The OnSong application allows for the control of DMX lighting fixtures via Scenes. This article is part of an ongoing series written about my trials and tribulations with OnSong Scenes.
In this article, I provide an overview of my hardware configuration. Keep in mind that my setup is a collection of hardware that was built over time, on a budget. There are more stream-lined ways of doing this, if you can spare the cash or if you plan ahead.
Here is a overview of my hardware.
- iPad 5th Generation
- TPLink Wifi Router
- EZ Kling DMX Controller
- Chauvet FlareConAir Wireless DMX Controller
- Venue SlimPAR64 (2)
- Chauvet Par64 (2)
- Chauvet Tri6 (3)
iPad 5th Generation
I think this is self explanatory. I run a beta version of OnSong on a 5th gen iPad. I have my iPad setup to never auto-lock. Aside from that, I have no special settings.
TPLink Wifi Router
The next piece of hardware in the chain is a TPLink wifi router. Any wifi router will work but I use this one because it has a small footprint. It is only a couple of inches square.
The next piece of gear in the chain is an EZ Kling DMX controller. The one I own has only a hardwired connection, so I needed a wireless router so I could connect to it from my iPad. In theory, you could buy a wireless DMX controller and not need a wifi router. The TP link acts as my wifi hot spot purely so I can connect to my DMX controller.
EZ Kling DMX Controller
In order for OnSong to communicate with DMX fixtures, you need a DMX controller. I use the American DJ EZ Kling. I bought this because I was on a budget. It is a no frills DMX controller with plenty of functionality. This unit is more inexpensive than units with built in wifi. If you have a more extensive budget, you can replace the EZ Kling and the wifi router mentioned above with a single unit.
This controller has more options than I can describe. It can handle just about any DMX project that you can throw at it. In a later article, I plan to describe the setup I use but for now, I am using the EZ Kling in DMX mode using the ArcNet_U functionality.
So to recap, I connect my iPad to the TP Link wifi router which is hardwired via CAT5 cable to the EZ Kling. This allows OnSong to broadcast DMX data to the fixtures in my rig. If I were using only wired lights, I could take the DMX output of the EZ Kling and connect it directly to my first fixture. However, I have four wired fixtures, and three wireless fixtures, so I need another piece of gear. To make this happen, the DMX output of my EZ Kling is connected via a DMX cable to input of a FlareConAir wireless DMX controller. I then take the DMX output of the FlareConAir to my first wired fixture.
One thing you may notice with the EZ Kling is that it appears to be locked up or frozen from time to time. I used to reboot it constantly, but then I realized the buttons lock out after a time out period. Press and hold the Mode button and you can unlock the unit.
KlingNet Mode: DMX
ARTNET_U Out: DMX
To Do: Put together an article on the EZ Kling configuration.
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Chauvet FlareConAir Wireless DMX Controller
The FlareConAir is a wired/wireless DMX controller. I use this to communicate with the Chauvet Tri-6 lights which are battery powered and wireless. Without the FlareCon, I can’t connect to these lights.
The DMX output of the EZ Kling is connected to the DMX input of the FlareConAir. The DMX output of the FlareConAir is connected to my first wired fixture, and then that fixture is daisy chained to the rest of my wired fixtures. This allows me to communicate with wired and wireless fixtures simultaneously.
Input: DMX cable from DMX output of the EZ Kling
Output: DMX cable from DMX output of FlareCon to DMX input of first wired fixture
Manual Channel: CH01
Auto Channel: CH01
Input Mode: DMX
To Do: I am currently using a separate wifi controller and an EZ Kling for connecting to my DMX fixtures from OnSong. I have a theory that I can get rid of those two pieces of gear and only use the FlareCon, but I have not yet gotten that working.