MIDI Control Box
RS-232 Control Box
Ethernet Control Box
MIDI / RS422 Expander
USB / DMX512 Control Box
Preferred range of use:
The USB / DMX512 Control Box is developed with a view of expanding computer based multimedia projects by use of lighting techniques. Apart from the USB interface, it has essentially same functions as the RS-232 / DMX512 Control Box.
It can be operated as a DMX transmitter and as a DMX receiver simultaneously.
The merge feature combines the DMX transmitter with the receiver:data received at DMX IN are multiplexed with user generated DMX levels to be retransmitted at DMX OUT. Some priority modes are selecetable.
Specific level changes at DMX IN can be activated to trigger ASCII text formatted state messages or user preprogrammed strings to be sent at the USB interface.
In contrast to proprietary control equipment, the USB / DMX512 Control Box can be operated with any kind of software which is capable to transmit and receive ASCII text or binary data via a (virtual) serial COM port.
Alternatively, the most essential features can be controlled by a compact binary data format, which is handled easier together with some kind of application or controller device.
The USB interface is equiped with a FT245 type chip from manufacturer FTDI, who supplies corresponding (virtual COM port) drivers for Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers. At host computer side, the USB driver operates with any virtual baud rate up to 115200 Baud without explicit setup. Most times, the effective rate of data transfer rate will be higher.
The need for a USB host restricts the use of the USB/DMX512 Control Box primarily to Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers. But appropriate USB host interfaces are increasingly available for handheld devices, PLC type industrial controllers and media controllers based on special hardware design.
This way the DMX lighting bus can be integrated into applications, which support a (virtual) serial port combined with a scripting language. Office-applications can be used too, if appropriate DLL dynamic libraries are added.
In a most simple case - especially to set up or debug computer controlled lighting installations - manual interactive operation is possible with a simple terminal program.
Activity and mode of operation is monitored by a red/green dual colour LED.
The most essential features of 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). Binary commands are implemented as a more compact alternative.
- Additionally combinations of RGB colors may be set at 3 subsequent DMX channels with simple ASCII text commands.
- For any DMX channel a fade transition 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 USB / 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 generated by 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 received DMX signal 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 USB 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 command can poll the levels of 1 to 128 DMX channels of the recently received or transmitted DMX packet via USB interface. An alternative polling method transfers bigger blocks of bytes in a more 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 USB.
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 (but the capacity of the USB interface may set a limit to the number of channels which may be recorded simultaneously).
- 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 USB. Up to 104 different strings, each max. 255 bytes, may be stored permanently and held available. The feature can be used for more sophisticated command input to PC-based user software.
- The actual state of the USB / DMX Control Box (indluding transmit buffer, merge profile, thresholds for automatic messages, mode of operation, system configuration) 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 preset no.0 is loaded automatically.
equiped with 5 pin XLR connectors in compliance with the DMX standard:
The DMX transmitter as well as the DMX receiver is galvanically isolated from the control processor.
If the application demands a ground referenced DMX transmitter, the optoisolation can be bridged with an internal jumper.
Power is supplied through the USB interface.
Maximum supply current 150mA.
Rugged aluminum case.
Mechanical dimensions: length ca. 9.5 cm (incl. connectors), width 11,3 cm, height 3,1cm.
On request, we assemble the device with 3 pin XLR connectors or with an 8 pin detachable clamp.
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* State of information October 2012. 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.