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Author Topic: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused  (Read 11527 times)

Robert Weston

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Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« on: March 19, 2012, 06:26:02 pm »

I'm rather confident that our issues are centered around our lack of DMX programming.  The only DMX programming I've done was on a DMX Operator and the ADJ Scene Setter 8 (several years ago); I'm beginning to see that I'm way behind on what programming actually is with DMX; with the Operator, all we did (or could) was create scenes and cycle through them.

Pardon for the remedial sense on the questions, but I don't think we are using the controller and/or lighting correctly.

We are using -
   Show Designer 1 (new)
   2 x Chauvet LED SCAN 200's (currently borrowing to determine feasibility) (These are DMX address 1 and 9)
   Standard XLR cables for DMX connectivity
   SD1 DMX polarity is set for -2,+3


We are experiencing some odd behavior on the lights when running chases (programmed w/just a few moves), and colors (via presets) when using the SD1.  For example, we setup a chase that did a few moves (everything looked "normal" on the SD1 indicating it was programmed correctly), but when it played back, it was almost as if the moves of the chase were shrunk down in the area they were programmed to cover (i.e in stead of 30' sq. area, it replayed with a 10' sq. area).

 We're not sure whether we are missing/forgetting some basic info.  The Chauvet lights are configured for DMX (not stand-alone or music or anything like that).

Questions:
     - Should we be using XLR cables that are actually for DMX (or is there really such a thing)?
     - Do we need a terminator on the last fixture? (total XLR distance for our testing is less than 100')
     - Is it better to manually assign DMX addresses, or let "AUTO PATCH" manage this?  We manually assigned the fixtures an address of 1 and 9, respectively.  I would rather assign them manually if that would be the way.
     - Is there a way to delete a fixture?

There's some videos on youtube about the SD2 (citing similarities with SD1), however, the programming and lighting experiences shown in the youtube videos are not what we are experiencing. 

There doesn't seem to be much information on the SD1 floating around on the internet (tips/tricks/how-to); the manual that came with the SD1 is rather sparse for the functionality it provides.  For example, is it a best practice to build presets first, then build chases on those presets, then build scenes with chases, etc... etc... Seems like there's a building block method I can't see. 

Sorry the "nube" questions; my DMX experience is rather limited.


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george welder

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 07:47:58 pm »

Hello, im a sound guy but know what it's like to be at the mercy of wiggley lights.
Sounds like the speed of the chase is too fast. The first scene hasn't finished before moving on to the next and so on and so forth. That has been my experience when scenes aren't as big or don't seem to finish what had been programed.
I'm sure the more experienced designers can shed more light on the subject.... see what i did there. That's audio humor :)
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John Livings

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 08:36:23 pm »

Should we be using XLR cables that are actually for DMX (or is there really such a thing)?

Yes, They are called DMX cables (110 ohm or 120 ohm), Mic cables are 75 ohm.

Also you should try terminating  the last fixture in the run with a DMX "Terminator".

this would be a starting point.

Regards,  John
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Robert Weston

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 08:41:10 pm »

Thanks - yeah I'm not where I'm messing up. 

I did the hard reset on the SD1 and started over with only one fixture attached.  Programming presets is easy (programming color), but playing the presets back gives me odd results i.e. the mirror will noticeably reposition itself a few degrees off from where it was when it was a different color (though, we didn't move the stick nor sliders when setting the preset). 

Also - when playing back the presets (i.e 1, 2,3, 4), let's say that I select preset 4 (color yellow), then select preset 3 (color blue); the color will change from yellow to blue, but the preset 4 light on the board is still on like it's being used... then I'll select preset 2 (color red); the color will change to red, but now preset 3 and 4 are lit on the board like it's being used.

Could the issue be with the fixture I've chosen from the SD1 list?  I selected an ADJ X-Scan LED Plus (though, I'm using a Chauvet Intimidator 200); I went through the list of fades/controlls for the channels (SNAP before... SNAP after...  etc...) and looks like it's set correctly. 

Is there some other setting in these built in Fixtures that is getting passed to the scanners, that we cannot modify?

As always!  Thanks for the help!
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Robert Weston

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 08:46:37 pm »

Should we be using XLR cables that are actually for DMX (or is there really such a thing)?

Yes, They are called DMX cables (110 ohm or 120 ohm), Mic cables are 75 ohm.

Also you should try terminating  the last fixture in the run with a DMX "Terminator".

this would be a starting point.

Regards,  John

Thanks John - I'll give it a try with the cables and a terminator.

Question - has something changed over the years with DMX?  In my previous limited time with DMX, we just used standard XLR cables and did not have a terminator on the last device (was about 200' of cable with 6 devices); it seemed to work fine (though, only 4 chnl units).

Thanks.
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John Livings

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 09:20:58 pm »

Hi Robert,

My understanding is that using Mic cables may work fine, or not.

Same thing with Terminators.

This may be a simple place to start however.

Let us know if this helps.

Regards,  John
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Robert Weston

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 09:46:43 pm »

Yeah - I think I know why the XLR cables worked the last time I worked with lighting.  I did some reading and it's all making sense now.  We were using basic 4-chnl dimmers (mounted on light stands) that would control the dimming of each PAR can (via an ADJ Scene Setter 8 ); the ADJ scanners we used (only 2 ) were the older style ADJ 4 chnl units that didn't track smooth (unlike most lights now).  So, the positioning on the scanner lights was sort of pre-determined by the scanner itself, so maybe not too much need for exact precision with those.

Thanks for the feedback and help.  I'm a sound guy; not much of lighting... it's a learning curve that I intend to pull through on.
 
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 10:57:51 pm »


 ...Mic cables are 75 ohm.

Regards,  John

Nope, Analogue mic cable is rated at 150 ohms.  Certain RG series coaxial cables are rated at 75 ohms.

Lee
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Lee Buckalew
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duane massey

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 12:02:38 am »

I doubt the problem is with the cables, sounds like a programming issue. When you say "Presets", do you mean "Preset" or "Scene"? I typically don't use the presets, as I typically program "Chases" and then store them as "Scenes" for playback. From what you are describing it seems like you have missed a step or two in your programming. In "Chase" you can have more than one active IF there is no common function between them, and I believe Preset is the same way.
A common issue with programming the SD series is the fact that "Record" only records what you do AFTER you press record in Chase or Preset, and will not store any info for any slider/channels not moved after entering the Record mode. Once you enter Record mode, everything you move will be recorded, so if you're doing multiple Presets or Chases, you can get unexpected results unless you are careful not to move any slider that affects a channel you don't want to record.
Feel free to contact me via PM or email if you need some help.
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Duane Massey
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John Livings

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Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 12:39:51 am »

Nope, Analogue mic cable is rated at 150 ohms.  Certain RG series coaxial cables are rated at 75 ohms.

Lee

Sorry about that comment, I been putting together 75 ohm, RG6 cables today and lost my mind. :o

Regards,  John
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Show Designer 1 - I'm confused
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 12:39:51 am »


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