The controllers are the devices which receive DMX data from the player. In our case it comes from the Falcon Player in the form of SACN E1.31 whic is DMX over Ethernet. To simplify this a bit we’re using a network connection, similar to your home internet connections, to send multiple DMX universes over an ethernet network using a single CAT5 cable. A DMX universe is a set of 512 channels used to define a level or intensity between 0 (Full OFF) and 255 (Full ON) / 8 bits. The controllers then map the DMX data to SPI / Pixel String or DMX outputs. We calculate the number and type(s) of controller(s) we use based on the number and type of lights in the Planning phase.
- Falcon F16V3 Pixel Controller – We have two of these. One is on the roof as a pixel only controller for roof elements and one acts as our main controller. I call it our main controller because it also handles DMX only devices. We send E1.31 data to this device from our Falcon Player and it maps the DMX data to the SPI / Pixel outputs or DMX universes to DMX ports on the controller that the controllers listed below connect to. It’s primary function is as a pixel controller and what we use to control all of our pixel elements. Pixels are explained further here
- Light-O-Rama CTB16PC AC Voltage Controller – This is a 16 channel AC controller which can control only AC powered elements (ON/OFF/FADE/Twinkle). We use it to control the 6 strings of lights making up the tree star, 3 strobe strings, the snow area flood light and the relays to trigger the snow machines. This is plugged into a DMX RJ-45 port on our Falcon F16V2-R Pixel Controller. Reference this page on Connector Pinouts and this page which is specific to Light-O-Rama RJ-45 pinouts
- Light-O-Rama CMB16D DC Voltage Controller -This is a 16 channel DC controller which can control only DC powered elements (ON/OFF/FADE/Twinkle). We use it to control the 3 audience facing flood lights. This is plugged into a DMX RJ-45 port on our Falcon F16V2-R Pixel Controller. Reference this page on Connector Pinouts and this page which is specific to Light-O-Rama RJ-45 pinouts
- 3 Channel Dumb RGB DMX Controller – We have two of these 3 channel dumb RGB DMX controllers for the house facing flood lights. They are called “dumb” controllers because unlike the SPI / Pixel controller which send a data stream to a chip to control the light, these are actually only controlling the intensity of 3 different channels which are mapped out to RGB (Red/Green/Blue) lines. This means that all lights on the string will respond the exactly the same and cannot be individually controlled…hence the name “dumb”. This is plugged into a DMX RJ-45 port on our Falcon F16V2-R Pixel Controller. Reference this page on Connector Pinouts