You Won't Believe This


Ok, everyone here will get a kick out of this, I promise... because the only thing you can do is laugh at it.
Our Schools big production is coming up on Nov 22 (opening) on Friday (Nov 11) my lighting designer was in and with a few members of my crew putting up lights, as I walk in, they are installing the hardware upgrade from the LX board. They turn the board on, the over temp light comes on, and the board catches on fire, we bring in an ETC Express, to use from another school in town. And after it's set up, we turn the board on and we wait.... nothing, the Dimmer control Module is SHOT in the highest degree. I call NSI and I’m promised a new control module and board the next morning by 9 am. Nothing comes in and at noon I call the company and they say "FedEx doesn't run on the weekends" I laugh in their face and now I’m freaking out just a little. Seeing how one of my dimmer racks is useless until I get a new control module. Somebody want to venture a theory on how the dimmer control module got shot? We know the board got shot because the hardware upgrade (a cable line with 3 resisters and 12 pins, of which the number 7 pin shorted and bled into pins 1-6.) plainly failed in the highest of highs. Ahhhhh.... theories anyone? 8O
cupcake said:
They turn the board on, the over temp light comes on, and the board catches on fire

sorry, I can't be of much help, but I love how nonchalantly techies can talk about fire! sig worthy quote!
well since it was the fault of the hardware upgrade i got on the horn and they school isn't going to do anything, the blown board will be thrown out, and NSI is sending us a new board.
I've seen things like this happen before. Even lightning travelling through a console and blowing the dimmers, leaving the console unscatched.

The same short that blew up the console may have caused a spike in the DMX output section and blown the dimmer module. That'd be my first theory with the info you gave us.
When you get the new deal, i think that Doug Fleenor makes some kind of DMX filter that makes sure that spikes and overloads can't go from the board to the dimmers. It plugs in at the console end (or close to it), and filters the DMX output to prevent spikes and blips that can be sent through consoles. It also decreases the chance of flickering over long cables. Might be a really good investment considering...
fifty bucks. it's called the dmx terminator, and it plugs in to the dmx thru output of the last dmx device in your chain of dimmers, intels, whatever. from what i see, you'll just plug it in to the dmx output of your dimmer control module.

read about it here:

for another two hundred bucks, you can get a dmx line isolator that protects your console from your dimmer screwing up, just the opposite of the above device. it plugs in outside your console and protects it from anything that the dimmers can throw at it.

read about that here:

good luck with a new console & dimmer control module
Well, a terminator is a different thing, it won't prevent spikes since it it in the end of the line. A terminator prevents data from "reflecting" back into the signal causing weird things to happen.

An opto-isolated buffer box or splitter will isolate the DMX output from the rest of the signal by means of an optical emmitter and sensor. Thats what you're wanna go after to protect your gear.
you're right. the terminator only prevents ringing. not the spikes. the opto-isolator is what is needed here. and it's powered. and it can umph your signal if you get the right model w/built in amplifier. but, if signal is fine already, then just get the opto-isolator only model.
I especially like their DMX shock collar.
Ok... as far as the whole fed ex and shipping thing goes...

Almost always everything I order has to be shipped overnight because our shows run on 3 week cycles... Then... we were doing a special benifit so we had less than a week...

I put in an order on Thursday to Grand Stage for 6 top hats and a few sheets of gels and 2 gobos. On Friday around 1 or 2pm I get 1 box... UPS... it has the gels and the gobos... no top hats... I call Grand Stage...

The guy forgot to pull the top hats... They were gonna send them and have them to me on Monday... This is on Friday for a show on Saturday...

Well... They ended up having to ship is overnight USPS... $34 bucks.... What would have cost them like 10 or 12 bucks if it had all been shipped at once UPS... the spent $41 on shipping when you combine the cost of both boxes on a $100 order...

Sucks to be them....

Oh well... Thats my shipping nightmare...

But for the record... The people at Grand Stage do always come through for me...
OK - here is how to save $50 on a terminator:

1. Take one XLR (3 or 5 pin depending on your system)

2. Take a 120ohm resistor

3. Solder the resistor between pins 2 and 3 on the plug (same for both 3 and 5 pin plugs)

4. (optional) fill the back of the plug with hot glue or resin

thanks mayhem, i thought that it was something like that, i saw one, that had an LED on the end aswell.
cupcake said:
thanks mayhem, i thought that it was something like that, i saw one, that had an LED on the end aswell.
The ones with a LED in the end are simple DMX testers. I prefer to use 2 LEDs rather than a single bi-colour led though

If you do a Google search for the topic you will find instructions. If I get time, I'll post some images, as I couldn't get ASCII art to work in this post!

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