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iDMX and S2


Dr. Jones
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As i was wandering through the manual for the iDMX i noticed a phrase that puzzled me:

[align=left] "LOR II can handle controllers with 256 circuits or[/align]
channels. "

How can I get this feature in S2? I really hate having to create 16 controllers with 16 channels - there has to be a better option. Any suggestions?


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michael.farney

Dr. Jones wrote:

As i was wandering through the manual for the iDMX i noticed a phrase that puzzled me:









[align=left] "LOR II can handle controllers with 256 circuits or[/align]
channels. "

How can I get this feature in S2? I really hate having to create 16 controllers with 16 channels - there has to be a better option. Any suggestions?



The poofa in that is it's in an upcoming release of software. You still have to do 16 x 16 currently, but a new release of software will allow you to select DMX as the controller type. When this happens, then you can get 256 or possibly all 512 channels on one controller address. Since we haven't seen it in the 2.0.16, I am suspicious this will accompany the firmware and hinted possible protocol change in Fall. Many months ago, Dan said full DMX addressing would be available this year sometime. (You can enter all DMX values 0-255 in the sequencer instead of 0-100 intensity.) Hopefully, that schedule hasn't changed. I can't wait!
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michael.farney wrote:

The poofa in that is it's in an upcoming release of software. You still have to do 16 x 16 currently, but a new release of software will allow you to select DMX as the controller type. When this happens, then you can get 256 or possibly all 512 channels on one controller address.



Are you certain? In the console in hardware utility it lets you select either virtual controllers for 16x16 or extended...

Actually, I find the 16x16 method to be fairly intuitive since hardware dmx controllers are segmented the same way by the fixture button. Just seems like the way it should be. 16x32 is what I really need. I am pushing the limits on one idmx, but I will be able to get by this year by using spare LOR channels for some of my non-dmx lights rather than dimmer packs as I would really prefer.
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i'm using 255 channels of several iDMX units

I was hoping for an easier way of creating channels in the S2 software

the 16x16 works good for me, I just hate having to create 16 controllers over and over and over....

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michael.farney

bhays wrote:

michael.farney wrote:
The poofa in that is it's in an upcoming release of software. You still have to do 16 x 16 currently, but a new release of software will allow you to select DMX as the controller type. When this happens, then you can get 256 or possibly all 512 channels on one controller address.



Are you certain? In the console in hardware utility it lets you select either virtual controllers for 16x16 or extended...

Actually, I find the 16x16 method to be fairly intuitive since hardware dmx controllers are segmented the same way by the fixture button. Just seems like the way it should be. 16x32 is what I really need. I am pushing the limits on one idmx, but I will be able to get by this year by using spare LOR channels for some of my non-dmx lights rather than dimmer packs as I would really prefer.


Even though it's in the hardware utility, I don't think the S2 software can do it yet. Hopefully, Dan will find this to answer the question.
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LightORamaDan

We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.

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LightORamaDan wrote:

We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.

Since I am going to go ahead and do my sequences now using the current software, what will happen when I upgrade? For example, will my sequences where I have a ramp from LOR intensity 0-50, (actually dmx 0-127) become dmx 0-50 and be out of whack?

Does that make sense?
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LightORamaDan

bhays wrote:

LightORamaDan wrote:
We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.

Since I am going to go ahead and do my sequences now using the current software, what will happen when I upgrade? For example, will my sequences where I have a ramp from LOR intensity 0-50, (actually dmx 0-127) become dmx 0-50 and be out of whack?

Does that make sense?


The channels in your existing sequences will all be considered "Percentage" channels with the new software so they will continue to act exactly the same. You will not need to change anything and things will continue as they do today. IF you changed that channel to a DMX channel then it will convert the percentages to the closest DMX intensities.
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michael.farney

LightORamaDan wrote:

bhays wrote:
LightORamaDan wrote:
We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.

Since I am going to go ahead and do my sequences now using the current software, what will happen when I upgrade? For example, will my sequences where I have a ramp from LOR intensity 0-50, (actually dmx 0-127) become dmx 0-50 and be out of whack?

Does that make sense?


The channels in your existing sequences will all be considered "Percentage" channels with the new software so they will continue to act exactly the same. You will not need to change anything and things will continue as they do today. IF you changed that channel to a DMX channel then it will convert the percentages to the closest DMX intensities.

Thanks Dan, this is great news.
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  • 2 months later...
Steppe Wolfe

LightORamaDan wrote:

We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.


Will you be able to use a spare USB485 if you need to drive only a couple of DMX fixtures instead of buying a $250 adapter?
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michael.farney

Steppe Wolfe wrote:

LightORamaDan wrote:
We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.


Will you be able to use a spare USB485 if you need to drive only a couple of DMX fixtures instead of buying a $250 adapter?



You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment. You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.
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  • 3 weeks later...

LightORamaDan wrote:

We will add native DMX support to S2 but it will be later this year. You will be able to define all 512 address on one unit and you will have all 255 intensities.


Dan,

Does this mean that under channel setup, there will be an option for DMX? If so, when is this software coming out?
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  • 2 weeks later...

michael.farney wrote:



You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment. You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.

What if you made a custom cable (CAT5 on one end XLR on other?)
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joneslights wrote:

michael.farney wrote:


You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment. You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.

What if you made a custom cable (CAT5 on one end XLR on other?)

Although DMX and LOR both use the RS485 protocol- they are two different languages. You CANNOT just add a XLR connector to the end of an ethernet cable on a LOR network and expect your device to work. LOR does not natively output DMX. If the original language is DMX, LOR will work (with the new firmware) as a dimmer.(no shimmer or twinkle).
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Dr. Jones wrote:

joneslights wrote:
michael.farney wrote:


You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment.   You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.

What if you made a custom cable (CAT5 on one end XLR on other?)

Although DMX and LOR both use the RS485 protocol- they are two different languages.  You CANNOT just add a XLR connector to the end of an ethernet cable on a LOR network and expect your device to work. LOR does not natively output DMX.  If the original language is DMX, LOR will work (with the new firmware) as a dimmer.(no shimmer or twinkle).


I was referring to the that fact of if/when the DMX protocol was native in LOR.

BTW, I have tested a LOR board on a DMX network (using Vixen) and IT DOES shimmer and twinkle (or a variation of, that Vixen was outputting to it).

I have also used DIY DMX hardware on LOR and they shimmer and twinkle fine.
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Steppe Wolfe

Dr. Jones wrote:

joneslights wrote:
michael.farney wrote:


You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment. You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.

What if you made a custom cable (CAT5 on one end XLR on other?)

Although DMX and LOR both use the RS485 protocol- they are two different languages. You CANNOT just add a XLR connector to the end of an ethernet cable on a LOR network and expect your device to work. LOR does not natively output DMX. If the original language is DMX, LOR will work (with the new firmware) as a dimmer.(no shimmer or twinkle).

Yes, LOR does not natively output DMX, but currently speaks Dasher, X10, BSOFT, and Digital IO, that is, it can output to those devices as well as the main LOR network. Now if DMX was added to the list of available languages and output on say the Aux A network to control a small number of DMX devices, that would be handy. Go to the LOR Sequencer -> Edit -> Preferences-> Network Preferences for the screen I am taking about.
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LightORamaDan

joneslights wrote:

Dr. Jones wrote:
joneslights wrote:
michael.farney wrote:


You will need the adapter to hook up your DMX equipment. You can't hook a DMX cable to a USB485 adapter.

What if you made a custom cable (CAT5 on one end XLR on other?)

Although DMX and LOR both use the RS485 protocol- they are two different languages. You CANNOT just add a XLR connector to the end of an ethernet cable on a LOR network and expect your device to work. LOR does not natively output DMX. If the original language is DMX, LOR will work (with the new firmware) as a dimmer.(no shimmer or twinkle).


I was referring to the that fact of if/when the DMX protocol was native in LOR.

BTW, I have tested a LOR board on a DMX network (using Vixen) and IT DOES shimmer and twinkle (or a variation of, that Vixen was outputting to it).

I have also used DIY DMX hardware on LOR and they shimmer and twinkle fine.


When we talk about native DMX support in LOR we are talking about being able to directly address any of the 255 DMX intensities. Currently in LOR you set an intensity to a percentage between 0% and 100%. That works fine in LOR. For DMX, the intensity is mapped to a DMX value. For example 50% intensity would be mapped to DMX intensity 128. This works fine for most things however with a small number of DMX fixtures, excact DMX intensities are required to set certain options. With Native DMX mode in LOR you will have the ability to set those exact values.

We have no plans for the entire LOR network to be a true DMX network. We will continue to provide bridges to DMX using adapters such as the iDMX1000. As mentioned, other products provide an interface to DMX however any PC based solution requires an adapter to convert to DMX.

There are a number of reasons we will not be a true DMX network. The biggest reason is reliability and robustness. The LOR network protocol runs at a speed that eliminates much of the heartache involved with a large DMX networks. Our discussions with professionals who use DMX and LOR indicates that a LOR network is a much better way to go when using a large number of controllers and/or long data runs.
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LightORamaDan

When we talk about native DMX support in LOR we are talking about being able to directly address any of the 255 DMX intensities. Currently in LOR you set an intensity to a percentage between 0% and 100%. That works fine in LOR. For DMX, the intensity is mapped to a DMX value. For example 50% intensity would be mapped to DMX intensity 128.  This works fine for most things however with a small number of DMX fixtures, excact DMX intensities are required to set certain options. With Native DMX mode in LOR you will have the ability to set those exact values.

We have no plans for the entire LOR network to be a true DMX network. We will continue to provide bridges to DMX using adapters such as the iDMX1000. As mentioned, other products provide an interface to DMX however any PC based solution requires an adapter to convert to DMX.

There are a number of reasons we will not be a true DMX network. The biggest reason is reliability and robustness. The LOR network protocol runs at a speed that eliminates much of the heartache involved with a large DMX networks. Our discussions with professionals who use DMX and LOR indicates that a LOR network is a much better way to go when using a large number of controllers and/or long data runs.


Dan,

Thank you for the breakdown. When is the iDMX going to support 512 channels?

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LightORamaDan

joneslights wrote:

Dan,

Thank you for the breakdown. When is the iDMX going to support 512 channels?



We probably will not support 512 channels until next year. Our first step is to get the 255 intensities which is planed for this year.
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