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HOW TO setup Martin MAC 500 - FAT FROG and Dimmer Pack


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Hi Guys


I have been asked to help out on a charity event with the lighting which I havent used before.

I am supplied a Dimmer pack, 3x Martin MAC 500 , FAT FROG control panel, 8 spot lights and 8 "back ground lights" (spot lights)


I need those to work in "groups", be able to control the MAC 500 2 units together, and 1 unit by it self,

4 times 4 spotlight in a group (allowing me to fade as one)


I have been supplied a disk that has a fixture of MAC 500 (mode 1-4) and a general conventional dimmer.


I need help to set it up and cpntrol it (basic functions)



I tried assigning the MAC 500 to fixture 1, 2 and 3 and then a conventional dimmer to 4. Sometimes it allows me to use the faders and control the lights BUT all at once (meaning fader 1 has an effect on all lights) and sometimes it has no function (when I reset and reassign fixtures).

Can somebody guide me through what I need to do please.


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Please please please please please put this kit down until you either explain your experience or you are 100% on this.


You are playing with nearly £30,000 worth of kit!!!!


I apologise if I come across as treating you like an idiot - But I have to asume the worst until we know a bit more about you.




A fat frog has 2 DMX connections. One for the moving lights and one (in this case) for the spot lights.


Turn on the macs, read through the manual and look up "setting the DMX address". This address is the light's own number.


In this case, set the two lights to 001 and the third to 020. This gives you more than enough room so the signals wont clash.


Incase you don't know how to connect them, take the master DMX cable from the desk into the first mac, then daisy chain them all in a line. The third mac should have a resistor on it's output, but you'll get away with this if you don't.


The lights are now setup to work in "groups".


With regards to the dimmer, this is also very easy. You will need to calculate what power you need from the dimmer. It would be a lot easier to take some pictures of the lights and dimmer. At the moment, We have no idea what dimmer you are using and can't advise you anything.


Once that is clarified and you have set up your dimmer at a later point in time, try to get a manual for the fat frog. It will be easier than us trying to explain things to you. I'd expect one to be in the case, however it is easily available online.


You want to be looking at auto patch in the moving/intelligent lighting part of the manual.


You do not use faders to control any moving lights. If you want all the spot lights to work together, you will only need 1 fader in total. The moving light control is towards the right of the desk (The three little wheels and the LCD screen).



- Where are you?

- How old are you?

- When does this need to be ready for?

- Can you supply details/pics of the equipment?



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As previous poster has stated. You should really read some manuals to get a head start on the desk. You could even do the training down at Zero88 for little or no money.

When is the Event?


The generic lights (The Spots) are relatively easy. Plug them into the dimmer, DMX from fat frog to dimmer, turn up the faders.

The dimmer needs to addressed at 1 to use the first faders on the desk. Although the Frog has 2 DMX outputs, they are both the same. Linking DMX from the Macs to the dimmers is not a problem.


The Macs are a bit more tricky. Not really something for someone who hasn't operated lighting before. They have

If you can get to grips with the manual then it should give you all the info you need.

Another option would be to ask somebody nicely to give you an hours training on the desk/lights. This should be enough to get you started on the road to being a lighting guy!



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I think you'd probably find it more helpful if you give the person that owns the equipment a call, they would usually be more than happy to talk you through it on the phone or come in and show you how to set it up. It would be far quicker, safer and easier; not to mention you would learn how to do things properly without having to fill in the blanks with what you guess.



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Well to be honest I dont have any expirience and the manual are too hard to follow through at least were as I didnt understand every second word.


Although I managed to get control for the moving lights,

BUT I havent managed to set up the dimmer "groups". I have 3 dimmers connected in series supplied with 3 phase current ...(forgot the technical details)....the dimmer make is Strand Lighting ACT 6+ ( I believe thats the model)


On the control board of Fat Frog I dont have a "fixture" that I can load from the disk so I am using "conventional dimmer" which gives me 6 faders that control all the 18 fixed lights connected to it. Do I need to assign 3 "fixtures" for the dimmer or only one?


I conected the dimmer and MACs using seperate DMX cables, on the MACs I am not using a terminator as I dont have any "3-to-5 pin converters" but the MAcs seem to work fine.


THanks for the help.


A concurrent post has been automatically merged from this point on.


oh btw it will be used from thursday till sunday and we are based in south england, near Alton

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Your Act 6 dimmers are 6 channels of dimming (6 channels of DMX) Assign 18 channels of conventional dimming to your desk and make sure that each dimmer has a unique DMX address remembering that 1 x 6 channel pack will use 6 DMX channels so if you start at DMX1 the next dimmer pack should be DMX7 then the next pack will be DMX13. Also make sure the numbers do not clash with the Macs or your faders will start affecting them.


I have 3 dimmers connected in series supplied
I hope not :rolleyes: More likely supplied 3 phase to each pack or one phase per pack


As others have said, have a word with the owner of the kit to give you a demo and help as it is alot easier to see what is happening in real life than in loads of messages on a forum. Patching a system up is basic, you have yet to start plotting the show which is far more advanced.

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Not being funny or anything but you really would be better off if you...

give the person that owns the equipment a call...

Regardless of how much help you get offered on here, unless you understand how the system works (which you don't appear to) it's going to be near impossible to achieve anything worthwhile with the equipment you have.

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Yes, please just call the person who owns the kit to come down and help you.


Also, why you are wanting to assign the dimmers onto the fixtures button is a complete mystery to me. You can set up the patch to control all the dimmers if need be on one channel fader (if you only have 6 channels - but then you have no flexibility etc etc)


( (actually, I think it only allows you to assign up to 8 different DMX address per channel - something like that) )


Anyway, the point is, just get the supplier to come and assist you - or someone who know what ther're doing!!!


Good Luck and let us know how it went.

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The only things you have which are 'fixtures' as the fat frog interprets them are the moving lights. All of your 18 dimmer channels will be controlled using the faders on the left. If the dimmer addresses (their is a facilty on each seperate pack of six to give them address) are set correctly then when you raise the corresponding fader the channel on the dimmer will go up and the lantern will come on. You should not try to assign any of your generic dimmer channels to a fixture button.

Suggested addresses:


Dimmer pack one: DMX 1-6

Dimmer pack two: DMX 7-12

Dimmer pack Three: DMX 13-18

Moving light one: DMX 20

Moving light two: DMX 50


Do not address anything with the same number unless you want them both to come up on the same command, and even then it is better practice to address them seperately and group them at the control desk end.

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Moderation: Please don't think that the advice you're being given above is in any way personal, but you need to appreciate that your request reads very much along the lines of you thinking that we can actually explain what could be years worth of experience in just a few sentences.


First thing to remember is that Frogs are the kind of controls that maybe 20% of our membership understand. All of us with experience could scratch our heads, refer to the manual and patch the fixtures with a bit of effort. We'd be able to make them come on, perhaps change colour and wobble a few gobos around. A Frog 'expert' would do it more quickly, perhaps more accurately and be able to do it without any effort or delving in the manual. Dimmers - again, we can tell you to connect the control to the dimmers, the dimmers to the lights, but without knowing the number of dimmer channels you have - which we're guessing as 6, we don't know how to advise on power issues - you didn't tell us how much you have?


This kind of thing sadly often is a disaster, as sometimes people will expect you to do things the kit can do, but perhaps you can't.


The usual advice in cases like this is often - Don't do it! However, if you can provide full details of what you have, and how you want it to work, members will do their best.



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One thing that you'll need to take into account with the fat frog is that by default the first 48 DMX channels are assigned on the faders for dimmers, so you don't really need to assign these. You would then start at channel 49 for the first of your moving lights.


Also, to control a group of dimmers at the same time, it seems that the easiest way (assuming that you have addressed the dimmer packs between 1 and 48 and they are controllable with the preset faders) would be to record the group of faders on to a submaster. As previously mentioned though it's an easy enough thing for one to say, but without knowing your experience etc, can become tricky to explain over a forum.

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where excatly are u ? near Alton!!


Ru near a train station ? I dont mind come down and help you out. Im on holiday atm anyway so looking for something interesting to do!!



maybe my eyes are going funny but aren't there some letters and words missing from that response?

*grumbles about text speak being unnnecessary in formats which don't charge you by the letter*

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You shouldn't need to assign the dimmer as a fixture - you can assign some of the faders from the main section of the board to control it via the Manual Patch section under Super User. If the dimmers were patched at DMX channels 1, 7, 13, etc and the moving lights were patched higher, then the dimmers should work with the default patch. If you're setting the DMX addresses on the dimmers to higher values, then you need to update the patch the assign the faders to those same channels.
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