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-   -   RDM in a lighting desk (http://www.rdmprotocol.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1000)

Rob Anderson January 28th, 2009 03:46 AM

RDM in a lighting desk
I just wondered if anyone was planning to include full RDM capabilities in a lighting desk (or board).

I know there are desks out there with auto-adressing but i dont think there are any with full RDM talkback are there? Feel free to correct me

Maybe GrandMA might put it into the new one?

Dont people agree that if a desk came out with the features it might make people more inclined to use it. I know for some people having to have a PC/laptop running diagnostic software is a bit too much like hard work !


sblair January 29th, 2009 08:57 AM


There aren't any really out there yet, but I think we will start to see them within the next couple years. I've always said that seeing a full implementation in the major consoles will happen last.

There's a couple reasons for this:

1. Console development is driven by user requests. They typically have feature request lists that are a mile long. It takes a while for something like RDM to get enough visibility to bubble up the list high enough.

2. Controllers aren't going to implement until there are enough responders out there that have implemented RDM. We are getting to that tipping point I believe here.

3. Controller implementations are by far the most difficult and involved, especially to do it well. There is much more that has to be taken into account and coded for than the typical responder or even test device.

dantonuk January 30th, 2009 10:11 AM

RDM in a lighting desk

I was wondering how you would describe full RDM support in a lighting desk.


sblair February 1st, 2009 04:19 PM


Now you're gonna make me define terms? ;)

Honestly, I still look back at the implementation of ETC Link with the AF Sensor racks in Obesssion 1 as a good example especially considering that goes back 15 years now. The feedback was fairly well integrated in throughout the console, not just in a dedicated configuration screen.

Admittedly I haven't spent much time in front of any of the new ETC desks to see how things have evolved since then.

A full controller implementation is by its nature the most complicated to implement. You have to not only pretty much support all the PID's, but you also have to support Sub-Devices and Proxies and manage all the information for the devices.

A good implementation in a console, as I see it, is one that not only is capable of discovering all the devices and simplifying configuration with things like Auto-Patch but also informs the user of the things they need to know such as a homing error of a moving light, the fog machine out of fluid, lamp out, etc..

One of the challenging things I see in that is managing the information that is presented to the user to give them the information they need but without flooding them with information they don't need or don't want. A lot of that I think is also going to be in the configurability of the desk in how and what alerts it presents.

Are these some good hand-waving generalities? :)

Seriously, let me know if you have more questions along this line. I think it makes for an interesting discussion.

Rob Anderson February 6th, 2009 03:54 AM

RDM updates
Surley, as all top-end lighting desks are software-based nowadays there could be some facility for incorporating RDM set-up information into fixture library updates? This would allow for specific updates and new product-specific commands to be saved onto the desk.

Looking at the Wybron Infotrace system it seems an easy and effective model to incorporate into a computerised lighting desk. It allows you to check the system when you want and also flashes alerts at you for major events (Overcurrent, power loss etc.)

Apparently rumours are that GrandMA are "RDM" ready but i am never sure quite what that means ! Its so annoying these people will not commit !

sblair February 6th, 2009 09:53 AM


"RDM Ready" really is a generally meaningless statement. Most all products built within about the last 10 years now have been "RDM Ready" in that they had the physical hardware for doing bi-directional communication. It's just that there was no software to do it.

Early on before RDM was released many manufacturer's were using this to mean that their product would be upgradeable in some fashion to do RDM after it was released. RDM has officially been released for a couple years now, so the only real question is "does it actually support RDM or not. If not, then when?"

svanciel February 9th, 2009 09:47 PM

At LDI last fall in Las Vegas, ETC had a console setup in their booth that was providing RDM links from a Sensor dimmer and a Wybron color scroller via Ethernet (ACN?). There were onboard menus for accessing the parameters and popup messages for error conditions. I just looked at it briefly and don't recall specifically which board it was, but it was a bigger desk with build in screens.


Paul-Zero88 October 30th, 2009 10:10 AM

The JesterML (http://www.zero88.com/en/products/2/89) and JesterTL (http://www.zero88.com/en/products/2/94) desks from Zero 88 include RDM functionality to discover and patch moving lights, without needing a fixture library. The fixture personality and DMX address can be remotely set from the desk, so no need for a ladder or any RDM tools on your laptop. Plug and play.

This was demonstrated at PLASA 2009 and can also be seen at LDI 2009.

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