DMX gear what do I need to make this work

I'm new to dmx lighting and i don't know what to buy. We don't have a lot of money to mess with so I need to find some realitivley cheap options we have a Element lighting console and i know that it's dmx capable but I was wonder if I want to be able to program each moving light individually would it work to get a dmx splitter and hook it up to the console and then connect the dmx splitter to the lights using the individual dmx transmitters plugged into the splitter and recievers plugged into the lights them self ? Any help would be great (were a school auditorium with an extremely tight budget)

  • A few comments

    When you say dmx transmitters and receivers are you talking about wireless devices as you probably want to avoid wireless if you are going to do much with the moving lights - they can be a bit laggy and so most people would recommend using a cable run.  (If you do decide to wireless then you would normally only need one DMX transmitter as they usually support multiple receivers)

    DMX lets you chain the devices together so you'd only really need one cable to the first moving light and its DMX out socket then is connected to the next ones DMX in socket.  So splitters only need to be used if the chain gets too long or its just awkard to get from the out of one chain of lights to the next one or for resilence splitting the runs up.

    Probably one of the main questions is do you have enough DMX addresses available,  moving lights typically use from a minimum of 14 addresses each and a DMX universe is only 512 addresses.   So you may need to have a separate universe (think of it as a separate set of DMX cables)  to run them on - that's not an issue as the console can support lots of universes although you may need something to actually make the connection.

    Probably to help much more we need to know a bit more about the current setup and the moving lights you want to control. 

  • In addition to what Mike A said:

    Using cables to connect fixtures is a lot cheaper by a big factor than using wireless dmx. And the connection is a lot more stable. I would advice you to only use cable first.

    You said you're using an Element. So it has two universes each 512 channels. So per universe you can use up to 36 moving head each using 14 channels.

  • We want to hang 2 lights on  a fly rail and then another 2 lights on another fly rail so I don't really know what are options are ( and if it helps are whole auditorium is stage pins based)

  • I can get some pictures of what we have 

    Later if it helps

  • OK so doing a guess as to what your setup is you've got a dimmer rack somewhere with a dmx cable back to the desk with its outputs to conventional (power only not dmx) lights at the stage.

    Assuming you've not already got DMX lights on the stage, you need to get DMX from the desk to the moving heads.  If there is anything at the stage with DMX then you can just daisy chain from there and each fixture in a chain is seperately controllable if set to a different (non overlapping address).

    As has been said already using cables to connect from the first fixture in the chain to the desk would be cheaper and more robust.  If you really want to use a wireless link then I've used which if the distance is not far work ok.  I only use them to control wash washes in the auditorium on a mobile setup where running cables is not practical and I'm not trying to tell them to do hard things so latency is not an issue.

    The other thing to watch out for is you shouldn't try to power the DMX lights from your dimmer out sockets on the stage as even on full the waveform from the dimmer is likely to fry the switched mode power supply in the fixture (probably wont be immediate but will significantly reduce the life of the fixture), so get normal power to the dmx controlled lights.

  • would getting a female Edison stage pin adapter work?