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Control/Dimming Shutting down

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by xander, Mar 6, 2009.

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What do you do before shutting down the board?

  1. Nothing, just flip the switch whether there are channels up or not.

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  2. Just bring down the GM before flipping the switch.

    2 vote(s)
    5.4%
  3. Clear all faders, channels, subs, parked stuff before flipping the switch.

    24 vote(s)
    64.9%
  4. Clear all faders, channels, subs, parked stuff, AND bring down the GM before flipping the switch.

    6 vote(s)
    16.2%
  1. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Production Electrician, Programmer
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The "Ghosting Lights" thread has encouraged me to ask this question of the community. It has 2 parts really. The first dealing with the Grand Master. Do people bring the GM to zero before shutting down? I seem to have an unnatural hatred of this. There is no reason to. I just find it annoying, but I know some people do it, so I wanted to know which is the majority.
    The other part is something that I thought was a given, but reading the responses to "Ghosting Lights" gave me doubt. Do people out there turn out all of the lights before shutting down the board, or just flip the switch whenever you are done? I never really thought of turning off the board withOUT clearing the faders, channels, subs, parked stuff first. Kind of like shutting down my PC without closing the running programs.

    P.S. I realize that on most boards there is a shut down process because of the integration of the XPembedded or similar. For the purpose of this question, pretend you were using an old board like the Expression3.

    Thanks,
    -Tim
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Don't take my endorsement of bringing the GM to zero before shutting down as something I like to do. I only do it on boards that have proven they are sending out bad packets. I've had more times where I've sent someone up to turn on the board and a channel and they couldn't get it to work because they didn't turn up the GM than I care to count.

    Also you should always clear the show/subs/channels/fader ect before turning off the board. Its good ettiquete.
     
  3. chslighttech

    chslighttech Member

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    Location:
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    Whenever I leave the board at my college I release anything that is up and turn off all the subs. I do not bring the grandmaster to zero though. I do know that if you do not release or clear any channels that are on they will stay on when the board is turned off.
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    My shutdown is usually as follows:
    1) Destrike MLs
    2) Goto 0 (clear faders)
    3) Take out any subs and/or other held channels
    4) Save show
    5) Break tracking sync
    6) Shutdown
     
  5. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I have an Expression 3 at the theater I work at
    1. Make sure the Unison system has control of house lights
    2. Clear Faders
    3. Bring down all subs
    4. Hit release a random amount of times. (2+)
    5. Shutdown

    I worked with someone once who pulled the GM down. I forgot to check one day when I walked up to the booth to turn on the board. I walked down to the stage and plugged in the RFU and couldn't bring anything up.... :evil: dude.. I was pissed...


    I have disabled the blackout button on my board, because I see no use for it. I also want to disable the GM. I have figured out how to make inhibitive submasters, which I use in the GM's place. I can exclude my color scrolls, so just the light intensity goes down.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Gee, I might hold olden days standards but good SOP anyway in voting first shut off the dimmer power, than shut down the board. Granted the dimmers/board was first at zero.

    Otherwise if one shut down the board in the past, the dimmers used to go crazy in potentially going either random strobe or all on at full and blowing the main. Believe me, you can hear the humm starting to go and it builds and there ain't a thing you can do about it. Granted most systems wouldn't do this these days in a last takes presidence type of way when loosing the signal, but I would still follow this concept as good practice.

    Zero the faders/dimmers. Shut off the power to the dimmers than do what you need with the light board even if it necessitates a walk back to the booth in doing so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ah' but that takes the fun out of "paying attention" to light board operation in a way that you really really know when they screwed up.

    On the serious side and in my opinion, you might want to re-establish that link. Blackout is more than just a quick way of going black, it is a safety thing where by if you see sparks in the grid, you have a way of properly dealing with the problem before you have a fire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Same here. No reason, just old habits!
     
  9. xander

    xander Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    That is definitely an "old habit." I know a designer that does that too. However, these days it is actually the reverse. If one is going to cut power to the dimmers at all, you should power down the board first. That way if there is some sort of surge in the dimmer power while flipping the breaker, it doesn't hurt the delicate innards of a computer board.
     
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I shutdown maybe once a month, if that.

    Reason 1: I often have calls that are prep or focus, but no have need to access the console (Express 48 with Emphasis), which is in a well locked position. I'd prefer to simply be able to plug in the RFU backstage and go to work.

    2) Express doesn't need to get turned off. There are no fans and shutting down only kills certain functions and as it was explained to me by ETC Tech Services, there's no real reason to shut off - IF it's on a UPS. Emphasis, being a computer, also has no need, as there's no need to shut off many computers. Remember that servers run 24/7 and last seemingly forever. Both console and Emphasis are on UPS, so they're protected. The box under the console desk that houses Emphasis is on a temperature controlled cooling fan system that keeps the system cool enough, so that's not an issue. Likewise, my AC power is fed underground, so lightning is not an issue.

    Thus, for 10 years on Express and 5 on Emphasis, the systems have been up and running all the time.

    Close up procedure.

    1) House, warmers and work lights are always on Unison, so nothing to deal with there.
    2) I sometimes Snapshot the Express output into Unison if it looks like I need to hold the post show look and want to close up the console position. I can always kill the snapshot from a backstage Unison
    3)I drop the GM, clear C/D fader (A/B is usually the 2 scene), clear subs, load next patch and show file, check patch, clear tape, restore GM (If I forget, I have a macro that makes the GM into a scene master, which restores RFU control over channels), cover console, then turn off little lights and monitors (first checking that no channels are ghosting on the faders) Then I close up the console position.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  11. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    This and with Steve's post, Wow what a debate has developed.

     
  12. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I really like that idea. I aways walk down stairs after the show, so I have to walk back up to kill the look. I only wish that there was a unison panel next to the light desk (only ones that record are on the stage and next to the FOH sound.)
     
  13. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    I voted in haste, and clicked the wrong answer.

    I release everything,
    douse the MLs, '
    spin the MLs to make sure they've heard my douse command
    clear
    flip the switch.

    I don't bother with the Grand Master since it shouldn't be controlling anything at that point (especially not parked channels).

    Another good poll is the question of "Do you kill power to your racks/distros when you leave the building?"
     
  14. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    with the company i am working with now, i release the cuelists, channels, etc, pull the dmx from the console, leave the console powered up along with the movers. The movers shut their lamps off automatically after 5 min. I do this since the Hog II likes to freak and eat the show, or throw a fun fatal exception error upon bootup, and the x-spot cpu boards boot up into voodoo land, i leave them on, they seem to start up much happier that way.
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Oh, what the heck, it's been a while since we've had any good polls. Two polls actually, as it seemed best to separate Installation systems from Touring systems.
    Poll: Permanent install "Do you kill power to your racks when you leave the building?"
    Poll: Portable: "Do you remove power from dimmer racks/PDs at night?"
     
  16. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    I usually just flip the board off-- it's an express so there is no issue with shutdown procedures. Though I believe our drama teacher still thinks you have to take the GM out (the blackbox/ drama room you do). Our system seems to prefer if you have the house and work up when you turn it off because that is what our backup system goes to, however it works okay however I happen to do it.

    Though thinking of it there was once when this random blue cyc light came on when
    i killed the console... but that was when we were having trouble with the console... 789 and swaing the dmx ports seemed to cure it.
     
  17. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    On my Leviton, I just hit [ENTER][ENTER][At][ENTER][ENTER][CLEAR] to clear out all lights if I'm not in a show sequence (usually I have a BO cue at the end of every show) Then I just flip the power on the surge protector to turn it off. (If memory serves me right, there really isn't a shut down procedure for the Innovator, but I could be wrong.) Note: I don't have any DMX toys/movers to worry about)

    On the Smartfade I bring the RightArm to it's home position, then hit Clear four times to clear out everything, then hit "Power" and "Select" to do a shut down procedure. The RightArm doesn't mind this, it seems. When I start it up again, I'm sure to reset the RightArm, as during the months the gym system is unused we power everything down to save energy.

    I try to power down the board before the dimmers. To me, this makes sense, I don't know why.
     
  18. acoppsa

    acoppsa Member

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    Location:
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    My board has no shutdown button so I just switch it off at the wall. I usually return all the faders to zero first and then turn off our semi-permanent dimmer racks afterwards.
     

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