This note describes how Artistic Licence products can handle a sudden loss of data.
The term ‘fail-over’ has a subtly different meaning depending on the circumstances. The key difference is whether one looks at the situation from the perspective of the controller or the receiver. But in either case, the important consideration is that the lights go to a known condition when DMX512 data loss occurs.
The majority of Artistic Licence receivers, such as sunDial, candlePower and Rail-Switch have the ability to detect loss of DMX and take action. The action can be to ‘hold last state’ which is the default for DMX512 equipment, or playback a preset scene. These features are all programmed via RDM (Remote Device Management).
Dealing with a controller failure requires a combination of products to detect the fault and then take action. There are two key approaches: merge and switch.
DMX mergers such a Rail-Merge and matisse f6 have the ability to hold last state. This means that if the DMX512 control signal is lost, they will keep outputting the last signal they received. This approach is useful in some circumstances but lacks flexibility.
Fail-over is further complicated when multiple universes need to be protected. Rail-Flip can protect four universes of DMX512. In automatic mode, it monitors the inputs and if it detects a loss of signal on any of the A-inputs, it will switch to the B-input. Additionally, the product uses relays to do the switching, so it also protects against power loss.
In this approach, fail-over switches to a second DMX controller, such as a matisse f6.
Gateways convert ethernet Art-Net or sACN to DMX512/RDM. So what happens if the ethernet control signal is lost? The premium range gateways such as dataLynx, netLynx and artLynx quad have fail-over detection. This means that you can program what the gateway should do in the event of network failure. The action can be to ‘hold last state’ which is the default, or playback a preset scene. These features are all programmed via DMX-Workshop or the gateway’s web browser.
There are numerous instances when it is usual to switch a circuit in the event of a DMX512 failure. Rail-Switch II provides this function using its Data Loss Mode (highlighted below). This application note shows how to use DMX-Workshop to configure the product.
Right click and select ‘Set Data Loss Mode’ from the popup menu.
Select scene 1 and press set.
Next, output levels to set the relays to the state to be used in a data failure. In this example it is just the first two relays on.
Right click on ‘Capture preset’ and select ‘Set Capture preset’ from the popup menu.
Select ‘Record scene 1’ and press record.
The Rail-Switch will now output scene 1 in the event of a loss of DMX512.
The standard product (firmware V8.23 or V8.27) will detect loss of DMX512 after approximately 1.8s. A fast response version (V8.25) is available which switches in under 0.5s.
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.
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.
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.
DALI-USB is a product manufactured by Tridonic. Artistic Licence resells this product for the convenience of our customers wishing to use a laptop rather than a handheld device such as Commissioner dali.
All versions of moody (with a DMX512 port) output a total of 42 slots (or channels) of data. The first 40 slots are filled with colour information in either 3 slot footprints for RGB or 4 slot footprints for RGBW. For example, the largest moody – the “moody y10” – outputs 4 x 10 slots.
moody products which produce less data will still output 42 slots – the unused slots are just zero.
The final slot: slot 42 contains the firmware version number.
The penultimate slot: slot 41 is used by the “moody f” series to identify the programmed fade rate. For those users wishing to programme an accurate fade time – the following table allows you to do so:
The versaSplit range provides a very flexible solution to DMX distribution. The number of product configurations runs to millions and so not every configuration is available from stock, but is built to order. The following guide is an overview of how to generate the part code.
Most customers use Mic-Edit to create their own fixtures when required. However Artistic Licence does release occasional updates to the library. You can make requests using the following application form.
Additionally, if you have created fixtures you would like to share with other users, send the file to Support@artisticlicence.com.
dVnet has the ability to operate as a network translator / soft-patch. This can be done using one or two network cards.
The input protocol is always Art-Net and the output protocol can be selected between Art-Net, KiNet and sACN. This example describes how to translate Art-Net to KiNet on separate network cards. The Art-Net is assumed to be in the standard 2.x.y.z IP range with a subnet mask of 255.0.0.0. The lighting console generating the Art-Net should be set to broadcast, the input network NIC of dVnet should be set to an IP address of, for example, 184.108.40.206.
Assuming that the KiNet is to output on the 192.168.10.x range (subnet 255.255.255.0) the output Nic should be set to an IP address of, for example, 192.168.10.100.
In dVnet, the output Nic must be selected as the active NIC in the driver window.
The attached files can be loaded to provide detail of the method by which the patch is set. In the first example, Art-Net is received on Pipes 101-110 and converted to KiNet Port Out protocol on pipes 1-10. These are unicast to 192.168.10.1 through 192.168.10.10
Users who are more familiar with DMX512 than DALI can find the way DALI ballasts respond to power cycle or fault conditions confusing. A key difference between DMX512 and DALI is that DMX512 is continuously refreshing whereas DALI is not.
When a DMX512 fixture is power cycled it will immediately take the DMX512 level data. When a DALI ballast is power cycled it will go to a pre-programmed level called “POWER ON LEVEL”. It will stay at that level until a new DALI level command is sent. DALI-Scope can be used to both read and programme the ballast’s “POWER ON LEVEL”.
When a DALI ballast detects a fault, such as a brown out of the DALI BUS POWER SUPPLY it will go to a pre-programmed level called “SYSTEM FAILURE LEVEL”. It will stay at that level until a new DALI level command is sent. Dali-Scope can be used to read the ballast’s “SYSTEM FAILURE LEVEL”.
It is sometimes necessary to add a new ballast to an existing installation. Usually you will want to do this without changing the short addresses of the existing ballasts.
To do this you need to isolate the new ballast from the existing network prior to commissioning with Dali-Scope. This means that you should connect the new DALI ballast, the bus power supply and Dali-Scope together. If the new ballast has previously been assigned a short address, simply change the short address to the preferred address using Dali-Scope. If the ballast is in factory default state, run an “Automatic channel discovery”. This process will assign short address 1 to the ballast. Then change the short address to the preferred value prior to connecting it to the ballast network.
You can then connect the new ballast to the existing network.
Often a customer simply wishes to use Rail-DALI-DMX to convert a DALI channel to DMX. The following instructions allow this:
Open the top cover to access the DIP switches.
Set Switch-6 to off. This puts product in ballast mode.
Set Switch-3 and Switch-4 to off – this tells the product to emulate a single DALI ballast.
Connect the DALI input to your DALI controller and start discovery. Your DALI controller will discover one new ballast which you should address to a free short address – this is your virtual DALI address. (Your controller may do that automatically).
Connect the DMX output to your DMX receiver.
Any intensity changes sent to the virtual DALI address will appear on channel 1 of the DMX output.
From time to time, new firmware is released for Jump-Start. The latest version can be downloaded here. It is not necessary to return Jump-Start for upgrade – it can be done in the field. This is achieved by connecting Jump-Start to an Artistic Licence Art-Net node such as artLynx. DMX-Workshop can then be used for the upgrade.
Please follow the following procedure:
Ensure Jump-Start is set to ‘RDM Standard’ and not ‘DRAFT’. This can be found in the setup menu.
Put the Jump-Start in firmware upload mode. This is done by pressing the left and right arrow keys at the same time.
The right-side LED will light to confirm upload mode is active.
Connect the Jump-Start to the Art-Net node.
Download the latest firmware (see link above) and copy file to: C:\Program Files (x86)\Artistic Licence\DMX-Workshop\Firmware.
Select the network list in DMX-Workshop and wait for Jump-Start to be discovered as a node.
Upload the firmware to the Jump-Start by right-clicking in RDM information area and following the options to upload firmware.
DMX-Workshop is our free-of-charge Windows application for monitoring and configuring Art-Net devices. The software requires Administrator permission to run. The installer for DMX-Workshop will attempt to auto-enable this for you, but it may fail depending on the configuration of your PC and your security settings.
To achieve manually, right-click the DMX-Workshop icon and select ‘run as administrator’. The right-click menu also accesses the properties dialogue which allows you to select DMX-Workshop to always run as administrator.
You’ll find the import from CSV button in the Pixel Map tab. From here the process of importing a properly formatted CSV is straight forward. You just need to find and open your pre-existing CSV file. Please note that you must not have the file open in any other applications (Excel or NotePad) as the import will not work.
In order to make a dVnet CSV file you need to have the following line as the first line of the file. Attached is an example which can be used with the example show which installs with dVnet.
Name, Type, X, Y, Width, Height, Fixture #, Pixel #, Pipe, Start, Footprint, Red slot, Grn slot, Blu slot, Yel slot, Wht slot, Int slot, Group.
Each subsequent line of the CSV file will be a single pixel within your map.
Name is required though this can just be a number
Type would be the type of fixture this pixel is in – optional
X & Y are the co-ordinates that this pixel will take on your map
Width and Height are the relative size of this pixel
Fixture this will be a number representing the fixture that this pixel is a part of
Pixel # represents which pixel this is within its fixture. As all the fixtures in the example file only contain a single pixel this number will always be 1. However if you are using a fixture with 4 LEDs this would be between 1 and 4.
Pipe see the notes below on pipes
Start is this pixels DMX address
Footprint is the number of DMX slots this pixel occupies
Red slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the red channel (typically 1)
Grn slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the green channel (typically 2)
Blu slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the blue channel (typically 3)
Yel slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the yellow channel (typically 0 for RGB pixels)
Wht slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the white channel (typically 0 for RGB pixels)
Int slot which of the slots for this pixel contains data for the intensity channel (typically 0 for RGB pixels)
Group is optional
Please note that we have implemented a ‘pipe-centric’ way of patching pixels. When patching pixels you first select the pipe that the fixture is on (between 1 and 300) then the fixtures start address which will be its DMX address between 1 and 512.
By default each pipe is patched 1 to 1 with its respective universe and will unicast as Art-Net. However you can patch a pipe to any Art-Net or sACN universe using the ‘Pipe patch’ tab.
Lastly there is an export to dVnet function within the latest release of Colour-Tramp.
There are three methods for finding the IP address of an Art-Net product:
Connect using DMX-Workshop, this will display the product in a network list along with its IP address. DMX-Workshop can be downloaded from here. DMX-Workshop provides a gateway recovery system that uses the RDMnet – LLRP protocol. This allows a gateway to be recovered even when it is on a totally different IP range to DMX-Workshop. The LSI article HelpDesk17-Low-level-recovery-Oct2018 explains this in more detail.
Ping: Open a command line window and use the ping command. If the products are on the normal Art-Net address range, type: “ping 220.127.116.11”. This approach is best on a Mac as Macs do not support net-bios.
Perform a net-bios search (Windows only). To do this, connect the product to your laptop’s network, open browser and type in the net-bios name of the product you are using (see below). Occasionally the net-bios cache in the browser gets out of date. To flush the cache and restart, type “nbtstat -R” in the browser window.