"Device" timeout function..


Full time elf
Jun 12, 2010
If a controller looses dmx or e1.31 from its upstream provider of infomation, what is (a) the correct thing for it to do, and (b) what is the desired thing for it to do.

(a) continously hold the last known data it received?
(b) hold the data for "n" seconds and then go to black
(c) somthing else.

For example the E16 controllers hold the last known data for approximately 10 seconds, then go to black, if they loose sync. I'm considering making this configurable, so you can change its default behavior.. however i'm not sure if theres actually a good reason to do this or not..

For a pixel controller this is'nt all bad, if they stop the worst that happens is you looks stupid. If this was a Dimmer pack that was controlling say the house lights in an auditorium, and the audience was leaving / arriving ( lots of people walking around ) and it suddenly goes black.. it might be a bad thing. ( punter walks into orchestra pit and breaks leg and sues you )...

What you all say folks?


I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
I think this is a good option. The DMX standards are not so clear on a time for this and the user should be able to choose how they want the controller to respond to a break in communication.
Options are always good and in the end it will just make it a better product for the end user.


Full time elf
May 17, 2010
Southeast US
As most of the stuff that I've seen in theaters and auditoriums, if the lights lose signal, they go out - except, of course, for stuff like house lighting. Holding them on for a short time isn't bad, but most "receivers" don't hold the last sent signal for very long.

As for senders, like a DMX control board, a DMX USB dongle or even an E1.31 sender, I would like to see them continue to hold the signal at the last level and continue to repeat that signal out. I know the Enttec DMX USB Pro does this. As long as it has power via USB, it will send the last known values out the DMX port, even if the software stops sending.

As has been mentioned, the DMX spec isn't specific, giving a producer of a given sender or receiver the option to implement it however they want.

I can live with a light show that goes static. There's more of an impact if all the lights just go out.