Automated Fixtures Elation Dartz 360 Losing sACN Connection

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Hi all,

I am hoping someone might be able to help with a problem I am experiencing. I have four Elation DARTz 360 moving head fixtures. I am using ETCnomad to output sACN to a network switch (Netgear GS108PEv3). From there, it goes out to four places on the catwalk. One of those, is to the first DARTz 360 fixture, then daisy chained to the other three. Another run from the network switch goes to Chauvet Professional Ovation batten fixtures that work in a similar way (into first fixture, then daisy chained to the rest).

Everything works correctly, except the Elation fixtures. They will have connection at first, but then after a few minutes pass, the connection seems to drop. They start flashing their address and don't respond to any commands from Eos. I went through the menu settings, but didn't find anything helpful. They have an option for hibernation, and I turned that off, though I'm not sure what that actually does, but they still are experiencing the same problem.

Is anyone familiar with this problem or can think of a possible solution? Cable runs are all tested and good, network switch works fine, nomad still outputs no problem to all the other fixtures. I even noticed this happening when I was just going straight from laptop to fixture (no switch).

Thank you for any help!
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Location
NY
Everything is receiving sACN directly? Do you have overlapping IP addresses between the elation and ovation fixtures by any chance? Easy possibbly helpful test would be to unplug the ovation network run and see if anything gets better.
 

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Everything is receiving sACN directly? Do you have overlapping IP addresses between the elation and ovation fixtures by any chance? Easy possibbly helpful test would be to unplug the ovation network run and see if anything gets better.
I will try this later today when I get a chance to work on it again, but I don't think it is the problem because it was doing it when I plugged straight to the laptop, and didn't have the Ovations on the line at all.

Are you RJ45 daisy chaining or RJ45 in and DMX after.

If so throw in a 5pin terminator.

If not then either buy a RJ45 terminator or make a DFD one. http://www.dfd.com/t45.html
I am using RJ45 for daisy chaining, no DMX. It is using all sACN protocol.

It sounds like you're using a network cable and sending sACN. Does your network switch support IGMP *and is it enabled*? Does your fixture have a valid IP address and subnet mask? Is your fixture set to listen to sACN (as opposed to ArtNet?) (and is it set to the right universe and address?)
Correct, I am taking CAT5/6 cable and sending sACN. The switch supports IGMP, and is enabled, but I will re-check this when I get back in there later today. The fixtures all show an IP address and subnet mask, and do initially work as expected, but then stop after some amount of time passes with what seems to be no activity. I haven't had it stop working in the middle of running commands, just when I don't send a command for a while (like when I am working on other lights). Not to say it won't just stop in the middle of running my commands, I just haven't had that happen yet. My fixture is set to listen to sACN, not ArtNet. Address and universe are correct. All my sACN fixtures run on universe 2. Again, they work at first, but then stop after some amount of time.

Incase you dont have the manual

http://cdb.s3.amazonaws.com/ItemRelatedFiles/11287/ELATION DARTZ 360 - USER MANUAL.pdf

Page 17 has all the info you need to check it and make sure your settings are correct.
Thank you for supplying a link to the manual, but I do already have it. Some of the names for the settings are actually called something slightly different between the manual and the fixture, but the manual doesn't explain very well what all the settings do, just that I can enable or disable the setting (like net swtich??? what does that do?)
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Location
NY
Have you confirmed that you're on the latest firmware or checked with Elation to see if there are any known issues? That might be my next stop. I'd also be curious to test if you ran in a star configuration instead of daisychaining the cat5 cable if anything changed.
 

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
So I've been working on this problem for hours already today, and if anything, I think I've made negative progress and I am beyond frustrated with these fixtures. I think Monday, I am going to have to try to talk to one of their support people.

Have you confirmed that you're on the latest firmware or checked with Elation to see if there are any known issues? That might be my next stop. I'd also be curious to test if you ran in a star configuration instead of daisychaining the cat5 cable if anything changed.
I believe I am running the most current firmware, and I hope that's the case since I just got these lights maybe not even a month ago brand new. Either way, it seems Elation forces you to buy some little device that plugs into the light in order to upgrade the firmware. Their forum site was not helpful at all, and the only information I found was about updating the firmware to a version well below what I have currently. I gave up and trying to get them all to work and tried going straight between laptop to just one fixture, and that seems to not be working anymore either. I have tried new cables, powering down and back on, factory resets, changing all kinds of settings and IP addresses/subnet masks, but I'm getting nowhere with it.

Spitballing here... If you have an "Energy Efficient Ethernet" adapter it may be powering down on inactivity. The Elations may not like that. Try tweaking the power settings for the laptop's adapter to see if makes any difference.
I thought of that as well, and there is a setting on my adapter for that, but I switched it off, and it hasn't seemed to help.


Thank you to everyone that is helping me out with this, I really appreciate it.
 

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Update: I called their support, but we weren't able to identify the problem. I am headed out for the weekend, but they are suppose to give me a call Monday late morning after they talk to another person at the company about it. Hopefully they can come up with a solution, concert is on Tuesday... If not, I guess I move to plan B (probably more like plan D at this point).
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Wonder if the wireless portion is messing with the hardlines. It can’t decide what settings to use.
 

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Wonder if the wireless portion is messing with the hardlines. It can’t decide what settings to use.
There is a setting in the menu to turn it on or off, and it is set to off, so I don't think that is the issue. The tech support person I spoke with said in the past, they have had some compatibility issues with their fixtures and Eos, but said it usually is due to a software update that is needed... but I am already on the most recent version of Eos.

If I run DMX to the fixtures, they work just fine. I just don't have the available addresses in DMX in the universe that has DMX lines (unless I unpatch some other lights). My other universes are using sACN, but I couldn't convince the powers that a DMX node would be useful yet.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
You could write into the cues or have a sub always up doing something to have the fixtures always be doing something even when they aren’t in use. To keep data running to them to “keep them awake”. Since you did say they work fine while in use.

It’s not the cleanest way to do it but it might work.
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
You could write into the cues or have a sub always up doing something to have the fixtures always be doing something even when they aren’t in use. To keep data running to them to “keep them awake”. Since you did say they work fine while in use.

It’s not the cleanest way to do it but it might work.
I cannot remember what lights, but I had some lights running network in an installation and in order for my console to keep them happy, I had to have *something* changing DMX-wise on that universe on the network DMX (forget if it was ArtNet or sACN). I literally patched a dimmer at address 512 in that universe, put a sine wave effect on it, and left it on running in the background. Didn't have any more problems after that. This could be a workaround that would work!
 

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I cannot remember what lights, but I had some lights running network in an installation and in order for my console to keep them happy, I had to have *something* changing DMX-wise on that universe on the network DMX (forget if it was ArtNet or sACN). I literally patched a dimmer at address 512 in that universe, put a sine wave effect on it, and left it on running in the background. Didn't have any more problems after that. This could be a workaround that would work!
@soundlight & @Amiers An actual dimmer (with no visible load) OR you merely addressed a fictitious dimmer to let the universe THINK it was doing something??
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Scott Lumley

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Location
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Thanks for the suggestions, but sadly, I was wrong in thinking that they wouldn't lose connection while there was changes happening on the universe. I thought that might work, but then I had them running an effect, and they lost connection. After trying to problem solve some more, I can't even get them to establish a connection now. Worst case, just reset to factory defaults, right? Wrong. I don't know what's going on with them, but if the director didn't want them so badly in the show, I would stop trying to figure them out and focus on the other lights. Sadly, I am a one person tech crew, so I can't troubleshoot an issue, and prepare the rest of the lighting and programming at the same time. Looks like today is going to be a long day. Hopefully Elation has some answers for me later this morning/afternoon (darn time zones and business hours).
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
That super sucks.

At this point you might look into getting them on to DMX and just telling the director if you want these you are going to lose these other fixtures.

Maybe marry them all together to save address space or half of some of the stuff on DMX and elations together.
 

sk8rsdad

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Location
Ottawa
According to the manual this fixture has a "Dormancy Mode" which I guess means it goes into standby after a set number of minutes. The default is 15 minutes. It can allegedly be disable from the main menu. There's no mention of what triggers the timeout. Perhaps it's from the last receipt of an IGMP subscription message, which your router or switch should be sending periodically. The manual also emphasizes the need for IGMP.

upload_2019-7-22_8-59-10.png


As others have suggested, switching over to DMX might provide more reliable control.