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cheap MPX to analog converter?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by JahJahwarrior, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    I need an MPX (NSI board) to analog converter. I can buy one from Lightronics for like, a little over $250. But i don't want want to spend that much! :) Can anyone help me figure out where I can get a cheap used one or build one? I only need to control eight channels with it....
     
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Might check past postings on this subject. There was amongst other options getting the conversion parts to convert the board from MPX to DMX - shouldn't be that difficult and they do offer that ability. Buying their less expensive converter box - one box per six channels. I have one of these converter boxes, it works as a universal translater for most languages but gets bogged down due to the needs of Analog control in only doing six channels of control. Another option most in the past have done is in going custom box that will do more than six channels at a time but probably be more expensive in that it's custom. If the Lightronics does more than six analog channels per box, that price probably is not bad at all. Finally a inactive member also had his own version of a universal converter which he was selling to members at a discount. Don't remember how many channels it would convert at a time but I would think it's also six.

    Most companies that manufacture custom gear or large touring companies could do a converter box. Just a question of circuitry and programming. Some of that type of stuff comes out of our own electronics department at times. Also, most dimmer/controller manufacturers will probably also offer or easily make a converter box as sources to get them from. The NSI language is common enough that it won't be much of a challenge to adapt from anywhere you shop.

    While otherwise changing your control board to DMX, you might also look at converting your dimmers to DMX. If something like the Strand CD-80 pack, it's an easy conversion from Analog to DMX control. Such a changing all to DMX might not be as cheap as your budget but in the long term would be easier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  3. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    Ship, I'd love to do that, but at my school, it wouldn't do tons of good. I might try though. I've got one more year there...


    I think I might just look for an analog board. I found two old dimmer packs, and if I can get a controller for them, I'll try to use them somewhere! :)
     
  4. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    Alright, I have one at my house (dimmer pack). 6 pin connector--pin 1-4 are channel pins, pin 5 is ground, pinc 6 is +27 vdc. I'm guessing that to test a channel, couldn't I plug a light in, then connect a 9 volt between say, pin 1 and pin 5? Pin 6 is to power a controller, correct? I'm very interested in building my own analog controller, but want to test channels first. Ship, help! :)
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Don't ask me. While pre-1979 technology (My cut off date for technology), wrong union bub as it were. I do the electrics not the electronics. I can tell you how to wire up your Cinch Jones, who makes them these days and what part number they are. But in doing a controller you get into dimmer pots and stuff like that. Can do it but don't do - have enough problems/60 hour weeks while specilizing in my own field.

    I have converted a few CD-80's to DMX and do own my own dimmers, light board in MPX plus a converter all from NSI. Using the converter alone requires me to visit our head electronics guy so he can tell me which bridges to make in the converter. As long as I get out the manual for the board or dimmers on the other hand, I can normally figure out at least MPX channels. No idea on how to program cues on the board on the other hand. This much less how to assign DMX channels in general. Don't bother telling me, if I wanted to know - I would. Not stuff I have to learn or do as it were. Too many other suckers, urr people that better know such things as assigning channels about than the need for me to learn such things. Others do the DMX, I'll wire up the 27 DMX control universe multi-pin plugs.

    I don't even touch RJ-45 type plugs.

    On the other hand on a normal 6 dimmer Analog pack, 1-6 are power, seven is not used and eight is common. At least from memory. Eight pin Cinch Jones, not six pin unless some form of odd four channel dimmer.
     
  6. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    well, I've figured it out. six pins, 1-4 are channels, 5 is +27vdc and 6 is common. I can build a controller for it easily enough. the +27 provides power for the entire thing, the pots then control how much voltage each channel gets. Ot's a 6 pin DIN plug, I velieve. went bySuckerShack and didn't want to pay the high prices, plus they didn't have everything I need. I'll order from Jameco or something. It will just be a small controller, but then again I only want to use these for outdoor things where you dn't need falshy stuff or anything, just throw the light up there and leaveit.
     

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