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prof_fate
08-16-2013, 09:54 PM
See a post further on for an update...apparently the mini kinta is good...I'm just lost on why it works funky like.

I am new to DMX.
everything is new.

I got a chauvet obey 40 controller. Each fixture is assigned a starting address 16 apart - so 1, 17, 33, 49, 65, etc.

Have 2 chauvet par 64 leds. set up as fixtures 1 (address 1) and 2 (address 17), all works as it should, running as 7 channel fixtures.

I got a chauvet mini kinta today, 3 channels is the only choice. Auto works as it should, so the light 'works'.

I hooked up to the DMX as fixture 3 (address 33) and well, everything goes to hell. Tried addr 65 too. The manual is almost worse that useless.
I plugged it by itself and it seemed to work on DMX...not smoothly, but not sure what it should do, but it seemed to work.

OK, plugged in the other lights and well, it's on when they're off, they no longer work properly (red channel is red and green at the same time? same for the others). Weird. And the DMX light on the kinta flashes and it does nothing.
OK..unplug the other lights and the kinta alone and the dmx light does not light up.

I tried every cord I have (5) and it makes no difference.

Is there something I'm missing? Order they get plugged in, turned on or what?

BillESC
08-16-2013, 10:19 PM
Sounds like a bad cable.

Address the mini Kinta as 33 and make it the only fixture on the controller. If you gain control, there is a bad cable.

WillieB69
08-17-2013, 12:34 AM
I have noticed similar issues in DMX with my Kintas as well. I thought maybe it was just me not knowing what I'm doing with DMX. The thought also crossed my mind that you can't mix lights like that? (Pars are 7 channel but the Kintas are only 3 channels.) I don't know if that makes a difference or not though.

sss18734
08-17-2013, 12:49 AM
Sounds like a lack of DMX experience to me, just because you say it "seems to work" when its the only one plugged in. Are you certain that you are adjusting the channels on the lights themselves to match what is on the DMX controller?

fueledbymusic
08-17-2013, 01:04 AM
Well, DMX can be a fuss at times. I had issues as well as soon as I hook up a fifth light. Terminators did not work for me. But when I use a DMX splitter cable hooked on the main DMX cable from the Obey 40, hook the 4 pars on one end of splitter. Then another 4 lights (not pars) on the other end of splitter, it's OK. I don't have anymore issues. And I am controlling all 8 lights via DMX! It seems like the further the lights are from the Obey 40, the more erratic. So that's when I had the idea of the DMX splitter. It's like daisy chaining 4 lights 2 times instead of trying to daisy chain 8 lights. DMX just does not work after a 4th light, for me anyway

BillESC
08-17-2013, 09:18 AM
^^^ Are you using DMX cable or mic cable?

prof_fate
08-17-2013, 10:41 AM
dmx cable
the kinta does not not work on DMX at all now. On the back by the led readout there are 4 small leds that light up for the mode it's in. I get no light when it's hooked up for dmx. If I add a terminator or second fixture the dmx light blinks, and the fixture comes on but acts erratically and causes the other lights on the cable to act erratic also.

If its just a bad light i'll exchange it, but if this is typical of what kintas are like i'll look for something else.

robare99
08-17-2013, 11:14 AM
It doesn't work at all when plugged in? There's nothing on the rear display, when plugged into DMX?

That's not right. I have 3 of them and none of them do that.

prof_fate
08-17-2013, 11:27 AM
It doesn't work at all when plugged in? There's nothing on the rear display, when plugged into DMX?

That's not right. I have 3 of them and none of them do that.

The address is on the display then it goes dark after a minute or two. and the DMX 'mode' light does not come on.
I'm thinking I got a bad light.
I'll try and exchange it tomorrow and see if I have better luck with another one.

Do you terminate or use splitters, or just daisy chain all your lights and they work on DMX?

robare99
08-17-2013, 11:33 AM
I daisy chain them all. If I'm doing Uplighting I'll split the signal with a Chauvet Data Stream 4. I have a bunch of lights going at once, up to 23 fixtures with no problems.

You can see 3 Mini Kintas in this video. From the rear, they're on the bottom, at the ends and the middle.

G1qBy6uugRY

fueledbymusic
08-17-2013, 12:33 PM
^^^ Are you using DMX cable or mic cable? Well. It's the cables that came with my Obey 40, but I had already bought several more off ebay. Most are "Accu cable" brand. I seen them at guitar center..
Surprisingly they are fine, I can see at the moment:shrug:

prof_fate
08-18-2013, 06:59 PM
The plot thickens...

I got a second new mini kinta. Don't ask, you don't want to know.

Anyway...they both act the same - BUT neither acts like it should...I can't all chauvet till tuesday due to work obligations. So...WTF is going on????

Ok - obey 40 controller. It says each fixture is 1, 17, 33, 49 for starting addresses.
I have 2 venue slimpar 64 leds. Plug in one, 2, anyway you want, 3 channel or 7 channel and they work flawlessly. Lets call them 1 and 17 for identification.

I have the two mini kintas - call them 33 and 49 for identification.

IF you plug in EITHER kinta alone the dmx doesn't work. IF you plug in them AND the slimpars nothing works properly - lots of random nonsense, blackout fails to function...just awful.

BUT if you plug in EITHER kinta and put the 17 slimpar after it on the dmx cable chain, but DO NOT PLUG IT IN TO POWER, the kintas work perfectly.
IF you plug them in - 33, 17 (off), 49 BOTH kintas work perfectly. If you do it in ANY OTHER ORDER or try the 1 slimpar they do not work on DMX, just do random stuff.

I've tried terminating...does not change functions at all, but with termination the DMX active led on the kintas will blink. They don't work, but they do see (some) dmx signal.

OK..I'm missing something but have no idea what it might be. ALL the equipment is new. New cables. Swapping cables around makes no difference. Order things are powered on makes no difference.

WillieB69
08-18-2013, 08:12 PM
I just don't think the Kintas are all that DMX friendly. I know they're "supposed" to be but they don't play well with others. I just let mine run in sound active mode for the most part and love them for what they do but I have never been able to successfully get mine to cooperate with other lights in a DMX chain either. My generic slim pars work flawlessly with the DMX controller but I don't bother just because the Kintas give me such a hard time.

robare99
08-19-2013, 02:29 AM
Try them on channel 1. And check the DMX cables to make sure they aren't grounded to the outside metal ring. Whatever it's called

I've never had any issues with mine. I use DMXIS for a controller

DJzrule
08-19-2013, 03:14 PM
I just don't think the Kintas are all that DMX friendly. I know they're "supposed" to be but they don't play well with others. I just let mine run in sound active mode for the most part and love them for what they do but I have never been able to successfully get mine to cooperate with other lights in a DMX chain either. My generic slim pars work flawlessly with the DMX controller but I don't bother just because the Kintas give me such a hard time.

I'm sorry but if you don't understand how DMX works, don't try to help. There's no such thing as a DMX fixture not being "DMX friendly". A DMX controller and DMX lights don't give a crap what's linked or plugged in. They constantly refresh and look for values on each DMX channel from 1 to 255, on 512 DMX channels at once.

It sounds to me like the lights have reverse polarity wiring for whatever reason. This can cause erratic behaviour in the lights.

cooper
10-10-2013, 02:38 PM
Sorry to post so late, but this sounds very similar to my Chauvet Radius experience. I've pulled it out of rotation until I can determine what the issue is. I'll try to dig up the discussion thread on it.

prof_fate
10-10-2013, 03:45 PM
I've got 2 kintas and checked the cables (all new) controller (also new). The par's work find, the kintas do not. IF you plug in a kinta and a par, but leave the power off to the par, then the kinta works as designed. 2 kints and no. I tried terminating, and no, it won't work either.
Talked to chauvet...nothing special should need done. But really, 2 bad lights from 2 different sources both act exaclty the same?

Unless/until somebody has a suggesting they're just gonna be in auto mode and turned on/off as needed. Not ideal but it is what it is.

cooper
10-10-2013, 04:39 PM
Unless/until somebody has a suggesting they're just gonna be in auto mode and turned on/off as needed. Not ideal but it is what it is.

Exactly what I have to do. I bought a DMX controller for a reason...

cooper
10-10-2013, 08:30 PM
Here's my thread:

http://www.djforums.com/forums/showthread.php?12372-DMX-Help-Please!&highlight=radius

WillieB69
10-11-2013, 07:51 AM
I'm sorry but if you don't understand how DMX works, don't try to help. There's no such thing as a DMX fixture not being "DMX friendly". A DMX controller and DMX lights don't give a crap what's linked or plugged in. They constantly refresh and look for values on each DMX channel from 1 to 255, on 512 DMX channels at once.

It sounds to me like the lights have reverse polarity wiring for whatever reason. This can cause erratic behaviour in the lights.

If I were trying to help, I would have offered up a solution to the problem. As it is, I'm only noting that I am having the same experiences with the Mini-Kintas as the OP. They don't play nice with the rest of the lighting chain.

DJzrule
10-11-2013, 09:35 AM
If I were trying to help, I would have offered up a solution to the problem. As it is, I'm only noting that I am having the same experiences with the Mini-Kintas as the OP. They don't play nice with the rest of the lighting chain.

If there's a manufacturer defect contact the manufacturer. My point was, if it's DMX capable, it's DMX capable. If it's having issues, you need to make the manufacturer know of this.

WillieB69
10-11-2013, 10:51 PM
If there's a manufacturer defect contact the manufacturer. My point was, if it's DMX capable, it's DMX capable. If it's having issues, you need to make the manufacturer know of this.

If it's a defect, it appears to be a common one. It would be interesting to hear Chauvet chime in on this one.

And I still can't figure for the life of me why all DMX lights are not on the same polarity.

DJzrule
10-12-2013, 03:24 AM
If it's a defect, it appears to be a common one. It would be interesting to hear Chauvet chime in on this one.

And I still can't figure for the life of me why all DMX lights are not on the same polarity.

Cheap lights = bad quality control. All DMX lights currently use the same polarity, it was issues with earlier ones and theatrical vs club lighting that use to use different polarity.

fueledbymusic
10-15-2013, 11:17 PM
I currently run 8 cheap lights (Well by the above^^ kid's standards anyway). I DMX daisy chain 4 LEDsplash 86bs. They are fine. But if I try to daisychain a 5th light, DMX goes haywire. But actually, it does not matter WHICH lights I hook up. It's after the 4th light it acts up. Terminators don't work. So I tried a splitter. Using it at the main cable from my Obey 40. Then on one end of splitter, I hook 4 lights, and 4 more on the other end. NO PROBLEMS, because like I say, always after the 4th light it acts up.

Probably the cables. They are accu cables. Guitar center has them. BUT as of now, I'm not having issues the way I have it hooked.

prof_fate
10-16-2013, 09:50 AM
The splitters' i'm seeing are $100+ and on ebay via china are many offers for a '8 Channel Output DMX DMX512 LED Controller Signal Amplifier Splitter Distributor' for $25-30.
Anyone use this and does it work?
I'm willing to see if a splitter is the fix but spending $100+ 'just to see' isn't as enticing.

DJzrule
10-16-2013, 10:18 AM
The splitters' i'm seeing are $100+ and on ebay via china are many offers for a '8 Channel Output DMX DMX512 LED Controller Signal Amplifier Splitter Distributor' for $25-30.
Anyone use this and does it work?
I'm willing to see if a splitter is the fix but spending $100+ 'just to see' isn't as enticing.

I'm going to write a review on those 25$ splitters. They're truly opto-isolated and work great.

prof_fate
10-16-2013, 10:37 AM
I'm going to write a review on those 25$ splitters. They're truly opto-isolated and work great.

The opto part I couldn't determine. They say "led" on them and I see none..so I figure that's what they were trying to say.

So you've had success with them then?

fueledbymusic
10-16-2013, 10:44 AM
no no no, it was one of these I bought to fix my DMX situation
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10cm-DMX-Lighting-Splitter-Cable-For-5-Pin-DMX-Output-/261306959672?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd71bc738
This actually worked for me.

DJzrule
10-16-2013, 12:15 PM
no no no, it was one of these I bought to fix my DMX situation
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10cm-DMX-Lighting-Splitter-Cable-For-5-Pin-DMX-Output-/261306959672?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd71bc738
This actually worked for me.

That's terrible for your lights and your controller. You're changing the resistance of the signal and that can damage the electronics.

DJzrule
10-16-2013, 12:17 PM
The opto part I couldn't determine. They say "led" on them and I see none..so I figure that's what they were trying to say.

So you've had success with them then?

I've only used it on a couple jobs and otherwise in my workshop, I'll have them at a fashion show running pars, uplights, and a few movers and then I'll give a decisive video review.

light-o-matic
10-16-2013, 01:58 PM
That's terrible for your lights and your controller. You're changing the resistance of the signal and that can damage the electronics.

Incorrect on all counts.

That adapter is made for specific lighting consoles which use the 5 pin DMX connector in a specific way. It does not change the "resistance of the signal" (whatever that is lol). I own several of those adapters (I had to make them myself.. it was impossible to find them pre-made when I needed them.. actually pretty surprised to see this on ebay).

On the other hand, when plugged into a normal DJ lighting controller, which only outputs one universe, only one of the 3 pin outputs will be active, the other will just not do anything. This adapter will just act as a standard 5 pin to 3 pin adapter.

DJzrule
10-16-2013, 02:09 PM
Incorrect on all counts.

That adapter is made for specific lighting consoles which use the 5 pin DMX connector in a specific way. It does not change the "resistance of the signal" (whatever that is lol). I own several of those adapters (I had to make them myself.. it was impossible to find them pre-made when I needed them.. actually pretty surprised to see this on ebay).

On the other hand, when plugged into a normal DJ lighting controller, which only outputs one universe, only one of the 3 pin outputs will be active, the other will just not do anything. This adapter will just act as a standard 5 pin to 3 pin adapter.

I saw that as a 3 pin to dual 3 pin adapter, my bad.

OTOH If it were a 3 pin output, using a 3 pin Y adapter, you'd be cutting the impedance in half. When you start with a DMX send over 1 DMX cable, you have 120Ω resistance. Split it with a Y adapter and you're down to 60Ω*resistance. Short runs can use microphone XLR however (which is why you'll see some people do it without issues, IE: DJs with just a short span of truss) without too much signal degrading.

This applies to why some people can do short runs with funky/microphone grade XLR cable without terminators, because the runs are short and the impedance is within operating range. Lowering the impedance in half though is going to cause issues down the line.

light-o-matic
10-16-2013, 02:28 PM
As far as solving the original problem with the Mini Kinta.. probably what is going on is that one (if not both) of the Mini-Kinta's is in master-slave mode, which will totally fuck up the DMX signal for possibly all fixtures on the line, or at least all fixtures after the Mini-Kinta. Double check every setting on every fixture to make sure they are strictly in DMX mode.

Unfortunately, the DMX implementation of most cheap DJ lights pretty much sucks. I had two Oceana's that were a real pain to control. Most professional DMX lights do not have these master-slave modes so the light has a very simple DMX circuit that listens to the signal on the line.. it does not interrupt the signal or try to put voltage on the line. In fact, in most fixtures the two DMX connectors are just wired together in the back and it doesn't matter which one you use for input and which for output. With DJ lights that have this master-slave mode, some of them are more obtrusive on the DMX signal, some of them less.

But, that said, it SHOULD work. So, check your settings carefully because that's the main suspicion.

As far as the type of cable you are using (regular mic cable vs DMX-rated cable), yea it DOES make a difference. But having done this shit for a while, I can tell you.. ever since manufacturers started using three pin connectors instead of five pin for DMX, people have been using the wrong cable for DMX. And it WORKS. I've done it myself many times. I started out with proper DMX cables (lovingly soldered together by yours truly) but as I added lights and started doing bigger setups I dipped into my audio cables and found that I could get away with really outrageous setups.. I'm talking about 10-12 lights spread around a room, on the floor, on the ceiling, all over.. plus three dimmer packs, chained with a huge hodgepodge of cable types adding up to hundreds of feet of cable.. sometimes without a terminator.. and it WORKED PERFECTLY! It was actually very rare that my antics resulted in less than perfect operation. DMX is not as fragile as people make it out to be. But obviously if you have a miswired cable or a shaky connector or just a really shit quality cable it will mess you up in ways that are often hard to figure out. And that sucks.. so yea, it is wise to use the right cable, in good condition, with the right terminator. It will save you from grief. I don't suggest that people make big investments in the wrong kind of cable or fail to use terminators. I am sure that one of the reasons I got away with what I got away with is because I was using mostly pro-quality equipment, eg Avolites, Martin, High End Systems (although I did use Chauvet etc in the same setup).

BUT.. if you are dealing with a small setup, eg 4 lights chained together with 10 foot or less cables.. and things are going totally haywire and just plain not working, then the first thing you should look at is the settings, polarity, broken cable etc. Not the kind of cable you are using, because it's almost definitely not the problem.

If you have really ruled everything out and some lights (especially those with master-slave mode options) just don't play nice with the others on the same DMX line, then yea you have to put them on a different universe if you have that option (if you are using a DJ lighting controller like the Chauvet, then you don't have that option), or use a DMX Isolator-Splitter like the $25 ebay one mentioned.

fueledbymusic
10-16-2013, 02:52 PM
That's terrible for your lights and your controller. You're changing the resistance of the signal and that can damage the electronics.
Awww shut up.

It works! AND THAT'S IT

fueledbymusic
10-16-2013, 02:57 PM
^^^ The ebay item I posted the link of was just the quick example of what I got. I didn't even see the 5pin to 3pin, HA. That's not what I got. The Y adaptor (splitter) that I actually got is like this one. 3 pin to 3 pin. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Y-Adapter-One-1-x-Male-to-Two-2-x-Female-XLR-Splitter-Cable-Lead-Short-Dual-DMX-/390595819960?pt=AU_Pro_Audio&hash=item5af15339b8

light-o-matic
10-16-2013, 03:19 PM
^^^ The ebay item I posted the link of was just the quick example of what I got. I didn't even see the 5pin to 3pin, HA. That's not what I got. The Y adaptor (splitter) that I actually got is like this one. 3 pin to 3 pin. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Y-Adapter-One-1-x-Male-to-Two-2-x-Female-XLR-Splitter-Cable-Lead-Short-Dual-DMX-/390595819960?pt=AU_Pro_Audio&hash=item5af15339b8

I see.. well yea, as I said it is amazing how much you can do wrong to DMX and still have it work. And using Y splitters like that is one of those totally wrong things.. in fact it's one of the more bad things you can do so far as tempting fate with your DMX setup. But in a small setup these kinds of flaws don't usually show themselves. The reason the Y splitter solved your problem is probably because one of your lights was ACTIVELY intercepting the DMX signal, processing it, and then repeating it out the other connector.. and it was fucking up the data in some way. Professional lights NEVER do this because the risk is too high that a single malfunctioning fixture will fuck up all the others, which is obviously not good when you have dozens of fixtures wired together and hoisted in the air. But even in a small setup an opto-splitter is the best way to go, especally when you can get one for 25 bucks.

DJzrule
10-16-2013, 05:07 PM
As far as solving the original problem with the Mini Kinta.. probably what is going on is that one (if not both) of the Mini-Kinta's is in master-slave mode, which will totally fuck up the DMX signal for possibly all fixtures on the line, or at least all fixtures after the Mini-Kinta. Double check every setting on every fixture to make sure they are strictly in DMX mode.

Unfortunately, the DMX implementation of most cheap DJ lights pretty much sucks. I had two Oceana's that were a real pain to control. Most professional DMX lights do not have these master-slave modes so the light has a very simple DMX circuit that listens to the signal on the line.. it does not interrupt the signal or try to put voltage on the line. In fact, in most fixtures the two DMX connectors are just wired together in the back and it doesn't matter which one you use for input and which for output. With DJ lights that have this master-slave mode, some of them are more obtrusive on the DMX signal, some of them less.

But, that said, it SHOULD work. So, check your settings carefully because that's the main suspicion.

As far as the type of cable you are using (regular mic cable vs DMX-rated cable), yea it DOES make a difference. But having done this shit for a while, I can tell you.. ever since manufacturers started using three pin connectors instead of five pin for DMX, people have been using the wrong cable for DMX. And it WORKS. I've done it myself many times. I started out with proper DMX cables (lovingly soldered together by yours truly) but as I added lights and started doing bigger setups I dipped into my audio cables and found that I could get away with really outrageous setups.. I'm talking about 10-12 lights spread around a room, on the floor, on the ceiling, all over.. plus three dimmer packs, chained with a huge hodgepodge of cable types adding up to hundreds of feet of cable.. sometimes without a terminator.. and it WORKED PERFECTLY! It was actually very rare that my antics resulted in less than perfect operation. DMX is not as fragile as people make it out to be. But obviously if you have a miswired cable or a shaky connector or just a really shit quality cable it will mess you up in ways that are often hard to figure out. And that sucks.. so yea, it is wise to use the right cable, in good condition, with the right terminator. It will save you from grief. I don't suggest that people make big investments in the wrong kind of cable or fail to use terminators. I am sure that one of the reasons I got away with what I got away with is because I was using mostly pro-quality equipment, eg Avolites, Martin, High End Systems (although I did use Chauvet etc in the same setup).

BUT.. if you are dealing with a small setup, eg 4 lights chained together with 10 foot or less cables.. and things are going totally haywire and just plain not working, then the first thing you should look at is the settings, polarity, broken cable etc. Not the kind of cable you are using, because it's almost definitely not the problem.

If you have really ruled everything out and some lights (especially those with master-slave mode options) just don't play nice with the others on the same DMX line, then yea you have to put them on a different universe if you have that option (if you are using a DJ lighting controller like the Chauvet, then you don't have that option), or use a DMX Isolator-Splitter like the $25 ebay one mentioned.

The reason I mentioned the no-no on a illegitimate 3-pin Y adapter is because I know from experience it can cause issues with more than 50ft of cable. Ironically I use microphone XLR almost exclusively when doing regular DJ jobs (unless I have 100ft+ runs) and I've never had an issue. Even more so with my DMX splitter which amplifies and opto-isolates I know I can safely use microphone cable without signal degrading. :lol:

FWIW a small setup uses 2 scanners, 2 LED bars for my facade, 2 pars for floor wash, and a Blizzard snowball. Even with 2-6 more movers, 6-10 uplights, and extra stuff (haze/FX/lasers) I've still had no issue when opto-isolating with microphone cable.

light-o-matic
10-17-2013, 01:08 PM
Yea of all the things you can do wrong with DMX, a Y splitter is probably the worst. But we are lucky now.. because, thanks to LED pars, everyone and their dog has bunches of DMX devices to chain together. Whereas in the past a small rock club would have just one or two small dimmer packs (sometimes on DMX, sometimes not), and that's that.. now they have a dozen or more LED fixtures in the chain. So there's a bigger market for DMX cable, DMX opto splitters, DMX adapters.. so instead of having to make these ourselves or pay through the nose for pro brands.. the option is now available to get the right stuff at very low prices. Even wireless DMX is not very expensive now. I have been doing a bit more lighting again lately and if I keep doing that, a wireless setup is something I would probably try.. not for all lights but to get signal across a room or into the air.