sACN Nodes

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Georgeous, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Georgeous

    Georgeous Member

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    Hi,
    So I was just approved for a grant to install sACN nodes throughout my theater. I want to install 6 nodes and I was going to purchase Pathway C-series nodes, but wanted to know if there was anything else that I should look at. I have looked at Elation ENode, but I want something that is flush with the wall, but I also have three nodes that I need to put on a pipe.

    We are a decently sized theater that currently only has stage pin connections and so this is our next step and seeing as we are about to get the new Ion, I wanted to hear peoples opinion on my plan.
     
  2. John Palmer

    John Palmer Active Member

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    If you are getting an Ion, I would purchase the ETC Gateways. The ETCNet3 DMX/RDM gateway will allow you to use the gateways for RDM which future fixture purchases that you do will probably have. A sACN node will not necessarily allow you to do RDM across your network. I believe that you have to have Net3 gateways to do RDM from ETC Consoles.
    JP
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    And as note, the ETC Net3 nodes run as sACN.

    But as John commented, research carefully the compatibility of Pathway (otherwise great devices) with Ion for RDM functionality.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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    JP is correct.
     
  5. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

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    Here is a 10 minute video showing the Pathscape software and how it works with our Pathport sACN gateways and does RDM natively.
     
  6. DanH

    DanH Member

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    If you're going to be frequently moving or re-configuring them, consider including in your purchase one or two nodes that can be configured directly from the unit's interface (i.e. Octo or Quattro if you're looking at Pathport), rather than nodes that can only be configured remotely over the network. Very helpful when troubleshooting what-universe-is-where and can be a big time-and-effort-saver!
     
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  7. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    A few plusses on the pathport side:

    1) Their nodes are much more featureful than etcs, and support a wider range of protocols. This may not matter.
    2) Pathport's rdm implementation has always felt smoother and cleaner to me than the one in net3 nodes. It is not integrated with the console, however.
    3) It's rare for me to say this, but I feel like pathport has a better longevitty track record when it comes to network nodes than ETC does. Pathport manufactured nodes for ETC back in the net2 days, and while etc EOL'd the nodes and requires purchasing new hardware for sACN, pathport firmware and chip replacement on those same nodes allows for artnet and sACN support.

    A few plusses on the ETC side:

    1) ETC is fantastic about supporting everything forever.
    2) Integrated RDM is only going to become more useful as time goes on. Hopefully we get a standard of rdm-over-ethernet soon........ maybe
    3) Configuring gateways from your console is doable with net3 concert as long as they are etc nodes. you'd need to use pathscape for pathport nodes, which would require an external computer.

    I'd look at the prices of each, and evaluate where you stand. I wouldn't go for elation nodes or really look at any other companies, I don't think.
     
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  8. Georgeous

    Georgeous Member

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    I'm gonna be perfectly honest, I don't really care about RDM. I really just need to install DMX throughout my theater because we currently on have stage pin throughout and so we are constantly running dmx on the ground. I figured that sACN nodes were the best way to go and would help to future proof in some way. I do not want to go with Net3 because it is not compatible with MA and I largely use MA when I bring in my personal rig. In our theater, we often go through two universes and into the third and so I am hoping that with the nodes, I can control where the universes go. That is why I wanted to go with the Pathway C-Series nodes.
     
    Rob likes this.
  9. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Another thought: depending on how many fixtures you'll have vs how many nodes, you might need splitters, and the mechanical arrangements for that are something you should keep in mind.
     
  10. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

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    You may not care about RDM now, but that is likely to change. Fixture functions are starting to move to RDM only. I've seen it in many architectural fixtures, and for advanced features on a few stage types.

    We all hope that the standard for RDM over network will be approved soon, but 'soon' to standards is measured in years.
     
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  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Putting money into nodes, which can act as splitters, is far more cost effective. You gain the option of making a node an input location, or splitting a 4 port across multiple universes.
     
  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Recall that ETC Net3 IS sACN. Not seeing how an MA is not going to work. You can verify with ETC if really concerned.

    Mind that I like Pathway gear and will likely buy an Octo on our next upgrade as that's a hole in the ETC product line. But as others have stated, when you have all ETC, an Ion plus nodes, the tech support call gets easier.
     
  13. tyler.martin

    tyler.martin Active Member

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    All (Series 1, Series 2 and Dot2) MA Lighting Consoles are compatible with sACN.

    Net3 uses sACN and ACN at its core, but layers on some other protocols for different features. IIRC Strand consoles are some of the only modern consoles that do not support sACN.

    I've used Hog3/4, Avo, Jands and MA consoles with ETC and Pathway Nodes running sACN with absolutely no issues. If you are purchasing an ETC console then it will make reconfiguring your nodes easier as the software runs right on the console, whereas for a Pathport node you would need another computer to run Pathscape.
     

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