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Thread: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

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    Official Lurker Aussiephil's Avatar
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    Default EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    I'm about to start testing this new revision with the TP3212 and the two TigerDMX controllers.

    With support for 8 DMX universes for less than the cost of 4 DMX dongles this is something that is going to be indispensable as we move into the world of RGB.

    I'll post some testing results and hopefully a video in the next few days.

    As i move above 4,000 channels this year the only way to do it is with this product and E1.31 protocol support.

    Cheers
    Aussiephil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -ecg12.jpg  

  2. #2
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    For those that don't understand DMX universes, you have to have a DMX dongle (i.e. iDMX or whatever) to drive that particular portion of the display. I plan to have at least 2 universes. One will be for the DIY controllers and the other will be to the store bought DMX lights. If the universe that the controllers are on blows up (with controllers I can repair) it won't blow up my DMX lights that I can't repair. If you have 8 universes, you can limit the amount of destruction (and other useful things) that could happen. That is only one example.

    I am still a little confused as to why we would want to integrate ethernet into a residential display. I understand that this would shorten the length of the DMX universes thus optimizing the baud rate (how fast the information is transmitted to each controller which can be a problem for a large universe) to each controller however the rest eludes me. I'll bet this will be covered at the convention. When I left the engineering world this was just being implemented was expensive and so complicated that I didn't really pay attention. I guess I should have and things have changed.
    Al

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    And to further clarify - a DMX universe is 512 channels. So if you want more than 512 different lights, you need a second (or third) universe. 512 channels seems like a lot, but with the individually controlled pixels becoming available, 512 is just a few strings.

    That's why something like the ECG is becoming necessary.

    Note that Ethernet is only used to communicate between your show computer and the ECGateway. From the 8 outputs of the ECG, you run your normal Cat-5 cable that talks RS485 for each universe or Renard controller string. It's like having 8 DMX dongles, but with only one connection to your computer.

    The TP3212 is a DMX -> pixel string converter. Think of it as the LOR controller for the Cosmic Ribbon. The cheaper pixel strips now available from China use several different protocols and this box will talk to most of them. So, you'd need a TP3212 for each DMX universe where you want to run pixel strings/strips.

    For those that are attending the convention, you should see all of it in operation, provided the TP3212 beta code gets done this week.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

  4. #4
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    And... I can't wait to see it.

    My display will have some of these things next year.

    The heck with multiple strings of lights when a string of pixels will do everything.

  5. #5
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    One of my new DMX lights eats up 16 channels. I can see the need for ethernet hubs now. Thanks Mark.

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    OK, but don't think of it as an Ethernet hub. This is a Gateway. It has Ethernet going in one side, with a TCP/IP address and everything. The 4 or 8 outputs are DMX out, not Ethernet.

    Note that you can't use this with LOR S2. The ECG-RenDMX8 talks E1.31 protocol, and needs something that will output E1.31 (something like DMX over Ethernet). There's a plug-in for Vixen, and LightShowPro has been working on their output plug-in. Unless the LOR guys want to incorporate this, S2 doesn't speak the right language in order to use it.

    In the theater world, E1.31, and ArtNet and other DMX<-> Ethernet protocols are already being used to carry lots of DMX channels from the light booth to the stage area, and then converted over to DMX universes before going to the lights. This makes it very easy, since one or two cables can carry 100's of DMX universes, instead of the 100's of cables that used to be required.

    This also does mean that you could have one cable running out to your yard, to multiple ECG-RenDMX8's, and have 1000's of channels of pixels, moving lights, etc... Remember, your LOR controllers will speak DMX without changing the firmware, so you can reuse all of today's controllers and add lots more!
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

  7. #7
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Actually, it is easy and possible to use S2 with these devices. A person could sequence in S2 like they have all along, then import the S2 sequence into LSP which would execute the sequence. This is not a new feature of LSP. Some of us are quite comfortable with S2 and have not made the logical choice of switching to S2 because of our comfort levels. Any DMX devices could be declared in S2 and imported into LSP which will communicate transparently through the communication devices listed here.

    LOR is way behind the curve. I doubt they will catch up. AussiePhil, from what I've seen and what I know about engineers, seems to be a competent and talented engineer unlike another "engineer" that designs controllers for the DIY crowd. I too look forward to seeing the design. How come is seems all of the good stuff seems to be coming out of Australia. Do these guys ever sleep?

    This is my last year with S2. The TASL guys can expect training on LSP early next year, because S2 is not keeping up with the advances in the industry. I recently opened up LSP after it being shut down for almost a year, and I felt like a small plane pilot trying to fly a commercial airliner. I recognized some of the things that I saw but felt a little overwhelmed with the complexity. That feeling is illogical and will require some additional work if I want to keep up with the industry.

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    xLights or BUST in 2018 kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    I smell a new future product. And if their naming methodology is consistent, we'll be seeing an iDMXoE adapter from LOR...

    I am immediately curious about the quality of this device compared with RS-485. Clearly it gets multiple DMX universes quickly out to the device (very necessary for RGB pixels with DMX). 512 channels craps out quickly. But my curiosity is with the physical wiring. I believe the typical Ethernet wiring is only good for 300 feet of Cat-5 wire. But good ole bullet-proof 485 is something around 4000 feet.

    Do we think using Wifi or some less crowded bands of wireless might also creep into this ? That too seems less reliable than RS485 ..
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    I Went Static in 2017. FINALLY Moving to Xlights for 2018 !

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  9. #9
    wbottomley
    Visitor wbottomley's Avatar

    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Ed is bringing some this weekend.

    I've already asked to purchase one.

    I see some pixels in this year's future.

  10. #10
    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    I smell a new future product. And if their naming methodology is consistent, we'll be seeing an iDMXoE adapter from LOR...

    I am immediately curious about the quality of this device compared with RS-485. Clearly it gets multiple DMX universes quickly out to the device (very necessary for RGB pixels with DMX). 512 channels craps out quickly. But my curiosity is with the physical wiring. I believe the typical Ethernet wiring is only good for 300 feet of Cat-5 wire. But good ole bullet-proof 485 is something around 4000 feet.

    Do we think using Wifi or some less crowded bands of wireless might also creep into this ? That too seems less reliable than RS485 ..
    Denny,
    Don't confuse Ethernet with Cat-5 wiring. RS485 is a signaling method. So is Ethernet. Ethernet only goes 300 feet on Cat-5 because of what signaling it uses. RS-485 on Cat-5 can go much farther than Ethernet on the same wire.

    So using DMX over Cat-5 with RS-485 is definitely the way to go, and should get you all over your yard (or my yard) without a problem.

    Again, think of the ECG-RenDMX8 as 8 DMX dongles in one package. You still would use the same wire you would use if you were using an LOR dongle to talk to your controllers. With the same or better distance. It uses the same RS-485 driver chips that LOR or DMX controllers use. So it would behave the same way.

    And while the ELLs or other wireless devices "seem" like they make it easier, the interference factor makes me VERY nervous. Under optimum conditions, they work great. But you never see optimum conditions in real life, and those conditions can change rapidly.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

  11. #11
    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    I have quite a bit of experience with ELLs and Christmas displays. The ELLs have manual frequency shifting which is good but automatic would be better. The DIY wireless dongle was released without frequency shifting and was plagued with problems. The first year that I used ELLs, I experienced lots of hung channels from data loss. I shifted the operating frequency and MOST of the interference went away. I don't like using wireless in a display, and I don't like going to the dentist but I do both. Until we get a viable means of optical isolation between the RS485 drops, I will continue to use wireless to isolate them. Period.

    Believe it or not a Christmas display is a tremendously noisy environment for electronics. The power switching generates most of the noise. If Ethernet is used, it will have to be isolated from the AC lines or capacitive coupling will occur and trash the data stream. In the industrial electronics community it is called weld field immunity as it gets its name from welders being used and capacitively coupling noise onto adjacent wiring. The best way to counter the noise is to isolate the wiring from each other.

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Yep. "don't cross the streams!" When running Ethernet, you can't run parallel to power cable runs or the noise From the power cables will denigrate your ethernet signal. Have to cross them perpendicularly. Sounds like the same is true here.

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    Official Lurker Aussiephil's Avatar
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    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    LOR is way behind the curve. I doubt they will catch up. AussiePhil, from what I've seen and what I know about engineers, seems to be a competent and talented engineer unlike another "engineer" that designs controllers for the DIY crowd. I too look forward to seeing the design. How come is seems all of the good stuff seems to be coming out of Australia. Do these guys ever sleep?
    Al,

    Not often I'm left speechless, I hope to continue designing interesting products.

    The TP3212 Pixel controller has made it to j1sys (Ed) and will be with with him for the weekend, I seen it running a string of 6803 pixels last night being driven by the EthConGateway RenDMX8.
    The Firmware is currently working for 2801 and 6803 pixels with the SD600 code also working but the strings we all have are not the best.
    The numbers 6803/2801/sd600 etc refer to the IC in each node and they all have slightly different protocols.

    oh and as for sleep.... not really, been living on about 4-5 hrs for the last 3 months with various hardware designs going on, plus getting the Tiger controllers done and commenced shipping.

    If you think that 2010 has been frantic, then strap in for 2011.

    Cheers
    Phil

  14. #14
    wbottomley
    Visitor wbottomley's Avatar

    Default Re: EthConGateway ECG24MH and RenDMX8 have arrived and...

    Phil, I'm too impressed with your group. That's why I hang out and try to learn something to take my display to a higher level.

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