Wireless DMX on the cheap

Uncle Dirtnap

Active Member
I am the unofficial technical consultant for the local high school theatre. Previous posts have helped me keep the aging 'great when installed in 92' system going strong, and last year we had great success with running some LED lighting using DMX over WiFi. For that setup, we used a extra laptop running Magic-Q and using ARTNet, and a regular home router set up for high throughput. It worked far better than I could have hoped.

I'm trying to find a way I can integrate some LED fixtures without using a separate console/laptop. We have a Leviton Innovation, which has support for newer fixtures and 3 output universes. The facility is only wired for one universe, which controls the house lights and traditional dimmers and electrics.

The true solution is to have additional wiring done and to buy new instruments, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm trying to accomplish the most I can with a small amount of money (~ 1K at the outside) from the parent booster club.

I'm going to have another post for instrument recommendations, but the end goal is to have decent cyc lighting. Anything we purchase at this point would probably be LED, and that puts us in a awkward position of not having DMX anywhere on the electrics or stage (there is one DMX port on the SR stage manager console). The wireless went so well last year that I am wondering if I could do something similar but from the console itself.

I see a handful of DMX to ethernet/Wifi products out there. Is going from an extra universe on the board to one of these on a batten a terrible idea? Any other ideas? If range was a issue, we can go from the main universe on the stage and do the same thing, right?

-rj
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I am the unofficial technical consultant for the local high school theatre. Previous posts have helped me keep the aging 'great when installed in 92' system going strong, and last year we had great success with running some LED lighting using DMX over WiFi. For that setup, we used a extra laptop running Magic-Q and using ARTNet, and a regular home router set up for high throughput. It worked far better than I could have hoped.

I'm trying to find a way I can integrate some LED fixtures without using a separate console/laptop. We have a Leviton Innovation, which has support for newer fixtures and 3 output universes. The facility is only wired for one universe, which controls the house lights and traditional dimmers and electrics.

The true solution is to have additional wiring done and to buy new instruments, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm trying to accomplish the most I can with a small amount of money (~ 1K at the outside) from the parent booster club.

I'm going to have another post for instrument recommendations, but the end goal is to have decent cyc lighting. Anything we purchase at this point would probably be LED, and that puts us in a awkward position of not having DMX anywhere on the electrics or stage (there is one DMX port on the SR stage manager console). The wireless went so well last year that I am wondering if I could do something similar but from the console itself.

I see a handful of DMX to ethernet/Wifi products out there. Is going from an extra universe on the board to one of these on a batten a terrible idea? Any other ideas? If range was a issue, we can go from the main universe on the stage and do the same thing, right?

-rj
Calling @JimRC4
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
I think what you are proposing is a good idea. You just have to wrestle with wired versus wireless debate.

A ColorSource wireless relay transmitter plugged into console and a receiver on the batten (or a receiver on multiple battens) should be ideal. In 10 years, running a wire might look like a better option.
 

RickR

Well-Known Member
Wire is not always hard to do, depending on your skills and district approval. Having a school electrician oversee is not usually a big deal.

Some schools with older systems have 'extra' wiring. I've usually found this with ETC brand where the RFU system has been abandoned, but some Leviton/Colortran systems have similar set ups but different names. There is always pins 4 & 5 of the DMX, once you check the existing connections. If you want to go this way, I'm happy to dig into the tricks I've used.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Rick - i agree with you - but hard to think $850-900 for the transmitter receiver pair isnt less than paying someone to mess with hardlines, receptavles, etc. Add a second dmx port and just a second receiver. Plus you get a switched circuit rather than having to mess with modules and such.

I realize some people value their time - or in this case someone else's - very highly.
 

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