FWIW- Astera Powerbox Control Flashing

Over the last fifteen months, we’ve had occasional issues using the Astera boxes when they are set to receive hard-lined DMX data.  It’s not very common, but one out of every ten times, one of the several boxes we have will flash (or dip) randomly, and we aren’t sure why.  The nodes sending data to the problem powerbox is also sending data to functioning power boxes.  Since it’s always a bit of a rush (I’m always on set when it’s time to control things, not setup), we’re unsure what firmware these units are on since it’s a bit of a fuss to find that out.  However, we’ve found an answer that has been working every time.

For system background, I run Eos (outputting only sACN and console to console communication) through Zyxel GS1200-8HPv2 switches.  The console has been on 3.0.2 thru 3.1.3 over the past three productions.  The network is in series in an open C shape around our locations.  Mostly we use Netron nodes (I wish we only used Netrons, but it’s still hard to source only one kind of node in my region) that travels what is usually a short distance (100’ max) via DMX cable to the Astera Powerbox.  We’ve traded out DMX cables, we’ve switched DMX ports on the same node and that hasn’t fixed the issue.  

We’ve found in every problem example that the same box worked great when we switched it to receive sACN.  This makes no sense to me for a couple reasons.  It seems like the number of things that could go wrong should increase with network.  DMX is ridiculously tried and tested and is solid.  But it literally has solved the problem every time.  

Obviously, if you have suggestions for things that may be going wrong with the powerbox, I’d love to hear them.  If you’re like me and you just need the thing to work now- perhaps this will help you out.  Happy programming.

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