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DMX without computer


Preston Meyer
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I haven't been able to find this specifically talked about in the forums.

 

If I understand things rightly (which frequently doesn't happen) a LOR mini MP3 director running a show can output to (in addition to several standard LOR controllers) an IDX 1000 that directly operates some DMX devices without a computer being part of the show setup.

 

Questions:

 

Is this right & has anybody done it for real?

 

If it works, do you need to do anything extra other than assigning the correct channels in S3 (advanced).

 

Do other DMX "dongles" work also and are they as easy to make work as the idx 1000? (Is there a less costly way of doing this, that's time & effort effective)

 

I do "Haunted houses" with several separate LOR systems running in different "rooms" so it's important that the DMX works directly from a "director" without a computer running in the mix.

 

Preston

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You also have to configure the iDMX. I still use 2 of them with no issues.

The dongles put you right back at the PC though, as they are USB to DMX (RS-485).

But the director or mini director and iDMX should work great.

If you want to look at 3rd party solutions, you could research the ELOR.

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I ran my display for 2 year using the Mini Director and a IDMX-1000 for DMX along with LOR CCR's using the LOR Protocol.

 

Just treat the IDMX-1000 channel number as another controller, but instead of 16 channels, you will have 512 DMX channels.

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I also run displays using the Mini-Director and the Director Card with great success.

 

If you need animation only, without sound, the iDMX1000 can also accept programming into its onboard memory.

Besides itself, it can also control other LOR devices on the loop. Just plug them into the LOR jacks at the end.

 

If you have the need, the Cosmic Color devices can also accept programming into their onboard memory and can control other LOR devices as well.

 

This also applies to the Commercial series of LOR controllers, but not the PC (Residential) series.

For your haunted house, the Commercial series can also be used with external triggers, like motion sensors or pressure pads.

 

CCRs can be externally triggered too.

 

The LOR products are much more flexible than the standard Boo Box for Haunted Houses.

Edited by Ken Benedict
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Thanks for the replies, Most of the time, the props need synchronized sound, which is why I've been using the mini directors.

 

The mini's can be triggered directly also, which is very important in a haunt.

 

Although S3 can run DMX through a computer (which works fine), I wanted to find the simplest (and hopefully cheapest) way to run DMX equipment with a freestanding system.

 

I have also found that, although more expensive than most micro-controllers, (both button-bangers or computer programmed) LOR equipment is easier to set up, reprogram as needed, and fine tune for the best scare.

 

We really need to promote more use of LOR for direct prop control and not just background or display lighting uses.

 

Preston

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Do other DMX "dongles" work also and are they as easy to make work as the idx 1000? (Is there a less costly way of doing this, that's time & effort effective)

 

 

If you want to look at 3rd party solutions, you could research the ELOR.

 

 I used the ELOR last year.  Only $95, and it worked without trouble.  Although it supports 4 DMX Universes with an E1.31 output, I used its native DMX output for my universe, which had only 8 RGB devices last year.  One nice thing about using an iDMX1000 or ELOR instead of DMX direct from the computer is that the shimmer effect looks as good as a native LOR device.

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I plan on using one of my iDMX units in standalone to run a new fountain setup using RGB floods this summer.  I was looking all over for a cheap DMX standalone device, when I realized "hey, I already own one" (well ok it isn't particularly cheap to buy, but it's free since I own it lol)

Edited by Tim Fischer
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Ok, so I too am adding DMX to my LOR setup.  I also have the opportunity to add an MP3 director to my setup to run just a part of the display, but if I can get it to easily run some DMX too, I may just have it do the entire display.  My question to add to this discussion is:

 

How many channels will a DC MP3 Director support?  Will it handle a universe?  And the company I purchased my DMX from offers a cross over cable to add DMX to my LOR setup.  Can it really be that simple? To just plug their equipment into the network and go?  (I chose S.E. for my DMX for several reasons, but now see that CCP are cheaper with the grab sale... sigh missed it by that much!!! and the wife won't let me get more...yet...)

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How many channels will a DC MP3 Director support?

That's a tough question.  The new version can drive 2 LOR networks.  The limit is how many channels can you control in 1 second.  It depends on your sequence.  The answer is that the new G3 version can support twice as many channels as the previous version.

 

Will it handle a universe?

Not directly.  It appears that the DC-MP3 only outputs LOR, so you would need a converter, such as an iDMX or an ELOR.

 

And the company I purchased my DMX from offers a cross over cable to add DMX to my LOR setup.  Can it really be that simple? To just plug their equipment into the network and go?

 

Are referring to this cable? Then the answer is "No."  Both LOR and DMX are RS485 networks. They use completely incompatible protocols, so you can't have both on a single wire.  For historical reasons, the LOR network uses pins 4 & 5 for data and pin 6 for ground. DMX uses pins 1 & 2 for data and pin 7 for ground. That's how this cross over cable is wired.

 

There are 2 possible uses for this cable:

  1. The current version of the show player, when run on a computer, can use a LOR USB485 in DMX mode (because they both use RS485). If used this way to drive DMX devices, the cross over cable can be used to put the DMX on the standard pins.
  2. LOR 16-channel controllers can be used in DMX mode. If they are part of a DMX network with standard wiring, then this cross over cable can be used to get their data pins in the standard places.
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