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S3 Internittant lack of heartbeat.


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I have seen a large number of occasions when working in the sequence editor (S3) where the heartbeat quits during playback at different times and for varying lengths of time.

The controllers begin flashing their LEDS indicating no heartbeat randomly.

Anybody having these issues? Any cures?

I am wondering if this is something that will happen randomly through out the show.

That would be bad.


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I had this happen a few years back and took a while to figure out what was happening.

In my case it was because I had a single network cable that was wired incorrectly. I was taking bulk cat 5 wire and putting plugs on the end based on how long the cables needed to be. If I remeber right, I think one plug was wired with the normal 568B standard and the other it was wired with 568A standard (orange and green wire differences).

Once I figured this out Dan told me that the result was that the circuits were overdriving and shutting down to protect themselves. It would work for a little bit then all the sudden would cut out until I unplugged the controllers and plugged them back in. I would check your network cables to make sure that they are all straight through cables and wired with same standard on each end and not one with 568A and the other 568B. I would also make sure that you dont accidently have a crossover cable anywhere in your chain.

First look at the plugs of each connector to make sure they are wired the same based on colors and pinouts. (Compare with a known good straight through patch cable). If you have any RJ45 jacks you inserted make sure you put the green and orange wires to the "B" coding on them to match.

If you dont find an error here, then you will need to take the controllers out of the network by unplugging all of the network cables from each and start with only one and then keep adding more to the chain until you find it happens again and then you will know which wire would likely be the culprit (the one between the controller you just plugged in and the previous one).

Hope this helps...

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Thanks VB for the suggestions. Unfortunately none of your suggestions apply in my case. I am using a power line communication system that I developed for LOR which I think they plan to use in the near future.

The system can be seen here. Quad color System

So My CAT cable is about 6 feet long to the transverter. My test system has 30 controllers (4 channels each) on a network in my development lab. The system performs flawlessly and has for years. Its just having trouble since I started using S3. It is not consistent when it fails. I have been looking for a cause of the failure.

I have a protocol analyzer connected to the network that can trigger when a specific command or packet travels over the network. I am definitely seeing a lack of heartbeat packets for some reason. Heartbeats typically happen every 1/2 second. For some reason they quit while other traffic continues.

Its possible that if the network traffic is present that the heartbeats are suspended because of the presence of valid command packets. Not sure. If that is the case I can adjust my firmware to handle the situation. Its just that I never had this problem before.

Thanks for your suggestions. I will check the RS485 transceivers to see if they might be locking up like you describe.

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