Troubleshooting

Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Location
Staunton, VA
My school's theatre department has SOP's- Standard Operating Procedures- for each tech job available in the theatre. The one for the board op is pretty bad- it has basic instructions on how to record, edit and delete cues, but there's not much more than that and it's pretty poorly written. It's basically a condensed user manual. One of my projects this year is to edit it, add to it and make it more understandable. I'm using the official manual to help me, but one thing I want to include is some basic troubleshooting for common problems that the board op faces. I've come up with a few, like what to do if someone hits the blackout button. But does anyone have any other suggestions for some basic problem solving, or anything else I could add? That'd be great...
 

gafftaper

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Definitely how to reset the patch.

Beyond that, What kind of board is it. That makes a difference.
 

Van

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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
yeah, what Gaff said. I could tell you all about trouble shooting a Kleigel Bros. 4 scene preset, but it wouldn't do you much good, I bet. :twisted:
 

Grog12

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silvrwolf

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Nov 30, 2006
Location
Downers Grove, IL
you might want to put some info in about defaulting the whole board, making backups of the show on a disk, somthing about checking the dmx cable if control is lost. Maybe somthing about you dimmers incase one has its breaker tripped during a show, that way the op can send someone to check it out. Really if you think about any problem that could happen and write it down along with a solution in the book. You may want to add the trouble shooting tips from the back of the etc manual if there are any listed.
 

gafftaper

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Also make a good generic disk that has everything properly set to zero. Then make 10 copies and put them everywhere you can think of. So they can always restore back to a base setting.

Spend a good chunk of time on using the keypad. It's the most important skill to learn and it's also the first one to go when the trained person graduates.

How to use Link, follow, adjusting fade times, and split fades. All good basic stuff. How to control an intelligent instrument or at least something simple like a rotator or I-cue. Also how to reprogram the console so that chanel 1 and 2 on the console control 128 and 129 in the DMX world for use with an I-cue or other gear.
 

Jezza

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Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
If I was you, I would write into the console lamp check macros so that if a student can't get a fixture to work and doesn't understand the console that well, they can always default to the lamp check macro before they start running around changing lamps and swaping cable.

I would also write macros for save to disk and default patch to make things easier on everyone. I would store several disks of the default console settings throughout the space so that if troubleshooting really doesn't work, they can always revert to the default status for the console via disk.

I would save one sub or macro to always be emergency lights (all whites up on stage) so that if something happens, your board op always knows how to get light on the stage.

Explain how the fuses can blow and how to fix them.

Explain what to do if the board totally locks up--"heart start" command.

Explain how to "sneak" out/in certain lights if they come up in a cue when they aren't suposed to.

That's all I got for now--good luck.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Location
Minneapolis
When I train operators on the Express I always emphasize the importance of using the "go" button under either the A/B or C/D faders but not both. How many Express users have one fader pair taped off?

More importantly, I train operators how to get out of a situation where they accidentally have cue 1 loaded on A/B and cue 2 on C/D and need to clear one fader pair without the audience seeing the correction.

Advanced users may wish to know how long fades or effects can be run on C/D while the internal cues are run on A/B. I use macros within my cue stack to run the effects and then clear the C/D faders so that the operator doesn't have to do those things during the performance.