The Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box is primarily designated to control a DMX512 - based lighting bus via Ethernet and/or to read DMX levels from another DMX bus. Operation as DMX transmitter and as DMX receiver is possible simultaneously.
DMX levels received via DMX IN can be merged with level settings generated by a user via Ethernet - the result is retransmitted through DMX OUT. For this purpose, the Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box is configured as a TCP or UDP server. Control commands are given in compact ASCII text format. As an alternative, a binary command set is available, which is based on MIDI channel messages.
Additionally, the Ethernet / DMX Control Box may be configured for some other special modes of operation by means of a rotary switch:
Art-Net™ node: supports one universe of DMX OUT and one universe of DMX IN. In addition to the Art-Net primary IP and subnet configurations a user defined IP configuration is available, which allows better integration of the box into existing class C networks.
serial communication node for TCP and UDP: retransmits any byte received via Ethernet through its serial interface (supported formats: MIDI, RS-232. RS-422) and vice versa retransmits any byte received at the serial interface via Ethernet. The serial or MIDI connection is provided by a special adaptor cable which is plugged on the DMX OUT socket. The wiring of these cables is documented in the manual of the Ethernet / DMX Control Box.
Besides PC standard baud rates (9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200 - byte format 8N1 no handshake) especially the MIDI interface is supported. A fully featured optoisolated MIDI input is available.
The Ethernet / DMX512 Control Box can be operated with any control equipment (PC, media controller, PLC) which is able to send and receive ASCII text in TCP or UDP format via Ethernet. All commands are documented, no special drivers are needed.
Alternatively the box may be operated with binary commands formatted as MIDI channel messages. By means of a special driver direct command transfer is possible from PC-based MIDI software (sequencers for example).
Because Ethernet communication is baudrate independent, this binary data format is even well applicable to control the box by PLC or similar equipment, which has few or no capabilities to convert numeric values into ASCII text.
In a most simple case - preferably for setup or debugging of installations - manual and interactive operation by keyboard and Telnet terminal is possible.
The actual lighting scene is buffered internally. It is permanently transmitted at the DMX bus until it is modified by another command. Interruption of the Ethernet connection has no influence on the DMX bus pattern. After interruption of the power supply, automatically preset no.0 is loaded.
Data traffic is signalled by the red/green dual LED “Data”, which shows the active mode of operation, too. Whenever the box is in TCP “connected” state, the blue LED “TCP” is on. It flashes during UDP net transfer.