I just took delivery of a SFML and have a few questions:
1) How often are fixture profiles updated?
2) How are requests for new profiles handled?
3) If an internal profile doesn't work, what is the estimated wait time for profile issues to be resolved?
I have verified operation of almost all of my fixtures with two exceptions:
a) Chauvet DMX Strobe II: no joy using either the internal profile or constructing a working user personality.
b) Chauvet Colorstrip: internal profile and a newly made user personality both result in flickering/storbing of the fixtures, rendering all 12 of my Colorstrips unusable until the issue is resolved.
My SFML has the latest internal software edition. It seems very nice/functional with these exceptions. In regards to the Colorstrips, channel 1 must be set to a range between 210-219 to access RGB mode. I noticed that the fader resolution ranges from 0-100 (as opposed to 0-255), making it seemingly impossible to set the fixture's channel 1 value to the correct numbers.
Any help you can provide will be much appreciated, as I'll be using a Chauvet DMX-70 controller (ugh) until we can sort the Smartfade.
In Library 4.7.x, the 'Mode' attribute of the ColorStrip is on User 1.
It should "Home" to 210 (dec), giving immediate access to colour mode.
Which version of SFML firmware and Library are you using?
Keep on trying till you run out of cake.
ETC Field Service, London
I am using SFML v126.96.36.199.0.23. I believe the library version is 4.7x, but I am unsure how to check. The console was manufactured within the last few weeks, so I'm fairly sure it is current.
The Mode attribute for the Colorstrip is indeed on User 1; however, it shows "Home" value of 82. The max value allowable is 100. How does one go about changing this attribute?
I spoke with David with ETC tech support earlier today (however I was away from the console/fixtures), and he suggested making a User Personality similar to the factory one, set the home value to 210, patch, and then, upon selecting the fixture, press the "Home" button twice. I tried this and it did not work, as the internal parameter for User 1 is 0-100, so it never makes it to 210. Any movement of the highlighted faders results in the light flickering in a variety of "auto" modes. I just need simple RGB control linked to the color palette.
Hopefully, we can get this sourced soon, as running events on the Chauvet DMX-70 are labor-intensive and time consuming.
The library version is shown on the other LCD screen when in the Software version display. (I forget the exact menu sequence)
The actual internal engine runs 0-255 - the value is displayed in Percent as most people find that easier to understand than 0-255.
210/255 is ~82%, so it seems to be homing to the right place.
Do you have a DMX test device to check what is actually being output by the two consoles?
We don't have a real ColorStrip to test with, so we've only taken data from the manual - it's possible there is a typo.
Thanks for explaning the value displays.
The Library version loaded on my SFML is 4.7.2.
Yes, the library Personality for the ColorStrip "home" setting is 82.
With the ColorStrip Library personality loaded and patched, and with Parameter 2/User 1 @ 82 (after selecting the Device and pressing "Home" twice), Parameter 1/Intensity will scroll through what appears to be various "Auto" programs within the ColorStrip. Parameter 1/Int <should> be the fader for "Red" (?). Parameter 1/Hue and Parameter 1/Sat show in the LCD displays the values for Red, Green, & Blue, depending on fader position. Moving these faders seems to have no effect on the fixture, although the values shown on the console LCD's are changing. Shouldn't these faders be "Green" and "Blue", respectively?
I apologize if it seems like I don't know the console wery well, but the reality is that I just purchased the SFML, and I'm just starting to become familiar with it. I operate a small sound company, and have only recently expanded my lighting (for years, I just used pars/dimmers with a basic two scene console). I am now running the following:
Chauvet Q-Spot 152 (4 each): I programmed a User personality on the SFML, appears to be working fine.
Chauvet Intimidator Scan 2.0 HTI (4 each): Library personality seems to be working fine.
Chauvet ColorStrip (12 each): No joy.
Chauvet Scorpion Sky: I programmed a User personality on the SFML, appears to be working fine.
Chauvet LED Shadow (2 each): Library personality seems to be working fine.
Chauvet DMX Mega Strobe II: No joy.
Chauvet DMX-4 dimmer pack: Seems to be working fine.
Chauvet Vue III (2 each): Untested on SFML.
Chauvet HZ-1000: Untested on SFML.
Elation EL-1402 Synchro-Spot (4 each): I programmed a User personality on the SFML, appears to be working fine.
High End C-16 (8 each): Untested on SFML.
American DJ P-64 LED (4 each): Untested on SFML.
DMX Tools DMX-lator I: Seems to be working fine.
My experiences thus far with control have been "interesting". As I do mostly "one-offs", I needed control that allows for off-site & off-line programming (via a software "visualizer"), as I have limited time at any particular venue, and I'm also providing/operating an extensive P.A. I started with the Elation Compulive EC1024. It works, but is cumbersome to trigger live and the visualizer portion is a "lite" version. I then (on the Chauvet tech support recommendation) purchased both the Chauvet DMX-70 console and Chauvet X-Factor software/dongle, hoping to control the X-Factor via the DMX-70. Only upon recieving the Chauvet control items did I discover that the X-Factor will only accept control of the first 48 channels from the DMX-70, and even then it is only direct control via fader (no bumps/chases, etc). I have since been using the DMX-70 exclusively, and while it works, it is very time consuming, as each show has to be essentially reprogrammed manually, taking hours of time per event. I decided it was time to purchase a new lighting console that offered professional features and off-line programming. My needs and budget indicated the SFML/Capture as a clear choice, and ETC products were highly recommended by more experienced lighting professionals.
Prior to purchasing the SFML, I spoke with Lasse at Capture Sweden, and he assured me that they could have fixture profiles for my fixtures within a couple of weeks. I haven't ordered the Capture software yet, as I wanted to verify SFML operation with my fixtures before purchase. I realize that most (if not all) of my fixtures are of the "budget" variety, but I have to learn on something. I am stuck with the fixtures I currently own for the forseeable future, until ROI dictates otherwise. Which brings us back to the SFML and getting the console to talk to the fixtures correctly, which <should> mean that the console will tak to Capture correctly once my fixtures are implemented. I am hoping that, once teething issues are resolved, I will be able to set up basic shows, per venue, per act (band), prior to the show day, and use the palettes for fine adjustment just prior to downbeat, cutting my setup times down to a reasonable level.
To access the Colorstrips on the DMX-70, all that is required is to set each fixtures channel 1 value to 210-219, and the follwing three channels (ch 2=red, ch 3=green, ch 4=blue) as needed to achieve proper hue/saturation. On the SFML, it seems that the Int level is affecting the User 1 setting, and the Hue/Sat faders are setup similar to a crossfader for RGB operation. I assume the Colorstrip personality is setup in this manner to facilitate the use of the color palette system, however, I don't really know. I'd really like to sort this out, as I'm at a relative standstill until my main colorwashes are operational. I'm sorry if this post seems convoluted, as I wrote it over a period of some hours while trying to get the fixtures working and understand the processes.
Thanks for all of your help,
Hi Adam -
I'm sorry you're having trouble with your fixtures - I want to make sure I read correctly something you wrote in your last post - does the mode channel appear to be affected by the intensity parameter for your fixture? What happens if you set intensity to 100% then HOME the device? Does the flickering stop?
Market Manager, GmbH
Ok, there is something quite strange happening there.
Firstly, some clarification:
SmartFade ML is 'clever' about straight RGB fixtures.
Instead of just working with RGB on three faders as you're used to, you get two faders labelled "Hue" and "Saturation", plus an overall Intensity fader.
So to get Full Red, put the Intensity fader to 100%, the Hue fader to 0% and the Sat fader to 100%.
When 'Homed', all fixtures should go to Open White.
There's a couple of checks I'd suggest trying:
It sounds very much like the Mode attribute is slightly outside of where it should be.
Setting Intensity to 100% and then homing the device continues to produce flickering. The user screen displays (in the left LCD) Int @ 100 and User 1 @ 82. Moving Int or the Master results in dimming, but flickering continues. The flickering is not steady. It varies in pattern, almost like a code.
Thanks for the explanation. The fixtures perform as decribed in #2 of "things to try", except the are flickering/strobing.
I also tried patching by dimmer. No joy (no light at all), which doesn't make sense, as I reset the fixture address to 1 (on the fixture) and did a 1:1 patch as you described.
We have become aware that some luminaires made by Chauvet do not correctly receive DMX data from some types of lighting board. I think it is possible that the flicker ytou are seeing is due to this defect in the luminaire. We are planning to provide a suitable DMX setting to support the Chauvet products to eliminate flickering. I am not able to give you a precise date when this will be availbale.
In the meantime may I please ask that you make direct contact with one of very capable technical service departments and get some help on the phone in case there is another reason for the malfunction. The forum is a great place to bring problems to the attention of others, but maybe not the most efficient way to find a solution.
Please call us: USA: +1 608 831 4116UK: +44 20 8896 1000
Adam, Sarah, & Richard,
Thanks for all of your help. I believe I have sorted the issue.
Flickering occured using the Library personality with the console in default settings. Another post here on the forum mentioned DMX output irregularities, so I changed the DMX output from "Maximum" to "Slow". Flickering persisted, and I moved on to construction of a User Personality, direct patch, asking questions here on the forum, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Tonight I started from scratch, again. I patched the Library ColorStrip personality, and got the fixture working, albeit with flickering. I changed the DMX Output from "Slow" back to "Maximum". The flickering persisted, so I changed the value to "Medium". The flickering stopped, and the fixture appeared to work correctly. I rebooted the console and cycled the fixture. The fixture continued correct operation. It appears the ColorStrip is sensitive to incoming data speed (as mentioned elsewhere), and that it wants the speed "just so", as very fast, as well as very slow speeds, result in the flickering phenomenon.
I appreciate everyone at ETC who responded to this posting. I am sure that as I explore the SFML, I will have occasional questions, and this forum allows access to professionals closer to lighting control technology than I can hope to be.
Hopefully, if anyone else experiences this particular problem, these posting will help them as well.
Thanks again for everyone's help,
I had the same flickering issue with the Chauvet colorstrips with both and ION and an Expression 3. The ION was able to compensate by switching to a Slow DMX setting. The Expression was not able to do so. It is a Chauvet issue -and they are aware of it - last I talked to them, they were working on a solution but had no idea when it was going to be ready.
As I understand it, they aren't taking the interrupt timing correctly (or something along those lines)