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DMX Question for the experts


Brad Bilger
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I got a quesiton about DMX lighting for you experts out there. Not for this years show, but for next years. My show is at an amusement park and is at the front gate. My entertainment department has DMX lighting all around the area that they use for stage shows at the front gate, while mine is all just Christmas lighting. I have talked with the lighting tech about using some of their DMX lighting for next years show and he seems to be in favor of it.

My question is, their system is run through their controller and board. If I include their current addressing in my show, and unplug their controller and plug in an IDMX controller would that work? I understand that I would have to find out what addresses their lighting uses and match my addressing up to theirs. Their system is wireless and covers wall washers, Gobo's, Spotlights, snow machines, dimmer packs and other assorted items.

Also, I am not planning on using all of their equipment. If there is a DMX light in the circuit that is not addressed or mentioned in my LOR programming, will it just ignore that light and just go black?

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Yes it can work -but...

iDMX currently only has the capability of 256 channels with 64 being intelligent - a typical DMX universe is 512 channels ( several consoles output a couple of universes)

you might need to either power down or send blackout commands to some of the lights - some moving fixtures need input to close the shutter

there are a couple of other caveots, but they will depend on the fixtures that you are using and the layout of your system

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You may not even need to unplug their board, but rather plug the iDMX in between their board, and the lights.. I'm not sure if this has been implimented or not, but per the documentation, any data recieved on the DMX in connector is passed through to the DMX out connector, until a LOR command is recieved. Then that DMX channel, and the block of 16 that surrounds it becomes LOR controlled. To revert the channels back to the console controll, hit the reset button on the iDMX. No commands will be going to the lights during the reboot, but once it comes back up, it will start copying the commands from in to out again...

- Kevin

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