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ETC Link

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DCATTechie, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    I got a Martin RoboColor 400 at work and wanted to hook it up and was wondering if i could connect the DMX cable to the ETC Link box and then connect it to the board from another ETC link box that's next to my board.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    In theory, yes. What console are you using? Are you really using ETCLink or are you using ETC Net, because my understanding of ETCLink is that it is only designed for dimmer monitoring. So, if you are really using ETCNet (which is most likely) then it is a relatively easy thing to do what you want but I can't tell you how to set it up without knowing what console you are using.
     
  3. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    Im running an ETC Express Express 48/96. And im pretty sure that its ETC Link....its a small black wall mounted box with 3 or 4 ports....dont remember what for though...
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The quick and easy way to tell what you have is by looking at how it is connected. ETCLink uses a 6-pin XLR type connector and is only used for communication with ETC dimming systems. ETCNet uses either Cat5 or BNC to connect to the console. ETCNet can be used with a variety of network nodes including remote video and DMX nodes.

    Now, "a small black wall mounted box" could be anything. If it looks something like this:
    [​IMG]
    then you have the wall mount DMX node. They also make them in 1U rackmount models. My understanding of how the ETCNet nodes communicate with the Express series is that they mimic the console's outputs, so if your console is set so that DMX1 is outputs 1-512 and DMX2 is 513-1024 then any DMX nodes that are connected will be the same, and the other DMX ports won't function (could be wrong here). You also have the ability to connect an RFU and ETCLink to the DMX node. If oyu have more than one node you can connect everything via ethernet using standard network hardware, in your case a switch would be the most cost effective choice.

    Hopefully that is helpful, let us know if you need more.
     
  5. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    If however, it is truly just an ETClink-jack mounted into a box (6-pin XLR female) and you have traced the line and found its companion up near the console (which would ALSO be a 6-pin XLR female jack) then you can use standard 5-pin DMX. The pin orientation is identical (I believe) except for the center 6th pin. However, you will need a 5 pin male-to-male after the box near the console to reverse the gender and give you the correct orientation into the console which would be male 5-pin DMX into the female DMX 512 jack on the back of the console. You are not using the ETC-link to drive the unit, you are just borrowing the line that runs from FOH to the stage for your purposes at the moment.

    Basically, it would be cabled as such:

    Martin RoboColor<F---5-pin DMX----M<F-ETC-link Stage---------------FOH ETC-link-F<M--5-pin DMX adaptor--M>F---5-pin DMX---M<FConsole

    **Note: You might have to toss in another small 5-pin jumper after the adapter if it won't fit into the ETC-link jack--some of the adapters are over sized.

    Now, this is all based on theory. As I remember, ETC-link and DMX use the same cable type and amount of resistance, ETC-link just adds the center 6th pin. If this is true, then your all set. Its sort of an ass-backwards way of doing it, but when your in a jam and don't have any spare DMX and none is already run, it can be done this way. This will work perfectly on the 48/96 which does have ETC-link. Label this cable/adapter set up like NO OTHER. You don't want some kid accidentally plugging ETC-link into the same line that your Martin is on--I would hate to see what that would do. Chances are nothing, but it could also be very bad for the chips in there. You could also, if you are adventurous and skilled enough at soldering, replace the ETC-link jacks with either 5-pin jacks (making sure you use the correct pin orientation) or simply put a male 6-pin jack on the console side so your not using a gender bender.

    I had to get a female-to-female 6-pin jumper made up so that I can use my RFU with ETC-link cable. ETC-link is male to male while RFU is male to female, both 6 pins however. My gender-bender jumper saved me from purchasing a $150 cable when I already had a 100' ETC-link cable but no RFU cable. Sure, I could have just changed out the XLR, but the jumper was a solution that didn't bastardize any gear and made the whole system multi purpose.

    Good luck, and don't EVER force the plugs together if they don't want to go. If they don't click real easily, forget it, they weren't meant to couple.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
  6. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    As a certified ETC technician, if you truly are talking about ETC Link, I am going to have to say not to do what was described above. In addition to DATA There is also power running down the ETC link line either coming from the console, or coming from the dimmer rack - and if you plug DMX wiring into it - even if it does fit - then you run the risk of damaging your robo colors. To top it off, there is an ETC Link terminator that is inline somewhere that could be damaged as well.

    ETC Link is provided mainly for dimmer monitoring, but you can also have an ETC link Station that will recall presets that are recorded into the CEM. The dimmer monitoring can be very simple (included with every system that has link - i.e. rack voltages and dimmer room temperature) to very complex (requiring the use of AF dimmer racks and AF dimmers - where you get actual load recording and it can tell you if your lamp had blown).

    You need to be more specific about what your black boxes are before anyone can tell you what to do. You probably are just talking about a surface mounted ETC provided back box for the DMX1/DMX2/ETC Link faceplate, if I had to guess, and not an actual node of any sorts. A two port node looks like this
    [​IMG]



    You can have 2 port nodes running on an ETC NET1 network (the network type that an Express puts out naitively), but you would also have an LCD screen associated with that, and I havent heard you mention an LCD screen.

    Again the long and the short of it is, dont use the ETC link wiring for anything other than ETC Link. Is it possible for it to work? Yes, but if you damage your fixtures or anything else becuase of it, it would not be covered under any sort of warranty and could cost you up to a couple of thousand dollars in repair work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
  7. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

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    I stand corrected--this is why I put "in theory" in the 3rd paragraph. In terms of actual cabling, I assume it would work, however I did not know about the terminator or the somewhat line voltage inside ETC-Link. Hence to "tape and label" to high heaven idea. But thank you.
     

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