COBRA Best Practices
Practice & Test in Advance
The most critical actions to take when preparing for your show is testing, practice, and gaining knowledge! Before the day of your show, make sure to prepare your equipment, dry run your script, and become familiar with common troubleshooting tips.
On your shoot day be prepared to perform the proper pre-show tests as you set your equipment up. After the shoot, if you experienced any oddities, know what to take note of to improve in future shows and provide additional information to COBRA. After the show is over, make sure to perform annual system maintenance to keep your equipment in tip-top condition. Following these steps will ensure you arrive on the field feeling confident and knowing you and your equipment are ready.
Double Check Accessories
When planning your show, be sure to make sure you have the proper amount of keys and antennas. Check your equipment and make sure your keys and antenna exist for each unit
Syncing, Firmware, and Borrowed Systems
All modules must be operating on the same firmware to work together. When borrowing modules from friends or club members, please check the firmware and make sure they match. Before your show, make sure all modules are synced to the remote you will be using for the show.
Dry Run Your Show
If you are using a script to fire your show, it is critical to dry run your show in advance. Performing this dry run will make sure you catch any scripting errors in advance and give you confidence that when you fire your show, it will run from start to finish with no surprises. We have provided a Dry Run Checklist to help you with this task.
Confirm Modules are Armed
After arming your remote, it will display a module count as modules begin to arm. Before beginning firing, make sure this number matches the amount of equipment in your show.
Check Your Firing Mode
COBRA modules can fire both Talon/Clip-on Igniter Clips and MJG Initiators / E-match. Ensure that the module is set to the correct firing mode for the type of igniter you are using in that specific module. If you need to fire Talons/Clip-on Igniters and initiators on the same module, please follow these guidelines.
Verify Signal Strength
Signal strength is the measurement of quality in the communication between your equipment. The base range of COBRA equipment is about 500 meters (1,600 ft.) with a direct line of sight. For best results, COBRA recommends a value of 0 through -75. To test your signal strength, press the SYNC button on your remote. Ensure all of your equipment has the antenna securely attached and that your equipment is not behind any barriers. To test the signal on an Audio Box, set your 18R2 to channel 99 and press the SYNC button.
Allow your ARM LED to go solid
When you are arming your COBRA firing system the ARM LED on the 18R2 and 18R will blink as the modules in the field are armed. But, in regards to a scripted show, the blinking ARM LED on the 18R2 indicates that the script is being loaded into your firing modules. Firing your show before the SYNC LED has gone solid runs the risk of cues not firing as the system has not fully armed itself and the script has not loaded.
Stay within Maximum Firing Values
When wiring Talons/Clip-on Igniters or e-match/initiators in series or parallel, please be aware of the maximum firing values. The values are not static and will vary based on multiple factors, including wiring method, power source, length of wiring/cabling, and amount of ignitors. For extra confidence, set up your scenario you plan to fire in advance and use extra igniters to ensure your cues will fire.
Lost / Broken Key Switch
If you encounter an error code while powering on equipment or when loading a script, please consult the error code reference guide to figure out what is causing it, and how to fix it.
Cold Weather Precautions
It is critical to understand the cold-weather performance of our systems and what to do if the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C) in your area. Please note that the below recommendations are conservative and designed to be better safe than sorry.
If it's between 0° and 32°F (-18° and 0°C), please don't fire more than two e-matches / Talons/Clip-on Igniters in parallel or four e-match in series. This applies to both LiPo and 9V batteries.
If it's below 0°F (-18°C), please don't fire more than one e-match or Talon/Clip-on Igniter per cue.
If you are using 9V batteries, please only use Energizer. This does not mean that Duracell won't perform, but they don't produce the same amount of peak current and perform worse in cold weather.
If you are using LiPo batteries and it's below freezing, please check the batteries to see if they have a "V-C" or "V-D" displayed in the bottom corner of the white label. If this does not exist, your batteries are not rated for extreme cold. Please e-mail us and we can offer some suggestions on how to resolve.
Keeping your batteries warm can help ensure proper current output your cues while shooting in cold weather. Placing hand warmers underneath your module's battery compartment is a good method to preserve battery temperature, although it is not required. Installing your batteries just prior to your show can be helpful as well.