Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

How to get Started with DMX


jim6918

Recommended Posts

I am interested in some of the DMX products seen on this forum, particularly the Rainbow Flood and Spotlights. Maybe I always everything, but the whole DMX seems a little confusing. Are there any threads either here or on PC that a newbie can look at to see if it's the kind of thing I would want to explore further. Or, any ofther good reference material? I know that DMX is originally from theater and night club lighting and that's about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jim6918 wrote:

I am interested in some of the DMX products seen on this forum, particularly the Rainbow Flood and Spotlights. Maybe I always everything, but the whole DMX seems a little confusing. Are there any threads either here or on PC that a newbie can look at to see if it's the kind of thing I would want to explore further. Or, any ofther good reference material? I know that DMX is originally from theater and night club lighting and that's about it.


All you need for the Rainbow Flood or Spotlights is the LOR DC card, $99.95 w/QC. DMX is not necessary to use these.

Unless you wanted to spend the extra money and buy the LOR iDMX $259.95 and the Rainbow Brain ($ 56.75 kit, $ 67.75 assembled) plus the floods or spots just to have DMX control.

I have 8 of the DC cards (128 DC channels) that I use for my LED RGB light fixtures
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I agree with John.
If you are only using Rainbow flood/spots, The DC card is cheaper,easier.
Thats what I'm doing.
If you want to run LED scrolling sign, Lasers, DMX fog, or snow machines.
Or other DMX stuff, you could get the I- DMX.
If you just want to run fog or snow "on the cheap", a lot of people are using relays, and using regular LOR channels. but that requires hacking and wiring.
Which is not my strong point.

Good Luck,
Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ron and John. Good starting places for me.

John, I have been looking at your site for the past 1/2 hour and the DYI info is top notch.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jim6918 wrote:

Thanks Ron and John.  Good starting places for me. 

John, I have been looking at your site for the past 1/2 hour and the DYI info is top notch.

Thanks

 


Yes, John is great. All my best Idea's were his first!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang folks, you are making me blush!

The site is in need of serious updating though. Lots of the "under construction" or pending projects have been completed, but not updated on the site, as well as more projects not listed are being worked on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JBullard wrote:

Dang folks, you are making me blush!

The site is in need of serious updating though. Lots of the "under construction" or pending projects have been completed, but not updated on the site, as well as more projects not listed are being worked on.




Well the weekend is coming up, I am sure you can have things finished up by Sunday night. I will be checking back. LOL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry Jim, don't hold your breath! First weekend off for me in several weeks. Too many other projects already in the schedule!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having grown up in theatre, DMX was all I ever knew before LOR. LOR and DMX share alot. DMX is sent over RS-485, although DMX is a published standard unlike LOR. A standard DMX controller can be used with a LOR board.

The root ideas are the same for both systems. A controller of some sort (S2 software for LOR, and a DMX compadible light board for non lor) sends a signal over the data line that is recieved by the "board" (CTB16, Etc) or what most DMX folks would call the "dimmer pack" The recieving hardware translates those signals into varying high voltage signals that eventually work to dim the light.

In fact the bigest difference I can think of off hand between the two are the FX: Shimmer, Twinkle, Etc are not a part of the dmx protocol (although individual timings that make up the command would be)

But most people have little reason to controll standard DMX dimmers with lor (its much more cost effective to use LOR hardware) Unless you just happen to have a lot of DMX dimmers lying around. Or you need to dimm a large load. Most theatre dimmers have a 20amp rating and individual breakers.

The reason most want to branch into DMX is the plethora of really neat DMX fixtures available. RGB Fixtures and moving head lights comonly speak DMX.

A basic moving head figture has a motor that turns the light left, right, up, down. Inside the light is a mini "reciever" with some parts similar to the parts on your standard LOR board. Just tihnk of each DMX device as being its own sort of "LOR CTB16" But this time instead of the intensity of the light being changed you are telling a motor a specific position.

Lets say you point a light into a 10 foot tape measure. If the LOR software was controling the light a value of "0" would position the light at the begining of the measuring tape, and a value of 100 would place the light at the 10 ft mark. A value of 50 would place the light in the middle at 5ft. So changing the intensity in LOR software = moving the light.

The down side is precise controll of a maving head fixture could take hundreds or even thousands of commands for some fairly basic movements. Most moving light controllers use a joystick or mouse type device to position the light. Then a start and end point is defined. The controller does the work of figuring out all the commands needed to move the light between the two points

Gota run out the door - no time for spell check. Sorry :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...