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Thread: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

  1. #1
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    Default E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    I have been working on a new project which is an E1.31 to DMX protocol converter.

    It is based on jstjohnz's Parallax Propeller E680 pixel driver firmware, modified specifically for this project, with a PC board designed by myself.

    Basically, its a circuit board that inputs up to four 512 channel universes of DMX data using an Ethernet connection, with a protocol called E1.31 aka streaming ACN, or SACN and converts this signal to four standard DMX 512 channel outputs, for a total of 2048 channels.
    This allows large numbers of channels to be controlled without having to string multiple DMX cables or deal with multiple DMX dongles on your PC. In fact, you don't need *any* dongles at all!

    This converter is compatible with Vixen, Light Show Pro, Madrix, and basically any software package that supports the E1.31 protocol output. And if your favorite software doesn't support E1.31 yet, it probably will soon as it is rapidly becoming the protocol of choice for large channel count displays.

    Configuration is done via a built-in web server that allows you to set all of the board's configurable parameters and these can then be saved to the on-board Eeprom memory.
    There is also a configurable Renard output protocol option, as well as DMX or Renard pinouts to the RJ45 output jacks by way of on-board jumpers.

    I am currently in the final stages of firmware development and I will be getting some PC boards made up very soon. As always, if there's enough interest a group buy is a possibility.
    Since it's a Propeller based firmware, it should be easy enough to adapt to DynamoBen's PropController board as well.

    I've attached the schematics, PC board layout and firmware source files.

    Robert
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    Last edited by RPM; 06-28-2011 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Added updated project files and firmware source code

  2. #2
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Nice touch on the Renard vs DMX jumpers! I might be interested in at least one of these to drive my LSDs this year and I have a spare WizNet module as well!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Very nice! Does the configuration include which 4 universes to use from the E1.31? So, for example, I have 4096 channels I want to run. Can I use 2 of these board, and the first uses universes 1-4, and the second 5-8?

    I would be interested in probably 2 of them!

    Good work as always.

    Erik

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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by erm213 View Post
    Very nice! Does the configuration include which 4 universes to use from the E1.31? So, for example, I have 4096 channels I want to run. Can I use 2 of these board, and the first uses universes 1-4, and the second 5-8?

    I would be interested in probably 2 of them!

    Good work as always.

    Erik

    Yes, the configuration allows you to use any universes with any output.

    Here's a screenshot of the config webpage.
    If you have seen Jim's E680 controller, this should look familiar...
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by RPM View Post
    Yes, the configuration allows you to use any universes with any output.

    Here's a screenshot of the config webpage.
    If you have seen Jim's E680 controller, this should look familiar...
    It does look familiar. Very cool!

    Erik

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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by budude View Post
    Nice touch on the Renard vs DMX jumpers! I might be interested in at least one of these to drive my LSDs this year and I have a spare WizNet module as well!
    I also have the Renard protocol as an output option.

    Another plus is the hardware is setup so it can receive as well as transmit (all I/O lines to the RS485 drivers are connected) so with a firmware change it should be able to to RDM as well.
    There is a jumper for selecting the on-board 5V regulator or an off board power supply.
    This way you can power it with either an external regulated 5V supply, or use the on-board 5V regulator and power it with an external 9-12VDC unregulated voltage.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    I noticed the internal/external 5V supply option. Is 12V the top limit or would 24V be a possibility. I know a heat sink might be needed, right?
    Mark

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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    It seems that the Propeller and W5100 combo is really gaining a lot of ground in the DIYC community, it's very easy to work with it seems.

    The web-page code, how does the controller know to stop listening for data, and start sending webpage data?
    Check out what the [URL="http://www.extremelightingproducts.com/shop"]Extreme Lighting Products Shop[/URL] is selling!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    I'll take two in a group buy !

  10. #10
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    Default Re: E1.31 (sACN) to DMX Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by chilloutdocdoc View Post
    It seems that the Propeller and W5100 combo is really gaining a lot of ground in the DIYC community, it's very easy to work with it seems.
    That's the beauty of the Propeller... it's very easy to to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by chilloutdocdoc View Post
    The web-page code, how does the controller know to stop listening for data, and start sending webpage data?
    It's controlled by a config option. Here's a excerpt from Jim's comments in the firmware source.

    --------
    "If active output on 3rd socket, at bootup we come up in browser,
    wait up to 30 seconds for a page hit. If no page hits after 30 secs
    we go into E1.31 mode on socket 3. If there are hits, then we set
    the timeout timer to 120 seconds after the last hit, and it's reset every hit.

    While in E1.31 mode, we look for a lack of E1.31 packets for xx seconds.
    If we see that, we pop back to browser mode with a fairly short timeout, if we get
    a hit we stay in browser mode, else we alternate 3 secs browser, 1 sec E1.31, until
    one or the other shows life."
    --------

    The sockets are numbered 0 through 3, so the 3rd socket is actually associated with output port #4.
    The web page code is somewhat complicated in that it only outputs a line or two at a time, then polls the other sockets, then comes back to output a few more lines until the entire page is displayed. This is done so there is no data disruption on the other output sockets.
    As I mentioned before, I take no credit for this, as my firmware is based on jstjohnz E680 firmware and it seems to work very well.

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