# DLS dmxPhone

#### Chris Chapman

##### Active Member
Anybody have any experience with this little toy?

Check it out here:

http://www.digitallightingsolutions.com/

It's a dmx device that you plug an off the shelf cordless phone into to become an inexpensive wireless RFU. Seems like a great idea for those of ust stuck in ETC Net1 land or non ETC folks as well.

Anybody play with one?

-Chris Chapman
TD, Greenville Performing Arts Center

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#### gafftaper

Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I think this is something new Grog. There's been a fairly full thumbs down discussion on ETC installing this feature on Congo and ION (I think). With the general feeling being if you're going to spend that much on a new console, you probably have the money to buy a real RFU with some features to it. Where Strand has the nice PDA remote on all of their systems. On the other hand, for those on a tight budget with an older console that won't be upgraded in the next two decades... for $500 you can add a remote... it's not a bad idea at all. I'm kind of surprised this isn't a Doug Fleenor product. #### Grog12 ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member I think this is something new Grog. There's been a fairly full thumbs down discussion on ETC installing this feature on Congo and ION (I think). With the general feeling being if you're going to spend that much on a new console, you probably have the money to buy a real RFU with some features to it. Where Strand has the nice PDA remote on all of their systems. On the other hand, for those on a tight budget with an older console that won't be upgraded in the next two decades... for$500 you can add a remote... it's not a bad idea at all.
I'm kind of surprised this isn't a Doug Fleenor product.
Bah...you may be right gaff...though I could have sworn I saw a picture of something...I'll have to look a little later on.

#### Chris Chapman

##### Active Member
That's kind of my thoughts on it as well. I'm stuck in Net 1 running an Express 250. To upgrade to Net 2 functionality I'm looking at a minimum of $12,000. My ETC rep tells me that "some folks at ETC reccommend it as a decent RFU alternative." So for a little over$500, I can get a low cost, easily replaceable RFU. It can't run cues, but will do dimmer checks, and multiple channels for focus.

If I had a Congo or Obsession I would go for the PDA. BUT in educational settings, I'm also being advised that the PDA RFU's tend to take walks with students and sometimes get reformatted and don't come back. The repair cost on a Net1, ETCLink RFU is above the purchase price of this unit.

I'm wondering on range, and signal quality, etc. If I mount it at my DMX break out onstage, I hope it will have the range to make it to FOH 1 & FOH2 for focus.

Fight Leukemia

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
That's kind of my thoughts on it as well. I'm stuck in Net 1 running an Express 250. To upgrade to Net 2 functionality I'm looking at a minimum of $12,000. My ETC rep tells me that "some folks at ETC reccommend it as a decent RFU alternative." So for a little over$500, I can get a low cost, easily replaceable RFU. It can't run cues, but will do dimmer checks, and multiple channels for focus.
If I had a Congo or Obsession I would go for the PDA. BUT in educational settings, I'm also being advised that the PDA RFU's tend to take walks with students and sometimes get reformatted and don't come back. The repair cost on a Net1, ETCLink RFU is above the purchase price of this unit.
I'm wondering on range, and signal quality, etc. If I mount it at my DMX break out onstage, I hope it will have the range to make it to FOH 1 & FOH2 for focus.
Get a 2.4ghz phone, you will be set. It would be interesting to get those phones that have multiple phones for one base station. Keep in mind, it only will turn on dimmers, it does not know what dimmers you have patched into any given channel on your console. If you keep your paperwork up and do not need the screen, its not a bad way to go. Also, it would not be bad to have around if you want to start lamp check and the console is not set up yet.

#### Grog12

##### CBMod
CB Mods
HA! SEE GAFF! I'm not crazy!!!! I mean not seriously crazy...just a little...you know like only walks his dog in the rain crazy not chops up people and feeds them to his dog crazy!

#### jmabray

I think this is something new Grog. There's been a fairly full thumbs down discussion on ETC installing this feature on Congo and ION (I think). With the general feeling being if you're going to spend that much on a new console, you probably have the money to buy a real RFU with some features to it. Where Strand has the nice PDA remote on all of their systems. On the other hand, for those on a tight budget with an older console that won't be upgraded in the next two decades... for $500 you can add a remote... it's not a bad idea at all. I'm kind of surprised this isn't a Doug Fleenor product. Hey everyone - Just to be clear - the phone remote feature on the congo, congo Jr and Ion is not, by any means the only RFU option. There is a complete fully featured dedicated (non-PDA) remote available for both all of the units above. It's just that the phone remote comes on the consoles for those spaces who can't afford one of those devices at the time of purchase. They can always add the full featured remote later on, but if they buy a console, the have a cost-effective remote solution that will work for them in the meantime. It is true that ETC is getting away from PDA based remotes. There are multiple reasons why this is (PDA's have a tendency to walk off, a reliance upon another manufacturer for device support, etc) but ultimately the PDA cannot offer all the features that a purpose built remote can. For instance, the new RFR has 2 encoders on it that allow you to control attributes for you moving lights or color scrollers or the like from the actual remote. I just want everyone to be sure that they understand what was going on with the remotes for the new product line. Yes there is the phone remote option. No it is not the only one. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks! #### gafftaper ##### Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia Sorry Jmabray... You caught me, I thought the phone was the only option and clearly I'm mistaken. Nice work finding that old thread. Grog that thread's been around longer than you have. Nice work reading the archives there buddy. Still have to say I'm surprised Doug Fleenor hasn't come up with a cheaper product. #### SteveB ##### Well-Known Member That's kind of my thoughts on it as well. I'm stuck in Net 1 running an Express 250. To upgrade to Net 2 functionality I'm looking at a minimum of$12,000. My ETC rep tells me that "some folks at ETC reccommend it as a decent RFU alternative." So for a little over \$500, I can get a low cost, easily replaceable RFU. It can't run cues, but will do dimmer checks, and multiple channels for focus.
If I had a Congo or Obsession I would go for the PDA. BUT in educational settings, I'm also being advised that the PDA RFU's tend to take walks with students and sometimes get reformatted and don't come back. The repair cost on a Net1, ETCLink RFU is above the purchase price of this unit.
I'm wondering on range, and signal quality, etc. If I mount it at my DMX break out onstage, I hope it will have the range to make it to FOH 1 & FOH2 for focus.
There are obvious advantages to upgrading to Net2, especially if you want/need to use the E-Net Nodes, but as the console only supports Net1 anyway..... and I can think of no good reason to add an Emphasis system, just to get the console on Net2, especially with new consoles as Express/Emphasis replacements in the pipeline.

But here's an even better RFU idea if a console replacement is not in the cards.

http://www.westsidesystems.com/fp/focusphone.html

Eric's Focus Phone allows access to the Channels and console patch on the Express/ion, as it plugs in to the Express/ion RFU port directly where as other Phone remotes I've seen simply interrupt the DMX stream, thus there's no channel access. Or cues, macro's etc...

I'm curious if Eric is still making and/or supporting this device though, as it has been out there a few years. I'm also wondering if it's locked in to the 900mhz phone as described on the website.

A nifty trick would be to have a bunch of the 5.8ghz phone systems/handsets placed around the theater - coves, backstage, etc. available for quick use....

This was that idea planted in my brain by the folks at ETC during my conversation about Ion.

Note that I was told that Ion will support the new Radio Remote Focus Unit, available for Eos, that has the LCD screen.

FWIW, I was also told that while they seemingly are powerful devices, the PDA WiFi based RFU's, were very problematic, with constant WiFi signal dropouts that are related to the MS Pocket PC software. This may well be an ETC issue as I had not heard that about other similar setups with Strand, GrandMA, etc... In any event, ETC has not gone this route for EOS, desiring better control over the device and the software.

Steve B.

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#### jmabray

##### Active Member
FWIW, I was also told that while they seemingly are powerful devices, the PDA WiFi based RFU's, were very problematic, with constant WiFi signal dropouts that are related to the MS Pocket PC software. This may well be an ETC issue as I had not heard that about other similar setups with Strand, GrandMA, etc... In any event, ETC has not gone this route for EOS, desiring better control over the device and the software.

The problem also exists in grand MA world as well. I never had a problem with it in the one Strand system that I installed with it, but I only used the system for about a day and it was on stage with the WAP on stage right....

If I recall correctly it has to do with the pocket PC trying to save power and not allowing for a constant stream of commands back and forth... But I really can't recall...

ETC is coming out with several devices that will be NET 3 compliant. These devices will work on any of the the net 3 consoles - Congo, EOS, ION..... It's really pretty cool to see how all these devices are going to be able to work together....

Jeff

#### Grog12

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Sorry Jmabray... You caught me, I thought the phone was the only option and clearly I'm mistaken.
Nice work finding that old thread. Grog that thread's been around longer than you have. Nice work reading the archives there buddy.
Still have to say I'm surprised Doug Fleenor hasn't come up with a cheaper product.
All props go to avkid....he's the one who found it.

#### avkid

##### Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
All props go to avkid....he's the one who found it.
Not only did I find it, I started it in the first place.

#### Chris Chapman

##### Active Member
There are obvious advantages to upgrading to Net2, especially if you want/need to use the E-Net Nodes, but as the console only supports Net1 anyway..... and I can think of no good reason to add an Emphasis system, just to get the console on Net2, especially with new consoles as Express/Emphasis replacements in the pipeline.
But here's an even better RFU idea if a console replacement is not in the cards.Steve B.
My thoughts exactly. We're gearing up for a bond issue that is at least a year off. The 12K upgrade doesn't include a new board either. That's just Rack backplanes, CEM upgrades, and other Network upgrades. Infra-structure upgrades are NASTY. But at least it's not like "back in the day" and upgrading from AMX to DMX or worse yet, a 100% hardwired SCR to Patchbay upgrade.
I run dimmer per circuit per channel so this little toy would be great for me. Also I don't have any intelligent gear, so again, great RFU option.
Thanks,
-Chris