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TOPIC: Help! Processor problems!

Help! Processor problems! 16 Apr 2008 19:20 #18636

  • jenhelene
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I've searched high and low for the answer to my question with no luck.

I have a SMART MOD IIC 6 channel stereo processor that is giving me troubles.

I am new at not only owning a movie theater, but also with being a projectionist, so my trouble is (hopefully) easily diagnosable, although I did have a projection repair guy come look at it and scratch his head and not understand why it is doing what it is doing.

Sometimes (not always, but about 1 in every 5 showings), the processor will switch from it's Stereo A setting to "Mono", and someone meekly comes out saying "There's no sound in the movie..."

Fixing it is just as easy as touching the Stereo A button again.

We have had to literally sit and babysit it before, and our record is about 10 times (having it "go out").

Our other processor (for our second screen) works fine, no problem.

What on earth could cause this? Does something need cleaned? Do I need a new one? Is the soundtrack possibly not "catching" on something?

It doesn't happen always, which is odd. And sometimes it does it only once.

The program never tells it to switch to mono.

Any information on this subject would be GREATLY appreciated. We have even considered baby monitors! Sheesh!


A puzzled projectionist,

Jen
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 08:38 #18637

  • leeler
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Jen,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure what help I can offer but I have had a similar situation to yours. I have a Dolby CP-45 and it would not revert to a lower mode. For instance, it would run in Dolby Digital but then if there was a problem with the digital soundtrack it would not revert down to Analog. It would stay in digital and the sound would be garbled. This would be exceedingly rare (once a year or so). I had my tech take a look and talk with Dolby Labs about it and they ultimately swapped out some cards in the processor. Time will tell if this fixed the problem but I have gone several months without a problem.

Good luck on your issue. I like the baby monitor idea....
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 11:21 #18638

  • slapintheface
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i have had the same problem with my dolby processor..Re booting it always works ...
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 16:47 #18639

  • Mike
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have you contacted Smart or your theatre equip people??

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 18:58 #18640

  • NSCInemas
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If your tech left scratching his head then you really need to find a new tech...

Without being able to look at the unit I would suspect one of the following

1. Format card is bad
2. Powersupply is bad
3. Your automation/failsafe is causing it to switch formats could be a peice of foil tape left on the print if it came from another theatre that is causing your automation to pulse into mono.
although I did have a projection repair guy come look at it and scratch his head and not understand why it is doing what it is doing.
You really need to find a new tech, this is a common problem and should be easily troubleshot.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 19:44 #18641

  • jenhelene
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thanks for all of the suggestions, guys!

I am in the process of seeking out a tech person that will not seem puzzled at such a problem.


Seemingly no cue tape or anything sticky on the print, although it IS from another theater. It has happened to two different prints now, so the coincidence there would be kinda big. But definitely was our first thought (and hope!)

Hasn't done it in a couple of days. I guess I will knock on wood until I get a guy (or gal) to come in.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 20:53 #18642

  • trackfood
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If it only happens on certain movies, does it happen in the same spot each time? If so, I would think that there is a cue tape on the film that you're equipment isn't reading the same as the previous theatre that put it on. In one of the 2nd run theatres I ran, that was a common problem, there would be cue tapes all over at the beginning, at the end, etc. Other theatres have cues to open curtains, turn down house lites, turn up house lites, turn on/off music, turn on slide/preshow projectors, etc. We always tried to look carefully when building the prints and get them all off, but more often than not, we always found 1-2 strange things on Friday.
Good Luck-post your solution if/when you find it.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 17 Apr 2008 21:24 #18643

  • tricity
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Do you have more then one screen with this processor? If so, change out the cards one by one and then see if the problem follows to the new screen.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 18 Apr 2008 12:43 #18644

  • NSCInemas
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What brand and model automation controller do you have? Depending on which one there could be a faulty relay or PCB that is randomly sending out a format change pulse. I think that it is more than likely to be the "format" card in the processor because you say that when it switches to "MONO" there is no sound. There should be, I don't remember off the top of my head if that processor has a mono only volume control.

What state are you in? I may be able to reccomend a good technical company.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 18 Apr 2008 15:05 #18645

  • muviebuf
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Perhaps you should consider getting a different brand of processor. I always thought that "Smart" was Korean for "piece of junk".

There are lot of good buys out there these days on used Dolby CP-65 processors - which IMHO is one of the best.

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited April 18, 2008).]
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 18 Apr 2008 16:32 #18646

  • NSCInemas
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Smart processors are easily the worst of the big three (dolby, USL, and Smart) but there is no excuse for not being able to troubleshoot this type of problem. Any compotent tech should be able to rectify this... at the least he could have disconnected the automation control wiring to isolate that and swapped format cards to isolate that so that if it still happens it is most likely the power supply. If it happens on the other screen you swapped format cards on you know its that and if it doesnt happen at all then you know it's the automation. This is pretty simple stuff.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 19 Apr 2008 14:53 #18647

  • jenhelene
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by trackfood:
<B>If it only happens on certain movies, does it happen in the same spot each time? If so, I would think that there is a cue tape on the film that you're equipment isn't reading the same as the previous theatre that put it on. In one of the 2nd run theatres I ran, that was a common problem, there would be cue tapes all over at the beginning, at the end, etc. Other theatres have cues to open curtains, turn down house lites, turn up house lites, turn on/off music, turn on slide/preshow projectors, etc. We always tried to look carefully when building the prints and get them all off, but more often than not, we always found 1-2 strange things on Friday.
Good Luck-post your solution if/when you find it.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Happens between 0 and 10 times per showing at random times, so we've eliminated the cue tape factor...

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Re: Help! Processor problems! 20 Apr 2008 09:33 #18648

  • NSCInemas
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Remember, just because it's not a erroneous cue does not mean that it is not a problem with your failsafe/cue detector sending erronious signals, or a relay that is faulty, or some type of RF interferrance causing your automation to send pulses to the processor. As I said your best bet is to isolate what you can and see what happens.
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 28 Apr 2008 11:03 #18649

  • NSCInemas
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Any update on this? Were you ever able to find someone else to come in and look at this issue? I am interested to find out what the problem was? Thanks!
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Re: Help! Processor problems! 20 May 2008 14:43 #18650

  • jenhelene
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The problem went away for awhile and it's BACK.

Now, we notice something different. While the projector is powered on (not running film, but thread through and ready to go), we will occasionally hear a loud BOOM that can be heard from concessions. About a minute later, anoter boom until we turn off the projector.

When film is playing, this boom will happen and no sound follows, and it switches to mono, which for some reason provides no sound to the theater.

Now, the boom happens in the theater with NO film running! It does not switch to mono or anything, it just stays on MUSIC and makes racket until we shut it off.

*scratches head*
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