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DMX Nodes

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by McCready00, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. McCready00

    McCready00 Active Member

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    How does it work? and what is the utility?
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    How does what work? What utility? You need to tell us what gear you are talking about as everyone has proprietary ways of communicating with their gear.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I'll take a stab at this. I may be answering the wrong question. Modern lighting consoles are switching from DMX to a variety of Ethernet control systems. For now they are proprietary but in the near future they will be standarized to ACN. The manufacturers of intelligent devices have not made the switch to Ethernet control yet... I think they are waiting for ACN to be implimented first otherwise they have to deal with multiple protocals which would be really a pain for them.

    So someday you'll be able to run a cat 5 cable directly to all your devices. But for now we need a Node to translate the proprietary ethernet control back to DMX. So you run cat 5 to the area near the intelligent device, then plug it into a DMX node which translates it back to DMX.

    DMX nodes can also be used for input devices. If you have a Strand system connected by Ethernet. You can control it with an ETC console by runing the ETC console on a node set to input. This will translate from DMX coming out of the ETC console into Strand's Ethernet language. There is a negative side of using a node to input. The ethernet systems have two-way communication, DMX does not. So if you put a console on one of these networks using a node it can talk to the network but can't listen back... which will become very important when RDM* comes along.

    *RDM= Remote Device Management (Sort of like "plug and play" for lighting systems). In the near future , you will be able to plug an intelligent device in and it will identify itself to the network and your console will know exactly what device you have and where it's at on the network. Making setup easy. ETC and Wybron had a working demo of this recently at LDI 2008.
     
  4. McCready00

    McCready00 Active Member

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    Thanks. I read about the RDM protocol recently. It seems to be very interesting.

    Here is my situation. I might seem very confused and I could not lie about it.

    Here I go:

    At my job, we have a bunch of NSP used for the GrandMAs. Well I understand one of the utility of those when it is time to add universes to the network.

    The reason why I asked this question was when someone told me that the NSP worked as a second "brain" to send out the signals ( as the Grandma is not powerful enough to send a certain amount of data ). So the only "node" I would use here is the NSP, right?

    Now, using a Maxxyz board, which can control over 32 universes, (I might be wrong, but I'm certainly near the truth!) a dmx node was useful to share the data through the universe. We have a bunch of these at the job:

    Pathway Connectivity Inc. - Pathport R-series

    There are two DMX outlets on the rear side. It says the node can manage up to 64 universes. If I plug the Ethernet ra45 cable ( coming from the board ) to the back of the box, how can I share the universes?

    Is there a web site explaining clealy how the networking?

    I've ordered the book called Pratical DMX ( by Nick Mobsby ). Interresting book but I does not talk about it.

    Thanks
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The MA Lighting Network Signal Processor (NSP)can be used to extend the functionality of a GrandMA console. At the most basic, it can function as a DMX node, converting MA-Net from the console to DMX. The NSP can also be used to output DMX from GrandMA OnPC, effectively turing your offline editor into a console. for more detailed info, visit MA Lighting's website.

    In general, DMX nodes for any lighting system, be it MA-Net or Strand ShowNet or ETCNet, can be configured to output any combination of addresses. The console transmits all the universe data that it is capable of controlling over it's proprietary TCP/IP protocol (hopefully soon unified by ACN). Each node can then be configured to output whatever you tell it to. You might have a node that outputs universe 1 on one port and universe 4 on another.

    As for how you configure them, some have onboard configuration, some have a configuration program you can run on a computer and some you configure via web bases software like on your wireless router.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    adding to what Icewolf just said... you can set one port of a DMX node to be output and the other port to be input.

    As for your question about a website. Have you tried the manufacturer's instructions for your node? Check into the manufacturer's instructions and post your questions here.

    Icewolf and I are just well educated users, there are a few CB users who know EVERYTHING about ACN, RDM, and DMX. So ask your toughest questions and we'll all learn.
     

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