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You have questions. We have answers. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you don't see the answer to your question, be sure to call us at (905) 828-5779.

Questions

1) Today we ran into an issue with a link fault occurring while running our CH-800 in local mode.  This is not the first time we've had this happen to us.  It was my understanding that when running the controller locally, the link fault function is bypassed.

2) Today during a work call prior to a tech rehearsal, we saw several com timeout faults. What does this fault mean? Do we have network problems?

3) I have created new users and I get the NO RUN PERMIT status in the status column.

4) Is there some way to write a MACRO to STOP or DISABLE a specific axis in a cue? For example if the Upstage Towers are moving off-stage and I notice one of the doors has popped open on the SL Tower is there a way I can stop just that Tower allowing the other to finish the cue? This way the scene and show can continue until we can get the door closed and move the wall off stage.

5) How are the macro buttons used in different Runabout screens?

6) If you are running a cue with multiple pieces moving and wish to stop only one, could you choose disable while it is moving to stop it?  Or do you have to stop everything and then select what you want to continue from the pause/resume box?

7) I know that you can stop an individual axis by pressing the S button under the Control Column in the Cue Info View or by pressing the stop button and resume the motion of all axes except the one you want stopped.  But, is there any other way to achieve a similar effect?

8) Can the "soft stop" be adjusted for the band platform when hitting stop in mid cue?  Currently, it's a bit harsh for the band if something were to require a stop. Again I know that the soft stop can be adjusted in the axis configuration menu, but I do not recall exactly what the numbers for stop decel and estop decel refer to, are they in seconds, some fraction of a second, or something else?  Could you please refresh my memory on this one?

9) I have a question about how Auto-follow cues work. Does the Time Delay for an Auto-follow cue start counting from when the cue it is following has finished?

10) We were poking around setting min and max positions when we noticed that we could not make a min position above 0 without having a scenery offset. For example, we make the min position 2000 then the scenery offset has to be 2000 as well. Is there anyway of turning that off or making it so we don't need to do that?

11) I am considering a new hoisting system for my House of Worship and was wondering if you had any advice on what we should be looking at.

We do at least one production a month as well as daily changeovers for various configurations of our space.  We have one full time technician (that’s me) and a group of volunteers that work the tech equipment. 

Currently we have a couple of chain motors on simple pendant controls and although the system works fine we have had problems.  The most common is not returning the truss to the play position properly or with operators not noticing that the hoists are out of level when moving.  The first problem results in a focus problem with the FOH lighting and the second has caused some damage to equipment n the past.

We don’t have a lot of room for wire rope hoisting and chain motors are what we know best. 

What would you suggest we look at in the way of new equipment?

12) I heard that your company is doing 3D flying with chain hoists at a club in Las Vegas.  Is that true?

13) Can your system run machinery equipment from different manufacturers and of different design applications?  For instance can you control stage lifts from one manufacturer, Turntables from my scene shop, power rigging equipment from a Rigging manufacturer and chain hoists; all with one software package?

14) Can you tell me where I can get your equipment in Europe?  Do you have a distributor that I can contact on this side of the Atlantic?  It is important to us that we have support closer than North America.

15) Can the Raynok System be controlled from a lighting console?

16) How many axes can your system operate?

17) I need a very small system with simple control that is simple to operate.  Do you have anything that would suit?

 

Answers

1) Question: Today we ran into an issue with a link fault occurring while running our CH-800 in local mode.  This is not the first time we've had this happen to us.  It was my understanding that when running the controller locally, the link fault function is bypassed.

Answer: The fault you are seeing is triggered by the constraints setup in the Link Group Settings.  If the Raynok console and software are online a STOP command will be sent and a LINK FAULT set whether the controller is in remote or local mode.

Linked Groups are used to prevent damage to equipment being hoisted by a group of hoists should those hoists get out of alignment in reference to one another.  If a Linked Group has been setup by your System Administrator or Department Head it is not recommended that you run that group in Local Mode or with the link broken.  If you must break a link on a Linked Group then proper safe guards need to be implemented to prevent accidental damage to property or injury to personnel. [ Top ]

 

2) Question: Today during a work call prior to a tech rehearsal, we saw several com timeout faults. What does this fault mean? Do we have network problems?

Answer: The com timeout fault is a safety action built into ALL Raynok controllers – if there is no active network communication for two seconds, the controller stops and sets a COM TIMEOUT ERROR message.

The most common reasons for this fault is going offline and then online again; switching a controller to local mode; or switching the power off and back on again to a controller.  Assuming that your crews are working with the equipment in various modes and likely cycling power for safety reasons it is unlikely that there is a network issue.  If the problem persists outside of a work call scenario please contact us again with specific details about the situation and forward your log file from the time period that the faults were noticed. [ Top ]
 

3) Question: I have created new users and I get the NO RUN PERMIT status in the status column.

Answer: When you create users, you need to give them Axis Permissions.  This is setup so that you can restrict what an operator can control.

To edit the Axis Permissions for a user:

  • Select User Manager from the Setup drop down menu
  • Double Click on the User Name you wish to edit
  • Select the Axis Permissions tab
  • Click on the axis name in the Available Axes column. You may select multiple axes by using Ctrl or Shift on your keyboard as with any Windows based program
  • Click on the <<< button to move the selected axes into the Permitted Axes column
  • Check the list
  • Click OK

When you have completed your changes, please exit Raynok and login in under each user that was edited to make sure everything is setup properly and works as expected. [ Top ]

 

4) Question: Is there some way to write a MACRO to STOP or DISABLE a specific axis in a cue? For example if the Upstage Towers are moving off-stage and I notice one of the doors has popped open on the SL Tower is there a way I can stop just that Tower allowing the other to finish the cue? This way the scene and show can continue until we can get the door closed and move the wall off stage.

Answer: Yes, you can create a macro in Raynok that will send a stop to a single axis.

To Create a STOP AXIS MACRO

  • Right Click over the On Screen Macro Window
  • Select Edit Macro Groups
  • Select the location of the Macro you wish to edit from the Macro Groups column on the left of the Window
  • Double Click on the Macro or select and click the Modify button of the Macro  you wish to edit from the Included Macro list on the right of the Window
  • You may add a new one to the On-Screen Macro Window if necessary
  • The Macro Properties Window will open
  • Name the Macro “STOP SL Tower”
  • Select “STOP Axis” as a Macro command
  • Select SL Tower in Axis List on right.
  • Click OK

Repeat the procedure above to create another macro for SR Tower

You may now execute “Stop SL Tower” macro to STOP the SL Tower, while the other finishes the move. Once you close the door, you can execute the cue again to take it offstage.

Another way to quickly stop any axis in motion without the use of a MACRO and without affecting others is to click the S button in control column right beside the axis name in Cue Info View. [ Top ]

 

5) Question:  How are the macro buttons used in different Runabout screens?

Answer: The Runabout Macro Group will have 16 MACROS in it. Although it is possible to assign any of the available MACRO functions to any of these buttons, our recommended practice to assign one through eight as AXIS SELECT to be used in JOG MODE and nine through sixteen with CUE SELECT to be used in CUE EXECUTE MODE to allow for fast scrolling through axis and cue lists. [ Top ]

 

6) Question:  If you are running a cue with multiple pieces moving and wish to stop only one, could you choose disable while it is moving to stop it?  Or do you have to stop everything and then select what you want to continue from the pause/resume box?

Answer: Disabling the axis in motion will send a STOP command and stop the axis quickly, however we do not recommend this practice.  Instead press the S button beside the axis in question in the Control Column of the Cue Info View. [ Top ]

 

7) Question: I know that you can stop an individual axis by pressing the S button under the Control Column in the Cue Info View or by pressing the stop button and resume the motion of all axes except the one you want stopped.  But, is there any other way to achieve a similar effect?

Answer: These are the best ways to stop a single axis while others are moving without altering the basic setup in the Raynok Motion Control System Software.

You may wish to program some of the onscreen Macros to execute the STOP Axis function.  You can program this function to STOP a specific Axis or check the box beside Affect all selected axes.  When using the Affect all selected axes function you must select the axis or axes you wish to stop using your mouse or another Macro.

For more information on how to program a Macro please refer to the online Raynok Software guide on your console. [ Top ]

 

8) Question: Can the "soft stop" be adjusted for the band platform when hitting stop in mid cue?  Currently, it's a bit harsh for the band if something were to require a stop. Again I know that the soft stop can be adjusted in the axis configuration menu, but I do not recall exactly what the numbers for stop decel and estop decel refer to, are they in seconds, some fraction of a second, or something else?  Could you please refresh my memory on this one?

Answer: Yes, that’s correct – the STOP action of the CONSOLE STOP BUTTON (or soft stop as you are referring to it) is adjusted in the AXIS CONFIGURATION Window.  The STOP DECEL value is entered in encoder counts.

For example if an axis has a PPU of 3000 encoder pulses per inch, setting the STOP DECEL to 75000 will result in a DECEL RATE of 25 inches/second/second. To make the axis STOP slower and smoother reduce the value of the STOP DECEL to a lower number such as 30000 which will result in a DECEL RATE of 10 inches/second/second. 

Check your calibration values and do the simple division to determine what DECEL RATE is being used currently and then decide what DECEL RATE may work better.  After making the changes run the axis and test the effects by pressing the CONSOLE STOP BUTTON.  Once you are happy with the changes please remember to save the CONFIG FILE in the AXIS CONFIGURATION Window. 

For more information on how to program the AXIS CONFIGURATION please refer to the online Raynok Software guide on your console. [ Top ]

 

9) Question: I have a question about how Auto-follow cues work. Does the Time Delay for an Auto-follow cue start counting from when the cue it is following has finished?

Answer:  The timer of a TIME TRIGGERED Auto-follow cue starts when the parent cue is executed (i.e. the CONSOLE GO BUTTON is pressed). [ Top ]
 

 

10) Question: We were poking around setting min and max positions when we noticed that we could not make a min position above 0 without having a scenery offset. For example, we make the min position 2000 then the scenery offset has to be 2000 as well. Is there anyway of turning that off or making it so we don't need to do that?

Answer: When the RAYNOK SOFTWARE checks the AXIS SETTINGS for minimum allowed position for cueing, it checks the value entered against the SCENERY OFFSET.

The MINIMUM POSITION should be set to a value that allows an empty pipe or hook to travel to a working position.  The SCENERY OFFSET is then set to a value that specific to the show (SHOW FILE). This allows the software to retain its basic empty venue settings while allowing the operator to make show specific alterations to the setup.

In your particular case, if you want to change just one setting, leave the minimum position at 0 (or that value which is appropriate for your setup), and set the SCENERY OFFSET to 2000. [ Top ]

 

11) Question:  I am considering a new hoisting system for my House of Worship and was wondering if you had any advice on what we should be looking at.

We do at least one production a month as well as daily changeovers for various configurations of our space.  We have one full time technician (that’s me) and a group of volunteers that work the tech equipment. 

Currently we have a couple of chain motors on simple pendant controls and although the system works fine we have had problems.  The most common is not returning the truss to the play position properly or with operators not noticing that the hoists are out of level when moving.  The first problem results in a focus problem with the FOH lighting and the second has caused some damage to equipment n the past.

We don’t have a lot of room for wire rope hoisting and chain motors are what we know best. 

What would you suggest we look at in the way of new equipment?

Answer:  Chain motors are a good solution for many Houses of Worship.  They are simple to use, maintain, are reliable and reasonably priced.

We have provided solutions for the application you describe to the satisfaction of our customers.

We recommend that you look at STAGEMAKER CONFIGURATION C hoists combined with our RAYNOK Programmable Chain Hoist Controllers.  We make these controllers in various sizes of 2, 4 and 8 channels.  We also would recommend a RAYNOK MK1 Console to operate the system but you can also provide your own laptop and use a RAYNOK MICRO Console to drive the system.

With the RAYNOK CH-200/400/800 you can setup the software and controller to fault on position tolerance errors to prevent damage to equipment when moving; and since the encoding system of a STAGEMAKER CONFIGURATION C hoist is attached directly to the load wheel your movements will be governed by a high degree of accuracy.

Check out our products page and the STAGEMAKER site at www.rmhoist.com/concert-hoists.htm. [ Top ]

 

12) Question:  I heard that your company is doing 3D flying with chain hoists at a club in Las Vegas.  Is that true?

Answer:  Yes, it is.  The club is called Haze Nightclub at Aria.  We are using our latest product developed with the help of R&M Materials Handing and Verlinde SA.  We call the hoist the RAYNOK CONCERTO VSL and it is packed with features not found on any chain hoist in the market. 

Check it out on our products page at www.nisconinc.com.  You will also find some photos on the projects page and there are several videos on YouTube that you can check out as well.   Just search for Haze Nightclub LV or Lightgroup Haze Nightclub.

We think you will be impressed. [ Top ]

 

13) Question:  Can your system run machinery equipment from different manufacturers and of different design applications?  For instance can you control stage lifts from one manufacturer, Turntables from my scene shop, power rigging equipment from a Rigging manufacturer and chain hoists; all with one software package?

Answer:  Quite simply put… YES!  The Raynok Motion Control System is a control solution for the Entertainment Industry.  We have focused our engineering and system architecture on controlling the equipment that you can find in any Entertainment venue.

With our solutions you can also fit existing electronic drive systems with our control cards to bring them under the control of the Raynok Motion Control System.  Obviously new drives have features that their predecessors don’t have but if the drive system is working fine and suits the application there is no need to toss it aside.  Just assimilate it into the new control package and replace it when it reaches the end of its lifespan. [ Top ]

 

14) Question:  Can you tell me where I can get your equipment in Europe?  Do you have a distributor that I can contact on this side of the Atlantic?  It is important to us that we have support closer than North America.

Answer:  Yes, we have distribution for Europe located in the UK.  Please contact HOIST UK directly and ask for Paul or Tony.  You can get all of their contact information at http://hoistuk.com/contact.php . [ Top ]

 

15) Question:  Can the Raynok System be controlled from a lighting console?

Answer:  We do have features that can be enabled within the Raynok Motion Control System Software that allows for cues execution commands to be sent from a lighting console.

To do this we add in a black box controller that listens to the DMX channel value and transmits it into the RAYNOK CONSOLE using a USB port.  The Raynok Software then takes care of all the safety related actions associated with the motion.  We recommend that an Emergency Stop button be set beside the lighting operator and that this feature be reserved for simple operations.

In all cases with Automated Machinery the most important safety feature of a system is a well trained and alert operator.   When the safety of personnel or property is involved we recommend that a trained operator be dedicated to operating the system. [ Top ]

 

16) Question:  How many axes can your system operate?

Answer:  The Raynok Motion Control System can operate an unlimited number of axes.  The question really is how many axes of motion an operator can focus their attention on safely and effectively.

When systems get large 60+ axes and are split into onstage / understage and overstage effects, we recommend that there be two operators on two separate consoles.  This allows the operators to work together as a team within a familiar context.  One operator acts as Stage Automation and the other as Fly Automation just as a Stage Carpenter and Flyman would work together.

The limitation is really your imagination.  How many axes do you want to control today? [ Top ]

 

17) Question:  I need a very small system with simple control that is simple to operate.  Do you have anything that would suit?

Answer: Yes. We’ve done several small systems with our Raynok Touch and Runabout Touch. These devices can be customized to suit any application at an attractive price point.

The standard software program is aimed at small touring shows but we’ve customized these solutions to provide stand alone operator controls for systems with dozens of acoustic banners and reflectors.  We have also installed them in utility hoisting applications where more than 20 wire rope hoists were used to raise and lower lighting and scenery battens.

Check out our products page. [ Top ]

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