The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

This may be for the punching bag

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by midgetgreen11, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Today at my school the fire alarms went off, we had a mass evacuation, and firetrucks came from the opposite end of town, which is about 10-15 miles away. We stayed outside for about half an hour. Later did I find out that a dimmer in the rack had started smoking and had internally caught fire. Some blame it on the german class that was preparing for their play, and should not have been touching the dimmer rack.

    On another note, our school department's technical equipment is monopolized by a company who "specializes" in theatre equipment [notice the quotes]. In fact we've had numerous problems with their terribly installed system. It was terribly wired, as we've had problems with the houselights kicking on and not turning off.
     
  2. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Monopolized as far as purchasing/service is concerned or is this company operating your equipment for you ?

    Perhaps they're liable for the burned out dimmer?
     
  3. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    they purchase and service our equipment. The reason they are is because one of the lighting head's children attends our school district. They're cheap and stingy, there's no way they're taking the blame. Even more cheap than them, is the school department.

    We actually ended up paying $1300 to replace it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  4. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,745
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Vegas
    Students have access to the dimmer rack? Bad idea, lots of threads on this. In HS I was THE lighting tech as in the one and only and I saw the dimmers once, never even got to set foot in the dimmer room. If there's easy access and students that aren't theater techs under a TD or LD's supervision that are messing with the rack, talk to risk management people at your school, this is a huge safety liability.
     
  5. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    oh yes, someone broke the door off the rack, its right in the backstage area, the switches are out in the open.
     
  6. soundop

    soundop Active Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    1
    hehe, i have a smart school, our dimmer racks are under the stage in our old scene shop, very few techs know where they are, acutully the other two who knew left, and i dont think any one else knows what a dimmer rack is. any way, even then there under lock and key, though you can go into a room and see them, they put chain link between them and the rest of the room, so you have to unlock a sepprate door, or cut the fence if your desprate to get to them
     
  7. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Likes Received:
    46
    What town do you live in that your local FD is 10-15 minutes away?

    Schools are usually, to the best of my understanding, automatic multi-alarm calls. This is part of the reason why having a false alarm at a school is no only so costly (fines) but dangerous. If four engines are responding to a report of a fire alarm at a school full of children, what happens to the little old woman 4 miles away?
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    2,422
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Hey Midget what type of dimmers are these?
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,361
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    For the record, Electronics Diversified. However, in this thread, [user]midgetgreen11[/user] stated it was the installation, not the manufacturer, which caused issues. A bad installation will cause trouble for any manufacturer, which is why the better manufacturers insist on doing the commissioning of a system themselves.
     
  10. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    at my old hs, our dimmers were sitting on stage right in the wing. Old colortran dimmers. I was doing a show at a highschool and they had a major theater rennovasion and the school electrican wired up the dimmers. Half way through one of their shows we had a small rack fire. Stupid electrician ran 14 awg wire to each plug and then hardwired "twofers" so the battons were wired with the outside two plugs as one dimmer then the next dimmer was the next inside two plugs and so forth. And I ignored all that crap and just plugged in a twofer into one outlet (a 20A circuit should be wired with at least 12awg wire no acceptions due to the wire should be rated for at least the max potential of the OCPD). Well second show into it lots of black smoke and sparks. Bye bye pretty new ETC sensor dimmer.
     
  11. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island

    Its not, there is a closer station, they called in more trucks, we had 5 show up at the school. there is actually a station around the corner.


    Welcome to North Kingstown, my friend. sounds like you've got the same maintenance department
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  12. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Orwell, Ohio
    I don't really do installs. Having said this, I was wondering whether or not the company that installed my dimmer rack three years ago should have put fencing around it? Mine is in a corner of the construction shop (a joy to keep clean... but that is a story for another time) where any person who comes onto the stage has access.

    I think I'll install a fence and door around it just in case.
     
  13. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Well i talked to the maintence department supervisor who responded saying that he's already got plans in place to put a wire cage around the dimmer rack.

    The unfortunate thing with this is that only the head janitor had a key to the original door. and on the weekends, the head janitor was not there, meaning that the key to the dimmer rack... was not there.
     
  14. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    The high school I went to had a little room tucked away in a corner of the catwalks where the two i96 racks lived. The theater key didn't open that room - only the building master that I and the theater manager had. I also kept the rack doors themselves locked with a key only the two of us had...plus you had to have a master or the theater key to even get into the catwalks...a little security like that is nice around high potential/current.

    The dimmer room in the middle school wasn't quite as secure, as the door rarely latched. For whatever reason the knob on that door was a different keyway but opened with the same cut on a different keyblank. Ironically the master key for the old (demolished) middle school worked in the dimmer room and the master for the current middle school did not! Good thing I held onto it.
     
  15. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    For those people that never had access to/never saw the dimmer rack, what DID you do when you blew a dimmer? I don't quite understand.
     
  16. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    most schools around here have the dimmer tucked away in a room near the stage, that has not only the dimmers but the power sequencing system and the amp racks. The theater teachers have a key to the room incase they need to reset a breaker.
     

Share This Page