All the manuals...
I can’t speak for other board ops, but for me, reading up manuals of all kinds of lights, dimmers, CRMX transmitters and receivers plays an important role for my preparation work, especially if you are working with a gaffer that is always testing new gears.
As a tech geek, I enjoy reading manuals and looking through any fine prints, warning etc. It doesn’t always get you familiar with the equipment right away but at least you can get a big picture of what this thing can do and figure out differences between all the setups.
A lot of the new LEDs come with a very comprehensive DMX mode charts, which is the key element helping you successfully patch them into your board and control them properly. It is also important at this stage to do a rough math on how many DMX you will need for your package total, if you have dmx restriction.
For example, if you want to run titan tubes on RGB CCT DIM INT S and 16 pixel, that will take up 126 dmx dresses each tube. Then you will need a console that is capable of running at least 2 universes or more to handle all 8 tubes plus other lights. ( For those who are not familiar with dmx, 1 universe of dmx only contains 512 address, that’s an unbreakable limit at current stage of its protocol. )
The reason I brought this manual thing up is mostly because of the project I am currently working on. In the past couple days, I have at least visited 5 lighting companies’ websites searching for manuals of lights that are in our package and I am not familiar with. I have read at least 15 manuals, not counting other documents I checked that are not manuals, of various lights, dimmers and wireless controller.
But, if you are on set with me, you would not be able to tell that I am actually doing work. Because my appearance would be exactly the same as whoever is bored on set and checking on their phones. Maybe if you stand closer to me, you would hear me complaining how I can’t find what I need or how those product brochures are useless.
To be honest, it will be a wonderful world, if I can do all that prep during check out! But as we all know, package don’t always come in on time or as desired. Things change all the time. So I guess, I will keep reading more manuals then. LOL