Software Documentation

Software Documentation


Intermediate Last updated: June 3, 2024

24 Tiltable row racks

Tiltable row racks like the two Pyrolamas rack shown in Figure 1 have rows that fan out at various angles.  This rack structure contrasts with Fan row racks in which the tube holders fan out within each row.


Figure 1 – The rows of tiltable row racks aim forward and tilt left/right to make fans from the audience perspective.


Pre-configured vs. adjustable tilt rows

If you specify the row angles of the rack before addressing the show and choose “Single-shot rack, fixed tube angles” for the rack structure in the “Create rack” dialog, then the rack is said to be “pre-configured”.  The addressing algorithm will fill the rows with effects whose angles match the angles of the rows.  Figure 2 shows the “Create rack” dialog.  To set the row angles for a rack, fill in the “Row tilt” fields for the eight rows with tilt angles in degrees, following the angle convention that -90 is to the left, 90 is to the right, and 0 is up.

If you leave the row tilt angles unspecified and instead choose the “Single-shot rack, adjustable tilt angle of each row” for the rack structure, then the addressing algorithm will define the row angles on the fly as it assigns firing system addresses to the shots.  Whenever you use the “Single-shot rack, adjustable tilt angle of each row” option, it is advisable to assign firing system addresses sorted by angle or tilt within each position, as shown in paragraph 2 of Figure 3, to guarantee that the addressing algorithm doesn’t spread effects of the same angle across multiple rows when they could be in the same row, which could result in inefficient filling of the rack.

In addition to the addressing sort order, the tube loading order option in the rack definition can affect the angles of the rows for adjustable tilt row racks, so for this kind of rack please follow both these guidelines:

  1. Set the tube loading order in the rack definition to “By rows, left to right” (which is also the default).
  2. When addressing, sort the addressing order by tilt or angle as the primary condition after Position.

The reason for these guidelines is that the first effect assigned in each row will set the angle of the row.  The “By rows” loading order means the effects being addressed will fill out the first row, to the extent their angles are compatible, before moving on to the next.  The “Across rows” loading order means the effects being addressed will fill out the first tubes in each row before moving on to the second tubes, and so on.  The best approach to guarantee the rows are filled completely is to “fill” all the left-most rows first, and work your way to the right as the rows fill up, which requires (1) and (2).  Imagine if you have 25 shots to fill a 5-row rack, and your shots are in 5 angles, 5 shots each.  If you sort by angle but your tube loading order is “Across rows” instead of “By rows”, then the first five shots would be assigned to the first tube in each of the five rows, forcing ALL of the rows to be the first angle.  Those first five shots would get racked and the next 20 would not fit in the rack because all the rows are aiming a single direction!

These guidelines are not required for pre-configured tilt angle, only for adjustable tilt angles.  The guidelines still apply if you use the Re-arrange tubes in adjustable angle racks to avoid collisions option when addressing.


Pyrosure + Evolved example

The Evolved racks are a kind of tiltable row rack that works with pre-wired pins.  The PyroSure firing system uses slats that are pre-wired individually to each row, requiring the pre-wired pins option “Sequential for each row” shown in Figure 2.    Since all the tubes in a row have the same angle, all the effects addressed to the same slat must therefore be the same angle.  The addressing configuration in Figure 3 adds the constraint in paragraph 3 that slats are restricted to a single angle.  If you are addressing for tiltable row racks with PyroSure, you need this constraint for the tiltable row racks.


Figure 2 – The Evolved rack for PyroSure requires the “Sequential for each row” option, since each row is wired to a slat.


Your show probably has other kinds of racks in it as well, though, and you may want to use other constraints and sorting criteria for other racks in the show.   The “Addressing > Address show” function applies a single set of addressing criteria for the entire show, so if you need different criteria for different parts of the show you need to use either 1) the “Addressing > Fill down addresses” function, or 2) addressing blueprints.   Addressing blueprints are rule sets or templates of the addressing criteria that look approximately the same as the “Addressing > Address show” dialog.  You can assign different addressing blueprints to different positions of the show, and then use the “Addressing > Address show using blueprints assigned to positions” instead of the “Addressing > Address show” function.  To use a different addressing blueprint for your tiltable row racks, you need to split off your tiltable row racks and their effects into their own positions, and then assign your custom addressing blueprint to those positions.


Figure 3 – The addressing configuration for PyroSure requires that each slat is restricted to a single angle.


In paragraph 3 of Figure 3, the two circled constraints connected by a red line restrict each module to a single rack, and each rack to a single module.  The combination of those two constraints creates a 1:1 relationship between modules and racks.  This is the necessary configuration for using PyroSure firing system with the Evolved tiltable row racks.

The PyroSure slats are pre-wired to the tubes in the tiltable row rack in a pre-defined (and obvious) order, beginning with pin 1 at the top and pin 4 at the bottom for each row, since each row is pre-wired to a slat with four pins.  The “Sequential for each row” option shown in Figure 2 is the choice that will guarantee that pin layout.  There are other options that are applicable to other firing systems, but the “Sequential for each row” option is the correct choice for PyroSure because PyroSure uses a separate slat for each row.  The various pre-wired pin options are all illustrated in Pre-wired pin options.  The illustration of “Sequential for each row” is shown here in Figure 4.


Figure 4 – The “Sequential for each row” option works for firing systems like PyroSure that assign a separate module or slat to each row. 


FireOne example

The setup for FireOne is slightly different from PyroSure because FireOne doesn’t use slats for its addressing scheme.   Figure 6 illustrates the natural pin pattern for pre-wiring a FireOne module to a tiltable row rack with the same number of tubes (see Pre-wired pin options for other options).


Figure 6 – The “Sequential by rows, left to right” option works if a single module and pin range cover the entire rack. 


You can select this “Sequential by rows, left to right” pre-wired pins option in the “Create rack” dialog, as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 – The tiltable row rack configuration for FireOne can use the “Sequential by rows, left to right” option.


The FireOne system doesn’t use slats in its addressing scheme, so the addressing configuration for tiltable row racks using FireOne doesn’t specify anything in the slats line of paragraph 3 of the addressing configuration shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8 – The addressing configuration for FireOne doesn’t have constraints for slats, because there aren’t any.