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Publication numberUS3898643 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 5, 1975
Filing dateAug 24, 1973
Priority dateApr 18, 1971
Also published asCA1014682A1
Publication numberUS 3898643 A, US 3898643A, US-A-3898643, US3898643 A, US3898643A
InventorsAdrian Ettlinger
Original AssigneeAdrian Ettlinger
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronic display controlled stage lighting system
US 3898643 A
Abstract
An electronic display controlled lighting system and method for controlling a large number of theatrical stage lights including data storage apparatus for storing information representing sequences of stage lighting cues, data processing apparatus for modifying, rearranging and executing the stored stage lighting cues under control of an electronic display control apparatus such as a cathode ray tube monitor for displaying, in the form of a character matrix display, information representing the operating status of the system and information representing the circuit values to be applied to each lighting circuit to be controlled in accordance with the stored lighting cues and a light pen selecting device for activating system functions according to the portion of the character matrix display designated by the operator.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Ettlinger Aug. s, 1975 ELECTRONIC DISPLAY CONTROLLED STAGE LIGHTING SYSTEM Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant ExaminerMarshall M. Curtis Attorney, Agent, or FirmDarby & Darby [76] Inventor: Adrian Ettlinger, 7 Lefurgy Ave.,

Westchester City, NY.

[22] Filed: Aug. 24, 1973 [57] ABSTRACT PP 391,481 An electronic display controlled lighting system and Related Us. Application Data method for controlling a large number of theatrical 63 stage lights including data storage apparatus for storlcg 7nltinutaticzjnqngart of Ser. No. 134,97 Apnl ing information representing sequences of Stage ligh d an one ing cues, data processing apparatus for modifying, re-

arranging and executing the stored stage lighting cues un er contro 0 an eectromc IS ay contro apparaliil if.3!;1111111:1111:111:111111111111111ifflifttaiiili d 1 f 1 [581 of A, R, $122 23;2;2522:2212:siesta?$222222:

representing the operating status of the system and m- 5 6] References Cited formation representing the circuit values to be applied to each lighting circuit to be controlled in accordance UNITED STATES PATENTS with the stored lighting cues and a light pen selecting 3,448,338 6/1969 Bentham et al 315/312 device for activating system functions according to the 3,784,875 l/l974 Baker et Ell. 3l5/3l6 portion of the character matrix designated the operator.

21 Claims, 40 Drawing Figures DIGITAL DATA l4 CASSETTE STORAGE TELETYPE v RECORDER (DISC) 9 DISPLAY I I DATA I OUTPUT CONTROLLER PROCESSOR INTERFACE Q P CONTROL 8 TO FD RS TR I 8 MODHTOR CON 0L D MMERS SHEET PATENTEUAUB' 51915 FIG.

FIG. 2

INVENTOR. ADRIAN B. ETTLINGE PATENTEUIIII; 5I975 3 898,643

IOA I I? f a I LIlGlTAL L A-A CASS-FTC STORAGE TELETYPE I RECORDER g (DISC) L L DISPLAY DATA OUTPUT V CONTROLLER I PROCESSOR a IN ERFACE fi F; F7

a CONTROL TO FDRS 8 MONITOR CONTROLS /I3 DIMMERS FIG. 6C

Fi 5A Ol 23456789/v 90l234567890-20 -2.

FIG. 5B 1 7 FIG. 60

FIG. 5c

FIG. 6A 3 PATENTEU AUG 51975 INTERRUPT SHEET PEN 4-- FDR SELECTION 89 AND CONTROL FIG. 9B ENABLE *1 FOR PBS HALF 77 b BKO 78 l; vAL

HIT

STAGE L PREVIEW 0 KEY BOARD REsET u MENU 3 STORE MENU 4 STORE as L \ CALL -}0 NEXT my,

BACK }0 cANcEL 0 PATENTEUAU 3.898543.

FIG. 9B

FROM YES INTERRUPT YES OUTPUT DISPLAY y INITIAL CONTROLLER KEY MENU iNO K lNO FROM 8 SET TO TRY FDR FIRST HANDLE MENU 1 57 lNO FROM PB IS YES SET TO AcTIvE PEN ITEM,

62 HAVE DO PEN YES TRIED COORDINATES YES LAST CORRESPOND MENU TO THIS ITEM? iNO l 65 5 SET To YES TRIED LAST JUMP To NEXT SELECTED MENU PEN FUNCTION I L NO SET To NEXT PEN ITEM PATENTED AUG 5 I975 SHEET IOA NOI I 1N YES SET FDR PREvIEw cOUNT f MOOE COMPLETE I NO INITIALIzE TO FIRST FDR 2/ o4 i I08 IS FDR NO 2 AT 0 I05 YES I DID LAST YES YES -b PR vIEw FDR MgDE NO NO L .06 I BLANK SET TO B Q NEXT FDR EXECUTE I07 FAOER INTERRUPT PROGRAM I32 FIG. ll

READ CHARACTER AT PEN COORDINATE SPACE NO I4I UP ARROW YES I 5 NO I43 coNvERT TO VALUE OF I0 SET NEW vALUE DISPLAY NEW vALUE L/I4s FiGe IOB

SET FDR'S BUFFER I ADDRESS "1/ I09 MENU I I -STAGE III I. SET A SET NEW SET STAGE OPERATION vAI uE INDICATOR H0 I E0 I I "IS THIS A sET ALL 52%? BLACKOUT CIRCUITS I FLAGS OPERATION T0 ZERO INCREMENT Iril cREw m T VALUE I08 5 NO \L (DECREMENT) DECREMENT CIRCUIT VALUE "7/ I26 I MENU l -PREvIEw BLANK i Q n ry-Iz-r sET PREVIEW I53 4/- INDICATOR (I28 i PREIGJIEW D'SPLAY PREVIEW MODE FLAGS gI29 DISPLAY BLANKED 0 ct PATENTEDAIII; 5l975 CIT-Lil! MENU I KEYBOARD F l READ |6O CHARACTER AT PEN cOORDINATEs 6' MENU I ALPHABETIO RESET CHARACTER NO SET SUBSCRIPTED Q n SECOND YES CHARACTER DISPLAY LNOFIRST) NEXT ERASE CHARACTER Q n STORE PARTIAL V STORE Q n DISPLAY NUMERICAL I67 K i M EYBOARD v83 DIsPLAY CUE FIRST I YES L CHARACTER J No ERASE D I68 I DEACTIVATE MENUS 3&4 DIsPLAY l8 ALPHABETIC I I691- KEYBOARD DIsPLAY Y BLANKED ERAsE AND ACTIVATE MENUs 3&4

scAN FOR I7| "7/- Q t NO FOUND 2 DISPLAY "ROY" -I/ I7? L172 IS MEMORY NO DISPLAY PLAY AND '73 A TIVATE FULL NEW ISIENU 3 YES i DIsPLAY AND DLSPU'x-Y ACTIVATE FUL MENU 4 PATENTED 5|975 SIILLT 10 FIG l5 MENU 3 I 22 AT FIRST Q MENU 4 Q MENU 3 -STORE I l STORE MENL)J 3 @ID -NE T 20L t i P GET BAcK TRANSFER H9 LINK OF NEXT LowER QS TRANSFER C RRENRQ FORWARD LINK NEW 0 GET FORWARD L To NEW PREAMBLE LINK OF 223 FORWARD LINK INTO MEMORY CURRENT Q 224 GET PREAMBLE 200 OF NEW 0 TRANSFER MENU 3 NExT LowER Q's -CALL 225 DF MEMORY RECORD 1; I TO NEw Q S y ,5

BACK LINK l DISPLAY 2o2 FIND NEW 0 a SToRE NEw HIGHEST FDR I Q's PREAMBLE I 226 IN BUFFER 203 I IN PREvIEw MODE A I TRANSFER N LISI NEW 0 INTO 204 0 MEMORY v SET FoR SET BUFFER PREV'EW FoR. BUFFER 2 HI H T R SToRE NEw Q's G REcoRD tt IN I93 NEXT LowER G 205 I FORWARD LINK I I I TRANSFER 0 FROM MEMORY NEW YES To BUFFER FORWARD LINK J BLANK NO ExEcUTE FDR 206 J i INTERRUPT PROGRAM f SToRE NEW 0 5 RECORD 1: IN

FoLLowING Q S BAcK DISPLAY LINK Q BUFFER MISS 207- DISPLAY AND AcTIvATE I MENU 3 20B PATENTEU AUG 51975 FIG. I6

l I I I MENU 3 l 1 -cANcEL I l 7 8 9 /I/245 I 4 5 6 AB IQ THIS l L 243 LAT O IN YES SEQUENCE? I I 2 3 i X 23! J i l r 242 0 cLR Y TRAN-SFIER I THIS 0 s BACK LINK TO (2487 FOLLOWING Q J BPX BPY 1 240 232 TRANSFER SKB SKF THIS Q'S I FORWARD LINK TO NEXT 233 246 247 LOWER O V ERASE PREAMBLE F R I O Y ,1/234 INTE -RuPT I i 299 REAOIANO BLANK DISPLAY DEPOSIT OF 0 M35 FIG. l9

EXECUTE FDR INTERRuPT PROGRAM PATENTED AUG 5 I975 SHEET lNO FIG. I8

3RD CHARACTER CLEAR 1 NO 266 l 269 2H Y S is TRANSFER AB E FDR A S 0 TO DISPLAY PRoPER L ZERO BUFFER NO NO IS YES 2 D FDR B )0 AT ZERO -L/--27O IS NO X,Y -b FDR AT YES M I zERo N0 N0 272 l 27?,

ExEcUTE FDR Y s INTERRUPT PREvIEw E I 282 PROGRAM T 274 2BI T U 283 FIND TRANSFER o LOAD NEXT 0 YES HIGHEST FROM LOWEST lN SEQUENCE I FDR OF TO HIGHEST INT LOWEST No A-B PAIR FDR S BUFFER FDRS BUFFER l 280 286 f LOAD NEXT SKIP IS 0R PREvIoUS FoRwARD FDR A 0 INTG, D'SPLAY 0R BACK AT zERo zERo FDR S BUFF R FDR 8 YES 288 .AT zERo 287 BY-PASS TO x YES 0R BY-PAS?S TO Y 28 LOAD Q FRoNI LOAD NEXT 0 LOWEST OF A-B IN SEQUENGE DISPLAY FDR PAIR INTo INTO LOWEST on S x oR Y FDR 0F A-B FDR PAIR l PATENTED AUG 5 I975 FDR 302 INTERRUPT SUBROUTINE i YES L g 1 FIG. 200

NO FLAG FDR B B 0 as L 338 1 i 3|O l STORE As STAGE vALUE DISPLAY IN BUFFER FDR ScALE l L ADvANcE 7 3!] NO DID LAST fi SEfi CIRCUIT INITIALIZE YES TO A FDR 34o l OUTPUT BUFFER To YES NEw VALUE INTERFACE SAME AS OLD L FLAQS JDR 3'4 NEw vALUE YES OTHER N0 ZERO FDR FULL NO 7 322 LYES I'NEW vALUE YES OTHER FDR NO DISPLAY OTHER FULL ZERO FDR S o rt AS STAGE O NO YES SIS I DISPLAY FDR'S Q 1;; s LOAD NEXT Q STAGE Q IN SEQUENCE I/ 323 I 1 FROM MEMORY DISPLAY NEw DISPLAY Q 11' FDR ScALE OF NEXT 0 L 324 lilL PATENTEU 5'975 31-155: :4

A--- A I INITIALIZE DID 2 To FIRST 327 B CIRCUIT 3I9/ 1 d FIG 20B INITIALIZE SFEDE 20 To FIRST FDR L328 320 FDR AT YES ZERO HIGHER THAN PREVIOUS YES STORE AS NEw HIGH HIGHEST VALUE FOR VALUE NO "w MULTIPLY CIRCUIT VALUE 332 BY FDR VALUE ADD TO TENTATIvE 333 r- VALUE {No V ADVANCE TO 335 NEXT FDR 336 v 2 TENTATIvE YES VALUE HIGHER THAN HIGHEST FDR VALUE SHEET ELECTRONIC DISPLAY CONTROLLED STAGE LIGHTING SYSTEM This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 134,979 filed Apr. I8, 1971, now abandoned.

This invention relates to apparatus and a method for controlling theatrical stage lamps, and, more particularly to a stage lighting system in which the stage lights are controlled by an operator through an electronic display controller and associated data processing apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the control of theatrical or television stage lighting, a sequence of lighting effects are activated in synchronism with the dramatic action on the stage. Each individual lighting effect in the sequence is commonly called a cue. Each individual lighting cue is created by activating a plurality of stage lights according to a predetermined plan. For some types of theatrical presentations, there may be as many as 300 individual lighting circuits and as many as 200 lighting cues which must be activated in sequence.

Electrical stage lighting technology has progressed through a number of stages of development. The earliest form of electrical stage lighting system used individual manual controls. In the early manually controlled systems, an individual manually-operated electrical voltage controller, such as a rheostat or an autotransformer, was directly connected to each lighting circuit. For theatrical presentations other than very simple ones, such manually-controlled systems required the employment of a number of human operators, since the manual control devices were of such size that a large number of them could not be situated within reach of a single operator, and also because the number of separate manipulations which had to be executed simultaneously was typically more than a single operator can perform.

In the next stage of development, there was introduced into stage lighting technology the lighting dim mer, which is essentially a power amplifier for converting a low-power control signal to a high-power output signal for operating a stage lamp. This development permitted the use of an array of small-sized controllers, such as low-power potentiometers, to control the dimmers which then, in turn, controlled the stage lamps. It also made practical the use of several arrays of controllers which could be manually preset and then selectively activated to produce a sequence of lighting effects or cues.

For example, in a ten-scene preset, there would be ten arrays of controllers, each array or scene having one controller per lighting circuit and a master controller, sometimes called a fader", for applying the entire array of controller settings to the dimmers. Thus, a single operator, by manipulating the master controllers or faders, could control transitions between any two or more of the complex lighting cues or scenes.

Although the use of multiple arrays of preset lighting controllers permits complex lighting cue transitions which would not be feasible in direct manual control, the function of manually presetting lighting cues or scenes typically requires the employment of one or more human operators in addition to the operator who controls the transitions between lighting cues by manipulating the fader controls.

In the next stage of development, electrical and electronic data storage techniques were introduced for storing sequences of stage lighting cues. In this type of system, the predetermined lighting control information is stored as a matrix or array of voltage values from which the individual lighting cues may be called forth in sequence. Such systems have the advantage of being able to economically store larger numbers of individual lighting cues than the older manually preset systems.

However, one problem of existing systems using electrical or electronic data storage techniques is that there is a fixed correspondence between the position at which each designated lighting cue will appear in the automated sequence of cues and the physical position of that lighting cue within the storage device. Thus, in the prior art systems, it is not possible to modify the sequence of cues by inserting an additional cue into a previously-stored sequence, or to eliminate a cue from a previously-stored sequence, without re-writing and re-storing some of the other cues, or without making less than full use of available storage space.

Another problem of the prior art systems using electronic data storage is that the apparatus for displaying the array of lighting circuit levels in effect at a particular moment when the system is under control of the electronic memory is separate and distinct from the apparatus used to adjust the lighting circuit levels by immediate access to any individual circuit or group or circuits. Instead, it is necessary to manually set a control lever to a position which matches the level at which the lighting circuit is currently set by the electronic memory control, and then to transfer control of the lighting circuit to the manual control lever to make the adjustment.

All electronic memory systems in the prior art are of the hand-wired control system type, that is, they do not include a stored-program digital computer as part of the system.

Further, the more modern prior art theatre lighting systems whether of the manually preset or electronic data storage type use large numbers of physically large and expensive conventional electrical components, such as lever-controlled potentiometers and electrical indicating meters. This creates a problem with respect to the physical size and cost of any theatre lighting control system having a large number of lighting circuits. In fact, the technological advantages of the manually preset and electronic data storage types of theatre lighting control systems described above have not been of sufficient impact to replace the earliest manually operated systems in a large sector of the theatre industry. Most theatrical productions in the major world centers of the live dramatic stage still carry on lighting operations with manually operated lighting systems, using equipment sometimes dating to the earliest years of incandescent stage illumination.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved stage lighting system which obviates the problems of prior stage lighting systems.

More particularly, it is an object of this invention to provide a stage lighting system which permits sequences of stage lighting cues to be quickly and easily designed and executed by a single operator.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a stage lighting system which permits individual stage lighting cues to be designed, stored, retrieved, modified, rearranged and inserted into or deleted from previously stored sequences of lighting cues.

It is another object of this invention to provide a stage lighting system including a device for displaying any stored stage lighting cue or cues under control of the operator.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a stage lighting system including a device for continuously displaying the operating status of the system to the operator.

In accordance with the above and other objects, the present invention provides an improved stage lighting system including data storage apparatus for storing information representing sequences of stage lighting cues, data processing apparatus for creating, storging, retrieving, modifying, rearranging, and otherwise manipulating information representing stage lighting cues, display apparatus, such as a cathode ray tube monitor, for simultaneously displaying information representing the operating status of the data processing apparatus and information representing stage lighting cues stored in the data storage apaparatus, a selecting device, such as a light pen, for designating selected portions of the displayed information under control of the operator and a device for activating the data processing apparatus to perform selected functions in accordance with the portion of the display designated by the selecting device.

The stage lighting system of the present invention, called electronic display controlled stage lighting for convenience, is capable of controlling large numbers of high-voltage stage lamps through suitable low voltagecontrolled power amplifiers known as dimmers. A practical advantage of the present electronic display controlled stage lighting system is that it enables a single operator to control larger numbers of dimmer circuits than has been possible in prior art systems.

A related advantage of the present electronic display controlled stage lighting system is that, because it enables a single operator to control larger numbers of dimmer circuits, it eliminates the need for power patching several stage lamps or other lighting effects for control by a single dimmer circuit.

Another advantage of the present electronic display controlled stage lighting system is that it enables the voltage values applied to the lamps on stage to be quickly and easily modified at any time regardless of the status of the system.

Still another advantage of the present electronic display controlled lighting system is that the structure and content of the information presented to the operator by the display device can be changed under control of the operator in order to more clearly present the range of decision options available to the operator depending on the status of the system.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings which set forth the principle of the present invention and, by way of example the preferred mode contemplated for carrying out that principle.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the general layout of a stage lighting system suitable for electronic display control according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the cathode ray tube monitor and light pen of the preferred form of the present invention FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing the interrelationship of the major components of the electronic display controlled stage lighting system of the present invention.

. FIG. 4 shows the layout of the information displayed on the cathode ray tube monitor of the preferred form of the present invention.

FIGS. 5A, B and C show the setting value portion of the display illustrating various changes accompanying system operations initiated by light pen activation of this portion of the display.

FIGS. 6A through 6G show a section of the status display portion of the display illustrating various settings of dimmer control circuits.

FIGS. 7A through 7D show the cue designating" section of the display illustrating changes accompanying various system operations initiated by light pen activation of this portion of the display.

FIGS. 8A and B show the stage/preview mode selecting portion of the display illustrating changes accompanying light pen activation of this portion.

FIG. 9A is a block diagram of the preferred form of the present invention showing the interrelationship of the system controls and portions of the data processing apparatus for carrying out various functions of the present electronic display controlled stage lighting system.

FIG. 9B is a detailed block diagram of the selection and control section of the data processing apparatus of the system according to the present invention.

FIGS. 10A and 10B are a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the portion of the display which shows the individual lighting channel settings and for carrying out the blackout function.

FIG. 11 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the setting value portion of the display shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 A-C.

FIG. 12 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the stage portion of the display shown in FIGS. 4 and 8A, B.

FIG. 13 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the preview portion of the display shown in FIGS. 4 and 8A, B.

FIG. 14 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the cue designating portion of the display shown in FIGS. 4 and 7AD.

FIG. 15 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the store portion of the display shown in FIGS. 7C and 7D and the call, next, and back portions of the display shown in FIG. 7D.

FIG. 16 is a detailed block diagram of the portion of the data processing apparatus for carrying out functions initiated by light pen activation of the cancel portion of the display shown in FIG. 7D.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification700/84, 345/467, 345/180, 702/57, 307/157, 362/85
International ClassificationH05B37/02, G06F3/033, F21S8/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21W2131/406, G06F3/033, H05B37/029
European ClassificationG06F3/033, H05B37/02S
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 18, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: RIZZARDI, JOHN R., TRUSTEE OF THE ESTATE OF SKIRPA
Owner name: SKANTRONICS, INC., A CA CORP
Effective date: 19850215
Mar 18, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: SKANTRONICS, INC., A CA CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:RIZZARDI, JOHN R., TRUSTEE OF THE ESTATE OF SKIRPAN LIGHTING SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004382/0165
Effective date: 19850215
Jun 8, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: SKIRPAN LIGHTING SYSTEMS, INC., 19030- 72ND AVENUE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:COMPACT VIDEO OF NEW YORK, INC., A NY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004140/0931
Effective date: 19830525
Jun 8, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: COMPACT VIDEO OF NEW YORK, INC., A NY CORP.
Owner name: SKIRPAN LIGHTING SYSTEMS, INC., 19030- 72ND AVENUE
Effective date: 19830525