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Automated DMX addressing via RDM? (ETC)

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Mooboks, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Mooboks

    Mooboks Member

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    Not sure if this is possible to do, but here's what we're wondering: We're running into a lot of quick plot re-hangs where fixtures are moving around between any of 9 universes frequently. We're trying to see if there's a way to have the Console or Concert automatically reassign fixture DMX addresses in each universe via RDM, based on current fixture personality - Rather than doing it fixture by fixture either on the unit or via Concert. Then we'll patch via the RDM device list on the console. The fixtures are a mix of ETC S4LED2/D40 Lustr.

    The system is a full ETC house install, Ion Xe console, Net3 Concert controller, various RDM enabled gateways. RDM appears to function fine throughout the system.

    If it's not possible, it's not the worst to have to do it in a Concert spreadsheet view, but if this can automate it would save us a bit of changeover work.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    This is a good question, speaking from somebody who has done 8 events in the past year with 200 LED’s and ML’s spread across 8-9 universes on ea. event.

    I know Ion can see the fixtures in patch and using RDM discovery, well most as the occasional Elation won’t do RDM, but my ETC and ChromaQ gear does.

    So we basically just want to set the fixture Profiles in patch (that can come out of Lightwrite patch import) then list all channels, so “Ch 1 thru XX, @, 1/1, enter” and let Ion figure out how to assign, Than have RDM send all those addresses to the fixtures.

    Bit of a tall order I think. Not sure if the desk is smart enough to see when a fixture is going to be crossing a universe boundary which is a problem when you are not sending multiple DMX streams to a position, or don’t want to. Not to mention that as RDM is essentially sending data in the null break of the DMX stream, wonder how long it’s going to take to dump all that to the gear.

    Our work method currently is to print Lightwrite labels for units needing addressing. Once gear is powered, a bunch of electricians can be working on addressing all at the same time, if the info is on the yoke.
     
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  3. Mooboks

    Mooboks Member

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    I don't really need the Console to track fixtures from universe to universe, I can do that (and plan to do that) via an RDM label /physical label for manual Channel patching purposes. I mainly just don't want to care about what the DMX addressing is (assuming we have enough address space in the universe), if that makes sense. My dream is to let Software deal with DMX and then I patch via the RDM device list.

    Even if I just tell the console/concert the start DMX address I want for each universe with enough of an offset that each fixture has all the channels they need, and have it reassign start addresses to each device from there, that would do that job.

    I know this is a tall order and may not be currently possible. Our problem is our electrics call is usually 1-2 people to do quick changeovers on a 100-ish fixture plot that can move anywhere on grid or to stage level and between, so anything to streamline the process would be a bonus. Our streamlining may just end up being more prep work.
     
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  4. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    Eos/Ion calls it Attach. In the RDM Device list you can attach a found fixture to a channel. Flash or identify functions strongly recommended!

    I don't recall how much automation is in selecting/setting the addresses. But I think I'll want to know Monday morning
     
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  5. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I understand that you don't want to have to enter addresses at the fixture, you would want to be able to do that via RDM from the console. And you can do that currently. I assume that once you set an address in RDM that it also changes it in patch ?, I'm not at the console and in any event I've RDM turned off throughout my system (Elations), so can't verify.

    One work method is to do addressing and patch in Lightwright and then export to Ion. LW lets you do an address footprint (and profile, but not really needed) for each fixture type. The Ion import and map will let you match the fixture to a type in Ion, you then have patch finished. BIG question at that point is can you push those addresses to the fixture. You would have multiple fixtures on address 1, but the fixtures don't care as they - in theory, would only be seeing the DMX from a Gateway/Node that is setup for that universe (and as configured in Concert). The console patch knows as it's got all the correct info for "1/1", 2/1", 3/1", etc.... so once the "push"of addresses is done via RDM you should be good to go.

    Now you need to try it and report on your progress, LOL.
     
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  6. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    I know you can push an address to a fixture, best feature of RDM! I know Ion will tell you when there is an address conflict. But apparently last time I was in front of it I didn't notice the alerts.

    I wish, but don't know, if Ion will push addresses to multiple fixtures. A 'fix it' button, rather than re-entering the correct address for each fixture.
     
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  7. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    The other issue is how to know to which fixture to push an address.

    The console sees the fixture in RDM but typically is not referencing that say "1 Electric 15" is channel 201 and needs address 3/161, as example. RDM is not telling you where the fixture is in the space. You can intensity flash a fixture in RDM and if you happen to be located where you can see the flash, you know which fixture you want to be Ch 201, Address 3/161. If you are at the console in the booth, you cannot see ladders, booms, deck, etc... Then you need a remote that can access RDM so you can walk around (with a plot) and push addresses as you flash fixtures.

    So not there yet.
     
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  8. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    I'll take wandering the stage with a remote over climbing ladders and catwalks. One can set focus points then too. But best practice has to be addressing the fixture when hanging and plugging.

    Where is ''there'? GPS in every unit, matched to 3D model/visualizer? Direct brain interface?
     
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  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Note that I don't think the RDM section of Patch is to be found on the remotes, iRFR, RRFU or Alien. So wandering may be someday in the future.

    FWIW, we found the label making process in Lightwright 6 to be really, really useful and easy to setup. I figured it out in about an hour and was printing, it's really very straight forward, so recommended as a process. There's no doubt that it's a new process for certain things needing to happen to make this easy, figuring out in advance and having configured, power/relays, etc.... and getting the power ON at the fixture so electricians can address, is now earlier in the process than before. Or pre-labeling and addressing in the shop or on deck before the fixture goes in the air is the best.
     
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