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Discussion Starter #1
I am using VSA/DMX to control a few items this year, one of which is a Chauvet 152B LED Splash light. I believe it is a larger version of the Splash JR. The light comes on as soon as current is applied. When VSA runs, the light turns off until VSA tells it to turn back on ( this is good). My problem is how to keep the light off until VSA tells it to turn on. In other words, I need the light off, until the VSA program is triggered. I have seen other props on this site using a similar set up (particularly Terra’s Boogedy and DMX Coffin), and the lighting for those props appears to be off until VSA turns them on. I suppose I could use a dimmer/relay pack to control the current to the light, but in the examples I have seen, the DMX lights were not plugged into relay/dimmer packs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hauntless
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First question, I didn't understand if you have the light hooked up to the DMX chain. Do you?

If so, then look at your settings in VSA for the light. If you set the default to be on, then that is what it will be. I hope that is clear enough. If not, I will open up my VSA program tomorrow morning and be more specific. (heading off to bed).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding Terra. I do have the light hooked up to to DMX. In VSA, the first position for the light is off mode. When the light is plugged in to an AC power outlet and the DMX chain, the light is on. After I start VSA, the light goes off as programmed, and runs through the remainder of its routine; however, once the VSA routine is complete, the light comes on again and stays on. I will try and take a screen shot today so you can see what the program looks like.
 

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I've made some screen prints of how I programmed my Chauvet Color Splash Jr. Because there are a lot of people who are curious about DMX lighting, I thought I'd go ahead and do a 101 class on it. I find that if someone starts off with the basics first, I can understand it better. I have a small brain too when it comes to computer stuff. heh.

OK, first the primer about a DMX light. They are designed to be absolutely controllable. In order to get that control, they gave you four channels that you can program. Here are the four channels:



These four channels are also called DMX addresses. There are a total of 512 DMX address on a DMX chain. So, I need to assign them which address they are going to be. In order to do that, I set the dipswitch on the back of the light. First, I have to tell the light that I want it to be DMX controlled. So, I turn on dipswitch #10 to ON.

OK, good...now I have to assign the light which DMX address I want it to start on. Here is the example in the manual where they show how to do that:



If you look at the very bottom of the dipswitch chart it has what each dipswitch number represents. You add those up and they give you the address you want. So, in the first example it shows how to set the dipswitch to give you a DMX address of 10. You switch dipswitches #2 and #4. (2 + 8 = 10). Now that you have set your light to address 10, it will take DMX addresses 10, 11, 12 & 13. Because this DMX light has four channels which also means 4 DMX addresses.

Just to make sure let's set DMX address 24. I would turn on dipswitches #4 and #5 (16 + 8 = 24). So this would take DMX addresses 24, 25, 26 & 27.

We've now turned on the light to take DMX commands and also set the DMX addresses. Now, going back to the four channels. Here are their values:



Channel 1 (Shutter, strobe and dimmer settings):

0 - 1 is blackout (or no light)

2 - 127 is slow strobe to fast strobe. So, if you use 2 it would be an extremely slow strobe. Then if you use 60, it would be a medium strobe. Then, if you used 127, it would be a very fast strobe. You can use any number between 2 - 127 to get the speed of strobing you like.

128 - 255 is dimmer settings. 128 is basically off or no light. 255 is full on brightness. The numbers in between are percentages of those. So, if I used 188, it would be medium bright.

Channel 2: Red

0 - 255. 0 is no red and 255 is full red. 127 would be medium red.

Channel 3: Green and Channel 4: Blue

is the same settings value as the red.

So, if I wanted just red, I would set channel 2 to 255 and channels 3 & 4 would be 0. But, if I wanted yellow, I would set channel 2 to 255 and channel 3 to 255 but would have channel 4 at 0. If I wanted white, I would change channel 4 to 255. That is the beauty of RGB lights (Red, Green, Blue) you can make any color in the rainbow (including white) depending on the values you set.

The next post I will show how I program the DMX light in VSA.
 

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Oh, hi McScreaminn, looks like I crossed posted you. I'm going to go ahead and show how I programmed my DMX in VSA and perhaps that could show the problem.

First, bring up the setting menu in VSA and fill in the info for your DMX light and the four channels. Here's a screen print of mine:



My starting DMX address is 32 so I am taking up channels 32, 33, 34 and 35, so I type that information in and then type in the values that this particular DMX device uses. (Yeah, I know I have the wrong number for the dimmer/strobe channel - it should be 255). So, you are putting in the + value column the maximum and in the - value column the minimum for the hardware you are using. In the default column, you decide where you want it to normally start at. I chose it to be off for the red, green, blue and off (max dim) in the dimmer/strobe channel. I could have also picked 0 or 1 for that but if I had a long event in VSA, the light would have to travel through the strobing values before it hit the dimming values and I didn't want that.

NOTE: You will see 'NONE' in the port column. If my ENTTEC was plugged into the computer it would show ENTTEC.

OK, the settings are put in, now I can write the events. Here is a screen shot of what the events looks like in VSA:



You can see that I activated the light a little bit after the routine started because I wanted the light to come on a little bit after the action to better scare my ToTs. I'm also using only the red and blue channels because I wanted a purple light to start with. So, let's click on the first event that is under the dimmer/strobe to see how I programmed it:



You can see that I set the DMX light to start from no light (128) to increase in brightness over the length of the event (250....should have been 255).

Now that I've set the dimmer/strobe I have to now set the colors. Let's bring up the red event:



You can see that I had it start with no red (0) to medium red (100). If I brought up the blue light, it would show the same thing.

Now, VSA will keep that last command until I make a new event. So, I just keep adding new events when I want the light to do different things. At the end of the routine I must make sure that I turn off the light (if that's what I want) so, let's bring up the last event for the dimmer/strobe:



It shows that it was on full bright and then I had it turn to off (128). So, I'm thinking that perhaps your last command is what is keeping your light on.

Hope that helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Very nice tutorial. My DMX light is a little different from yours. It has 6 DMX channels and a music mode. When your light is plugged in to power only (no DMX connection) does it turn on? With the dip switch set to 10 and power and DMX connected (no VSA program running) is your light off? I will go back and look at my settings and compare them to yours, but at a glance, they look similar. I am beginning to believe the issue is with my light.

Thanks.
 

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My light is not on when it is plugged in but no DMX. It flashes on for a second when I first plug it in but then it goes off. Just for giggles I turned the #10 dipswitch off and the light turned on because I had one of the other dipswitches turned on. When I turned the #10 switch back on, the light stayed on. I unplugged it and plugged it back in and the light came back off.

When it's hooked up to the DMX system and no VSA program there is no light.

So, I'm curious, what do the additional two channels do on your light?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UGH! I was afraid of that. This is how the instructions describe the functions of the channels on my light:

DMX channels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 functions are determined by the current settings of channel 1. For example, while Channel 1 is set between 000 and 029 the following conditions will apply;
 Channel 2 will control the Red LEDs
 Channel 3 will control the Green LEDs
 Channel 4 will control the Blue LEDs
 Channel 5 will control Strobing
 Channel 6 will control the Dimmer

It has a stand alone mode, a sound active mode and a DMX mode, but not an off mode apparently. I bought it new off of ebay and thought it would be a larger version of the Splash Jr.

Does your light have a stand alone mode where it will light up w/o DMX?
 

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Yes it does. In fact in the stand-alone setting you can pick what colors you want and how bright you want them. It also has eight built-in chase programs which are kind of fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have looked at the manual for the Splash Jr and it appears to be fairly similar to the 152B, so I am left with the conclusion that I must have a defective light due to the fact that it will not turn off.
Thanks for your help.
 

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McScreamin,

I'm late to the thread here, but I have one other thing for you to check. I never heard you say that the light still comes on if you connect only power (and not DMX). If this is the case, then maybe the fact your VSA show ends with the light ON is what's getting you. The Enttec Pro DMX widget (for one) will continue to stream the DMX signal, even if the controlling software is shut down. The data sent for each channel in this case will be the same as the last valid data sent by the controlling software. So, if the last frame from your animation has the light on, even if you cycle power on the Chauvet, it would still come back on as soon as it hears the DMX signal.

Just for grins, try only plugging in the light to AC power, not DMX. If this solves the problem, the DMX stream is telling the light to be on. If this is the case, it could just be that the last playing of your VSA routine left the DMX channel data in this state.

- Hook
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Unfortunately the light comes on and stays on w/ only the AC hooked to it. I have tried every logical dipswitch setting I can think of to turn it off, but no luck.
Maybe I will stick it in my front yard w/ a sign entitled "THE LIGHT THAT WOULD NOT DIE!" The dealer that sold it had no solution, and gave me Chauvet's number, so I guess I will call them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
VSA runs nicely. Chauvet seems to have at least 3 similar wash lights. The Splash Jr. (which Terra runs and which has 5 channels), the 152B (which I have and which is a little bigger than the JR and has 6 chanels) and the 200B (which has 6 channels and is a little bigger than the 152B). I am not sure how long they have been in production, but all 3 are probably considered lower tier Chauvet lights. I will post Chauvet's response if and when I get one. Thanks for the interest.
 

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VSA runs nicely. Chauvet seems to have at least 3 similar wash lights. The Splash Jr. (which Terra runs and which has 5 channels), the 152B (which I have and which is a little bigger than the JR and has 6 chanels) and the 200B (which has 6 channels and is a little bigger than the 152B). I am not sure how long they have been in production, but all 3 are probably considered lower tier Chauvet lights. I will post Chauvet's response if and when I get one. Thanks for the interest.
Quick correction. The Chauvet Color Splash Jr. has four channels.

I'm also interested if this is a normal thing for some of Chauvet lights 'cause I need to avoid those then.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I spoke with Chauvet, and it was not good news. Apparently the light cannot be turned off without receiving a DMX signal. Once a DMX routine runs its course and there is no longer a signal, the light reverts to stand alone mode and shines whatever color the dip switches indicate. It is a nice light, and apparently does what it is supposed to do, but it may not be suitable for triggerable props that require total darkness prior to the start of a routine. I tried powering the light via a relay, but unfortunately it takes about a second for the light to read the DMX signal once the power is applied. This results in about a second of unwanted/unprogramed white light. I guess I will either continuously run the VSA program on a loop or set the start address so that a dim color comes on when the DMX signal turns off.

Oh well, live and learn.

Terra, not sure what version of the Splash Jr you have, but the current version has five channels. However, the first channel is "reserved" which in reality seems to mean it currently does nothing and only the 4 other channels do something. Maybe they have something planned for the 5th channel in the furture.
 

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The only other thing I can think of, is if you pick up a microprocessor-controlled DMX interface (Enttec Pro, for example), then it'll keep sending out the DMX even after the routine has finished. As long as each routine has the light off in the last frame, the light would stay off until the next routine is run.

If you bought your DMX interface and Chauvet light from the same dealer, maybe they'd be willing to let you return your existing DMX interface, and upgrade to the Pro because of the trouble you're running into.

Just a thought,
- Hook
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good idea, but I am just getting into DMX this year and went w/ an Enttec open. It was from a different dealer than the light. No worries though. I will post the project, funky light and all, once it is done.
 

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Another option (worse case) is to use the light as an outside light shining down on the coffin. I mean that sucks...you have to buy another light for the inside but it's still usable (in another function)
 

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Terra,
Your tutorial was very helpful in getting started with my Splash Jr and VSA programing.
Thanks
 
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