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Title: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 15, 2021, 05:22:07 PM
What is out there that can switch the mains power on/off using DMX? Preferably something I could put in a J-box locally instead of spreading these relays out on the electrics.

Does such a thing exist? Or do I have to build it using regular 120V relays and a smaller DMX relay for the control signal? That may be much more cosst effective I guess.


How are you handling mains power to a permanent installed lighting rig?
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: John L Nobile on April 15, 2021, 05:43:18 PM
What is out there that can switch the mains power on/off using DMX? Preferably something I could put in a J-box locally instead of spreading these relays out on the electrics.

Does such a thing exist? Or do I have to build it using regular 120V relays and a smaller DMX relay for the control signal? That may be much more cosst effective I guess.


How are you handling mains power to a permanent installed lighting rig?

I used one of these to control an older pre-DMX D50 hazer. Worked great and I had 3 channels left over. There's probably other similar units out there.

https://www.chauvetdj.com/products/dmx-4/
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 15, 2021, 05:52:07 PM
I used one of these to control an older pre-DMX D50 hazer. Worked great and I had 3 channels left over. There's probably other similar units out there.

https://www.chauvetdj.com/products/dmx-4/

I am using something similar in another room, but I can tell you these don't "open" 100%. I have one of these turning on/off a bank of small moving lights and even when "off" there's a bit of voltage leaking through that makes the red LED's flash faintly, all the time.


I wish this would work because I have a whole pile of these 4 channel dimmers laying around here.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Scott Hofmann on April 15, 2021, 06:12:05 PM
ETC of course has the Sensor IQ DMX/Net3 controlled circuit breaker panels, Echo relay panels, and Foundry 1, 4, and 8 circuit DMX relays.
Lyntec makes DMX-controlled circuit breaker panels.
Northlight DMX has 1, 4, and 8 circuit DMX relay modules. They also have new 20A one and four circuit modules. All the others are 10amp relays.
The ETC Foundry stuff is not bad price-wise for ETC quality.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Keith Broughton on April 15, 2021, 07:22:29 PM
There are some items on this page that would be useful but it might be cheaper to go with a lower capacity relay pack driving high current contactors.
Depends how many channels you need.
https://www.fullcompass.com/category/lighting-theatrical/lighting-control/power-relays/ (https://www.fullcompass.com/category/lighting-theatrical/lighting-control/power-relays/)
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on April 15, 2021, 07:47:59 PM
Not that Im a personal owner or installer here, but for these types of situations Id only consider ETC solutions.  The stakes are usually too high to depend on anything less.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 15, 2021, 10:13:20 PM
Not that Im a personal owner or installer here, but for these types of situations Id only consider ETC solutions.  The stakes are usually too high to depend on anything less.

Eh, I don't know about that really. Huge factories are depending on off the shelf contactors everyday, and when those go down it costs many thousands of dollars per minute until it's fixed. The technology is common and very robust. We just need to get it to speak DMX.


https://www.omega.com/en-us/control-monitoring/relays/solid-state-relays/ssrl240-660/p/SSRL240AC10?gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=Cj0KCQjwyN-DBhCDARIsAFOELTm3xlgNp2ygJaMfDb6x7vK-D9Jkf-v8Ct1q152V31RvXJNlS2led_4aApklEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds



Way back in the day we'd build big J panels full of these things and feed it control voltage from those capacitive touch DJ lighting controllers. These relays would switch banks of pinspots on/off. These rigs would last for years and years and if a relay failed it was 10 minutes of work to replace.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: duane massey on April 16, 2021, 04:08:07 PM
Just curious, why do you need DMX control?
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Jerome Malsack on April 16, 2021, 05:40:34 PM
https://www.amazon.com/Channel-DMX512-Controlled-Switch-Converter/dp/B00R6DGSAK/ref=asc_df_B00R6DGSAK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312026024613&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1478701917676670934&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007664&hvtargid=pla-420282169846&psc=1

I put in a box with a heavy relay to turn on and off. 

rack mount possible and  fitted with  powercon connectors to support the safety side. 

Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on April 16, 2021, 07:37:39 PM
I am using something similar in another room, but I can tell you these don't "open" 100%. I have one of these turning on/off a bank of small moving lights and even when "off" there's a bit of voltage leaking through that makes the red LED's flash faintly, all the time.


I wish this would work because I have a whole pile of these 4 channel dimmers laying around here.

You can stop the LED flash by putting a resistor in the circuit somewhere.  I did it a million years ago, but I don't remember the details. I made a short extension cable with the resistor in  the receptacle.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Brian Jojade on April 16, 2021, 11:32:04 PM
Just curious, why do you need DMX control?

I was thinking the same thing. 

I wouldn't want my mains anywhere on the same control as other active devices.  Too many opportunities for things to end up going wrong if you do that.  A weird DMX signal interruption that wigs out a light is annoying. The same thing that starts cycling power and, well, that sounds like a nightmare!

Now, if you're looking for a way to control a few circuits on a dedicated DMX control panel to shut stuff off at the end of the night, that sounds interesting.

The way I'd probably handle this would be to put in a standard low voltage relay and then pick up a single channel demux to control that relay.  Pretty cheap to roll your own here.

Additionally, I'd build in a circuit that would hold the lights on for a couple minutes, even if the demux shut off.  That would eliminate any potential for a drop in DMX signal that would unexpectedly flicker the relay.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 17, 2021, 02:51:35 PM
Just curious, why do you need DMX control?

This room will have house lights and stage lights controlled by DMX. Chamsys MagicQ PC at FOH then run through a Fleenor Preset 10 for house light control when the console is off.

Having dmx control of the relays would mean anyone could come in, hit Preset 3 on the wall control and pull up a complete scene for stage and house. This would be super useful for funerals and wedding, largely meaning I don't have to come in for these things.

I won't get any cooperation with the ladies that organize these things if they have to upstairs, into a dark closet, ka-chunk a big disconnect, then go to the console, boot it up, and then recall preset 3......
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 17, 2021, 02:53:18 PM
You can stop the LED flash by putting a resistor in the circuit somewhere.  I did it a million years ago, but I don't remember the details. I made a short extension cable with the resistor in  the receptacle.


It never occured to me that there is a preheat setting on those things even in relay mode. I will figure out some kind of resistance to place on this stupid thing.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on April 17, 2021, 08:20:15 PM
Eh, I don't know about that really. Huge factories are depending on off the shelf contactors everyday, and when those go down it costs many thousands of dollars per minute until it's fixed. The technology is common and very robust. We just need to get it to speak DMX.

I don't disagree about the electrical side of the box - my concern is more about a robust DMX/control solution that isn't prone to glitching or unintentional switching.  I've seen cases of circuits to moving lights get stuck in "disco mode" and endlessly power cycle the fixtures until someone finally noticed (presumably) days later.  I know you're one of the varsity members here and understand all this - I'd just keep it simple and toss an ETC solution in and be done with it.  Good luck!
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: duane massey on April 17, 2021, 10:43:24 PM
I don't disagree about the electrical side of the box - my concern is more about a robust DMX/control solution that isn't prone to glitching or unintentional switching.  I've seen cases of circuits to moving lights get stuck in "disco mode" and endlessly power cycle the fixtures until someone finally noticed (presumably) days later.  I know you're one of the varsity members here and understand all this - I'd just keep it simple and toss an ETC solution in and be done with it.  Good luck!
Attach a porcelain socket or a fixture with a lamp socket to the channel(s). Screw in a low wattage bulb, maybe even a night light. Used to do this back in the day....
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Scott Hofmann on April 18, 2021, 10:32:22 AM

This room will have house lights and stage lights controlled by DMX. Chamsys MagicQ PC at FOH then run through a Fleenor Preset 10 for house light control when the console is off.

Having dmx control of the relays would mean anyone could come in, hit Preset 3 on the wall control and pull up a complete scene for stage and house. This would be super useful for funerals and wedding, largely meaning I don't have to come in for these things.

I won't get any cooperation with the ladies that organize these things if they have to upstairs, into a dark closet, ka-chunk a big disconnect, then go to the console, boot it up, and then recall preset 3......
So what you are trying to do is DMX-control a main disconnect instead of individual circuits? What is the amperage? Single or three phase? I think LynTec and ETC have up to 30A 3-phase DMX-controlled breakers but for more than that you may need a real electrician and some kind of contractor that is controlled by a pilot relay under DMX control.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Tim Weaver on April 18, 2021, 10:51:16 AM
So what you are trying to do is DMX-control a main disconnect instead of individual circuits? What is the amperage? Single or three phase? I think LynTec and ETC have up to 30A 3-phase DMX-controlled breakers but for more than that you may need a real electrician and some kind of contractor that is controlled by a pilot relay under DMX control.


What I'm trying to do is consolidate and clean up the supply side of the lighting rig. This has two driving forces:

A) I'm burning up PSU's right now because the rig is left on 24/7

B) Half the circuits come from the stage-end of the room and half the circuits come from the FOH end.



The weird power routing was a holdover from the days of hot lights. They didn't have enough service on the stage end of the room so they pulled from a panel in the back to supplement.

Today everything is LED and I'd like to pull all my lighting power from the back of the room, because the panel by the stage is only 100 amps, and I run the audio from there and we now have (and are expanding on) LED screens. I want to give that stage side panel to audio and video and I'll take lighting from the panel in the back.




LX Saga part deux. All the power that feeds the branch circuits for lighting currently runs through some household light switches. Some of those switches are located in a cage, inside a room by the stage and the rest of the switches are upstairs on a balcony above FOH. There are 13 or 14 switches total at opposite ends of the room.

I want to get rid of all of that mess and just have power pulled out of the 100 amp panel in the FOH side of the room which comes down to a Jbox behind the lighting desk where I would install contactors which are controlled via DMX. This way when someone hits the switch panel on the wall the house lights come up like normal, and the stage lights can also be controlled via simple presets.


Whether that panel behind FOH is fed via branch circuits or it is a whole disconnect on it's own is immaterial. I just want it switched via DMX.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Scott Hofmann on April 18, 2021, 09:52:35 PM
The ETC Echo or Sensor IQ DMX-controlled breaker panels look like good solutions. Either can be fitted with a main breaker although that is not under DMX control. Both have up to 48 breaker slots per panel.
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Caleb Dueck on April 20, 2021, 04:40:11 AM
What I'm trying to do is consolidate and clean up the supply side of the lighting rig.

Lyntec if you want to integrate into the electrical system.
https://lyntec.com/lcp-lighting-control-panelboards/

Lots of small options others have mentioned above. 
Title: Re: DMX controlled system power? DMX Mains Relays?
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on May 03, 2021, 12:57:53 PM
I installed a Northlight 4 channel relay board about 3 years ago on the houselights in our church and it has worked flawlessly (except when someone insists on using wireless DMX instead of wired but that's not the Northlight's fault).  Incidentally, I set this installation up with the lights on normally closed, so the DMX actually shuts them off-not turns them on.  That allows the original switches to work normally anytime the DMX controller is off.