ESTA Plugfest Returns!

The ESTA Control Protocols Plugfest, the event where manufacturers and developers can test their products for interoperability with other manufacturers’ products, is scheduled to take place January 29 thru February 1 at the D/FW Marriott Solana in Westlake, Texas. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Attendees bring controllers, intelligent lights, control protocol analyzers, and various other tools and devices. In an effort to look for and resolve interoperability challenges, everything is connected to through a network. People attend from all around the world in an effort to improve their products.

The Plugfest was originally created to support the Remote Device Management protocol (ANSI E1.20 RDM, but covers all ESTA Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG) standards, including the popular ANSI E1.31 Streaming ACN protocol.

The scheduled hours are 4:00-11:00pm on Friday, 9:00am-11:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 9:00am to noon on Monday. The event is attended by members of the E1.20 (RDM), E1.31 (sACN), and E1.33 (RDMnet) task groups which authored the standards—they will available to provide their expertise. CPWG members can answer questions and help explain the protocols. As products using the ESTA RDM and ACN standards are now common in the market place, ensuring that products actually comply and deliver interoperability is important.

This is an opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of the CPWG, one of the Technical Standards Program’s largest working groups. ESTA invites the industry to drop in and experience Plugfest.

A full schedule and a link for hotel reservations can be found at the URL below. For more information or to register, contact Scott Blair at


European RDM Plugfest Report

Simon Newton

4/10/2012 – 5/10/2012

I recently attended the RDM plugfest in Gatwick and had the opportunity to run the RDM Responder Tests on diverse set of responders. At the suggestion of Peter Kirkup, I’ve run some analysis on the data in an attempt to understand how the quality of RDM implementations is progressing.  The data presented here has been aggregated and anonymized so that test results for any specific manufacture aren’t identifiable. The tests themselves do not perform exhaustive timing checks so even if a responder achieves a perfect score it may not fully comply with the RDM standard.

The procedure involved running the RDM Responder Tests (git SHA1 id 58fb444b9342ea6d9ba70ecdda8f720cc88692ff for those who are interested) on a Macbook Pro with a Robe Universal Interface.  During the course of testing I found two bugs in the RDM tests which caused the test script to crash. I fixed both bugs and since these bugs caused crashes rather than false positives, the bugs would not have affected the results of the responders tested prior to the bugs being found.

In total 27 responders from 20 manufacturers were tested. 7 of the 27 responders received perfect scores, which is the highest result ever for a plugfest. At previous plugfests only two responders have managed a similar result. Congratulations to Cooper Controls – Zero 88, Creative Lighting, Howard Eaton Lighting Limited, LumenRadio & SUMOLIGHT GMBH. The test scores for each responder is shown in Table 1.

Responder Name Tests Passed Tests Run Pass Rate (%)
Responder 1 231 231 100.0
Responder 2 231 231 100.0
Responder 3 229 229 100.0
Responder 4 232 232 100.0
Responder 5 233 233 100.0
Responder 6 229 229 100.0
Responder 7 229 229 100.0
Responder 8 229 232 98.7
Responder 9 226 231 97.8
Responder 10 224 230 97.4
Responder 11 226 233 97.0
Responder 12 223 231 96.5
Responder 13 224 233 96.1
Responder 14 217 228 95.2
Responder 15 220 233 94.4
Responder 16 214 229 93.4
Responder 17 205 220 93.2
Responder 18 214 234 91.5
Responder 19 206 228 90.4
Responder 20 185 209 88.5
Responder 21 185 209 88.5
Responder 22 187 222 84.2
Responder 23 191 231 82.7
Responder 24 62 204 30.4
Responder 25 37 154 24.0
Responder 26 37 154 24.0
Responder 27 31 190 16.3

Table 1. Summary of results by responder


The median score is 95.2% and the median number of tests run is 229 out of 235 tests. Note that not every test is run for each responder because there is often a dependency chain between two or more tests. For example the tests need to know if a PID is supported before they know what to expect when sending a GET command for that PID.  If a test that other tests depend on fails, then the number of tests run will be reduced as is the case for the last responders in the table.

Each test is assigned to a category, which roughly corresponds to the RDM Categories/Parameter ID Defines table in the E1.20 document. When broken down by category, the results are seen in Table 2.

Test Category Pass Rate (%)
Core Functionality 95.7
Display Settings 91.3
Status Collection 90.7
Power / Lamp Settings 90.5
Network Management 90.4
Sensors 89.3
DMX512 Setup 89.2
Configuration 88.4
Control 86.9
Product Information 86.9
Dimmer Settings 84
Error Conditions 82.4
RDM Information 72.2
Sub Devices 54.8

Table 2. Per Category Pass Rates.


The RDM Responder Tests also produce warnings to indicate responder behavior which, while not serious enough to cause a failure, should still be correctly handled. Five responders produced no warnings. The maximum warnings produced was 261 and the median was 10.

Finally Table 3 shows the pass results for each test. This provides a useful insight into which areas of an RDM implementation are most often overlooked. Ignoring the tests which cover error conditions, the most common failure is the SetPersonality, followed by ResetFactoryDefaults & GetParamDescription.

Pass Rate (%) # of Tests Test Names
100 29 CheckSensorConsistency, DUBFullTree, DUBInvertedFullTree, DUBInvertedRange, DUBManufacturerTree, DUBNegativeUpperBound, DUBSignedComparisons, DUBSingleUpperUID, GetDeviceInfoWithData, GetManufacturerLabel, GetSoftwareVersionLabel, GetSoftwareVersionLabelWithData, GetSupportedParameters, ProxiedDevicesControlField, SetBroadcastStartAddress, SetBurnIn, SetDMXBlockAddress, SetDevicePowerCyclesWithNoData, SetDisplayInvert, SetDisplayLevel, SetIdentifyMode, SetLampState, SetLanguage, SetPanInvert, SetPanTiltSwap, SetPowerOnSelfTest, SetPowerState, SetUnsupportedLanguage, SetVendorcastStartAddress
96 2 ClearStatusMessages, ClearStatusMessagesWithData
95.7 2 GetSlotDescriptions, GetStartAddress
95.5 2 GetPersonalityDescriptions, GetSensorValues
95.2 17 DUBAffirmativeLowerBound, DUBAffirmativeUpperBound, DUBDifferentManufacturer, DUBInvertedLowerUID, DUBInvertedUpperUID, DUBNegativeLowerBound, DUBNegativeVendorcast, DUBSingleLowerUID, DUBSingleUID, GetDefaultSlotValues, GetProxiedDeviceCount, RequestsWhileUnmuted, ResetDevicePowerCycles, SetDeviceLabel, SetDevicePowerCycles, SetLampHours, SetLampStrikesWithNoData
95 1 SetVendorcastDeviceLabel
93.8 1 RecordAllSensorValues
92 23 ClearCommsStatus, FindSelfTests, GetDeviceHoursWithData, GetDeviceInfo, GetDeviceModelDescriptionWithData, GetDisplayInvertWithData, GetLampHoursWithData, GetLampOnMode, GetLampStrikes, GetManufacturerLabelWithData, GetPresetMergeModeWithData, GetProxiedDeviceCountWithData, GetProxiedDevicesWithData, GetTiltInvert, GetTiltInvertWithData, MuteDevice, SetBurnInWithNoData, SetPanInvertWithNoData, SetParamDescription, SetProxiedDevices, SetSlotDescription, SetSlotInfo, SetTiltInvertWithNoData
91.3 7 GetPersonality, GetPersonalityDescription, GetSensorDefinition, SetLampOnMode, SetLampStrikes, SetTiltInvert, UnMuteDevice
90.9 2 RecordSensorValues, RecordUndefinedSensorValues
90.5 8 DUBPositiveVendorcast, SetBroadcastIdentifyDevice, SetDeviceHours, SetFullSizeDeviceLabel, SetIdentifyDevice, SetNonAsciiDeviceLabel, SetVendorcastIdentifyDevice, SubDeviceControlField
90 2 SetBroadcastDeviceLabel, SetLampHoursWithNoData
88 9 GetDeviceModelDescription, GetFactoryDefaults, GetFactoryDefaultsWithData, GetRecordSensors, GetSupportedParametersWithData, InvalidDiscoveryPID, RecordSensorValueWithNoData, SetPerformSelfTestWithNoData, SetPowerStateWithNoData
86.4 1 GetUndefinedSensorValues
85.7 3 DUBPositiveUnicast, SetEmptyDeviceLabel, SetOtherVendorcastIdentifyDevice
84.2 1 SetDeviceHoursWithNoData
84 68 ClearCommsStatusWithData, GetBootSoftwareLabel, GetBootSoftwareLabelWithData, GetBootSoftwareVersion, GetBootSoftwareVersionWithData, GetBurnIn, GetBurnInWithData, GetCapturePreset, GetCommsStatus, GetCommsStatusWithData, GetDMXBlockAddress, GetDMXBlockAddressWithData, GetDeviceHours, GetDeviceLabel, GetDeviceLabelWithData, GetDevicePowerCycles, GetDevicePowerCyclesWithData, GetDimmerInfo, GetDimmerInfoWithData, GetDisplayInvert, GetDisplayLevel, GetDisplayLevelWithData, GetIdentifyDevice, GetIdentifyDeviceWithData, GetIdentifyMode, GetIdentifyModeWithData, GetLampHours, GetLampOnModeWithData, GetLampState, GetLampStateWithData, GetLampStrikesWithData, GetLanguage, GetPanInvert, GetPanInvertWithData, GetPanTiltSwap, GetPanTiltSwapWithData, GetPowerOnSelfTest, GetPowerOnSelfTestWithData, GetPowerState, GetPowerStateWithData, GetPresetMergeMode, GetPresetPlayback, GetPresetPlaybackWithData, GetProductDetailIdList, GetProductDetailIdListWithData, GetProxiedDevices, GetRealTimeClock, GetRealTimeClockWithData, GetSelfTestDescription, GetSelfTestDescriptionWithNoData, GetSlotInfo, SetBootSoftwareLabel, SetBootSoftwareVersion, SetCapturePresetWithNoData, SetDMXBlockAddressWithNoData, SetDefaultSlotInfo, SetDimmerInfo, SetLampOnModeWithNoData, SetLampStateWithNoData, SetPanTiltSwapWithNoData, SetPowerOnSelfTestWithNoData, SetPresetPlayback, SetPresetPlaybackWithNoData, SetProductDetailIdList, SetProxiedDeviceCount, SetRealTimeClockWithNoData, SetZeroDMXBlockAddress, SetZeroPersonality
82.6 1 SetOutOfRangePersonality
81.8 1 ResetSensorValue
80 25 CapturePreset, GetDefaultSlotInfoWithData, GetInvalidSensorDefinition, GetLanguageCapabilities, GetLanguageCapabilitiesWithData, GetMaxPacketSize, GetParamDescriptionForNonManufacturerPid, GetPerformSelfTest, GetPerformSelfTestWithData, GetSlotInfoWithData, ResetFactoryDefaultsWithData, SetDeviceInfo, SetDeviceModelDescription, SetDeviceModelDescriptionWithData, SetDisplayInvertWithNoData, SetDisplayLevelWithNoData, SetIdentifyModeWithNoData, SetManufacturerLabel, SetManufacturerLabelWithData, SetOversizedDMXBlockAddress, SetPerformSelfTest, SetRealTimeClock, SetSensorDefinition, SetSoftwareVersionLabel, SetSupportedParameters
78.3 2 GetOutOfRangePersonalityDescription, SetOutOfRangeStartAddress
77.3 1 ResetAllSensorValues
76 1 SetNonAsciiLanguage
72.7 2 ResetUndefinedSensorValues, SetStartAddress
72.2 1 GetParamDescription
72 2 GetClearStatusMessages, GetZeroPersonalityDescription
68 4 GetInvalidSensorValue, GetSensorDefinitionWithTooMuchData, GetSlotDescriptionWithNoData, GetSlotDescriptionWithTooMuchData
66.7 3 FindSubDevices, SetOutOfRangeIdentifyDevice, SetOversizedDeviceLabel
65.2 1 SetZeroStartAddress
64 2 GetParamDescriptionWithData, ResetSensorValueWithNoData
60 3 GetSensorDefinitionWithNoData, ResetFactoryDefaults, SetOversizedPersonality
58.8 1 SetPersonality
52.4 1 SetIdentifyDeviceWithNoData
52.2 1 SetOversizedStartAddress
52 2 AllSubDevicesDeviceInfo, GetSensorValueWithNoData
48 1 MuteDeviceWithData
40 1 UnMuteDeviceWithData
Table 3. Per test pass rates.

I plan to continue performing this analysis at future plugfests so we’ll have an idea of how RDM implementations are improving. It will be useful to track the maturity of RDM responders and well as monitor the diversity of manufacturers and devices we see at the plugfests.  Judging by the amount of work that got done over the 2 days I think we can expect even better scores next time! Stay tuned for another report after the Dallas plugfest in January 2013.