Skip to main content
Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Express Diagnostic Disk Files


The information in this post is provided to assist in troubleshooting. Perform work at your own risk. ENSURE ANY POWER FROM DEVICES HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED BEFORE SERVICING ANY EQUIPMENT. If you do not feel comfortable performing the work, please contact us or your local service center. Be aware that ETC and its Affiliates are not responsible for any damage or injury caused by service of our products by anyone other than us or our authorized service providers, and such damage is excluded from the product’s warranty.

Description/Explanation of Issue

The diagnostic disk can be used to troubleshoot the Face Panel and the Brick.

Click on this link to download files:  Express - Diagnostic

NOTE: Please save this file locally for your future reference.

How to use the diagnostic disk

  • Use a computer with a floppy drive to copy the diagnostic disk files to a blank formatted floppy disk (High-Density, 1.44MB).    
    • It may be preferred to format the disk using the console (Setup -> Disk -> Format Disk).
  • Turn off the console, and then insert the disk.
  • Turn on the console and wait for the disk to load.
  • Select the desired diagnostic test and press [Enter].
  • Wait for the test to load.
  • Turn off the console after each test has completed.

Do not press S7 while in the Diagnostic test file selection menu.  This will overwrite your console software so that the console will boot to the selected item every time the console is turned on.


Test Summary Details
DMX - Sends a DMX signal to all 512 addresses with each port  
Warning: This erases the SRAM (show memory)
The test is divided into parts, tests and passes. The parts are:
zeros: write 0's to all locations
ones: write 1's to all locations
bit n each step in a checkerboard test
The tests consist of all the parts run with byte, short, word or quad word accesses. Each pass consists of all the tests run once. The test runs forever.
The error display has three columns:
errors: total number of errors
addr mask: indicates which address lines the errors occurred on
data mask: indicates which data lines the errors occurred on
If only 1 or 2 bits are set in the address mask, more than likely the problem is an address line problem. The same holds true for the data mask.
Warning: This erases the SRAM (show memory)
The test is identical to the DRAM tests.
Flash - Tests Flash
(Do not power off console or remove disk until testing is complete)
This tests the flash EEPROM. This is not a very exhaustive test because of the limited write capability of EPROMs. It is non-destructive.
Face - This tests the face panel functions, RFU, and Remote inputs If you are running an Insight or Impuls, the display will be funky until you press [PARK].

The display has several sections.
  • The top row(s) indicate the pot levels and the bump states. The numbers are in reverse video if bump is down.
  • The next row has the fader pot levels and the total number of bad packets received since the program started. Bad packets indicate some sort of data corruption in the communication from the face panel to the processor board.
  • The next row has the total number of transmitter time-outs since program start. Transmitter time-outs occur when the DREQ state machine for the transmitter on the processor board hangs up from metastability. This problem has been fixed in the latest release of PAL U36 (~10 Mar 94).
  • The next row has the grand master level and the time between good received packets.
  • The next 2 rows have a millisecond clock (to show if the main processor is running), several enable indicators and the face panel type (PARK key).
  • The next 2 rows indicate internal key codes and can be ignored.
  • The next 2 rows display the raw SMPTE time from the external source and the internal SMPTE clock. The color of the internal clock is green if good external events are being received, red if a few externals are missed and cyan if none are. A red and green flicker usually means a marginal SMPTE signal.
  • The next 2 rows show the instantaneous and accumulated output from the wheel encoders.
  • The next few rows show the macros from the IRFU, remote macros, alpha keys and normal keys.
  • Whenever a normal key is pressed the corresponding LED is lit. Turning the AB switch will light the appropriate A/B LED. Pulling the grand master down from full will flash the grand master LED. Pressing a bump button will toggle the corresponding LED(s).
  • The various soft-keys, digits and +- muck with the 7 segment display.
  1. Once the test has loaded, make sure that Debounce = On.  By default Debounce is on, but pressing "Setup" enables or disables Debounce. It is the software setting that filters out the data entry, such as when it appears that the fader input is flickering between 00 and 01.
  2. "Macro 1" button also controls Remote Trigger relay.
  3. "Macro 2" button also controls Twisted Pair polarity relay.
Trackpad - Test Trackpad
  1. Press "Track" to track the input on the screen.
  2. Press "Record" to change between Raw and Processed input modes.

Diagnostic Test "Help" Notes

The "HELPFILE" is what stores the notes that are displayed at the bottom of the Diagnostic Disk menu when each item is selected.

These must be written in the same order that the files appear on the disk.

Each file gets 5 lines.  The top line must be the file name written identical to the actual file name.  The following 4 lines can say whatever.