European lighting manufacturers implementing the Remote Device Management (RDM) protocol (ANSI E1.20-2010 Standard: Remote Device Management over USITT DMX512 ), met again recently for a two day conference and Plugfest near Gatwick Airport in the UK.
Organised by Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting), Simon Hobday (Artistic Licence Engineering), Hamish Dumbreck (Jese Ltd) and Peter Kirkup (Lumen Radio), in conjunction with PLASA’s Technical Resources Manager, Ron Bonner, the event attracted some 35 engineers from over 22 manufacturing companies, with representation across the Entertainment and Architectural lighting sectors.
The conference kicked off with a review of the impact of the RDM exhibition stand presented at the recent PLASA show at Earl’s Court, and the issues of compliance that sometimes surface whilst attempting to utilise RDM enabled products.
Discussions on possible methods for reviewing products and their adherence to the standard ensued, with separate proposals for Responders, Data Distribution (Splitters) and Controllers emerging.
As always, Plugfests provide an opportunity for engineers to scrutinise their product’s operation in conjunction with a variety of other devices, make changes as required and re-evaluate. It is also an opportunity to discuss best practices, identify known pitfalls and improve your product for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
On the second day, an attempt was made to trial a procedure for evaluating responders, in an effort to facilitate a more robust and standardised means of reviewing RDM compatibility.
Based on initial feedback, it is clear that these events should be regular, to enable manufactures to build consistency into their products, and planning is now underway for further activities in 2013.
For those companies actively involved with (or who are considering) implementing RDM and have not yet attended a Plugfest, the PLASA Technical Resource Office would encourage you make to the effort to support and attend future events.