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Author Topic: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet  (Read 1917 times)

frank kayser

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2019, 04:09:08 pm »


I do simple lighting for my shows.  No movers.I'm currently using Luminair3.I've used Obey type controllers (Too much desk space) as well as Martin MPC with an M-touch( way too steep learning curve).This is perfect for my needs.The thing I really like about it is that you can completely ignore dmx channels that you aren't going to use.You can build custom fixture profiles as well as edit what you have.On my Colorado Solo1 setup, I only use two virtual faders; one for the zoom and one to control color and intensity.The fixture requires a dimmer channel, but I have assigned a permanently full on invisible address in the color fader.This brings the 9 dmx channels of the fixture down to 2 faders in the software.This simplifies my interface a LOT.

Thanks for that, Dave,
The "ignore the DMX functionality of software is what drew me to dump the hardware.  Two virtual faders.  That's the ticket. I need the KISS (keep it super simple ;) ) on this project for when I'm not there. (and for my own piece of mind)


Same here. I use a lot of cheap, Chinese fixtures, so I just create my own profiles, leaving out any unused channels within each fixture. We do have movers though, and so far I've been satisfied with the movement generators in Luminair3. I use the DMX 1 Pro from DMX King, a dedicated Airport Express, and the Donner wireless DMX units which also act as a DMX splitter.

The worst thing about Luminair is the documentation. There's a ton of stuff you just have to learn by messing around with the app.

Yeah.  I didn't see much of anything besides marketing on the site.  Popular enough, folks have helped others through it.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I looked in to running both Luminair3 and my mixer software on the same iPad. In the end I decided it would be too risky having to wait for the programs to come up when switching between the two. So I use 2 iPads when I'm running lights. I use a mini for Luminair and strap it on my arm if I need to be completely mobile all night.

Well, the iPad Maxi (12.?") claims to be able to put two apps up on the screen at the same time.  Still...
As for the my just-as-fast 10.5 PRO, as you, I'd worry about app switching time.  Moreso, however, trying to get this old brain to multitask a multitasking tablet.  Functionally, the two iPad setup may work. The question still is whether I could keep up. ???
The final piece of this is whether I can run Luminair3 on an iPad gen 3...


As for the Donner DMX WiFi... I've had the WiCicle from Blizzard for a couple years, matching them with Chauvet lights.  Wasn't happy, so I got some Blizzard WiCicle-ready lights, and was not all that happy with that setup, either.


Maybe it is how I want to use them. I WiCicle to the first fixture in a line, then daisychain to a number of subsequent fixtures.  I may have one standing alone with WiCicle.  That's the one that's always seems  problematic. All DMX addresses are unique and properly spaced.


Trying to be too fancy too soon in the process.  I've got to get back to basics...


Thanks everyone!
frank
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2019, 04:32:05 pm »

Same here. I use a lot of cheap, Chinese fixtures, so I just create my own profiles, leaving out any unused channels within each fixture. We do have movers though, and so far I've been satisfied with the movement generators in Luminair3. I use the DMX 1 Pro from DMX King, a dedicated Airport Express, and the Donner wireless DMX units which also act as a DMX splitter.

The worst thing about Luminair is the documentation. There's a ton of stuff you just have to learn by messing around with the app.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I looked in to running both Luminair3 and my mixer software on the same iPad. In the end I decided it would be too risky having to wait for the programs to come up when switching between the two. So I use 2 iPads when I'm running lights. I use a mini for Luminair and strap it on my arm if I need to be completely mobile all night.

copy cat!!  ;)
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frank kayser

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 11:26:41 pm »

copy cat!!  ;)


Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!
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Paul G. OBrien

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2019, 09:40:58 am »

Maybe it is how I want to use them. I WiCicle to the first fixture in a line, then daisychain to a number of subsequent fixtures.  I may have one standing alone with WiCicle.  That's the one that's always seems  problematic.
Are all the fixtures set to slave mode? They should be. When set to master you may get wireless control to work for a while but you will find they will randomly start doing their own thing and ignore the controller.
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Mal Brown

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2019, 09:58:36 am »

I used Donner last season.  4 trees and a couple of movers on sticks.  first on the tree got the receiver and daisy chained to the rest via cable.  Worked great.  My fixtures were set to specific dmx addresses.  No Master and Slave going on.

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Taylor Hall

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2019, 10:40:57 am »

Going back to the original question, Unless you have a high channel count in your fixture string (movers and other special FX fixtures love to gobble them up) there's not much reason to make the jump to ARTNet unless you're 100% sold on being able to utilize the data drops by the stage. Both the DMX and ARTNet protocols are rock solid and more than capable to running the setup you've described with no risk of traffic saturation.

An added layer of complexity (and cost) with ARTNet is that you need a device on either end of the ethernet run to both encode and then decode the DMX signal being transmitted unless the fixtures at the other end natively support ARTNet. With a standard wired or wireless DMX signal, you'd only need the encoder (ENTTEC, DMXKing, etc) connected via USB on the workstation running the lighting software.

I'm a firm supporter of QLC+, as far as free software goes you can't beat it, and even some paid programs and apps fall short of what it can do. The other great thing about using desktop software is that you can make use of physical control surfaces (Korg NANO, Akai MPC, etc) to manipulate sliders, buttons and knobs for a less daunting approach to just "using the computer". QLC also has the ability to be started in a "locked" mode where the show file can't be edited and only the virtual console is accessible. Very convenient for keeping meddlesome fingers out of places they shouldn't be once things are set.

I've played around a bit with both D-Fi and WiFly with less than stellar results. Random dropouts/desyncs and other connection issues that shouldn't exist for a $150+ product. I've gotten way better performance out of $30 Donner dongles and I can use them with whatever fixtures I want. Paying a premium for fixtures that belong to a big box wireless protocol whose performance is lackluster at best just doesn't make sense to me. Then again, we also only use the wireless setups in unique situations where cable runs aren't possible or we have a quick set/strike demand.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2019, 12:19:49 pm »



As for the Donner DMX WiFi... I've had the WiCicle from Blizzard for a couple years, matching them with Chauvet lights.  Wasn't happy, so I got some Blizzard WiCicle-ready lights, and was not all that happy with that setup, either.

Maybe it is how I want to use them. I WiCicle to the first fixture in a line, then daisychain to a number of subsequent fixtures.  I may have one standing alone with WiCicle.  That's the one that's always seems  problematic. All DMX addresses are unique and properly spaced.

Thanks everyone!
frank


Are you terminating?

I've had good luck with Chauvet DFi stuff.
Tx to two Rx on trees and a bunch of Freedom Par uplights around a big ballroom.
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Steve Garris

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 01:18:52 pm »



[/font]


As for the Donner DMX WiFi... I've had the WiCicle from Blizzard for a couple years, matching them with Chauvet lights.  Wasn't happy, so I got some Blizzard WiCicle-ready lights, and was not all that happy with that setup, either.


frank

[/quote]

The Donner's have worked flawlessly. I use 6 rechargeable receivers on a system of 2 trees per side, 2 sweepers, 2 focusable movers, 24 led pars, and 6 mini wash movers total. We use short cables to tie the nearby things together. I don't even use a terminator, but it has worked flawlessly for every show.
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Taylor Hall

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2019, 03:30:41 pm »

Are you terminating?

I've had good luck with Chauvet DFi stuff.
Tx to two Rx on trees and a bunch of Freedom Par uplights around a big ballroom.
Always, regardless of chain length. They seemed to have the most problems in the area they should accel at most, scattered single fixture placement around a room. I don't know whether this is a fault of the Tx in the hub or the Rx on the fixtures themselves. Swapped over to the Donner units and worked flawlessly.
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2019, 04:57:49 pm »

I run Luminair and X32-mix simultaneously on a 16gig iPad2 with no issues.  There is a setting on Luminair to let it run in the background.


But performance wise this setup  is far from optimum.  Switching from X32-mix to Luminair generally does not take any "refresh" time.  However Luminair itself is somewhat slow and "laggy" on this low spec iPad.


Switching from Luminair to X32-mix seems to always require a few seconds for X32-Mix to refresh itself.  The same refresh actually seems to be required any time you switch away from X32-Mix.  It is like it completely drops it's connection any time it is not in the foreground.  However, X32-mix seems to perform fast enough as long as it is in the foreground, even on the beater iPad2.


This setup seems reasonably satisfactory if you are doing minimal changes with the lights and just keep it on X32-mix.


So if you want quick access and better performance, use 2x iPads and get better specs. With a moderate number fixtures, scenes, and efx running, it seems to take at least something as fast as the Ipad air2 for Luminair to give crisp response.


I would like to hear comments from anyone that is running these app's side by side on something like an iPad Pro 12".
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Re: DMX control - USB vs Ethernet
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2019, 04:57:49 pm »


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