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ogremasch

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The intention of this post is to establish a single place for a concise DMX guide excluding the use of Arduino. That can be included as a secondary post but this primary post is for DMX directly to the Server.

My apologies for a slightly misleading topic post, please remove/rename if needed.

I have read everything I can read on DMX and Artemis and I keep running into guides that have discontinued parts. I certainly appreciate the posts and they are a wealth of information but I am unsure of what to purchase in order to establish a working DMX set up. The intention of this post is to provide a clarifying spot where the DMXperts can pool their thoughts and deliberate on what is the definitive current guide.

I understand that there are multiple ways to skin the DMX cat so to clarify, this is intended to be the first foray into establishing DMX for a beginner with no existing DMX experience or hardware. additionally the ideal set up described in this post should be expandable as time goes on so if one wanted to add additional DMX Hardware or effects all they should need to do is attach an additional DMX capable device or strand of LEDs etc...

Components
Based on the guides provided thus far I believe the minimum requirements to establish a DMX effect (lighting based on DMX trigger) are the following:

  1. Computer Running Artemis (Server)
  2. A to B USB Cable
  3. USB Interface 
  4. DMX Controller
  5. Power Supply
  6. Cat5 Cable
  7. Light fixture (LEDS or othe such DMX Device)
  8. https://d28lcup14p4e72.cloudfront.net/145634/3054316/DMX.jpg


Many of the guides are using Holiday Coro as a source and when I attempted to locate some of their products it appears that some may no longer be available. Assuming that Holiday Coro is the go to for this sort of project (or Amazon) are there updated product lists that can be made available?

Connecting it together
The basic connection methodology that  gather from the existing guides is that you connect the Artemis server via USB cable to the USB interface. the USB interface connects to the DMX controller and the DMX controller has connections for power input and the DMX device (LED Strip or other).





Additionally the "DMX For Starters" post has the following list supplied by Commodore Erickson:

1) an ENTTEC Open DMX box 
2) A 5-pin to 3-pin DMX cable adaptor (very important!) 
 
3) a dmx light 
 
4) a dmx 3-pin cable 



As well as this list supplied by Badge guy:
I believe that the current set of known links to non-Arduino based Artemis compatible DMX solutions are:

1) Enttec Open DMX :
     http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&pn=70303&show=description
     http://sirs-e.com/shop/open-dmx-usb/enttec-open-dmx-usb-interface/

  (third party sales)
2) Holiday Coro:
     http://www.holidaycoro.com/mobile/Product.aspx?id=37787
3) FTDIChip Cable:
     http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBRS485.htm
4) USB to RS485 Module:
     http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200720518972?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649  (UK - eBay)
     http://dx.com/p/usb-to-rs485-module-black-221402  (DealExtreme)
     http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/USB-2-0-to-TTL-RS485-Serial-Converter-Adapter-FTDI-FT232RL-SN75176-double-function-double-protection/812021_583268610.html  (AliExpress)


Glossary:
   DMX - a standard for digital communication networks that are commonly used to control stage lighting and effects.
   FTDI- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTDI
   RS485 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-485
   Open DMX - Artemis uses the OpenDMX, and only the OpenDMX standard, which requires an RS485 based communication channel to the computer.  Unless a device specifically states that it supports OpenDMX or an RS485 based configuration, it will not work.  uDMX is a keyword that should state that a device is not RS485 based


References:
List of references/existing DMX posts that I have read through:

How-to: Modular Smart/dumb DMX Using cat5 cable
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/howto-modular-smartdumb-dmx-using-cat5-cable-8116278?highlight=dmx+smart&pid=1296251179 

LED circuit help - Beam and torpedoes firing effect.

https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/led-circuit-help-beam-and-torpedoes-firing-effect-8481861?highlight=dmx+smart&pid=1295461855

Cheap USB interface and DMX LED strip build
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/cheap-usb-interface-and-dmx-led-strip-build-7833577?pid=1292306390

My DMX RGB strip for ultra cheap
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/my-dmx-rgb-strip-for-ultra-cheap-6467023?highlight=dmx&pid=1279946128

My DMX project
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/my-dmx-project-7024874?highlight=dmx&pid=1291839809

DMX for starters?
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/dmx-for-starters-6648535?highlight=dmx&pid=1286283503

DIY DMX Panel and Workshop
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/diy-dmx-panel-and-workshop-7156593?highlight=dmx&pid=1304114219

DMX Help Needed
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/dmx-help-needed-8119353?highlight=dmx&pid=1305901748

Has anyone tried this USB to DMX Solution?
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/has-anyone-tried-this-usb-to-dmx-solution-7167027?highlight=dmx&pid=1285047045



This post is a constant work in progress and ideally would be more like a wiki, staying updated as better solutions and more correct/up to date information comes out. I am not a DMX expert and have zero knowledge or experience with DMX, Just trying to get this sorted out and figured that it wouldn't hurt to collect everything together and hopefully get others onboard with this as well.

LawsonThompson

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Nice work!

Did someone say... wiki?

http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/68387358/DMX%20Interface contains a (slightly aging...) start of a wiki for DMX content.

Click the "Request Access" link to get an edit-capable account, and you'll be able to make a GREAT contribution with the collection of material you've already gathered! 

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ogremasch

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks. Request sent. Hope to help while I learn about dmx and Arduino.
ogremasch

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Dipping my toe into the DMX pool I ran through several dead ends and links that didn't work or products that had been discontinued to cobble together the solution below ( solution is a strong word for it more of a haphazard guess based on my limited understanding of the technology)

1 USB Interface:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LBPD81P/ref=ox_sc_act_title_7?smid=A1D0G74F310I8T&psc=1

2 DMX Controller
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q1N1GF8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A34YB5GDV2SESP&psc=1

3 LED Strip
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DPQMKBS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=A2DCOXAHHBQLDF&psc=1  

4 Power Supply
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071VPGK6R/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A13RPEGYBVY6JL&psc=1

5 (optional) Wiring for custom cutting the LED Strip
https://www.amazon.com/LEDENET-Extension-Cable-Color-ribbon/dp/B00J4HI746/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1547134764&sr=1-4&keywords=5pin+rgb+wire

6 Cat 5 Cable
I have a bunch of this on hand. I intend to mark it for DMX interface use only with both Zip Ties on the end of the cable and a handy dandy label maker

7 USB A to B
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GTW5Z2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1


This design is RGBW or 4 channel... Can the Artemis DMX handle 4 channel or is it limited to 3?

The USB FTDI interface appears to match the one in the forums. I order 3 from China and one through amazon.

I was unable to find the DMX controllers listed in the forums  and so I dug around and found so many options I wasn't sure what was right and what was not. in the end I saw several that offered a White Channels separate from the RGB and I figured that I would try that out.




Based on what I have read in the forums, the wiki, and online, it appears that the USB interface is what connects to the computer and tells the DMX Controller what to do. after the DMX controller has been told what to do it passes that information down the line to either the lights (or other DMX device) that it is connected to or the next addresses DMX controller. I have added a diagram for my plan to ensure I am coming through clearly, this was made in MSPaint. It is ugly but it should be clear.

Based on my understanding of these being "Dumb DMX lights, all of the LEDS on the first controller should do the same function, if you wanted a different light to go off at a different time you would use a second controller. In my case my first controller is planned to run lights on the edges of each of the station that correspond to certain events. I will have all the LEDs on that controller triggered at the same time and all will do the same action. Next I will have another controller that indicated shield activation for example. that will be independent of the lights on the stations and so will need to have its own controller since these are dumb controllers.
 

 

See the source images-l1600.jpg DMX interface.jpg 

There is a spot for Cat 5 DMX input and output, Should I use that instead? is there a difference? Will this even work? Who knows (seriously if you know please chime in)


Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogremasch
Dipping my toe into the DMX pool I ran through several dead ends and links that didn't work or products that had been discontinued to cobble together the solution below ( solution is a strong word for it more of a haphazard guess based on my limited understanding of the technology)

There is a spot for Cat 5 DMX input and output, Should I use that instead? is there a difference? Will this even work? Who knows (seriously if you know please chime in)



Based on the reading I've done today, the RJ45 (cat 5) jacks for the DMX should work fine, provided the maker of that particular controller are following the pinout convention. Sometimes the D+ and D- are reversed due to confusion about the RS485 (DMX) signalling protocol.

Recognizing that some reliable USB interfaces can be hard to come by, I decided to sketch up a design for one that is made to work with Artemis:
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/diy-dmxusb-interface-for-artemis-9995968?pid=1307077618

I am thinking about building one to see how well it works (it should -- but you never know). The design could be an alternative to the other sources.

ogremasch

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks. I have purchased the items listed and they seem to comply with the details provided by the nice folks here on the forums. I am going to do my best to document every step of the DMX build Maybe I am thick headed but it took forever for me to halfway know what was supposed to be happeneing. I want to same someone else that trouble and hopefully get a better ship in the process. 

I order a few extras of the items I bought with the expectation that A I will mess something up, B Something may arrive broken, C it would be nice to have a spare or maybe enough for a second ship and D if it is simple enough Maybe I can make the basic boxes and provide them as a starter kit? not looking to retire or anything, just enough to get the money I put into the thing back and help get some more people into the game.
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