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Wireless DMX on a budget


Ynot

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Have one of those situations where "Wouldn't it be nice to have that wireless..." for a show next month, but it's not (yet) essential enough to throw a lot of budget at it...

 

So started looking at cheap options.

I can sort a small rechargeable lead acid battery& inverter without much of a problem, so looking at the DMX side and came across these on Amazon:

Looks simple enough, but does anyone have experience with these, or similar?

Or any other suggestions?

 

Space will be limited in the set piece, so trying to keep things small as possible and these look a possibility.

 

Oh - and as they're on 2.4G, what are the likely issues with standard wifi for t'internet...?

We have 3 wireless access points broadcasting our staff and guest broadband ...

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What is it you want to do? An inverter is often an inefficient and over complicated way to go - you can do most things straight off 12V or 24V.

Thanks for the responses so far.

The item in question will be a single practical street lamp set near mid stage in 2 separate locations during the show. I can supply dimmed mains to it as it stands, but would rather try to avoid the cable across an otherwise bare stage floor.

We have the physical streetlight already and it does have a reasonable space in the wide base in which I may be able to conceal gubbins if I can find the right kit.

The load we put on the inverter, if I go that route, is likely to be around 50 to 50W on a standard incandescent lamp, although I may look at what LED/driver alternatives I can find as a retrofit to keep the load current/power down.

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There’s no reason to be using mains voltage at all in it - plenty of great 12v filament & led bulbs available off the shelf. Plenty of DMX to 12v controllers available off the shelf (LED tape / strip lighting) the only issue then is your wireless DMX but since you only want a single channel I’d be looking at a straight radio control dimmer (hack a consumer unit) or something cobbled out of an arduino rather than encrypting and sending 511 more channels than you need.
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Talk to my former employer and see what the hire cost would be for some showbabies?

+1 for ShowBaby. Lit two shows at a particular venue - first time all wired so multiple DMX splitters to add the movers and LEDs, second time all intelligent lighting on ShowBaby (which the venue now had) on a universe by itself. Absolutely rock solid. They are about £300 each to purchase, and you need at least two. Looks like about £25 per transceiver to hire, but you can do your own research and try Glyn's suggestion first.

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/12v-rf-wireless-remote-switch-led-controller-dimmer-caravan-for-mini-strip-light/573332389?iid=391709531455 These are available from all the usual sources and are surprisingly robust (we’ve got them in 4 year old props) that would be capable of running the light.

 

Either just use the remote offstage to

Control the light or an arduino can sniff the RF codes it uses and create a simple interface between your DMX and the unit.

 

Complete simple, foolproof, non-congested dimmable control of your streetlight for under £20

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Paging Alex Forey :-)

 

Hello! Yes, I have used the PCB-only versions of this tech but I have no reason to think it's any different if you buy it pre-made in those transmitters.

 

I've used them at the Ed Fringe for wireless in the set controlling 12V LEDs, and also done some distance tests -- for small spaces, distances under 10m, I couldn't get them to not work. As far as I know they transmit more powerfully than WiFi: we were in a very noisy environment in Edinburgh and they never skipped a beat across 9 performances and a total of 18 hours of tech rehearsal.

 

The only thing to be mindful of: don't place them close to devices with coils (like buck converters), because it'll cause them to intermittently flicker. Using a non-coil 5V supply, or putting the power supply far away, resolved this issue.

 

I have also since used RC4 on about 5 projects, and the kit is really nice. If you can spring for that, then do, otherwise these should be more than enough depending on the scale of production.

 

Having said that, I wouldn't use them for show-critical data.

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I'll put in my 2p worth for a single ShowBaby plus a D2 dimmer. That will give you up to 2x50W incandescents off a 12V battery or 2 x 100W off a 24V battery. That would be expensive to buy for a one off production in a voluntarily run theatre (which I think you have???) but if you can hire them in it shouldn't be too arduous.

Usual disclosure that I do some work for CTI but I have used their stuff too in AmDram and love it!

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The item in question will be a single practical street lamp

 

My wireless street lamp had a 12V 25W lamp with the standard BC base, from a specialist lamp supplier, which was plenty bright enough. 12V 7AH sealed lead acid battery of the sort used in burglar alarms. The wireless bit as documented in one of the linked-to threads above.

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