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Thread: FB4 ESTOP how are people doing it?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aberry View Post
    The shutter signal on the FB4 (both the one in the color connector and the PWM output) is equivalent to the ILDA shutter signal, so it's not suitable for E-stop usage.
    So what is it for then, if not Estop?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave80 View Post
    So what is it for then, if not Estop?
    It is designed to actuate the shutter, if equipped, in the projector. When no frames are being displayed, the shutter signal goes low, which should close the shutter on the projector. That's all.

    Any integration of the shutter into the E-Stop circuit is something that the laser projector manufacturer would have to do. That's not something the controller or software supplier would have anything to do with.

    Removing the shutter signal (which would close the shutter, assuming it's spring-loaded to close) is an acceptable beam suppression method for the E-stop fuction. The problem is that the regulations state that you must have TWO beam suppression methods (for a class 4 projector) when the E-stop is pressed. Note also that interrupting the main A/C power to the internals is *not* an allowed beam suppression method according to US law. (But interrupting the DC power to the laser driver module is, as is removing the modulation signal input and crow-baring it to ground.)

    Furthermore, because of the way the US regulation (21 CFR 1040.10 and .11) is written, you need *both* a remote interlock / E-stop system (consisting of at least 2 wires that are connected for normal operation and open-circuited for the interlock/stop condition) *and* (in the case of a class 4 projector) a remote reset system that functions separately from the interlock circuit. (That is, you can't just "reconnect" the interlock wires to satisfy the reset in a class 4 projector.) This is what people are talking about when they refer to the "class 4 reset problem". At a minimum it requires 3 wires between the projector and the remote box for the interlock and reset circuits, plus a 4th wire for the remote emission indicator light.

    Bottom line: US laws regarding class 4 laser projectors are detailed and restrictive. They list specific requirements that must be met by the manufacturer in order to be considered compliant. And while I agree that the Stanwax board is a product that can be used to satisfy all these requirements, it must still be properly integrated into a projector by the laser product manufacturer. That integration step is where things can go very wrong if the manufacturer doesn't fully understand the rules. (Example: Stanwax board breaks out all relevant signals to a DB-9 connector... You re-wire the FB4 to send those signals on two of the 4 pair of wires on the Ethernet port, and you break those same two pair out at the other end for your remote E-stop box. Now, what happens if you connect to the FB4 through a standard network switch?)

    Adam

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    You re-wire the FB4 to send those signals on two of the 4 pair of wires on the Ethernet port, and you break those same two pair out at the other end for your remote E-stop box. Now, what happens if you connect to the FB4 through a standard network switch?)

    Adam
    You bring up a good point. Is it any worse than the industry standard of using a XLR? Think of all the things that use XLR in a stage environment.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by logsquared View Post
    You bring up a good point. Is it any worse than the industry standard of using a XLR? Think of all the things that use XLR in a stage environment.
    This is the downside of using any common connector/cable type. You gain a lot in terms of convenience and cost, but you have to consider the potential consequences of improper connection with other equipment. There are ways of designing interfaces that are reasonably fail-safe against these issues, but you should always always always test your e-stops and other safety systems BEFORE you need them.

    Individually testing every single E-stop switch should be the last step in your physical setup procedures on every single show, even if no one's touched the rig since the last one.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aberry View Post
    This is the downside of using any common connector/cable type. You gain a lot in terms of convenience and cost, but you have to consider the potential consequences of improper connection with other equipment.
    This is a good argument in support of continuing to use the DB9 connector for interlock/E-stop/reset boxes, like the Stanwax board does. (I mean really, what else uses DB9 these days? Very unlikely to plug it into the wrong piece of hardware!) However, the downside is having to run two different cable types (ILDA and DB9, or Ethernet and DB9) to each projector. And both of them are basically fish-hooks when you're pulling them through a pile of other cable, which is frustrating in the extreme!

    I'm actually on the fence at the moment. I've used some rental equipment recently (from two different suppliers) that had similar solutions for putting the E-Stop, Reset, and Interlock signals on the same Ethernet cable as the data signals for the FB4s. And I must admit that running a single length of Cat-5 from front-of-house to the stage (and then just jumping from one projector to the next up on the truss) was a hell of a lot simpler than running DB9 and DB-25 to everything! Especially with Ether-con connections... Man, that was so nice!

    But I also had to be very careful to use a specific network switch that had been specially constructed to separate the data and E-stop/reset/interlock circuits. And in once case this switch was incorrectly labeled, with no accompanying instructions, making for a very stressful load-in! (How come none of the lasers work?)

    Compare that to a gig I did last year where I had to run over half a mile of ILDA cable (with 10 home runs!) and it's plain to see that Ethernet is so much easier. But now I have a solution that allows me to run all my ILDA cabling on the stage and truss only, with a single home-run of Cat-5 (plus the DB9 for E-stop, reset, and interlock). So that's not too bad. And I also have a *shitload* of money invested in ILDA cable.

    Truthfully though, my biggest hurdle is the money I've already invested in controllers. I don't want to have to go out and buy new FB4s just so I can ditch the ILDA cables. But at some point I may very well do that.

    you should always always always test your e-stops and other safety systems BEFORE you need them.
    This is actually a requirement of the CDRH-mandated pre-show checklist. Sadly, many operators omit this step.

    Individually testing every single E-stop switch should be the last step in your physical setup procedures on every single show, even if no one's touched the rig since the last one.
    Completely agree!

    Adam

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo
    Truthfully though, my biggest hurdle is the money I've already invested in controllers. I don't want to have to go out and buy new FB4s just so I can ditch the ILDA cables. But at some point I may very well do that.
    Are you saying you still haven't yet built an FB3 stage box and gone the Startech route?
    I thought that was the de facto position for people still using multiple FB3.

    I have a 4 way sheathed cat6 loom that runs to FoH, 1 for control, 1 for estop, 1 for Artnet and a spare (video or audio if I'm feeling friendly)

    I had to swap a load of my longer ILDA for shorter ILDA as they were just taking up space and never getting used. Stage only runs for ILDA is the way forward. In my case I run my estop from the stage box over ILDA, plenty of pairs spare for interlock, reset, etc
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    Are you saying you still haven't yet built an FB3 stage box and gone the Startech route?
    I thought that was the de facto position for people still using multiple FB3.
    It is indeed the default method for people using multiple FB3s. I, however, have multiple QM2000 boards.

    True, I also have a pair of FB3s, but my workhorses are the 10 QM2000s I've built up over the years. And I really don't want to get rid of them. (They work great!)

    Recently I've been experimenting with placing multiple QMs into small-ish PCs that sit on stage with no monitor, no keyboard, and no mouse - just a network connection to a switch that sits at front-of-house. Idea is that the main controller plugs into the switch, which then talks to the PCs on stage (with their installed QM boards) and then I only need to run 25-pin ILDA cable from those PCs on stage up to the projectors. So far it's worked pretty well...

    Adam

  8. #18
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    Ah right.
    Mind you, I also thought that the QM was the original cat5 solution, albeit assuming you can afford/find the multiple NET boxes for them.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    I also thought that the QM was the original cat5 solution, albeit assuming you can afford/find the multiple NET boxes for them.
    I have 5 of the .net enclosures. In my experience, they don't perform very well when using Beyond. I see lots of stuttering frames, especially when I have more than 2 or 3 .net boxes connected. I've been told that this is due in part to the limits of the ethernet-to-PCI adapter that is used inside the .net box.

    In contrast, putting the QM boards inside a PC that has multiple PCI slots on the motherboard seems to work really well. Granted, there are still issues with the QM2000 board and the Beyond software that will never go away, but the frame stuttering is dramatically reduced when the QM is installed in a PC.

    Adam

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    In my experience, they don't perform very well when using Beyond.

    Adam
    I had the same issues. I thought it was just my lack of IT skills. I sold all my QM's and replaced with FB3. NEVER looked back. I just added 2 FB4's and really look forward to all they offer.

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