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wireless dim

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by dj_illusions, May 7, 2004.

  1. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    Hi Guys...

    Im finally back, you may have noticed my abscence from the forum lately, Ive been pretty busy lately, dont leave your email un checked for more than 7 days btw ;)

    I was wondering if anyone knew any way you can control lights wirelessly. We want to put lights on a part of a set that rolls around, hoever it was rather impractical to have a loom running to the piece of set.

    If anyone has any ideas, let me know =)
     
  2. dust4sound

    dust4sound Member

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    Well... other than having a portable dimmer-pack and running a power cable and the DMX cable... NO I haven't although it looks like ETC is heading that way soon.
     
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    There is a wireless DMX system on the market that I remember. Just don't remember anything about it (not my field yet) if it was American DJ type crap, or some other more substantial company doing such a thing. Big question is how are you going to power up? Believe the wireless system was for individual remote low voltage dimmers on a battery power. Certainly if you planned a six pack shoe box dimmer with line voltage, the data to the remote would be the least of your worries. DMX will travel down the same piviot brush/plate system as your power on a turn table plate even self reeling cord mounted trouble light system in most instances. Just did some DMX transmitting cable reels that used to be trouble/work lights bought at Menards (a crap store). Instead of powering up a work light, once the data cable was replaced for the power cord, the DMX works just fine down it. Main question was rigging the thing to be safe.

    Cordless DMX might have been discussed on stagecraft, too bad it's not working anymore because the brand is on the tip of my tongue. Hope stagecraft does not go the way of world lighting links that old timers will remember as being useful. On the other hand, if you can go ethernet with your commands, perhaps it's possible to go wireless in that way. Theater technology does tend to follow big business thus ethernet much less being able to control dimmer packs and computers from around the world if you have the money for the programs to wirelessly control them. Could be something as complex as a lap top computer on the remote and another communicating it in sending the signal thru the www, or as easy as transmitting data down a phone line.


    On my own end of high technology:
    At the moment I'm working on coming up with a 400' front of house snake using 8 universes of DMX, two clear com, one more for hog remote focus, one of internet, two of video for the Catalyst video playback and three 20 amp circuits for power to that position. Plus spares for all data.

    Even if I go cat-5 cable for the DMX it would still require at least two true DMX lines, six ethernet for both DMX/control and video and five 10ga power conductors. Not to mention a multi-pin plug and various distribution rack panels for it that will do all of that but still be economical. $280.00 per plug would be a bit outside of reason in doing such a thing. This is the new way of high end control over your lights before it all goes wireless.

    At very least I'm looking for six pair or ethernet and perhaps a circuit or two for powering up the hog remote with a wire rope core to it and thick jacket around it all so it would survive a few hundred feet of pull down some conduit to the front of house given sharp edges inside of the conduit are abound. The wire rope core would be very necessary given Cat-5 cable does not like to be pulled on a day to day basis during a road show even if loomed in with a 10/5 power cable which will have more stretch to it than the data cable thus the data cable would still break especially after the stage hands tied off to data line for the pull instead of the thicker gauge power cord as seems to be almost normal for local crews. Yea, let's tie off to the data snake insted of the much larger 10/5 to pull the 300' plus run thru the conduit.

    At the moment for my solution at least I'm looking towards TMB as a supplier. Neutrik has already for the most part solved the problem of fragile ethernet connectors, it's just a question of the cable for now. TMB at last notice was looking at making up a more rugged jacketed ethernet Cat-5 type cable as opposed to just buying chaep and one time use per spool of crap cable. Next challenge for them given my recent request is a multi pair Cat-5 cable with strong wire rope core, than incorportaing DMX for older technologies and power to it. Than making it all cost effective. Given this is what they are working on and the reason I specify them as the start to my own problem is perhaps they might be a good place to contact with your own wireless DMX problem. If nothing else someone there might know who makes such a thing.

    Two years ago, you will have thought six universes of true DMX in all five pins, two channels of Clear Com and three circuits of 20amp power were enough to have in a portable Front of house snake. We bought into a 37pin Socopex data snake plug we last used for analog, silly us. As of now all 16pair data cable is obsolete at about $900.00 each just for the snake and not inclding various output boxes for it.

    Large questions for me remain so far, can a 400' run of ethernet relyably conduct data over that length, is it more reasonably possible to run Clear Com and Hog Remote Focus units thru ethernet cable removing the need for any DMX like cable in the system and given ethernet will do video, is it's various adaptors economical given the Catalyst system is the wave of the future as opposed to someone else's problem as in the past. Than is the whole system temporary or economical once you also have to add in powering up the front of house. Time is ticking for me, I have about two months at best to have the FOH cable built for the tour.
     
  4. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    You'll never be able to make it completely wireless, because electricity can't be wireless. 8)

    I would suggest just running a long cord that the people moving the set know how to deal with.
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    If you are battery operated in power thus the dimmer is low voltage than going wireless would only be necessary for the control. I stress that I have seen an individual low voltage dimmer for this specific application, just forgot where.

    On the other hand www.elclighting.com has a wireless DMX control system but not the dimmer I was looking for.
     
  6. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    Good point. Forgot about batteries. If no dimmer is required, you can just get a good backup battery supply to power the lights.
     
  7. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for everyones suggestions.... We have decided to go with 4 Mac 600's =) we will also be getting 4 Pixel Par LED strips.... i like getting toys to play with ;)
     

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