ColorSource PAR for no reason Flashes RED.

We've  got 15 ColorSource PAR lights over the stage. One of them on Electric 1 Down Stage (The one in the middle) Just about every 20-30 minutes does a random flash that's RED.  Any suggestions as to what might be causing this to happen so we can make it stop? This can happen even if the PAR lights are not actively on. At any point in a show. 

Thanks In advance.

Jeff

Sanford PAC

Sanford,ME

Parents
  • Hi Jeff, I have seen this happen in the past.  My situation was that a Preset was playing on the fixture "in the background".  When DMX is present, DMX controls the fixture, but when DMX goes away for some reason, it falls back to the Preset.

    So, I suggest that you check to see if a Preset is playing on those fixtures, and if so, turn it off.  That way, the behavior when DMX is lost is just to Hold Last Look, which will match the DMX levels that had been coming in.

  • Our School PAC is just 3 years old & I've been learning the ETC EOS ION Lighting Console for about 7 weeks now. I've taken this issue up since our Director is in the final week of prep for their Fall school Play this weekend.

    How would I check to see if a Preset is playing as you suggest? If its just opening the "Presets" tab & looking at what there is. There is nothing showing in the "Presets" tab

    The Red flash can happen several times during the performance. 

  • I apologize, I'm thinking about a built-in behavior on the light itself, not something the Ion is doing.

    It sounds like this issue: ColorSource Par is flashing briefly when DMX is present - Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

    If you have physical access to one of the lights that is doing this flash, get to where you can see its 7-segment display (typically showing its DMX address in form like 001 or 432).  If you remove the DMX input to that fixture, see if it turns to the red color you noticed, then look for something like P:03 on the display, which indicates it's playing Preset 3 when it loses DMX. 

    If that is what is happening, you can press the Mode button once to stop it playing the Preset when DMX is lost.

    According to that support article, this is a bug from at least v1.4.0, but is fixed in current software 1.7.2.  The software version is shown on the display when the fixture is booted up (power is applied).

  • How would you update the software if its still v1.4? Ok, This gives me something to look into. These Pars were installed sometime the first half of 2018 & the Document you reference to says a fix rolled out in Dec 2018. 

  • ETC fixtures (and other ETC stuff) is often updated via a software program called UpdaterAtor.  Your Ion console may already have UpdaterAtor installed, or you may have to add it. 

    From there, the instructions depend on how your Ion is connected to the fixtures - whether they are connected directly to the back of your Ion through DMX cable, or if they're over a network to some ETC DMX/RDM Gateways.

    If you'd prefer, it may be faster to give your local ETC Technical Services a call and walk through the process with someone over the phone:  Technical Support (In the Americas, 800-688-4116)

    Otherwise, you're welcome to email me directly at mattp (at) etcconnect.com to go through the particulars for your system.

  • OK, I've been to the PAC and taken a look. I knew it was a center PAR that was flashing just wasn't sure if it was Electric 1 or 2. Brought down 1 first & the Center PAR was showing its address number. unplugged the DMX & it stayed Blue. Check the Mode & it was P:01. Unplugged the power & plugged it back in & it showed v1.70.

    So I when to Electric 2 walked up to Center PAR & it was displaying P:03. Unplugged it & it turned RED. Switched it to P:01 checked software & it was 1.70. So I think you solved the problem.

    Now we sit back and wait for to not flash RED anymore. Thanks for your help Matt. 

  • OK, We ran thru the school play yesterday afternoon. There is no more flashing RED light center stage. But now there's a flashing white light not in the same spot. But its just about the same frequency flashing as was the RED flashing light. I've checked all of the PAR's & they're all set to Mode P:01. I will call Tech support for assistant in updating the software on these fixtures. But with the play happening over the next 3 days We would not update the software until after this weekend.

    How do I verify if UpdaterAtor is installed on the Ion Console or not & how would I add it if its not? 

  • To clarify, I don't think you want them in mode P01 (playing Preset 1) when DMX is removed - I would want them showing their DMX address, but have it flashing (indicating that not Preset is playing).  (Unless you rely on them automagically turning on when you turn off your console, but it doesn't sound like it).

    If UpdaterAtor is installed on your console, there will be a button in the Shell > Maintenance that reads "UpdaterAtor..." which will launch the software.  Here's a Support Article about that: Updaterator via Console IO Cards - Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

    and there is a video linked to this Support Article: Updating DMX Devices via USB in UpdaterAtor - Electronic Theatre Controls Inc (the process is the same, you just use the DMX ports on the back of your console instead of the special USB cable in that article).

  • We're running thru the play for the school this morning. I will pull down the lights & make sure they're all showing their addresses on the displays & not Mode P:01. I will also check to see if we have the UpdaterAtor software loaded.

  • Well We ran the play today an we didn't have any flashes. Now I did review the 2nd electric PAR's yesterday & I may have just set them all to their address setting & not a preset mode. Not clearly understanding that it was just the thing to do.  I will review them again tomorrow on all 3 electrics all 15 PAR's before the public show tomorrow evening. 

    Will still look to update the firmware for the fixtures starting next week with the info you've provide.

    Do the Tech help phone number work on weekends/24/7?

    thanks for all your help Matt.

    Sanford Performing Arts Center

    Sanford, ME

  • Hi Jeff, glad to hear you had no flashes recently.  I think you're on the right track to wait to make any software changes until you're not in the middle of performances.

    Yes, the phone number in the US (800) 688 - 4116 operates 24/7/365.  Overnight and on weekends it operates in an emergency pager mode, with a callback within 15 minutes.  

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  • Hi Jeff, glad to hear you had no flashes recently.  I think you're on the right track to wait to make any software changes until you're not in the middle of performances.

    Yes, the phone number in the US (800) 688 - 4116 operates 24/7/365.  Overnight and on weekends it operates in an emergency pager mode, with a callback within 15 minutes.  

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