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Control/Dimming Chauvet DMX

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by tylerrowsell, May 28, 2009.

  1. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    Hi im very new to all lighting dimming etc... recenetly i have found 4 chauvet can lights... a 4-channel dmx chase/relay controller and a stage designer 24 in the school that are not being used...

    i have no clue how to use any of it...

    ive plugged in the stage designer to the control pack and the lights into that and figured out sorta how to control them...

    a few questions

    what is addressing and what does it do?
    what is a relay?

    and does anybody no much about these product and how to use them?
     
  2. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    Most lighting control boards put out an output of information, that is called DMX-512. The reason for that acronym is that it is digitally multiplexed information or (protocal) and can control up to 512 items such as channels of dimming, color scrollers, strobes and functions of moving light instruments. Because the information is sent down one set of twisted wires in a serial fashion, the receiving device (dimmer) must know which set of digital information out of the 512 that the lighting controller is to control.
    Example, you want the 3rd fader on a controller to operate the first dimmer output on a four pack dimmer. You have the choice of setting the 3rd fader to control any of the 512 outputs. That is addressed in the control board in what is refered to as "softpatch". The dimmer channel that the control board sends out with that 3rd fader info now must be addressed in the dimmer pack.
    Many of the lesser expensive dimmer control boards may not have softpatch and if that is the case then the 3rd fader would be outputed as DMX 3. The dimmer pack is then addressed to start at dmx 3 and the first channel on the dimmer pack is then controlled by fader 3.

    Dimmer packs are usually addressed for the starting dmx number and then the remaining dimmers in the pack will follow sequentially in order. The address is usually set in one of two ways. The most convenient is to have a LCD display and some up and down buttons. by pressing the buttons, you can advance or decrease the dmx starting number. A less convenient and generally more popular method is a set of DIP switches. This is a series of 9 or more small switches that either slide or rocker to either on or off position. The value of each switch follows a binary math system. The first switch to the left has a value of "1" each sequencially following switch doubles the value of the previous one. such as 1 then 2 then 4 and so on until the 9th switch has a value of 256. You set the address by adding the value of all the switches that are in the on position. This isn't quite true binary as binary counts from right to left and most all of these address switches count up from left to right, but through popular acceptance and the commercial numbering that was already a part of DIP switches, everybody except the very fussy pureists accept it. By the way the term DIP switch comes from the fact that the switch assembly mounts the same as integrated circuits that have a dual inline profile, or package. In other words DIP. One caution about DIP switch addressing. Some manufactures use all the switches off to be address "one", if this is the case, the address switches will need to be set to one number less than the address you desire.
    Some manufactures use the all off position for special purposes and some use the all off and the 1 value only address as address "1". If there are more than 9 switches, then the remaining switches are specific to a manufacture, as to what they do. Many of the lesser expensive packs use the tenth switch to determine if the pack is DMX addressed or an internal program. Some use it to deternine if the pack is slave to another pack. some of the scroller manufactures use it to control the fan speed and others use it to determine the maximum speed of changing colors.

    Everything that I have written is assuming DMX control. Before DMX, their were many different addressing systems and one of those is still used on some of the lower end American company items. It is generally refered to as Microplex and was developed out of two or three earlier systems. While there are at least a dozen folks that will follow and disagree with me, DMX 512 and Microplex are about the only systems used today. There are a couple of systems that use Net nodes and or two way communicating systems, but these are still based on DMX, only a different way of communicating that info.
     
  3. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    That surprisingly makes a lot of sense... but it does not get me any further in my problem...

    i think my controller just outputs the 1-512 and then the dimmer/relayer accept i sorta figured it out like i choose dmx then i choose a number between 1 512 (but it only allows up to 24 because that is all the controller puts out) then i get to choose what it controls but it ask the option of dimmer or relayer and i dont know the difference
     
  4. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    A dimmer pack will let you fade the lights from 0-100% while a relay pack is on/off only for things like strobe lights, mirror balls, etc. It should state right on your pack which one it is.


    Now, these Chauvet cans aren't LED are they? If so they should not be plugged into a dimmer. (I doubt they are LED but I thought we'd go ahead and eliminate the possibility).
     
  5. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    No they are not led they are just normal lights.... that helps i will try this im not sure when it is on or off dimmer so that is something i will just have to figure out becuase you can set it either way

    thanks again
     
  6. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    Does anyone have any knowledge in these products because i can not seem to get it too work properly...

    i set the 4-channel dimmer/relayer to A001 which im assuming means the dmx channel because it can go from 1-512 then i choose the CH-04 which according to the manual means that channels 1-4 coming from the contoller will turn on channels 1-4 on my dimmer/relayer then it gives me four options to choose on/off for something which i think means dimmer/relayer but im not sure.

    It sorta works... channels 1-4 on my controller work when i click the flash button but do not stay on and then when i use the slider for channels 1-4 nothing happens... im not exactly sure if i have to do something else on all the buttons like change a setting but it would be nice if i could get this working...

    thanks
     
  7. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Could you provide model numbers for these? That would help out a bunch and chances are at least one of us has used one. You might also try contacting member [user]BillESC[/user]. He's like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to these types of things.
     
  8. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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  9. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    If the DMX-4 pack responds correctly with the flash buttons but not the faders, the pack is in relay mode and not dimmer mode.

    Enter the menu and go up or down till you find the screen for Dimmer/Relay and set the pack to dimmer. You'll be good to go.
     
  10. tcahall

    tcahall Member

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    It sounds like you have the DMX-4 setup properly. You want to be in dimmer mode, not relay for conventional fixtures.

    The fact that the lights come on when you hit flash, but not when you move the fader is odd. I suggest you clear all the programming from the board and try again. If that doesn't work, try setting the DMX-4 for channel 5 and try those faders. You could have some bad faders on the board. This should be a 1:1 board, so moving fader 1 should change channel 1, fader 2, channel 2, etc.

    It sounds like you are close to getting this to work. It's a basic setup, but should serve you well.

    Tim.
     
  11. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    yah i have tried different faders and stuff and clearing the board sorta but the manuel is very poor so it is hard to know if i am clearing the board or not... i can feel that im close but just don't know how close haha

    thanks
     
  12. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    I used to have an Elation Stage setter 16, Which is kinda the same thing. A couple things to check out.

    Make sure master A is Up, and Master B is down. You may notice that Fader A is 0-10 bottom to top, then 0-10 top to bottom, this allows for crossfades to happen easier if you are running it in 2x12 mode.

    Make sure that the fade level is at instant. Easily overlooked especially on this console... who sets the minimum fade time at top?!?

    Dark key is not activated. Silly to have another Blackout button.

    Blackout LED is not lit or flashing. It may seem that this would override the bump keys, but if it is essentially the same board as the elation, it doesn't. Also, i believe it is also on by default when you power up the console.

    Hope this helps
     
  13. tylerrowsell

    tylerrowsell Member

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    that sounds like it may help because it is something i have not tried yet :D

    i will test this tomorrow... by any chance do you know what mode it should be in?

    also what is a scene?
     

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