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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

VL440 VL770 VL880 and Eos Family Consoles

From a forum post on the old Community server:

Hey All,

After much troubleshooting and testing, we have discovered an oddity with the interaction between the EOS family consoles and the VL 440 / 770 / 880 software.

The Problem:

This issue has to do with the mspeed parameters on these lighting fixtures. The profile in the EOS family consoles defaults to 255 for all of the mspeed parameters. This is what the manual specifies for these fixtures. However, in certain situations, this value causes the gobos or other parameters to get stuck either with a gobo in or between gobos and will not move out of that position until the value is changed in a bump (0 seconds). So in a show setting if you fade the gobo in, and then fade it back out. In certain situations, the gobo will either stick in and not go back out with the fade. Or the gobo will go half way in, and then will get stuck there.

This bug is reproducible. And while it can be fixed from the console, it appears to actually be a bug with the VL software.

From the VL manual

Timing Channel Notes:

It is recommended that all timing channels are channels are defaulted to a DMX value of 255 (100%). Applying this value will initiate a smoothing algorithm while using a console fade time.
To achieve best (smoothest) timing possible, utilize the luminare timing channels. A luminare timing of DMX 0 (0%) will give the fastest response to the affected attribute. For example, this may be desired in fast color and/or gobo changes.
A timing value of zero is full speed. A time value of 100% (or 255 in DMX) causes the associated parameter(s) to follow cue fade time (console time) rather than the timing channel.
So, as best as I can tell, it is possible to ...confuse that smoothing algorithm.

We have a VL certified tech on staff, and he is reporting this bug back up to Vari-Lite. However, ETC tech support asked that I post here as well to help any others that are having this same error.

First I want to say that this will not be an issue for everyone. I've used this console (GIO) with these lights (VL440) before and never had this issue. However, something about how this particular show was cued caused this issue to pop up. It was not cued 'incorrectly', just in a way that confused the lights.

The Workaround:

  • Go into the profile library
  • Make a copy of the default fixture profile for the fixtures that are having the problem
  • In your new fixture profile that you just created, change the 'home position' of the mspeed parameters from "255" to "0".
  • Apply this new parameter to the lights of that type in your rig.
  • Go back through your cue stack and on each cue with hard values or blocks, and home all of the mspeed values, and then update those cues.
  • tadaa!!!!


I hope this helps others in the future.

Casey Diers

Systems Design and Estimation - DesignLab Chicago

Freelance LD and Programmer

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