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  • Losing signal?

    Hi gang...

    My last two gigs, I've experienced what seems to be signal loss. The lights will be up and working and then - blank - nothing for maybe 2-3sec and then everything's back on. No loss of power to the units... they just blank out.

    Happened more at last night's show and it was really frustrating.

    My rig is in my sig (hey that rhymed!)

    Everything is on one dmx run. I maybe have at most - a 180' run of dmx cable; 50' from controller to the fixture #1 > 50' across stage to fixture #2 > 50' to the backline - and six 5-6' short cables to each fixture on the truss.

    FYI... shots of the updated rig: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.357719017611093.81003.119251084791222&type= 3

    4bar-tri x2
    4bar x2
    4play x2
    intimidator 300 x2
    obey 40

    I just added the intimidators to the rig and bought a terminator as well. in the past, I never ran into this issue with virtually the same rig (minus the scanners).

    I am thinking I'll eventually need a 2nd controller for the backline or maybe go PC based.

    Not sure what to check for so I'm looking for suggestions. I did find one other thread here that seemed similar but not much was solved in it.

    Ideas?

    Thanks!
    JP LeClair
    Oshkosh, WI

  • #2
    1. Are you using real DMX cable?

    2. Test every cable.

    3. Make sure all cable solder joints are good.
    Thanks,
    Bill Cronheim
    Enterainment Systems Corporation
    Back stage since 1973

    Comment


    • #3
      I made sure I bought DMX cables - it could be a bad cable or a lose connection. I plan on setting everything up and testing each fixture/cable. Any faster way of testing cables?
      JP LeClair
      Oshkosh, WI

      Comment


      • #4
        cable tester

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you use a DMX terminator?
          "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

          Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

          Comment


          • #6
            Do you use a DMX terminator?


            Yep... I think I specified that in my op. Up until recently I didn't (and didn't' have a problem) but with my last round of purchases as I thought it'd be a good idea.
            JP LeClair
            Oshkosh, WI

            Comment


            • #7
              Most likely cable if not...
              When is it happening? When stationary at a scene, when switching scenes, adjusting fade or speed time. Is this after you added scans
              sleevelessheartsband.com
              facebook.com/SleevelessHearts

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              • #8
                I've actually had situations when my terminator caused the same type of problems
                DON'T BE ALARMED!!! REMAIN CALM!!!!!!!!!
                There's nothing to see here. It's another day in IDAHO!!!

                My bands Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/stiff.richard

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                • #9
                  Yep... I think I specified that in my op. Up until recently I didn't (and didn't' have a problem) but with my last round of purchases as I thought it'd be a good idea.


                  That is what I was going to suggest. I found that for some reason the terminator caused more issues when it was on the system then when I didn't use it. I don't know why but I had the same issue with three different terminators. System was rock solid without them and funky with them.
                  "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

                  Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That is what I was going to suggest. I found that for some reason the terminator caused more issues when it was on the system then when I didn't use it. I don't know why but I had the same issue with three different terminators. System was rock solid without them and funky with them.


                    You know, that's a good question. I want to say it started before I added the terminator to the mix but I can't remember. It's definatly been happing after adding it. I've only had the terminator at two shows, an the scanners at one, it's happened at both. Better figure it out now as we have 1mo before the next big show (full rig). I guess all I can do is test each fixture and cable with/without terminator as see what happens.

                    I really appreciate everyone's input!
                    JP LeClair
                    Oshkosh, WI

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FYI....

                      I also shot a note into Chauvet to ask their opinion and got this in reply... let me know your thoughts:

                      By the way it looks, it seems like there is a drop of DMX signal somewhere. All the units are being controlled by the OBEY40. The fixtures you have attached may be too much for the board to transmit the signal through all those fixtures which could sometime result in a blackout.
                      My best suggestion is to get some type of signal booster that you can use midway through the signal to give it that extra boost of signal to eliminate signal failure. What some of our other customers do with long runs of DMX is get a DMX splitter like our DATASTREAM4. Because the DATASTREAM4 is powered, it takes the DMX signal that is inputted and boost it up before it is sent out the 4 DMX outputs. You can use this or something similar, to boost the signal to your other fixtures.
                      JP LeClair
                      Oshkosh, WI

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I were a betting man I would say check your 50' main out cable first, If you were losing signal to all the lights. I find that if there is a problem with a cable or one of the fixtures channels got switched by accedent the system works fine up to that point. Everything past it is usually messed up. I recently switched to wireless DMX and love not running the long cables to the front trees and back truss.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Short update... I did look over my cables last night (as we have a show this weekend that just dropped in our laps) and discovered one of my 50' had a broken female clasp - not sure if that'd do it or not, but it's faulty nonetheless. Replace the cable? Re-end it?

                          Also would like thoughts on Chuavet's response:

                          By the way it looks, it seems like there is a drop of DMX signal somewhere. All the units are being controlled by the OBEY40. The fixtures you have attached may be too much for the board to transmit the signal through all those fixtures which could sometime result in a blackout.
                          My best suggestion is to get some type of signal booster that you can use midway through the signal to give it that extra boost of signal to eliminate signal failure. What some of our other customers do with long runs of DMX is get a DMX splitter like our DATASTREAM4. Because the DATASTREAM4 is powered, it takes the DMX signal that is inputted and boost it up before it is sent out the 4 DMX outputs. You can use this or something similar, to boost the signal to your other fixtures.


                          Necessary?
                          JP LeClair
                          Oshkosh, WI

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's not a lot of fixtures nor a lot of cable for DMX.

                            Check continuity on your 50 footer and if its' good, re-end it.

                            A DMX splitter can make life easier for cable routing and would not be a bad investment if you plan on growing your system.
                            Thanks,
                            Bill Cronheim
                            Enterainment Systems Corporation
                            Back stage since 1973

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I added a DMX splitter to my rig, and it makes things very easy to troubleshoot. Instead of one huge daisy chain, I have 4 separate "branches". I divide mine by fixture type or location; branch 1 feeds my front lights, branch 2 controls my colorstrips, etc, etc.

                              If I have a problem, I immediately know which branch to troubleshoot. I also know which 75% of my rig is NOT causing the problem.
                              no signature required

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