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Haywire electrics!


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I have a show which I have just finished putting in which has had weird problems today, sadly I was on my way to Cambridge at the time of them so haven't been able to check stuff myself.


We have a rig of around 300 dimmers, 6 studiocolours, 4 Digital Beam Lights, 3 DLCs and 6 pirouettes, the dimmers are mainly Permus (universe 1) with 24 ways of Act 6 on universe 2, along with all of the moving lights. Universe 2 is split out to each bar via an XTBA splitter. All is controlled via a 520.




During the fit-ups one of the Act 6 racks held on power up, after a hard reset it was fine.


During one performance the desk lost fader control of one set of 12 subs, after a hard reset it was fine, the hire company assured us it would not be a problem again.




1) had a phone call in the morning - fuse had gone in UPS for desk overnight so it was beeping - odd


2) have a phone call later, one of the Act 6 racks is holding all its data, even after hard resets, I advise they call the hire company.


3) Hire company talk to operators, apparently after flicking the test switches all is fine.


4) during show channels start to go on and off on the same Act 6 rack.


5) in second half of show all 4 DBLs suddenly appear to lose control and just stick in position.


6) after show hire company are eventually contacted (call out number not working !) and advise a full re-load of show, suggest that the addressing switches on the rack could be dodgy so advise just moving them to check that.


7) Dimmers stop flickering until just before the show, then start again, rack disconnected totally as is felt better to have nothing than have a disco effect


8) just before house opens focus sticks on a pirrouette, appears to be mechanical fault so must be left.


What do you all think could be the fault? My guess is that either the Act 6 is sending something bad up the chain and into the XTBA which is causing dodgy DMX, or that the XTBA has blown itself up, or that the 520 is knackered, I am asking for a replacement of all of them and a techincian from the hire company to come in and check that it all works. Anybody got any other ideas?





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Guest lightnix

The Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982 clearly states that all goods and services must be fit for the purpose for which they are supplied, whatever special deals or prices have been agreed.


If the hire company tech cannot isolate or fix the problem then I would demand replacement kit (in writing !), backed up with the threat of non-payment of the invoice or even legal action for compensation on the grounds that their kit has spoilt the show. It would also be worth threatening to contact their local Trading Standards Office if they try to fob you off with any more excuses.

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So all of your problems are on Universe 2?


I know you have, but: Is it all terminated?


Does it go:

a: Desk-Act6s-XTBA splitter-moving lights or

b: Desk-XTBA Splitter-Act 6s and Moving lights?


If it's a, (which would seem to make more sense) then it sounds like the racks. Pirroettes are notoriously twitchy anyway, so that fault is probably unrelated.


Unless, of course, you're just truly unlucky and everything has a genuine fault. But I would look to the Act 6 racks if I were you.

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Company are sending a Tech in on Monday.


All is terminated, line goes desk > XTBA > XTBA > Act VI. I have a strange feeling that the Act VI is on an unisolated thru line from the XTBA (they were a late addition) in which case they could still be sending something back up. We are getting at least the racks swapped out.


Thanks for your help, I think you have confirmed my suspicions!




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