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Get your Machine Parts Here!

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Get your Machine Parts Here!

 

Here at Creative Conners we’ve always sold many of the parts that go into our machines- winch drums, gearmotors, encoders, etc… But we didn’t have those items on our website, so a lot of customers didn’t know they were available from us. Well, that’s been fixed. We just put up a new ‘Machine Parts‘ page that has all the machine parts you can purchase from us along with the price and availability.

So if you’re looking to make your own machine and need some parts, or if you’re looking to replace some worn-out parts of your gear, this is the place for you. And if you see something you like, just give us a call or email me at ian@creativeconners.com.

 

Spikemark Tip: Updating Your Firmware

 

For this month’s tip, we’re going to talk about your Stagehand and its firmware. Every Stagehand OEM card has firmware running on the microprocessor and every now and then we release a firmware update with new features and bug fixes. The current firmware version is Revision 10 which has been out for about 2 years, so if your Stagehand is newer than that, you should be all set. Otherwise, here’s how to find out what your current firmware revision is and how to update it.

The first step is to see what your version (Rev) you currently have. This is easy – simply unplug and replug your Stagehand. (If you’re using the Stagehand in a show, don’t forget to write down its position or park the unit at zero) The first thing you see on the LCD screen on the front of the Stagehand is something like:

Stagehand Rev 10
Hard Reset_

In this example, the version of the firmware is 10. If that’s what you see, you’re all set. If you have a lower number than 10, you should update your firmware. Here’s how:

(Huge warning: This does not apply to Stagehand FX’s! You cannot update your FX firmware and if you try, you will ‘brick’ it and you will need to send it back to us for a new firmware installation.)

1. Go to the Downloads page of our website.

2. Click on the Stagehand Updater 1.0 which will download a .zip file to your computer.

3. Click on the Stagehand Firmware rev. 10 link which will download the binary firmware file that you are going to load onto the Stagehand OEM card.

4. Launch “Stagehand Update.exe”

5. Make sure your E-Stop system is running and release the E-Stop button. You can’t update your firmware with the Stagehand in E-Stop mode.

6. Confirm that you have a network cable running between your computer and the Stagehand you wish to update (either via a crossover cable or through a network switch).

7. Enter the IP address of the Stagehand you wish to update (eg. 192.168.10.32)

8. Click the “Firmware File…” button.

9. Navigate to the Stagehand firmware file you wish to use (eg. “STAGEHAND_FIRMWARE_FINAL_REV10.bin”)

10. Press the “Update” button.

11. A few new windows will flash on the screen.

12. After the process is complete, the newly updated Stagehand should reboot in about 30 seconds. During reboot, it should display the new firmware revision number.

And that’s it, you’re now running the latest and greatest firmware revision.

Final note: If you have an older Stagehand, when you boot it to see what your Rev is, you may not see a Rev number. That means you have a Revision of 4 or lower. In that case, if you want to update your firmware, you would need to send the OEM card back to us and we will update your firmware here in our shop and send it right back to you. Once we’ve updated it to rev 10, you’ll be able to perform any future updates yourself using the steps above.

 

Curtain Call in LSA

Our newest machine, Curtain Call, got a nice write-up in this month’s issue of Lighting and Sound America. Here’s a screen cap of the page (click to view larger):

 

You can read the whole issue of Lighting and Sound America by registering on there website here, and clicking on the Digital Edition link at the top right.

Product Demo in Central Massachusetts

 

I had a chance to do a product demonstration for some of the colleges in the Amherst, MA area last week. It was a great time meeting the teachers and students and talking about automation. In the picture above you can see some of the students writing cues for the demo rigs with less than a minute of instruction.

Thanks to Rick Mauran and his students of Mount Holyoke College for hosting the demo (and bringing the donuts!) and to Amy  Putnam of Hampshire College and Jon Doyle of  Amherst College for coming by with their students.

If you’re interested in hosting a product demonstration at your institution, just drop me a line at ian@creativeconners.com.

 

 

Spikemark Mini-Tip: Backup

A quick tip for our automation operators: Backup your files! Saving your Spikemark show file saves a local copy to your machine, and that’s great, but if your computer dies or gets stolen, your show files will disappear with it, and you’ll have to explain to everyone that you need to tech the show again. Besides those obvious scenarios, there’s always the possibility of screwing up your show file while editing, and then saving before you realize it was screwed up, and you can’t go back. So save your file to a removable storage media, like a thumb drive, and put it somewhere safe.

It would be great if you did this at the end of every day, but at least try to get it done at the end of tech and on opening night. Then you can enjoy those Opening Night Party drinks knowing that your show file is safe and sound!

Bonus tip: Did you know you can export your motor settings? Select a motor you want to save and go to File > Export Motor. Next time you bring out that same machine, you can import that motor profile as a good starting point for tuning and other motor parameters.

 

Lighting and Sound America Advertisement

We’re running an ad in the April issue of Lighting and Sound America, which should be coming out at the end of this week. Here’s our ad- keep an eye out for it!

 

Mystic Scenic Heads To Orlando

Our good friend Ben Jacobson from Mystic Scenic Studios sent us these photos from their shop as they get ready to head off to Orlando for a McDonald’s Industrial. 7 Pushsticks and 9 Stagehands. Nice road box, too. Have a great show, Ben!

 

 

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