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Author Topic: DMX Questions and Help  (Read 488 times)

Scott Hofmann

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2021, 03:20:03 PM »

Steve-
I think you will find the LC2412 would be quite limiting in terms of control even with your modest fixture count. It wasn't really developed with LED fixtures in mind. If you've got 8 fixtures at a minimum of 6 channels each and want to control each fixture individually, it would take 48 channels and even then you would have no room for expanding your system. It is only a 24 channel console! Plus the LC2412 doesn't have a great reputation for ease of use and you are essentially working blind as it has no video display to show you channel levels in each cue, etc.

Software is the way to go with LED's unless you have a good (meaning not cheap) hardware console.
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Scott Hofmann

Steve Hayes

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2021, 03:46:35 PM »

Actually that is quite common, there is no standard for control channel layout so the fact that the ADJ fixtures correspond with that controller is pure coincidence.

Ah, that makes complete sense, thanks much appreciated!
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Steve Hayes

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2021, 03:49:39 PM »

Steve-
I think you will find the LC2412 would be quite limiting in terms of control even with your modest fixture count. It wasn't really developed with LED fixtures in mind. If you've got 8 fixtures at a minimum of 6 channels each and want to control each fixture individually, it would take 48 channels and even then you would have no room for expanding your system. It is only a 24 channel console! Plus the LC2412 doesn't have a great reputation for ease of use and you are essentially working blind as it has no video display to show you channel levels in each cue, etc.

Software is the way to go with LED's unless you have a good (meaning not cheap) hardware console.

Thank you Scott. Having just read some stuff online, there is the usual quality issues associated with Behringer that I've experienced across audio products (strangely not the excellent XR18 wireless mixer!) But this is really helping me make sense of what's needed and what works / doesn't, so I'll remove the Behringer and the other one from the list!

I'm definitely looking at the 'Buddy' that you suggested earlier - I'm sure this would give enough scope for my setup and even some development. The MyDMX 3.0 looks even better and do like the ability with MyDMX2.1 or 3.0 to use WiFi and an iPad app!

Cheers!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 04:30:08 PM by Steve Hayes »
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Don T. Williams

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2021, 07:04:32 PM »

A manual controller won't work very well with many LED PAR cans.  On your Mega Hex, if you are in 6 channel mode, DMX channels 1 - 6 do indeed control the levels of the six colors on the first light, and channels 7 - 12 the next light, etc.  There are 512 channels of control in a DMX universe and each of those channels have 256 possible combinations of "1's" and "0's".  All zeros is off and all ones is full on (slightly simplified) for each of the six colors.  A manual console's "master fader" would change all those levels.  Here's where it gets interesting or complicated).

Your Mega HEX fixtures have 6 ch, 7 ch, 8 ch, 11 ch, even 12 channel modes!  In any mode other that 6 channel, there are different functions that the "extra" channels control.  Look in the manual.  With the exception  of the 7 channel mode, where channel 7 controls the master dimming for a particular light, the other channels control "macros" (mini programs built into the light).  These can be very complex.  In an 8 channel mode, the information on channel 8 controls strobing.  In 11 channel mode, the information on channel 10 controls color changes for that instrument with a lot of different combinations.

I'm certain that your problem with the other lights is that they have macros on some of the 6 control channels you are sending them.  They might only control colors on the first 4 or 5 channels, and DMX info on the other channels triggers a macro.  I couldn't find a manual for that light, but if you have one it should tell you.  There might be a different control mode with fewer channels that could work with your controller.

A "master fader" on a manual controller will change every DMX value out of the console, including the macro control values.  A computer based program with DMX widget will solve you problem and have a master intensity level that doesn't change the macros.  A DMX controller like the ADJ LINK or a Grand MA3 (two extremes) is really a computer with outputs for lighting (DMX and more) with programing and a control surface to make operating and storing lighting cues easier.  Many (most) of these use industry "standard" PC motherboards to do the work.

Look on line for information on what DMX is and it may help.  Good luck!
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2021, 07:22:47 PM »

Hi Steve, so a few thoughts to add on here in addition to what everyone else has already mentioned...  For what it's worth I have both an LC2412 and ADJ Mega HEX Pars in personal inventory though both see very little use these days.

What Don just beat me to posting is that a Master Fader (i.e. Grandmaster) may not work as intended with LED light fixtures.  Back in the day of Pars and Dimmers a Grandmaster was simply a handle to pull down the intensity on all active channels.  This worked well enough, and this is how the Master Fader on the LC2412 works.  As has already been mentioned, LED fixtures have more than a single channel that accounts for their brightness.  Asides from discrete RGBAW+UV channels, you can also find channels for macros, strobes, dimming curves, and other features.  In this case, the ONLY channel that should be affected by a Grandmaster is the dimmer channel.  Applying the Grandmaster to any other channels can result in unexpected behavior from the fixture, hence why the Master Fader on the LC2412 won't work well in this particular situation.  Higher-end consoles such as my ETC Congo Kid utilize fixture profiles to enable its Grandmaster to only touch intensity channels and not attribute channels, though I'm not aware of any budget hardware console with the same capability.

To mimic the proper Grandmaster behavior on an LC2412 you'd program a "memory fader" to be your master intensity fader while using your other memories for static colors or macros.  As mentioned though, the LC2412 only has 24 real channels of control and is quickly overcome by the higher channel counts of modern light fixtures.  If you're okay with controlling all your ADJ Mega HEX Pars in one block and your other fixtures in another the LC2412 would technically work and give you the control you desire, but please understand that you'd still be very limited by today's standards.  The software route is far more capable than budget hardware but often has a steeper learning curve along while also being more involved than what some people would like for very simple work.  Hope this helps!

 
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duane massey

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2021, 11:12:56 PM »

According to the manuals for the gear you have, it will not work. The fixtures have different channel assignments and the controller will not allow you to to repatch. Unless you want to invest in a much more advanced controller or a software controller you will not be able to achieve what you desire. Even if you just use the ADJ fixtures with that controller you still would not be able to access the master dimmer feature on the fixtures because of the 6-channel limitations.
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Duane Massey
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duane massey

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2021, 11:17:09 PM »

If you had a basic DMX controller that had 8 channels you could run the ADJ pars in 7-ch mode and then ch 7 would be your master dimmer channel, BUT the BEAMZ would still not match up. You can buy a simple controller from almost any lighting manufacturer or importer for under $100.
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Duane Massey
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Steve Hayes

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2021, 05:37:35 AM »

Thanks Don, Duane and Jeff - honestly thank you all so much for your help and extensive replies. All of which is incredibly helpful.

After Scott and Paul's posts, I had gone to look at the two units and saw the ADJ ones had channel 1 for R etc then 7 for dimmer, whereas the Beamz ones (only ever bought as basic uplighter for another small event and venue!) have channel 1 as the dimmer, then 2 as R etc. So what everyone has added in is so useful to understand. I'm one of these people who learns and learns to get things right and hoovers up any knowledge, so this info is all golden thanks.

I think we'll move to using a couple of eLumen LED fresnels in the future but for now we just want a basic 'wash' across two areas. Basically we use another building that isn't ours so any set up is intense each week. Simple lighting set-up is enough for now!

So myDMX Buddy set up off our iMac and then using the WiFi of our Mackie DL network to control simply via iPad will help me and the volunteers - mainly students. I may turn the lights over to them, they'll probably be schooling me in a few days!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 05:53:38 AM by Steve Hayes »
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Steve Hayes

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #18 on: Today at 05:00:43 PM »

Just to update everyone after your help. I took the plunge for MyDMXBuddy and that has worked fine. Bit of a learning curve but good so far. Have paid for the upgrade to the full version of MyDMX2 to unlock the 'Easy Remote' on iOS over WiFi (the Buddy only comes with an 'express' version of the software). With the app, this will be exactly what I need and can programme scenes and have manual control as well.
Thanks again to everyone so readily giving their time and advice!
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #19 on: Today at 05:23:59 PM »

Just to update everyone after your help. I took the plunge for MyDMXBuddy and that has worked fine. Bit of a learning curve but good so far. Have paid for the upgrade to the full version of MyDMX2 to unlock the 'Easy Remote' on iOS over WiFi (the Buddy only comes with an 'express' version of the software). With the app, this will be exactly what I need and can programme scenes and have manual control as well.
Thanks again to everyone so readily giving their time and advice!
Thanks Steve for reporting back. Wish more people would do that!
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Scott Hofmann

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: DMX Questions and Help
« Reply #19 on: Today at 05:23:59 PM »


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