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phillD
10-18-2010, 16:42
Does anyone know if a laser can be switched on and off safely with a DMX Dimmer/relay switch. In the past, I have blown things up with these.

Basically, I really need to buy another FB3 controller but I can't right now. I have 2 lasers, 1 300mw green, the other 1000mw RGB. During a show, I need to turn off all lights (including my scanners) and run a laser show. The problem is, I am having to run my green laser on auto as my DMX controller is pretty basic and I can't make a decent show with it. So I just run my green laser on power and built-in shows. I really don't want to have to be powering off without cool down or messing with plugs for that matter.

Is there another way? Or is a DMX relay the way to go here?

Thanks

Stuka
10-18-2010, 17:03
So, during your show, you're wanting to black out the green DMX projector, while running shows with the RGB rig, correct?

If that's what you're looking for:

First, I would check and see if your DMX projector has a "blackout" option that is selectable by DMX.
If not, it appears your options are to either power it down, add a DMX-controlled shutter internally, or use a video projector shutter similar to this:

http://response-box.com/gear/video-projector-shutters/flapper-mini-manual-projector-shutter/

If you're going to power down by using a commercial DMX relay/dimmer pack, verify two things:
(1). Make sure your pack is set to RELAY mode, not DIMMER (you don't want to accidentally send partial power to the projector)
(2.) Make sure your relay/dimmer pack outlets are rated high enough to handle the load required by your projector.

Also, regardless of what DMX option you might pursue -
Keep in mind that the FB3 QuickShow 2 release can link directly to an Enttec DMX USB Pro interface, so both projectors could be controlled directly from within QuickShow. :)

phillD
10-18-2010, 17:21
Yes, I want all my other lights to turn off while leaving the RGB laser on. Thanks for the suggestions. I guess the mistake I had made previously with other hardware was using a dimmer instead of a relay/switch. I blew up an old sound chaser box when I used to have my pin spots. I think Until I can afford an additional FB3, I will go with a DMX Relay. It will be useful to turn on and off my UV Lights also.

I looked at the manual for the laser, it won't run through the built-in shows while in DMX mode, so I would have to program an entire show on a DMX controller. The controller can olnly play up to 8 scenes in a bank, so basically my "cue" would only be able to consist of 8 frames and in total I could have up to a maximum of 30 cues. That wouldn't work for a decent laser show even if it is just a green. Plus, it leaves little room to program shows for my scanners without having the lasers on all the time. Looks like I need a better DMX controller

Stuka
10-18-2010, 17:27
Rather than buying another DMX controller -

Why not add the Enttec DMX interface and use it with QuickShow?
QuickShow can run multiple FB3's and the DMX interface at the same time.

You could then set up DMX cues and activate them just the same way you activate the cues for your FB3... :)

phillD
10-18-2010, 19:10
Does the Enttec allow live control? I thought I looked at it once as a PC DMX controller and everything had to be pre programmed? Maybe I was mistaken?

phillD
10-18-2010, 19:15
Also, I would still need to program an entire light show in 2 weeks.

Stuka
10-19-2010, 16:13
Does the Enttec allow live control? I thought I looked at it once as a PC DMX controller and everything had to be pre programmed? Maybe I was mistaken?

The Enttec USB Pro is the hardware link between your computer and the DMX fixtures, just like the FB3 is the hardware link between the computer and laser projector.

The idea in using Quickshow for both would be using one software package to control the lights and lasers at the same time. There would definitely be a bit of programming involved -you would have to initially create DMX cues to setup the scenes you want for your lights, and cues to address each of the DMX frames on your green projector. Once the cues are created, they can then be used live or dropped onto a Quickshow timeline, just like all the pre-programmed laser cues already available in Quickshow.

Also, since Quickshow is MIDI-enabled, you could use an inexpensive USB MIDI controller to trigger your cues, instead of separate DMX hardware consoles.

Just a thought...

PS

Not stupid questions, BTW!! :)

phillD
10-19-2010, 16:53
Thanks for all the advice. I bit the bullet and ordered the Enttec. I am looking forward to a world free of 8 scene banks LOL. That was my primary reason for operating a lot of my lights on auto. You just could create a good show on an inexpensive controller unless you are willing to do a lot of live changes. Sometimes, whether it be at a gig or just your own party. You don;t want to spend the evening operating a DMX controller unless your a dedicated LJ. Even then, 30 banks of 8 scenes is going to get old fast.

Stuka
10-19-2010, 17:45
Thanks for all the advice. I bit the bullet and ordered the Enttec. I am looking forward to a world free of 8 scene banks LOL. That was my primary reason for operating a lot of my lights on auto. You just could create a good show on an inexpensive controller unless you are willing to do a lot of live changes. Sometimes, whether it be at a gig or just your own party. You don;t want to spend the evening operating a DMX controller unless your a dedicated LJ. Even then, 30 banks of 8 scenes is going to get old fast.

Cool!! :cool:

You'll be picking up a few (;)) more scene slots - each page can hold up to 60 individual cues, and each cue can hold a multichannel static or animated scene.
Not sure how many actual pages Quickshow can support (good question for Pangolin!), but I'm pretty sure it will exceed the scene capability of most of the "affordable" DMX controller consoles I've seen!

Also, if down the road your DMX lighting grows beyond what you can do with QuickShow, the Enttec USB Pro interface is supported by quite a few DMX software packages -
but if you're like me, it will probably be quite a while before you outgrow QuickShow!!

Keep us posted on how you use the software -
this forum is a great place to share tips & tricks! :D

phillD
10-20-2010, 03:41
I will keep you updated and thanks again for all your help. I just want to mention that this is a great forum. I actually feel a part of something, even though I don't know much about lasers yet. It's like having family on here.