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RDM General Implementation Discussion General Discussion and questions relating to implementing RDM in a product.

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Old September 4th, 2010   #1
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Thumbs up RDM Compatibility Corner at PLASA 2010

Industry is sponsoring RDM Compatibility Corner at PLASA 2010

PLASA Technical Resource Office and a host of lighting equipment manufacturers involved in developing Remote Device Management are sponsoring the ‘RDM Connectivity Corner’ on stand 2-P37 at PLASA 2010. Products from many manufacturers will be connected up to demonstrate the key features and benefits of compatible products sharing the same network.

With the development of any new data protocol, adoption can be slow until the point at which a ‘critical mass’ of early adopters in the manufacturing sector matches the demand from users. RDM was not immune to that process, but for Peter Willis, who is organising and managing ‘Connectivity Corner,’ RDM has now reached the point of maturity and general adoption within the industry. But why is the industry doing this at all? “It is true that we experienced an early take up of RDM since 2006, but there is a growing body of manufacturers now integrating RDM into their products – ranging from desks to dimmers, moving lights to scrollers and fog machines – and,” explained Peter, “a significant increase in users who value the benefits of configuring equipment setups without having to use a ladder or walk miles around the rig,”

At PLASA 2009, the RDM demonstration area was extremely well attended. “We had a large number of visitors – not only users who wanted the latest news”, added Peter, “but also manufacturers bringing their latest products to the stand to see if their RDM implementation was compatible with other products.” He explained that although there is a healthy adoption of RDM code in new products, it is obvious that there is still a lack of products that are fully compliant. “Although we welcomed all manufacturers to test out their products last year,” Peter continued, “it was a bit disorganised and disruptive, so this year we have arranged a special ‘plug-fest’ at the end of Monday specifically for manufacturers to play.” Manufacturers are invited to bring along and test out their products’ compatibility at a mini-RDM plug-fest between
5-8pm Monday, during PLASA’s ‘soft-close’ period.

Taking the exhibits on a further stage this year, Peter explained that the key elements and features of RDM will be demonstrated through ‘set-piece’ examples, taking users, specifiers and consultants though a logical progression of: discovery (finding a large number of connected devices on a single network), through to reading the personality of each device and interpreting the DMX footprint needed and the functions that can be setup remotely, and on to the point where individual parameters and addresses are set for any connected RDM device anywhere on the network. The stand will be more self-explanatory for visitors than last year, and there will be regular 10-minute talks on a range of RDM issues specifically tailored for consultants and specifiers, users, developers and sales staff.

But it is not just the entertainment lighting industry that is embracing the simplicity and power of RDM. The combination of DMX control and RDM network access to device configuration is gaining ground in the architectural lighting world too. “Some are seeing DMX and RDM as the next step after DALI,” said Peter.

Join us on stand 2-P37 in Earls Court 2 PLASA 2010
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