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School board

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Cat, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Cat

    Cat Member

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    Opening night at LVHS is a wonderful mess of nervous actors and fast acting techs (who have learned how control everything that can poss go wrong....) Well... Chinese Wall through ALL of us for a loop. We have a pipe which hangs above the house holding only 6 lamps. But these six lamps are the only ones which give any front light due to an after thought extention on our main stage after the school was built. Our first full cue went well and at the second cue, a fade to a soft spot also went well. The third though (about 5 min into the show) didnt work. 2 out of the six lamps on our house pipe went out and no matter what we tried would not come back on. The actors were told to just try and work in the light that they had as we couldnt do anything since our house pipe was almost 40 feet above the ground. After that show we checked and replaced all bulbs, cleaned and fixed everything we could. Finnaly they worked again.... Second night opens first two cues go perfectly. Third then blows 4 lamps. Turns out that our board and dimmers were all kinds of screwed up and miswired and every fade we did blew more of our main box each time. After that nightmare we some how convinced our school board to replace everything and get things up to code before we burned down the school... It was a trip I will never forget... atleast we figured out how to get the school board to get us what we need.
     
  2. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    LOL I guess that's one way to do it, but I dont know if i want to risk doing that too often.... they might catch on :)
     
  3. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    You got our school board to completely overhaul your auditorium?! Wow, that's impressive, especially on such short notice! Who did you contact in the county about this (you can e-mail the name(s) if you don't want to post it on CB).

    What equipment do you have now, and what will be replaced? Sound and lighting equipment? Also, what will it be replaced with?

    Finally, is your layout (at least the auditorium) anything like BRHS? If so, I can see why you don't like replacing the luminaries in the house...thank goodness for a real catwalk at SBHS. :)
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    If of any help and most of the gear is probably already gone - something from a earlier posting on stagecraft as a source for new/used gear in saving money:

    essage-ID: <[email protected]>
    Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 21:23:37 -0500
    From: Scott Parker
    Reply-To: Scott Parker
    Subject: Theater selling equpment. Including the walls.

    I got a note from a theater that they are forced out. Landlord sold
    the building....
    Here's a list of the stuff:
    http://www.hstech.org/WAXfinalsalerev.htm

    I'm not connected in any way. Please don't ask me about this stuff.....

    --
    Take care, Scott

    Scott C. Parker

    This given much of your gear can no doubt be saved once serviced by a qualified service theater equipment repair company that will save you money over new gear. Given a transport of my over 3/4 ton road box to a school, I would be in glee for a out of shop vacation into a new space. I'm sure other companies that service gear would also be happy to fix the problems.

    Alas, however in that we just had a major tour return in adding to my work load they would not send me out to a mini-vacation anyway. Instead it would be someone semi-trained who would churp me with questions as normal to fix it companies. They either know what they are doing or fake it. Interview such companies to install the new gear or fix what you have well and talk to their past client references before you sign the contract.
     
  5. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    ship, knowing our county and the staff at the higher levels, the county will definitely be buying brand new equipment for LVHS if that is what they committed to. LCPS is known for it's "world class education" (Dr. Hatrick, The Washington Post, Dec. 2), and buying used equipment would not be an option from what I've seen.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    He he he, yes buying used gear would in most circumstances become more complicated than the paperwork is worth if someone is not able to give a rational for why. Other than in say Scott Parker's former high school's situation, I would find it unusal for any high school to buy used gear or fixing their own in saving money or within budget keeping what they have or getting what's used plus more for what the budget is. Nothing against this, new is more simple also.

    LCPS is known for it's "world class education"
    Just not an education into maintaining it's gear it would seem. LOL. I do kid you, it's good that you are getting new gear and the school is going to provide for you. Thing is with me is that no matter the age of the gear, when maintained, it will never go bad. While a laughing comment it does have a certain amount of reality to it. Take care of the new gear and set up at least a once a year service call for it by a repuitable service company. Sort of it, and it's no better than a new car that never goes in for a lube job.
     
  7. Cat

    Cat Member

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    Our school's layout though is def OLD..... Still is... they just replaced our central circuts that was causing the dimmer problem. We have NO catwalk.... we have a wench to move our pipes up and down. It is a manual wench that moves about 2 in. every crank as well as many of the lamps that were used in the 60s when the school was built. About 5 years ago our western Loudoun Schools (Blue Ridge and Valley) got 'new' systems. For being a county with a hell of a lot of money (atleast our half-the land of BMW and Merced. as I call it) I would say between the two light systems they prob only spend like $600. The systems were used from the 80s early 90s and were just really really bad and still are. Lots of bugs and problems. Im good a trouble shooting now..... :wink: but thats not a good way to learn everything. Right now I am getting the school board to supply us with the VERY VERY needed lighting board that does more then on and off (not even fade) in our Black Box classroom. Thats working well so far.... Its still a good idea that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
     
  8. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    In some ways, you don't know how right you are. :) It's amazing how hard it is to get the little things fixed.

    This is so true. I just wish more people shared this view about maintaining what we have. "I'll be graduating, so I don't care if I ruin these cables by twisting them up." - this mindset is so irritating because it costs money to replace those cables when they could be used for years to come.
     
  9. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    this is my reason for not letting people touch anything they do not know how to use:"it's not mine so why should I care"
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    =

    I'm seeing a tie in with "Worst Techies Ever" post here. Of course all of us taking the time to learn and pass on do care except some long past poster advocating trashing the theater's light board so as to get a new one who I think hopefully either changed careers to one as a scrap metals sales person with some destructive off time when paid to do so, in never having posted again or in having saw the light of day has changed his views.

    What a shame the rest of the world does not in many cases it would seem beyond tech see the same things we do as important, from the person that litters, all the way down to the dings and scratches in the side panels of my brand new car from people slamming their doors open next to it. Even as a kid, my Mom taught me how to open a car door. In a similar to what’s the tech world coming to type of way.... why can’t this brand new car have in tact side panels? Beyond the professionalism, there is something to be said about common courtosy and especially the Golden Rule.



    All that said, I am glad mbenonis saw my comments for a joke on the reality of his program and not a slam on it's intent to teach. The devil is in the details. While I in his place might trash my theater and friends, anyone else that is not one of us is speaking fighting words when they say the same things. Your post along with the other one about the fly system that is to be replaced due to lack of care is for many - a common theme that happens to the point of replacing the building every few years because it's getting old and things are falling apart. To those of you dealing with a ladder to the lighting booth in the Gymatorum, this really is the case in other places similar to you where when the gear gets old, it’s time for a big budget make over of the entire building. Yea, you all start from the same place in life. “What moving light should we buy for our high school program” while others are just worrying about if the ray lights used as primary lighting will burn out during an important scene. While keeping stuff current is something that can come by way of not servicing the gear in assuring a constant influx of new gear coming in, and that's educational. Another part of the educational is the reality of it in both having to take care of what you have because there is no bail out should it fail, and learning how to do with lights older than you are and still making magic etc. This magic is the thing we all revolve around in different ways. The person asking what moving light will best fill the role of both special and wash and the person asking advice in what to do once the only lights they have burn out during a scene.
     
  11. sound_nerd

    sound_nerd Active Member

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    Location:
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    In relation to the gear not being taken care of, I can vouch for that. When a friend and I took it upon ourselves to save the tech department at our old high school, we found tons of gear, packed away, still good and usable, but put aside in favor of something new.

    They had upgraded the entire lighting system, and audio system, but instead of adding to what they had, it was all replaced. We came upon a storage room backstage full of old lekos, and fresnels, there was even a couple old Peavey CS800 amps in there. After a good cleaning, everything was running really well. I am still impressed with the old amps. lol. We were able to incorporate the old lighting in with the new, almost doubling the fixtures being used. As for the amps, they found their way into a portable rack that we designed to be used for pep-rallies and the like that would be located outside the auditorium.

    There is a lot that can be done with old gear, no matter who thinks its "outdated" and broken (even though all it needs is a good cleaning, and some tlc). Older gear tends to be more durable, and more reliable than a lot of the newer stuff. The only advantage I can see to buying brand new gear is warranties, and the fact that newer gear is usually lighter as well. In a theatre I dont think weight matters quite as much as on the road.
     
  12. herr_highbrau

    herr_highbrau Member

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    Lol! U got it. I'm trying to get our team trained at the moment, for the new assembly hall that's being built at our school. At the moment, I'm still working off lights built in the 70s, but they're good. Although I can't say I wouldn't mind some new Mac 550s and a Pearl 2000 console!

    Yeah, the old kit is good, especially for training and things like that. I say keep a hold of it, and continue to treat it well.
     
  13. RedmonwantsEOS

    RedmonwantsEOS Member

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    Oh WOW. Im just browsing through old stuff, and I come upon THIS. Chinese Wall, LVHS, we did this play again this year 2008, WOW.
    Well, we still had a few of the same problems. The fixtures that were on the front pipe then were probobly the same ones we used this time. So, after the show, I got a crew together, and replaced all of them with new(er) Altman 6x9's and Lekos. And we did get a complete new system in 2006-I REALLY need to post a drawing of what our old MONSTER control system looked like. From 1962, amazing.
    But wow, this is cool.
     

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