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Can't patch more than 5 dimmers on a channel

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Top 500 Contributor
Posts 12
Les Posted: 01-28-2012 1:32 PM

I am brand new to ETC. Coming from Leprecon. On my Smartfade 2496, I tried patching by Channel and after adding 5 dimmers, turning the wheel advances right. Hitting OK changes input to the Channel.  Can more than 5 dimmers be added?  Am I missing a button press or something?  

I am on FIrmware 1.7

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 1,249

Hi there -

You should be able to patch as many dimmers as you like to any channel, however you may need to us the patch by dimmer mode to do it. Please give that a try. Also, your software is quite old, and you may want to update to the current version  - v3.1.1. Please take a look here for the user manual and software - some things have changed a lot in the meantime, so you may want to look at the manual before you take the plunge and update your console.

 

Thanks much -

Sarah

Sarah Clausen

Market Manager, GmbH

ETC, Inc.

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 12

I can confirm that the limitation or bug is still there in the latest firmware available on the website which is v3.0.2.9.0.43 available here:

http://www.etcconnect.com/product.downloads.aspx?ID=20014

However in this firmware, the maximum allowed is 4. This is disappointing.

However, I *CAN* patch more than that using Patch By Dimmer as you suggest.  Is there a place to report Firmware bugs? 

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 959

Hi,

There is no limitation. However, because of the display layout, it might not be obvious how to have more than 4 items since you can only see four of them at a time.

On the bottom line of the display, there are 5 entry fields that you step through by pressing the OK (checkmark) button. The first 4 fields are for dimmer number entries. The 5 field (at the far right side of the display) is a scroll field for scrolling left or right if you want to patch more than 4 dimmers to the same channel.

Try selecting this 5th field and use the wheel to scroll right. You will then have up to 4 additional entry fields for more dimmer numbers. By repeating this process, you can patch many dimmers to the same channel. When you have more than 4 dimmers specified and scrolling is necessary to see all of them, a + character is shown on the right side.

I hope this helps.

 

 

Anders Ekvall

ETC Software and System developer

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 12

Thank you Anders.   It's a very hard to use interface. Rather than automatically scrolling at the end of the line and going into data entry mode, one has to scroll right with the wheel, press OK  until the > sign circles back to where there's more space.  Ugh.

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 959

Hi,

With a small display and just one wheel/button for entry, we have to compromise a bit. In our experience, most users don't patch more than a maximum of 4 dimmers to the same channel so this is what we have optimized the user interface for. 

However, you only have to scroll to the right each time the page is full. In this case you are already close to the scroll item so there should be no need to press OK more than once. If you then scroll to a new empty page (= 4 clicks), there should be very little overhead and you can immediately fill in the next 4 dimmer numbers.

 

Anders Ekvall

ETC Software and System developer

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 12

Thanks Anders. I've programmed a few devices and I understand. I think consistency of action (when you aren't limited by the hardware) is a principle that goes a long way to making a user interface easy to remember and use. Anyone who is patching house lights to a channel will likely have more than 4.  Unless the hardware has a limitation that prevents you from doing this, here's an approach I think would improve it.

Here's the current approach. The user:

1) Selects the channel and clicks OK

2) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

3) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

4) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

5) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

6) Stop what he/she is doing and scroll right 8 or so times depending if the wheel loses some clicks

7) Click OK (cursor goes to the channel field

8) Click OK for as many times as it takes to get to an empty field

9) Perform 2-8 until done

 

Every 4 dimmers, users have to manually "flip the page" so to speak and then reorient themselves to an input field etc.  ... find themselves on their patch list ... look where they were and then continue for 4 more .... rinse and repeat

Instead, I think this approach would be better (unless the hardware prevents it):

1) Selects the channel and clicks OK

2) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

3) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

4) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK

5) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK <- At this point the firmware shifts the dimmer list left so there's room for the next dimmer and the use can do the next step

6) Selects a dimmer and clicks OK <- keep shifting left one position until the user clicks OK on an empty field 

 

And while I'm at it, rather than having to scroll through all the dimmers from 1 to get the one I want, I would like (for at least 1-96) to just hit the bump button corresponding to the dimmer I want. 

Thanks for the help. 

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 959

Hi,

Thanks for your suggestion. Please note that the user interface need to allow for an existing patch to be examined afterwards. It isn't just for setting up the patch in the first place. The current mechanism allows for both modifying and viewing the patch (using the 5th position to scroll left/right). 

Anders Ekvall

ETC Software and System developer

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 12

Hi.  Good discussion.  I believe my suggestion handles that situation.  Whenever the OK button is pressed at the end of line of dimmers, it scrolls right one space.  If the wheel is turned right, it scans the dimmers. If it moves left, it scrolls the list.  If OK is pressed a second time, the cursor moves to the Channel field.  There are variations on this to accommodate all the use cases without sacrificing the use case of more than 4 dimmers so the UI keepa the steps consistent and uninterrupted. I actually think the current one causes user errors. just my 2 cents.

Not Ranked
Posts 1

Thank you Anders. It's a very hard to use interface

 

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