Skypanel-C DMX personalities - reserved addresses

Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:50 am

Hello,

According to the latest firmware and DMX protocol definitions for the various modes, each has three DMX addresses designated as "reserved". What is their purpose? Can they be omitted when implementing a profile? The overhead of three addresses per fixture becomes a significant number when using these units in quantity.

Thanks.
mdrohn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:32 pm

Re: Skypanel-C DMX personalities - reserved addresses

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:22 pm

Hello mdrohn,

The reserved channels are for future features which might be released in Firmware updates. For example, in FW 1.0 there were four reserved channels and in FW 2.0 we used one of these channels to enable control of the fan via DMX. We have plans to use these other channels at a later time.

Our suggestion would be to leave these channels open. If you ignore the channels in the DMX patch and overlap the DMX addresses you might get strange behavior after a firmware update where one or more of these reserved channels now has functionality. Leaving these channels open will always insure that your programmed show will always work, regardless of firmware version.

However, we do offer the ability to select the the DMX protocol version in the DMX menu page. So if you updated your firmware but still wanted to use an older DMX protocol version, this is possible. For example, you can use DMX protocol 3.4 and there will be no extra channels but the disadvantage is that you will lose the ability to use new DMX protocols (like x,y Coordinate or Gel mode) and you won't have access to the new channel features (like fan control). There is definitely some flexibility there for you.

The extra DMX channels with just give you more control over the fixture's features.

I hope this helps and happy programming!

- Mike Wagner
Mike Wagner
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: Skypanel-C DMX personalities - reserved addresses

Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:37 am

Hi Mike,

Thank you very much for the prompt and extremely informative reply. For context, I use these fixtures in motion picture/TV world so the likelihood of needing to use a show file over a time scale that would span a new firmware release, is outweighed by the utility of conserving address space in the patch. I do like the functionality of the 4.2 protocol, and don't want to downgrade that.

My intention the next time I use SkyPanels (which I always recommend) is to modify ETC's fixture personality to omit the reserved addresses from the profile, and patch them without overlapping. I consider myself well warned that this may lead to complications should I need to upgrade to a future firmware release.

I am curious however, if you can discuss what additional functions are being considered for those reserved addresses, and if you can share when the next firmware update might be expected? If there were compelling new features being released soon, that would change my approach.

Thanks again for your response, it is very much appreciated.

Matthew Rohn
IATSE Local 52
mdrohn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:32 pm

Re: Skypanel-C DMX personalities - reserved addresses

Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:35 am

Hi Matthew,

Check out the new SkyPanel Firmware we just released:
http://www.arri.com/skypaneleffects/

In Firmware 3.0 we have used up another of the DMX channels at the end of each protocol. This channel now controls the presets in the SkyPanel. So if you store presets on the lamp head, you can now call them up using the DMX channel.

We have many ideas for how to use the last two remaining reserved DMX channels, but nothing set in stone at this point in time.

Enjoy the new firmware.

- Mike Wagner
Mike Wagner
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:42 pm

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