The Netherlands – DMX control specialist ELC Lighting has launched the DLN8GBXSL eight port slave node, an innovative new concept designed to revolutionise ethernet/DMX network distribution.
The DLN8GBXSL serves as a substitute for a DMX splitter rack, where all DMX ports are fully programmable as output, input, merge, backup and more, as node ports.
This slave node forms part of the ELC GBX Distribution System, of which the dmXLAN switch (GBx10 or GBx18) is the backbone. This switch is the master, and up to 15 slave units can be daisy chained via the ethernet ports. The system supports all open protocols including sACN, Art-Net and ShowNET.
When connected, and loaded with ELC’s advanced dmXLAN software, the system transforms how DMX can be distributed from an ethernet network. It is specifically tailored for live entertainment applications where a mixture of data protocols would overload and saturate commercially-available network switches. The system utilises standard ethernet protocols and DMX.
The result is a simple system that is far more cost-effective while offering powerful control.
“The ethernet part stays the same, but the idea is that if you usually have one node, and on each port of the node you connect a splitter, you end up with a rack where each splitter can do only one thing - repeat on 8 or 10 ports,” explains ELC’s Sales Manager, Silvio Cibien. “Ideally, we would like to have the node instead of splitters, so each DMX port is used for programming, digital patching, the merging that you like, channel by channel. However, this can be very expensive.
“Therefore, ELC has created this new system, which allows the user to have a splitter that offers all of the features and flexibility of a node. This means that each port can again be programmed as if it was a node, because in essence it is now a node. By that, I mean that the control and programming are both in a switch. You can programme channel by channel, softpatch, decide what kind of merge; in triple universe merging you can make your own digital pattern, programming each channel of each port.
“And because the DLN8GBX8SL slave node is priced at the same level as a good splitter, for the price of a splitter rack (1 Switch, 1 Node, and perhaps 10 splitters) you will have a rack where all DMX ports are node ports.”
The DLN8GBXSL is designed solely for use as a slave to the dmXLAN switch GBx 10 or dmXLAN switchGBx 18. The DMX ports can be configured via the user interface of the switch or with the dmXLAN software. If the maximum of 15 DLN8GBX8SL slave units can be connected to the switch, the result is a system rack with 120 fully programmable DMX/RDM ports.
“In the past, it was often the way to have a media server sending video to an LED wall and a lighting console controlling a moving light, but these days, the server is often used to send RGB data to the fixture as well,” Cibien continues. “In one scenario, you might realise that the light colours are matching the video. For this, we offer a double or triple merge via dmXLAN, so that on each channel you can decide what is taking control. We need to know if we want them both to be controlled at the same time, or how we want to swap between control products.
“We can do this channel by channel, with our software. You can even set up a control channel, which means you can manipulate your lighting desk so a fader controls merge, the moving desk fader will make it fade-in, fade-out, between the media server and the desk. And you can do this with all the channels or through only the colour channels or whatever you like.”
Both nodes offer data splitting, merging, softpatching and backup when programmed using ELC’s dmXLAN software. All DMX ports are fully-isolated.
The hardware and software systems are available now.