This was a fun one. Turns out, the Daktronics Venus 7000 video controller can be trained to play content based on incoming RS-232 messages. And, the trusty DecaBox can receive DMX and output all manner of RS-232 content. When the dust settled, we ended up shipping a somewhat-modified version of our DMX to ASCII firmware.
Here’s the story, straight from the customer:
Recently, I was given this task of creating a lighting board to Daktronics Venus7000 lighting trigger and started out by looking at my relevant device ‘gozintas and gozoutas’ (ins and outs).
I do not dabble too much in lighting control technology although I knew we are using a Grand MA on PC. I do provide in-house second tier support on our Daktronics LED systems and servers so I also knew that I needed to create some simple ASCII data strings on an RS-232 serial port.
After asking the Google, I was able to find some articles about converting DMX to serial. This is the link that came up: http://response-box.com/gear/decabox-protocol-bridge-overview/ and this Decabox looked like the exact piece of ‘glue’ needed to convert lighting transitions to a Daktronics triggers.
I took a bit of a chance and purchased the Decabox, (John Chapman at Engineering Solutions Inc. was also very helpful in that he returned my call and assisted me in determining a data scheme). I went back a to Daktronics Engineering and they were good with John’s proposed data string.
Shortly after submitting my order, I received the Decabox which John had pre-programmed and we were ready to test. We were very quickly able to see the appropriate serial data in our Dak server room and soon after got Dak to remotely configure the serial listen port.
This has solved an ongoing issue with playback synchronization of Daktronics content playback, and our house lighting. We now have consistent and repeatable triggers during our game start opening sequences, whereas before we relied on an intercom countdown to mouse click (which was not very tight!).
I would not only recommend this device, but also have kudos for John Chapman’s support and timely follow ups to our questions.
GS | Broadcast Technician
Canucks Sports & Entertainment | February 2017
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