ARTnet or shARTnet?

Hi, So my theatre has assigned me the duty of moving some linear actuators for automation using a (not the, but a) lighting console. In experimentation and building I was able to do this with my laptop, with Nomad software and license key installed, over ARTnet with an arduino equipped with an ethernet shield and a motor driver module.  Everything worked well, but at some point we'd moved into the space to install, and could not get our Nomad Puck to send the commands. We brought in an Element, and an Ion, and a different laptop with the nomad software and license key, and no other device besides my own laptop is able to control these things.

I've matched the settings, and ensured that ARTnet is being sent to the proper channels in the patch, we've modified the IP address and subnet masks and we've tried downgrading the software version on other laptops to match that of my own (2.5.2). The desired control consoles can all ping the arduinos over the network, but none seem to send it the proper ARTnet values.

Admittedly, I'm very new to ARTnet, or ETCnet, or anything that isn't a dmx cable. This project has taught me a lot, but I'm still missing some key information, apparently. Our head lx is stumped, as is our TD, and even our FieldService.ca technician wasn't able to help.

The show opens on Friday and everything is in place now, I'm afraid that I have no interest in rebuilding much of the arduino or its code to make this work. Just hoping to get my personal laptop back, and am baffled how it could be so special as to be the only Nomad that can work with these things.

Any ideas?

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  • Try to avoid ArtNet, it is a No-Go protocol, use sACN instead. There is some code for Arduino on https://github.com/claudeheintz
    Also use switches like HPE or Cisco, switches from Netgear are also a No-Go. Unmanged switches are generally easier to handle.
    Also think about using OSC.

  • Sorry, I appreciate I am very late to the party but Artnet is a perfectly valid protocol. It is used in professional environments on a daily basis.Why do you think it is available on ETC desks if it's a No Go?

  • The protocol is implement because there are many products which uses ArtNet because it was the only open protocol before sACN.
    The NoGo's:
    - the use of 2.x.x.x can be illegal. Some people uses ArtNet on a system with router to the internet (this will block only valid private IPs) and get problems with lawyers because some people paid for the use of this IP range.
    - It is a broadcast protocol, so it floats your whole network system with DMX data that you don't need.
    sACN works with multicast, only devices that needs DMX data will get them.
    - most vendors implemented only basic parts of the protocol so you have been aware of limitations of different versions.

  • None of that makes it a 'no go'. As I said, it is used in professional environments every day. I'm not going to get into an argument over it.

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