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Projecting RDM/ACN network

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by inpakto, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. inpakto

    inpakto Member

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    I'm projecting an network for a theater and would like to get some help in a few aspects.

    I would like to make use the so discussed "suite" ACN (esta 1.31) to connect light, sound, video and machinery. but my part in this projection is to make the light network, here I would like to use RDM for maximum connectivity

    I have about 50 fixtures, two hundred and something dimmer circuits (dimmers strand LD90) and a GrandMA.

    this is only a theoretical proposal for me (as a student) to have a chance to study RDM and ACN and if the work gone well it will be presented to the theater.

    I would like to ask for your help in a few aspects, cause I'm not really sure how can I modify the actual DMX network to make it RDM. (some kind of ACN and RDM for dummies)

    I hope I could make it clear for you to understand my question
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm thinking you're currently looking at maybe 2-3 years away from all this being standard, at least 2-3. possibly longer.

    Not sure if any form of RDM is implemented yet, on anybodies gear, so maybe stick to a flavor of ACN.

    Starting first with the console, try to find out if a GrandMA will spit out ACN. The website data sheet doesn't mention it.

    To get from Grand MA to Strand racks is most likely going to require an MA node that speaks ACN (if the nodes speak ACN), unless the rack electronics talk ACN, which some Strand stuff can do, but that's dependent on the age of the system, which makes it all a question for Strand, but maybe they will have to have local DMX output nodes.

    There are some fixtures that have Cat5 RJ45 connectors (Robe ?), as well as DMX 5 pin, put does anybodies ML's talk ACN yet ?. Doubtful and the ML's are the current stumbling block, thus you probably need MA nodes to distro DMX.

    Since you are only talking 3-4 universes, sticking with DMX to devices is not an issue. Maybe sticking with the GrandMA network protocol is a best bet.

    Note that this is a route if you were doing this in real life, not a paper for college.

    As an edit. Nobody is (currently) integrating the "machinery" - I.E. motion control aspect of stage equipment for safety reasons, due to no current feedback system for the operator to see what the stuff is actually doing and were it is. Possibly ACN will be used as a control protocol, but I'd be surprised to see it on the same network, unless there's an absolute necessity to have all the devices connected for synced operation.

    Steve B.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  3. sondericker

    sondericker Member

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    Check out the Net-IT product from Wybron. It supports both RDM and E1.31, and interfaces with fully featured RDM controller software called Infogate.

    Wybron, Inc.

  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    This thread was double posted on LN. Here is the link... The LightNetwork

    Some of the guys that worked on both protocols posted.

    If you want to find out more info on either, I would suggest you read Control Systems for Live Entertainment by John Huntington.
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    Somebody help me out here. At LDI in October I think it was the ESTA booth had a working demo of RDM with a Wybron unit and I think an MA perhaps it was EOS? I believe this was basically the first public demo of RDM at work. So yes we have a long way to go. ACN is also very new although most new things coming out right now will be ACN compatible via a software upgraded they aren't actually running it. It's going to be a while until it's fully implemented.

    I suggest you do some research then post your specific questions here. It's hard to answer a vague question like the one you posed as it's hard to know where to begin. We have a member who was on the committee that created ACN. I'm sure he would answer more specific questions once you have a better understanding.

    Be sure to take a look at Strandnet and Net3... the current proprietary versions of network based control for a better understanding of how it can work at this point in time.
  6. JenniferWilson

    JenniferWilson Member

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    To piggyback on the Light Network version of this thread, there's going to be an article in the next issue of Protocol that talks about the RDM-ACN bridge designed by ETC and Wybron. That'll cover the issue pretty thoroughly.

    Jen Wilson
    Wybron marketing

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