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Control Channels

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:49 pm
by slightco
Can someone clearly define control channels / attributes as a presetPalette 32/64 was said to have 100 cnls and 200 attributes that we were told functioned as 300cnls.
Now the datasheet states 100 control channels for this console so does this allow control of 100 dimmers or 100 fixtures with how many DMX cnls?

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:19 pm
by JohnGrimshaw
The old cut sheets (that remained on the Strand website for far too long) made the distinction between channels and attributes, because that related both to the old software plans, and the way the 500 series worked.

Fast forward to now...

The capability of the console to control ANY dmx output is defined as "the number of channels" the dongle for your console is enabled to.

A 100ch desk, can only control exactly that - 100 DMX outputs, regards of what they are doing - so that would be 100 dimmers, OR 2x Xspots, OR 4x Robe Colour Wash 700s, etc.

I would like to see the documentation reflect the "syntax" used on the consoles. Historically, the word "Channels" has been used for so many things, I think it should be avoided at all costs. I use "Fixtures" to describe the numbers that the console is controlling, and "DMX Outputs" to describe the numbers that are coming out the of the DMX port. Less confusing that way.

Incidentally, they reckon that the "silver" Palette range should only be upgrade to a maximum of around 1500 DMX outputs, and the Light Palette to around 8000 DMX outputs. I expect these numbers to grow as the CPUs in the machines get faster.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:37 am
by slightco
That limits the market for them alot... But I guess the idea is to sell more upgrades. (Makes it an expensive option if you wanted to use a 432cnl led fitting that I saw in a demo on one)
Can you still patch more DMX cnls into the control cnls, if you have 12 dimmer cnls for 4 colour cyc can you patch that to 4 control cnls or will it use 12.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:42 am
by RobertBell
It will only consume 4.

You can patch 32,000 DMX outputs to Fixture 1 if you want and it only uses 1.

The patch summary shows how many fixtures you have in your show, how many OF those are moving lights and total how many thingies you need to control. One parcan and one Cyberlight are 2 fixtures, but 21 channels. Your 4-colour cyc (using 12 dimmers), one parcan and one Cyberlight would be 25 channels.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:58 am
by JohnGrimshaw
slightco wrote:That limits the market for them alot.
Ah, but that is where the trick is. You get a full featured, broadway capable console for a very inexpensive price. Sure it gets more expensive the more channels you add, but those poor software programmers have hungry families!

I think it is, in fact, a very effective way of pricing the console so that it is affordable to those with limited budgets, but grand ideas.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:22 am
by slightco
I guess the issue is alot of small theatres that get funding for a console to run for example 48-64 dimmers then have a show that they have saved budget to hire 4 moving lights, would have to wait till next show to use them because they would have to spend all their budget buying cnls so they could run them.
From what I have seen there are alot of users who will not get as deep as all the broadway features but may have the need to run some moving lights who are interested in getting a Strand console and have seen the info saying they get 300cnls but now may change their mind when they see the limitation of 100cnls and cost of more.
If you patch 1 moving light then softpatch the other moving lights cnls (colour, gobo...) to the same as the first, other than pan and tilt and intensity you could make it work, you just loose some of the features of the software.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:42 am
by JohnGrimshaw
Well, there are always solutions for those that negotiate.

Channels are no exception. ;)

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:25 am
by BrianEvans
We already have the ability to issue temporary channel authorizations.

I think it is up to the sales force to figure out a way to rent channels to folks,
just like they are renting lights.

You need an addtional 80 channels for those 4 cyberlights,
fine, rent them for a week.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:42 am
by RobertBell
In past products, we're choked feature sets AND channels. Cutting out features becomes a support nightmare ("Oh, which version do you have?") I'd rather give them all the power and let them experiment when they get the will/time.

Re: Control Channels

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:27 pm
by RobHalliday
Curiously, renting channels is not new - it was a concept early in the days of the 500-series, where you could use hardware dongles to add channels.

Rental companies hated them because the dongles often never made it back to the rental shop......

There is probably a better way to manage this now?