Using the DMX Dimmer Pack

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The EUROLITE EDX-4R Is a 4 channel DMX pack which allows you to dim or switch 4 channels of 220V power, using standard euro plugs.

DMX is a protocol that is most commonly used for controlling lights, but other things can be controlled as well, such as fans, smoke machines, moving heads etc. DMX protocol is divided into what is called Universes. A standard DMX universe consists of 512 channels. Most lighting fixtures, DMX LED drivers and so on are addressable. Each channel has an 8 bit resolution, meaning you can control the channels with values from 0-255.

Simply put, you can control the intensity of 4 different lights.


About addresses:

The DMX dimmer pack has one important setting, which is the start address. This will show up on the dimmer display as A001.

The dimmer has four plugs (labelled CH1-CH4) if the start address is set to 1, then CH1 will have an address of 1 and the remaining plugs will have addresses of 2,3 and 4. If the start address is set to 15 then the CH1 will have the address of 15 and the remaining plugs will have addresses of 16, 17 an 18. And so on and so forth. For most setups it’ll be best to have the start address set to 1.


HOW TO CONTROL THE DIMMER WITH AN ARDUINO

This setup is ideal if you want a simple standalone installation without a computer

The Interaction Station has a DMX Shield for the Arduino from tinker.it

The library for the shield can found here: https://github.com/PaulStoffregen/DmxSimple

There’s lots of extra info here: http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/DMX

CONTROL VIA COMPUTER METHOD 1. ARTNET

Arnet is a protocol which allows you to send DMX signals over a network cable. The interaction station has an EZ KLING Artnet device which will allow you to connect to DMX devices using a network cable.

The EZ-KLING device has the following network settings:
IP: 10.85.37.24
Subnet Mask: 255.0.0.0

Your Ethernet port needs to be in the same IP range as the EZ-KLING. I use an external Ethernet adapter, set manually to IP address 10.85.37.55, and Subnet Mask 255.0.0.0.

For most setups you’ll need to remember both the IP of both your ethernet adapter and the artnet device.

Things you’ll need:

1. ELATION EZ-KLING ARTNET to DMX
This device connects to your computer over an ethernet connection.
2. THUNDERBOLT to ETHERNET adapter
Use this adapter so that you have an extra port on a Macintosh computer, so that you can connect the ARTNET device while still staying connected to the school network. You’ll need to configure the adapter in System Preferences/Network.
3. ETHERNET AND DMX CABLES

Connecting it all together:

Computer -> Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter -> Ethernet Cable -> EZ-KLING ARTNET -> DMX cable -> DMX Dimmer Pack

Software:

VEZER
A timeline program that is very easy to use. You can use keyframes on a timeline to control the dimmer. The free version doesn’t allow saving, but it is still very useful for testing purposes. This should be the first thing you try. Works only via ARTNET. https://imimot.com/vezer/

Code it yourself:

MAX/MSP
https://www.theimpersonalstereo.com/impdmx/

PROCESSING
https://github.com/cansik/artnet4j

OPENFRAMEWORKS
(you might need to disable wifi first to make the connection work)
https://github.com/hiroyuki/ofxArtnet

CONTROL VIA COMPUTER METHOD 2. VIA USB

A slightly simpler connection

Things you’ll need:

1. Enttec DMX USB Pro
2. USB and DMX cables

Drivers:
To use the Enttec DMX USB pro you’ll need these drivers: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

Connecting it all together:
Computer -> USB cable -> USB to DMX interface -> DMX Cable -> DMX Dimmer Pack

  • NB. The Enttec device uses DMX 5 pin and the Dimmer Pack uses DMX 3 pin, make sure you have the right cables. You can get adapters from 3 pin to 5 pin at the rental.

Code it yourself:

PROCESSING
http://motscousus.com/stuff/2011-01_dmxP512/

Their example code example is a little stupid, use this isntead to test, mouse x will control CH1, mouse y will control CH2. —code--

 dmxOutput.set(1, (int)map(mouseX, 0, width  , 0, 255));
 dmxOutput.set(2, (int)map(mouseY, 0, height , 0, 255));

See also:
http://dmxp5.sourceforge.net/ //deprecated but still works


OPENFRAMEWORKS
https://github.com/kylemcdonald/ofxDmx

MAX/MSP
http://www.nullmedium.de/dev/dmxusbpro/ https://github.com/thomasfredericks/DMX_USB_PRO_MAX