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DMX tester

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by David_AVD, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    It's become apparent that some sort of DMX tester would be invaluable to members troubleshooting their DMX controlled displays.

    At the simplest, it could be an LED and resistor affair as shown on Big Clive's page here.

    For more advanced detective work, something with an LCD and buttons could act as both a DMX test source, channel level display or a start channel setting tool.

    It all depends on how much people are willing to spend on such a tool. It could be done as a DIY coop to keep the price down and/or be available fully built and tested for those without the DIY skills or time.

    I've seen some commercial ones, but they were either expensive or almost useless feature wise. Over the past couple of years, DIY ones have been mentioned on other forums, but I'm not aware of any that made it to fruition.

    Discussion and suggestions welcomed. :)
     
  2. kel

    kel Dedicated Elf

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    After, reading lots about it in chat ... yes, pls ... :D

    and while you are at it, that gizmo the phil had to test the BigW lights ...
     
  3. Mike

    Mike CLAP infected!

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    im interested in this. Also if it had support for SPI that would be very good indeed. Especially with the move towards RGB being more common now. Although I think that would add into the cost a bit more.

    I think the LED and resistor jobbie might be a bit too basic for the needs of what we do but its a start.
    A co-op would be good as it would give you plenty of time to build it for next year as well as have an option there for prebuilt units. I guess it all depends on how far this can/will go as to what options or support it will have
     
  4. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    I vote Yes.


    Dmx tester that can


    1. Generate a test sequence across a 512 universe. Aka. RGB cycle or ripple


    2. Able to generate a set level of 1 to 255 on channels 1 and 2 to enable field programming on Dmx controllers.
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Im for this as well. i might even do the co-op if David does the design work
     
  6. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I have been thinking (in my copious spare time!) about a suitable case for the DMX tester.

    To save machining a cut-out for the LCD, what about a case like the one below? They are $16 RRP and the LCD could sit just below the inside of the transparent lid.

    [​IMG]

    For flexibility, a (PCB mount) 5 pin XLR connector could poke out the end of the box. You'd then have adapter leads to suit ESTA RJ45, LOR RJ45, Renard RJ45, 3 pin XLR, etc. This would be much stronger than an RJ45 on the end and easier to drill out.

    Not sure how to do the buttons yet. The overall idea is to make it durable (sacrificing some beauty) so it will last many seasons and not break the first time it's dropped.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Now, as for buttons, we *could* try and use capacitive pads under the clear front panel, but they tend not to be responsive enough for rapid operation.

    Ideally, it would be nice for the unit to be easily built (single PCB), but not have openings in the front panel that dirt and moisture can get into.
     
  8. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    Except this one?.... Henne
     
  9. OP
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    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Ah, I vaguely remember that one now that you've linked to it.

    Menu driven would be better than DIP switches though. We need it to be user friendly. Not sure yet how many buttons we'd need.

    I was also hoping to power it from an internal Lithium Ion battery so it can be portable and not interfere / interact with the power / ground connections on the items under test. This is important IMO.
     
  10. kool-lites

    kool-lites Full Time Elf

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    Or this one?...... Elektor ( I have one of these and it is like a DMX multimeter.)

    TimW, I have aproject going where I am porting Henne over to a Mega88/168/328. Interested?
     
  11. kool-lites

    kool-lites Full Time Elf

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    Henne would agree with you there, which is why he uses Push Buttons for "Mode", "Up" and "Down"

    Battery operating is an excellent criteria. I choose NiMH use to the cost and easy of changing.
     
  12. OP
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    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Doh! I missed the table showing the button inputs. The picture only showed the board with DIP switches.

    So, you guys are already heading down the path of making your own DMX tester?
     
  13. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    Henne's version looks good, but needs a mod or two.


    Battery operation. Needs to be portable.


    Controller programming mode. Ability to set chn 1 and 2 to a value between 1 and 510, to set the start channel.
     
  14. OP
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    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Since this may turn into a coop project, I am also aiming to make it easy to build. That means very little internal wiring and a single PCB with through hole parts if possible.
     
  15. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    I am hoping that ACL will be able to offer a few co-op projects next year, i may not have the design ability but im hoping to be able to offer my time to do a couple of co-ops and this may be a great little project to offer up as a co-op
     

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