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Control/Dimming Why did houselights stop working!???

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by w3st0n21, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    Location:
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    hello all.
    so we have a show on weds and we realized a couple of days ago that the board would no longer control the house lights. we have a strand CD80 AE dimmer rack with 48 dimmers for our conventionals and 6 more dimmers (91-96) for our house system. this is all run by a strand lightboard M ans is using the AMX control protocol. all of the circuit breakers on the dimmers were on, so that isnt the problem (although i almost wish it was). the only thing i can thin of that we changed was adding DMX to the mix (the board outputs both). i wanted to use scrollers for this show and i am outputing channels 1-90 with the DMX (AMX is outputing 1-192). and my scrollers are addressed to 49-58. does anyone have any idea why this is happening? i have to either fix the problem or tell the drama teacher (which wont be fun) so i would rather try fixing first. anything helps. :)
    thanks
     
  2. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Assuming the house dimmers are not in the same rack as the conventional dimmers, make sure the AMX or DMX is still connected to the house dimmers. Also if the house lights won't come on at all look for a seperate breaker panel for them. We have some kind of screwed up setup where there are both dimmers (on our CD80 racks) and some kind of secondary breakers and/or dimmers for our house lights (we discovered this when we tripped a couple and couldn't figure out why the dimmers weren't tripped)
     
  3. CBR372

    CBR372 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Also make sure that your house lights are still patched into the board!
     
  4. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yeah, make sure you have not blown any fuses, (I doubt you would have) that you have set your DMX addresses properly (Double check),

    Can you bring up the lights at the dimmer? I have no experience with the CD80 racks, our system has local control, if you can bring them up with local control then you know that that end is working, and that its a patch or cable problem.

    If you try local control and nothing happens, then check that everything is plugged in, for example, 3phase, and your outputs to house lights, if these are both correct ask your maintenance team to go to the fuse box outside, and check nothing has tripped. Our old dimmer used to get jammed, and the only way to fix it was by killing the power to the whole venue, (I install the new system install on Monday!)

    If they do work, then you have a less complicated problem, double check your patching on the desk, and your addressing at the dimmer, and that the DMX is propperly pluged in, I rigged a show ages ago (I hadn't slept for a long time) and we had the console on stage as we didn't have a RFR, when I ran the DMX to the booth, I ran it so the input was sitting on my desk. Bad idea. If this is not the case, all is correct and nothing happens, drag the desk down to your dimmer room to check that there is no problem with cabling. I doubt there would be but you never know.

    Hope we fixed your problem,
    If neither of these work, then post again, how knowledgeable is your drama teacher?
    Cheers
    Nick
     
  5. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with the board you're using, but will it output both AMX and DMX at the same time? I know that when I've used desks which output both serial and DMX you can have one or the other but not both - could be the source of your problem, the DMX has overridden the AMX. If you unplug the DMX do the houselights start working again?
     
  6. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    DMX does NOT override the AMX, i know this becuase i have programed most of the show already. i know all of the breakers are fine. the house lights ARE working, but not with the board, with the wall switches. its not the AMX line because everything else on AMX works, as a matter of fact everything on both AMX and DMX work. we just repatched everything and still nothing. S***. where is the AMX plugged in on the CD80 rack? i cant visibly see it.
     
  7. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    If it's a permanently installed rack then more than likely the AMX is hardwired into it on the inside of the rack and you cannot get to it without disassembling the rack which I recommend you DO NOT ATTEMPT. There may be a port on the wall near it but thats not always the case. Are you sure you have the dimmers patched properly? Try doing a Dimmer Check (if you can) to see if you can get the houselights to come up manually and double check you have the right dimmer channels. If all else fails then set your board back up the way it was when it was working fine, with DMX turned off and everything, if it starts working again then it's something with the board. If it doesn't then it's most likely something with the connection to the dimmer pack or the dimmer pack itself.
     
  8. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    according to our drama teacher it is a fried circuit board inside, from the sound of it i think that this has happened before. apparently house lights and the stage lights are on 2 seperate circuit boards. dont know why, i guess its for times like this...
     
  9. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Location:
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    Ah reliability! That's the best thing about HS shows, is trying to get everything to work. In high school its not how well you do your lighting design, its whether the (insert curse word here) will turn on.
    Nick
     
  10. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    Haha SOOO true. The board is a pos too. Kinda sad. I really want an element.
     
  11. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Amen to that, or ION?
    Nick
     
  12. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    I had a Lightboard M in high school, and it is actually a rather powerful board for what it is. When I first started, they only used it as a two scene preset, not knowing about submasters or cue stacks. But you do have to maintain it... I always had to tap on the time knob for the X fader because it would jump out of "Mem time" to any random set of time (nothing like going for a 1s blackout that now takes 3m).
     
  13. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
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    I use a Lightboard M regularly at my local community theatre, never had any serious problems that I couldn't address. The Floppy drive died once so I had to replace it.
    Other than that, as long as you usually keep it covered and don't beat on it it'll keep on ticking forever!
    If it is uncovered for long periods or gets stuff spilt in it, you have to take it apart periodically to clean it all out... pretty much like any other console, especially one of it's age.
    ...I never use the presets myself anymore, haven't for AGES. a few people use them however...

    As per the issue of house lights, we actually have a bypass switch (used to be a manual re-patch with some twist connectors) that swaps house control from the dimmers to the wall switches. I've had a few people come in when I was out to lunch or in the back working swearing and trying to figure out why the houselights weren't working... They were switched to the alternate control from what they were attempting to use.
    "There's your problem right there..."

    Thankfully it's a lot easier now that I've installed the switch for the house light controls. BIG BLACK LETTERS "LIGHTBOARD CONTROL" & "HOUSE SWITCH CONTROL".
     
  14. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    I agree that it is indeed an powerful board. unfortunatly ours is slowly dying. everytime we turn it on nothing will respond unless we do a soft reset. which im sure isnt good for it...
     

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