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Author Topic: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.  (Read 556 times)

Caleb Dueck

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Re: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2020, 08:24:24 pm »

Does the software have a provision to adjust the DMX output rate? Could be that the fixtures can't update fast enough and you need to set to a slower data rate.
If you have access to another console or a DMX tester that would be something to try.

I've come across this issue with low-end fixtures (Chauvet DJ level or lower), but not Chauvet Pro or better.  Doug Fleenor DMX Decelerator fixes it. 

Sounds like a DMX issue between the computer and the distro if it affects all legs. 

I always spec a DMX terminator for the end of each DMX run. 

Cheap fixtures or bad cables are common issues - but tend to only affect their respective legs.

The cheaper the fixtures, the lower the total length per leg and quantity of fixtures will work. 

The last time I saw all the lights blink like you described - it was the an issue with the DMX signal between the computer and the splitter. 

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John L Nobile

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Re: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 11:49:46 am »

Which chain? lol

There's 5 different chains of lights off the splitter.

And no, there's no terminators anywhere, but I've never actually seen a terminator fix a problem. Not on modern lights anyway.

I guess my lights are old. My installer/LD always adds a terminator to the last fixture in a chain.

Here's something that may shed "light" on a terminator

A “DMX Terminator” is used when you are using a lot of DMX fixtures on one single DMX line (Universe). It removes a lot of noise and flickering on the DMX Tx line which improves the reliability of your fixtures.
When a DMX signal has traveled to the end of your DMX line if it is not terminated you get something which is referred to as a “shadow” signal bouncing back along the line which can cause all sorts of problems with you DMX fixtures.
The longer the DMX cable run the greater the risk of getting this bounce back.
Rule of thumb DMX lines should always be terminated.
It is often claimed that DMX devices work without termination, however this is generally due to luck rather than good design.
If the addition of a terminator causes problems in your chain, it is likely down to poor quality DMX Cable. Due to the nature of the DMX protocol, the devices are very sensitive to the quality of the cable and connectors, and misuse of this equipment can cause problems.
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 04:44:30 pm »

Tim, using both the 3 pin and 5 pin outputs has always caused trouble for my clients.  You might try moving one of those cables to the thru output to see if that solves the problem.  I too have had problems where a single cable or bad light causes everything to be wonky, but usually splitters isolate or solve the problem.  Just a guess, but a missing signal or power ground, or incorrectly wired power source might also cause an entire rig to act up.  Let us know what you find.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 06:35:27 pm »

If the entire rig goes into blackout at the exact same time, that's more an indicator of the console sending rogue signal. The way DMX works is it sends out a value to each DMX address sequentially.  The light knows what channel to listen for and when it sees the signal, it sets itself appropriately, then waits until it's channel comes around the rotation again. If you lose DMX signal completely, the light will either remain where it was, or go to blackout mode, depending on how it's set.  Each manufacturer and model of light will have a different amount of time before it gives up waiting for that next command.  If all lights are blacking out in unison, that's unlikely to be the cause.

It's possible that mis-termination or a flaky cable could be messing with the data stream. However, usually this results in overall erratic behavior in the lights.  Weird movement, random colors etc.  For it to send blackout signal to all the lights as the only fault while not impossible is very unlikely.

The same thing with an instrument sending rogue signals.  Usually those problems are more wonk than simple blackout.

Now, if your controller is getting cranky and instead of sending out the appropriate stream of signal and just sends out all zeros, well, that's going to cause all lights to go to zero immediately and in perfect sync.  If the processor is overloaded and the console just doesn't know what numbers to send, that might be how it's going to react.
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Brian Jojade

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Entire rig blinks off/on at random.
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 06:35:27 pm »


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