've only dabled on the NEO and for what it can do it's pretty nifty, but you have to live in the Strand world. Don't think of it as ETC does this I want that.... If you're comfortable with the pallettes or even our Aussie friends and the Jands Vista then it's as familiar and comfortable as EOS.... sort of.

Being in Houston if you have a friend or are looking to make one over at the Alley, they are some of the best sparkies I've worked with over the years and their programmers are top notch. Might be worth reaching out to someone local for some help.
Question for you, (or anyone who reads this)

I never really used palettes, and I'm really just having a hard time with the interface (which I know probably sounds stupid). I have found since I've been trying to learn this one on the fly that it is not as intuitive as ETC boards seem to be to me. No one really knows how to use this board and because of that I know we arent using it to even a 1/4 of its abilities. You're right in saying that our lights were build for strand system, most of our lekos are phillips (the ones that can change barrel size, its very weird to me) and our strip lights on our electrics are phillips (although I've heard some rumors that those may be getting replaced (though I dont know why because they work just fine)). Do you think it is worth the time for me and the other director to keep fighting with this board? and trying to learn its tips and tricks? I know all these lights will also work with an ETC board which is what we'll have access to on our traveling shows (wer're the only school in our district with the phillips board everyone else has ETC) and I dont know all the tricks of an etc board but I do know more of them than I do of this NEO so I would already be able to help/teach more.

I do not currently know anyone at the Alley but I do know some people who know people so I might be able to make that work this summer if they're open to teaching me or allowing me to shadow.
 

MRW Lights

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Location
NYC
Question for you, (or anyone who reads this)

I never really used palettes, and I'm really just having a hard time with the interface (which I know probably sounds stupid). I have found since I've been trying to learn this one on the fly that it is not as intuitive as ETC boards seem to be to me. No one really knows how to use this board and because of that I know we arent using it to even a 1/4 of its abilities. You're right in saying that our lights were build for strand system, most of our lekos are phillips (the ones that can change barrel size, its very weird to me) and our strip lights on our electrics are phillips (although I've heard some rumors that those may be getting replaced (though I dont know why because they work just fine)). Do you think it is worth the time for me and the other director to keep fighting with this board? and trying to learn its tips and tricks? I know all these lights will also work with an ETC board which is what we'll have access to on our traveling shows (wer're the only school in our district with the phillips board everyone else has ETC) and I dont know all the tricks of an etc board but I do know more of them than I do of this NEO so I would already be able to help/teach more.

I do not currently know anyone at the Alley but I do know some people who know people so I might be able to make that work this summer if they're open to teaching me or allowing me to shadow.
Let's try it this way... ETC vs Strand is like American English vs British English. Same language and we can communicate... quite different linguistics. It is definitely a brain split. I am a diehard ETC tech and have dabbled in becoming a field service tech so they are my first love. That being said branches of the career and touring have brought Strand across my path. I grew up rebuilding lens tubes to get field angles and I've battled the Strand language more times than I care to remember. Does it work for you... maybe. Can you learn it? DEFINITELY! Is it as easy as ETC... "Yes"... as long as you're thinking Strand and not ETC. There is also the now ETC Hog control which is an entirely other language and the once-loved Martin world that would toss the cookies of any seasoned ETC programmer.... the list is pretty extensive over the history of dmx control consoles, but at the end of the day, they all make light.
 

aeh20s

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Northern Virgina
Question for you, (or anyone who reads this)

I do not currently know anyone at the Alley but I do know some people who know people so I might be able to make that work this summer if they're open to teaching me or allowing me to shadow.
Another suggestion would be to contact Strand dealers in your area to see if they provide training.
 

microstar

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Jan 19, 2014
Location
Lawton, OK
You've got major players like LD Systems and 4Wall as Strand dealers in Houston. Both have service personnel. If you don't have time to call Strand, then you will have to get the powers that be
to throw money at the situation and get a tech out there. It won't fix itself. Have you looked at the dimmer rack processor for any error messages?
 

Lynnchesque

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Location
East Bay, CA
Weird. Have you restarted the architectural panel system as well? Did someone pop a breaker during the last rehearsal?

It bums me out when Neo sucks. Lightfactory (the pc software that neo is based on) always did alright for me. Heads up on contacting them, [email protected] / dreamsolutions.biz , they are located in New Zealand iirc, so they'll take a minute to get back to you.

On the tangent though, "I'm an ETC guy" will get you far.. until you run into a GrandMA.. being able to figure out different tech is a good skill to have. The school may have new ETC boards, the community theater group that wants to pay for your help will have an Elation DJ board.
 

Sargent01

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
Let's try it this way... ETC vs Strand is like American English vs British English. Same language and we can communicate... quite different linguistics. It is definitely a brain split. I am a diehard ETC tech and have dabbled in becoming a field service tech so they are my first love. That being said branches of the career and touring have brought Strand across my path. I grew up rebuilding lens tubes to get field angles and I've battled the Strand language more times than I care to remember. Does it work for you... maybe. Can you learn it? DEFINITELY! Is it as easy as ETC... "Yes"... as long as you're thinking Strand and not ETC. There is also the now ETC Hog control which is an entirely other language and the once-loved Martin world that would toss the cookies of any seasoned ETC programmer.... the list is pretty extensive over the history of dmx control consoles, but at the end of the day, they all make light.
Haha, when they introduced Hog control at USITT all of my lighting design friends nearly died.

Thank you, that is a very helpful analogy.
 

Sargent01

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Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
Another suggestion would be to contact Strand dealers in your area to see if they provide training.
Of the one I know (they've kinda taken over the area from any other companies in the last years is what I'm gathering (I just moved back to Houston from Chicago) and I dont think they do, but they work direct with my schools so I'll look into it thanks!!
 

Sargent01

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Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
Weird. Have you restarted the architectural panel system as well? Did someone pop a breaker during the last rehearsal?

It bums me out when Neo sucks. Lightfactory (the pc software that neo is based on) always did alright for me. Heads up on contacting them, [email protected] / dreamsolutions.biz , they are located in New Zealand iirc, so they'll take a minute to get back to you.

On the tangent though, "I'm an ETC guy" will get you far.. until you run into a GrandMA.. being able to figure out different tech is a good skill to have. The school may have new ETC boards, the community theater group that wants to pay for your help will have an Elation DJ board.
Yeah.....for those of you who havent guessed yet. Lighting was not my first passion in theatre. I focused on Technical Direction at DePaul. My lighting knowledge stops at about hanging/focusing/cabling/basic networking/basic programing and board op. I've shadowed people working on a GrandMA and thats wild.

Thanks for the heads up on where they are located, that makes a lot more sense. As for the arch panel system, the panels are non responsive...so I wouldnt be able to turn them off even if I knew how to.

You've got major players like LD Systems and 4Wall as Strand dealers in Houston. Both have service personnel. If you don't have time to call Strand, then you will have to get the powers that be
to throw money at the situation and get a tech out there. It won't fix itself. Have you looked at the dimmer rack processor for any error messages?
HAHAHAH, my district is using Techland for most of our theatrical needs now (we were using broadway works but they has led to all of these problems) I'll have to make time to call strand after school one day I just dont have time to do it while im in class.
I would have loved to check the dimmmer rack, and in any other situation I would have. But I dont have access to our dimmer racks. They are in a locked electrical closet somewhere down the hallway. Other high schools in the district have theirs in the theatre, I am not so lucky.
 

Sargent01

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Apr 19, 2021
Location
Houston
Thank you all for your help yesterday. After some more random breaker flipping the lights mysteriously came back on. No one knows which breaker it was but we had light on stage for band rehearsal so thats all I really cared about (gotta keep other people happy for when I need favors). Spending my off period today looking into it more and seeing whats up with some errors on the board and *hopefully* getting intouch with strand.

Thank you!!!!
 

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