DIY Entertainment Technology

For the lighting-inclined

Just letting you know, on September 23rd (ish), I’ll have the opportunity to test out the console with 28 led par 64s, 4 led bars, 2 mac 550s, 7 technobeams, an atomic strobe and 24 channels of conventional dimming.

Obviously, the direct-fader control (even with softpatching and scenes recorded) makes operation difficult, but the aim is really to stress-test the console by running as many chases as possible simultaneously.

The show itself will be run on a Jands Vista i3, as I don’t yet trust my console enough.

I hope to post videos from the event demonstrating the console’s capabilities.


Comments on: "For the lighting-inclined" (5)

  1. If you don’t have any sort of abstraction layer, it’s gonna be pretty painful running any kind of moving fixture. I remember programming for an i-cue on an express… bad times all around.

    I’ve recently stepped into uC development with a project in mind that might be of interest to you. I’m currently conceptualizing a small device that will initially be intended to serve as a bench-test tool for intelligent fixtures. I plan on developing an open format for a fixture library, that will hopefully allow anyone to create a fixture profile to use on this device, allowing modern control of a moving light in a package that’ll fit in a tool bag.

    Ultimately I’d like to carry this concept over into a very simple show controller, but that’s even farther off.

    I’m enjoying reading about your project, and you definitely deserve congratulations, for your audacity if nothing else!

    • I absolutely agree about an open fixture specification format, but I always end up anticipating

      For now, I’m working on a fixture profile converter partly so that I’ll be able to use profiles from other consoles when I implement ML abstraction but also to save others from having to re-describe their fixtures for different consoles.

      I agree that operation of many MLs without abstraction can be painful, but the aim is really to test the underlying code to establish whether ML abstraction is achievable without major rewrites.

      I look forward to hearing more about your testing device. Implementing some RDM functionality may be of use too, if that becomes more widely integrated into products.

      • Right now the fixture library is my biggest worry. I know that it should be possible to run the rest of the device on one of the fancier AVRs, especially with existing libraries to cover most of the functionality I need, but offering users an easy way for users to implement fixtures, and an easy way to handle a library of dozens or hundreds of fixtures, is going to be a challenge.

        One of my friends has already proposed a web-based application to build JSON entries for fixtures, and that’s something that sounds pretty reasonable.

      • That does sound reasonable, and if (partial?) conversion could be implemented then that may save you/users a lot of time. With regard to managing the fixture library, I’d be using XML files on an SD card or similar (not that I’ve attempted uC SD card storage before). I’m unfamiliar with the specifics of JSON and so can’t really comment on it’s appropriateness, but I really do like the idea of a wizard-like application for creating fixture libraries rather than diving into manufacturer-specific code.

  2. I’m worried about XML being a little too bloated. JSON is basically a lightweight implementation of the same concept.

    I understand a lot of manufacturers use a library provided by Carallon, which is then converted into whatever format they choose. I’m leery of trying to reverse engineer a manufacturer’s library, simply because I intend to open-source this project, and it’d be silly to say ‘You’ll have to find your own library, sorry.’

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