Section W-1A Conclave 2004

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September 10-12, 2004

Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America

Lower Gym, Cheldelin Middle School

Corvallis, Oregon

SynopsisEquipmentProduction Crew & Special Thanks - Photos - The Plan (PDF)


My official title/duty: Technical Director. Duties I really fulfilled: Video Director, Lighting Designer, "Set" Designer, Construction Foreman, (solo) Master Electrician, A/V and Electrical Services for other Conclave committees.

This was actually a series of shows; "Friday Night Live", the Saturday show and movie, and the Sunday closing video. We started loading in and setting up at 3:30pm on Friday, but were unable to get everything up in time for the Friday night show. During the process of setting up the dimmer pack (Colortran ENR packs kick ass!) we discovered that the line voltage of the generator was set at 220V. So, we went over to the generator and fuddled with the little screw that controls the voltage, only to discover that we had ramped it up to 240V. One fried control module later, we had it to the proper 208V. But something still wasn't right; we discovered that our dimming options were 0, full and somewhere in between with a bunch of pulsation. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the generator was outputting 62.8 Hz. The standard operating range of the dimmers is 50-60 Hz. A call to United Rentals yielded that we needed to adjust the governor on the motor, so that it would run at a lower RPM and thus put out a lower frequency. At this point it was about 20 minutes before the doors were to open. So, we decided to table the issue until morning and run what little lights we had at full for the Friday show. We also had some issues with switching video feeds from the computers that night. That's what happens when you don't have enough time for a rehearsal.

Half way through the show, I noticed that there were a number of Fresnels, some cabling and my tools on stage. While I was partially responsible for this oversight, we didn’t have enough stagehands or a real Stage Manager to make sure that things like this were under control. Take notes, kids.

Our Section Advisor (Mike Johnson) is a professional mechanic, and was able to locate and appropriately adjust the governor for us. If it weren't for him, we probably couldn't have found our... Y'know, with both hands? So, I was happy for most of Saturday morning. But I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon working on getting the remainder of the lighting and staging set and cleaned up, so that everything looked half-way decent. In the middle of this, I also had to run electricity to the Special Events committee from the generator, for band amps and the like. Then, I had to call Bud's Lites, to figure out which dip switches to adjust on the spare dimmer control module, to make it use three-phase power properly. Then, he showed up a few hours later with another spare module just in case the shit hit the fan again. Now that's what I call customer service!

I also had to troubleshoot a breaker problem with the house power, which the inflatable games people (outside) kindly tripped for us. Did I mention that this was the same circuit all our production equipment was running off of, and that our Shows CVC was editing video at the time? Fortunately he had a UPS, but he still lost a chunk of work time. After they tripped the power a few more times, I kindly lent my troubleshooting services. The guy from the inflatable rental place (keep in mind, he’s a “professional”) didn’t seem to understand that large 15A motors shouldn’t be run over 300’ of 16-0 extension cable. There were also puddles of standing water, which he ran his cable through. So, I kindly ran the spider box that I had for the band (which by this time had been shut down by the Corvallis Police) to the inflatables and lent him 50’ of 12-0 cable. Things ran a little more smoothly, and we didn’t have problems with breakers after that.

With everything set up properly, the Saturday night show ran just fine. The only problem we had was with our large foam logo, which fell down half way through our Section Chief’s address. Fortunately, most of this show was a movie, and we didn’t have many problems after that.

I wasn't around to see much of the strike, since I had to attend a couple of meetings. But, it was mostly finished by the time I came back. We had a few problems getting equipment back to their appropriate rental houses/donors on time, but we fortunately didn’t get charged for any late fees. Perhaps it was an act of pity. While it may sound like the production from hell, it happened, the audience probably didn't care, and nobody got hurt. Please, insist that you get appropriate time to set everything up and run through the show! If we had been given this time, we probably could have avoided many of the problems we ran into.

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12 - 575W Source Four PAR, Medium Flood
6 - 500W 6" Altman Fresnels
6 - 150W R40 Coli Cans
1 - Colortran ENR Dimming Pack (12 @ 2.4kW)
1 - NSI Microplex 7016 Control Console
4 - 12' Pipe & Base Lighting Trees
SOCAPEX & Stage Pin Cabling
1 - 50kW Three-Phase Generator (Courtesy United Rentals)
2 - 50A Spider Boxes (Courtesy United Rentals)
50A Twist-Loc Cabling (Courtesy United Rentals)


2 - NEC Projectors (The model and lumens escape me)
2 - Sony Television-Quality BetaCam Cameras (Courtesy KGW)
1 - Videonics 4-input Switcher (Courtesy Richard Allen)
1 - PC-Based Video Playback System (Courtesy Conrad Shultz)
1 - Mac-Based Key/Slide Generator (Courtesy Richard Allen)
1 - 9' x 12' FP Screen
1 - 9' x 9' RP/FP Screen (Courtesy Archdiocese of Portland)
1 - Panasonic B&W Tri-Pack Video Monitor (Courtesy WLHS)
2 - Color Video Monitors (Courtesy KGW)
Miles of Coax-BNC (Courtesy KGW)


1 - Clear-Com CS-222 Dual Channel Base Station
6 - Clear-Com RS-501 Single Channel Belt Packs


16' x 32' Platform Stage
40' x 16' Pipe & Drape
1 - Giant Foam OA Logo

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Production Crew

Shows CVC: Conrad Shultz
Shows Adivsor: Richard Allen
Technical Director: Greg Bennett
Stage Manager: Jonathan Chancey
Sound Technican: Phil Hunker
Camera: Bryan Allen, Andrew Wymore, Tom Brownell

Special Thanks:

Peter Corvallis Productions, KGW-TV Portland, United Rentals, The Archdiocese of Portland, Cascade Sound & Stage, and the Arrowmen who gave up their place in the registration line (it's okay, it was closed for two hours while they cleaned up a computer mess, anyway) to come and help us frantically set everything up Friday afternoon.

And a very special thanks Buddy Weber of Bud's Lites, who spent way too many hours helping us getting everything set up Friday, repaired Saturday and torn down Sunday. He was even the guy who argued with United Rentals over the phone when the generator was being a pain in the ass. You rock, man!

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Click on each picture for a 800 x 600 version. If you would like higher resolution pictures for some reason, drop me a line and I'll email them to you.

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Photo by Ray Collett

Section Chief Rob Rosamond, making his final address at the Saturday night show.

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Photo by Ray Collett

Welcome to the production table. I'm the guy on the left, with the black "STAFF" shirt. To the right is Shows CVC, Conrad Shultz.

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This should give you a pretty good idea of what I was up against. I took this picture, while I was standing on the bleachers against the wall. The setup looks pretty simple, but for some reason it didn't end up being that way. This picture was taken after the Saturday night show, after the giant OA logo fell down. One of those last-minute discoveries, was that our screens were different sizes and types. Not perfectly symmetrical, but they worked. And no, the yucky green is not from my camera. It's from the crappy mercury-vapor lights the gym uses. Needless to say, we didn't use those.

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