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Author Topic: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread  (Read 1849 times)

Neil Speers

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 12:57:20 am »

Yes the foot-c is the wrong choice for you too.  It's clunky too.  I have one and tried real hard to like it but it just isn't as easy to use for a band member that is used to a 4Bar or such.

Yeah, I figured but I liked it as an example of a controller that wouldn't necessarily work for me anyways. I haven't seen the 4Bar - will have to look that up.

That eBay listing doesn't show the DMX assignments.  Can you scan the table from the instructions (or take a pic) and post it?

See previous post - thanks for the help.

The other item that I think is unclear to you is the value after the d001 for example is the starting DMX address of the first channel of the fixture.  It's an offset value that is added to whatever function is controlled by channel 1.

So if channel 1 is red, 2 is green and 3 is blue and 4 is dimmer 5 is flash and you set the fixture to d006 then that fixture will respond to red on channel 6, green on 7, blue on 8 dimmer on nine and flasher on 10.  Does that make sense?

Actually, I think I got that - if a controller has 14 continuous channels (outside of a few really oddball ones like some of the Obey series?) then I'd set the second light to d008 to get it to use channel 8 as the light's channel 1.

Two fixtures can have the same offset and the fixtures will then respond together.  You can't have dissimilar fixtures on the same channels because they perform different functions.

Yeah - that makes total sense.
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Neil Speers

Neil Speers

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 01:00:16 am »

Well, it looks like you are in luck; bottom of page 2:

press D(save key) for 5 seconds to enter 3 channel mode, then press D again to save.

That gives you 3 channel RGB mode. You should be able to use your current lighting controller although you won't have individual control of your lights, they will all move together. You probably still have to address all of them to d001.

Okay - will have to try that, I couldn't make head nor tail of that - but now you point it out that makes sense. Thank you Len.

However - it still comes down to the fact that now that I know a bit more about what is happening, its the wrong controller for me.   :o
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 01:04:26 am by Neil Speers »
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Neil Speers

Len Zenith Jr

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 01:01:48 am »

It seems if you ever want to go back and get out of 3 channel mode, press A for 3 seconds to revert back to factory setting.

For what you want to do an Obey40 would do the trick for ~$120. Or if you have a spare laptop kicking around you could get into software DMX using a freeware program and a $50 dongle.
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Neil Speers

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2017, 01:10:11 am »

It seems if you ever want to go back and get out of 3 channel mode, press A for 3 seconds to revert back to factory setting.

For what you want to do an Obey40 would do the trick for ~$120. Or if you have a spare laptop kicking around you could get into software DMX using a freeware program and a $50 dongle.

It was mentioned previously that the Obey series assigns something like 16 channels to 'a fixture' - but since it has 12 fixtures that wouldn't be a problem right now. I guess if I get really fancy with the lights, just get a better controller at that time.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Neil Speers

Neil Speers

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2017, 01:59:39 am »

Well, it looks like you are in luck; bottom of page 2:

press D(save key) for 5 seconds to enter 3 channel mode, then press D again to save.

That gives you 3 channel RGB mode. You should be able to use your current lighting controller although you won't have individual control of your lights, they will all move together. You probably still have to address all of them to d001.

Well Len - great idea. However all that does, in practical terms, is adjust the maximum brightness (voltage) of each channel, not change it to three channel use.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 02:10:41 am by Neil Speers »
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Neil Speers

Neil Speers

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2017, 02:01:50 am »

For what you want to do an Obey40 would do the trick for ~$120. Or if you have a spare laptop kicking around you could get into software DMX using a freeware program and a $50 dongle.

I guess should have mentioned I'm spending Canadian dollars so the Obey 40 is about $170 CAN - still doable. The Obey10 is about $130 CAN, its a bit more limited (could only add one more light to my collection) but other than that, any thoughts?
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Neil Speers

Scott Holtzman

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2017, 02:13:46 am »

Well Len - great iead, however all that does is, in practical terms, is adjust the maximum brightness (voltage) of each channel, not change it to three channel use.


You sure about that?  The chart clearly shows a 4 channel mode with one channel unused.


Also LED's don't change brightness based on voltage.  Since you took the time to put the voltage in parenthesis it seemed useful to point out that analog fixture correlations are not correct.  It is best to think in terms of brightness.  The larger the value the brighter it is.  LED's are semiconductors they are either on or off so to dim them they are turned on and off rapidly enough the human eye can't tell.  There is a way to change the bias current but that doesn't produce a smooth dimming effect.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Len Zenith Jr

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2017, 05:05:22 am »

Well Len - great idea. However all that does, in practical terms, is adjust the maximum brightness (voltage) of each channel, not change it to three channel use.

I guess that's what they mean when they say "ammend current magnitude"

These translations can be hard to understand. So after you adjust them, it just reverts back to 7 channel mode then?
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2017, 01:11:18 pm »


Ideally I'd have separate control on each light, but I also don't mind ganging some together in order to save channels - my thought was the three 25 watt lights set to be the same behind the band and two of the 36 watt lights on each side from the front of the band each with its own control.


You're getting great advice here. Regarding the above, your controller, weather it be 4CH or 16CH will be able to do this. For example, you would set the dmx address for the front lights to d001. These lights will do the same thing, together.

Now for the (3) 25 W back lights, you would set the dmx address to the next available number: d005 if using the 4 CH setting, or d008 if using the 7 channel setting. Now the back lights will work together.

Once you have your dmx assignments set up properly, I recommend programming "scenes", which allows you to simply push a single button to get both front wash and back lighting as programmed. You could have several "scenes" where the front spots stay steady and the back lights change. Most of these boards have "chase" options, and also the chase can be sound activated. I've used an Obey 70, with similar lights as you have in this fashion.

There are a lot of cheap, $100 Chinese controllers that are available online that would give you a basic dmx platform, with programmable scenes.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX basicis for a dense soul - thread
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2017, 04:20:52 pm »

You sure about that?  The chart clearly shows a 4 channel mode with one channel unused.

It does, which makes me think the logic board in these lights is also used in an RBGA or RGBW unit, and the manufacturer chose not to reprogram the chip accordingly.  Not a big deal in "4-channel" mode, but a real waste of a channel in 7-channel mode!  Gotta love the Chinese ebay lights...  My point being though that even though it's "4-channel mode", you can treat it as 3-channel since overlapping that last channel won't cause any noticeable side effects. 

I guess should have mentioned I'm spending Canadian dollars so the Obey 40 is about $170 CAN - still doable. The Obey10 is about $130 CAN, its a bit more limited (could only add one more light to my collection) but other than that, any thoughts?

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the Obey series (or the ADJ DMX Operator and similar).  The reason being is how they program.  In certain cases they'll fit the bill and budget, and there are many happy users out there.  My complaint, besides the rather limited options of how to run your shows, is what you've already discovered - the board breaks down its channel count into "fixtures".  This works out all fine and dandy if your lights are either 16 channels or can be grouped in multiples of 16 (for the Obey 40), but if they don't you'll either be wasting channels or trying to sort out some very complicated programming.  Remember, the board doesn't know what fixtures are plugged into it, so it's more shoehorning than it is a technical limitation.  You're not limited to 16 fixtures on an Obey 40, but depending on how sophisticated they are things can get tricky.  As an aside, larger boards feature much more open patching options for the buttons and faders, so this isn't a constraint you normally deal with on larger consoles.

Given your budget, I'd strongly suggest looking at the software options on the market right now.  So long as you have a spare laptop that you don't mind using, you'll have far more options and capabilities with something like MagicQ PC or M-PC than you will with the Obey 40, and you can field either option for less than the Obey 40.  Take a look at the free downloadable demos.  Software solutions tend to have a much steeper learning curve than something like the Obey 40, but you're also working with a much more sophisticated controller.  There is no shortage of hardware versus software debates on this forum, so give those a read too and see what you think.  Good luck!
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