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Hello Boils and Ghouls!

Check out my page here on how to make your own Enttec Open DMX USB Interface for less $$ or maybe even FREE like I did.

I have tested this with Vixen and the BOC Configuration Program. I would expect it to work with VSA as well. I would be interested if anyone builds their own to hear of your results.

Enjoy! Happy Haunting!
 

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I have a question. Please bare with me as I am completely stupid to computers and am trying desperately to learn. I downloaded Vixen, and created a whole 15 min sequence. I just ordered a sixteen channel relay, and now I am curious if I can just plug in plain (non led/dmx) lights into the relay, and the usb into the computer, and have a light show. OR....am I missing crucial elements. Thanks, and sorry if this isn't the proper place to ask this question.
 

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I have a question. Please bare with me as I am completely stupid to computers and am trying desperately to learn. I downloaded Vixen, and created a whole 15 min sequence. I just ordered a sixteen channel relay, and now I am curious if I can just plug in plain (non led/dmx) lights into the relay, and the usb into the computer, and have a light show. OR....am I missing crucial elements. Thanks, and sorry if this isn't the proper place to ask this question.
What type is 16 channel relay that you ordered?
 

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I got it off of Amazon and it's an Elation I believe. I figured I would go ahead and order and see if I could figure it out, but since it's not here yet I still have time to learn and see if I made a poor choice, and even return it if needed. It has 8 dimmer and 8 steady, I think that's what it would say. I was reading a little about Vixen and was understanding that you can dim them even if they are steady. Am I understanding this correctly?
 

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I got it off of Amazon and it's an Elation I believe. I figured I would go ahead and order and see if I could figure it out, but since it's not here yet I still have time to learn and see if I made a poor choice, and even return it if needed. It has 8 dimmer and 8 steady, I think that's what it would say. I was reading a little about Vixen and was understanding that you can dim them even if they are steady. Am I understanding this correctly?
Can you tell me the specific model of the relay? There are so many on Amazon.

Relays are different than dimmers. Relays are on/off exclusively but dimmers will fade the lights up or down.

Here is the basic setup:

You have Vixen with your sequence. You'll need to specify the Enttec output in Vixen so the software knows what interface it should be using.

You will need to use either an Enttec Open DMX or my circuit above (they plug into computers USB) to provide the DMX signal to the 16 relays/dimmers. You will need DMX cables to get the signal from the Enttec to the relays. The type (3 pin or 5 pin) will depend on your DMX relays/dimmers. You may need adapters.

Your lights (non DMX, they can be LED) will plug into the relays/dimmers. Only plug dumb light strings (just lights and a plug, no controllers) into relay/dimmer channels.
 

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Amazon.com: Elation Professional DMX16SW System 16 Channel On/Off Light Control System: Musical Instruments. This is the one. I read the reviews and that might have made me think that it can be dimmed. I really appreciate your help with this. I was starting to feel pretty helpless. lol. I just chose the dmx option when I created the sequence, I am not even sure that was correct. Nothing like jumping in head first when I have trouble turning on the computer. lol. Would there be a good place to learn all this without having to take over your time and thread? I found the Vixen program easy to learn, it's just the hardware for dummies that I seem to need. Thanks again!
 

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Amazon.com: Elation Professional DMX16SW System 16 Channel On/Off Light Control System: Musical Instruments. This is the one. I read the reviews and that might have made me think that it can be dimmed. I really appreciate your help with this. I was starting to feel pretty helpless. lol. I just chose the dmx option when I created the sequence, I am not even sure that was correct. Nothing like jumping in head first when I have trouble turning on the computer. lol. Would there be a good place to learn all this without having to take over your time and thread? I found the Vixen program easy to learn, it's just the hardware for dummies that I seem to need. Thanks again!
Looks like they are relays - only on/off functions.

Vixen has a forum. Probably a good place to start.

http://www.planetchristmas.com/ will have some good information too.

The internet has a wealth of information on this stuff. Good luck with your endeavor!
 

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Thanks ifright. I've got you bookmarked. I'm just learning this stuff. I'm half way through building a couple 3 axis skulls with the great tutelage from the folks on this site. I'm using VSA and a Parallax USB servo controller board. I know what I want my scenes to do and from what I can tell, I'll have to dive into DMX eventually. I don't speak schematics, just parts list and flow diagrams haha. Thanks again for your effort, you are bookmarked. I'm sure you'll get many more responses to this thread in the future.
 

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ifnight, I need to use DMX to control some lighting. My control unit outputs RS485 only. Can this direwctly be connected to DMX devices or does some sort of interface have to be used? Please email me, if you can, at [email protected]. Thanks for any info. Just starting ans the enttec open USB was recommended.
 

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ifnight, I need to use DMX to control some lighting. My control unit outputs RS485 only. Can this direwctly be connected to DMX devices or does some sort of interface have to be used? Please email me, if you can, at [email protected]. Thanks for any info. Just starting ans the enttec open USB was recommended.
DMX is a form of RS485. Assuming your control unit is outputting true DMX it should connect to DMX devices just fine. A lighting controller usually has either a 5 pin or 3 pin connector that outputs the DMX data stream. You would use 5 or 3 pin DMX suitable cable to daisy chain your DMX devices. A typical single run of DMX can support up to 32 DMX devices. DMX signal cannot be stared or Y'd by simply connecting the wires together. This will cause the signal to become corrupt. Instead the data must be duplicated or repeated using a DMX repeater or Opto Isolator.

Go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMX512 or here http://www.dmx512-online.com/whats.html to learn more about DMX.

As far as the Enttec Open USB - it is used for software running on a computer to be able to output a DMX signal. So if you plan on running any DMX devices from a computer program you will need the Enttec Open USB or use my circuit at the beginning of this thread.

If all you need is to run DMX devices from your control unit, you wont need the Enttec Open USB.
 

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usb to dmx

DMX is a form of RS485. Assuming your control unit is outputting true DMX it should connect to DMX devices just fine. A lighting controller usually has either a 5 pin or 3 pin connector that outputs the DMX data stream. You would use 5 or 3 pin DMX suitable cable to daisy chain your DMX devices. A typical single run of DMX can support up to 32 DMX devices. DMX signal cannot be stared or Y'd by simply connecting the wires together. This will cause the signal to become corrupt. Instead the data must be duplicated or repeated using a DMX repeater or Opto Isolator.

Go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMX512 or here http://www.dmx512-online.com/whats.html to learn more about DMX.

As far as the Enttec Open USB - it is used for software running on a computer to be able to output a DMX signal. So if you plan on running any DMX devices from a computer program you will need the Enttec Open USB or use my circuit at the beginning of this thread.

If all you need is to run DMX devices from your control unit, you wont need the Enttec Open USB.
ifright,

The control unit outputs RS485 but not true DMX Could I feed taht into your Rs232 converter and get the dmx? Trying to get started and hoping to save money by not buying an Enttec unit, but parts for yours may be just a much. What would you do if you did not have any parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ifright,

The control unit outputs RS485 but not true DMX Could I feed taht into your Rs232 converter and get the dmx? Trying to get started and hoping to save money by not buying an Enttec unit, but parts for yours may be just a much. What would you do if you did not have any parts?
What is the Brand and Model of your control unit?

Sorry, feeding the RS485 into my circuit wont work. It is only converting RS232 from the USB port into RS485. DMX has specific data and data rate. The timing from the controller or software is what makes it DMX.

I had parts on hand so I paid nothing to make my converter. It may be just as much to buy parts as it would be to buy the Enttec but you would have to make that decision.

Again, you don't need to buy the Enttec unless you intend to use computer software to run DMX devices.

If I didn't have parts or Electronic soldering ability I would probably buy the Enttec.
 

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ifright,

I am actually outputting from a light-o-rama 16 channel controller. it outputs to usb. they sell a usb to dmx interface butiyr $250.00 then they recommend going inot an enttec. I don't understand their logic in that.

Any suggestions?
 

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infright.,

I just checked and buying all the parts to make 2 of your circuits was only $30.00 with box to install into and the XLR jack. What a deal.
 

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ifright,

I plan on using Madrix software to run some of my christmas lights. The light-o-rama box can input, on usb, to madrix and madrix will have sequences stored in it and then output those on usb/dmx to an enttec then to my lights. Your circuit sgouls work great in place of the enttec. I'm going to try any way.

Thanks for any response and direction in the dmx world.

bmedley608
 
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