How do I prepare for and manage loss of power to my display or control system?


  • How do you prepare for and manage loss of power to your display or control system?


  • Product Family: Control System, Video
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  • This article explains recommended procedure to prepare for and manage power loss. If power is lost in your facility, there are steps that can be taken in your off-season and during an event to minimize potential damage to your display(s) and Daktronics control systems. Following these steps will help your system recover quickly once power restores. Daktronics recommends facilities to have a back-up plan in place for power failure occurrences.  Every site is different, so having a plan in place will help reaction time and allow systems to be better maintained.

Off Season Preparation

The following steps can be performed during your off-season to help your site be better prepared for an unexpected power outage during an event.

  1. Verify Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Systems
    • Verify that all critical control equipment is attached to UPS units.
    • These units should be loaded to manufactures specs, but generally no more than 50% of their stated capacity.
    • These will need to be replaced every 2 – 3 years to maintain full runtime in the case of an outage.
  2. Run a facility wide power failure test
    • Make sure to back up all data and files before running this test. Shut down any equipment you know is not running on a UPS.
    • Schedule a time with facility operations to turn off the utility power supply and switch to alternate power (if applicable). This will give you an opportunity to test all standby power systems and make sure all UPS units are functioning properly.
    • Practice the steps below (Start with Power failure to Display or Scoreboard) to insure you are prepared for an event time power outage.
    • Make note of any equipment that is or is not powered as you expected. If your facility has auxiliary power, make note of which outlets and equipment are functioning while utility power is disconnected.
    • Shutdown and power off all control systems and displays before returning to utility power.
  3. After this test, adjust the configuration of your UPS units and auxiliary power to insure the proper systems have the runtime you expect during a power outage.
  4. Share this document with your technical and facility staff so they are prepared to assist during a power failure. Make a plan on how to communicate with patrons if Visual Messaging and/or PA systems are unavailable during a power outage.

Managing Display or Scoreboard Failure

  1. If the power outage impacts your display during an event, it is recommended to power off the following components:
    • Video displays
    • Auxiliary displays
    • Pro-Ad or ribbon board displays
    • Fixed digit scoreboards. 
  2. Powering down these components during a power failure is done in TWO ways:
    • Turn your Remote Power Switch (if applicable) in your rack to the OFF position.
    • Turn power off to your display(s) and scoreboards at the circuit breaker.
  3. Using your control system software (if still running through UPS battery back-up), i.e., Venus 7000, Venus, 1500, etc. use your BLANK SIGN command to remove all graphics and display data once power is restored.
  4. Restore power by working backwards from the display(s) circuit breaker to fully restore your display(s) and scoreboard(s)
    1. Turn display and scoreboard power back on at the circuit breaker
      • wait :30 - :60sec before turning the circuit breakers on as there may be power spikes while all major facility components (Lights, HVAC, etc.) come back online.
    2. Turn Remote Power Switches (if applicable) back to the ON position

Managing Control Room Power Failure

  1. If there is a power failure inside your control system rack and you have uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), your rack will run long enough to shut down unnecessary components for maximum work time. This will give you enough time to:
    1. Save all open content, close open applications
    2. Perform a shutdown of all computers not in use
    3. If time allows, run back-up software one last time from your back-up computers
    4. Power down VIPs, A/B Switches, Signal Converters
    5. Note: If you lose power in your control room ONLY and your display is still functioning, it is recommended to shut down non-essential components to give UPS units their maximum usage while power is being restored. Non-essential equipment may include but is not limited to:
      • Back-up computers
      • Back-up VIPs
      • Signal converters
      • Rack-mounted mouse, monitor, and keyboard
  2. If you do not have UPS units inside your rack, unplug rack mounted power strips killing power to all components until power is restored.
  3. Begin restoring power starting with any VIP (Video Image Processors) and working up to your computers (Venus 7000, Venus 1500, and/or Show Control).  For more information on proper Power up and Shutdown procedures, refer to What is the proper rack startup procedure?, DD2308283.

KB ID: DD3100708

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