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How do I run my desk from my laptop?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by erosing, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I've heard people talking about it, and I was wondering how you do this, it is an ETC Express board, the series skips my mind at the moment, but what do I need to be able to do this?

    Thanks
     
  2. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    no, you ca use the offline editor to prepare shows, but the ETC Express does not offer connectivity to a computer. You can use ETCNet for certain things through your omputer (kinda like Emphasis), but thats about it.
     
  3. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Which, BTW, if you have the desk there why would you want to run it off a PC anyways?
     
  4. SketchyCroftPpl

    SketchyCroftPpl Active Member

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    I'm not sure about any types of software but wouldn't you also need something like a DMX Dongle in this case? Or have new boards become advanced enough that you can just plug into them?

    ~Nick
     
  5. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I wanted to run it from my computer so that I wouldn't have to move the desk out of the booth for tech week, don't ask why but we do.

    Nick, I was thinking that I probably needed some kind of dongle, because we have an older board, but I don't know about the new ones.
     
  6. SketchyCroftPpl

    SketchyCroftPpl Active Member

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    I don't know much about dongles cept that they are very expensive. Unless you have a rather large budget, which you may, I think it might just be more worth it to move the desk.
     
  7. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Active Member

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    a dongle would allow you to run the show sans the board, using only your computer.


    I don' tknow anything about those boards, but it sounds like you could get an offline editor that would allow you to program the show on your computer, then save it to a disk, then load it on the board.
     
  8. jfbach

    jfbach Member

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    now... what can you do with ETCnet? and do you just run an ethernet cable into there and bam... it works? or do you have to do some programming to make it work properly. Also, I thought ETCNet didn't do that, only ETCNet2 did?
     
  9. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Express has Net2, so that is all that applies right now. With ETCNet2, there is an RJ-45 connector on the back of the Express. You can NOT just run a standard ether cable to your comp. I know that because I tried. However, this is just a basic rule of networking. You would have to use a crossover patch cable or run it to a router or hub then to the comp. Then from the hub you could also run it to the dimmers, if ETC, and even to a wireless access point. Then you can hook up nodes too, wired or if you have the wireless stuff, wireless using WiFi like 802.11 a/b/g whatever you use. Oh and remote video displayst can be plugged in too. The thing I don't know is what you can do on the comp. I doubt EXP-Offline sends Net2 signals, but there is the ETCNet2 configuration editor. I haven't had a chance to play around with that yet, but next time I haul my cable bag and a router to the theatre, I hope to figure it out.

    And for the record, I believe there is up to Net4, but again it is useless on Express.

    I'm waiting for ACN to get big.
     
  10. koncept

    koncept Active Member

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    strand has the ability to use palms as does etc to control the board. i think there are programs you can use on a laptop and folow the networking rules and have that work.
     
  11. kingfisher1

    kingfisher1 Active Member

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    Is it really that big of a deal to move the board?
     
  12. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    I have a program called showxpress that compleatly runs off computer

    (i don't use the DMX side of it it has a virtual stage i just play around with lights in it gr8 fun)
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Could you just get a remote control unit?
     
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    You cannot do remote terminal on a plain vanilla Express, except via a dedicated hard wired Express Remote Focus Unit, and/or the radio RFU

    The Express does NOT support Net2 either, so the RJ45 jack will not allow Net2 access. The Express/ion series are Net1 ONLY and as such, only support Net1 remote video interfaces, or Net1 remotes with RFU and video

    In order to use Net2 and/or remote terminal, you need to upgrade to Emphasis, which has Net2 embedded. Note that if you upgrade to Emphasis, any existing Net1 RVI's are obsolete and not upgradable, so factor that cost in as well.

    With Emphasis, you can run (or so ETC tells me) a remote PC in Windows XP remote terminal mode, though this was not something that ETC supported (as of summer 04).

    I wpuld guess that the least expensive way to get a remote, would be hard-wired RFU.

    SB
     
  15. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Exactly as said it may be better to just move the board. There are other options around it depending on what you need to do exactly, but they'll probably be more time consuming and complicated than moving the desk.
    As for dongles, they may or not be expensive, depending on the dongle you get. HogPC dongles go up to $7K, LJ2 goes for about $2K...
     
  16. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Oops yeah Net1 is Express. Sorry about the misinformation.
     
  17. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Well, no not exactly. We need to examine how the signaling between a hub/switch and an end device works on standard utp cabling in order to understand this.

    There are transmit and receive pins on your PC and the hub/switch/etc. This is standard numbering, that is, pin 2 on your PC corresponds to pin 2 on your hub and so on. So, if pin 2 is the transmit pin, and you have a straight thru cable, then the transmit pin is corresponding to the transmit pin as opposed to the transmit pin on one end corresponding to the receive pin on the other end. This is where we need hte crossover cable - the conductors in the cable are laid out in reverse on either end. A hub/switch actually internally reverses the transmit/receive pin numberings so that you do not need a cross-over cable from your PC to the hub/switch. Instead we use a straight thru cable.

    If you need to connect two PCs directly (or a console ot a PC for example), we need a crossover cable in order to get T & R corresponding with T & R at hte other end. The same goes for two hubs, switches, etc.

    Many hubs have a little hardware switch you can push labeled uplink or mdi/mdi-x and it will electrically reverse the pinouts on teh port so you can connect two hubs/switches/etc together. Newer Cisco switching gear has a software option to make a port an mdix port and thus an uplink port. In practice usually we just use a cross over cable.

    It's also worth noting that you'll usually find fiber optic uplink ports on switches to be SC connectors which is a type of connector that is one per strand so you can reverse which side they go into on one end. Otherwise with something like an LC or MTRJ connector, you'e got a single molded piece that you can't flip on the other end.
     
  18. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys

    i have to use a zero88 jester for a production is their any simple way of connecting my computer to it

    also does anyone one know where can find an offline editor so i can get more of a feel for the desk
     
  19. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  20. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing they want this so as to be able to remote focus some lights.

    Just to clear up a few under-statements about pc based dmx:

    1. All pc based dmx systems require some sort of box to convert the signal to dmx. It's usually an output from the USB port. The box can run from $60 to over $3000, depending on which version you buy. Martin used to make a parallel port dongle, but it only works on pre Windows ME operating systems. There are several pc card based options that Martin makes, ISA, PCI cards, etc. But they require a full sized tower or desktop, which is probably just as much trouble to move around as the ETC board.

    2. Some systems have a dmx in ability, some don't. It more or less depends on the dongle you use.

    3. Most of them don't like running on Mac systems with the Windows emulator type software. No personal experience on this, just repeating what I've been told.

    4. If you were using the dmx output of one of these to remote focus lights, it would work, but you would have to have the dongle in order to have any real world results. Otherwise, you would be depending on the visualizer included with most of the software and that seems redundant for this application.
     

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