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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

I am a new HalloweenForum member, and have been a bit puzzled by something that I hope someone may be able to give me some guidance on.

I picked up a Chauvet Hurricane 1101 last year for our 2014 haunt and have been happy with all but one aspect: the lack of DMX512 control. For this year's haunt I want to do something with triggers and sequenced lighting and the lack of DMX support on the fog machine means isn't a good fit.

I did some research, and haven't been able to find an off-the-shelf product to address this. It looks like Chauvet did make a DMX converter for their older fog machines with 110VAC-based remotes, but doesn't have something like this for the current generation products.

From reading through the specs, it looks like the five-pin DIN used for the remote control uses 5V(TTL) for the LED and fog trigger while many other manufacturers seem to use 110VAC.

A quick search for DMX controlled switches turned up surprisingly few results. There is a single channel DMX controlled relay kit from Velleman that could be used by wiring up the NO contacts to the remote, but this seems a little hacky to me. Since +5V is available on the remote (this is how the wireless remote receiver is powered) I would prefer something that could be powered directly from the fog machine and didn't use a relay but my searches have come up empty. Since all the DIY DMX switch/dimmer products seem to use a low-end PIC I looked around and found some reference material for decoding and transmitting DMX512 with a minimal number of passives and a RS-485 transceiver that would certainly run from the limited current and 5V available on the remote pins.

This said, I would prefer to buy something if available since my build time is fairly limited.

Any suggestions?

TIA!
 

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The relay kit should work as as a hack to trigger the fogger. I have used that relay board before, too bad they are so expensive.

Pete
 

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Not sure if this will work but here is an idea i have been thinking about for cheap dmx... holidaycoro.com makes a rgb led dmx light kit i use. The "brain" is a dmx module that takes the signal and outputs a 12v charge to run the leds. This could be used to trigger a relay. Module alone is approx 15.00.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not sure if this will work but here is an idea i have been thinking about for cheap dmx... holidaycoro.com makes a rgb led dmx light kit i use. The "brain" is a dmx module that takes the signal and outputs a 12v charge to run the leds. This could be used to trigger a relay. Module alone is approx 15.00.
Funny you should mention those. I noticed a similar one on Amazon as well, but it looks like they only work with 6-24V, so you would still need an external power supply and level shifter (or relay/DC SSR) to work with the 5V logic levels in the Chauvet fog machines. The price is certainly more in the ballpark of what I was looking for though.
 

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No commercial products that I know of. I've used the Coro DMX modules and they are very rugged.

With a 5V line level, maybe an Arduino with a DMX shield? Yeah, it's hacky...
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks Neverhart,

An Arduino + DMX shield and a little coding would certainly work, but I'm not sure about the available current on the +5V line from the Hurricane and would want to keep the load pretty minimal. As you said, I haven't found any commercial products that do this, so I may have to just bite the bullet and build my own PIC-based version. I had given some thought to building a pass-through dongle that would add DMX control, but still allow a user to bypass control with the RF/manual remotes or timer. Depending on time (and if there is interest from others), I may see if I can add RDM support to enable reporting of the 'ready' and 'bypass' states.
 
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