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Author Topic: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?  (Read 6332 times)

Fraser Moffatt

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Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« on: September 12, 2016, 12:27:24 pm »

Possible? If so, what are the limitations?

I have a couple of cheap 7-channel LED slimpar fixtures and a pair of Chauvet Wash FX fixtures (7- and 23-channel personalities) I use to light a five piece country band playing bars/pubs/honky tonks.  Will be running the Wash FX downstage to front light the performers and use the cheapo slimpars for uplighting behind the drums.

If I were to run, say an Obey 3 or Obey 4 with the Wash FX fixtures, what can I expect to be able to do?

Requirements: I'm really only looking to turn on the units, select a static colour and dim as required. Small console form factor is desireable. Don't need chases, etc. If any of my fixtures had internal, easy to use dimming capability, I wouldn't need a controller, but that's not the case.

Recommendations?
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Josh Rawls

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 12:40:07 pm »

Looks like ch1-3 are RGB on the fixture and the other channels are for strobe and auto programs.

If you have an Obey 3 it should treat it as it would a RGB par. As long as the WashFX will work with nothing sent to it on channels 4-7.
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Josh Rawls

duane massey

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 07:09:56 pm »

+1 on Josh's post. As long as ch4-7 do not need to be on (dimmer ch?) you should be good.
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Duane Massey
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Josh Rawls

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 08:19:28 am »

Just plug it in and try it, you can't hurt anything. Let us know if it worked.
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Fraser Moffatt

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 01:48:26 pm »

Thanks guys - got an Obey 3 on the way. Been reading up on DMX controls and this unit in particular. Looks like it *should* work, perhaps with some funky unexpected behaviours. Looks like others are getting full control with Obey 40. Want to see if I can make it work with a small unit first since my requirements are modest.

I did figure out a way to manually control hue and brightness with the Wash FX. A bit labor intensive to set up initially, but the unit seems to remember its last settings, fortunately.

Damn these lights are bright, had the RGB levels set to about 10-15 on the 0-255 scale and, set to "whitish" they throw lots of light for my needs.
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Fraser Moffatt

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 01:08:54 pm »

Well, it seems some have had some moderate success in using the Obey 3 with fixtures with more than three channels, but I'm not one of them!

Chauvet Wash FX did not recognize the controller at all (DMX light did not engage), nor did trying about umpteen permutations and combinations of setting on the fixture or controller.

El cheapo LED pucks worked somewhat - could control individual level, dim and strobe for but only for Red and Green Channels. No Blue! I tried different DMX channel address starting points, but then only could make red fire..or nothing. Too bad there's not a DMX 000 address, that might have worked for this fixture. ;-) 512 did not work.

Back to the drawing board.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 01:16:59 pm »

Well, it seems some have had some moderate success in using the Obey 3 with fixtures with more than three channels, but I'm not one of them!

Chauvet Wash FX did not recognize the controller at all (DMX light did not engage), nor did trying about umpteen permutations and combinations of setting on the fixture or controller.

El cheapo LED pucks worked somewhat - could control individual level, dim and strobe for but only for Red and Green Channels. No Blue! I tried different DMX channel address starting points, but then only could make red fire..or nothing. Too bad there's not a DMX 000 address, that might have worked for this fixture. ;-) 512 did not work.

Back to the drawing board.

It depends how the manufacturer has configured the fixture channels. EG... if the master dimmer is channel 1, already you have lost one channel leaving only 2 for red blue and green. I would always suggest at least 4 channels for that reason. I own an old Obey 10 which has been very reliable and is my back up controller. I would never go less than that because 1)  -as you have already discovered- channel count usually isn't enough and 2) the Obey 10 is only $40 more than the Obey 3 but can do so much more.
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Fraser Moffatt

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 03:25:23 pm »

It depends how the manufacturer has configured the fixture channels. EG... if the master dimmer is channel 1, already you have lost one channel leaving only 2 for red blue and green. I would always suggest at least 4 channels for that reason. I own an old Obey 10 which has been very reliable and is my back up controller. I would never go less than that because 1)  -as you have already discovered- channel count usually isn't enough and 2) the Obey 10 is only $40 more than the Obey 3 but can do so much more.

Thanks Debbie - I was hoping the Obey 3 or 4 would work in order to save space, but I think I'll just jump on the Obey 10 and be done with it. Cheers!
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 05:02:29 pm »

Thanks Debbie - I was hoping the Obey 3 or 4 would work in order to save space, but I think I'll just jump on the Obey 10 and be done with it. Cheers!

Probably best.
BTW... the only reason my Obey 10 is my back-up and not my 'go to' is because I run lights wirelessly these days from my iPad. It's not because I found the Obey10 to be inadequate -for basic functions, chases etc, it is a good little unit. I carry it around in a camera tripod zipper bag - it fits great.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0010CEWDI/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If you can rack-mount it though, that would be best.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2016, 05:09:57 pm »

Also, read the docs for your fixtures. Then you will know how they are going behave.


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Re: Using a 3 or 4 channel controller with 7 channel fixture?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2016, 05:09:57 pm »


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