What does it take to get a basic network setup for a stage lighting system? In this video, David shows you exactly how to get started with a simple example!
There are a few basic networking scenarios that you may run into once you begin to incorporate networking into your stage lighting.
Wireless Control Scenario
The wireless control scenario is one of the simplest scenarios that you will run into. It really is just as simple as grabbing a travel router, or any consumer router that is out there, and plugging it in to the LightShark. From a physical standpoint that is all you need. Those two items plugged together and your console or table to connect will get the job done.
This type of approach will work on a LightShark, it will work with a computer and ONYX. It is a really versatile and convenient approach. One thing to look out for is the router. Your router is going to be handing out IP addresses and if the device software you are using doesn’t require you to input the IP address and it can just find it on the network then you can just leave everything in DHCP. It will change IP addresses from time to time, but it will work just fine without having to switch everything up.
If you do have software that needs the IP address manually added in the best route to take will be to disable DHCP on the device as well as preferably on the router and you will be good to go.
If you have to put the mobile devices IP address into your console software, such as for Touch OSC, then the best thing to do is to set it static on your mobile device. If you are bringing your mobile device to other locations and this causes an issue, then it is advisable to reserve your IP address for the tablet and for the console to save yourself some hassle. This will keep DHCP on and the router locks in the device and reserves the IP address.
If you’re doing network DMX and wireless control, then you can use your router combo for the majority of simple shows. Then gather a network cable, plug it into the network, connect your DMX node to the router, set up your static IP address, and then all will flow through accordingly.
The only thing to watch out for in this case is that on the router there is typically one plug designated for reaching out to an open wide area network. Don’t use this plug because it will not work for other devices that are local.
Oftentimes for show networks this is as complicated as things will be. If you do need to be on a larger network the principles are the same, you just have to be aware of the other traffic and if the protocols you are sending on that network are compatible with the protocols that are already on that network.
Simple Network Switch
If you choose to use a network switch and want to connect your console to your network switch to a DMX node it is as simple as hooking them all up together and setting static IP addresses. When doing this just make sure that all the IP addresses are different. If you’re never going to connect it to a larger network you can use almost any IP address range, just being aware that some devices will not let you use the same format on two interfaces.
If you need wireless control, it’s as simple as getting yourself a small router or connecting to a facility’s network. This is a quick and inexpensive way to get the job done and put on a great show in most situations.