The Church Media Community
Equipping You to Communicate Effectively
support CMN & share a
library of 19K+ images, videos, etc
Go Pro!
 
Go Back   The Church Media Community > Lighting & Special Effects > Intelligent Lighting
Forgot Password?
                          Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 10:32 PM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
Help new DMX lights are flickering and acting eratic???

We just purchased some new Chauvet dmx lights. 3 Colordash Par's and 11 Minwashes but some of them are flickering and are uncontrollable. I have Accu dmx cables with cable runs over 150 ft. Yes I did end the last light with a dmx terminator.

Let me exlplain how I have them setup. I have MyDmx software. We have a light truss in front of the stage with 3 of the Colordash Par's on them and 2 Minwashes. We have 9 Minwashes across the back floor of the stage. From the soundbooth to the front truss stage lights I believe I have a 100 ft. cable. From the truss to the back floor of the stage I have a 50 ft. cable. The back stage floor lights are working it's the lights I have on the truss in front of the stage that are giving me issues. It also seems that even though I remove the DMX terminator from the last fixture the stage floor lights are still all working and again it's just the truss lights that are acting eratic.

Any ideas?
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 11:57 PM
waynehoskins's Avatar
The Crazy Analog Guy

 
 Join Date: May 2006 
 Last Online: Friday, August 29th, 2014 
The first thing I'd do, being easy, is disconnect the data cable from the first unit it hits on the deck and stick a terminator there. If that clears things up, then my guess is you have too much load on the data line and the units on the front truss (probably the Colordashes, since they're the different ones) aren't receiving reliable data. It could be due to an excessive number of devices (which in theory you're good, since the DMX512 standard, I believe, specs 32 devices per link) or excessive skew or noise on the data line.

A better solution anyhow is to hit an opto-splitter before the downstage truss, and then run separate data lines from the opto to the truss and to the deck.

I would also wonder if the data cable you have is the culprit. A quick and dirty check would be to make a data cable from Category 5 cable, paired and pinned to the ESTA standard (brown pair common (both wires), green and orange pairs for the two data pairs, blue pair clipped). That should be plenty fine, probably better than the cable you have.

You don't have any parallel wye splits in there, do you?
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:00 AM
New Church Media Member

 
 Join Date: Nov 2008 
 Last Online: Thursday, May 20th, 2010 
We had a manufacturer's rep in our shop to demo some new wiggle lights, and he had them all hooked up with (brand new) AccuCable. After an embarrassing (for him) 20 minutes of troubleshooting why nothing worked, we went out back and got a different brand cable and voila, everything worked! But I digress.

To add to Wayne's input, it may help to add an opto-isolator at the output of your myDMX box, as I doubt it has any built in. (this device isolates the input from the output electrical signals via an optical circuit). Better splitters also have optical isolation built in. This can eliminate any electrical anomalies from the line, like ground-mode-differential (did I say that right?). These are handy to have in your technicians bag-of-tricks for when DMX weirdness occurs. If you go with a splitter, just make sure it has opto Isolation, or go with an inline model like a dfd.com/opto....."The isolator also eliminates ground loops and provides high drive current for long control runs."
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:04 AM
Sooper genius

 
 Join Date: Oct 2008 
 Last Online: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 
What do you mean by uncontrollable exactly? Do they not respond from the controller at all, or do they not do what they are supposed to do? Doing something unexpected could be a setting on the fixtures as opposed to a signal problem. Make sure all of the fixtures are in the same mode.

I would start at the beginning of the data chain and unplug all other fixtures on the line, adding one fixture at a time until I found the problem fixture or cable.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:08 AM
New Church Media Member

 
 Join Date: Nov 2008 
 Last Online: Thursday, May 20th, 2010 
Hmmm, another thought...
How are you powering the lights on your truss? I'd guess your floor lights are plugged into wall outlets, but are the lights on the truss plugged into dimmers, even if the dimmers are at full or set to non-dim? Some dimmers, even at full, clip the AC sine wave a little bit, which could cause flicker. If they are, run an extension cord to the truss to test if the lights flicker when plugged into a standard power outlet.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:35 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
Quote:
Originally Posted by millamber View Post
What do you mean by uncontrollable exactly? Do they not respond from the controller at all, or do they not do what they are supposed to do? Doing something unexpected could be a setting on the fixtures as opposed to a signal problem. Make sure all of the fixtures are in the same mode.

I would start at the beginning of the data chain and unplug all other fixtures on the line, adding one fixture at a time until I found the problem fixture or cable.
I believe I can control the color but not the movements. Also from the truss lights if I unplug the last output 50 ft. cable that leads to my lights on the stage floor, the truss lights will now work again.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:39 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonK View Post
Hmmm, another thought...
How are you powering the lights on your truss? I'd guess your floor lights are plugged into wall outlets, but are the lights on the truss plugged into dimmers, even if the dimmers are at full or set to non-dim? Some dimmers, even at full, clip the AC sine wave a little bit, which could cause flicker. If they are, run an extension cord to the truss to test if the lights flicker when plugged into a standard power outlet.
no the lights on the truss are not powered by dimmers, they are plugged ito outlets
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:46 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
I also asked for help on the americandj forum and this is one of the replies i got...

Ya. You probably need a opto branch 4 dmx splitter. The signal that comes our of the single is not as powerful as a 120v current you would get from a reg. Console. So think about getting one of those. Of sjouke me listed on the elation site under products and dmx solutions.
Sincerely,

James D. Keeley
Elation Professional/American DJ
Compu Live/MY DMX Tech Support

So is it that I need my signal boosted?
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:51 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
Also guys I don't really have the option of adding/replacing the 100 ft. and 50 ft. long cable runs because we had it installed behind the walls. We just finished a renovation of our building.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 08:04 AM
New Church Media Member

 
 Join Date: Nov 2008 
 Last Online: Thursday, May 20th, 2010 
Sounds like many sign are pointing that way. Either the Elation Branch 4 or Fleenor inline DMXOpto are about $200.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 08:13 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Feb 2008 
 Last Online: Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 
how about the Chauvet Data Stream 4 it's cheaper at $119
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 08:58 AM
waynehoskins's Avatar
The Crazy Analog Guy

 
 Join Date: May 2006 
 Last Online: Friday, August 29th, 2014 
Maybe I'm turned into a gear snob, but personally I'd go with a more established make of opto than China -- Doug Fleenor or ETC, for example. Even though there's not much to it, a failure of an opto can bring down the whole rig; that's one place I don't like taking chances.

I too would question the quality of your data cable .. would be lots easier if you hadn't installed it already. For installation, I would have gone one of two ways: either the proper RS485 cable (Belden's whatever-it-is) or Category cable, since both are an accepted standard. No-name "DMX" cable, well, you get what you pay for.
Reply With Quote Start a New Topic From This Comment
Reply

  The Church Media Community > Lighting & Special Effects > Intelligent Lighting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:



Add to Google


Register Now for FREE!
Our records show you have not yet registered to our community. To sign up for your FREE account INSTANTLY fill out the form below!

Username: Password: Confirm Password: E-Mail: Confirm E-Mail:
Agree to forum rules 


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:14 AM.

   
 
© 1995-2008, ChurchMedia™, ChurchMedia LLC

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0