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hello i just received my new board i just have a question do i hook up my lasers ,moving heads ,and scanners,first by daisy linking then go to my dmx dimmer packs for all of my par cans and terminate the end or do i have to get a dmx branch or opti splitter to do what i want to do if anyone could help me that would be so awesome if anyone wants to email my to leave a message or help me that would great thank you very robjan AT telus DOT net this is my email address
Last edited {1}
Original Post
Welcome to the forums Snakeman!

All you have to do is daisy chain all of your fixtures together. It doesn't matter what order you do them in, just try to find the shortest path. If your DMX run is longer than 100ft it is advised to terminate the last fixture. You don't need a DMX branch or opti splitter. Just come out of you board into the first fixture, out of that fixture and into the next, etc. etc.

Also you may want to take of your e-mail address or seperate (robjan AT telus DOT net) it so you don't get any spam e-mail. Do it quickly? Mods if he can't get to it in time, do it for him!

Hope this helps!

jthtiger
actually jthtiger we tell all of our sales guys to spec. in a DMX opto branch for almost every rig they sell. why? cause it is always best to have your lights electronially isolated. say there is a big thunderstorm that hits and lighting strikes the building im willing to bet you that one of the first things to fry out would be the DMX driver chips in the lights cause they were not isolated. think of it as a surge protector for DMX. snakeman welcome i agree with what jthtiger said i was just adding my two watts on the splitters. so i recommended you still get one. sincerely,
quote:
Originally posted by snakeman:
hello i just received my new board i just have a question do i hook up my lasers ,moving heads ,and scanners,first by daisy linking then go to my dmx dimmer packs for all of my par cans and terminate the end or do i have to get a dmx branch or opti splitter to do what i want to do if anyone could help me that would be so awesome if anyone wants to email my to leave a message or help me that would great thank you very much
If you are running DMX 500+ feet, I would highly recommend a DMX Branch or Opti Splitter of some sort. More then 1000' and you will need one because the signal drops off at that point.

An opti-splitter does more then isolate. It also helps amplify DMX signal like a DA (distro amp) does for video. The isolation also isn't for lighting strikes, it helps if you have faulty power or your console and fixtures are running off of a different ground. This can cause problems just like in audio, though not as pronounced.

Also, if you are using more then 6 types, meaning dimmers, moving lights, LED fixtures, etc, you should use a split, running each source into a different section of the split. You will start to have issues and things miss communicate. Dimmers aren't really a problem, LEDs are a huge offender though. 8 max LED fixtures per line. Movers are generally 16-32 per line. Terminating also won't fix this.

These reasons are why you will see large shows have racks of splitters, with another next to the console as well. It helps eliminate problems. Generally they will do a data line per truss, or section of truss, or electric. Just one more thing besides terminating that can help with issues with data.
Last edited by serraava
Sorry... I'm a bit late jumping in here and this is just another bit of useful DMX knowledge...
per DMX512 protocol document, the maximum number of devices that can be supported per run of DMX is 32 devices.

Now... that being said, lest you panic, a dimmer rack counts as 1 device.... The only way to successfully get around this limitation of 32 devices per line is to insert an opto splitter. Then you have the capability of 32 devices per output port on the opto splitter. Honestly though, don't overload your DMX universes, they're old, fragile and were never designed to operate the devices they are being asked to in today's world! Smiler
32 max is pushing it. I generally start having problems with LEDs at 8 fixtures, depending on length of the run and fixtures in question. Dimmers, I daisy chain those things forever and they don't care, and I am talking racks upon racks upon racks. Movers, depends on the brand and length of cable in question. Some days it's 16, others it's 20, sometimes I can only get 6 on before the 7th starts acting up. If your last fixture in line is acting funny, and a terminator isn't helping, chances are you need an opti splitter and to run a separate line to it.

The problem with DMX is it has no error check, so fixtures don't know when they are receiving wrong signals. I can't wait till everything is Ethernet. 64 universes on a CAT 5 cable, who knows how many they can ram down a CAT 6 or even CAT 7 by the time it's mainstream. Plus, Ethernet has error correction, along with status capabilities on it. The fixtures will be able to tell you what is wrong with them via the console, just like you can check on Sensor Racks through ETC Net, or network MA consoles so if one goes down, the other/s pick up where the one left off. The problem with all these goodies, they use a ton of bandwidth, so it has to be on a network all to itself. Meaning no internet, no printers, no computers networking, no faxes, no phones, etc etc.

I for see in the future things like DMX channels going away and opti splitters being replaced with routers. You will just set your lights to whichever number you want, and the console will know exactly which fixture you are talking about when you call it up. My kids will have it easy, just plug and play, no addressing, no channel count issues, no opti splitters and multi-universe patches.

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