Console Priority Over P-ACP: Issues Controlling Fixture Attributes From Console Due To P-ACP Config

I have just installed a large lighting system and I am having some difficulty controlling some attributes of the lighting fixtures.

The install consists of:

Paradigm ACP w/ 7" Touchscreen

Element Console

Net 3 Two Port Gateways

75 x Colorsource Spot and PAR fixtures

4 x Moving fixtures


The problem I am having is that I can't control the colour of the CS fixtures, and I have limited movement with the moving fixtures when controlling the system from the console.

If I delete the fixture from the Paradigm config, or turn the paradigm off, I get full control of those fixtures.

There is clearly an issue with my programming, but I am not sure what it is. Is there a way to tell the Paradigm that when the console is turned on, the console has priority?



  • You are experiencing HTP on NIPs.
    What's the job number (ETC Sales Order Number) ?
  • You're experiencing the standard challenge of shared control of multi-parameter fixtures. The Paradigm installing technician should contact Technical Services. We have a white paper that walks through implementation choices.
  • Hi Adrian,
    if you don't have a job number, I am wondering why you are programming a Paradigm Config.
    Paradigm programming needs to be carried out by an Authorized ETC Service Technician.
    As Tracy stated above, please have that person contact ETC TS about getting assistance.
    Thanks and have a good day,
  • Thanks Tracey!
    I just spoke with tech support and he explained exactly what was causing the issue and also showed me where to get the document you mentioned.
    I am the installing technician, however this is the first time I have commissioned a Paradigm ACP so I didn't know about this issue or how to work with the priority and arbitration settings. This service note will help me fix everything!
    Thanks again!
  • Hi Corey,

    First off - very well aware this is a response on a years-old post. As depressing as it is, this is still very much a current problem.

    As mentioned elsewhere on this forum, this sort of reply is not only condescending (while completely and intentionally failing to answer OP’s question), but reinforces this unethical policy of denying owners of equipment the Right to Repair. I’m sure if the folks that hired OP wanted to, they would have hired an ETC Authorized Service Provider, but they didn’t, so the answer to this question is not “hire an ASP”, however much you might prefer that it were.

    ETC needs to make the tools to maintain, repair, and update these systems available to the people and organizations that buy them. It’s our problem if we foul things up. Stop treating folks with reasonable questions like errant schoolchildren. If you want to be a part of the solution, then great. Otherwise, best not say anything at all.

  • Hi Zebetz,
    I apologize if you got the impression that I was being condescending - because it wasn't and isn't my intention.

    ETC believes very much in the Right to Repair and as you can see in many of our support articles publicly available on our website - like this how to open a Congo Jr:

    we try to help customers often in how to repair the hardware in their out of warranty products.

    Software is a much more complicated product that isn't as easily self-repaired.
    There are practical challenges to software repair. For example, fixing or editing software is more difficult and treacherous than fixing hardware. Complicating matters further, more and more software is embedded in hardware or other softwares or firmwares making it difficult, if not impossible, to repair. A
    right to repair software would also push deep into conflicts with intellectual property rights
    because repairing software might infringe a copyright holder’s exclusive right to create and
    distribute derivative works, a patent holder’s right to exclude making and using an invention,
    or a trade secret holder’s right to protect valuable information.

    The Paradigm Software is a complex software and without the proper continued training, any changes in a running system could cause problems that include that the complete system fails to work - which could mean, no more work lights or house lights turning on.

    When we suggest that a ASP make changes to a running system software like Paradigm, we are trying to help guarantee that the system continues working - that the lights continue working - as they did when the customer bought the system and it was installed.

  • Hi Corey,

    Thank you. I appreciate the response, as I appreciate that there are many factors involved in this issue, but often the reason given for the lack of access is some flavor of "it's too complicated for most people to understand". I'm not opposed to requiring training in order to unlock "professional" level device access; as I've said elsewhere, I had to certify to be able to configure our Extron equipment. Extron makes this training available for free and online, trusting individuals who undergo the training to be up to the task.

    If I screw up our Extron system beyond my ability to repair it, I have to call a Service Provider. That too makes sense to me. The same thing is true of my car. I have all the tools to fix it but by the same token there's nothing preventing me from getting in there and really screwing things up either. It's on me if I get myself in over my head and, if I do, THAT's when I make the decision to call in outside help. But I have the option, either way - it's my choice and not one Extron has superciliously made on my behalf. There are no gatekeepers standing between me and my ability to maintain, update, or repair my car and there are no gatekeepers standing between me and my ability to do the same for our Extron system here. The same cannot be said of our Paradigm system.

    As for intellectual property rights, the software your techs use has the ability to see all the relevant system components and use all the relevant technologies necessary to affect the changes a user might want to make to their system, and copyright infringement/the making of derivative works/and cetera are not an issue (the fact that your techs/service providers have access to the software and technology is proof of this) - just having the tools necessary to maintain my system is not the same as having the underlying source code that makes it all work.

    I'm sure there's proprietary technology in my Mini Cooper too, that doesn't mean that I can't plug in a diagnostic scanner to tell me that I have an electrical fault or an issue with a tire pressure sensor. I can then repair those faults just as I can change the oil. And I can do all that without impinging on anyone's intellectual property rights just as I can operate the configuration software to update my Extron Control Processor without discovering the arcane secrets of Extron's proprietary XTP technology. 

    In essence, there is no difference between me having access to LightDesigner and one of your techs having access to it. I'm not able to decompile that software and rip off your IP, even if I did have access to it. The only difference is that, with the software, I'm able to do the things I need to do without having to call in the cavalry whereas now, as things stand, I can't make even simple system changes/updates without calling in someone from outside our organization. Quite apart from the cost and the hassle of having to coordinate schedules and wait for an appointment and cetera, there's the added difficulty of just dealing with another person.

    Every layer of obstruction that exists between a user and their equipment management makes it that much harder to make desired changes and, honestly, we've just given up and accepted that unless we call in a tech (which we won't do), we're not going to be able to do what we want to do here, so th system has sat with issues unaddressed for a year or two because it's more hassle than it's worth to jump through all the hoops and expense of getting someone out to do something I could do in fifteen minutes if I had access to the software to do it.

  • Hello Zebetz;

    I replied to your similar comments in a different post but wanted to reiterate them here as well because the audiences might be different. 

    As someone who never takes broken for an answer I fully appreciate your thoughts on the right to repair and can tell you that when it comes to hardware, you can call us for documentation and schematics anytime.

    We hold and share our product and system drawings from an archive that goes back to our first products and installations.

    When it comes to software, we offer many tools that allow you to monitor and configure your system. Concert is a prime example of something built from the ground up as a user tool to configure power control products and network devices. EchoAccess is another as you can configure custom programming for your Echo System.

    But in some cases when it comes to potentially system-level destructive configuration software, we err on the side of caution as to when to distribute it. History has been our guide here and not an unwillingness to share.

    One of the differences and struggles we have encountered with Paradigm specifically is we never built it as a user-level tool. What I mean by this is... well... it's complicated software and at times a little counterintuitive to work through. We expected that the people who were using it were going to get trained before they worked in the field.  This does not mean we do not make it available, but we do put some requirements on what you need to do to get it. 

    We recognize that this adds a burden both on the support side and on the user side. We need to make sure we have the means to answer more questions because you can't necessarily help yourself when you have issues. I am very sorry to hear that you have had lingering problems for over a year. No one should have to experience that and now that we are in the loop, I hope you are getting the service you need. 

    As for becoming an authorized service provider, remember in addition to coming to training this is entering into a relationship where the ASP and ETC collaborate to start up systems. There are continuing education requirements and a part of the relationship includes authorization got the ASP to billing us for their time. This is more of a working relationship between partners than product school. As a result we have some specific criteria around who we admit into those sessions.

    It has nothing to do with preventing users from learning, in fact, 2/3rds of the material from those classes is for free in LearningStage.  Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for our next CUE. These are week-long user training sessions on products, processes, and all things ETC. COVID has halted them in the past but keep an ear to the ground.

    In addition to the article Mike mentioned, we also have a class in LearningStage that covers how to use the front panel and webui to monitor and make many changes to your system. Check this class out as it might provide a solution to your needs

    Hope this helps

    David Fox

  • Hi David,

    I was composing a reply to Mike when I got notified of this comment lol. I'm no stranger to complicated software and don't have any specific interest in becoming an ASP (although, truth be told, it might not be a bad idea - the ASPs in this area are few and far between and the people I have dealt with were both condescending and not terribly knowledgeable). I viewed the ASP training more as an avenue to gaining both the knowledge necessary to do the work I need to do as well as acquiring the credentials necessary to gain access to the software (LightDesigner).

    I've reached out directly to ETC before and was told in an email about the possibility of booking in on site training. As I recall, the person that emailed me told me in fairly blunt terms that the training was quite expensive and also pretty unceremoniously shut down my inquiries regarding becoming an Authorized Service Technician.

    I also appreciate the ongoing and collaborative nature of the relationship between ETC and any certified ASPs but there doesn't seem to be a good "third" option. I'm sure there are wonderful advantages to having the only training available tailored to our system, site, and specific needs, but not making general-use (e.g. this is how the software works, how the system components work together, and so forth) training available means that there is no possibility for economical (free or cheap) training. Without that, there is likewise no possibility for folks in the vast majority of situations to be empowered to address these sorts of issues on their own.

    I know that in my specific situation (TD at a state school, with layer upon layer of exhaustive but VERY necessary fiscal oversight) I would likely never be able to get my administrators (who are not technical people) to understand, let alone approve, the need for expensive training after purchasing an already eye-wateringly expensive lighting system. Likewise hiring in techs from ETC authorized dealers is an additional cost that raises eyebrows I'd rather not raise, even if I didn't have the bad taste in my mouth I got the last time we had to deal with the only game in town...

    As an aside, I'd like to say that every ETC technician I've every talked with has been LOVELY, knowledgeable, and helpful. That the same cannot be said of all of your ASPs is not a commentary on your internal employees - I've only ever had overwhelmingly good experiences with them.

    The bottom line is that I haven't met a technical challenge I wasn't up to solving yet and this one is almost certainly not the one to stump me but, unless something changes, I'll likely never get the chance to find out.