This page last changed on Sep 24, 2015 by mdar.

Here's some interesting news for those that want some architectural lighting sequences triggered with OpenRemote.

Using the TCP/IP commands in OpenRemote, I've managed to control FreeStyler X2.

Using a USB DMX dongle from SOH, which uses the Entec Open DMX profile.

"→dmx/i110-module-usb-dmx-512 "

It's a simple enough process of installing a copy of FreeStyler on a Windows machine (I haven't tried a virtual machine or Vine) then just push the TCP commands into it.

The only comment I'd make is that the TCP command documentation says that the value to send is 255, but only sending 25 works.
Whereas 255 doesn't.

For example

FSOC002255 doesn't work.
FSOC00225 does work.

"FSOC" signals an ASCII command
Command number 002 is to toggle the blackout
"255" is supposed to be the command value, but it didn't work, whereas "25" does.

The full PDF list of commands can be found in a sub folder of FreeStyler.

Hi Stuart, how far did you get with the DMX dongle?

Posted by pierre kil at Sep 02, 2015 08:42

The good news is that it works perfectly

Or at least as much as I'd expect a remote control of a software DMX controller to work.

I haven't tried it yet, but there is a full set of 'commands line' codes (which is a slightly different definition in lighting desk language) which should permit direct control of DMX channels, and depending on software, might even give group control.

So in my first test, I could control a chase sequence with TCP commands.

The second part was to transfer that control to a Velbus panel, which works perfectly.

The next step is to create more sequences in FreeStyler and control them via Velbus.

After that (time permitting), I'll try to create some Macros in OpenRemote to send 'Command Line' codes to FreeStyler to directly control DMX channels.

I've also just this second had a call from a friend who is prepared to let me test an ART-Net adapter with it, so I might well be able to control thousands of DMX channels.

So the short answer?

Yes, I got it working, very very well

Posted by mdar at Sep 02, 2015 08:59

Stuart, do you use this frequently now or was it just a try?
DMX is asked for every now and than and maybe we can suggest your solution? Do you see another "more professional" solution?
What did you mean with 255 does not work but 25 does? Anything we might need to fix or we can help with?

Posted by mredeker at Sep 24, 2015 21:01

Hello Marcus,

With the risk of opening a can of worms, the short answer is yes, I do now use basic commands in OpenRemote to trigger sequences, cues and submasters in FreeStyler to control a really simple 12 channel DMX lighting unit that I built, primarily to test OpenRemote and DMX capabilities.

A simple video is here

However, if I were to deploy a DMX solution into a professional situation, I would adopt a similar approach but use wildly different DMX control hardware.

FreeStyler is an okay 2 universe DMX controller, with a functional yet clunky interface.
For live (Disco/Band) use, I'm sure it's fine.

For large scale architectural DMX installations that use more than 1024 channels, something more robust is required.

A number of LanBox-LCX would be very good devices, which can be remotely controlled by TCP instructions to trigger sequences and cues.

Or there are professional Soft-Desk DMX solutions like MagicQ.
(Also available as standalone lighting desks)

The issue with the MagicQ soft desk (which is available for Windows and Linux) is that it requires a Professional grade USB to DMX adapter to unlock the TCP remote command feature.
The basic adapter only unlocks a few features.

So in short,

FreeStyler works reasonably well for domestic / semi-pro DMX applications.

For anything more demanding then the >€700 investment in hardware is worth every cent.

As always, it comes down to imagination Vs. budget.

But to be painfully clear on what I was attempting.
I wanted to prove that OpenRemote could control a DMX lighting controller, rather than OpenRemote directly controlling any DMX fixtures.

I'll talk about the DMX controlled water fountain, when I've spent some more time on it

With specific regard to the 255 and 25 issue, its a tiny detail to do with the FreeStyler commands, rather than OpenRemote.


Posted by mdar at Sep 24, 2015 22:21

Thanks for the details.

Posted by mredeker at Oct 02, 2015 21:26

You should also take a look at QLC+, it is highly scriptable.

Posted by stenstad at Dec 28, 2015 23:35

Thanks for the tip Dag

I'll look into that.

Although I'm looking at a hardware solution right now.....

More news when I have it

Posted by mdar at Dec 29, 2015 13:32
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