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Operating moving lights on a Strand LAN using an Ion?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jerekb, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. jerekb

    jerekb Member

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    Having a problem that has been going on for a long time now. We have a Strand system with an ETC Ion board. The moving lights will not receive a DMX signal unless we plug them directly in to the board through DMX. The theatre is set up so that the Intelligent lights use DMX to a Strand network Node to Cat5 then on to the network. It will not receive a signal from the board through the network node but works great through a direct DMX512 directly into the board. The DMX is not an option as there are no DMX ports on the cats.
    ETC ION< CAT5>Wall pocket LAN>CAT 5 power supply>COM 3>CAT 5>Strand network Node>DMX512>High End Studio Spot 250.
    The board uses also uses a DMX512 out to the dimmers for the standard lights. Do i need to select something in the board or is it most likley a network issue. (Please say board... LAN is built in to building :( Please help I called strand, ETC, and High End and none of them have found a solution.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  2. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    You won't find a solution by calling any of the manufacturers, this one was just never meant to be (sorry). This is a situation of similarity to trying to plug a Mac formatted hard drive into a Windoze PC. Ion speaks ETCNet3 and Strand speaks ShowNet. Both are TCP/IP protocols but they are not the same language. An ETC console CANNOT speak directly to a Strand network node, and a Strand console CANNOT speak to an ETC Network node.

    So, [user]highschooltech[/user] is correct, if you want to continue to use the Strand node, you will need a second Strand node that is configured to take DMX in and send it down the Cat5 as ShowNet data to the other node. Otherwise, just pick up an ETC DMX node like this. Using a true ETC node or gateway will open up worlds of functionality and configurations that will make life very easy for you. A properly configured node can output any universe on any port. Also nodes come in all sorts of flavors and configurations, you can get rack-mount or portable, different numbers of ports, and all kinds of other cool things. Talk to your local ETC rep or dealer and find out which is right for you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
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  4. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Like [user]icewolf08[/user] said...it's just not possible. The ETC ION uses ETCNet3 and Strand uses ShowNet. While they are both similar in regards to the fact that they are both protocols meant to send DMX Information over TCP/IP and Ethernet. That's where the similarity ends...they both use a different command, instruction and packet structure and therefore are not directly translatable. You ether need to buy an ETC DMX Output Node or get a Strand ShowNet DMX Input Node. Ether way you're looking at spending a fairly large amount of money, probably around $500 or more. The easiest and cheapest solution would most likely be to just get a really long 5-pin DMX Cable and run it to wherever it needs to go.

    Most likely you're gonna need one of these

    http://www.etcconnect.com/product.overview.aspx?ID=20369
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
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  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    so how are your dimmers working off of your ion?
     
  6. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    From what I can make out, his dimmers are plugged directly into DMX. Only his FOH and Electrics are on the ShowNet system.
     
  7. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    The ION does not have any DMX outs. It only has eithernet.
     
  8. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Absolutely untrue. It has two DMX out ports on it.

    Check out the last page of this.

    The EOS is the console that only has Ethernet outputs.

    With version 1.4.2 Ion has the capability for ArtNet output over the ethernet port (as well as other protocols). Unfortunately Shownet is not one of them. You might look to see if Shownet can take an ArtNet signal. If it can, then this will work, otherwise, you will need to use the straight DMX jacks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  9. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    Ummm... no... It has 2 DMX outputs directly on the back
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    There is a way to do it, and its pretty easy and cheap to do. Think of it like this, you have Shownet and ETCnet3 (which is just ACN from what I can recall) existing on the same network. They are both traveling the same pipe but they can not talk to each other. You need a 3rd box that will let them talk, and this box does exist. It runs on a PC and all you need to do is hook ethernet up to it and you are set. It runs on top of linux and is rock solid. For the life of me I can't remember where to get the software. I know its open source out there, so I will find it and repost it.



    Now, if strand would just release and upgrade to the SN110 nodes like they said they would to run on ACN, this would not be a problem. I am hoping that day happens, and happens soon, but I doubt it will.
     
  11. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    Is it just me, or is it looking like all of the major manufacturers are having very proprietary ways of Ethernet? Wasn't the DMX protocol partially invented to make a universal language that was friendly with all devices? If so, then isn't Ethernet essentially going against the whole methodology of DMX? Are we looking at the beginning or rather re-beginning of the time where nothing would play nicely together?

    So many questions with no logical conclusions...
     
  12. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of ACN.

    Yes, it is true that currently, most manufacturers have their own flavor of Ethernet based control signals, that is going to go away soon. (how soon is still to be determined.) If you think back to the days before DMX, this was the case as well.

    This has been an issue that has been around for a while now and while all the manufacturer's realize that it is best to have one standard in the long run, it has taken them a long time to agree on how that gets implemented.
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Change to: primarily. Remember, it was approx. eight years from the CD-80 protocol to USITT's AMX192 and DMX512. Until ACN is universally implemented, we've had http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/glossarys/7171-art-net.html since 2003.
     
  14. Darthrob13

    Darthrob13 Active Member

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    N-21
    http://www.strandlighting.com/clientuploads/directory/downloads/N21_Data.pdf

    Available now.

    Same engine as is in C-21. What's the likelihood it won't run ACN when the standard is finished?
     
  15. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    My mistake for the EOS ION thing, I got things switched around in my head.
     
  16. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Not what I read that he was asking for. He wants a software upgrade for his existing nodes, not to have to purchase new nodes. At least that's the way that I read it.....

    And Tim, don't worry about it. I just wanted to make sure that it was perfectly clear what the deal was. Sorry if I sounded too harsh.
     
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Should there be a lesson in this about the desirability for consoles and devices to come from the same manufacturer?

    In 1986, some manufacturers were hesitant about adopting a universal standard that would negate their perceived market advantage in using proprietary systems. I suspect since LMI and others were already making "magic boxes" that could translate the proprietary protocols, this became less of an issue. ([user]STEVETERRY[/user] jumping up and down on the table saying he "wasn't going to buy another piece of equipment until everything could talk to everything else" may have helped also.:twisted:)

    Another problem with multiple manufacturers on one project: it easily allows them to point fingers at one another, leaving the consumer in the middle saying "I don't care whose fault it is. I just want it to work.:("
     
  18. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Not really should....There is a lesson. Don't set up new theatres using proprietary ethernet systems unless you intend on sticking with that proprietary system throughout, board, dimmers, nodes and all.

    Personally if I were setting up a new theatre today I'd have both ethernet and DMX runs installed (magical world here in my head) in preparation for a new standard.
     
  19. Darthrob13

    Darthrob13 Active Member

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    I agree that he was asking for an upgrade to SN110 nodes, but that isn't going to happen.

    Neither will it happen for a lot of older equipment from every manufacturer.
     
  20. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I would build for today, or maybe a little bit into the future and also install empty conduit, or cable tray with spare capacity against the day that CAT6 becomes CAT7, becomes optical fibre, becomes who-knows-what. Many buildings that installed CAT3 for "future-proofing" discovered that they had obsolete wiring before they got around to using it.

    Even today, depending on the size of your facility, you may find that prewiring with CAT6 and using DMX nodes is less expensive than doubling up the wiring.
     

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