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Automated Fixtures Microvision FX & Intelligent lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Drewdesign, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    Hey Everyone

    I just wanted some advise to hooking 4 party lights up to ETC Microvision FX. I know there is a way but don't know how. Has any one done this?
     
  2. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Normal DMX should do it for a connection...it's just programming that is going to be a pain.

    You're most likely going to need to make adapters for 5-pin to 3-pin DMX
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    What exactly do you mean by "Party lights"?
     
  4. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    2 mighty scans
    2 intimidator spots
     
  5. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you'll be able to control them, but as mentioned, the programming's kinda gonna suck. At least it's the FX version and not the original Microvision, Derek's favorite board!
     
  6. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    What does FX stand for?
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Oh come on, use a little bit if inference here!
     
  8. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    No idea:rolleyes:
     
  9. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    ... FX is a phonetic spelling of the word Effects. The Microvision FX was designed specifically for small effects displays. If you can get the manual then it will tell you how to program specific effects. You're biggest problem will most likely be making some 5-pin to 3-pin DMX converters..and even that wont be very difficult. We have a Microvision FX at my work and it's a nice little board for the basic stuff...wouldn't want to run a whole show off it though. I much prefer the Express 125 and 48/96
     
  10. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    Can't you buy the converter?
     
  11. Drewdesign

    Drewdesign Member

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    I would rather work with the new ETC Ion. I've used it for 4 show already and its nice. I love the moving light options it has.
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    It's not exactly a converter, it's more of a cable adapter that takes the 3 used pins of a 5-pin DMX cable and puts them in a 3-pin XLR connector, which is the common connector for all DJ DMX gear and some semi-pro gear and older Martin gear as well.

    Do you have the manual?
     
  13. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    You can...they are readily available at any major lighting supplier...I personally just prefer to make my own as I already have all the connectors. DMX only needs 3 wires, the other two are for future use... Pin 1 is Shield, Pin 2 is Data (-) and Pin 3 is Data (+) and it's the same on 5-pin as it is on 3-pin so a simple converter can be made with a soldering iron...the two connectors and some balanced mic cable.
     
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a couple of Dereks S4 table lamps, sans lamp shade, just some gel installed. Perfect for the Man Cave.

    SB
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Keep up, [user]SteveB[/user]. Derek's S4 lamp is now rockin' one of these.
    [​IMG]

    [user]Drewdesign[/user], plug the lights into the wall, NOT into dimmers. Build yourself a Male 5pin XLR to Female 3pin XLR adapter, or buy one of these (last item on the page) for $2.96. You SHOULDN'T use mic cable to connect the fixtures, but you probably can, depending on how critical these fixtures are to the production; or if it's a rave. Address the lights, softpatch the DMX addresses (aka "dimmers") into Contol Channels, and you're ready to program.

    I would suggest choosing control channels so the fixtures make sense on the screen, e.g.: see PDF attachment.
    You're not going to get fancy figure 8's or circles without a ton of work, but you should be able to make them do stuff. Read carefully and understand the section in the MicroVisonFX User Manual that discusses sub-routines (basically a loop of cues). Use subroutines for Pan & Tilt, and put Color and Gobo channels on the six submasters, for on-the-fly operation. Remember that the microVisionFX was never intended to control moving lights, so don't whine and complain when it won't do everything the $50K grandMA can.:)
     

    Attached Files:

    • mvFX.pdf
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  16. OnWithTheShow

    OnWithTheShow Member

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    I have used our Microvision FX to control both Martin MAC 500 and High End Studio Spots. While a newer console with integral moving light control would make life easier it is certainly possible to do it with a Microvision you just need to be willing to take the time for the program. In both instances I used it I took a whole day figuring out the channels and effects of each light and a day programing looks before taking it into cueing or a rehearsal. It was worth the effort when at the time it was the only console we had available and for the effects we were looking for (JC Superstar and Seussical). We still use the console often even though we have newer consoles because the learning curve is so great and once you know the Microvision you can pick up express, expression, and obsession pretty easily.
     
  17. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    We have a MVFX at my work, we usually just use it as a backup board and experimentation. My boss found a converter board that converts the CGA output to VGA so we can use a regular monitor. It's very useful! We also rent it out from time to time to smaller venues that can use it and don't have many lights. Unfortunately we can really run a show on it at my work...it's a bit too small to run 230 dimmers.
     
  18. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    As the subject comes up quite often, can you provide more specifics on this? Most people are forced to use the monochrome output and an NTSC monitor when their CGA monitor dies.
     
  19. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    It's a small computer board powered by 12vDC that converts the CGA output of the Microvision into standard VGA output for regular computer monitors and even LCD Panels. My boss found them on EBay, they are actually originally designed for the old arcade video games. The old arcade games used CGA but when the old CGA monitors burned out they couldn't get new ones so they developed this board so they could replace the old monitors with modern ones.

    This is the board we have

    Arcade RGB CGA to VGA Converter, Cherry Masrter Jamma - eBay (item 150282090416 end time Sep-10-08 14:11:54 PDT)

    It has a VGA Pass Through and you have to get a 9-pin Male RGB connector and solder it on the included leads. You also have to supply your own 12vDC powersupply.

    It works great so far, crystal clear on a 17" LCD Panel!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008

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