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Automated Fixtures MAC 500 DMX termination/wheel hall sensor

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by joeboo46, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. joeboo46

    joeboo46 Member

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    Would anyone happen to know if Mac 500's require a DMX terminator at the end of a line of fixtures???

    I searched forums but couldn't find anything.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I have never teminated any MAC units.

    Mike
     
  3. CavezziMagnum

    CavezziMagnum Member

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    I can tell you with 100% confidence that they do not require termination. At least on their own, or with only MAC units in line. This may change with color scrollers, gobo rotators, etc.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. adude23

    adude23 Active Member

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    Mac's don't need termination as most of them have their own!
    Although as others have said if you're using other items in your chain such as foggers, strobes or any other lighting fixture you will have to terminate!
    As a rule of thumb i terminate all chains anyway,
    ~Adude~
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    ALL DMX CHAINS REQUIRE TERMINATION! It is just that it usually works without it so many people don't bother. However, termination is in the specification. In fact, it has been the conclusion on CB of late that the only fixture that we can think of that is self terminating is the ETC Source Four Revolution, and I can prove that.

    Here is the instructions from page 8 of the MAC 500 Manual:
    3. Insert a male 120 Ω XLR termination plug in the output of the last fixture on the link.
     
    joeboo46 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Agreed, temination is always required. Why not, it's only a couple of bucks and just might save the day.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    :mad::!::mad: See this thread: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/9116-dmx-termination-plug.html#post105377.

    The ETC Revolution is the only documented fixture that has built-in auto-termination, done via a special Neutrik female receptacle with an integral micro-switch.

    The above being said, I terminate only IF I have a problem, or with certain pre-known fixtures. MACs in particular seem not to mind, in my experience. But with any hint of problem, it's the first thing I do.
     
  8. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    It's required based on the standard. But termination is one of those things where 90% of the time you can get away without it. But the other 10% of the time it's a real killer, and usually the fixtures start being goofy when you have no time to deal with it.

    Someone once said "If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, how will you have the time to do it over?"
     
  9. joeboo46

    joeboo46 Member

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    OK I do under stand DMX should always be terminated . . . . Thank you for the answers. I am trying to trace down a problem I am having with a MAC 500 at the end of a 6 fixture line. This problem began occurring about 2 weeks ago (the fixture always has had a terminator in it) However I am trying to find out if it is an absolute need to be terminated situation or if the fixtures were self terminating i'm pretty sure there are more self terminating fixtures than the REVOLUTION. I have swapped the fixture now twice with replacements from the shop and am still having the same problem (also swapped the data cable and tried swapping back to an older version of the show to make sure it wasn't some funky programming thing) but have not tried a new terminator it would have been my last guess and now is.
    I guess the way I should have asked the question is: "Is the Maritin MAC 500 a DMX self terminating fixture? But this question has already been answered.
    Thanks for all your answers.
    I guess I'll go haul my self into the truss and change the terminator now and see if it makes it through the show tonite.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I once had a similar issue (with VL1000s) and eventually found the problem to be a bad cable between fixtures 4 & 5, but #6 was the only one that acted up. I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear.:(

    See also this thread: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/8929-wacky-dmx-issues.html.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would also propose that you try a different output on your splitter or console if possible. It may be that the DMX transmitter (for lack of a better term) is acting up.
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Check your cable, as well as your opto. Also, you might want to try a different address for the fixture. DMX issues can be a black art, try a few different things.
     
  13. joeboo46

    joeboo46 Member

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    Well got through the show tonight minus now 2 Mac500's doing the same thing . . . Weird part is truss has two optos on it one at each end of the truss and have two different data lines, one unit is at the end of the line on one side, and now same problem in the middle of the line on the other side. Anyone know of any bad software upgrades that may have made their way into these macs. Two new (from shop) units now have the same problem. They are two different home runs from dimmer beach. This is beyond me. . .
     
  14. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    When I get fixtures wonky there's a bunch of tests I usually do:

    Reboot the desk, which is the easiest.

    1. Change the dmx address if possible.
    2. Open a new show on the desk with no programming and start from there.
    3. Run a direct line from desk to the fixture.
    4. Try a completely different desk.
    5. If I'm down to this, it's bad news, but I start at the desk and replace data cables one by one, which sucks.
    6. Delete the fixture configuration completely, reboot the fixture(s) and the desk, then re-install the fixture profile and then re-program the whole stupid thing.
    7. Give it a really good percussive adjustment (i.e., beat the crap out of it) and blame it on the shop techs.
     
  15. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    Not sure if this affects the MAC500 but I know that on some older Martin fixtures, they swapped pins 2 and 3 (correct me if I'm wrong) for their own Martin Protocol.

    Also, going out on a whim here, is there such thing as a Martin Protocol mode, like in a menu where DMX protocol is another option? Don't know if the fixture automatically detects the correct protocol or if you have to set it.
     
  16. abbyt

    abbyt Member

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    Can you describe exactly what behavior the fixtures are exhibiting? Are they not responding at all? Are they responding erratically? Do they work fine for a while, and randomly start twitching?

    Also, I know you said you replaced the questionable fixtures with two from the shop. I can't remember if this was suggested yet, but a simple test, before you start to really dig into it and start replacing all of your cabling, would be to take a known good fixture and assign it the same DMX address as the problem fixture...then take the known good fixture DMX address and assign it to the problem fixture. *Only change one thing at a time between testing!*

    Let us know how your troubleshooting progresses...
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    [user]len[/user], I'd put "try a different output on the opto" as step #3A. Also, since in this case it's only one unit malfunctioning, shouldn't replacing the fixture be step #3B?

    DCATTechie: 1. The MAC500 was the first to allow the pin "2&3 swap/non-swap" internally. 2. Yes, there is a Martin protocol setting in the fixture's menu. Since the OP has tried multiple fixtures in the location, it's highly unlikely the problem is either of the above. But it certainly doesn't hurt to verify all the menu settings before replacing the fixture.
     
  18. joeboo46

    joeboo46 Member

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    OK so today we are trying a new opto on one side and see what happens tonite . . Fortunately, being a touring situation I only have enough time to try one thing at a time LOL today the opto tomorrow the 4ft jumps between the units, next time reloading software on the console, day after that software on fixtures. Trying everything.

    Someone had asked what the fixture are doing specifically. Well, they power up fine every day we dome focus points (just fine) they sit for about 3 hours in open white the show starts about 15 minutes in the dousers close and the go into a color roll and a soft reset will not stop it. If you need more information let me know but that is about what they are doing consistently. I personally think it may be a glitch with the programming thay may have been caused by a power spike, surge, etc. that is not correcting itself.
     
  19. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Do they do a recal on their own before/when the douser closes? Does a hard-reset make the fixture behave?

    I think you might be onto something suspecting a dodgy power issue. How are your fixtures circuited? Are the units set for 120V, 208V, (assuming US), or other? Maybe when the (each?) venue's ice machine or HVAC turns on/off you get a brown-out/surge/spike, but one would think it would be more than just one location acting up. Is it more than one fixture location? (Rhetorical question): Do you have a BMI to monitor the incoming service(s)?

    If it's programming, should be easy to prove. Are any outputs, including modulators, moving during "about 15 minutes in"?

    (Sorry in advance if, to you, the above appear to be elementary questions.)
     
  20. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Could it be that the "dousers" are running the unit through its reset state as they close (a problem with MAC250's if you run the shutter the wrong way), but I would have to know if by "douser" you mean the dimmer or shutter.

    Mike
     

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