Projection with DMX?

Cygnusx3

New elf
Joined
May 9, 2022
Messages
4
Hello!

I am a newbie here when it comes to light automation and currently run my show using projectors and static AC 120V (USA) lights, like flood lights and string lights. I am looking to grow my show, hence why I am here, and either incorporate some type of controller in to dim/turn the flood lights off and on as well as operating other DMX based lights or device such as a fog machine. I am open to replacing the AC string lights with pixels however I do not know if I can get the hardware in time for the season with all the shipping delays. My main focus is currently getting the flood lights off by dimming them down or turning them off 100%, running my projection mapped show, then enabling them when it has finished all to repeat it again every so many minutes.

Here are my thoughts... I would like to hear some critique and criticism, new ideas etc..and appreciate it!

PC to play the projection mapped video that outputs HDMI to 3 different projectors. (I have this and it works GREAT). Use a USB to DMX dongle like ENTEC openDMX or DMX pro to DMX AC relay (https://www.stagelightingstore.com/adj-dimmer-relay-packs/81281-adj-4-channel-dimmer-relay-pack ). Output DMX from that device into either another one or daisy chain DMX lighting/devices like a fog machine etc then terminator at the very end. Use xLights to sequence the basic show and possibly xSchedule to play. This should get me one more step further than last years show of using Alexa to manually turn off AC lights, play show, then Alexa to turn them back on. I would of course remove the Alexa smart plug device from the line if using a DMX AC relay.

Am I missing something here? Does there need to be a DMX controller or does the dongle take care of that part? Perhaps there is a better way to do this?
 

merryoncherry

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
73
It's not too late to get hardware, and won't be for a few months.
PC+Dongle does the work of a DMX controller.
How many A/C lights do you have and do you like them? There are a couple of options for keeping them; devices that run off of DMX or pixel strings and switch the A/C lights on and off, can sequence them in xLights.
 

Notenoughlights

340,000+ twinkly lights
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Oct 16, 2016
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412
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
If you were wanting to control your AC lights for a lower price than the item you have listed, and are fairly comfortable working with 240V, or have an electrician friend who could hook up some wires to sockets for you, this little device could do the trick, I have never used one, but they came up when I was scrolling through all the stuff I don't need on Aliexpress the other day. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000139032688.html? It's a little DMX - 110/240V controller. There are other versions without cases (I would highly suggest putting it inside an enclosure that can be screwed shut and using extension cords to feed in/out for safety) https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001178743842.html?
 

Cygnusx3

New elf
Joined
May 9, 2022
Messages
4
It's not too late to get hardware, and won't be for a few months.
PC+Dongle does the work of a DMX controller.
How many A/C lights do you have and do you like them? There are a couple of options for keeping them; devices that run off of DMX or pixel strings and switch the A/C lights on and off, can sequence them in xLights.
I do not like using AC at all. I would eventually like to flip to a DC only setup using pixels. I live in a region of the states where the temperature can swing from 7 to -26 C during the holiday season (and snow). Most LED strands don't last more than one season, the incandescent last a few more.

The main keepers are probably the 6 waterproof flood lights I have. They are LED bulbs but plugged into AC fixtures. I'd love to change them out for RGB equivalents so the colors can change programmatically. Until then I'd like to shut them off for the show and turn them back on. From a light string perspective I run a basic outline around my house and all windows so we are talking like ~5,000 lights +- a few hundred. I need those to turn off and on for the show as well. Yes I would like to convert these to addressable pixels as well.

***My show is NOT these lights currently. My show is the video projection which requires the least amount of ambient light as possible.
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
543
Location
West Central Ohio
Even though it sounds as if your current plan is keeping the floods, look at the 10 Watt and 30 Watt RGB floods on Wally's Lights. Similar RGB floods are also sold by other vendors; Gilbert Engineering and Wired Watts I think. There is a vendor list in ACL's WiKi.
 
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merryoncherry

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
73
I have one of those 30W from Wallys. Pinkish only 5' from the controller, more noticeable farther out. Not that bright, but you did say you have very little ambient light. (How many watts are the floods you have now?)
20220510_185846.jpg

I also broke out a DMX 50W flood I got from Ray the other month.
20220510_185847.jpg

It was noticeably bluish (can be adjusted I guess, though that would make it dimmer.) That unit worked, was blinking red and green when there is no signal, maybe you can shut that off with the external programmer (that I forgot to get).

I got a DMX PAR 7x18W RGBWAUV the other week. Pricey, but it makes a gorgeous cold or warm white, all colors, and UV. Narrower beam is better for my application. Sadly, it won't turn on and off quickly, always fades in and out. Looking at similar models.

Better stop writing, or people will think I'm picky. 😀
 

Cygnusx3

New elf
Joined
May 9, 2022
Messages
4
I have 6 floods and they are LED spotlights rated ~10-14 watts each (about 90w equivalent). They are very bright and colorful but can be connected to one extension so I may need a single channel dmx relay to control them.
 

merryoncherry

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Apr 2, 2022
Messages
73
You can certainly do that, but I wonder, if you are going to do pixels soon does it make sense to invest the time and money in the transitional approach of DMX relay?
 
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