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DMX Help

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by GavMJM, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. GavMJM

    GavMJM Member

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    Hey there :)

    Having never actually set up a dimmer before, just operated one, I'm a bit stuck. Some smart-ass has changed all the DMX address settings, and I haven't a clue how to set them.

    I've also posted this on the Zero88 support forums, but they're about as inactive as my umbilical cord.

    We have 4x Zero88 Betapack 2 Dimmers, and a Zero88 Frog Lighting Desk. Basically, we'd like it so pushing fader 1 up on the lighting desk puts whatever is in plug one on the first dimmer does so too. Very basic really, we don't really need to use anything fancy for this particular concert.

    Has anyone any idea what I should set the DMX addresses on each dimmer to, and does anyone know if anything needs to be done on the lighting desk to get this working?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Are you sure this is a dimmer issue and not a patch issue?

    Check the boards patch before dealing with the dimmers. I'm sure on the Zero88 website you can find the manual and that will help with this endeavour as I've never actually used tha tboard.
     
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  3. GavMJM

    GavMJM Member

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    Sorry to sound stupid, but I'm afraid you lost me there! What's 'a patch issue' ?

    Thanks.
     
  4. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I am not familiar with the frog dimmers but in a nut shell for your application you will be setting your first dimmer at DMX address 1, now for each channel of the dimmer pack that will be the next dmx address, in some packs you have to assign each channel a dmx address, others are done automatically and cannot be changed. According to the manual for the betapack 3 these can be done either way. Hopefully this will help you http://common.zero88.com/public/files/IM8025Betapack3ManualIssue1_0.pdf
    When moving onto the next dimmer pack, its dmx address will be 7 (assuming the first pack has 6 channels) then the first channel next pack will be 13 (once again assuming pack has 6 channels) hopefully this helps. Now if they screwed up the patch on the console and not the dimmers than you do not need to touch the dimmers.

    If you need to patch the console, you can try this link, its for the Frog II. http://common.zero88.com/public/files/Frog2QuickStartGuideIssue4.2.pdf

    One of the first things you can try is if you have a show already saved on disk, then reload the show and it will reload your patch.
     
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  5. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Okay, first off you need to figure out what has gone screwy.

    Check first your DMX address switches on the dimmers. First see what your first pack is addressed to (this is probably 0 or 1; and it could also be binary; I'm too lazy to look at the manuals for these right now). See then if your second pack starts at the number after the end of your first pack, and so on in that manner. This would probably be 1, 7, 13, and the like.

    If your DMX addressing on the dimmers is reasonable, then what you have is a patch issue. Patch being either softpatch in the console, or hardpatch between dimmers and circuits. Softpatch allows you to assign a DMX address to a channel handle, and Hardpatch allows you to physically put a load circuit onto the output terminals of a dimmer.

    Both types of patch allow you to set things up, as most lighting guys do, so that handle 1 is usually not operating circuit 1, but is instead some logical thing, like downstage right frontlight (which might be circuits 19 and 24); and channel 2 is down-right-center front (on circuits 17 and 21), and so on.
     
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  6. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Whatever happened to good teachers who tought this stuff in school, oh wait i taught the class, anywho.... Lighting 101
    First all of the world was dark.....
    Moving on a few million years......

    Dmx 101

    Think of Dmx like a telephone system. You have telephone numbers 1-512 (DMX 512). The console just puts out the 512 Channels of DMX. The dimmers must know what channel of the 512 channels they are assigned to (Patching). So you must tell the console how many dimmer channels you have. (say you have 24 dimmers). You can patch those 24 dimmers on any of the 512 channels. But out of practice and for the sake of frustration down the road, patch the console, then the dimmers at your first availiable start channel, which would be 1. (jumping back a few steps, with the frog, and many other moving light consoles, you must first tell the console how many dimmers and fixtures (moving light, scroller, and other dmx toys) you have. You do not need to tell the console i have 24 source 4s due to those are on dimmers. So you will need to make your console patch match the patch on the dimmers. So you patch dimmers 1-24 on the console, then you patch dimmers 1-24.

    Back to the telephone analogy, you have 512 telephone numbers in one dmx universe (dmx output port that is located on the back of the console). But in order for the console to "callup" the dimmers correctly, you must first get the console to generate their phone numbers (while this can be really easy with dimmers patching gets a lot more confusing when it comes to large moving light rigs). So you tell the console i have 24 dimmers. Now you will want to patch those 24 dimmers so they will start at your first free dmx address (assuming there is nothing patched on the console) which will be 1. So you tell the console to patch dimmers 1-24 to dmx address 1-24. (commonly on consoles you do this by going dimmer 1-24 @ 1. And then it will patch accordingly. So now your console will know channels 1-24 call dimmers, but the dimmers do not know that yet. So you will have to make the dimmer patch match the console patch. (1-to-1 patching) Channel 1 of the console will bring up dimmer 1, channel 2 of the console will bring up dimmer 2, and so forth.
     
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  7. GavMJM

    GavMJM Member

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    Thanks, got it totally now, will read through the Frog manual tonight. It's total overkill for what we use it for, we don't have any moving lights, we essentially just use it to put 48 bog standard lights on, and off. :p

    Thanks all.
     
  8. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Ujjal's DMX512 Pages....DMX512 How & what ?

    This website is very informative, and explains things very well as far as how dmx works, and how consoles control dimmers. Lots of learning to be done with this page.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Nice teaching summary Tim... You beat me to it.

    Gav look for something like "Reset Patch 1 to 1", "Patching", "soft patch". The reset patch 1 to 1 is a nice feature that set's everything back. You may have to do it manualing in which case there will be some sort of screen with a column for the channel (the number you want the board to think of it as) and dimmer (the dmx address of the dimmer you want to assign to that channel).
     
  10. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    First download the pdf manuals from the links above. If you are absolutely sure you want to trash out all the prior settings, then here is your sequence:

    Clear All > Set Dimmers > Set Board Patch

    Clear:
    Reset dimmers to factory default (see manual.) Reset board to new factory default. (see manual)

    Set Dimmers:
    Set your starting addresses at (DMX) 1, 7, 13, 19 on each of your 4 packs. Set your pack features. (DMX fail tells the pack what to do if communication with the board is lost, Hold- keeps the dimmer at the last value the board sent, Fade- tells the dimmer to drop all the channels to blackout.)

    Set Board Patch:
    (see manual) Sounds like you are looking for a one-to-one patch. In other words, channel 1 equals DMX 1, channel 2 equals DMX2 etc.

    Once you have done this, the 24 board channels will each operate one of the dimmer channels, and they will be in sequence. It will also get you in a heck of a lot of trouble if the person that customized the settings returns and is in a higher authority level then yourself ;)


    EDIT: Looks like I type too slow! You appear to have the answers above!
     
  11. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My favorite analogy ever for addressing DMX is this...

    "Setting the wrong DMX address can be as bad as putting the wrong address on your electric bill... Either way the lights won't come on!"
     
  12. GavMJM

    GavMJM Member

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    Just wanna give a big thanks to everyone who helped me here, the show went off without a hitch, lights are all working, and we learnt a lot in the process.

    THANK YOU :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Shameless plug to all:

    If you have found the information provided to be useful and/or informative, consider donating today. ControlBooth.com receives no corporate underwriting, nor government subsidies, and is solely member-supported. Free advice ain't cheap, and cheap advice ain't free. Thank you.

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  14. GavMJM

    GavMJM Member

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    Despite being so blunt, I've donated three bucks to the forum.

    Enjoy :grin:
     
  15. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    (and here is the sinceless message to take up more characters so i can post LOL)
     

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