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Review of Optima MonsterDMX Controller

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    So back in November I purchased this controller, just as a toy to play with my LED ParCans. It can control up to 12 16channel moving lights. It's far from a SmartFade, but still is a fun toy. It's a "preset-style" console which is annoying, but what can one expect?

    [​IMG]

    And here's what it can do with my three LED ParCans (Chauvet COLORsplash Jr. PAR38 in the middle)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    It's actually PAR83 as they spec on the site, because it supposedly originally had 83 LEDs (before they found space to fit three more). Just thought I'd share that with you, since you seem to have a vendetta against the "PAR-83" nomenclature of this fixture.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    How bad does it hurt in the wallet department?
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    97 bux from bulbamerica.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sorry, link fixed. $97; the least expensive DMX output device I've ever seen. (Thought I think it was $89 when I bought it).
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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  7. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Oh AMDJ.... there's a huge difference between 6 channels in Hold Last mode and 12 16 channel fixtures. for the extra 30 bucks I would go for the dynamic control ability. Plus how many intelligent fixtures can you play with if you only have a 6 channel output?

    EDIT: question, if I wanted to control say a S4 Rev, could I use the monster and set fixture 1 to chan 1-16 and fixture 2 to 17-whatever to get adequate control of the fixture? If so the thing is a steal as long as you don't need more control channels (I think there's another tread somewhere that has that issue.....)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yes. I'm currently using my 3 ParCans all as Fixture#1, with channels (1>4), (5>8), and (9>12). But it won't really do a cue stack, so is only workable as a disco controller.
     
  9. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Ok so it might not solve all your problems if you need an add on controller, but it still passes as very cool in my book.
     
  10. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Looks a lot like the layout of the Chauvet DMX55. I found that to be an amazing little board for the price although awkward to program on the fly. The only thing missing on the Optima is the joystick, although its somewhat useless on the Chauvet anyway.

    In the micro-board market, the DMX-70 looks interesting too, as it "appears" to allow you to program 14 data channels without having to page back and forth. Might be a nice board for those small club shows where you have no idea what's about to happen on stage ;)
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    On the DMX-70, you can control 18 channels without paging. The joystick can do 16 bit pan/tilt (so 4 channels) in addition to the faders. Plus, I understand from reading the manual that the DMX70 basically has full patching within each block of 32 channels. Which is awesome. I plan to make use of that feature quite a bit when I get mine. So for those pesky LED parcans that have mode channels that you don't use, you can patch all of those to the second page and fit 3 LED fixtures on the first page (each with 4 channels - intensity, R, G, B).
     
  12. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I totally missed that channel patch on the 70 when giving it first glance! That has been one of the biggest restrictions on the micro-boards, in that you really could not mix fixtures and keep your sanity at the same time. All for under $200! I only hope it has a somewhat real joystick compared to the 55. What the heck, I just ordered one in, guess I'll find out.
     
  13. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The DMX70 can definitely be had for $150, if you ask around.
     
  14. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    I was able to grab an AMDJ Show Designer for $200 thats great for a backup board or for a decently programmable board. It reminds me a lot of an old lepracon i used to use. The only difference: no step button on the AMDJ board. 8 faders, tracking cue board, and it even came with gaffer tape already over the manufacturer name. I've seen them on ebay for <$250. For an LD on a budget, its not a bad way to go if you would rather not use a laptop.
     
  15. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I overpaid a bit ($174) for the DMX70 but I'll live. Besides, there is a show I want to try it at in the not too distant future. Downloaded the manual and as usual it is missing information, such as every detail about the joystick! They don't even identify it as a control ;) I'm guessing its just 15,16,17, & 18. Guess I'll find out when it shows up. Funny thing, most of the China stuff is that way. (One or more features left out of the manual.)
     
  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand (if someone has the controller, maybe they can confirm this), there are channels P1, P2, T1, and T2 that are patchable to the joystick like normal channels are patchable to the faders. Could be wrong though. But either way, I'm definitely getting one soon.
     
    JD likes this.
  17. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    I've got one of those things Derek has but it's marketed under a different name here. I bought it for my workshop so I could easily test individual items without unpacking a real board.
    It got me out of trouble during the Adelaide Fringe when I put in a couple of DMX controlled switch/chasers running some Birdies into a venue with only 12 channels of dimmers and a (shudder) Behringer light board. Not my equipment.
     

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