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For the device described below a do-it-yourself instruction is available for an alternative which is essentally compatible (combined with a commercially traded Ethernet / RS-232 converter).
ASCII text based and binary command set are almost identical. Artnet, OSC, transparente data transfer and MIDI compatible commands are not supported.
Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box
Preferred range of use:
The Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box is primarily designated to control a DMX512 - based lighting bus via Ethernet and/or to read DMX levels from another DMX bus. Operation as DMX transmitter and as DMX receiver is possible simultaneously.
DMX levels received via DMX IN can be merged with level settings generated by a user via Ethernet - the result is retransmitted through DMX OUT. For this purpose, the Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box is configured as a TCP or UDP server. Control commands are given in compact ASCII text format.
As an alternative, a binary command set is available, which is based on MIDI channel messages.
Additionally, the Ethernet / DMX Control Box may be configured for some other special modes of operation by means of the rotary switch:
--- Art-Net™ node: supports one universe of DMX OUT and one universe of DMX IN. In addition to the Art-Net primary IP and subnet configurations a user defined IP configuration is available, which allows better integration of the box into existing class C networks.
--- Command set for OSC ('Open Sound Control'), optimized for Control by the 'TouchOSC' app for I-Phone and Android, furthermore by PD ('PureData') patcher and other software.
--- serial communication node for TCP and UDP: retransmits any byte received via Ethernet through its serial interface (supported formats: MIDI, RS-232. RS-422) and vice versa retransmits any byte received at the serial interface via Ethernet. The serial or MIDI connection is provided by a special adaptor cable which is plugged on the DMX OUT socket. The wiring of these cables is documented in the manual of the Ethernet / DMX Control Box.
Besides PC standard baud rates (9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200 - byte format 8N1 no handshake) especially the MIDI interface is supported. A fully featured optoisolated MIDI input is available.
Command-/Control interface for DMX512:
The Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box can be operated with any control equipment (PC, media controller, PLC) which is able to send and receive ASCII text in TCP or UDP format via Ethernet. All commands are documented, no special drivers are needed.
Alternatively the box may be operated with binary commands formatted as MIDI channel messages. By means of a special driver direct command transfer is possible from PC-based MIDI software (sequencers for example).
Because Ethernet communication is baudrate independent, this binary data format is even well applicable to control the box by PLC or similar equipment, which has few or no capabilities to convert numeric values into ASCII text.
In a most simple case - preferably for setup or debugging of installations - manual and interactive operation by Telnet terminal is possible.
The actual lighting scene is buffered internally. It is permanently transmitted at the DMX bus until it is modified by another command. Interruption of the Ethernet connection has no influence on the DMX bus pattern. After power cycling or turn of the rotary switch, automatically preset no.0 is loaded.
Data traffic is signalled by the red/green dual LED "Data", which shows the active mode of operation, too. Whenever the box is in TCP "connected" state, the blue LED "TCP" is on. It flashes during UDP net transfer.
The most essential command options for DMX control:
- Any DMX channel 1 to 512 can be set to any level by sending a short sequence of ASCII text to the box (8 bit of resolution).
- Any DMX channel 1 to 512 can be set arbitrarily by means of a single or several MIDI channel messages (one MIDI message results in up to 8 bit resolution).
- Additionally combinations of RGB colors may be set at 3 subsequent DMX channels with simple ASCII or MIDI commands.
- For any DMX channel a fade ramp can be executed automatically, duration programmable up to 31.9 seconds. This diminuishes the expense for design of complex lighting sequences considerably. Any number of fade processes can be active simultaneously on all DMX channels.
- The flexibly configurable chaser feature loads sequences of presets (=lighting scenes) automatically in a cyclic manner to DMX OUT. Softly faded transitions are possible. The flash feature pushes all DMX channels to a defined level for a short period of time.
- The cycle of DMX data packets can be set by command between 24 and 512 channels. If a DMX channel out of the active DMX cycle is adressed, the packet length is readjusted automatically.
- The Ethernet / DMX Control Box is able to simultaneously receive a signal at DMX IN and transmit a different signal via DMX OUT. The signal transmitted at DMX OUT can be set to several modes of operation:
--- transmission with DMX clock generated inside the box,
--- transmission externally snychronized with the received DMX signal and
--- receive & readout operation while the signal from DMX IN is looped to the DMX OUT connector.
- The merge method can be set individually for each DMX channel. Following options are available:
--- user settings loaded via Ethernet are transmitted at DMX OUT,
--- the sigal received at DMX IN is retransmitted at DMX OUT,
--- the less one , the greater one
--- or the last changed one of both is transmitted.
Please note that "merge" means slot-by-slot switching between both signal sources, not linear superposition.
- One ASCII or MIDI command can poll the levels of 1 to 128 successive DMX channels of the recently received or transmitted DMX packet via Ethernet. Alternatively upload and download of bigger blocks of DMX data is possible in a compact binary format.
- Automatic state messages can be programmed individually for each DMX channel. If the received DMX signal on a sensitized channel has changed more than a programmable threshold, the present DMX level is reported automatically via Ethernet (ASCII-, MIDI- or OSC compatible format). Corresponding to the position of the rotary switch at the front panel, these messages are sent as TPC packets or UDP datagrams (optionally configurable as broadcast or multicast).
These messages are sent in the same format which is used by level setting commands. I.e. this feature is useable as a simple DMX recorder.
- Messages of freely defineable strings: If the DMX channels 500 to 512 receive specific levels at DMX IN, strings preformatted by the user (ASCII text, binary or both mixed) are transmitted automatically via Ethernet. Up to 104 different strings, each max. 255 bytes, may be stored permanently and held available. The feature can be used for sophisticated command input to PC-based user software, for example.
- The actual state of the Ethernet / DMX Control Box (indluding transmit buffer, merge profile, thresholds for automatic messages, mode of operation) can be saved permanently as a preset (=lighting scene). Up to 384 presets can be stored and be reloaded at any time.
The transition from the previous lighting scene is performed with the actual fade time.
During power-on and after turn of the rotary switch preset no.0 is loaded automatically.
The individual setup of network parameters (IP addresses, ports), baud rate and timing parameters is possible via Ethernet: TCP (default IP at delivery 192.168.0.240), by UDP multicast (IP 188.8.131.52) or by RS-232 using an adaptor cable plugged on the XLR socket.
equiped with 5 pin XLR connectors in compliance with the DMX standard:
|The DMX receiver as well as
the DMX transmitter is galvanically
isolated from the controller circuit.
If the application demands a ground referenced DMX transmitter, the optoisolation can be bridged with an internal jumper.
Standard RJ45 connector, automatic configuration to 10 rsp. 100 Mbit/s, due to kind of network.
Not compatible with "Power over Ethernet" (PoE) !
An in-plug adaptor for 230V AC with "europlug" is delivered along with the DMX Control Box. Other supplies with regulated or unregulated DC output 8 to 30 Volt (min. current output 300 mA) can be used.
Rugged aluminum case.
Mechanical dimensions: length about 11 cm (incl. connector sockets), width 11.3 cm, height 3.1cm.
* State of information August 2014. Right of technical modifications reserved.
* This description is for information only, no product specifications are assured in juridical sense.
* Trademarks and product names cited in this text are property of their respective owners.