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Showtec Showmaster 24 / Multidim MKII flickering


milmo

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Hi all,

 

I run a tiny pub theatre, and we've been running a Showtec Showmaster 24 attached to two Showtec Multidim MKIIs for almost a year with no real problems. Suddenly over the last week, the lights have started flickering when they're on. I've tried unplugging some of the lights in case it was trying to do too much, but no difference - still flickering. The blue LEDs for the channels also flicker when the lights do. Also, the desk seems to have stopped talking to the dimmers. When it's in Blackout mode, the lights come on (full intensity and flickering), but if I turn off the Blackout, the lights go out, and I can't get them to come on with the faders at all. The segment display also seems to be stuck in some kind of timed fade as the number keeps decreasing if I leave the faders up.

 

I am not a vastly experienced or qualified technician - operating manual desks and rigging up the basics is about my limit. Any sort of electrician knowledge or being told to solder or anything is completely outside of my expertise, and I will not open anything up!

 

I have been reading and re-reading the manual for the desk for almost 2 hrs and trying various different things to no avail. I've also tried changing the mode on the dimmers, but it's always been displaying the same thing as it used to display when it was working fine previously (on one side of the room the dimmer is set to A001 and on the other side of the room to A004. Both are set to DMX and Receive) I have tried unplugging the desk and the dimmers, and I've looked at the ends of the DMX cables to see if any of them had been damaged somehow, but everything looks fine.

 

I am out of ideas, and we have a show tonight! Can anyone help please?? (Please explain without technical jargon or I will have no idea what you're talking about...!)

 

Thanks!

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Does the Showmaster have a polarity switch on the back panel?

 

 

[E2A]

It does. A switch next to the DMX out. Try moving it to the other position.

 

Oh yes it does! So that's what that switch is for! Why on earth would anyone ever want it to be switched the other way?!

 

Thank you so much for your help!!

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Why on earth would anyone ever want it to be switched the other way?!

It's a long story involving manufacturers not agreeing which way around 3-pin XLRs should be wired for DMX. If DMX behaves 'the wrong way round', ie blackout when on, lights when blackout, it's often a polarity problem.

 

The only issue you have this wouldn't explain is the segment display but hopefully once you have some lights up it'll become clear what's going on.

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Why on earth would anyone ever want it to be switched the other way?!

It's a long story involving manufacturers not agreeing which way around 3-pin XLRs should be wired for DMX. If DMX behaves 'the wrong way round', ie blackout when on, lights when blackout, it's often a polarity problem.

 

The only issue you have this wouldn't explain is the segment display but hopefully once you have some lights up it'll become clear what's going on.

 

Ah, OK!

 

Strangely reversing the polarity seems to have fixed everything, the fade thing no longer seems to be happening. The only thing that I need to fix now is re-patching so that I don't have 3 lights all paired to one channel, which I've done before, so all good! :rolleyes:

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