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Author Topic: Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester  (Read 930 times)

Terence Wong

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Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester
« on: July 14, 2022, 09:38:31 PM »

Howdy. Hoping you can help.

Gear is as follows...
Chauvet SlimPAR 64 RGBA (x4, a pair either side of stage)
Chauvet D-Fi XLR Pack (quite happy with these, huge time saver)
Beamz BT280 Slimline Hex (x2, which only get used occasionally when I need more coverage)
Chauvet Obey 40
... and some home made terminators, a new one I made last night has an LED, hopefully to function as a tester.

Once every not so often, I've been getting some mild flickering from one pair of Chauvets, which sometimes goes away when I remove the terminator. Dodgy pin on either terminator or fixture, perhaps? Terminators appear OK, 120ohm between pin 2 & 3.

Anyhoo, in a troubleshooting effort, thought I'd build another terminator but with an LED, which lights up as I'd expect when I plug directly into the controller, or via the D-Fi units, or on the DMX-out side of either Beamz fixture... but here's where it gets beyond me.

If I plug the tester into DMX-out of ANY of my Chauvets, I see no response from the tester LED. If I power cycle the fixture, the tester lights up very briefly, then nothing.
No matter what configuration I use, if any Chauvet fixture (I've tested all 4) is between the signal & the tester, I eventually get nothing.
Gets weirder... if I daisy chain a Beamz before the Chauvets, I have full DMX control. But put any Chauvet before the Beamz, and the Beamz don't respond to the controller.

I'm guessing both issues are related...? Maybe some weird proprietary Chauvet DMX protocol?
Thanks in advance.
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2022, 11:27:25 PM »

Do you have the same problem with the controller hardwired directly to the fixtures? I suspect you probably do, if so then the solution is to put a wireless reciever on every fixture.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2022, 07:32:42 PM »

Hi Terence.

You have too many variables in play here to make a definitive conclusion. 

Step 1 to me is pull out all the wireless and see if the problem persists.  Are you using proper DMX cable and not generic mic cable?

In a system such as what you describe the presence or absence of a terminator shouldn't make a difference in system reliability...and if it does there's usually a much deeper problem in play as well.

As an aside, all modern name-brand lighting equipment (including Chauvet) is compliant with the USITT DMX512-A spec, so nothing propriety is in work.  What might be happening though is that a fixture is behaving in master/slave mode which then corrupts the DMX coming out the back end.  Again, too many variables here to work with. 

Start with just the Pars hardwired to your controller and build up from there until you find the source of the problem.  Hope this helps!
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Steve Eudaly

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Re: Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2022, 03:02:45 AM »

FWIW our company does tons of lighting gigs of all shapes and sizes with everything from old Elation Opti Quad pars to some off-brand Sharpie clones (we inherited these from a client--didn't buy them) to rider-friendly "big boy" moving profile fixtures and not once have we ever used a DMX terminator, ever.

Jeff is likely one the right track as far as using good quality DMX (110 ohm) cable. I also thing there's some truth to some fixtures trying to sync to another fixture due to a master/salve "feature" that may be throwing a wrench in things.

It's generally good practice to use an opto-split between your console and fixtures. Helps fix a lot of weird glitchy issues much in the same way us audio folks use transformers to fix noise issues, with the added bonus of giving you additional DMX splits to make cabling easier when your fixtures aren't all in the same place. Even a cheap unit like the Chuavet DJ Data Stream 4 will save a lot of headache.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Chauvet gremlins & a home made terminator/tester
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2022, 03:02:45 AM »


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