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Martin Protocol with DMX

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by soundlight, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    So the venue that I just started working at has alot of unused equipment that I will be ressurecting. Namely older martin gear: 2 roboscan 518s, 2 roboscan 812s, 5 acrobats, and a 1200w centrepiece. It's all controlled by an MLC16, which already has everything patched in. Currently, all of the lights are over the dance floor. I plan to move the 812s and 518s to the stage. To do this, I will run a DMX run either down the snake or along the ceiling from the dance floor lighting DMX points.

    Now to my question: what is the difference between 3-pin DMX and the Martin protocol that is used for the 518s and the 812s? I've heard from some that it's just pin 2 and 3 swapped, but I haven't done enough research to confirm this. I'd like to make some adapters that I can put on the backs of the fixtures that turn DMX in to martin protocol and then martin protocol back in to DMX to hook to, say, one of the Colorsplash Jrs that I'll be getting soon. Could I simply do this by making adapters that are simply pin 2 and 3 crossover cables?
     
  2. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's all it takes IN MOST CIRCUMSTANCES. The 518 will work fine if you swap pin 2 and 3. Also remember that if you have other instruments on the data stream after the 518, you must switch pin 2 and 3 BACK so that the other instruments will respond correctly as well.

    A couple other things which may or may not apply:

    1. Some older Martin products use a COMPLETELY different Martin protocol. You can tell because there will only be six or eight dip switches to set the address with. They can be controlled via dmx, but it's a pain. You'll need to get a protocol converter, and you'll need one converter for every different kind of fixture. Say you have 4 of the old 1005 and 4 robocolor II. You'll need two different converters, one for each. It's the same converter box, but it will only work with one type of fixture at a time.

    2. DO NOT use the dj-market dmx splitters or controllers with a polarity switch built in. Chauvet makes one, as do many others. They are fraught with reliability problems. Your best bet is to just re-solder a piece of cable and mark it with some color tape you don't use anywhere else. Cheaper, too.

    3. If you have issues with some other dmx instrument not responding that is on the same chain as your swapped devices, don't panic. Get a splitter, a different universe, whatever, and get it off the chain. It happens all the time, but it's no big deal if you just keep them separate.

    4. You can upgrade the lamp in the 518 to a 250 watt, but you'll need to get a heavier ceramic. They're available from Martin, IIRC. They will run a little hotter, so I suggest sending a lamp off command to them at the end of the night and let the fans run for 10 minutes before you power them down.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    http://www.bucknell.edu/x2464.xml

    Full inventory, minus the lightjockey computer. It bit the dust long before I arrived, so the MLC16 is the only controller now. Not bad, though, I really like it.

    From what I can tell, our 518s were upgraded upon install (8 years ago) to the 250 watt lamps. It's a great fixture, and I plan to make the best of them.

    I plan to make some 3-pin dmx crossover cables to get things right on the stage, and leave the ROBODMX converter with the dance floor lighting in case the Acrobats or the Centrepiece get snarky about their protocol. The 518 and 812 both specify 3-pin crossover cables in their manuals, so I should be good to go.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    You might want to see if the Audio Dept. has any "phase rev" adapters, like the PRX from Markertek. If it works, then you can build your own, either from an A3M & A3F, or Switchcraft #S3FM.

    Edit:
    What's the difference between these two?
    Two DE-575 S4PAR-EA with color, 4 lenses, L520 connector, HPL575/115x Lamp
    Four DG-575 S4PAR-EA with color, 4 lenses, L520 connector, HPL575/115x Lamp

    And what's an XRL?:rolleyes:
    Two Martin 920630 Opto-Isolator 3 pin XRL data distributor with pass through
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The two different source four pars are just in different places - maybe it was a different serial number prefix or something like that, no clue.

    And in response to the second, I don't do website maintenance. Don't get me started on how out of date the theatre department's gear list is on the website.
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Instrumentation in the Tustin Studio looks great: "Various other junk".
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I did a major digital overhaul in Tustin this year. Full digital console and rackmount DSP upgrade, and capability to run 12 channels playback from our Audiofire 12 interface to the console through the patchbay. Two ethernet switches and ability to control the console (LS9) from down in the house on the tech table. The Qlab computer can also be controlled from the tech table.

    About the XLR connectors: I'm at college. We have XLR connectors. We have more XLR connectors than we can get people to wire up for us for class lab hours. However, I might get some of those Audiopile polarity reversers.
     
  10. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    I just reverse the wires in the sockets on the lights, quick, easy, cheap, foolproof.
     
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Yea, never thought about that, but it does make a lot of sense, never have to worry about it again.
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I refer to the quote in your signature. I'm not allowed to modify the lights.
     
  13. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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  14. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    You'd have to reverse BOTH the input and the output. If you don't then you'll get no data downstream of the first swapped fixture.
     
  15. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I think David is referring to situations where he is integrating older Martin Protocal lights with newer gear and DMX based boards.
     
  16. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I'm a lot of martin products there are internal dip switches, that allow you to switch it from DMX to Martin. In others its built into the software to automatically detect.
     
  17. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter. You still need to put the dmx flow back to standard protocol after every fixture were you to change the input wiring on every fixture.

    For example, let's say you have a dmx line that is board >> 518 >> 518 >> HES 250 etc. IIRC, pin 2 is hot from the board, but it doesn't matter for this. So if you reverse the first 518 input, pin 3 becomes hot. Then it outputs pin 3 hot. If the second 518 input is also reversed as the data flows in it will reverse BACK from pin 3 hot to pin 2 hot, which will render the second fixture useless. The only way to overcome that is to reverse BOTH the input and output.

    My point is and remains that when integrating older Martin fixtures that require a pin swap, you need to make sure that the flow of data is consistent from fixture to fixture. And if you swap pin 2 and 3 internally on just the input of all of them, you need to do it to the output as well. This is why making a cable is more efficient in the long run as it doesn't require specific data runs to a specific fixture or changing over every data port. I used to carry 518s into venues all over the midwest and swapping pins internally was long considered. But the amount of work versus making 2 - 3 pin swap (and the 518 were still under warranty, which might have been voided as well) was ruled out because it was always more work than remembering a cable.
     
  18. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Of course I swap pins on input and output, I assumed that would be understood, I should have remembered the first rule of fault finding, "never assume anything"
     
  19. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Uh, can you tell I wasn't thinking when I read your post? I thought you were talking about output from the board! :oops:

    Right, right, of course, makes perfect sense.
     

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