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LOR software support DMX


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Sorry if this question has been answered, but is there a way to use the LOR software and then export to DMX or use LOR software to run DMX equipment directly?

Not to take away from LOR, but I already have tons of DMX equipment and would be willing to buy the software (good price!) since it is really good at sequencing...

Thanks,

mrbadss

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fmsjr wrote:

Is that both ways? i.e. will I be able to use LOR II boards as "dimmer packs" with a DMX controller?
Most likely LOR controllers working as DMX cards will happen first.
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Ok, I'm a bit confused by that last comment...

Are you saying that I will be able to use the LOR software to control standard DMX hardware? Is that what will happen first or are you saying the other way around will happen first (DMX software controlling LOR hardware)?

Thanks for the info, I am planning already for next year (4th of july!)



mrbad

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He said that there will be a card to control DMX. So that would be LOR-->DMX. Later they will add DMX-->LOR.

Also Dan, will it be DMX-512? That is the standard. Or will there be a different number of channels?

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Good info.. thanks for the clarification...

When you say card, do you mean in the LOR hardware or would it be a PC/PCI card for the PC? Where would the "card" go?

Would you be able to use a standard USB--> DMX with the LOR software or woudl additional hardware be necessary?

Pardon my ignorance, I am new to LOR, but I really LOVE the sequencing software...

Thanks

mrbad

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When I say "card" I mean a card that would go into LOR chain of controllers. What ever works for your controllers now will work then. It is considered another "controller" of sorts.

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I know nothing about the DMX protocol and so the following suggestion might be just downright silly/stupid.

But it occurred to me the other day that it might be cool to have a reversible DMX interface, so that it could be used to convert either DMX->LOR or LOR->DMX depending on how you had it configured.

Like I said, no idea if that's technically possible, would drive the costs way up, or what not.

-Tim

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That is possible. And Dan has plans to do that. Except they will be different cards. One for LOR-->DMX and another one for DMX-->LOR. The latter would be useful to use LOR cards as dimmers for low-end theatres and temporary back-up and aditional dimmer additions. But they should be DMX-512. It is the standard for DMX. The 512 refers not only to the protocol, but also happens to be the number of channels that the 512 protocol supports.



Some other things I forgot are the pins. DMX uses the XLR type connector. The 3pin version is used on all professional audio equipment. DMX uses a 5pin connector. Only 3 of the pins are used. (hot, cold, ground) There were originally plans to use the remaining 2 pins for a reverse data stream. That way there would be bi-directional communication. The directions would share a neutral. But since only 3pins are used currently, many non-professional manufacturers just go to a 3pin connector instead of 5pins. So for many pieces of equipment, people have to use 3->5 and 5->3 adapters. There is also the need for line termination over long distance cable runs. There is talk of moving the standard to CAT-5E or CAT-6 cable for shielding reasons.

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Brad Stevens wrote:

That is possible. And Dan has plans to do that. Except they will be different cards. One for LOR-->DMX and another one for DMX-->LOR. The latter would be useful to use LOR cards as dimmers for low-end theatres and temporary back-up and aditional dimmer additions. But they should be DMX-512. It is the standard for DMX. The 512 refers not only to the protocol, but also happens to be the number of channels that the 512 protocal supports.

Yeah I know he plans to do both directions, I just wondered if it could be done in one card.

Not even sure why -- just pondering I guess.

-Tim
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It could, but the card would get very large. Almost double the size of one direction card because very few elements could be shared by the cards (aside from network connectors, DMX connectors and such)

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Brad Stevens wrote:

It could, but the card would get very large. Almost double the size of one direction card because very few elements could be shared by the cards (aside from network connectors, DMX connectors and such)

OK, then that officially makes it a "dumb idea" :laughing:. I was thinking that if most of the components were going to be the same, it might make sense.

-Tim
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OK... I think I have succeeded in confusing everyone!

My last statement "Most likely LOR controllers working as DMX cards will happen first." meant that most likely the first step would be to allow LOR controllers to work in a DMX network.

The reason that this would be the first step is because it should take no hardware changes. The existing CTB16D ane CTB08D should(with a firmware change) be able to plug into a DMX network. The only thing necessary would be a passive adaptor (no electronics) to connect it.

The next step would be to produce a LOR->DMX adaptor card.

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Dan, sounds like it will be very cool. My only question will be wether or not the LOR DMX controller will run 512 or just a select number of the 512? I would sitck to the three pin connectors personally as most of the people on this board will likely not have the top of the line theatrical products that use the five pin connectors. I like where Dan is going with this, an adapter to run it via DMX and a card to run DMX with LOR software. The only thing that is going to be difficult in programming DMX lights is the X Y coordinate system for pan and tilt. I don't know if it would be possible, but maybe some way to import settings to LOR from a DMX ligh board. Say, you program a chase sequence or several presets and then, have some adapter that can take the commands from the board and allow the LOR software to insert them into your sequences. That may be harder to do and I wouldn't mind that being a much later hardware/software release. It might make the DMX programming a little easier. Just another thought. Definately will be getting the DMX-LOR card for next years display.

Will Sanders

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Just wanted to present a few facts about DMX-512. This is a digital protocol created by the USITT, a theatrical technical group.

The DMX-512 standard specifies a 5-pin XLR connector. The 3-pin XLR connector is used in professional audio. That said, some manufacturers violated the standard and used a 3-pin XLR connector, so you have to use whatever connector is compatible with the device you are connecting. Some devices have a terminal block instead of a connnector, which makes the whole connector issue go away.

There are a number of products that do use the 2nd data pair for feedback, again mostly in the professional realm. A few manufacturers used pins 4 and 5 for DC voltages, which is in direct violation of the DMX-512 standard and they present a danger to other equipment. I have purchased a number of night club grade dimmer packs on ebay and they all have the 5-pin DMX-512 connector.

DMX-512 requires the proper cable, suitable for RS-485 communications. CAT-5 telephone cable is NOT suitable.

DMX-512 devices are wired in a daisy-chain, not in a "star" configuration like a computer router with CAT-5 cable. Many DMX-512 compatible devices have IN and OUT connectors on them with opposite genders.

Each end of a DMX-512 link requires a 120-Ohm termination resistor to prevent data reflections, regardless of the cable length. Many products have a switch on them that connects an internal resistor onto the data lines.

Incorrect or missing termination is probably the single most common reason for faulty DMX512 systems. Bad data signals can cause erratic results.

Several manufacturers are making DMX-512/Ethernet conversion devices. Once the data is translated into an Ethernet signal, CAT-5 cable and standard computer routers can be used.

The next standard in the theater business is ACN - the Advanced Control Network. This is an Ethernet based protocol. But the legacy of so many DMX-512 products in use will keep the older standard in use for many years. In fact the new DMX-512A standard has new features, but is backwards compatible with older products.

Hope that didn't confuse everyone, but I wanted to get some info out here before too many of you go down the wrong road with this new option.

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Apperantly I have recieved my info before the new standard came out. This was before the ACN. Back then (like 5-7 years ago) they were planning for a switch to CAT-5E. Contrary to popular belief, CAT-5 is actualley sutibale cable. It has 5 twisted pairs versus 2. In current DMX applications the ground is left not twisted. Termanition is required, but is not needed on legnths of 5ft or less, because if you are using quality cable then the likely hood of data errors due to magnetic fields of electrical charges. (I work in a theatre with this and we have had no problems. Not to say that others haven't due to location differences.)

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Personally I am really looking forward to an LOR > DMX interface. My Christmas lights are currently controlled by DMX, using a DMX Master controller, and includes DMX control of my lasers, snow machine, moving (pan/tilt) multi colour spot, Gobo and 16 x 240VAC switched power outlets. The ability to switch another 60 odd power points, for next years display, was going to be cost prohibitive under DMX.

A mix of LOR and DMX is going to suit me down to the ground, particularly given how easy it is to program sequences in LOR. There was a comment in a previous post about how to handle devices using multiple channels, eg: pan and tilt. My initial thought would be to simply to have them as separate channels in LOR and then assign a DMX value to each channel from 0 - 255. It might be a little clumsy, but would be managable. You could then use a fade if you wanted to ramp from 1 DMX setting to another over time.

If you haven't seen some of the things that DMX can do, there is a small video of our Christmas display from last year on my web site.

Cheers,

davidt

www.daves-portal.com/xmas2005

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