Troubleshooting Christie Roadster 18K Projectors

I was setting up a Christie 18K projector yesterday, and encountered a fixable error in the field and wanted to share my troubleshooting process.

While aligning internally generated test patterns, the image began to flicker from White to Cyan then blanking the image intermittently.  The image then went black, and I received this error:

"TI Engine Com Err, Attempting to Comple"

I did a complete power down, disconnect and reboot, a couple of times, and still got the same error message.  I called up the Christie Tech support, and got some advice on troubleshooting the issue(Thanks John!).  He provided me with an internal troubleshooting pdf, and I got to work cracking the projector open.  

FYI, you must remove any eye-bolts or the 3-point mounting hardware on the top of the projector before removing the top lid.  Unscrew the 6 screws on the top of the case with a phillips head screwdriver.  You only need to do a quarter turn of these screws, and they stay attached to the lid(don't try to screw them all the way out!).

Now that you are inside the unit the fun begins.  Look for any loose cables or any strain that may be affecting connections.  I found a couple suspect connectors and did my best to make sure they were properly seated.  I powered it back up and everything came back to normal working order.

 

You can download the specific Christie-Lamp-Technology-Mercury-vs-Xenon-Technical-Guide.pdf here:

https://mega.co.nz/#!6Q4BkJQC!kYBBvRoywWGpt74DkVa4_fDtwJmbp2rIEzdmpAwfguE

Of particular interest for this problem, look to diagrams on page 23 and 47.

Local 16:Cow Palace Video Engineering Troubleshooting Guide

This post is largely going to be useful to only a very small set of individuals, but for those panicked few who need this information, they may find it invaluable.  Video Engineering for the Rodeo at the Cow Palace is a strange experience filled with stubborn mules and bullshit(not to mention the livestock).  Had to re-engineer the media server system such that I pity the next engineer, so I posted a helpful guide if you are ever thrown in with their janky Resolume rig.  I added custom MIDI control surface for playback because the only monitor they have powers on and off at random, and their keyboard is missing keys.  The media server is full of dirt and and manure from being stationed near the bullriders and was routinely being hit with bucked clods of olfactory treats.  I didn't escape very well either...  http://www.showblender.com/blog-1/2014/10/24/local-16cow-palace-video-engineering-troubleshooting-guide

 

Cow Palace Media Server Overview

System:  Windows 7 Resolume Avenue Server Connected via CAT-5 Processor to LED wall running at 768x384@59.94(2:1 AR) with live video input(via Canopus Firewire) and MIDI show control.

Hardware:

Windows 7 Server w/Firewire Input card

LED Processor

14MM LED 96x96px (8x4 Panel) 2:1 AR Wall

Canopus Firewire AV bridge

KORG nanoPAD2

VGA Monitor


Software:

Resolume Avenue

KORG MIDI Control


Operation:

1. Wire all hardware components before powering on(Monitor[VGA], Canopus[Composite source-In/Firewire Out to Media Server], LED Processor[Cat-5 to wall/USB to Media Server/DVI from Media Server], MIDI pad[USB], keyboard[USB] and mouse[USB]).

2. Power up all peripherals, then power up the Media server.

3. If you see an error message on startup press Function F2 to bypass boot error message.

4. Windows Login/Pass: groovebox1  (if NumLock is on press Function NumLock to toggle off in order to type the ‘1’).

5.  Open Resolute Avenue (The Blue A icon on the task bar).

6.  Drag source files into a Layer(presumably layer 1), and check that they play in the preview window.

7.  Have a great show!


Troubleshooting:

Tiling is off-Make sure the SenderBox(SB-8) is set to 32(the number of LED tiles).

All sources are overscanned - Make sure the project is set to 768x384(there are saved files that can get you back on track if you need to.

No live video on Canopus sources(click the Video settings for the canopus, and make sure that timecode is running)- Save settings(Save As is best), power down server, make sure all connections are made, and power server back up.

Canopus sources are overscanned - Use the remote to adjust zoom to 1:1, and check source/transform settings on the source in Resolume.

Sources only play for a short time, ex. 5 sec then stop, adjust video Duration on the clip.(0 is forever 5000=5 sec…)

Good luck!

New BlackMagic ATEM 4K 6.0 Update has Connection Bugs

For the record, I love BlackMagic hardware products.  The MiniRecorder, the HD-SDI Router, and the converters are all great products.  The only problem is the software.  I've had an unbelievable amount of troubles with the software they offer.  I've had Blue Screens of Death, random crashes, and whenever I try to play an mp4 in Media Express, it crashes.  

My advice?  Stay with whatever version is working for you, and avoid being an early adopter of their software updates, especially not before a show.

Setting the ip of the ATEM switcher after the update will not connect.  Changing the IP via USB Setup Utility works, but the Software just won't connect after flashing the software to 6.0, restarting, changing IPs(172, 10.x.x.x's are the same).  Previously:   

Setting the ip of the ATEM switcher after the update will not connect.  Changing the IP via USB Setup Utility works, but the Software just won't connect after flashing the software to 6.0, restarting, changing IPs(172, 10.x.x.x's are the same).

Previously:

 

Spyder Ops: Is Vista Advanced 4.0.4 Production Ready?

Spyder Operators:  How has your experience been with Vista Advanced 4.0.4 so far?
Here is my experience on a current show, and some of the quirks I've had to work around.  Let me know how its been working out for you.

1. The GUI Command keys often freeze up(command keys can be cloned, but not deleted or moved).  This requires a repair data list.
2. Loading a Still to a PVW layer takes a the normal time, but for some reason, but reloads each still before mixing into program(The rest of the command key executes immediately with stills showing up 15-20 seconds after).
3. The GUI(even the default layout) has a ton of minor glitches that really need a polish(see attached image).  Responsive design elements would greatly improve the UI.
4. A Generate OpMon PixelSpace Overlays would be nice.
5. Switch Known Crosspoints keeps getting turned on somehow, requiring a frame restart.  Seems like maybe its a default setting that overrides the current settings(A checkbox in the configurator would be great).
6. Horizontal line of noise on ConfigMon only(glitch appears on any mon set as Config).
7. Offset Cloning a Still Layer in All Pixelspaces doesn't render the clone.(Never tried this before, so disregard if this wouldn't work in the first place).
Current setup(x20, 4.0.4, no Still Server, BM 40x40, LW 32x32, Spyder Client).
Cheers!
-Joe