dj magazine  
 It Could Happen To you



Search DJzone

DJ Magazine

This Issue
Daily News


Issue Archives
DJ Games
DJ Musiclists
DJ Book Store
Gear Mall
DJ Software



The Night The Lights Went Out In Buhl Town

It is Monday and like any other school day the students wander into class at Buhl High School. For Mary this is a special day, this is the day months of planning for the 2001 prom will be executed. After lunch, the crew that she has meticulously hand picked gathers in the huge gymnasium next to stacks of boxes delivered early last week. She explains each job carefully and that as a team they need to transform that big cavern of a gym into a one night fantasy. Elsewhere across in another county, Martha Peters a mother of two and a worker at the local bank, makes her way back from lunch, unknown to her Mary's dream and Martha's life will clash in a hail of sparks.

It's 5 PM Friday now and Paige Vanderpool from Music Magic puts the finishing touches on her vanload of equipment. She looks up at the clouds in the sky and feels a small drizzle of rain on her brow and hears the clash of thunder in the distance.  In her mind she is thinking, "What if..." She then hears me make the comment, "Hope the power does not go out tonight."

On the other side of the county, Martha is heading home from a long days work. Her mind drifts into the many events that took place during the day as she pulls onto an old country highway. She could not wait to get home and relax in a nice warm bath. Navigating a curve a large figure catches here eye in the road a head then another and another. Cattle from a nearby farm somehow had gotten onto the road. Thinking as quickly as she could, Martha cranks the wheel to avoid creating bovine stew and her Lincoln Navigator flies into a ditch and comes to rest after knocking over a large power pole in a hail of sparks. Martha passes out.

Paige, as usual is a little tense about the night. It is a stage-fright sort of tense. Upon arriving at the Buhl High School, she backs up to the side gym door as requested and parks. Entering the gym, she sees pitch black and hears voices. The principal and advisor emerge from the darkness. "Is there anyway I can have the lights turned on until I get set up?" Paige smiles. The look on their faces said it all. There was no power to turn on the lights. Unknown to Paige and the school staff, Martha in another county wiped out power to the entire city of Buhl for the rest of the night.

Thinking the power would be on soon, Paige proceeded to set up her entire system in the dark with only the waning light from the open door to guide her. This was the biggest night of the year for Buhl High School and she was determined to be ready when the power came on.

Most all the gear was setup when Mary arrived with her date. She was frantic. The hundreds of hours  she and her crew had spent on this night were slowly slipping into the darkness caused by an errand herd of cows and bank teller. It was 15 minutes until the start of the nights events and still no power. Then word came in from the power company about the accident and that power would be restored around midnight. She broke down into tears, her night was ruined.

At that time, Paige went into E-mode, which is emergency mode. She assessed the situation and the first thing that came to mind was a generator. She knew that her equipment and lights took up three 20-amp outlets so naturally thought they would need three generators. The calls went out frantically to find generators large enough. The towns people came together and brought in 4 small generators and then a farmer backed up his truck with a surprise. In the back of his truck was a 5000-watt arc welder that also produced AC 110 volts power.

While all this was taking place, Paige knew she had to have clean power for her cd decks and remembered her company had just purchased a new Furman "power thing" that cleaned and conditioned power. A quick call to her husband and the Furman AR-1215 power regulator was on it's way along with a power distribution panel. The welder was kicking out voltage, but the meter on it was fluctuating between 122 volts and 100 volts. This was not good power to be feeding a digital sound system. Once the Furman regulator was hooked up it took a few seconds to kick it but it grabbed the power and held it at a smooth 120 volts and filtered out the spikes and noise that would have sent the cd players into a frenzy.

With the distribution panel hooked into a smaller generator for the lights, the Prom came to life and the people cheered. The 5000-watt welder had more than enough over-head to operate Paige's sound system, the Prom was a total success, and the Furman AR-1215 made it possible.

With all the problems that took place behind the scenes Paige was able to pull off one of the best Proms and Formals Buhl High School had ever seen. From the start of the music til the very last dance she kept the floor hopping. She had even made sure there was power to run the bulky stage spotlight for the promenade half-time show.



web hosting | how to advertise | submit an article  

  about DJzone

DJzone network: | | | | | | | |

   DJzone | letters to the editor | features | reviews | daily music news | classifieds | resources

Copyright © 2001 DJzone, Inc. All rights reserved.