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DMX Control Software and interface?


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#1 Daniel Smith

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:57 AM

Hi.

Is there such thing as a DMX hub going into say a USB or firewire, which can then be controlled by PC DMX software? Anything like this exist?

Cheers,
Dan.
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 05:25 PM

There are many such devices but I am not a dimmer expert. Lanbox ( http://www.lanbox.com/ ) has an interface for their free LCedit dimmer board software but the interface is 1200 dollars if I recall.

Is this something you mean?

Tim
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#3 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 05:50 PM

Enttec do a series of cheaper USB to DMX converters, with a handful of open source software to go with it, ranging from simple stuff to fairly advanced controllers. There are pleanty of PC/Mac based DMX controllers out there, just have a look around.
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#4 Daniel Smith

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:54 AM

I was looking into this, however, will a US built dmx controller work in the UK? Reason being the voltage is being changed, and if the software is designed to change 120 volt lights then it may not work with the UK's 240.

http://www.elationli.....hting Control
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#5 Daniel Smith

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:31 AM

One question I just want to clear up,

am I right in thinking that you can't plug a 512 dmx controller into both dimmer packs AND moving lights?

I heard that you need a seperate universe for each, you can't daisy chain?


The behringer http://www.behringer...ex.cfm?lang=ENG seems a good start for what I want but it only has the one universe. But I need to control both dimmer packs and moving lights.

cheers.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 05 August 2008 - 07:32 AM.

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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:40 AM

> am I right in thinking that you can't plug a 512 dmx controller into both dimmer packs AND moving
> lights?

No, you can do that fine. Each device has a start address and uses however many channels from that point up. Set things up so they don't overlap and the system doesn't care what the device actually is.

I would expect there to be no difference between a US/UK model; all DMX does is send 8-bit numbers to things, but it might be worth double-checking.

P
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#7 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:43 PM

DMX was introduced as a standardised universal control system for lighting in the entertainment industry. DMX has 512 channels of control per universe(some controllers have the ability to control multiple universes, meaning they have two or 3 DMX outputs). Anything that takes DMX can be controlled on the one universe. This includes moving heads, smoke machines, strobes and dimmers. Each device is assigned a DMX address, which is where the first channel of the device will be. ie. On a 12 channel dimmer you set the start address to 037, that means the following will be the case:

DMX Channel 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Physical Channel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Dont get this confused with DMX Banks. A bank is a group of 12 channels. So Bank 01 = Starting Address 001, 02 = 013, 03 = 025 and so on.

Hope that helps. If you need more info just ask.
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#8 Daniel Smith

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

> am I right in thinking that you can't plug a 512 dmx controller into both dimmer packs AND moving
> lights?

No, you can do that fine. Each device has a start address and uses however many channels from that point up. Set things up so they don't overlap and the system doesn't care what the device actually is.

I would expect there to be no difference between a US/UK model; all DMX does is send 8-bit numbers to things, but it might be worth double-checking.

P

Tnx Phil. I would have thought the same, it's controlling a value from 0 to 255, that's all, as far as I know.


DMX was introduced as a standardised universal control system for lighting in the entertainment industry. DMX has 512 channels of control per universe(some controllers have the ability to control multiple universes, meaning they have two or 3 DMX outputs). Anything that takes DMX can be controlled on the one universe. This includes moving heads, smoke machines, strobes and dimmers. Each device is assigned a DMX address, which is where the first channel of the device will be. ie. On a 12 channel dimmer you set the start address to 037, that means the following will be the case:

DMX Channel 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Physical Channel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Dont get this confused with DMX Banks. A bank is a group of 12 channels. So Bank 01 = Starting Address 001, 02 = 013, 03 = 025 and so on.

Hope that helps. If you need more info just ask.

Any reason why you would start it on channel 37, is this the default dimmer pack starting point or something?

And have you used a DMX controller abroad atall, in reference to the question above?

thanks.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:15 PM

> Any reason why you would start it on channel 37

Unless there's something going on I don't know about, that's just an example - you can usually set the start address to any value, using DIP switches. For instance, you might have a moving light with eight functions; if you started the first at address 1, the second one you set up might have a start address of 9, so 9 would be pan, 10 tilt, 11 colour, 12 gobo etc.

Many lighting desks have abstraction software so you can just punch up a particular unit or group of units and do things with all of them at once; only on things like the venerable Pulsar Masterpiece controller does your life become, well, interesting.

> And have you used a DMX controller abroad atall, in reference to the question above?

I've seen them used in the US; seemed identical. Wander around any Las Vegas hotel where moving lights are in use and they have DMX start addresses glowing at you from 7-segment displays.

I've also had banks referred to as pages, but only on things like the Masterpiece where there's buttons across the front of the thing and you can select which DMX channels they control.

P
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#10 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:10 AM

Phil is right, 37 was just an example.

Pages refer to pages on a Desk/Controller, where you can scroll through what your faders/buttons do, Ie you can have 99 pages of chases, scenes and of course faders, which is different to the Bank Selection on a dimmer, which talks about the addressing.
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