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DMX - what is needed (the basics)??

posted Sep 17, 2012 06:24:21 by PirateGent
First - thank you to Thom for making this awesome simulation and continuing to make it even more awesomer (yeah I know it's not a word but if fits!)

I've seen in other posts the link to items Artemis now supports
ENTTEC Open DMX USB Interface;
http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70303&show=description
This small box costs $65us, and interfaces between your USB computer port and one or more DMX devices.

http://www.interactive-online.com/what-is-dmx
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Color-Changers---Wash-Lights-Lighting---Stage-Effects.gc

But my question is - besides the DMX interface and the LED light(s?) what is basically needed (want to make as few orders as possible)

If I remember seeing the videos it looked like there were two sets of lights on either side of the main screen but beyond that - do you need cables? And if so - what type? Extra power strips? Anything else?

My Star Trek group is hosting an Artemis game at our local library for Star Trek TNG's 25th Anniversary at the end of the month and I just wanted to make sure I had everything I need (and tested) to give everyone their best experience.

Thank you all in advance.
[Last edited Sep 17, 2012 06:24:31]
Edward
Baton Rouge, LA
www.BRStarTrek.com
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23 replies
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edward.cope said Mar 25, 2013 12:56:08
Would you guys be able to point me in the direction of LED Strip lighting compatible with Artemis/Enttec DMX USB? I'm probably going to order a setup from http://www.thomann.de/. My intention is to run it along the ground for floor lighting for raised shields and damage flashing.

Thanks so much!
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pirategent said Mar 25, 2013 19:21:13
We played again on Saturday - several friends had yet to see the LED lighitng set up - it has been dubbed the set up "the JJ Abrams mod" :-)
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toumaltheorca said Mar 25, 2013 20:29:38
JJ Abrams would be LENS FLARE IN YOUR FACE... ALL THE TIME. Don't need DMX for that, just let the desk lamp shine into your eyes :P
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badgeguy said Apr 13, 2013 22:54:19
JamesDunnem (and everyone else trying to get into DMX system setup for Artemis),

As no one has responded to your question here, and I swore I read in another thread confirming the usability of the USB to DMX cable you had asked about on March 7th, let me clarify this for everyone:

Do NOT Purchase the above listed cable, it does not work with Artemis.

As somewhat explained in another thread, uDMX is not a supported format. You will wait from 2 to 4 weeks for the device to arrive from China by postal mail, with little to no documentation other than a mini CD-R that accompanies the cable. Until specifically listed by another user on this forum as to exactly which product to get and from where to purchase it, I would recommend against any other DMX controller other than the Enttec OpenDMX.
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MarkBell said Apr 15, 2013 11:49:17
The Enttec OpenDMX uses the FTDI USB-RS485 convertor chip. You can buy the cable directly from FTDI here http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBRS485.htm and add the connector of your choice. You can wire it directly into the XLR 3 or 5 pin connector and it works like a charm (while costing much less). Alternately, if you want to go with the DMX over CAT5 solution, HolidayCoro has one with a CAT5 connector pre-attached (discussed at length here http://px2owffng8.tal.ki/20121119/cheapest-solution-that-i-can-find-for-lightin-2050591/?viewmark=1 ).

I've used the cable above for several months now (nearly a year, actually) with zero problems.
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MarkBell said Apr 15, 2013 11:57:55
@edward.cope - Honestly, once you've got the USB-DMX box (i.e. Enttec DMX USB) and an XLR connector cable (DMX standard), any DMX compatible light or controller box will talk to it. For example, http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_led_bar_252_rgb.htm from the UK site has a 3-pin XLR connector and 11 addressable DMX channels. Most any pro-type lighting gear will be DMX compatible. Just double check the description - it'll either have DMX-512 listed or something like "7 addressable DMX channels" - asides from RGB control, many have extra options like strobe modes, motion control, etc.

Most gear also uses the 3-pin XLR connector, so you'll probably need a 5-pin to 3-pin adapter to go from the Enttec box to your gear (like this one http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_dmxadapter_53_pol_mw.htm )

Light it up!
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edward.cope said Apr 19, 2013 08:26:08
@MarkBell thanks for the response :) I have my DMX setting working with:

Enttec Open DMX: http://www.thomann.de/se/enttec_open_dmx_usb_interface.htm
pro snake DMX Adapter M-F: http://www.thomann.de/se/pro_snake_dmx_adapter_malefemale.htm
the sssnake DMX-Cable 1000/3: http://www.thomann.de/se/the_sssnake_dmxkabel_10003.htm
Stairville LED Flood Panel 150 40° RGB: http://www.thomann.de/se/stairville_led_flood_panel_150_40.htm

Only issue I had was needing to change the RGB in the DMXcommands.xml to use 0,1,2 instead of 5,6,7 (The Default IIRC)

It shipped from thomann in Germany to Sweden within a week, awesome stuff!

I want a smoke machine now, and was looking at this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_sf80_nebelmaschine.htm, could any of the resident DMX guru's help me with a DMX controller that outputs on/off to the power on a fog machine? From what I have read, fog machines need to warm up, so is this even possible? The cheapest fog machine on the thomann website with DMX built in is this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_sf_1500_fog_machine_b_stock.htm which is far more expensive. Anyone have other brands/suppliers for small fog machines with DMX?
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toumaltheorca said Apr 19, 2013 18:50:00
Hey Edward, I'm the smoke guy ;)

I strongly suggest you look on ebay for DMX-ready smoke machines. I got mine, a 1500W model with integrated DMX capability, for EUR 70.- here: http://www.ebay.at/itm/150927537771

If you can find a smaller model with built-in DMX then go for smaller, because the 1500W thing is quite a beast. You can also get a really small smoke machine and use an external DMX module, however I've seen those sold for around EUR 90.- so I just opted for a complete integrated device for way less than that.

Warmup is no problem at all. You just switch on the machine when you start the server and you'll be fine, most machines are warmed up within 5 minutes, and I doubt you'll get the game going AND be damaged that severely so soon.

For the DMX configuration just choose a single channel and send 0 for off and 255 for smoke. I posted my working config snippet here:

http://px2owffng8.embed.tal.ki/20130320/smoke-on-damage-via-dmx-2502422/?viewmark=1

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