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switching instead of dimming (fat frog, etc sensor)


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I'm working with OM and we got lighting gear donated to us for a conference in Zambia. I say this now in case someone wants to refer me to a shop or to tell me that I shouldn't mix brands - we got what we get and so we have to make them work :/


The problem:

Our house lights (ch1-8) dim just fine. They are incandescent flood lights;

Our stage lights don't dim at all...

They go full on when DMX value is <50


Our gear:

Dimmer: ETC sensor 24ch (no idea the model)

Desk: Zero88 FAT frog

Stage lights: 12x PAR64, 2x Fresnel (spelling?)


We use DMX cable from the desk to the dimmer (DMX A), not that fancy ETC link...

Power source for the dimmer is the same for the desk.


I don't know what other info I can give besides saying that I have reset to default the Frog and set the mode for each dimmer to dimmer.


I will try go over to the hall to see what the lights do when I patch one to the house lights.

Please note my time is after midnight, so I'll be going to bed soon. Got a conference to light up, and dimming channels are a luxury till someone figures it out :(


Thanks a lot,



Ok, so I checked a few things:

ETC Sensor: Dimmer Rack Model ESR12 SEM 2.20

FAT Frog: OS13.1, Frog OS9.6.1


And I also swopped out the bank things from the dimmer. Ch1+2 swap with Ch9+10 same issue.

If I patch the stage lights with the house lights, they dim.


If I don't find an answer soon, I think I'll ask the electrician to rewire the house lights to use ch9-16?!?


Now I'm off to bed, being 1am right now...


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They go full on when DMX value is <50


Someone has set your dimmers into 'switch' mode, no idea why. This is a feature for powering some non-dim loads from the dimmer channel. It switches on then the DMX value goes over 50%.


I would link you to the manual on ETC's website but it's impenetrable, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until someone comes along who knows how to switch them back off the top of their head or can link you to the right manual.

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Thank you so much for the replies!


It seems like it is only ch 1-8 and 17-24 that are dimmers, ch 9-16 are all switched.


It seems after midnight my brain sleeps...

For the ch 9-16, DMX=0 OFF (0); DMX=>1 ON (1-255)


I did move the modules around, but it results in the same issue.


According to the dimmer, ALL ch 1-24 are set to dimmer! I went into the setup for the dimmer (without the manual) and checked that everything was set to DIMMER before I posted the thread.


The show goes on cause this morning I patched the lights from 9-15 to 17-23. Now everything dims!


STILL I want to figure this out. Leave Zambia knowing that those channels are dimmers indeed?!!




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Fastest solution is to contact your local ETC dealer - Prosound PTY Ltd, they're in Jo-burg.


You have probably got the rack configured as a different physical type than it actually is. The processor believes what you tell it!

(Wrong number of modules, portable instead of installation etc - Note that the number is the count of modules.)


If you configure the wrong size or type then some circuits will not dim properly - the curve will be very weird and may look like it's switching.

- This is why ETC highly recommend that you get a trained person to do the initial configuration, as they'll get it right the first time.


Unfortunately I can't tell which processor you've got - probably ECEM, HCEM or CEM+.

ECEM and HCEM have a numeric keypad, CEM+ has [+] [-] [<] [<<] [Tick] and [Lamp] buttons.


The manuals for each of these are on the ETC website, easiest is to put the processor name in the "Search" box. (Though the sort order is a bit weird.)

ECEM manual is here, and CEM+ 2.2.0 manual is here

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