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Old 14th September 2005, 08:28 PM   #21
Schaef is offline Schaef  United States
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Now you're getting it!

Yes, you have the understanding correctly on the dimmer pack and the controller.

As to the DMX stuff, I haven't looked at the pointers by Kuei, but from his descriptions its probably good stuff. It never hurts to look at all sorts of things.

Here's a quick run-down of how DMX works:

Its RS485, which simply means its a balanced serial signal. I forget the baud rate off the top of my head, but you should be able to find that on the internet. The next thing is getting the break and start of message correct. But, apparently that's not difficult, from what I've seen of some devices.

As to the actual messages themselves, for the most part, until you get into moving and intelligent lighting, its all one-way transmission only. (The packs don't send any messages back, they're receive only) The message couldn't be any simpler, its just an 8 bit lighting level for each channel. In other words, if you have 8 channels, you just send a string of eight eight bit levels down the line. That's it. Now the trick is you have to keep sending that, repeatedly, and you can't just send light 5's level, you have to send lights 1 through 4 as well.

I'm hoping to be looking into doing some DMX stuff in the next couple of weeks using some Atmel AVR's so at that point I should be able to answer some better questions. (I have access to a real lighting board and some real lighting dimmers to use as reference)

Finally, the usb->DMX dongle I was talking about is the same one that Kuei points to on the openDMX page. I also see that page talks a little about artnet and some other stuff, all in all it looked to be a good page with some good info.
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Old 15th September 2005, 01:03 AM   #22
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I've been looking at DMX interfaces all day. The Enttec DMX USB Pro supports Mac OS X, but it's somewhere around $150. The Open DMX USB ($70) isn't advertised to support OS X, but someone in the Enttec forum says they have it working I think. I'd like to be able to buy a premade cheaper alternative, though I haven't run into anything. OS X support is a plus, that's my developer platform... but the final product will be on Windows. So it doesn't matter if the interface is DMX to RS232, Parallel, or USB.

It might take a while for me to get all these parts, but it looks like I'll be able to get all of this for under $200.
DMX to PC Interface
DMX Dimmer Pack
4 Coffee Can Par 38 Lights, Red, Green, Blue, White
Stand

I'm going to start with 4 lights just to see how it works in my room. Is there a specific lamp wire I should try getting?
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Old 15th September 2005, 02:55 AM   #23
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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Look out for shops which are being refitted - you may be able to score a lot of display lighting for next to nothing!
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Old 15th September 2005, 03:56 PM   #24
Schaef is offline Schaef  United States
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On the mac OSX front, for the opendmx, head over to the FTDI website and see if they have mac drivers for their chips. Both of the enttec devices use a FTDI chip which converts USB to serial, so you should be able to just get the drivers for that chip and be able to talk to the devices. I haven't looked at the sample codes supplied to see exactly how they're handling things, but it should be just a matter of getting the proper settings for the port and using that in the mac. I guess I should mention that the drivers should make the device just look like a serial port, and you treat it as such. The pro version just adds a micro controller to buffer the data and saves the program/computer from having to refresh the data constantly.

As to wire sizes, I would tend to get larger than you need, for safety factors and to allow later growth/increases without having to re-buy the wire. Sorry, I can't help beyond that.

Also what dnsey says is also true, check with either local supply houses or theatres and see if anyone's selling second hand equipment. Ebay may be good as well, I know the theatre I work at scored seven strip lights (each having 9 lamps inside) for less than $100 total.

Edit:

I just noticed you're on the gulf coast, where abouts on the gulf coast? I might be able to point you to some supply shops that could have some useful stuff for you. (On the theatrical side that is)
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Old 15th September 2005, 07:03 PM   #25
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Mississippi coast. I doubt any of those places still exist.
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Old 15th September 2005, 07:21 PM   #26
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DMX Standards page.

Have fun!

al/remembering fondly his 1000 lamp rig at Wembley Arena...
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Old 16th September 2005, 07:57 PM   #27
Schaef is offline Schaef  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by noodles
Mississippi coast. I doubt any of those places still exist.
Well, the contact I have would be for the Florida panhandle area, Pensacola to be exact.

Quote:
Originally posted by pinkmouse
DMX Standards page.


Ah yes, I have been thinking about suggesting that site, but just couldn't remember who actually had it. That, of course will have the exact specifications, and should be purchased and read. (I will be doing that shortly myself)
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Old 25th November 2008, 03:03 PM   #28
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tom daghdha wrote :-
""I build a diy lighting system using a mains controller - this - and the option footswitch, and a load of GU10 spots mounted in twos on small bases""

Hi
I am thinking about updating our bands simple lighting system with the GU10's. The above link ( -this- ) is not working.
Tom or anyone, have you still got the info

Ron
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Old 20th June 2009, 09:48 PM   #29
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What if you used clamp lights on a type of T bar stand and used dimmer switches connected to regular duplex receptacles to control the clamp lights.

You use the push in ON push in OFF dial dimmers to control with the foot, but it might now stand up to the wear and the foot might not be steady enough.
Just an idea
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Old 5th September 2013, 04:38 AM   #30
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I went to watch a mini outdoor concert with my several friends last weekend.
Music and dance is very good, and the audiences are very passionate. But for me, the most impressive is not these, is the stage laser light.
I have never notice the little thing before this concert. But I feel its charm by this chance upon. So I want to know more about it.
I searched some information about stage laser light in the Internet after the concert. And I found that it has many different kinds.
Stage laser light is a laser product that can play a variety of laser beams, laser patterning and laser text automatically with the rhythm of the music. It is a new product to increase the atmosphere for the stage, disco, bars, KTV, theater, television, concerts, family party and so on. It can be divided into single colour laser light, two–colour laser light, three-colour laser light, full colour laser light, animation laser light. It also has different power, the greater the power, the larger the laser effect, and the price is more expensive. I fell these information could not satisfy my desire for knowledge of laser light. So I decided to buy a real stage laser light to understand.
But there are too many different products in the Internet . I did not know how to choose. Suddenly, I thought of the concert of that night. So I found the person's telephone number who responsible for the stage equipment of the concert through many ways. And Mr. Smith told me that the stage laser light he bought were from China ShenZhen CASA Electronic Co., LTD online. I searched the Internet quickly and found that there are many kinds stage laser light in its Xpress. At last, I bough a real laser light. When I got it, I felt very amazing, and I love it very much.
If you want to know more about stage laser light, please contact me and we can learn together.
And the website of China ShenZhen CASA Electronic Co., LTD is Derein Enterprice Co., Ltd - Small Orders Online Store, Hot Selling Beam moving head light,China laser light,disco light and more on Aliexpress.com
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