September 24


Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode # 79

This week on the podcast we are answering your questions! We have a wide variety of topics such as DMXis, working with different fixtures and more!

If you are new here and haven’t checked it out yet be sure to check out the Lighting Quiz. This quiz is designed to answer a few questions that will match you up with a free personalized guide on how to get started with lighting. If you haven’t had a chance yet be sure to check it out!

Lighting News (2:17)

This week in lighting news I ran across a couple of great articles in the PLSN or also known as Projection Lights and Staging News. One of the things I noticed is that I am starting to see more about lasers.

I am excited to announce that I am planning on bringing this into our Learn Stage Lighting Labs and then slowly start mentioning it in the podcast as well as videos. Lasers are becoming increasingly popular and are used in more shows lately. There is some red tape that we do have restrictions on using lasers but now more than ever it couldn’t be easier to implement lasers into your production.

Another article that stood out was Choreographed Light which talks about a company that does lighting for ballets. This isn’t often heard of but that’s what I really like the PLSN magazine because it keeps up with different setups, lighting rigs, etc. We often fall into the rut of doing the same thing but seeing stories like this help inspire us to be willing to try different and fresh looks.

Main Segment (10:18)

Questions are submitted through the contact form on Learn Stage Lighting. If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here, Contact Form.

Nick (11:02): Quick question, is the cam lock technique in that would be done in a permanent install? If not, then what would you recommend. Thanks!

Cam locks are connectors for large amounts of power. If it’s going to be permanent then you would need to bring in an electrician set you up with a permanent solution.

If this is a temporary install then you do want to make sure everything is up to code and regulations are being respected.

Moritz (13:47): So, moving forward in time with 5 Ghz networks becoming more and more popular in use we could expect there to be free space to shoot our light signals around the place before long?

The 5Ghz has been very popular and used a lot. I have done research on this and I have found 5G and 5Ghz are very different. The 5G is the next wideband network. 5Ghz is a type of frequency.

5Ghz is actually better to work with because it doesn’t go as far and won’t go through walls. This is a good thing because it means the signal won’t go where it’s not supposed to. There are more channels to work with.

The older wireless frequency, 2.4Ghz has fewer channels to work with. When people have trouble with wireless it’s mostly because they are working with 2.4Ghz which is older and there is too much activity. You can make it work but the wireless needs to be set up correctly.

The best way to set this up is by setting up accessing points but only allowing enough juice to power it to cover a small area. You don’t have to have the power turned all the way up.

Catalin (21:00): Hello David, and everyone here, greetings from Romania. I have encountered a fairly strange and (i think) rare problem with an old DMX console (Coef MasterShow512) that I bought second hand from someone. The problem is regarding the faders (some of them not all of them), when I move a fader (example when I move fader 3 it changes the values of that channel and also the value of the channel next to it meaning channel 4). It is an odd thing that I never encountered before, and also the tilt function doesn’t work on any of the faders nor on the joystic dedicated to it. I want to mention that I know how to use DMX, I know the functions of the lighting console and how to patch faders to certain channels an how to address the lights, I have DMX cables and the lights are functioning properly, so from what I see it seems a software or hardware problem with the console. I opened the console and I saw that when all the top plate screws were off and the console top plate was loosy the faders started behaving worse (changing values all over the place) and as I pushed on to the top plate (as if it was fastened with screws) it seemed it went back to the (more chill) state of ”some certain faders changing the value of themselves and the next to them (but not all of them)”. So all in all what do you think is the problem? Everyone is welcome to share some of their thoughts about this.

Unfortunately, I have seen this with older consoles and it happens with sauder and the copper. The boards and connections start to break down and stop working altogether.

It’s most likely a hardware problem but I wouldn’t expect it to last long. If you have someone who works on boards and they may be able to fix it. Otherwise, I would suggest making the most out of it.

Gary (23:00): This is very helpful, but I’m still needing help with my moving heads, Lasers, par cans, and older High End Lighting systems. How do I go about wiring up a system that contains up to five different types of lighting fixture?

If they all communicate DMX whether it’s a 3 pin or 5 pin you should be able to wire them together and get the adapters you need. You should be able to get everything to wire up and work with your console.

If the units don’t communicate DMX, then you want to check if there are any adapters or hardware available. Usually, converters cost more than what you are willing to invest so with that I do recommend checking eBay.

Sean (25:36): Hope this finds you doing well. First, I am impressed by all your depth of Lighting knowledge, your productivity and general online presence & media savviness. I have 3 questions for you & I’m not sure if this is the right channel format, but here goes.

1. Included in our church setup is a bunch of Chauvet DJ Slimpars both VW & H (Hex). DMX is controlled by DMXis sw / hw box & a Chauvet D-Fi hub. When shutting down my system I seem to randomly have a few lights – usually the CH slimpar VW’s that don’t fully respond & I too often when I dim all the way down + they won’t fully turn off.
I have tried..
1. killing the circuit breaker – so killing power to the fixture hooping this would clear out any signal settings & “reset” the fixture. That did not work, when the power returned, the light was still stuck at same setting.
2. I also tried removing & replacing the (same) D-FI USB stick from the fixture & that did not work.
3. Last I tried swapping out & running the fixture with a different D-Fi USB stick & same, nothing changed, same “stuck ” Lighting position.
I suspect it’s either the D-Fi system or maybe its a glitch in the DMXis. What would you advise = where do I start now?

2. I think your video on Entec DMXis Banks & Presets is one of your all-time top viewed videos @ > 14K it’s also almost 4 years old!!!! Nov 2015.
While it’s “pretty good” I notice almost half of it covers some sort older version fault about adding letter & having to restart to resort Banks.
I really wish you had an updated DMXis Banks & Presets video that was MORE in-depth covered more of the basics of how to program Banks & Presets. One thing missing (for me) is how can I make a Master fader that would control all dimmers on all fixtures. This would be hugely helpful in our church services when we drop a screen & show videos rather than switch to another bank. Is there not some way to have a Master Fader (liek a HW controller) so that ALL lights could be brought down & back up by an almost untrained volunteer? Seems so basic & simple, but I can’t / haven’t figured it out.

3. Is there a way in DMXis to rename the fixtures individually? By setup – default the fixture name populates over top of the X # of Ch Faders & I have several pages (32 fader / page) where I have multiples of the same fixture yet I don’t know (for example) which “Slimpar VW” is which? It would be EVER so helpful to be able to rename those fixtures as: What the are AND WHERE they are, such as “Slimpar VW_Mid-Stage Right” Perhaps there is a way to do this & you could cover that in another DMXis video update.

I would do is check for possible interference with your wireless network. The next thing I would do is get your console and the light down and have them set up next to each other with a DMX Cable. Then, you want to see if the light does what it needs to do.

If the light doesn’t respond the way it should then you do want to connect with Chauvet support for further assistance. But as I mentioned above if it is a wireless issue then you want to get an Android phone, download the app DMX Cat, and it has an analyzer that you can use. If this is a wireless issue then you may want to find an IT person to help you diagnose the issue.

For the second question, there is a level master located in the bottom corner of the interface that you can assign the commands to a MIDI Controller.

Closing (31:20)

If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to check out Learn Stage Lighting Patreon. We had launched last month and it’s a great way for listeners like you to pitch in just a few bucks a month to the cause. I would love to get back to doing 4 podcast episodes month but I need your help to get there, be sure to check it out!

Be sure to tune in to our next episode as I am lining up some interviews with Lab students and someone who works with lasers on stages. Thanks for tuning in!

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