DMX Lighting

Hi, i have been working with analogue lighting for a couple of years now at my school but we have recently decided to purchase two DMX Scanners for use in music performances. I have been put in charge of these fixtures but havent got a clue on how to set them up and what to buy. So i need to educate myself on DMX before they arrive.

I understand about DIP Switches and the different DMX adresses and the DMX Cable in a 'Daisy Chain' setup.

I am seeing a lot a 'DMX Dimmer Packs' mentioned around on the net but im not sure whether i need these? We are only getting two DMX Scanners that are individually powered. So would i need dimmer packs?

These are the products i am planning on purchasing:
Scanmaster DMX Scan Controller
4 Channel DMX Light Flat Mirrot

The answer to your question is no you do not need dimmer packs, if in fact you are using scanners that have 120v power cords coming off of them. (Can be different for some manufactures though) Usually dmx dimmer packs are for conventional lights that are to be dimmed based on dmx protocoll.

Now, on the otherhand to leave this as simple as can be. If you understand how a dipswitch works and how to address that fixture in your board you should have no real problems. Like you said you would come out of your board into the first fixture and then daisy chaining them so that the next fixtures dmx address starts after the first.(based on how simplistic this sounds)

After looking at what you are purchasing you should be just fine, that controller will do more than what that light can handle. If you are only buying two scanners you are only looking at dealing with 8 channels of dmx. So it should be an easy first time dmx gig.

If you have any furthur questions don't hesitate to ask.
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with intelligent lighting fixtures everything is controlled by channels. some of which include

color wheel

and on the more expensive units

gobo rotator
minor adjustments for X and Y

the first thing you have to detemine how many channels there are going to be then you number accordingly. For example, lets say your fixtures have 7 channels each. The first unit you set the dmx addressing to 1, for the next unit you set the starting address at 8, and for the next you set its starting address as 15.

in your case you set the first unit as 1
the next at 5
the next at 10
and so on

you wouldn't set it as 1,4,8 because channels will over lap
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Very good answer kevin, however just so the guy were talking to doesnt get lost. The fixtures he is talking about don't have intesity or fine pan fine tilt all the other good stuff. They only have color, gobo, pan, tilt, just 4 channels.

And to also help him and some others in your description using your example of 1,5, and 10 respectivelly on 3 fixtures works great for higher end fixtures where you just enter in those numbers on the fixture.

However, with dipswitches you have to convert to hexidecimal.
So 1 would be 1 on and all others off,
5 would be 4 and 1 one on and all others off,
and 10 would be 8 and 2 on and all others off.

Hope this helps
Thanks, thats a great help.

So based on your explanations, i can start both these fixtures on channel 1 and then i can control them both togethor as is they were one fixture?


Yes you could address them as one fixture but you would lose a lot of design capabilities.

They would have to be the same color, display the same gobo, both be on or off and never be able to hit the same spot.

You'll be better served by addressing them independently.
isn't also possible to send it on 2 seperate Dmx "universes"

like plugging one fixture into Dmx out1
and another Dmx out 2
mbandgeek said:
isn't also possible to send it on 2 seperate Dmx "universes"

like plugging one fixture into Dmx out1
and another Dmx out 2
It would, but I doubt that controller has 2 outputs.

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