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Hello Folks, I'm not sure if this is a software fault or an operator fault, but I was hoping for a quick setup of the new FLX s 24 for a client but it turned into a long days work! For some reason,  some of the LED fixtures were flickering (strobing in white) when connected to DMX. I thought at first this may have been a cable or fixture issue but having tried numerous combinations there was still an issue.

So, I went into the menu to check settings and I disabled RigSync, miraculously it solved the issue straight away! As this was a quick setup I didn't have time to look into if there may have been any other configurations that could have caused it, but I thought I would check here to see if it was a software fault or that of myself.

Thanks in advance. 

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Some ‘cheap’ fixtures aren’t compatible with RDM because they aren’t truly DMX compliant. This usually manifests itself as a flicker in the fixture because the fixture incorrectly interprets the RDM data as DMX. You need to put the fixture onto a separately DMX universe or turn off RDM/RigSync on that universe and patch/configure manually. With FLX S24 there is only one universe so you can either turn off RigSync and patch the whole rig manually or remove the fixture. As it sounds like a fixed install then once it’s all configured you’re done anyway.

It's also worth checking you added DMX terminators at the appropriate places.

I recently bought (new) such an intolerant fixture too which is annoying...

So in summary, it’s not the FLX S, it’s the fixture.

Just to check - do your other fixtures support RDM? If some don’t then you’ll have to do manual patch and configure on those anyway. As you’re suggesting you’re a supplier/installer I’m going to assume you understand what RDM and DMX are and what they can/can't do for you and what the requirements on the fixtures are!

Hope that helps.

Kevin

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Definitely sounds like a DMX compliance issue on the fixtures.

8 hours ago, kgallen said:

You need to put the fixture onto a separately DMX universe or turn off RDM/RigSync on that universe and patch/configure manually. With FLX S24 there is only one universe so you can either turn off RigSync and patch the whole rig manually or remove the fixture.

FLX S has two outputs - a 3pin and a 5pin. If you have a 1 Universe FLX S, by default both ports will output the same DMX data, but the 5pin will include RDM and the 3pin won't include RDM. This behavior can be changed in SETUP > Inputs & Outputs.

Another useful trick is addressing the fixture into the higher numbers. Usually above address 32 helps, but if not above address 257 should definitely help.

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Hmmm....

25 minutes ago, Jon Hole said:

Another useful trick is addressing the fixture into the higher numbers. Usually above address 32 helps, but if not above address 257 should definitely help.

Interesting. My "problem" fixture stopped flickering recently. Initially when I was playing with it out of the box I had it (probably) at address 0. More recently I moved it up to 220 to fit into the rig DMX map and it hasn't flickered since, so there is wisdom in that suggestion! I think I'll have a play with some addressing and maybe check out some of my other fixtures!

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Thanks for the responses. It was with a rig of 14 x Chauvet COLORdash Par Quad 7 and 2 x Ovation F95WW. 3 of the 14 quad 7s flickered when the rest were fine which is why I was confused. All working well with RigSync disabled. =)

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47 minutes ago, JamesBH said:

3 of the 14 quad 7s flickered when the rest were fine which is why I was confused.

That is weird. Were the 3 flickerers(!) much earlier in the DMX addressing as Jon eludes to? Do those fixtures support RDM?

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It was very strange, initially I had more with a very faint 1% intensity flicker but once I had addressed all fixtures manually it switched to 3 full intensity flicker. They were all quite early on in DMX addressing, 5, 11 and 29 especially with the bright flicker but initially as above and 47, 53 and 59 with the faint flicker. Strange!!

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That's a bit disappointing for Chauvet - they're not the cheapest of fixtures. I think the problem can come about from as simple an issue as not decoding the start code byte for 0x00 which denotes a normal DMX packet. An RDM packet has 0xCC in this position. When the fixture doesn't enforce the 0x00 decode it interprets any RDM packet as a normal DMX packet. I guess the reason the higher addressing works as Jon suggests it that the RDM packets are shorter than a full 512-channel DMX packet and thus the fixture, which is counting channels up to its own, finds the inter-packet BREAK first and thus the RDM packet gets ignored by that means.

Flicker is listed on the Wikipedia RDM page ("Compatibility with existing DMX hardware") as a symptom of fixtures not decoding the start code as they should.

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19 hours ago, kgallen said:

That's a bit disappointing for Chauvet - they're not the cheapest of fixtures.

Not really - a lot of their kit, whilst designed in the USA is still farmed out to China for engineering design and manufacture so it's still a bit random about which DMX transceiver they use and whether or not that transceiver understands/ignores RDM.

The price "premium" happens because the hardware is imported in to the UK, unpacked & checked, then run for 24 hours (certainly the Pro kit used to be) before being repacked ready for distribution. Many of the other companies importing rely on this testing to be done in China and so literally ship from container to final distirbutor/end user.

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I don't think that's any excuse. They get what they put (or don't put) in the spec, so they should spec the requirements better. As a company they are wanting to elevate themselves from DJ gear to the pro world so they should get a grip on their specs!

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On 11/25/2017 at 10:01 AM, kgallen said:

I don't think that's any excuse. They get what they put (or don't put) in the spec, so they should spec the requirements better. As a company they are wanting to elevate themselves from DJ gear to the pro world so they should get a grip on their specs!

You would think so... but it would seem not :(

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Hello,

I had the same problem here with A7 from jb-lighting (and CAMEO Flatpro7).

Problem solved by switching off  the RigSync Option for the DMX 5-Pin Output. Measurements with a Swisson DMX-Analyzer showed, that the refresh rate dropped from 48-50Hz to about 28hz when RigSync is disabled.

The weird thing about it: Sending RDM from an ETC-Congo or a MA2-Fullsize didn´t disturb DMX-Signal for this specific Moving head. I know, the comparison isn´t quite fair, but I just wanted to mention.

Believe me: I really love my FLX24s, because it does so many things very right.

Good bye, Gerhard

Sorry, for my bad english. I'm from Germany and my "school english" is a little rusted...

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Hi Gerhard,

No worries your English is much better than my German!

Thanks very much for taking measurements and feeding that data back, that’s very useful. 

Edward

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