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Control/Dimming Office Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by mr28loun, May 28, 2009.

  1. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    For my DJ Office I want use a DMX board to control all the lighting and tv and computer monitors. I want to be able to take a customer into the office and have them talk to my secretary and have all the lighting and t.v.'s be able to shutdown with one fader, and the next fader be able to turn on all the moving light fixtures and led fixtures and monogram light to show them the different lighting packages. Problem is some of the lights in the office are three prong, and some are built into the wall light switches, and the t.v.'s and monitors are three prongs as well. Then when we switch over I move to dmx, and three prong monogram light. Is this possible, money isn't a problem, and I would need the correct dmx board to patch scenes to faders, the one i have now doesn't allow that. The only things I want to stay plugged in at all times that dont have to run through are the actual computers and the microwaves and fridges. Any guidance?
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If money is not an issue then I would call your local ETC dealer and have them price out a Paradigm system for you. Paradigm is part of the new Unison system and can do everything that you want it to and have an amazingly simple, elegant, and easy to use front end. Paradigm can output DMX to devices that need it, it can be mounted in a rack that will work with any ETC Sensor Modules. It can control high voltage relays using relay modules and also has built in contact closures for low voltage.

    There are all different kinds of button stations that you can have and program to whatever presets you want. You can even get wireless remotes to control the system. The have fully customizable touch screen stations, fader stations, the works. The system can be interfaced with motion sensors and other architectural devices to trigger presets. You can also run real-time programs to trigger presets at specific times of day. You can also have it set up so that you can plug in your favorite DMX controller and take control of all the DMX gear.

    Installing a system like this would require some money and some doing, but you could sure put on a show with it.
     
  3. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    Yea money for the most part isnt an issue, i mean I don't know if what your saying we actually have space for, and if in a small office situation if its worth the money, I am familiar with the system, but for use on theatre house lights and what not, so for a small office with only three desks it might be difficult, and not worth the amount.

    I was thinking more on the lines of a dmx board with relay packs and some wiring instructions to wire the light switch wires to a three prong ccord then into the relay, being theirs only 2 or 3 switches in the whole room, then adding the t.v.'s and monitors into relay packs as well all controlled through wireless dmx... but if I go this route I don't know which board outside of full concert boards and how to do said wiring... I would like to avoid using something like avolites and see if there is something capable of doing this dmx controller wise no bigger then that of which would occupy 8 rack spaces... but it does not have to be rack mountable, just using that to give you an idea of size.
     
  4. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    If money isnt an issue then you should contact ETC and ask if a mini rack is possible. You said you need no more then 8 mounts have them make a mini rack mounted to a wall in the corner where you can plug in what needs to be plugged in then mount whatever board/controller they suggest. Again ask for something small and for your need guarantee they will have it. To boot you can have them come out and install and mount along with all the wiring unless your a DiY man.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Presuming this is not an owner-occupied residence, any modifications to the electrical system will need to be permitted by the local building department, installed by a licensed electrician or contractor, and inspected by the local AHJ. As a manufacturer, ETC does not perform electrical installations--it may specify and verify such work, however.


    [user]mr28loun[/user], if you want this project to be taken seriously, stop calling what I'm guessing you mean to be a male Edison plug a "three prong ccord."
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The Unison DRd with Paradigm control can be mounted in a 6 or 12 slot rack, giving you 12 or 24 dimmers or relays. The 6 slot rack is pretty small, it could fit under a desk or in a closet. Is the system overkill for what you want to do? Probably, however it could be just as much work for you to cobble together a system out of random components.
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Ooohh...my kind of person.

    If only you needed a nice sound system to go with it.
    ;)
     
  8. mrb

    mrb Active Member

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    do you really want to remove and reapply power to the tvs? Will the ones you have go back to the same input you had them on and retain settings after loss of power?

    I would use a dmx controlled video switch instead.
     
  9. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    One issue is that if you replace your light switches with dimmers/relays, and put your monitors/tvs on relays, then you will need the control system to be on to turn anything on. You typically wouldn't have both a light switch and a dimmer/relay controlling a circuit; the existing switch would be removed. As others have mentioned, something like a Paradigm might pe possible, but expensive.

    One thought might be to go with an X-10 system for controlling the lights and video. Although it wouldn't be integrated with your DMX controller, it would be much simpler to install, and give you one button to turn on/off everything, while still having wall switches (the X-10 modules just replace the existing switches/outlets). You still might need an electritian to do the work, but no rewiring would be necessary.

    Anyone know of a DMX to X-10 converter? :)

    One additional consideration: Is this a commercial space with flourescent fixtures? If so, they might be 277v fixtures, which would require special consideration for any dimmer/relay modules. I also don't know if X-10 would be available for them.

    -Fred
     
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Not as "performance event" reliable as a full blown DMX/Unison type system, but the X10 style controllers work reasonably well. I have 3 systems in my home and they offer some functions you are looking for, including the ability to record presets, replace in-wall switches, as well as provide dimmer and relay modules (for items not wanting to be dimmed). Very cost effective and modular.

    Smarthome - Home Automation, X10, Remote Control, Lighting, Wireless Security is one supplier with a huge selection

    Steve B.
     
  11. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    I'll look into that basically we want it to move from an office setting into a party scene and back to office setting as simple as one or two switches remotely from a board instead of running around turn off lights and what not...
     
  12. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    Thanks to everyone we decided to go with a dmx controller controlling the chases, but the X10 system to control the house lights and appliances. To build off this we are now looking for a way to have a a video play on our tv screen and is there any way to have the video cue the controller to run different chases or scenes through MIDI, it has a midi input on the back, but I don't know the first thing about MIDI, and if its possible through MIDI or any other software that you know of that when a customer is watching our promo as the music changes in the video, it will cue the board to run a specific scene?
     
  13. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    You'll need a computer running some sort of overall show control software to do this. The show control software would start playing the video and then trigger a cue at the appropriate time via a MIDI signal to the DMX controller. I wish I had a particular software package to suggest, but I haven't ever run across a need for this personally or professionally.
     
  14. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    If you or anyone finds out this sort of program let me know it seems like what we need to make this work, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Also for MIDI do I need to purchase a USB to MIDI cable to go from the computer to the board?
     
  15. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    If you're in an office, likely there's computers you're using, yes?

    If so, why not just get one of the numerous software packages. Then you can use a keyboard to run a bunch of cues to do what you want. They'll only work if the software is in the active window so it's not like you'll shut off all the lights when typing a letter. As for the relays to shut off or turn on tvs, that's another thing, but you can get dmx software that will trigger things like audio and video playback, etc., or link to media servers, etc.

    Edit: I see someone else suggested the same thing.

    There's a bunch on the market. Martin, High End, Chamsys, Elation, Innovate Show Controls, and others come to mind. The higher priced ones will have more features, more ability to trigger audio/video internally, etc.
     
  16. mr28loun

    mr28loun Member

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    I've got house control already, and dmx operator for the lights, but I want a video to cue the board to run cues in the office because I cannot be in the office at all times, and it needs to be simple for our secretary to do, just turn off house lights, and press play on show control software and have everything automate.
     
  17. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Get a Mac. Get a copy of Q-lab (with the high end license that allows video and MIDI). Get a USB-MIDI interface. Get two displays, one big and one small. Conenct the lighting controller to the computer using MIDI. Use Q-Lab to play your video and send MIDI commands to the lighting controller.
     

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