ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Communication Problem with my lights  (Read 1144 times)

Tyler Fingerle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Communication Problem with my lights
« on: August 21, 2018, 10:34:15 am »

Right, so before I begin: I have bought and only use DMX cables, I use a terminator at the end of my run, and I have all of my dip switches and addresses correctly set to the best of my knowledge.

With that out of the way, I think I am having some weird communication errors with the light chain i currently run, and I'm looking for some pro tips on how to fix it, preferably from someone with more experience than me (so anything over 18+ months)

I am currently running 6 fixtures on one chain. This includes the following (and in the same order they're run):

X-Laser Aurora Cobalt (9 ch, set to 1)

X-Laser PSX400 RGB (9 ch, set to 10)

X-Laser PSX400 RGB (9ch, set to 19)

Colorkey Mover Mini-Wash (this is where it gets weird 7 ch, set to 28)

Colorkey Mover Mini-Wash (7 ch, set to 37)

Chauvet SlimPar 56 (7 ch, set to something after 42)

The only lengths in DMX cords that I have to work with are 15 foot cables, and 20 foot cables (with the exception of one 6 foot cable), so my run is usually anywhere between 90 and 120 feet at all times.

My controller is the Dmxis by Enttec (It connects via USB). I am really hoping that it's not my controller, because it's the only controller whose operating program runs as a VST (instrument and/or effect). This is incredibly important to me because I am able to run it in Ableton Live 10 and automate my lights and lasers right next to my music for amazing precision.

My computer is the MSI GT73eVR-7rf Titan Pro. I don't see why that should be the issue. (If anything, it's overkill)

ISSUE: Whenever I have my fixtures sequentially set to start as soon as the last fixture ends (e.g. 9-ch light ends at 9, so start the next at ch 10 and so on)... I have issues with certain controls on certain fixtures. For instance I had to space out the addresses in my Colorkey lights because whenever I tried to pan the head on the 2nd light, it would pan extremely slow. This was only after I added the Chauvet to the chain, and oddly it was only the pan slider that was effected. I moved the Chauvet fixture to the back of the order, and spaced out the starting DMX channels between the last 3 lights and it fixed it, but now I added 2 new lasers to the chain (setting their dip switches to begin right after the last one ends) and the first two lasers function flawlessly, but the 3rd laser is completely off on what I want it to do. It's the same laser as the one run before it, and that laser runs fine. If I swap their addresses then the 3rd one runs fine and then the 2rd one is messed up. That's why I believe something in my line is causing some kind of a distortion in the digital signal, or if maybe this is normal and that there are better channels to set my laser and lights too, because it's only the pan function on the 3rd laser that is effected (every other slider works as it should), and moving up the starting channel seems to fix it, but i'm not sure why and that really bugs me. I need to know why. Right now I have it switched back to the channel order I mentioned above. I'm waiting for answers before I reset all of my dip switches and channels. Until then I'll read into digital signals and see if i can figure it out on my own.
Logged

Geert Friedhof

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 592
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 04:19:52 pm »

Might be a DMX refresh rate related problem. Use the Enttec DMX Pro Manager to change the refresh rate from 40Hz to lets say 33Hz, and see what happens.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 05:42:55 pm by Geert Friedhof »
Logged

Paul G. OBrien

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 997
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 04:42:03 pm »

Sounds to me like you may have some channel overlap going on. Can you change the number of channels on any of these fixtures? If so are they all set to the number of channels you are trying to use for them? Related to that sometimes I have found it necessary to change the channel assignment to something else and then change it back again to make it stick, have seen this on cheap fixtures and more than a fair share of Chauvet products too.. not that they are all cheap.
Logged

David Allred

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1797
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 09:20:56 pm »

Do the lights works 100% correctly if they are the only one in use (and connected) using short and long cables?
Logged

Mark Cadwallader

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1292
  • Helena, Montana USA
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2018, 09:43:13 pm »

Are your fixtures set to the maximum number of channels the fixture can use?  (Some fixtures can be run using a variety of number of  channels - 17 vs 23 channels, for example.)  If not, try using the max number and see if that improves things.
Logged
"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Tyler Fingerle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 12:00:31 am »

I have all of the fixtures set to their maximum amount of channels. I prefer this because it allows me to get more intricate with the programming.

I didn't know about the refresh rate on the Enttec, so i'll play with that and let you know what happens.

I agree with you Paul. I'll try taking the Chauvet off the chain for now and seeing if that fixes it, because now that I think back, this whole thing started as soon as I added the Chauvet. It's the cheapest of all my fixtures and it's at the very end of my chain.

I'll also try adjusting the order. From the research I have done post-writing this thread, it seems to make sense to put the cheaply made lights closer to the beginning and the higher quality lights towards the end (i've always had it reversed). Correct me if i'm wrong, but it seems that both the distance of a run and the quality of the fixtures and cables at a distance determine the risk of error. Would it be worth it to get a DMX buffer and putting the lights on their own chain and lasers on another?

I also want to check all of my cables and make sure that they're all working properly. I'll also check my terminator cuz my problems seem similar to the problems experienced when running a long chain without one. I'm not entirely sure how to check the cables properly. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to do so? as well as good brands for DMX cables? (or maybe DMX cables to avoid...) I've always grabbed the cables that were on sale at the time, but after some research, I realize that going cheap on the digital cables is not like going cheap on audio XLR...

As I said before, I only have 15ft and 20ft cords to work with. I'll try playing around with each fixture by itself (just to make sure that I didn't receive any factory lemons) and then on a combination of different chains. Hopefully I can isolate the problem if it is a fixture, the terminator or a cord....

This might take me a while to do everything mentioned haha, so I probably won't reply for at least 24 hours or so, unless I either find or solve the issue (fingers crossed).

Thanks for all the replies.
Logged

Tyler Fingerle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 04:53:38 am »

have seen this on cheap fixtures and more than a fair share of Chauvet products too.. not that they are all cheap.

Turns out that it was the Chauvet fixture. Good call on that. This is no joke, but after working for 2 hours on programming my lights and lasers, I had 2 chauvet smoke machines break down on me (the first was about a month old, but the 2nd was literally taken out of the box tonight), and i'll probably have to send this chauvet fixture back too. Right now it works fine as long as it sits first in the chain order, but if i move it behind anything, then it'll screw with anything I put before it, especially the further back i move it in the order. I think this is the last time I'll buy their products. I have a performance in less than a week. Reliability is a big deal to me.
Logged

Taylor Hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 758
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 08:46:03 am »

snip

We actually had the opposite problem with a fixture where everything after it in the chain got garbage DMX signals or nothing at all. Glad you got the problem isolated, as a quick bandaid you could run a longer patch cable to reorder your fixtures in the chain, that's what we ended up doing rather than swapping out the fixture.
Logged
There are two ways to do anything:
1) Do it right
2) Do it over until you do it right

Dave Garoutte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1866
  • San Rafael, CA
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 12:43:48 pm »

I'm glad you isolated the problem.
A couple of methodology thoughts;
I will often leave extra addresses between fixture assignments if I have the space. ex. 3 9-channel fixtures at 1,11,21, which makes it a little easier to set or find them.
You don't have to address them in the same order as they are in the chain.
If you have a problem like you described, you can move it in the DMX chain but keep it at the physical location by re-ordering the cables.
You can split your runs by using wireless DMX on one or more chain.
Logged
Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.

Taylor Hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 758
Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2018, 11:28:00 am »

I'm glad you isolated the problem.
A couple of methodology thoughts;
I will often leave extra addresses between fixture assignments if I have the space. ex. 3 9-channel fixtures at 1,11,21, which makes it a little easier to set or find them.

Absolutely this. I've found this to really come into play with moving heads. Something about their DMX signals (I'm assuming it's the high volume of data being sent for X/Y values) seem to bleed over much easier than static fixtures without a channel buffer. Some lighting software will automatically provision those extra blank spaces when adding multiple fixtures.
Logged
There are two ways to do anything:
1) Do it right
2) Do it over until you do it right

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Communication Problem with my lights
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2018, 11:28:00 am »


Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.085 seconds with 22 queries.