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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Getting a Doremi server to control a Dolby DMA8 Plus (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Getting a Doremi server to control a Dolby DMA8 Plus
Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3057
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-26-2007 07:17 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Arrive at the cinema yesterday to find that a proper monitor, keyboard and mouse has been attached to the Doremi, so that it's now possible to use the thing without bending down and trying to read the text on the tiny touch screen. This has been one of the main problems that I've had with it in the past. I wish it was possible to preview a playlist on the monitor, but that's another matter.

Since there's nothing on digital this week I was having a look at it while the film was running. I went into the Macro Editor, and had a look at the 'Sound to digital' automation cue. I thought it might be possible to programme this to send the appropriate ascii string to the DMA8 Plus, via either RS232, or preferably Ethernet to an IP address and port number. I know this works with the DMA because I've tried typing the commands into it from my laptop. However, the Doremi doesn't seem to be able to do either, despite the fact that it has an Ethernet connection.

The only means that it seems to provide to control an external device, other than the projector which it does control via IP, is the 8 general purpose outputs, which it can pulse or turn off or on. Is this really the case? I don't have a technical manual for the Doremi. If so, this does seem rather restricting; why would they not provide control via Ethernet?. The DMA can also be switched to 'Digital 1' by momentarily shorting a control pin to a ground pin, pins 1 and 5 I think, on a 9 pin control socket, but what would it need to get the Doremi to do this without an automation system? I don't know the Voltage of the GP outputs, nor how much current they can source, but I doubt that they cold drive a relay directly.

A Sound mute cue might also be useful, and it should be possible to add this in the same way, but you could soon run out of GP control lines doing it this way.

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Pete Naples
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1546
From: Dunfermline, Scotland
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 08-26-2007 11:16 AM      Profile for Pete Naples   Email Pete Naples   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stephen, yup.

I've done quite a number, we simply connect the appropriate terminals in the wallbox to the appropriate terminals in DB9 control connector on the DMA8+. Crude but effective.

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Paul Carey
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: St Andrews, Scotland, UK
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 08-26-2007 06:46 PM      Profile for Paul Carey   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Carey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stephen,

Assuming you have an Arts Alliance installed DSN, you will indeed be restricted by the number of I/O's you can have using their wallbox. I've setup our site pretty much the same method as you did, having utilised the shorting of the "digital 1" and ground pins on the DMA8Plus and the sound to digital macro cue.

Paul

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3057
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-27-2007 04:13 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When Arts Alliance installed the equipment the DMA wasn't there; it didn't arrive until later, so obviously the AA installer couldn't connect it up. Pete, I think the DMA was installed by your company, but since the wallbox is owned by AA does that mean that only AA or somebody authorised by them, can open it, and connect things to it? Maybe the next time AA come in to do something we can get them to connect this up as well. Since the DMA is owned by the cinema presumably we can allow them to connect to it, and the same with the CP-65 to get a sound mute function.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7040
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 08-27-2007 04:31 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you own the actual box, then you can do what you like with it, whether AA likes it or not. It's the same principle as with the teenager who hacked the iPhone. After he bought the phone and paid for it, it was his to do what he liked with. You can't infringe a patent, copyright or any other law by modifying an object you own outright for your own personal use - hence teenager 1, Apple nil. You can invalidate a warranty or service contract by doing that (i.e. AA could refuse to service something that's been user modified), but as long as this isn't an issue for you, I can't see that you have anything to worry about.

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3057
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-27-2007 05:15 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Leo, I think the wallbox, along with the rest of the equipment in the digital package, is the property of AA. The DMA is not part of the package, and is the property of the cinema.

Pete, have I understood you correctly, that the 8 GP outputs on the Doremi are presented as relay contacts, or electronic equivalent, in the wallbox, which can be connected directly to the DMA8, with no extra electronics needed? If this is the case I'll have a word with the chief when I see him, and suggest that we get this connected up.

I do think that the Doremi is rather lacking in his respect; since it has an Ethernet interface, and talks to the projector through it, why can't it control other things the same way. Then all that would be necessary would be to give the DMA an IP address, programme this, along with the port number and the ascii string for the command, both given in the DMA manual, into the Doremi, plug in an Ethernet cable and that's it. Even equipment which doesn't have an Ethenet interface is often controlled in this way, by having an Ethernet connection to a controller somewhere near the equipment to be controlled, and then some sort of serial connection, RS-232, 422 or 485, to the actual equipment. There are often multiple controllers in different locations, each controlling multiple devices. Three systems at work I can think of that work this way are the boiler management system, the entrance barriers and ID card system and a Kramer 8x8 AV matrix switcher feeding several plasma screens in the new refectory which opens this week. This has the advantage that equipment can be controlled over any distance, I managed to operate the video switcher from a train between London and Birmingham, and an unlimited, for all practical purposes, number of devices can be controlled by a single Ethernet cable, or even a wireless connection, from the computer. No, I didn't need to operate the matrix switcher from the train; but the installers only set up the AV side of things not the control side, so I had to make up a cable and set this up, and I just wanted to see if I could get it to work from the train. We will only actually use the facility from a pc in the same building to operate the switcher at scheduled times.

I don't generally like automation in cinemas, but due to the layout of the equipment changing from film to digital at the moment is a bit awkward, and it would be easier if we didn't actually have to go the rack to switch the DMA.

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Benjamin John Doman
Film Handler

Posts: 35
From: Slough, Berkshire, England
Registered: Jun 2007


 - posted 09-02-2007 09:12 AM      Profile for Benjamin John Doman   Email Benjamin John Doman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi,

Agreed that the automation contacts are limited. They are very easy to connect to though, but be warned! I have had several shows where one or more of the 'pulses' from the server don't work. If you're theatre didn't have automation when the server went in, chances are that the pulses to the wall box was not programmed in.

Regards, Ben [Smile]

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Joel N. Weber II
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Somerville, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted 09-08-2007 01:03 PM      Profile for Joel N. Weber II   Email Joel N. Weber II   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There may be some security and safety advantages to _not_ connecting control cables in a way that makes it possible to operate them while on a train. Computer software often has security bugs that can become problematic if you're connected to the Internet, which can be less problematic if the physical connection just isn't there.

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 11-14-2011 08:09 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 1528 days since the last post.


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Bajsic Bojan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 188
From: Ljubljana, Si, Eu
Registered: Aug 2008


 - posted 11-14-2011 08:09 PM      Profile for Bajsic Bojan   Email Bajsic Bojan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And several years later the Doremi has changed much and things can be controled over the ethernet.

I on the other hand still have problems connecting the darn things. According to the manuals and tech advice, this should work on our DCP2000 servers:

- setup a RAW device called DMA8plus
- enter correct ip and port
- make macro to send text message in text form
- execute macro

But nothing happens. The Doremi says the macro is executed, nothing happens on the dma8plus side (or any other raw device i set up, apart from the CP650 which is set up exactly the same).

What can i try? Is there something blocking the communication. I can telnet to the devices fine, i can also ping them from the doremi terminal. I am lost.

Thank you for any input.

PS: For those that were looking for the DMA8plus software do drop a line, as i finally got it. Can it be put up to the warehouse somehow?

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12209
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 11-14-2011 08:54 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Set up your laptop in place of the DMA8 Plus (use the DMA8 Plus IP and have a suitable terminal program where you can see just what is being sent. Do you have a DEC/HEX issue? Some programs want ASCII text to be in brackets of some sort...etc

-Steve

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 763
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-14-2011 10:12 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's a step by step process for setting up a Doremi to talk to a USL JSD-100. It should be similar for the DMA-8. The Doremi sets up the TCP connection, sends the string, then shuts down the connection. Early JSD-100 firmware would miss the string. That's been fixed, but Doremi has also added a "wait" escape sequence. I don't know if it's in the production code yet, but you might give it a try. Put \w before the first character of the string and again after the last. That should result in a 1 second wait before the first character and after the last.

Good luck!

Harold

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Arnoud Edens
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: The Hague, Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2010


 - posted 11-16-2011 12:53 AM      Profile for Arnoud Edens   Email Arnoud Edens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've seen that for some devices you'll also need to send an enter sequence after the command. On the Doremi you can enter that in the macro as '\r\n'

For the DMA8Plus to switch to digital 1 the command would be 'dma8plus.sys.input_mode dig_1\r\n'

You can also add the wait sequence Harold mentioned to that (didn't know about that one, might come in handy [Smile] ) so the command would become '\wdma8plus.sys.input_mode dig_1\r\n\w'

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12209
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 11-16-2011 06:58 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the DMA8 Plus does not require either a carriage return or a line feed (/r/n) but I also don't think it will worry about seeing it...it is looking for the proper string of characters together and then acts.

Note, different devices use different symbols for the ASCII definitions /r, ^M, x0D as is \0D are all often used for <cr> carriage return. Note, when one breaks out into pure ASCII mode in hexadecimal, one almost always has to have a character the device that is SENDING the command defines as the hex mode character.

-Steve

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Bajsic Bojan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 188
From: Ljubljana, Si, Eu
Registered: Aug 2008


 - posted 11-16-2011 06:34 PM      Profile for Bajsic Bojan   Email Bajsic Bojan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
@Steve: i made a telnet session, listened on a predefined port and sent some test macros from the doremi to the laptop, got the same message as is written in text box thru

i don't quite understand the last part of your last message about needing a special 'definition character'. is this at the front of the message, or just for the <cr> part. how can it be changed?

@harold: i tried the usl step by step (identical to what i used before), tried also with about 100 \w commands, because if telneting onto the dma8plus one gets the whole status upfront and it takes about 5 seconds to show it all. the \w seems to delay the action by about 0.2s

@arnaud: tried with \r\n, <cr>, <CR>, without, with space after whatever i could find. no luck.

is there a special type of command one should use when using raw access to a telnet enabled device, a special string at the beginning of the message that the device will understand?

or maybe its a firmware issue? i have doremi 2.2.2.0 and dma 1.4.1.9 firmware versions. is there anything more recent?

i find it really strange tho, that there are apparently no people in the community using a combination of a doremi dcp2000 and a dma8plus.

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