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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Frequently Asked Questions in Unison Legacy

 
What voltage is required for the LCD station to operate?

The voltage at the LCD should be at least 9.5Vdc. If the voltage is too low the LCD will get into a power cycling mode. The cycle is created when the backlight circuit draws more current during the power-up stage, causing the voltage to drop to 5Vdc and reset the unit. The unloaded output voltage of the AUX control power supply is set at 24Vdc at the factory. The maximum output voltage is about 14Vdc.

 
Can I measure the voltages on the link power network to check for faults?

Yes, with a digital volt meter(DVM). Set the DVM to read DC volts and measure the voltage across the link power terminals, it should read plus or minus 40.5Vdc +/- 1Vdc. The polarity is not important. Also measure the voltage from each link power terminal to an earth ground connection. The voltage should read either plus or minus 20.25Vdc /- 1Vdc. One terminal will be 20.25 referenced to earth ground and the other will be - 20.25Vdc referenced to earth ground. Abnormal reading will warrant an investigation to find the fault.

 
Can any control module be hot-swapped?

No, the inrush current that charges the input capacitors is enough that it can arc across the card edge connectors. This can damage the connectors and create high resistance hot-spots on the connectors. Turn off the power feed breaker to the rack when changing control modules.

 
I have a multi-rack DR12 system and a CMEd/CMBd control module driving a series of wall stations. None of the wall stations seem to be getting power, what’s wrong?

If the wall stations are wired to a properly installed architectural option PCB in one of the racks, it is likely that the control module installed in that rack does not contain an architectural processor. The CMEd/CMBd must be located in the same rack to which the wall stations are wired.

 
I have a DR12 and regardless of what I do only modules 1,2,3,6,9 and 10 do anything.

The control module is configured for a 6 module rack. To fix the problem enter the Rack initialization menu and under the field [Rack] select [DR12]. Remember, the menu is entered by holding the hidden key located just above the second ’N’ in UNISON on the membrane overlay. See page 5 for rack initialization instructions.

 
I have a DR12 and regardless of what I do only modules 1,2,3,6,9 and 10 do anything.

The control module is configured for a 6 module rack. To fix the problem enter the Rack initialization menu and under the field [Rack] select [DR12]. Remember, the menu is entered by holding the hidden key located just above the second ’N’ in UNISON on the membrane overlay. See page 5 for rack initialization instructions.

 
I have one or two loads that seem to cycle periodically. When they are off, they’re off for about 2 minutes, then it comes back on. What’s wrong?

It is likely that you have an over-temperature problem due to the accumulation of dust in the air filter. The Unison series will attempt to restart the over-temperature module after approximately 2 minutes. Overtemp conditions are detected on a by-module basis. Thus, all circuits that are controlled by the module will be shut down.

 
Can the stations be reset without resetting the control module?

Yes, from the [Diagnostics] section of the Architectural menu. Scroll through the menu until the [Reset Stations] selection appears and hit [Enter]. This will reset the AUX control power and the link power supplies, which will reset all the stations on the network.


Figure 5: 277V fuse block
 
My control module/stations/fan won’t work. What’s wrong? (277V only)

Most likely you have blown fuse F1 and it should be replaced. Fuses are located at the bottom of the rack on the left side of the enclosure. See Figure 5 for location of fuses.

 
I can’t access my [ARCH] menu. I’ve got a dimmer rack with a CMBd/CMEd control module.

If a functioning architectural processor is installed, first enter the [RACK] menu. Scroll to [VOLT] (or any other field), scroll up once, scroll down once (the field should be unchanged). Exit the [RACK] menu, answering [YES] to "Save Changes". Reset the control module. You should now be able to access the architectural processor if it exists.

This only occurs in dimming control modules with Architectural processing. Upon initial power-up the interface processor waits approximately 45 seconds for the Architectural processor to initialize. If the architectural processor does not come on-line in that period, it is assumed that the architectural processor does not exist and that information is written to non-volatile memory. Without an architectural processor, boot time is reduced from 45 seconds to 10 seconds as the interface processor simply ignores the architectural processor. The above procedure forces the interface processor to re-recognize the architectural processor it if exists.

 
I’m getting a "Zero Crossing" error on my control module. What does that mean? (277V only)

Either fuse F2 or F3 needs to be checked and/or replaced. Fuse F2 is for phase C, and F3 for phase B. See Figure 5 for location of fuses.

 
I have plugged in my control processor and all the zones have come to full.

Go into the Unison setup menu and scroll to the [DIAGNOSTIC] menu. From there scroll to "all zones off ". This will take all levels to zero and you can finish installing the system.

 
I am trying to communicate with the Unison PC interface, but cannot get a connection.

Make sure that when you attach to the processor that Light Manager is not running. Make the serial connection first, then start Light Manager and try to get a connection. Also check File/Setup PC Interface for the correct COM port. Reboot if necessary.

 
I have a portable station that will not work when I plug it into any of the portable connectors.

When you first install a Unison system with portable stations you must first bind the portable station to each of the portable connectors. After that the portable station will know where it is connected and will work automatically.

 
I have a Preset station and when I try to play a preset all the LEDs chase.

If the station LEDs chase, it means the station is not "bound" to the processor. Follow the steps on page 12 to manually bind the station.

 
How do I bind stations?

See “To bind control stations to the architectural processor” on page 12.

 
How many stations can I connect/What are the differences between processors?

CMB - Basic architectural processor 128 dimmers
     
8 rooms
     1200 recordable levels
     16 stations (5 LCD)

CME - Extended architectural processor 512 dimmers
     64 rooms
     10000 recordable levels
     128 stations (5 LCD)

CMEi - Extended architectural processor with network connections 512 dimmers
     64 rooms
     10000 recordable levels
     126 stations (5 LCD)

 
How many stations can I connect/What are the differences between processors?

CMB - Basic architectural processor 128 dimmers
     
8 rooms
     1200 recordable levels
     16 stations (5 LCD)

CME - Extended architectural processor 512 dimmers
     64 rooms
     10000 recordable levels
     128 stations (5 LCD)

CMEi - Extended architectural processor with network connections 512 dimmers
     64 rooms
     10000 recordable levels
     126 stations (5 LCD)

 
My LCD screen looks all scrambled

Bitmap files for fonts and graphics have become corrupted. Try reloading your configuration. If you still have problems, contact ETC Technical Services at 800-775- 4382.

 
I try to bind stations, and all I get is "------" at the processor.

Either the station is already bound or is not being recognized by the processor. Check the link power connection.

 
Does it matter what I call my configuration?

No, provided it has a ".cfg" suffix.

 
How do I play/stop a Backup look?

You need to go into the Unison menu, and under [Backup] select [Play] or [Stop]. See “To set the Backup look” on page 9.

 
I set my Backup look to play at boot and now it won’t stop.

You need to go into the Unison menu, and under [Backup] select [Stop] and "Play At Boot" [No]. See “To set the Backup look” on page 9.0.

 
How do I upgrade my processor to a newer version of code?

Contact ETC Technical Services.

 
My processor will not read disks.

There might be a problem with the floppy drive. Call ETC Technical Services.

 
How long should the processor say "Booting"?

Depending on the size of the configuration and number of stations, the processor can display this message for a minute or more.

 
I keep pressing Reset on the CEM to reset my UPSAC, but the stations still don’t work.

The UPSAC system has an external Unison power supply that must be reset as well.

 
I want to record looks that I have set on my console to presets, how does that work?

In the Unison Light Manager Manual, see Modifying Zone Properties, page 22.

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