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ETC ION Ethernet out > sACN > dmx converter > many many devices

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tdjohn posted on 03-01-2012 6:31 PM


I have access to some dmx converters that can output any dmx universe in the whole spectrum. They speak sACN.

I read, " The ETC ION can control up to 10000 universes of DMX "

My ION outputs 2 universes in dmx. I do not need the ION to do this if I can solve this output issue on Ethernet. So, if I can output to 10000 universes through ethernet, or rather a wifi access point. I can address these boxes to any of the available unverses. I really only need 3 right now, but so what?

Does anyone know if and how I can go out through the ethernet capabilities of ION to generate data on any DMX universe? A reference to a white paper would do me just fine.



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Top 25 Contributor
765 Posts

I believe if your gateways are properly configured and networked, and enabled sACN on the Ion, then once you patch a channel to whatever universe the gateway is listening for, it should just work. Since I don't own a gateway I can't say for sure, but a foggy memory of Wireshark traces seem to indicate that it works. I know I have no issues sending sACN to my Sensor rack and I didn't do anything special.

Top 10 Contributor
1,426 Posts

Ensure that sACN is turned on and "Default" in the Ion shell.
- This is the default Ion factory setting.

Now patch your show as required up to the maximum Output count.
Easiest patch syntax to use is "Universe / Address"

Examples (Patch screen in patch-by-channel Format):

  • To patch Desk Channel 1 to DMX 1 on Universe 2:
    [Channel] [1] [@] [2] [/] [1]
  • To patch Desk Channel 2 to DMX 6 on Universe 105:
    [Channel] [2] [@] [1] [0] [5] [/] [6]
    - Shows as "Channel 2 Address 105/6" on the command line.

The Output Count limit is the total count of patched DMX addresses, and you can spread them over a great many Universes if you wish.

Note that controlling lights via WiFi is not recommended because WiFi latency is unknown and highly variable.
- In other words, fades are likely to be steppy at times, and time-critical changes may be late.

Keep on trying till you run out of cake.

ETC Field Service, London

Top 25 Contributor
493 Posts

Hi John,

I think there may be some confusion here -- a few clarifying points:  (EDIT: Thanks Richard and sk8rs_dad for excellent posts as well. Didn't see them when I hit Send. :)  )


  • The Ion can have up to 10,000 channels of control however, it can only output to a maximum of 3,072 addresses. 
    • Ions are sold based on their output count. Thus, an Ion 1000 can output to 1024 addresses (equivalent to 2 DMX universes). Upgrades can be purchased in 512 address groups (i.e., Ion 1500, Ion 2000, Ion 2500, Ion 3000).
  • The two bigger consoles in the Eos family than the Ion are the Gio and the Eos.
    • The Gio starts at 2048 addresses (2k / 2000), but can be upgraded in 2k segments to 8k.
    • The Eos starts at 4096 addresses (4k), but can be upgraded to 16k.
  • The Eos family can currently output to sACN universes 1 to 128. 
  • We don't recommend the transmission of show-critical data over wi-fi, and recommend using wired Ethernet when something is show-critical like sACN output.
  • To patch to a different sACN universe for a channel on Ion, you can use either the universe/address format, or absolute address.
    • Thus, in patch channel mode, [1] [At] [2] [/] [1] [Enter]  OR [1] [At] [5][1][3] [Enter] would patch channel 1 to sACN universe 2, address 1.
    • You can always view the alternate view by pressing and holding the [Data] key in the Patch view.
  • By default, the Ion will output sACN (and EDMX (Net2), and hardline DMX).  This can be changed, if needed, in the shell. 



Hans Hinrichsen

ETC Technical Support Specialist

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5 Posts

Oh Thanks,


All the answers were very useful. Default set up, good. The Ion does not care if the universe is the 1 or 2 universe that is wired, or any of the others it can address through ethernet networking (1-128).


For "show critical" data on wired ac units I plan to be wired. For non-wired wagons running on DC, I need to go wireless.


I plan to use Oregon Tech's Ariel box for Wireless applications, and the Prospero for 4 universes (per box) of wired Ethernet expansion.


Should I talk to my dealer about those upgrades to Ion 1500 or 2000? Is it in the software?


Thanks again,



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