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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response, but I am still confused. Most of the dimmer packs I have seen folks use on this site seem to have at least 4 channels with relays attached to edison sockets. Is there some advantage to the Blue Point product over for instance an Optima Matrix w/ 8 Edison sockets? Based on reading other threads, it is clear that a DMX relay pack is more expensive than a DMX relay/dimmer pack, but I cannot determine why. It seems to me that a relay/dimmer pack can do more, so I must be missing some benefit derived from the use of a DMX relay only pack. Sorry if this is as clear as mud.

Perhaps I should change my screen name to McStupid.
 

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I have bought a differnt model 4 channel relay dimmer pack from skulltronix last year. It worked great for both dimming or triggering props...the biggest difference I see here is the other(Bluepoint/ Milford board)is 8 channels of relay control only. These 4 channel relay diimer packs have the ablity to have all 4 channels to do dimming or 4 channels turn on 120volts on or off. You can also set it to do 2 channels dimming and the other 2 channels to trigger props. I was using these with VSA.

here is a link to a simular question with a different model dimmer/relay pack:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/76224-dmx-vsa-programing-problems.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
HW Guy, thanks for your response. Looks like I am aiming towards the same usage of a DMX relay/dimmer as you. I have seen some of Terra's terrific work as well as many others on this site and was impressed w/ the scope of DMX's capabilities. Do you use the Entec Open? In the thread you sent, it was described as a "piece of crap". I knew it had limitations, but I thought it would be ok to start out with. If you use it, have you had any issues? I am now wondering if I should go the Entec pro route.
 

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First off guys .. a mechanical relay can NOT be used for dimmng purposes. They are either ON or OFF . Nothing in between .
I think you're getting boards confused
 

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Insane Genius
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HW Guy, thanks for your response. Looks like I am aiming towards the same usage of a DMX relay/dimmer as you. I have seen some of Terra's terrific work as well as many others on this site and was impressed w/ the scope of DMX's capabilities. Do you use the Entec Open? In the thread you sent, it was described as a "piece of crap". I knew it had limitations, but I thought it would be ok to start out with. If you use it, have you had any issues? I am now wondering if I should go the Entec pro route.
The open is OK for starters, but it does have limitations, last year I had to do a lot f fire fighting against the Opens limitations, and the best solution was to switch to the pro.
 

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Insane Genius
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First off guys .. a mechanical relay can NOT be used for dimmng purposes. They are either ON or OFF . Nothing in between .
I think you're getting boards confused
when most people talk about relays and dimmer packs in the same sentence they are talking about using the dimmer pack to control the relays, a handly trick to give cheapish DMX relay control.
 

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McScreamin,

What else do you plan to control in your haunt? If you're looking to dim any AC lighting, the dimmer packs are the way to go. If you just need to do relay control, but also have servos you want to control, I sell a board that may be better suited. It's similar in price to the 4-channel dimmer you're talking about, but it controls 8-each of relays, servos, and LED strings. My signature has a link, if you're interested.

- Hook
 

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HW Guy, thanks for your response. Looks like I am aiming towards the same usage of a DMX relay/dimmer as you. I have seen some of Terra's terrific work as well as many others on this site and was impressed w/ the scope of DMX's capabilities. Do you use the Entec Open? In the thread you sent, it was described as a "piece of crap". I knew it had limitations, but I thought it would be ok to start out with. If you use it, have you had any issues? I am now wondering if I should go the Entec pro route.
Yes, I used the Enntec Open and it works just fine on a small scale...just make sure you are using true DMX cables, and a dmx terminator at the end of the dmx chain, or make sure the last device has built in DMX termination. I can tell you that I have not experienced any ill effects from this DMX interface , but as Pheonix correctly pointed out this interface does has its limitations.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the responses.

I currently use various timers and key bangers to control lights, sound, pneumatics, and electric motors. I would like to control fog and eventually servos (a Scary Terry board is my only endeavor thus far), so I am planning on some baby steps this year to convert to computer control. DMX via VSA looks like the most flexble solution.

Based on everyone's responses and numerous other threads on this subject, it seems like the best 2009 solution for me would be to go w/ a dimmer/relay pack, an Entec open or pro and then eventually expand to include a true DMX relay control or servo control such as Medusa. At that point I guess I would also need a DMXorsist. Although it would be nice to do it all at once, I am hesitant to drive a fully loaded Ferrari before I know how to start a Yugo.

Thanks for the patience, I am sure I will have numerous other question as I go along.
 

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Thanks for the responses.

I currently use various timers and key bangers to control lights, sound, pneumatics, and electric motors. I would like to control fog and eventually servos (a Scary Terry board is my only endeavor thus far), so I am planning on some baby steps this year to convert to computer control. DMX via VSA looks like the most flexble solution.

Based on everyone's responses and numerous other threads on this subject, it seems like the best 2009 solution for me would be to go w/ a dimmer/relay pack, an Entec open or pro and then eventually expand to include a true DMX relay control or servo control such as Medusa. At that point I guess I would also need a DMXorsist. Although it would be nice to do it all at once, I am hesitant to drive a fully loaded Ferrari before I know how to start a Yugo.

Thanks for the patience, I am sure I will have numerous other question as I go along.
I agree best to go slow on this....I have been doing DMX the last few years and I haven't found any prop control so far that can't be done with the VSA/ DMX/Exorcist platform. The best part about DMX is its very expandable!!! You can buy a little each year. You can also use the DMX relay/dimmer pack to trigger a standard nonDMX fogger. just need an additional 120 volt relay:)

Last year I bought the 750 watt DMX strobe...OMG it was amazing, and it took me about 10 min to sync a Lightning track using wavemotion analisys in VSA to control it. This strobe you can even vary the intensity (brightness) during the routine.
 
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