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Show nearly lost due to stuck button

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Being a rather amateur operator of a Fat Frog, my troubleshooting wasn't as fast as some others probably when our 12 Mac 250's seemed to stop responding to Frog commands.


It wasn't until after we reloaded a saved show, powered off the console and fixtures several times, reloaded the OS and ready to give up on the moving lighting for the night, that I found that the Home button was stuck.


I even pressed the Home button during troubleshooting but didn't feel the slight difference in resistance. We pressed the button and shifted it and it popped back up problem free for the rest of the night.


My question is....without being through the experience, is there something I could have noticed (ie. on the LCD or external monitor) to indicate the home button is depressed--since there is no indicator light for the button?


Also, are there any other buttons without indicator lights that could get stuck and put me in a similar position?


Thanks for the help!!



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I guess when you alter brightness, colour, beamshape or position they immediately return back to their default values. There's no light or monitor feature which displays a home button press. Would be a rather irrelevant feature too, since your press usually lasts for a few miliseconds.


By the way: sticky buttons usually occur on sticky desks. Clean the frontpanel with a moist cloth and see if that helps. I had the same problem with the submaster page selection buttons, when one of those is stuck the console keeps flipping pages resulting in a very slow desk.

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Any of the buttons can stick. From experience the most common cause is dirt, bit of debris slip down the side and end gumming the button up or simply wedging its self between the metal work and button.

Liquid, even a small amount is just as bad. This can also end up across the contact on the PCB as well and give the same effect.

If a £1 for very desk (across our whole range) that has been returned as "not responding" correctly that had liquid damage. I would not be typing this, I would be sat somewhere on a beach with a glass of something nice and cold in my hand. :D


You can check for this using the inbuilt test mode on the desk.

To access press and hold the F1 key on the front panel of the desk and turn the desk on. Keep the F1 key held until the large display reads Preset A faders 1-6.

Basically you can now test the front panel functions.

Different tests can be selected using the channel flash buttons, or if you are still using an old version of software (somewhere around version 4) the submaster buttons. I can provide more specific info these test on request but they should be self explanatary.

One of the the tests will be a button test.

You will see a line of dot on the display and as you press a button the name of the button is displayed. Note that all the previous flash button will jump you back to their test as it is assumed these buttons work ok :wink:

Some of the buttons will also cause an LED's to light, others will only cause a star to appear on the display to replace the dot.

NB. The submaster step button will cause all the LED's on the desk to light. Press again to turn off.

What you are looking for is either a button name constantly being shown or flashing on and off without you touching them.

To get out of test mode switch the desk off and back on.


The other one to watch for is if you are using and external keyboard as I have dealt with a number instances where something is left on the keys and this gives you the same sort of problem as a front panel button being stuck. The test mode will not pick this up.

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Thank you for the responses.


I'll note that with the Macs, it appeared as though nothing was happening since they are not fast fixtures. If I had moving mirror or newer heads I probably would have figured it out faster.


I must say that the board is very clean so I can't imagine food, water or dirt causing the problem but it must have been something. I'm not concerned so much now though as Keith's suggestion is bound to be very helpful.


This newbie thanks you.



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