When looking to set up your first devices, networking can be a challenge when first starting out.
In this post, I am going to teach you the basics you need to know before networking your first Art-Net or sACN lighting devices!
If you’re just starting out it’s most likely that you’re looking to connect two sACN or Art-Net devices. In most cases, the first device will be a controller, a lighting console, or a media controller.
The second device would most likely be a DMX Node, LED Fixture, Moving Light, etc.
Next, you will need a Network Cable to connect the two devices. With most units, you can just connect the two devices together and have no issues. In some cases, however, you might need a crossover cable, but just be sure to check your manual and see if anything like that would be needed.
If you’re working with more devices or plan on working with more devices in the future there are some additional steps for setting up.
A network switch gives you the capability to connect multiple devices. In order to set this up, you would connect your computer or console to the network switch. Then, from the network switch, your devices would be wired to the switch.
Something to note and keep in mind is that a network switch may not always be needed.
Some fixtures allow you to daisy-chain the ethernet signal similar to how you would daisy-chain a DMX signal.
But as always be sure to check the manuals and see what your options are, and understand that a large number of fixtures chained together can create some delay problems.
Configuration and Settings
Now, it’s time to make it all come together and work. Go to your console, controller, or media server and see if it has a page for configuration.
Once you locate the configuration page you’ll want to set the IP Address. You’ll also set up the Universes you want to Output and set whether you are using ArtNet or sCAN. Just note that not everything will have the option to work with ArtNet and sCAN so be sure to check this beforehand.
If you’re not working with a Router you will need to set an IP Address (exp. 192.168.0.2). Then, you will need to set the Subnet Mask. You can use something like 255.255.255.0 which will tell your units that it needs to just look for any changes in the last number and the first 3 numbers will be the same.
Next, you’ll need to configure your devices that output DMX. You’ll set the IP Address and the Subnet mask but be sure to keep these numbers in the same range. Then, you will set the Universe you want the devices to listen for.
Your console or computer is set to output certain DMXIS and your devices are listening for those universes. If working with Artnet it is good to note that most times they start with 0 but some devices will start with 1. When setting your Universe this can definitely get tricky.
Turning it On
At this point, your IP Addresses are all set up and you’ve turned on your ArtNet or sCAN, everything should be working just fine. If you do happen to run into some issues be sure to check your user manuals and make sure everything is set up right.
If you are still having issues it may be best to set up your system as simple as possible. Instead of starting wireless you may want to start by getting plugged in. Or perhaps start with just one device instead of multiple units at once.
Need more detail? Watch the full video below: