Led Light controllers

Discussion in 'C-Bus Wired Hardware' started by jako, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. jako

    jako

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    jako, Apr 26, 2005
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  2. jako

    dbuckley

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    I like answering this question, 'cos every time I answer it I put up a different answer.

    As far as I know, Clipsal are yet to address the LED fixture marketplace, so you need to do a bit of integrating. I've not tried this solution, but its held together with industry standard protocols from reputable manufacturers, so it should work.

    So, you could try going via DALI. The 5502DAL will go CBus to DALI, and then Artistic Licence make a thing called the Rail-DALI, which is a DALI to DMX512 interface, http://www.artisticlicence.com/item365.htm

    Now you've got DMX512, you can use any of the available LED controllers, from Dynalite, or Pulsar, or Artistic Licence, or NJD or (you get the idea)

    Do let us know how you get on.
     
    dbuckley, Apr 27, 2005
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  3. jako

    MichaelCarey

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    I think CIS needs to do something in this area, Luxon LED's are amazing things.
    Even a C-Bus to DMX512 interface would be a step in the right direction...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2005
    MichaelCarey, Apr 28, 2005
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  4. jako

    ashleigh Moderator

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    CIS are well aware.

    CIS also have only a finite number of people on staff to develop new products.
     
    ashleigh, Apr 28, 2005
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  5. jako

    MichaelCarey

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    I know all about that sort of thing!
    I regularly spread my finite resources over an infinite number of projects. Seven days a week for six months is a hell of a work load!! :) Sometimes the money isn't worth it.....
     
    MichaelCarey, Apr 28, 2005
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  6. jako

    MrEcosse

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    OK here's my sledgehammer solution to this...

    We have a client in the UK who wanted to change the colour of the lights under his kitchen cabinets to suit his mood. Colour changing LEDs being the solution.

    We have a Saturn switch that chnges the levels on three groups, a Crestron controller listens to the groups reinterprets them sends out an RS232 command on a serial port which is converted by box of tricks to a DMX string which goes to the LED controller which changes the colour. Believe it or not it works a treat.

    We use the Crestron controller and Touchscreens a lot to provide additional functionality to the Clipsal system.
     
    MrEcosse, May 3, 2005
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  7. jako

    dbuckley

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    What would be useful would be for Clipsal to make a DMX512 output converter box, like the DALI and analog boxes.

    However, I think hell will be frozen over before it happens.
     
    dbuckley, May 4, 2005
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  8. jako

    ashleigh Moderator

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    Hmm. Neat idea.......
     
    ashleigh, May 4, 2005
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  9. jako

    MrEcosse

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    Absolutely, it can't be too difficult. You can get avery programmable DMX controller for around 100 pounds sterling.

    We get lots of requests for colour changing stuff for both commercial and residential. There are loads of funky things in the DMX world which appeal to all sorts of clients. However there is no concept of a wall switch for these systems. If we could use an all Clipsal syatem (i.e. don't need to use Crestron) that would be a winner for us.

    We are a UK integrator for bith residential and commercial projects.
     
    MrEcosse, May 4, 2005
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  10. jako

    ashleigh Moderator

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    The thing to do is to talk to your CIS sales rep - CIS is MARKET driven - that means if the market demands we listen and develop.

    What you suggest is theoretically easy. But engineering it into a robust releasable product with commissioning software, etc, etc, etc, is another matter entirely. I'd guess that its about 6 to 8 person-months work and that would be using a bit of a quick & dirty dodgy hack method... And right now CIS is flat out on other developments. But you have prompted a few cunning ideas so I'll chat to a few people and see what transpires.

    It sure won't happen before Christmas though, if at all.

    *Amendment: If this was done the cbus->DMX converter device would be the master controller on DMX so you would be able to use your DMX equipment but not add a separate fader panel. Would this be acceptable? *
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2005
    ashleigh, May 5, 2005
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  11. jako

    MrEcosse

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    I suppose there are two main applications here for us. The first is residential where we have various DMX devices mainly LED colour changes but also other nightclub style fittings. Often we don't need much additional control on these other than to switch them on and select a DMX program stored in a third party device. The keymhere is the fact that there is no concept of a wall switch in DMX world just controllers and desks.

    The other area is Churches where we will control most of the lighting with day to day scenes with Clipsal but they still want desk cintrol as well for special, ocassions and concerts. What does the DMX interface for the architectural dimmers do? In the UK this is marked as 5 weeks lead time which generally means "unavailable", so we've never seen one.
     
    MrEcosse, May 5, 2005
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  12. jako

    ashleigh Moderator

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    Something else to bear in mind is that for FAST changes, you cannot generate them on cbus. Remember cbus is a LOW bandwidth bus.

    So if youi want to generate fancy effects by pumping a zillion commands out of your logic engine and get it turned into something cute on DMX, it won't work.

    Regds other question: The arch dimmer is a DMX input, not a DMX controller. It only gobbles up the DMX commands.

    What we are talking about here is something that accepts CBus commands (like a standard cbus dimmer does), and translates that via some magic into DMX commands that it pumps out.

    The 12 ch arch dimmer is big and heavy - freight aint cheap thats probably why its on 5 wks lead time.
     
    ashleigh, May 5, 2005
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  13. jako

    MrEcosse

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    A good start would be a programmble RS232 output unit, we send it a c-bus group and level and it outputs a string. Then we could control DMX units and whole host of others. We much prefer to use Serial rather than Ir if we can.

    Perhaps it could eventually be expanded to be two way.
     
    MrEcosse, May 5, 2005
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  14. jako

    dbuckley

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    This sort of thing appears particularly easy to do. You need put together Clipsal's 10V analog interface rail units (5504AM) and one of these http://www.goddarddesign.com/mergad.html or something similar.

    The the desk can be used for a full load of lighting (maybe several universes worth) with all the wagglers and conventionals, but you can also have 24 channels of DMX512 provided under clipsal control. Highest wins. When you're fed up with big lights, just put the master fader to zero, turn off the desk, and CBus is in control...
     
    dbuckley, May 5, 2005
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  15. jako

    Don

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    Can do this... sort of

    A C-Bus PC Interface can be set up to monitor the local network. PC Interface configuration can be made non-volatile, so it will always power-up in the desired mode. Once set-up to monitor, it will output (at 9600 Baud MAX), a string in response to every command sent on the bus. The monitoring can be extended to multiple networks by programming bridges on each remote network to relay a copy of commands to the PC Interface.

    The only thing you can't do is fully customise the strings that come out of the PC Interface. There are a few options, but they are always in C-Bus format.

    BTW This IS two-way as well!

    If this is useful to you, give it a go!

    Don
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2005
    Don, May 5, 2005
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  16. jako

    ashleigh Moderator

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    AND, enough of the information you need to make this work is freely available asthe cbus public release protocol. See the CIS website (cough) for more info.
     
    ashleigh, May 6, 2005
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  17. jako

    MrEcosse

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    Actually we are officially C-Bus enabled so I suppose we don't really have an excuse!

    Like that analogue to DMX widget, and I can get it in the UK. :D

    All good stuff this though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2005
    MrEcosse, May 6, 2005
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  18. jako

    dbuckley

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    Another easy way to get CBus to the DMX512 world is to use a Clipsal relay unit, and a "canned" lighting controller with contact inputs. These vary from the simple, with a couple of contacts closures to a couple of scenes, to what are effectively lighting consoles without knobs, retailing at a several thousand of anyone's currency.
     
    dbuckley, May 6, 2005
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  19. jako

    Frank Mc Alinden

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    Hi David
    What about using a clipsal sim module (can these still be purchased) and a pic micro (to convert from cbus protocol to dmx ) and connect it to a Milfords DMX Controller ...??? The Milfords DMX Controller can store scenes , so some cbus groups could be reserved for dmx scenes........

    Frank
     
    Frank Mc Alinden, May 7, 2005
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  20. jako

    dbuckley

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    Hi Frank

    Yep, thats yet another good way it could be done.

    This forum appears to be mostly occupied by integrators, for whom time is money, so a couple of thousand (insert currency here) for a box that does the job from the off is neither here nor there on a moderately complex installation.

    In the big picture, there are complex forces at work.

    How many DMX lights do you need to control? How many scenes? Does it need to do fancy stuff like chasing or fading? Cue lists? Is this just a couple of oddball LED fixtures, or something bigger? Scrollers, moving heads (eg corporate logo gobo projection)? Would a programmable RS232 or MSC interface from CBus be better than basic DMX512, as that can control an external appropriate DMX512 system, chosen from the entertainment rather than architectural worlds? And if Clipsal were to actually bring out a DMX output box, how would that affect their dimmer sales in the architectural space (DMX512 dimmers can be very cheap)?

    The decision of when its appropriate to hand off from what CBus is good at to the narrower but deeper world of DMX512 is becoming an interesting question...

    I do recall reading some Clipsal press blurb from (if I remember correctly) the Sydney games, which integrated DMX512 with CBus, but again from memory it was fairly trivial, relay closures I think.

    Was it grasshopper who said "we live in interesting times?"
     
    dbuckley, May 7, 2005
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