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wbottomley
08-09-2012, 09:05 PM
I've started this discussion on other forums and felt it should be included here. In a hypothetical situation where disaster strikes your light show, what would you do if one or more of following occurred here (http://www.highcountrylights.com/blog/backup-plan-have-one.html)?

It gives something to think about.

Pwmcguire
08-09-2012, 09:10 PM
You should think a little more positively :wink2:

macebobo
08-09-2012, 09:52 PM
I will stand by the breaker box, switching them off and on in time to the music. :twisted: In all seriousness, it's not a commercial show and I would troubleshoot, repair/replace and if all else fails, fix it next year.

CaptKirk
08-09-2012, 10:11 PM
1.FM transmitter: quit Take down the "Tune to" sign and Run without music, or get out the speakers
2. Controller: fried Replace with backup - always have a backup.
3.Power Supply died - pixel related - replace with backup or run without that element.
4.Pixel Bridge burned out - backup or run without
5.A Pixel died in-turn killing the rest of the set- replace the pixel the next day.
6. DMX- adapter quit Run backup MUST have backup for this.
7.Lynx adapter quit Well I would EXPECT this to happen so I would not run flakey stuff.
8. LOR- adapter quit These are too expensive I would not run LOR so N/A
9.Show PC crashed - BAAAAAACKUP
10.Main Servo motor quit - replace the droid with another R2 unit.
11.Lost all sequence files - cant happen- on multiple backups and USB drives.
12. Director Card- quit Dont use LOR too expensive (cant you read above??)
13.Fuses continue blowing - start pulling plugs till fuses dont blow then fix the short.

Got any tough questions??

maffeirw
08-09-2012, 10:28 PM
I have backup equipment for virtually for all of the situations listed which means I have much too much equipment not being used. :)

The interesting one for me is the "A Pixel died in-turn killing the rest of the set" as I had that happen a few times last year. Because the pixels were located at the peak of the roof I couldn't replace them without taking down the entire set so I clipped the data wire on both sides of the affected Pixels and jumped the data line across it, while leaving the + & - leads to continue to supply power to the rest of the string. It actually stayed that way until I finally replaced the two bad pixels yesterday.

chadowamsley
08-09-2012, 10:29 PM
Agree. Think positive.

Also agree with captkirk, except I don't know about pixels or LOR. Hardest think with what he said is to keep the backup, as a backup, and not pouring it into the show. I had a backup, twice this year, but each time get incorporated into my show.

Still hoping I have time to buy and build another as a backup. First year and feel I should have a backup, since I'm not knowledgeable on this stuff.

All else fails, you run to diyc and get shown the way.

dirknerkle
08-09-2012, 10:34 PM
Three-point plan here at DIGWDF...

1. Stick a sign in the snow.
2. Go inside and have a beer.
3. Fix it tomorrow.

Lionking_Tx
08-09-2012, 10:50 PM
Three-point plan here at DIGWDF...

1. Stick a sign in the snow.
2. Go inside and have a beer.
3. Fix it tomorrow.

I go with Dirk's plan

crazy_carpenter
08-09-2012, 11:05 PM
1 FM-02 Transmitter : I need to order another one soon before I take a soldering iron to the one I just got and go into hack-n-mod mode. Yes WLC, I'm fixing to void the warranty one the first one.
2 Renard controllers: 2 spare parts kit, 16 extra triacs from the GB, a cheap VOM meter Harbor Freight gave me for free when I bought that big ole generator and a Weller soldering iron.
3 Mini incan strings: A Light Keeper Pro gun with a box of about 10k spare bulbs that I got in a horse trade with another member here.
4 Lost Vixen sequence: Simple in this digital age we live in, Backup, Backup, Backup !!!!
5 Blown fuses: A box of spares and figure it out... see #2
6 Crashed show computer: I have 2, an old HP desktop as the main and an ancient Compaq laptop as a backup... see #4

As this is my first year in this new hobby, I can't speak to pixel or DMX problems. I'm still in the buy it at Walmart/Home Depot mode.

kingofkya
08-10-2012, 12:46 AM
Does Telling the controllers not to break count.

As far as file system backups I use bacula with a bunch of WD black drives in soft raid6.
http://www.bacula.org/en/

Matt_Edwards
08-10-2012, 12:59 AM
If it breaks mid show, well thems is the breaks. If I can fix it, well and good, I will. If I can't so be it.
Don't stress out - this is a hobby. If all hell breaks loose, start planning next year and biuld system robustness in from the start.

BTW DRP's are only as good as the system design and the implementation. There is no point stressing out at what might happen.

Do you guys really drink beer when it is Snowing? I think of it as a Summer activity. Port and more Bourbon is more winter.

budude
08-10-2012, 01:10 AM
If it breaks mid show, well thems is the breaks. If I can fix it, well and good, I will. If I can't so be it.
Don't stress out - this is a hobby. If all hell breaks loose, start planning next year and biuld system robustness in from the start.

BTW DRP's are only as good as the system design and the implementation. There is no point stressing out at what might happen.

Do you guys really drink beer when it is Snowing? I think of it as a Summer activity. Port and more Bourbon is more winter.

+1 on several of your points - mostly the Port and Bourbon comment! Just came back from Sonoma with several Zin based Ports - mmmm.....

Skunberg
08-10-2012, 09:14 AM
I keep this in mind as I plan my layout. As I can't afford spare controllers, I keep in mind if this controller fails do I let the show run without this element or rob a controller and leave a different element dark. I also plan so failures effect the show less. Like for a arch rather than wrap string for a channel, fold it in half before you wrap. So if half a string goes bad it looks dim rather than dark. On mega tree one controller for each color rather than 1/4 of the strings. If I lose a color the other 3 make it so most people won't notice but if I lose 1/4 of the tree everyone will notice. And planning like this makes it easy if something goes bad because you already know what your going to do.
That's the outside, inside I keep a copy of Vixen with all files on a flash drive. I run a wimpy PC for the show (last year I was still running Win98SE) with XP so free to $50 will replace it or use my regular home PC that I sequence on. So knowing what your going to do or can do is more important than having spare everything.

Brian

n_gifford
08-10-2012, 12:16 PM
Backup plan? What's that?..... I have no spare equipment. If something breaks, I'll fix it or buy a new one. My neighbor across the street would probably appreciate an equipment failure. Those pixels sure are bright when I light the whole house up in full white!.... :)

And beer when it's snowing? Of course! You don't have to worry about your beer getting warm, just stick it in the snow. Unfortunately it doesn't snow in Oakley, CA. I've thought about renting a snow maker for opening night of my display though.

Materdaddy
08-10-2012, 12:17 PM
Do you guys really drink beer when it is Snowing? I think of it as a Summer activity. Port and more Bourbon is more winter.

Snow? What's that? I live in San Diego, the beer capital of the US (http://www.nbcsandiego.com/the-scene/food-drink/Magazine-Drafts-San-Diego-as-US-Beer-Capitol-63709367.html). We never stop drinking beer here. The mayor even declared June as Craft Beer Month (http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/feast/2011/jun/01/mayor-declares-june-san-diego-craft-beer-month/) and is known for frequenting local craft brewing establishments.

As for the original topic, my backup plans are similar to some listed and a little different.

I have some spare unassembled controllers and will scramble depending on what goes down. For other things, I don't worry about it, it's a hobby. Last year was our first year and the only element I had problems with were initial design problems with something I created. All of the DIYC designed things worked great!

Andy.wpg
08-10-2012, 02:17 PM
it's not a commercial show and I would troubleshoot, repair/replace and if all else fails, fix it next year.

Yeah, what he said. I'm not sure anyone other than some family and friends have stopped to watch my little show...... :blush:

Andy.wpg
08-10-2012, 02:22 PM
I've thought about renting a snow maker for opening night of my display though.

Sorry, I always giggle when I see that.......... can't help it! As I've said before, you are welcome to as much snow as you can haul out of my yard in late November, I'll even help you shovel!

Now, as to how the snow will look after a few thousand mile journey in the back of a dump truck.........

Daryl1
08-10-2012, 02:43 PM
I'm going to use NASA's philosophy--"failure is not an option". If that doesnt work, plan B is- Use DIGWDF's Plan.

Skunberg
08-10-2012, 03:04 PM
Sorry, I always giggle when I see that.......... can't help it! As I've said before, you are welcome to as much snow as you can haul out of my yard in late November, I'll even help you shovel!

Now, as to how the snow will look after a few thousand mile journey in the back of a dump truck.........

Ship it airmail!!

jaywalk101
08-10-2012, 03:27 PM
Since I'm going almost 100% rgb and pixels this year, I'm going to try to have the following for spares for my show:
1 spare e681 controller
1 spare e131 rpm bridge
Spare pixels for my strips and LED nodes (probably just a spare 50ct roll and 50ct string)
I have a cheap spare fm transmitter if my fm02 craps out.....

Crossing a lot of unknown territory this year.. last year had a lot of problems with running my show in the rain (even light rain). This is one of my concerns as cause of system failure. I am also worried about potential theft. When you start putting up matrix and video animation, people will notice this and realize there is money wrapped up in our shows and something could easily walk away over night. This is probably my biggest worry/concern. What do you guys think?

tjetzer
08-10-2012, 03:44 PM
This is easy, but something to think about....


1.FM transmitter quit I have a spare.
2.Controller(s) fried I have a spare
3.Power Supply died - pixel related I have a spare
4.Pixel Bridge burned out Up a creek
5.A Pixel died in-turn killing the rest of the set Swap out dead pixel as soon as possible
6.DMX adapter quit N/A
7.Lynx adapter quit N/A
8.LOR adapter quit N/A
9.Show PC crashed Redundant drives in show PC. I have a spare, although pixels would stay dark until show PC is back up
10.Main Servo motor quit N/A
11.Lost all sequence files This should never happen. I have backups on 4 computers and 2 USB drives
12.Director Card quit N/A
13.Fuses continue blowing Lighten the load on that circuit or troubleshoot the problem

crazy_carpenter
08-11-2012, 08:19 PM
Do you guys really drink beer when it is Snowing? I think of it as a Summer activity. Port and more Bourbon is more winter.

Yes we do. And as a matter of fact, most engineers in the U.S. consider beer as a food group, not just a beverage. :biggrin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dR3bRPtl-c

Enjoy!

kidcole
08-11-2012, 10:44 PM
This is a great topic. I do think of my show as being professional. I want it to be the best I can make it.

When I lost a controller last year, I was OK for the night that it happened, but I did do a couple hours of driving to find a spare controller the next day. That was the first time in 3 years that I had any damage. This year I mostly worry about the pixels. They just seem to be frail and possibly less reliable than conventional lights. I will keep a spare E681. But I won't have any spare pixel strips. I supposed I could repair an individual pixel module or two .. but I am really not sure how to isolate which one died and if the whole string is gone. I have decent coverage in spare gear now, but I didn't in my first year. My spares have grown slowly.

1. I acquired a spare FM transmitter and I also make it available for our local members if needed for a couple days.
2. This year I will have a spare controller.
3. I did not plan any spare power supplies but I am only running them at about 2/3rds capacity. Spare supplies will be on my list after Christmas if I decide to forgo for this year.
4. I have a spare LOR adapter.
5. I acquired spare fuses last year when the controller died.
6. I have an old laptop that I thought would be OK as a backup if needed. I am not sure now that I am adding networking and pixels.

I am not too worried about other gear. I have usual spare bulbs and strings. I use a lot of incandescents for the traditional look. Finding the bad mini bulbs about killed me during my first year, so I acquired a good buzz box. Works like a charm. I hope some good design engineers can come up with a way to diagnose pixels !

wbottomley
08-11-2012, 11:17 PM
Denny, if you ever need mine, let me know. I'll be glad to help out.

raplass
08-12-2012, 09:07 PM
I've started this discussion on other forums and felt it should be included here. In a hypothetical situation where disaster strikes your light show, what would you do if one or more of following occurred here (http://www.highcountrylights.com/blog/backup-plan-have-one.html)?


Something so hypothetical for the list; windstorms. We've had a lot in the southwest lately. They not only smashed reasonably well built display elements but we've also got bombarded by asphalt shingles from my neighbor roof, several yards away... Subtler effect of wind, cords against house bricks get cut through by wear.

kidcole
08-12-2012, 09:59 PM
Denny, if you ever need mine, let me know. I'll be glad to help out.

Thanks William. I appreciate the offer ..

As we get deeper into pixel gadgets, it's going to be more difficult to share equipment. We'll be on our own to have standby gear. Although I am still hoping that some good engineering guardband will results in clean running effects ..

jklingert
08-13-2012, 04:36 PM
4 Lost Vixen sequence: Simple in this digital age we live in, Backup, Backup, Backup !!!!


I back up my vixen files on Dropbox (http://db.tt/yUjI4fj). You get 2Gb of free cloud storage and it is easy to move files between multiple machines. All it takes is one mistake to lose all your hard work on your sequences.

Xenia
08-13-2012, 05:04 PM
+1 on Dropbox. I run a production version of vixen 2.1 from Dropbox so that I am using the same files whether at work, home, or on the road. I do have a show computer that has a separate directory and files for my final show configuration. I was lucky enough to pick up a Dell I-7 with 16gb memory on Ebay for $525 with Dell warranty still left on it.


1.FM transmitter quit - I have a spare.
2.Controller(s) fried - I have a spare
3.Power Supply died - pixel related I have a spare
4.Pixel Bridge burned out Up that creek
5.A Pixel died in-turn killing the rest of the set Swap out dead pixel as soon as possible
6.DMX adapter quit N/A
7.Lynx adapter quit N/A
8.LOR adapter quit N/A
9.Show PC crashed - I have a spare
10.Main Servo motor quit N/A
11.Lost all sequence files This should never happen backed up on Dropbox plus show computer has two sets of files, in case there is a problem with dropbox
12.Director Card quit N/A
13.Fuses continue blowing Lighten the load on that circuit or troubleshoot the problem