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AV/IT Expertise: Programming Readiness

May 5, 2011 4:10 PM, By Patrick Barron

What does it really mean for a jobsite to be “ready?”


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Before attempting to load the control software, the system must function on its own before it can work with a control system. There are misconceptions that loading the control software will magically make all signals appear where they should, make all of the equipment operate properly, and do a tap dance at the same time. If the system does not operate properly without the control system, it will not work properly with the control system. All signal flow should be verified to work properly before the control system software is loaded. Each source in the system should be manually routed to each destination in the system. This includes all audio and video signal types. Each location where it is possible to have a signal originate should be tested to make sure the signal can be seen or heard at the destination. Each input on a video switcher should be sent to every output. This is a case where manual buttons on a switcher are extremely valuable. Switchers with a blank front panel made to save a few pennies actually end up costing much more in the long run because the system cannot be fully tested prior to the control system being functional.

We can make sure that a project jobsite is ready by using a checklist to verify that certain tasks have been done that are essential to the completion of the job. Rather than asking the question, “Is it ready?”, the PM should rely on a checklist. With a fully completed checklist we can ensure that the site is ready for the programmer to load the software and test the system without any obvious delays or problems. The potential for problems at a jobsite are always there, but we can take steps in advance to eliminate as many issues as possible by making sure that the site installation is ready for the programmer.

Checklist

  1. Open all boxes and mount/install the equipment. This checklist item should be the first column in a list of each piece of equipment in the system.
  2. All equipment powered on without any obvious faults. This checklist items should be the 2nd column in a list of each piece of equipment in the system.
  3. Verify that all cables have been pulled to the correct location. This checklist item should be a column on the cable pull sheet.
  4. Verify that the cables have been terminated with the correct connector. This checklist item should be a column on the cable pull sheet.
  5. Verify that the cables are connected to the equipment. This checklist item should be a column on the cable pull sheet.
  6. Test all video and audio signal flow from every possible source to all destinations. This can be shown best by creating a grid that list all of the inputs at the left and the destinations at the top.



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