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assurance-tunnel

Intermittent problem with timecode triggering



  • I have spoken with someone who knows things about electricity and ground faults and is aware of issues at a specific venue I mentioned. It's a theory that could go like this. I had a projector in a lighting balcony over the audience. it was plugged into a grounded outlet. The RCA cable ran from there to my laptop on stage right which was plugged into a "clean power outlet" and it was only plugged in with a two blade plug, the usb hub was also plugged in with a two blade wall wart, the projector RCA cable was plugged into a vga to rca convert which was plugged in with a two blade plug. The computer was then plugged into the sound board which created a ground to power through the sound system. The sound system is not a balanced system. there is a hum. My friends suggestion for next time is to either un ground the projector, or run an extension cord to the same power outlet that the computer is plugged into.
    On tuesday there was a scan line that ran through my video. It was in the  59/60 hz range as it ran every minute. At the end of the night I jiggled to connector and found it was loose so i tightened it. Scan line disappeared. I had to run the video in quicktime and abandoned isadora completely weds-sunday. It worked. In my free time I tried isadora, it would just trigger everything at once, it was crazy. I reinstalled it and it didn't make a difference.
    The building has many air conditioners, exhaust fans, 4 lighting dimmers in the theatre, sound system with a buzz, coffee machines, microwaves, florescent lights, hundreds of people with cell phones, several walkie talkies, and probably many more things capable of noise.
    I spoke with an engineer at DIgi(xbee makers) and he said there's no issue with cell phones and wifi networks. I'm not sure i believe him. However now that the computer is working again and isadora is running properly I'm inclined to take it in one night and see what happens with it in various states of being plugged in, and see at what point things go nuts.
    I have partitioned the computer and installed mountain lion with a fresh install of isadora. it is working, but i did find that if i double-clicked on the timecode trigger 1.0 module to see what was inside it, and then closed it, the thing would start acting up. so i had to rebuild the entire show file from scratch. It is working. but if i use an enter scene trigger it triggers everything, which is weird because i don't think it should.
    Version of isadora is 1.3.0f24 on partitioned mountain lion macbook air 11". VGA to RCA converter plugged into displayport, usb powered hub with an x-bee plugged into it. Mono sound jack plugged into sound system.
    What ever the problem is it affected my other laptop when i plugged it into the "setup". it caused isadora to go crazy too. I'm back home and I had to reinstall it all and it's working now that i rebuilt the show file again. Fortunately it's going to be a while before I do this again. so i am hopeful i can get it sorted out. It would be nice to do a show the way it was rehearsed.



  • @magicdominik
    "....now that the computer is working again and isadora is running properly I'm inclined to take it in one night and see what happens with it in various states of being plugged in, and see at what point things go nuts."
    I think that is probably the best thing to do.
    It is hard for anyone else to set up any effective tests without having a similar situation at hand.
    I can tell you that I once had a serious issue on an opera show, in two large civic theatres in Canada that were using Radio sets that were too powerful. In the end I had to ban crew with walkies from standing within 10 feet of my computer. As long as they obeyed, everything was fine! However it was very hard to troubleshoot. I was lucky. Finally one of them stood right in front of me and pressed to talk on the radio and the bug happened immediately. I got him to repeat it and tried again and again until I was sure it was the issue. Then I tested with him stepping further and further away, until he was far enough for it to have no effect, and the issue never ever repeated after that.
    Crazy stuff you cant find out from a manual!



  • @MagikDominik

    "... there was a scan line that ran through my video. It was in the  59/60 hz range as it ran every minute. At the end of the night I jiggled to connector and found it was loose so i tightened it. Scan line disappeared."
    Jiggling the cable might have been a coincidence, with the real issue more likely to be that your video cable crossed a power line. If your cable has to coross a power line try to force it to cross at 90 degrees across it, rather than alongside it. This can help.

    I'd be happy to troubleshoot the set up further with you. I'll start a support ticket and email you that way.