Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Small cheap DMX controller

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Under a rock in Cambridge UK
    Posts
    1,353

    Default Small cheap DMX controller

    I'm looking for a DMX controller, but don't know too much about them. I get how DMX works, addressing, standards, signalling, but scenes and chases have me a bit baffled... Most controllers seem to offer for example, 30 banks of 8 scenes and 6 chasers...

    I have DMX boards in 5 lasers which control blanking, 2 x servos, Individual R, G and B module brightness, X Flip, Y Flip, RB Flip. So each laser needs 9 channels and I am likely to add more lasers in the future. The most common option on the controllers seems to be 12 fixtures with 16 channels each, which I can live with.

    What I want to do, is hit a button on my DMX controller and the lasers chase left to right, hit another button and they chase right to left, hit a third and they do a colour chase across the heads. At that point with only 6 chases I would only have 3 chases left at my disposal. This doesn't seem very many on the grand scheme of things. I can do this with the TTL chaser in LivePro, but that is limited to 32 channels and I need 45 for 5 lasers.

    So can one of you lighting guru's point me in the direction of a decent, small, cheap controller (I'm not looking for a Pearl or anything that huge and expensive) that will allow me to run a bunch of different programs. And maybe explain what all this stuff means?

    The way I see it is a scene is a static look for all my lights, so colour, brightness, position and so on and a chase allows me to play back a string of scenes to make the lights flash, change colour and move etc. When I see people on a Pearl, they seem to program hundreds of chases to keep the show looking different...

    So surely there is something that can offer more than 6 chases without breaking the bank..

    Cheers
    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bree North West, Middle-Earth
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Mark,

    For this type of work I would avoid the cheap "disco" style of DMX controllers and consider something like a Lanbox, (www.lanbox.com). I use these extensively for show and exhibition work. They have numerous options and are so much more flexible compared to a small chase controller, which is really designed for a small number of moving head fixtures. It really depends what you are trying to achieve. In a rush at the moment, but send me a PM with your number and I can give you a call next week one evening and give you some more background. I am sure others will also have good advice, but I think for your application these cheap DMX controllers, which are more aimed at disco work, may disappoint.

    Cheers

    Steve

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Detroit, USA
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    If you have a computer you can use, I recommend getting a software based controller. It has been my experience that the inexpensive DMX consoles just plain suck; they are difficult to program, and not very intuitive. While they do offer the advantage of single button playback, software controllers can be set up to do the same thing using the computer's keyboard or midi notes from an external device. I like Martin Lightjockey, but at around $1200 it's not exactly 'budget'. Chamsys sells some inexpensive USB to DMX converters, give them a look.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN & Huntsville, AL, USA
    Posts
    3,121

    Default

    +1 for DMX via software control!

    I highly recommend the Enttec Pro USB ~

    VERY reliable, and it's "Pangolin approved" and supported with Beyond and QuickShow, so you don't need a separate software package to handle the DMX!

    Randy
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Knutsford, UK
    Posts
    286

    Default

    100% Chamsys MagicQ with dongle of choice...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wiltshire, UK
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dilbert View Post
    100% Chamsys MagicQ with dongle of choice...
    +1, and I have a spare dongle, its the basic version, only restriction is it will only run for 5 hrs then you have to unplug the put it straight in again.
    Squat that bug,

    One day I'll finish my build.
    https://www.facebook.com/Azteclasers?fref=ts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Under a rock in Cambridge UK
    Posts
    1,353

    Default

    Cheers guys,

    Looks like general opinion is Enttec Pro and Chamsys... I got the same tip from an LD I spoke to last night... Hmm, more software to learn

    Thanks

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Under a rock in Cambridge UK
    Posts
    1,353

    Default

    Sorted...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chamsys.JPG 
Views:	47 
Size:	2.00 MB 
ID:	39455

    Thanks for all the tips and offers of help..

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.


    Drink Your Fruits and Vegetables for Optimum Health
    Last edited by OrsinPeach55; 12-17-2014 at 02:46.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Sussex, England
    Posts
    5,204

    Default

    Mark, if you haven't bought it yet, the Chamsys full MagicDMX dongle is cheaper than the Enttec Pro by a couple of 20 notes.

    Chamsys is the mutts nuts, if you want to grow into lighting or have control of hazers, etc then you're all set for a good few years to come. If you have a touch screen already for LP, you can drag and resize the Execute window onto it so you have a strip of DMX control at top/bottom/wherever.
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •