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DMX512: Resources

Application Note 0201 – DMX & RDM Introduction. This includes wiring details for XLR and RJ45.

Application Note 0205 – DMX & RDM Splitters. What are they and where to use them.

Application Note 0215 – DMX & RDM Marking. Howe to interpret splitter marking symbols.

Application Note 0210 – DMX & RDM Splitter Comparison. Compare Artistic Licence splitters.

FAQ:

Q: What is maximum cable length for DMX512?

A: 300m

Q: Can I use Cat5?

A: Yes

Q: How do I terminate:

A: With products that use an XLR, you can connect a terminator plug. With DIN-Rail products, there is an internal terminator which is connected enabled by fitting a wire link between TERM and DATA+.

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PoE: Power over Ethernet

Power-over-Ethernet or PoE defines the way that an ethernet cable can be used to send both power and data to a product. The product which uses PoE is called a ‘PD’ (Powered Device) and the product which supplies the power and data – often an ethernet switch – is called the ‘PSE’ (Power Sourcing Equipment).

PDs require differing amounts of power depending upon their design and the load they are driving.

PSEs are capable of supplying different amounts of power.

These variables are addressed by a number of IEEE standards:

  • PoE is described by IEEE802.3af-2003. It allows a maximum of 15.4W to be supplied.
  • PoE+ is described by IEEE802.3at-2009. It allows a maximum of 25.5W to be supplied.
  • PoE++ is in development and will be described by IEEE802.3bt-2017. It allows a maximum of 90W to be supplied using all 4 pairs. There are 4 different power levels available: 38.7W, 52.7W, 70W and 90W.

The wattages described above refer to the power made available by the PSE. As there are significant losses in the cable, the amount of power available at the PD is lower.

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sACN: Artistic Licence products

The sACN (streaming ACN) protocol is supported in Artistic Licence ethernet products. The differences between Art-Net and sACN lead to some minor clashes which this document seeks to clarify.

Universe numbering

In Art-Net, universes are called Port-Address and number from 0 to 32,767. There are 32,768 unique numbers.

In sACN, universes number from 1 to 63,999. There are 64,000 unique numbers. The standard reserves the values of 0 and 64,000 to 65,535 for future expansion.

Clearly there is the potential for confusion over the number ‘0’. If a universe is set to ‘0’ and the sACN protocol is selected, Artistic Licence products will use a universe value of ‘1’ instead.

Merging and arbitration

The sACN protocol uses a concept called Component Identifier (CID) as a method to optionally distinguish unique streams of data, and a concept called Priority as a method to define the priority of a stream.

 

The following table defines how sACN packets A & B are arbitrated or merged when directed to same universe.

CID Priority What happens?
A=B A=B Streams A and B are identical and are output as DMX.
A<>B A=B Streams A and B are from different controllers but have same priority. The streams will be merged using the LTP/HTP settings of the product. A maximum of two streams can be merged. If a third stream appears it will be ignored.
A=B A>B Streams A and B are from the same controller and A has higher priority. B is ignored and A is output. If A stream stops for more than a 5 second time out period, the lower priority stream will take over. If a stream with a higher priority that which is outputting is detected, the higher priority stream immediately takes precedence.
A=B A<B Streams A and B are from the same controller and B has higher priority. A is ignored and B is output. If A stream stops for more than a 5 second time out period, the lower priority stream will take over. If a stream with a higher priority that which is outputting is detected, the higher priority stream immediately takes precedence.
A<>B A>B Streams A and B are from different controllers and A has higher priority. B is ignored and A is output. If A stream stops for more than a 5 second time out period, the lower priority stream will take over. If a stream with a higher priority that which is outputting is detected, the higher priority stream immediately takes precedence.
A<>B A<B Streams A and B are from different controllers and B has higher priority. A is ignored and B is output. If A stream stops for more than a 5 second time out period, the lower priority stream will take over. If a stream with a higher priority that which is outputting is detected, the higher priority stream immediately takes precedence.
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Software products – Windows compatibility

After Windows XP, Microsoft significantly changed the way in which application software can communicate with Windows. This means that in Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10 some of our software products must be run in a special mode. This mode is called Windows XP compatibility mode with administrator rights. See the application note.

The products concerned are Mic-Edit and Switch-Edit.

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LED: Constant Voltage Dimming

There are two key methods of dimming LED: Constant current (CC) and constant voltage (CV). CV dimmers put out a constant voltage and the current control is done by the LED fixture. This type of dimming tends to be used for the lower power LED products such as Flexi-Strip. CC dimmers put out a controlled current, which means that the fixture does not need electronics for current control of the LED. This style of dimming is used for higher power LED products.

It is important to choose the correct technology of dimmer as an incorrect choice will most likely damage the fixture.

Below is a summary of the Constant Voltage dimmers offered by Artistic Licence:

Rail-Pipe HC is a high current DMX dimmer for 2 x RGB circuits (6 channel).

  • Voltage: 12-24V.
  • Current Max: 20A per product, 10A per RGB circuit
  • Control: DMX512 / RDM
  • Form: DIN Rail

Art-Pipe is an 8 x RGB circuits (24 channel) dimmer with network control.

  • Voltage: 12-24V.
  • Current Max: 10A per product, 2A per RGB circuit. (Note that RGB circuit current is limited by maximum, so if all channels are equally loaded, the limit per RGB circuit is 1.25A
  • Control: Art-Net
  • Form: DIN Rail

 

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DALI: An introduction

Artistic Licence offers a number of products used to convert and manage DALI.

Rail-DALI-DMX converts DALI to DMX512 and Rail-DMX-DALI converts to DMX to DALI.

There is a very large speed difference between DMX512 and DALI which means that care must be taken when designing a lighting installation which converts the between them.

This link offers a primer on DALI and discusses some of the pitfalls.