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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Controlling DMX lighting system with Barco 20C

   
Author Topic: Controlling DMX lighting system with Barco 20C
Edgar Prass
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Tartu, Tartu county, Estonia
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-18-2014 06:00 AM      Profile for Edgar Prass   Email Edgar Prass   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So how could I make the 20C talk DMX language to automatically control lights with cues? Obviously I need some sort of gadget to be the "translator". But which one? On projector could I connect it to GPIO pins, RS232, USB or ethernet? Could you point me in the right direction?
Some Ethernet to DMX gadget https://www.enttec.com/?main_menu=Products&pn=70305
USB to DMX https://www.enttec.com/?main_menu=Products&pn=70303

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3278
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-18-2014 06:11 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does your Barco have a built-in server/IMS, like the Doremi IMS oder the Barco alchemy module? Because normally you would control lights/DMX from the server, not the projector.

There are various interfaces between ethernet/RS232/GPIO and DMX available. Depends on the capabilities of your server which one you will need. E.g. Dolbys can't do it over ethernet because they have no raw ethernet capability to set up commands. Other servers/IMS have no RS232. Ethernet/RS232 usually is capable to send more complex commands, while GPIO usually will only support some very basic things like lights up/down. So, depends how complex the control job for the DMX is, wether you also want manual interaction options (e.g. a small light desk, some push buttons, etc.). I don't see any real options to use USB devices, as no server offers custom controls over USB.

- Carsten

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Edgar Prass
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Tartu, Tartu county, Estonia
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-18-2014 09:58 AM      Profile for Edgar Prass   Email Edgar Prass   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, we have the Alchemy module. So using ethernet is a possibility?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2233
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-18-2014 10:33 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ethernet is possible. You need an Ethernet to DMX gateway though, one that works with the somewhat rudimentary interface available on your IMB. One that accepts simple strings via TCP/IP over Ethernet.

If you're in for some experimenting, you could build one yourself using OpenLighting and something like a Raspberry Pi [Wink] .

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Edgar Prass
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Tartu, Tartu county, Estonia
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-21-2014 11:44 AM      Profile for Edgar Prass   Email Edgar Prass   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Did some further research on the topic. If I got it correctly then Alchemy can only output simple ASCII strings to a port of a IP address. Just as it communicates with our CP750.
The RS232 port on the Alchemy seems to be input-only.
But all those ethernet/DMX boxes on the market seem to speak some other languages (like Art-net), not ASCII. The only gadget I came upon is this http://www.cinetix.de/interface/english/etdmxgen.htm But it seems that this company has recently closed down for good.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2233
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-21-2014 12:16 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most cinemas don't need the complexity of DMX, therefore automation is often limited to some simple relays or circuitry via GPIO, or stuff like JNIOR for the more sophisticated automation.

I guess what you want is a DMX controller which you can pre-program with several modes/scenarios, as you probably do not want to address each and every DMX device in your universe separately. Those modes should be callable via your IMS.

The question is, how adventurous are you? Do you want to buy something off the shelf that works with a little bit of tinkering or are you willing to do some custom "hacking" so to say?

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Edgar Prass
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Tartu, Tartu county, Estonia
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-21-2014 02:23 PM      Profile for Edgar Prass   Email Edgar Prass   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sure I don't need all the complexity of DMX, but as we are a multi-purpose venue (theatre, concerts, cinema etc) DMX is the system we have and actually need. I usually use only 2 channels, one for lighting up the seating area and the other for the "stage" area in front of the screen.
Now I'm thinking of using a separate computer (a 24/7 online server) to receive the ACSII strings (or GPIO signals) for triggering the pre-programmed modes and outputting DMZ over a cheap and simple USB/DMX stick.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2233
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-21-2014 05:11 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, that's why I pointed at OpenLighting on a RaspberryPi. It's cheap and you don't need a fully fledged server running. You will need to hack a lot of stuff together though.

If budget is not a problem, you could have a look at one of these. It won't be cheap though. But Alcorn McBride products have a reputation to last forever. And maybe, it can actually be useful for other purposes too.

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Jesper Meng
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Skoerping, Denmark, Denmark
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-22-2014 08:27 AM      Profile for Jesper Meng   Author's Homepage   Email Jesper Meng   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In our cinema we have installed two ELC AC612 DMX controller. The curtain light, 12 rgb fixtures on one, and house lights, 32 rgbw on one. They are controlled by outputs from 3 jnoir devices. We have programmed different light scenes, so we can have pink,rainbow,blue or small animated curtain lights for mood enhancing. Pink for 'girlish' movies f.ex. It also controls a 4 ch. dimmer for light for a speaker, and that is programmed in one button = easy on the projectionists.
Also when house lights are dimmed there is a small rainbow moving from the screen through the cinema. :-)
The software runs both mac, pc and linux and it is free. The programming file stays in the device, so it is not depending on the installer. It takes minutes to be up and running, but 32 4ch. devices on individual addresses takes a lot of time.

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Dave Macaulay
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 11-22-2014 10:47 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Check into your lighting board manual (with a multi use theatre and DMX lighting, you have a lighting board) as many boards have external dry closure inputs that can activate scenes. This eliminates the hassle of multiple DMX controllers on a universe (that is not a trivial hassle, DMX was designed to have only one controller). If the board is always shut off during cinema shows you may be able to piggyback another controller... but expect trouble if both are accidentally on at the same time.

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Jesper Meng
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: Skoerping, Denmark, Denmark
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted 11-22-2014 02:47 PM      Profile for Jesper Meng   Author's Homepage   Email Jesper Meng   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Btw, if you are doing a live show and the preprogrammed scenes are not right, your laptop connected to the ACS works as a light console.
The ACS is a lot like programming a playlist

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

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Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 07-18-2017 07:26 AM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 968 days since the last post.


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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 22
From: Jeannette, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 07-18-2017 07:26 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know that this is an old thread.

Marcel Birgelen wrote (in 2014):
quote: Marcel Birgelen
Most cinemas don't need the complexity of DMX, therefore automation is often limited to some simple relays or circuitry via GPIO, or stuff like JNIOR for the more sophisticated automation.
Recently INTEG has added the capability to control a DMX universe with the standard JNIOR Model 410. If you have a Model 410 you can experiment and implement DMX for practically free.

You will need a 3-wire adapter for the AUX port which you can easily make. The ability to run the serial channel at the required 250 Kbaud and generate the required Mark-After-Break preamble defined by the DMX512 standard are part of JANOS v1.6.2 (which is currently a Release Candidate but can be provided upon request).

Beyond that we are experimenting with the "how". A small application program (which is available upon request) repeatedly generates the DMX512 stream. This comes close to the 44/sec update rate defined by the standard. It can be easily customized.

Right now we have a simple webpage served by the JNIOR with faders. Changing a fader sends a message to the application that updates the associated channel. We are experimenting with different lighting panel simulations. You can do a lot with HTML5. We are really just playing with it now. If you want to experiment with this, get in touch with us (or message me directly) and we can work together on it.

Obviously we are willing to make the changes to integrate this with cinema macros. There might be some other interface that will work for you.

We exhibited at InfoComm 2017 more or less just to feel out the market. It covers the audio visual spectrum and includes stage and lighting. We were demonstrating the control of DMX lighting (LEDs) through the LAN using ArtNet and a third-party converter. We will be at InfoComm 2018 with JNIORs that support official DMX512 ports. We will likely also be showing some of that at CinemaCon a couple of months before. Both shows are in Las Vegas by the way.

A lot of you already have JNIORs. I just wanted you to know that you can have it run some DMX fixtures without parting with cash. You can contact Rick for details if you prefer.

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