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Steve398

ShowTime Central and DMX

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I'm sure this has been discussed before. I'm also sure I couldn't find it in the search.

I started buying controllers on eBay in January (I have 5 CTB controllers now). One of them came as a ShowTime Central Starter Package. It was brand new (never used) and I got it for a good price. I don't want to use the FM Transmitter (my street is too narrow and I don't want to encourage vehicle traffic), but I figured the Mini Director would be nice to have. Since then I bought a set of Holiday Coro singing trees connected to a Renard Plus 32 DMX controller (and a Holiday Coro Enttech compatible dongle). The Renard controller connects to the PC by a USB cable coming off the Enttech dongle. It works great from my PC, communicates with my LOR system just fine (which is connected to another USB port), but I have been told the DMX network can't be controlled by the Mini Director.

Is that true? Is there any way to connect the DMX Universe so the Mini Director can control it?

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Steve, I read the specifications on the mini director and it does claim to be able to do DMX but it only has one output which means you would have to choose Lor or DMX output. 

So your options would be to run all of your Lor controllers in DMX mode and then deal with a potentially complicated wiring setup and a loss of performance with the Lor controllers, or buy the grossly overpriced iDMX module just to run the faces. 

Or if you really want to run the mini director replace the Renard 32 with two Lor controllers. 

I don't think any one of these options would be a good fit for you because of the cost and potential problems. 

I believe your best option, (which by the way will give you far more ability than the mini director could ever think of) is pick up a cheap used laptop just to run the show. 

For the size of show that you're going to have you don't need much of a computer to run it. 

Disclaimer

I've never had a mini director and all the information I have is based off the specifications that were available on the website. 

You can give me a call if you want some more details. 

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18 hours ago, Ebuechner said:

Steve, I read the specifications on the mini director and it does claim to be able to do DMX but it only has one output which means you would have to choose Lor or DMX output. 

So your options would be to run all of your Lor controllers in DMX mode and then deal with a potentially complicated wiring setup and a loss of performance with the Lor controllers, or buy the grossly overpriced iDMX module just to run the faces. 

Or if you really want to run the mini director replace the Renard 32 with two Lor controllers. 

I don't think any one of these options would be a good fit for you because of the cost and potential problems. 

I believe your best option, (which by the way will give you far more ability than the mini director could ever think of) is pick up a cheap used laptop just to run the show. 

For the size of show that you're going to have you don't need much of a computer to run it. 

Disclaimer

I've never had a mini director and all the information I have is based off the specifications that were available on the website. 

You can give me a call if you want some more details. 

Hi Ed

I actually have 2 of the LOR controllers earmarked for singing faces already. Buying the ones from you freed those up for other things. But as we discussed when I was at your house, I don't have a lot of room to expand so "extra" LOR controllers isn't really a plus for me. It's not that I WANT to use the mini director, but if I have it and I can make it work I would use it. If I can't use it I'll sell it. I may sell it as a used ShowTime Central Starter kit and include one of the controllers. As long as I get my money back out of it (which was a big savings off of a new kit) I'll be happy.

It's funny you mention getting a cheap laptop, I just picked up a used Alienware 17x on eBay for $400. The 12 year old Dell D630 I was using would sometimes lock up (the software) after working for too long on a sequence. I even found my sequences would stop running after 8 or 10 minutes. It was meant to be used as a business PC (text editor). The Alienware is MUCH more computer than I need (designed for high end gaming & graphics) but I couldn't pass it up for the price.

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That laptop sounds like Overkill.

I was thinking more like a laptop for under $100. 

On the laptop you need to leave it plugged in and turn off all of the power saving features that would interrupt your show. 

You don't have much experience with this yet but trust me I think you would be a lot happier using a laptop than the mini director it gives you a lot more control. 

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