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Post-Season Controller Prep and Storage


Rick Hughes
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Just a couple of days until my display goes dark. It's been a great month with nary an issue.

My Resolution for 2008 is to spend more time putting things away well-marked, tested, and with a plan for reinstallation next year.

As regards the LOR controllers, other than running the hardware test on them is there anything else I should do?

I was thinking of updating the firmware as I know they are not all the latest version, but I recall hearing that a firmware update may be required for the new software coming out this spring - if that's the case, the firmware update seems like it would be unnecessary.

What, if anything, do others do?

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Richard Hamilton

You are going to get a lot of good replies and tips on this thread.

As for me, I store away all controllers except for one that I keep handy in the garage so I can experiment with it in the summer. Other controllers go into storage. I keep them in the garage rather than the attic or the garden shed because I don't like for electronics to go through regular daily wide temperature changes. In theory, it should not matter, but I am just finicky not take unnecessary risks.

I start updating software, firmware and experimenting with the "handy" controller in late summer to make sure it works with new changes, and take a leisurely pace at sequencing new songs for my weekend hobby. Having a controller available to view a couple of strings of lights gives me a better idea of the timing and appearance.

Around November 10 is when I start setting up and testing everything for about a week. This gives me plenty of time to work out quirks and problems and get repairs done before the season starts. Although we don't fire up the shows until the weekend between Thanksgiving and Dec 1, this gives plenty of time to test everything out.

While I'm on the subject, my best advice is related to what happens AFTER you set up the show next year. No matter how temped you are to tweak songs, sequences, shows, firmware, software, etc. DON'T DO IT! More than likely, you'll just cause problems. Changes are not worth the risk for an adjustment that your audience is not likely to notice anyway. This is where people get into trouble with their equipment failing. Remember Mark Twains adage... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I use this advice even for updating firmware. Unless it is actually fixing something that is broken or gives me a great new feature, I don't update just for the purpose of having the latest and greatest. I noticed that some people were updating firmware a week before going live. I think that is poor judgment.

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