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Using the house's dim rack on tour....

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Thefoxygranpa, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    So last weekend I had the pleasure of going on my first touring show, Beatlemania Now. I was traveling with the sound company and learned tremendously, and actually applied some knowledge I learned here on CB :p .

    Anyway, my rant. We had 2 one off shows and the LD used the house lighting system both shows. Second house we did lighting rig was nice, except their older Colortran[I think?] Dimmer rack kept overheating :evil: . The TD there was clueless as to why it was happening, but midway through the show happened to tell us that this is new and recent problem, one that occurred to him the previous week!

    All and all, the show went on, but with half the rig cutting in and out as it heated up and cooled down.

    Is there anything I could have done to help the rack cool? Heck, I was thinking point a big fan towards it.

    Cheers and thank!
     
  2. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Bet you $50 it was dirty and needed a cleaning, a lot of places don't clean their racks often, if at all. It was probably full of dust. Another thing that could have happened would have been that the fan that cools the rack has died and is no longer functioning. With ETC Sensor racks this would have cause the CEM to throw a Fan Failure error and they wouldn't work at all.
     
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Yep, probably dust or fan. Could very well be either, or both.

    At the church I have some old video frame syncs, with the discrete memory boards and such. About every six months I have to open them up and dust the memory board off because it goes flaky. All that dust coats the memory chips and then we get a combination of them overheating and things conducting that weren't meant to. The failure mode usually sets in pretty quickly.

    Could also be a bad CEM -- but I'd check the fan and the dust first.
     
  4. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll keep these in mind next time I'm out. What puzzles me is why the TD there did not mention the fact it had this problem. So it goes.
     
  5. VeeDubTDI

    VeeDubTDI Member

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    Always check the fan(s) for proper function and flow. Pull a couple of dimmer modules and check for dust.

    I had a fan die in one of my two ENR racks and I had to put a big carpet fan blowing into the rack to cool it until the new replacement fan arrived.
     
  6. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    Our Sensor racks have issues when they're dirty - they overheat, show an error, and the lights flicker.

    If it happens during a show, we have a big fan in the dimmer room we point at the racks. Works great.
     
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Your dimmer rack should never be getting so dirty to the point where you need to use an external fan to cool them properly. You need to clean your rack more often.
     
  8. VeeDubTDI

    VeeDubTDI Member

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    Exactly... it doesn't take much time to go in there with an air compressor and blow everything out. It should be part of every theater's regular maintenance.
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  10. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    Well, we learned the hard way the first time.

    Once we figured out what was going on, we started regularly cleaning the rack.
     
  11. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    Occasionally, you'll find a bad temperature sensor, but usually it's the bad fan or the dust in the heat sinks. I recently pulled a solid 1/8" thick layer of felt off the fan intake on a school's dimmer pack, instantly curing their shutdown problem.
     
  12. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    What a suprise...
     
  13. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    I just started the policy of cleaning the dimmer rack at my school. I don't think that anyone ever knew that you have to clean the rack out as there was a lovely amount of dust in there as well as debris from when they installed the system such as drywall at the bottom of the rack. I'm not sure if I went over board but in addition to cleaning the filters in the door, I took out all of the dimmers and vacuumed out the entire thing. I behaves quite nicely now :)
     

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