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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Building and Auditorium Lighting Automation

   
Author Topic: Building and Auditorium Lighting Automation
Adam Towill
Film Handler

Posts: 12
From: North Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted 11-19-2018 09:43 AM      Profile for Adam Towill   Email Adam Towill   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey all,

I'm curious to know: Has anybody implemented the Clipsal C-Bus building automation products in their venues? If so, have you interfaced it with either a film or digital automation system?

And in a similar train of thought: Does anybody have a situation where a venue is multi-purpose, and there's a crossover between building lighting/auditorium lighting and stage/effects lighting? I'm pondering over how to switch between a situation where a DMX512 lighting desk controls stage and some auditorium lighting for events, but can be switched over to a situation where the automation system controls the same auditorium lighting and some stage lighting for automated cinema presentations.

I have some ideas in mind, but I'm curious as to how others have done it.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3865
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-19-2018 10:25 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The easiest way, using of the shelf components, would be a cinema DMX interface (like the JNIOR), a DMX desk, and a DMX Merger to combine both control inputs. This would work to a certain extent, but would fail for some scenarios, e.g. manual override of preprogrammed DMX cues from the server. With a merger, you can not block commands being sent from either dmx source on a by case scenario. Not easy, because DMX always transmits a state of a full DMX universe, not just timed commands. One possible way to overcome this is to find a way for the server to trigger cues on the DMX desk.



- Carsten

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Adam Towill
Film Handler

Posts: 12
From: North Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted 11-19-2018 11:43 PM      Profile for Adam Towill   Email Adam Towill   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I’d considered using the relays to trigger MIDI inputs to the desk, but I thought Separating them might be tidier.

Thoughts on literally unplugging the building control and plugging in the lighting desk when required?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-20-2018 08:28 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You should check your Clipsal C-Bus controller, it should have an RS232 interface and most likely also a TCP/IP interface. You can use those to interface.

Now, I've never interfaced between a Clipsal C-Bus controller and a DMX setup, but I guess that's also what you don't want to do.

In venues where the cinema server needed to control some of the DMX, we had a DMX controller that also had a TCP/IP interface. As long as everybody kept their hands off of the DMX lightning console as long as the cinema server was controlling the show, everything was fine.

In a more complex environment, where there were up to 8 different usage scenarios for a given room, we've employed real show controllers like the Alcorn McBride V16 Pro, together with their DMX gateway and QSC Q-Sys to route the audio.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3865
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-20-2018 08:49 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Plugging/Unplugging (or use a DMX Merger with a switcher/override function) is of cause the easiest method. Some basic DMX desks only support very limited functionality over MIDI. There is a simple and cheap Botex merger that offers some rule-based functionality when two sources are sending signals on the same DMX channels at the same time. Another device, the Eurolite DXT-ME offers the functionality that always the latest change becomes priority, which offers 'some' dynamic override function.

You may need to read the manuals of some of these mergers and then think about the implications in your specific use scenario.

Adam - are you after a high-profile application, implicating considerable cost, or more after a 'nice'n-small' solution with some d.i.y efforts? I bought a simple entry level DMX desk with some add-on functionality that can be used for some tweaking. e.g. using a switch output (originally targeted at activating a fog machine) towards the server GPI to control functions/macros.

- Carsten

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