xlights with stage/club dmx lights

Discussion in 'xLights (Nutcracker)' started by DavidJ247, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Planning to use a few stage/club style dmx lights in my display controlled by xlights and by messing around and setting up a few fixtures lately I've come to realise there must be a number of different ways to setup and control these types of lights and I'm keen to see how others are doing it. I figure the best way to start a discussion is to share my current configuration and hopefully others will do the same and we can share our experience and advice.


    View: https://youtube.com/watch?v=4HCm0JHvkNE
     

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  2. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    Following with interest... :)
     
  3. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Glad you started this thread. I managed to make a couple of 3 pin XLR to RJ45 cables and hooked one up to one of my Beamz Panther 25 moving head spots last night.
    That was the easy part. Next was where I got really confused .
    The next thing was working out how to get Xlights to control them. Mine are set to use 9 channel DMX.
    I think one way i have seen someone set them up is to make a 9 node model for a 9 channel DMX spot using single colour string type (not RGB) and then assign a name to each of the 9 nodes that corresponds to the different functions of the light (eg. 1= Pan, 2=tilt, 3=red, 4=green, 5=blue, 6= gobo etc). Now I am probably horribly confused here as I am still trying to get my head around this but I think this way, the moving heads are controlled using ON and Ramp effects applied to each of the channels.
    However, Gil made the DMX effect in Xlights to control things like the moving head leds etc but I'm still confused about how that works and how I can control the 9 DMX functions of the moving head lights using a model made up of 3 RGB nodes (giving 9 channels) and using the DMX effect in xlights.
    Only had a brief chance to experiment last night but did manage to get the moving heads to respond to the ON effect but not using the DMX effect.
    Clearly I have things setup wrong but I'm hoping to experiment further tonight but any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    I'm gonna have to get my head (or the CrazyCatLady) around this for next year.
     
  5. OP
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    DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Yes Logan, I spent lots of time messing around with different settings just to try to get a response from the lights at first and at one point I was convinced I had messed up making the xlr-rj45 cable and pulled it apart only to find it was right from the start. The lights were reacting to a test signal from my controller so I knew it had to be the way I was setting them up in the software. Eventually I managed to get a single dmx channel to operate and once I got to that point I was able to break down the configuration so that each dmx channel was asigned to a specific strand/node. As you describe above, I then named each of the nodes with its dmx function i.e. colour, pan, tilt, gobo, etc.
    I use the dmx effect, however I found that I could only use the first channel rather than say channels 1-5 for a 5 channel fixture. (I suspect this might be because I have set up the fixtures as single strand and single colour = 1ch?) So rather than placing an effect on the element/fixture, I expand the element to see each of the nodes and place the dmx effect on each, then set the level of the first dmx channel on each to acheive the desired effect. This is fairly complicated and will be time consuming to sequence, but I don't beleive xlights was ever designed to run these types of lights so to be honest I am just stoked that I'm able to control them at all. In saying that though, if anyone can suggest a quicker or more efficient way to do it I'm all ears.
     
  6. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    Well someday I'll see if I can make the DMX effect work for single color models because everyone seems to develop brain lock when you tell them to use RGB nodes. Every RGB node has 3 channels so it seems pretty simple to me to use 3 RGB nodes to get 9 channels. Then you just map the start channel to the beginning of your device and you have a nice overlay of 9 channels to your device.

    If you think you can only control the first channel with the DMX effect then you missed setting the drop down in the DMX effect that says how many channels to control or you tried to use a Single Channel model instead of RGB nodes. Its there to allow it to ignore channels. Like if you have a 5 channels device you had to create a 2 RGB node model so you set it to 5 channels so it will ignore that 6th channel.

    When you use a DMX effect you have sliders numbered 1 to 15 for 15 channels. So if you want to control channel 5 in the device its slider # 5. Why does that confuse everyone?
     
  7. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Had a play around last night with the DMX effect set to 9 channels and seemed to get it working ok in that the sliders effected the different channels of the light. Some of the options like setting the light colour and Gobo type seemed to work ok. I just need to learn how the sliders effect the movement of the head. Had the light moving around ok but wouldn't say it looked particularly like I had it co-ordinated [emoji1] . I set the moving head up using the straight line model with 3 RGB nodes ( giving 9 channels). Then I named the strand "moving head" and then named each node to correspond to the 9 channels of moving head. Now just need to learn how to control the head movement. Was quite exciting to see it respond in the sequence.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    I do have plans to enhance the effect. I will delete the end values for the ramps and then add the ValueCurve button to each slider so you can just create a curve to define the movement. I'd like to allow creation of a device profile so that you could define custom names for each slider. But I need to dive into it to see if that idea makes sense.
     
  9. OP
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    DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Thanks Gil, yes changing from a single channel model to rgb nodes allows me to drop the dmx effect on the entire element and use each of the dmx channel sliders, thanks for pointing this out. Only issue I find is that in single channel mode I was able to name each node/channel with its function i.e. pan, tilt, colour, gobo. In rgb mode each node controls 3 channels/sliders which makes it difficult to identify individual functions. Your idea of a device profile sounds like it would address this. I love the idea of adding a value curve to each slider (its like you read my mind), particularly for moving heads and scanners this will open up lots of possibilities.
     
  10. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    So I got some of this done the past 3 days. The next release v39 will allow you to use single channel string types as well as all the ramp stuff is replaced with letting you use value curves to do ramping. So with that feature you could actually pan and tilt a device several times back and forth using one effect.
     
  11. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    That sounds fantastic Gil. Looking forward to v39 :D
    I've also been playing around with my Beamz S2000 smoke and LED machine. Taken a while as the minimal instructions that come with the device are, firstly wrong, and secondly don't tell you much about the settings. After filling up the garage with haze.... a lot of haze, last night, finally managed to get it triggering in xlights how I want it so now time for some fine tuning to the music.
    Just hope the neighbours don't call the fire brigade as there is a lot of smoke/haze coming out of my garage while I'm testing.
     
  12. OP
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    DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Brilliant Gil, can't wait to try it.
     
  13. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    Also last night I got the code updated that will change the channel names if you've named your nodes. So if you were using RGB nodes in your model you can switch to Single Color nodes and then use the node naming feature. See the attached image where I show an example.
     

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  14. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    I'm also thinking I can delete the choice box where you selected how many channels to use. Since I'm accessing the model info now I can automatically figure out how many channels you have in the model. The only thing that means is if you for example were using 2 RGB nodes for 6 channels but telling it to only use 5 channels you should switch it over to Single Color nodes and tell it to use 5 strings 1 node per string.
     
  15. OP
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    DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Great enhancements Gil, thanks so much for your work on this.
     

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