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HunterAP

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Reply with quote  #16 
Just wanted to give everyone a head's up that I have had success building working DMX Artemis cables with the links at the beginning of the thread.

I had ordered 3 dongles and the gear to make 5 DMX to RJ-45 cables.  One of the dongles does not work. (does not get detected by Windows)  I will continue to play with it, and if I get it working, I'll post how.

The dongles I purchased:
http://www.dxsoul.com/product/usb-2-0-to-rs-485-rs-422-high-speed-converter-adapter-901139527#.VKgwTyvF_6s

And the DMX connectors (5 male and 5 female)
http://www.dxsoul.com/product/xlr-female-3-pin-male-jack-set-adapters-connectors-5-pair-901136028#.VKgwgCvF_6s

Shipping, though free, took 10 days.  (shipping from Hong Kong)



Also, the lights that I got from Amazon work well:
http://www.amazon.com/TSSS-Stage-Light-Lighting-Projector/dp/B00CWYONFU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415846914
BigEd

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Reply with quote  #17 
I just bought the same adapter from Amazon yesterday.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008BZBJ92/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

What did you use to connect to the XLR connectors?  I was planning to make a custom cable.  Did you?  If you did, do you have the pin outs for each end?  I think I have it figured out but that's by reading comments and watching youtube video's.

It was $3 more but I had to get some other stuff and needed "a little extra" to get free shipping so I threw this in.  I haven't bought any lights yet.  I was going to borrow some lights from the theater first to make sure it worked before I got too carried away with lights.  I was looking at the same light from Amazon, so I'm glad to hear they worked.  Have you used them on more than one channel?  The comments on Amazon made it seem like figuring out the dip switch settings was the hardest part, but once you get them working they were reliable.
HunterAP

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Reply with quote  #18 
I used a cat 5 cable with an RJ-45 connector on one end, and an XLR 3 pin female connector on the other.  I soldered the wires to the XLR adapter.  Process is documented here:
http://stevenbreuls.com/2014/03/diy-usb-dmx-controller-for-under-10_2_ethernet_cable/

All you need to do with the lights that I got was to set one dip switch.  

If you can solder wires to an adapter, this whole process is pretty easy.
Badgeguy

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Posts: 316
Reply with quote  #19 
This (http://www.amazon.com/XLR-3-to-RJ45-Adapter-Pair/dp/B00JFA2ZSQ) should work as well for those that do not wish to solder.
HunterAP

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #20 
$30 for RJ-45 to DMX seems a bit pricey to me, unless you specifically want to run RJ-45 rather than DMX.  But if you're spending $30 on the adapter set, you've pretty much lost the money that you saved on cabling.

If you're going to spend $30 on the RJ-45 to DMX, and another $15 for the USB to serial on Amazon, you're pretty much at the same price point as the USB to DMX solutions.


http://www.holidaycoro.com/Enttec-Pro-Compatible-DMX-Dongle-p/53.htm


Has anyone tried the RioRand?
http://www.amazon.com/RioRand-DMX512-Interface-Adaptor-Compatible/dp/B00MTKNGQE/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1420418947&sr=8-11
HunterAP

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #21 
RJ-45 to 3 Pin DMX Female

$8.50 + $6.50 for shipping.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Accu-Cable-RJ45-Ethernet-to-3-Pin-XLR-DMX-Female-/171430836352?pt=US_Stage_Lighting_Cables_Interconnects&hash=item27ea12f880
LawsonThompson

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Posts: 625
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterAP

Has anyone tried the RioRand?
http://www.amazon.com/RioRand-DMX512-Interface-Adaptor-Compatible/dp/B00MTKNGQE/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1420418947&sr=8-11

I'm pretty sure my first attempt at DMX was that box, or a clone of it. 

Here's the RioRand clone I tried: http://amzn.com/B009UQZ7A8 which has the exact same price and description.

The end result is documented here: http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/basic-dmx-from-amazon-com-6561692

Anything that says it is "Enttec DMX Pro" is going to be tricky. The primary issue is Enttec Pro protocol adds a header to each DMX512 message, plus a trailing byte. If you account for this extra unused data by editing the DMXCommands.xml file, you could use Enttec DMX Pro adapters. There was no elegant way (jumper, firmware, etc) to get this particular adapter to not send DMX Pro protocol. I returned it and went with a GearMo; not as pretty, but got the job done.

Note: the price on the GearMo Mini USB to RS485 FTDI is down to $29.95 now. http://amzn.com/B005CPI0JQ 
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HunterAP

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks for that info LawsonThompson.

The one that I linked from HolidayCoro is verified to work, correct?
BigEd

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Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #24 
@HunterAP - From the HolidayCoro website:

NOTE: This item/software no longer work with non-HolidayCoro controllers.
No refunds when purchased for use with non-HolidayCoro controllers.

Now that doesn't mean it won't work, but I don't know when it was tried with Artemis and when this note went up.  I can tell you with certainty to try and make sure whatever adapter you get uses an "actual" FTDI chip because in a recent Windows update the FTDI drivers no longer work with FTDI clone chips.


HunterAP

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #25 
HolidayCoro has switched over to SPI.  They no longer use DMX.  So new HolidayCoro gear won't work with a USB to DMX encoder.  You would need a DMX to SPI converter to use the DMX controller.  (which they also sell)  I assume that they still sell the ActiDongle to support their old equipment.

But for Artemis, it should still work just fine.
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #26 
HolidayCoro still sells DMX gear - why would you say they don't?  They have several "smart" SPI light arrays now, but they still sell DMX controllers for "dumb" RGB strands and are introducing a new one soon: http://www.holidaycoro.com/3-Channel-DMX-RGB-Controller-DIP-Switch-Addressing-p/27.htm  They also have DMX-SPI converters.

HolidayCoro still sells the ActiDongle (Enttec Pro) and their Programming Cable for the software addressable boxes.  The boxes themselves have been discontinued.  I've used the Prog cable for a year or two now as my USB-DMX controller no problems (since it's just the FTDI cable with a crimped end).  I spoke with one of the guys in their sales department (trying to see if we could get a discount on boxes for the panel at Artemis Armada) and he said they're going to be discontinuing the programming cable once they run out.  They're switching to all DIP switch or LCD controllers, and so the programming cable isn't needed.

I'm sure the ActiDongle will still be for sale as a USB-DMX controller, but if you are looking for an Enttec Open compatible cable for less, you can get the FTDI USB-RS485 cable directly.

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell
HolidayCoro still sells DMX gear - why would you say they don't?


*panics, checks site* 

Oh, wait, new HolidayCoro stuff is going SPI, the "Smart" lights. I misread what HunterAP said and thought they were not selling it; they're just going SPI.  Scared me, Mark!

The known-Artemis-compatible programming cable is still there: http://www.holidaycoro.com/Programmer-Cable-p/54-2.htm

It's intended for programming this thingy: http://www.holidaycoro.com/3-Channel-DMX-RGB-Controller-p/26.htm (Basic 3 channel DMX RGB controller)

It is also used to program two other HolidayCoro products:

Hrm. I'd guess HolidayCoro might not be selling that cable for much longer.

Moving on... It appears the ActiDongle uses Enttec Pro protocol, which requires some pretty significant workarounds in DMXCommands.xml to insert the "Pro" DMX header. Enttec Pro adds stuff to the front of each DMX packet.

Unless there's an elegant way to over-ride the need for the header and switch from Enttec Pro to Enttec Open, then the default DMXcommands.xml won't work and you'll need to add extra XML lines to every command. Annoying, but doable. Artemis feeds the extra header into the USB port, and the Enttec Pro DMX output gets the correct output on the wire to the lights.

Bottom line: The ActiDongle should work with Artemis, given that you hacked up the DMXCommands.xml to add Enttec Pro DMX "headers". And it would have both CAT5 and DMX outputs. If ActiDongle can be tweaked to not need the Enttec Pro header, then it would work stock.

The necessary DMX hacks are documented in a post exactly a year old...

http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1281110891&postcount=16

AND REALLY finally: I'm emailing HolidayCoro directly to ask them if the ActiDongle can be tweaked for Enttec Open DMX functionality.

*edit edit*

Good news and bad news.

Good news: HolidayCoro answered the question already!

Bad news: Answer is "No, it will not work with the "OPEN" command set."




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twoodland

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Reply with quote  #28 
I have located this USB to RS485 adapter from EKM Metering.  It has USB drivers and looks to be using an FTDI chip.  The intended application for this device is to be able to connect and read RS485 based electric meters using the USB port on a computer.  The price is $25 and offers a 4 pin screw terminal block.

This appears to be a good option for an inexpensive DMX computer interface.

http://www.ekmmetering.com/ekm-blink-rs-485-to-usb-converter.html

Has anyone ever tried this type of device or know of any reasons that it would or would not work?

Thank you in advance!
usb4s485.jpg

Dave Thaler

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Posts: 503
Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawsonThompson
Unless there's an elegant way to over-ride the need for the header and switch from Enttec Pro to Enttec Open, then the default DMXcommands.xml won't work and you'll need to add extra XML lines to every command. Annoying, but doable. Artemis feeds the extra header into the USB port, and the Enttec Pro DMX output gets the correct output on the wire to the lights.


Are there folks still interested in Enttec Pro support? It would actually be trivial to add support for it, with no changes to DMXcommands.xml, via Artemis DMX Tools.  It's on my list of potential future features but it would only be a priority if someone would actually use such support.
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