DMX Trials & Tribulations

Ok so I'm tinkering with DMX on stage lighting for the first time ever.

Amusingly, I have a lot of understanding of the protocol already as I used to tinker with BBC Econet and essentially it's the same idea.

All devices sit on a line and see every byte of data sent along it. They receive it, and send it on down the chain verbatim.

The fixture looks for it's address being announced and then reads the command following the address - the command being any number of 8 bit bytes telling it what to do, be it change a colour, or a focus, or move a head.

Having addressed all our fittings and connected them to an American DJ MyDMX Go Paired to my Tab S4 I was instantly able to create amazing programmes, albeit within a limited number of styles.

The next part of the experiment involves these though.


They were very cheap for what they are - they are DMX receivers which simply read a signal blasted out by the sender. No clever two way comms, just brute force.

The sender connects to the end of the physical chain (which in our case will probably be the back truss of lighting as those need not to lose data as they will jerk) and it sits there replicating the DMX signal to all the receivers on the same channel.

It seems to work very well so far although I need to do a strong test of the setup to ensure it's stable over long periods and with WiFi signals nearby.

We can, of course, always cable up too!

Now the final problem may require a little more solving... The Android software currently doesn't support foot controllers so blackout and blinder might be an issue, but we'll see.

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