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Author Topic: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience  (Read 7130 times)

Rich Grisier

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2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« on: December 01, 2014, 10:53:56 am »

I'm thinking about going to wireless DMX and have been looking at a system from Donner.  Does anyone have experience with these?

I'd be using them with Blizzard lights.  As I understand it, Blizzard lights provide power to their wiCicle wireless receivers through the DMX connection.  Would this damage the Donner receivers?  Would the Donner receivers work with Blizzard products?
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Bob Charest

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 06:46:25 pm »

I'm thinking about going to wireless DMX and have been looking at a system from Donner.  Does anyone have experience with these?

I'd be using them with Blizzard lights.  As I understand it, Blizzard lights provide power to their wiCicle wireless receivers through the DMX connection.  Would this damage the Donner receivers?  Would the Donner receivers work with Blizzard products?

The Wicicles might not be compatible with the Donner gear. Every wireless DMX setup I've used is proprietary.

I had used Wicicles (we have all Blizzard lighting fixtures) but at various times I had unexplained problems where one light tree might lose comm with the transmitter and go dark, or worse, start freaking out. At one point I replaced all of the Wicicles which worked for a while, but after problems returned after I replaced everything, I switched to another form of DMX wireless gear which is rock-solid.

We play on small stages usually with line-of-sight between the transmitter and the receivers...

Best regards,
Bob Charest

PS: The Donner stuff looks like an offshore knock-off of the Wicicles - is that correct?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 06:49:24 pm by Bob Charest »
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Kirby Yarbrough

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2014, 07:05:05 pm »

I switched to another form of DMX wireless gear which is rock-solid.

Bob, Thinking of switching to wireless DMX also.  What did you switch to?
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Rich Grisier

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 08:35:39 pm »

The Wicicles might not be compatible with the Donner gear. Every wireless DMX setup I've used is proprietary.

I agree.  In fact, I'd be surprised if they were.  What I'm more concerned about is if I can plug one of the Donner receivers into the DMX input of a RokBox.  I just took measurements of one of my RokBoxes and saw this on the DMX connector:

Pin    Vdc
1-2: -0.796
1-3: -4.121
2-3: -3.324


Quote
PS: The Donner stuff looks like an offshore knock-off of the Wicicles - is that correct?
They do look similar.  I've seen the Donner stuff looks to come from a parent company that calls them "DMX512 Dfi". An Amazon search shows several companies (Donner, Kedsum, VvW, TOTMC) with their own name branding on what looks to be the same product.
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Bob Charest

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2014, 08:47:01 pm »

Bob, Thinking of switching to wireless DMX also.  What did you switch to?
Hey Kirby! Long time no chat! I hope all is well with you.

I bit the bullet and got W-DMX (Wireless Solutions made in Sweden.) It was between them and City Theatrical, but the W-DMX stuff had powercon (no wall warts) and I loved the way one can program all downstream units to be on a different frequency (if needed.) Support has been exceptional, and the units are completely reliable... I really love 'em! It was definitely a "buy once, cry once" scenario...

I'm using an F-1 transmitter and three R-512 receivers, and have found them to be bullet-proof. Must be a more robust frequency-hopping algorithm, but whatever it is, I'm really happy with them.

Hope you get some time to enjoy the holidays!

Best regards,
Bob

PS: I also seem to remember that in the size I wanted the City Theatrical units were 5-pin DMX only. The W-DMX units have both 5-pin and 3-pin (the F1 MKII transmitter and the R-512 Receivers.)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 08:54:16 pm by Bob Charest »
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Bob Charest

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2014, 08:51:39 pm »

I agree.  In fact, I'd be surprised if they were.  What I'm more concerned about is if I can plug one of the Donner receivers into the DMX input of a RokBox.  I just took measurements of one of my RokBoxes and saw this on the DMX connector:

Pin    Vdc
1-2: -0.796
1-3: -4.121
2-3: -3.324

They do look similar.  I've seen the Donner stuff looks to come from a parent company that calls them "DMX512 Dfi". An Amazon search shows several companies (Donner, Kedsum, VvW, TOTMC) with their own name branding on what looks to be the same product.

Hi Rich,

It might be a bit of a gamble, what do you think? Is there a reason not to use the Wicicles from Blizzard? If you're using Wicicle enabled Blizzard fixtures you would have support from Blizzard (they were very helpful when I was last in touch with them.) I did like the fact that there didn't need to be additional power run for the wireless DMX units when I had the Wicicles. My backline uplighting fixtures were not Wicicle enabled, so I had to power them, but I would've put up with that with no problem if things had all been super solid. I just couldn't hang with things sometimes working...

Best regards,
Bob
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Rich Grisier

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 09:37:56 pm »

Hi Bob! :)

It might be a bit of a gamble, what do you think?
Definitely a gamble... which is why I came here to see if anyone else has been down the same road. ;)
I did see a YouTube video HERE where it looks like he's using these with some HotBoxes.

Quote
Is there a reason not to use the Wicicles from Blizzard?
The Wicicles are 4x the price for what looks to be the same product.  If they were the same price I'd get the Wicicles.
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Bob Charest

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 09:53:34 pm »

Hi Bob! :)
Definitely a gamble... which is why I came here to see if anyone else has been down the same road. ;)
I did see a YouTube video HERE where it looks like he's using these with some HotBoxes.
The Wicicles are 4x the price for what looks to be the same product.  If they were the same price I'd get the Wicicles.

Hi Rich,

If these are 1/4 the price of the Wicicles it seems like you'll be in great shape. Will your Blizzard fixtures power the Donner wireless units?

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Rich Grisier

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 12:05:33 am »

Will your Blizzard fixtures power the Donner wireless units?

I've been in contact with someone at Donner.  He says he's had customers use them with RokBoxes before.  He said the RokBoxes will not power the DMX512's and that every DMX512 comes with it's own power supply.

He was very responsive which is encouraging.  Even updated the website pull down menu instantly so you could specifically order the receiver with the antenna or the LED dome.  Prior to our emails there was no distinction.
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Bob Charest

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 08:57:42 am »

I've been in contact with someone at Donner.  He says he's had customers use them with RokBoxes before.  He said the RokBoxes will not power the DMX512's and that every DMX512 comes with it's own power supply.

He was very responsive which is encouraging.  Even updated the website pull down menu instantly so you could specifically order the receiver with the antenna or the LED dome.  Prior to our emails there was no distinction.
Hi Rich - That level of responsiveness is always really encouraging!
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Rich Grisier

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Re: 2.4GHz Wireless DMX Experience
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 08:55:28 pm »

Hi Rich - That level of responsiveness is always really encouraging!

Well... I took a chance and got 2 transmitters and 7 receivers.  I'm happy to report all are working fine!!  So far I've only done in-house testing by setting up a few lights in the living room and put the controller in the basement.  No problems at all with anything.  They were basically plug & play.  They worked fine with my RokBoxes.  I did have to supply power to each dongle- so the receivers aren't powered by the RokBox... but I figured that because they told me an external power supply (included) would be needed for each dongle.

Something I thought to be very interesting... the manual was almost direct copy of the Blizzard Wicicle manual!! They used some of the same graphics and a lot of the same wording! Even down to the statement "our Pucks do that".

We'll see how they hold up under gigging conditions.  Good news is, the manual states these have a "3 year guarantee".  I'm glad they didn't pull that section from the Wicicle manual... those only have a 2 year warranty. ;)

Edit: Had first gig with them this weekend.  I used two Receiver/Transmitter pairs.  One set was running four ADJ SCAN250EX's, the other on a pair of Chauvet Scorpion RGY lasers.  Both sets worked flawlessly.  I had a small issue with making sure the power was plugged in securely.  This was easy enough to diagnose by looking at the LED's to verify communications.  I did have to use a small XLR cable connected to the transmitter because there wasn't enough clearance between the fixtures DMX Iput & Output to insert the power supply into the transmitter.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 05:14:24 pm by Rich Grisier »
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