I got my website up - yay!

DMXtools

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Location
Elgin, IL, USA
:D I got a fixed IP address from my ISP and I'm hosting it on my own Linux server. It's http://www.dmx-tools.com.

As I've mentioned in other posts, I'm basically an electronics engineer with a hobby doing sound and lights for local-band punk rock shows. When I was laid off from my job of 24 years, I decided to start my own business, designing and building some lighting gadgets I needed for my own system - low-cost translators to go from DMX to microplex and microplex to DMX. The website is primarily to promote those gadgets.

However, I'm the ultimate techno-geek. For those with similar geekish tendencies, the "support" section includes pretty good explanations of DMX-512 and of the older mic-cable multiplex schemes. I tried to break it down to where you don't need an engineering degree to understand them. I'll soon be doing a similar analysis of AMX-192, to go with the release of my next product, an AMX-192 to DMX-512 translator.

A subsection of "support" is called "for geeks only." Here I've posted the electrical schematics and calibration procedures for my current products and will shortly be adding "theory of operations" pages. As I release new products, I'll post similar information about them. If you're really into taking stuff apart to figure out how it works, this section is for you. For anyone else, it'll probably be as exciting as watching paint dry.

Anyhow, please check out my website and let me know what you think. I've learned a lot from ControlBooth.com. I want to give something back, so if anyone is upgrading an older system and needs to run NSI microplex, Leprecon, Lightronics, James Lighting or Sunn dimmers from a DMX-512 board, registered ControlBooth members get any of my translators at dealer cost.

John
 

zac850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
Cool!!!!

you can also make a bit of money on the side if you host people...if you have your own server and all, and it dosen't seem slow, just load up a few more cpanels and your in bisness!!!
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
Nice site & nice toys.. I forwarded the link to a sales friend in the lighting business to investigate...maybe they will want to carry your products and re-sell them for you locally to installation customers..like them being a dealer for your product etc.

No guarentee's..just passed on the info cause I thought they may be interested. Solutions in lighting are always a big issue for them to promote.

-wolf
 

DMXtools

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Location
Elgin, IL, USA
Thanks, Wolf, for the kind words... and for the plug! Totally unexpected, so appreciated even more :D

Next gadget up will be an AMX-192 (also known as SMX - the old Strand protocol) to DMX-512 translator. The last of the parts for prototypes are due in tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 15). If my test and debug work goes well, it'll be out on the market in late January. It'll be the same size and shape as the DMX-MPX translator and in the same price range.

I don't expect to get rich on my little gadgets, but it would be nice to sell enough of them that I don't have to go back to working for someone else. And it's a huge boost to my ego when somebody tells me one of my translators has helped him build up a better lighting system on a tight budget.

John
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
DMXtools said:
Thanks, Wolf, for the kind words... and for the plug! Totally unexpected, so appreciated even more :D

Next gadget up will be an AMX-192 (also known as SMX - the old Strand protocol) to DMX-512 translator. The last of the parts for prototypes are due in tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 15). If my test and debug work goes well, it'll be out on the market in late January. It'll be the same size and shape as the DMX-MPX translator and in the same price range.

I don't expect to get rich on my little gadgets, but it would be nice to sell enough of them that I don't have to go back to working for someone else. And it's a huge boost to my ego when somebody tells me one of my translators has helped him build up a better lighting system on a tight budget.

John
you are quite welcome..you may wish to puta "coming soon" section on your website about the strand protocal thing--since the folks I suggested you to are one of the larger Strand dealers & Strand authorized service folks on the eastcoast...

-wolf
 

MrLights

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
SMX

wolf825 said:
DMXtools said:
Thanks, Wolf, for the kind words... and for the plug! Totally unexpected, so appreciated even more :D

Next gadget up will be an AMX-192 (also known as SMX - the old Strand protocol) to DMX-512 translator.

AMX-192 is in no way related to Strand SMX. SMX is a digital protocol that was conceived in 1993 & published (as an open standard) in 1996.
The concept was to take the, then new, DMX protocol several stages further.
First off it was bi-directional. It also had bulit into it full support for moving lights (which at that time used a protocol called MRL -and a few others).
SMX, being 2 way, had the ability to tell the console what moving lights were connected as well as other usefull stuff like present posistion.

Unfourtantly it was just far too complex for other manufactures to adopt and fell by the wayside about 1993. In the meantime DMX-1990 became established and was (as we know) rapidly adopted for moving lights as well as dimmers.

For information possibly the first multiplex protocol to emerge was developed by Strand in 1973 for use with the (then) very successfull MMS console.
The protocol was very similar to a 625 line 1/2 frame composite video signal. Frame sync was (well) frame with line sync representing each channal. Channal level was represented by the luminance component of the signal. A total of 384 channals could be carried.
Transmission medium was 75 ohm coax to a demultiplexer located in the dimmer room.
Later on (1983) the timings, and output drivers, were altered to permit transmission down microphone cable.
This adoption was placed in the public domain as D54. This could carry 384 channals 1km over good quality microphone cable. Very few other manufacturs adopted it.
In 1985 the D54 receive tolerances were tweeked, along with those of the USA developed AMX-192 so that they could interchange, subject to obvious channal capacity limitations.
For those unaware AMX-192 featured a seperate (balanced) cable pair for the sync signal.
D54 receivers were from 1985 fitted with a seperate sync input to permit connection of an AMX-192 console. I am not sure is anyone in the USA made D54 sync seperators.

John Wright
Strand Lighting European service manager.
 

DMXtools

Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Location
Elgin, IL, USA
Thanks, John,
I stand corrected. However, I've seen a couple consoles with a 4-pin XLR-style connector labeled "SMX (AMX-192)." Coupled with a paragraph in the USITT AMX-192 specification which states in part "... the origins of this Standard come from a control protocol originally developed by Strand Lighting (Strand Century Inc.)." and a few other references I've seen that seem to indicate that they were the same, it seems I've repeated erroneous information. Thanks for setting the record straight.

John