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Author Topic: MIDI Foot control question  (Read 15410 times)

Gregory Lawrence

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2008, 05:58:18 pm »

Thank you Bob for confirming my beliefs!

Here is my setup:

Elation DMX Operator Controller connected to a daisy chain of 8 Par 64 (American DJ) cans, using approved DMX special cables.

The DMX Controller is hooked directly to Can#1 creating the start of the chain.

Fixture#1 - Can#1 - 1
Fixture#2 - Can#2 - 17
Fixture#3 - Can#3 - 33
Fixture#4 - Can#4 - 49
Fixture#5 - Can#5 - 65
Fixture#6 - Can#6 - 81
Fixture#7 - Can#7 - 97
Fixture#8 - Can#8 - 113
Fixture#9 - DMX Dimmer Pack - 129

There is no termination at the end of the chain.

I checked the DIP switches to make sure the settings are okay.

RGB Control works fine for all lights.

All-channels with same color Strobing causes different reaction times - out of sync.

When using the built-in patterns or sound mode via DMX only 5 of the lights work in perfect sync.

Cans #1, #5, #7 are out of sync.
I am pretty sure that the 3 remaining lights are not in any sync with each other.

I am a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer as well as a certified CompTIA A+ PC Technician and I fully understand the DMX DIP switch addressing, but I can also include the dip settings if you like.

I will recheck everything once again. Most mistakes are human error, but this problem is very fickle and hard to pin down.

Thanks for lending a hand, ear, or mouse!

Greg

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Stephane Desormeaux

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2008, 08:42:45 pm »

This is from your manual :

This function will allows you to link units together to run in a Master-Slave mode. In Master-Slave operation one unit will act as the controlling
unit and the others will react to the controlling units built-in programs. Any unit can act as a Master or as a Slave however, only one unit can be programmed to act as the “Master.”
1. Daisy chain your units via the XLR connector on the rear of
the unit. Use standard XLR microphone cables to link your
units together. Remember that the Male XLR connector is the
input and the Female XLR connector is the output. The first unit
in the chain (master) will use the female XLR connector only. The last unit in the chain will use the male XLR connector only.
2. Using the Master unit, choose your desired mode and connect the “Slave” unit or units.
3. For the “Slave” unit(s) press the MODE button until “S.L.A.” is dis- played. They will now follow the “Master” unit.
4. To run the units in a Master/Slave configuration in DMX
mode, set the Masters’ DMX address, then set the slave unit(s) to the same DMX address.
5. On your DMX controller make sure the same number of fix- tures are set to “On”, as the same number of fixtures that are in your Master/Slave configuration.


So, if you are using mirror side-side lighting (example : fixture 1 and 8 are green, 2 and 7 are red, etc...) you can program fixture 1 as master and 8 as its slave. I would even try fixture 1 of the controller to control fixture 1 as a master, and fixture 4,5, and 8 as slaves to fixture 1. Also fixture 2 would control par 2 as a master, and fixtures 3, 6 and 7 would be slaves to fixture 2.

So the clock/cpu/program/macro of the master will control all the slaves without using its own.

Your lights also seem to have the Led Sync feature from American DJ, and should sync up, but only in slave-master mode from my understanding.

I really hope what I'm giving you in info helps, cause I'm rather new to this DMX stuff too. But I have tried a lot of different things to get as much out of my modest kit. And hey, playing with lights is fun.
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2008, 09:42:51 pm »

Hello-
The American DJ Par64 LED DMX lights do not offer a Master/Slave mode.

The kind of "synchronization" I am referring to is having all the lights on individual channels for separate control, but having them strobe or change colors all at the same time.

Some cans (channels) change faster, some slower, and right now, it seems as though only five of the eight cans are in perfect sync and respond correctly.

Still baffled,

Greg

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Bob Charest

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2008, 07:26:33 am »

Hi Greg,

20 years in IT myself... while playing music all the time, and finally back to just music.

This is an interesting problem! The first thing I would do is to terminate the line. With that many fixtures, and depending on the total length, you can be getting reflections of the DMX signal. Just to be prudent, I would eliminate that as a possibility. You're using DMX cables, so that's not a problem.

After you've properly terminated the DMX chain, to troubleshoot, if one were to address the 3 misbehaving fixtures to addresses occupied by 3 fixtures that are operating correctly, see if they then do exactly what their counterparts do. If so, then re-address all 6 fixtures to the addresses previously assigned to the three fixtures that were misbehaving. Do they now all "misbehave" it the same way? If so, what is being transmitted from the DMX Operator becomes suspect.

One other approach is to use only two lights, one from the group that is functioning correctly and one from the group that is not. If they operate correctly, then we start chasing bandwidth. As you know, DMX is a serial comm protocol, so there's room for error. Cables/connectors seem to be prime candidates at this point.

A helpful little link here:
 http://www.onstagelighting.co.uk/lighting-equipment/stage-li ghting-control/dmx-fault-finding-and-fixing-dmx-problems/

Do you have an Ebtech cable tester? It really makes things easy when cablechecking. We had strange behavior from one of our trees and found that the cable feeding the tree had a bad connection/intermittent connection. Nasty to find, but then all seem so simple afterwards!

Let me know how things run after the termination, and try the approaches I mentioned... wish we were both in a room with the gear... things are so much easier in person!

Best regards,
Bob

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Bob Charest

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2008, 07:35:54 am »

Hi Stephanie,

From the ADJ Manual - Yikes!

1. Daisy chain your units via the XLR connector on the rear of the unit. Use standard XLR microphone cables to link your units together. Remember that the Male XLR connector is the input and the Female XLR connector is the output. The first unit in the chain (master) will use the female XLR connector only. The last unit in the chain will use the male XLR connector only.


Wow - a company's manual stating to use mic cable, not specifying DMX cable? You can get away with it, but problems can most certainly result from not using DMX cables. I didn't see any mentioned of termination, either. Maybe they intend for their tech support line to become a profit center!  Laughing

Best regards,
Bob
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2008, 09:16:12 am »

Bob, my friend, you got it goin' on!

How coincidental, I was online looking at the Ebtech Swizz Army cable tester just last night! I have a Cat5 tester and Ideal tone generator with probe, -need another animal!

Your advice is perfect. Try to recreate the problem.
I am heading to Radio Shack now to get a resistor. I want to eliminate all possible points of failure.

I am using all DMX specified cables - EXCEPT the cable running from Fixture 4 to 5, and cable from 6 to 7. (Back of stage to front of stage length is longer than the 15 ft. cables I bought.)
I DO have enough DMX XLR cable, and I will use it when going back to troubleshoot. (I will move light tree temporarily)From what I understand, there are twisted pairs inside the cable??? (Three conductor?)

NOTE: I became worried about my "return policy time" running out, so I called The Elation Company and told them of the problem and also mentioned that the "Fade Time Slider" was unable to achieve a setting value less than 18. He said this is NOT normal and I should exchange the unit.

The Fade function works, but at a value of 18, the transition takes 2-3 seconds to complete, not a smooth fast transition.

Does anybody else out there have "normal fade time" sliders?

Does anybody out there have "screwy fade time" sliders that are unable to get values below 18 easily?

Does your fade time work fast and smoothly? Mine seems to "fizzle" from one color to another in a regular non-program function mode. (plain red to blue, etc.)

The unit is on backorder of course, so it will be after the New Year when I find out about the controller, and if it is having an effect on the operation of the lights. (or mis-operation!)

Until then, I am going to do exactly what you suggested by narrowing it down, one light at a time, recreating an error if possible, because one way or another, THEY WILL OBEY!

I will report back to the forum once I get it all together.

Heading to the troubleshooting link you provided now.

Thank you so very very much!

Greg
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2008, 09:23:14 am »

Very funny!

It's not as easy as discovering a bad mic cable. You usually hear it when it happens. I don't think they mentioned anything about the original 5-pin DMX format either.

I can hear it now...

"But ma'm, I went out and bought special DMX specific expensive cables and they still are messing up."
..."Well sir, it says in the manual here to use standard XLR mic cables."  !!!

When I phoned to return the DMX controller, the person on the phone originally wanted me to return the entire light show package! (I was on hold with a newbie for 32 minutes.)

Happy Holidays

!
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Bob Charest

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2008, 08:15:51 pm »

Best of luck, Greg, you'll get it fixed, no doubt! Sure can be frustrating when all seems to be as it should and the result isn't right.

I'm looking forward to hearing how you make out!

Bob
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Behringer FCB1010 Firmware
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2008, 01:34:48 am »

Behringer firmware upgrade: http://www.ossandust.be

Bob Charest

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Re: DMX Operator Experience
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2008, 12:43:44 pm »

Gregory Lawrence wrote on Fri, 19 December 2008 08:16

From what I understand, there are twisted pairs inside the cable??? (Three conductor?


The 5-pin DMX cable will have two twisted pairs, ground and either foil or braided shield.

The 3-pin DMX cable will have one twisted pair, ground and either foil or braided shield.

I stumbled across a pretty succinct document for the data protocol and wire. The part detailing start/stop bits and data frame is clearly done.

http://www.theater-technisch-lab.nl/dmxen.htm

and this additional document detailing 3-wire cable:

http://www.theater-technisch-lab.nl/cable.htm

Best regards,
Bob


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