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showtec par 56 led cans and showmaster controller problem


andysoho

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Hi

 

I have two showtec par 56 led par cans and a showtec showmaster controller that I have inherited. I have connected the the controller to the 1st par can and it works fine (distance between the two is about 12m) I.e the par can does what it is told by the controller.

 

However when I take an XLR lead from the DMX out on the first par can to the second par can the 1st can forgets that it is being controlled by the DMX controller and does exactly what the second par can is doing. Even if I connect the 2nd par can directly to the showmaster controller it does not do what the controller is telling it to do. However, it is about 17m from the controller.

 

Could it be that the distance between the showmaster controller and the par can is too far?

 

I have tried all manner of dip switch arrangments but I cant seem to get the 2nd par can to be controlled and as soon as the 1st par can is linked through to the 2nd par can it too will no longer be DMX controlled.

 

Can anyone help or advice of the dip switch arrangements for the 1st and second par can to enable it to carry the DMX signal?

 

Thanks Andy

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Set dip switch one to on on both of them, this will set them to DMX address one, they should do exactly the same thing when controlled by the Showtec Controller.

 

If the 2nd one doesn't then it sounds like a problem with the DMX board.

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Set dip switch one to on on both of them, this will set them to DMX address one, they should do exactly the same thing when controlled by the Showtec Controller.

 

If the 2nd one doesn't then it sounds like a problem with the DMX board.

 

 

Hey thanks for that - I have tried that but it didnt work. It seems strange though that as soon as I connect the 2nd par can the 1st par can also starts misbehaving - if the DMX signal is being sent from the controller to the 1st unit and then from the 1st unit through to the 2nd unit how can the signal go from the 2nd unit back through to the 1st <_< if you understand what I mean ** laughs out loud ** :D

 

Any advie would be gratefully received :D

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One bad unit in a chain can cause problems on all units in that chain. I have had similar problems with the cheap LED PAR's before.

 

Clearly there is something wrong in the second PAR. You have eliminated DIP setting, how about cable? Connect 2nd PAR direct to controller with the same cable you connected 1st PAR. If it still ignores the DMX then I would conclude faulty fixture.

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It seems strange though that as soon as I connect the 2nd par can the 1st par can also starts misbehaving - if the DMX signal is being sent from the controller to the 1st unit and then from the 1st unit through to the 2nd unit how can the signal go from the 2nd unit back through to the 1st <_< if you understand what I mean ** laughs out loud ** :D

 

The "DMX In" and "DMX out" labels are just that - labels. Internally the two connectors will be joined directly together.

 

Since electricity can't read, it doesn't know that the signal shouldn't come out of the "in" connector :D

 

A little more scientifically, it's a bus topology....

 

Sounds like the "second" unit is transmitting DMX. My money would be on either an incorrect switch setting on that unit (there may be a setting allowing it to go into a "master" mode) or a faulty switch...

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I'm with Bruce, its unlikely they will have wired the Par up to allow it to transmit, unless they are designed to have a master mode to allow one Par to drive a few others automatically without needing a desk. Make a note of the current DIP settings (so you can put them back if needed), then set the second can to the same settings as the first. If they both follow what the controller says, then you know its just an incorrect switch setting on the unit, if it still doesn't work, then unplug the controller completely. Assuming the first can continues following the second then you know its a faulty DIP on the second can, so probably time to get out the multimeter, work out in which position the switches should be open, and which closed, then find which switch doesn't do that properly.
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Internally the two connectors will be joined directly together.

 

According to my manual, the units can originate their own DMX in a master-slave configuration, allowing for stand-alone lightshows (this is mainly a DJ/Band product), suggesting the in and out sockets aren't joined as such. The DIP switch settings aren't obvious, you're best downloading the manual from showtec (Highlite).

 

Of course, as already suggested, the light might simply be faulty..it's been known!

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According to my manual, the units can originate their own DMX in a master-slave configuration, allowing for stand-alone lightshows (this is mainly a DJ/Band product), suggesting the in and out sockets aren't joined as such.

It's DMX, so it is a RS-485 bus. In theory, any device can be both a transmitter and receiver. The "in" and "out" would still be joined together.

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Simple easy check:

 

Make sure it's DMX cable rated at around 110-120 ohm.

 

Microphone XLR cable can distort DMX data easily thus meaning some lights recieve a signal, and some don't. The ones that do, will twitch/drop the signal every now and then very quickly. Sounds likely as it's over 12m which is a distance for DMX data through microphone XLR.

 

Should be written on the cable somewhere in a nice white print.

 

Other than that, possible being one of the units as already mentioned...

 

Conor

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Every time you change a dip setting or apply remove DMX cables from the showtec cans turn off then on again not sure why but they often dont respond unless you do it
Its probably because the code doesn't check the address while its running just on startup, which means it can run a bit faster, but gives the issue mentioned. Surprised it affects DMX being plugged and unplugged though.
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It's DMX, so it is a RS-485 bus. In theory, any device can be both a transmitter and receiver

 

I know..that wasnt my point. My reply was specific to the hardware in question. Some fixtures have the sockets connected, and use a tri-state tranceiver IC, some have a receiver IC on the IN and a transmitter on the OUT..not relying on the DIP switches and firmware to avoid bus contention. These are pretty specific that one master should only be connected to a string of slaves to avoid device damage ('due to data collisions (sic.))

 

The parcans in question are a DJ grade product and can accept DMX on the master from a controller, using it to set the type & speed of chase etc, then transmit their own DMX to slaves to allow a 4-can rig to work as a stand-alone chase with an overall DMX control.

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