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RigSync not working with Showtec DB-1-8/RDM splitters


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Hi,

I am experiencing huge problems using RigSync on my FLX in my theatre.

The infrastructure is as follows : two Showtec DB-1-8/RDM splitters are daisy-chained on output 1 of the FLX console with RigSync enabled. From the splitters, twelve DMX lines run around the stage, with 18 ETC SourceFour LED Series 2 Lustr (RDM-capable) connected to several of those lines. Every DMX line (including the one connecting the FLX and the splitters) is properly terminated. There isn't a non RDM-capable fixture connected anywhere.

I tried connecting the FLX directly to each and every single DMX line running from the splitters and RigSync then worked fine. But when using the splitters, the FLX displays tons of error messages and some fixtures flash or do not respond at all.

So all my suspicions point towards the splitters. I know one can't expect high-end quality of products with such a low price tag as Showtec splitters, but still I would expect to be disappointed by the build quality or the durability of the product, not by the absence of the advertised functionality... So I am still trying to convince myself that there is another explanation.

Has anyone positive experience with those splitters with other RDM consoles/fixtures? Or with ZerOS consoles? Do I do something wrong, or should I throw the splitters in the bin and buy better quality devices?

For now I've disabled RigSync, what allowed me to work, but since my theatre has a fixed rig I was placing great hope in RigSync for decreasing the portion of my time spent climbing ladders up and down... 

Regards

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Hi Jean,

Many thanks for the detailed description.

54 minutes ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

The infrastructure is as follows : two Showtec DB-1-8/RDM splitters

 

55 minutes ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

Has anyone positive experience with those splitters with other RDM consoles/fixtures? Or with ZerOS consoles? Do I do something wrong, or should I throw the splitters in the bin and buy better quality devices?

This is a bit of a case of déjà vu for me. I seem to remember several months ago, a customer reporting exactly this issue, when daisy-chaining these splitters. I'll have to check back through our records when I'm next in front of my laptop. From memory their issue was specifically when daisy chaining the second of their splitters from an output of the first. I believe daisy-chaining the second splitter from the first splitter's Thru port rather than an output was fine. I'd have to check that though. It seemed to be an issue with how the splitter was retiming the signal. Once this had been retimed twice through both splitters, it had been thrown out of the DMX and RDM specification.

If you just use the first splitter, disconnecting the second, do the fixtures connected to the first splitter respond correctly? 

 

If you have any questions let me know.

Edward

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Hi Edward,

Your reactivity is quite impressive, thanks a lot!

In my case the second splitter is plugged into the first splitter's Thru port, so this topology wouldn't work either. However I am not sure I tried using only one splitter (not quite the solution in my case as I need 12 distinct DMX/RDM lines, but still interesting to try in order to confirm that those splitters break RDM conformity when chained).

I'll try that later today

Have a nice day! 

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Hi Jean,

1 hour ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

Your reactivity is quite impressive, thanks a lot!

No problem!

 

1 hour ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

However I am not sure I tried using only one splitter (not quite the solution in my case as I need 12 distinct DMX/RDM lines, but still interesting to try in order to confirm that those splitters break RDM conformity when chained).

I'll try that later today

Let me know how you get on following these tests.

Edward

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15 hours ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Let me know how you get on following these tests.

 

Hi Edward. I managed to find the courage to test the matter further after tonight's long programming session. Regarding the splitters, using only one of them doesn't fix the erratic RDM behavior. I'm really starting to think those Showtec RDM splitters are a joke. I still must test the other splitter alone (maybe only the first one is faulty, but I had enough for today ;))

15 hours ago, Davidmk said:

If you aren't using your second universe and if your splitters work when not cascaded then you could send U1 on both outputs, one to each splitter.

Thank you David, this would be a good solution, but unfortunately I'd like to use the second universe with RDM disabled for my non-RDM devices (dimmers mainly). 

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Hi Jean,

8 hours ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

Regarding the splitters, using only one of them doesn't fix the erratic RDM behaviour. I'm really starting to think those Showtec RDM splitters are a joke.

That's frustrating. In this case it does seem like these splitters are not truly RDM capable.

If you have any questions let me know.

Edward

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3 hours ago, Edward- Z88 said:

it does seem like these splitters are not truly RDM capable

Indeed. I wrote to the manufacturer (Highlite), but I have little hope of getting an answer, let alone a satisfactory one...

Do you or anyone else have experience with RDM splitters that work as advertised? I guess I'd better start looking for a replacement for my Showtecs, and if I could have a minimal level of certainty that the new devices will work as expected that would be a relief!

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2 hours ago, Edward- Z88 said:

Our Splitter 8 is RDM compliant...

 I already thought about your Splitter (no doubt that it works perfectly well, and the fix switch is a nice feature), but as I consumed the investment budget of my theatre for the next half century by buying the FLX and the 18 ETC S4 Lustr fixtures (it is quite a small venue managed in an associative manner, so money is not really flowing), I'm going to have to look for something a bit/much cheaper but hopefully still functional.

I understand you can't really promote other manufacturer's products in this forum, but maybe another user might have a suggestion 😉

Anyway thanks a lot for your help, very much appreciated!

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Hi Jean,

1 hour ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

I understand you can't really promote other manufacturer's products in this forum, but maybe another user might have a suggestion 😉

Let's see if others have any suggestions. It may also be worth a post on the Blueroom technical forum for a wider reach of product suggestions...

https://www.blue-room.org.uk/index.php?showforum=2

1 hour ago, Jean Iwanowski said:

Anyway thanks a lot for your help, very much appreciated!

No problem at all - just let me know if you have any questions.

Edward

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