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Wireless DMX – WiFi DMX System Review

Wireless DMX systems are getting affordable. At outdoor concerts this summer, On Stage Lighting gave up “control by wire” and got to test the Zero88 ZeroWire system. This article looks at the features of a cheap WiFi DMX solution.

Wireless DMX Wifi

What is a WiFi DMX controller.

A wireless DMX512 control system, in this case using ethernet over a standard IEEE 802.11b Wifi network over the “free for use” 2.4Ghz radio spectrum. Radio DMX has been around for a while and, let’s face it, in a world full of cables the ability to run a few less is low on the list for many shows. But there are times when linking up an entire DMX system using cables is not so attractive.

The ZeroWire also integrates closely with the new generation of their consoles the Frog 2 and Leap Frog 48/96 (maybe more about this desk in another article).

What does the Wireless DMX bit?

Most systems, including the Zero Wire, start with two boxes. One transmitter and one receiver that need an electricity supply and connect using a standard 5 pin DMX 512 XLR. Plug your DMX controller into the transmitter, connect the receiver to your kit and off you go. The ZeroWire is configured as either a transmitter or receiver via a PC application which also sets up the “networking “ parts your closed wireless system.

Do I need to set DMX addresses in the Wi Fi box?

No, the wireless boxes just sends/receives one universe of DMX values. As long as the boxes are set up to network together, then the system is pretty much as “plug and play” as you can get. The wireless DMX can also be sent to multiple receivers in a system – great if you have 40 HuugeSpots ™ dotted around the grounds of Buck House.

What kind of range can I use this lovely DMX signal?

Well, most manufacturers say about1 Km. Zero88 claim to have done tests up to 5 Km and tbh, we didn’t try it much more than 100m. But hey, how often do you program moving heads that are 5 Km away? I would definitely need to wear my glasses.

The range of these wireless DMX thingys seem pretty good. Because they systems use a standard Wi Fi signal, you could pimp your network with an “off the shelf” Wireless Access Point (WAP).

Is wireless DMX reliable?

You could have problems in situations where a “normal” wireless network is a bit sketchy or where similar radio spectrum transmitters could interfere with your system.

The only problems we had during the shows were with the “back up” DMX cable from the Front Of House position. Perhaps someone stuck an umbrella through the cable during a break in the rain!

Great, where do I buy one?

Loads of places. Avolites do one – eDMX. Chauvet too.

The Zero88 system we tried in a field – sorry, grassed organic performance space – worked. Plug it in – it just worked. That’s pretty much all you need to know.

6 Responses to Wireless DMX – WiFi DMX System Review

  1. Maurits July 29, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Came across a pretty interesting item – an iPod Touch/iPhone DMX controller. I can imagine it might not be too handy to control Glastonbury’s main stage with your iPhone though. Either way it’s a pretty cool thought:
    http://www.synthe-fx.com/products/luminair

  2. Rob July 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    Maurits

    Cool find. Now we can hold up the focus while the LD rings the lighting console to find out where it’s gone.

    Trouble is, my fingers and the Iphone seem incompatible – too many mistakes. Plus the fact that it is like trying keep hold of a bar of soap in the shower.

    Thanks for telling us about that one.

  3. Artistic Controls January 5, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    Great articles on the Wireless DMX.

    Here in Malaysia only the rental company will invest in one of the DMX tools. It is so convenient without cable especially you have show in the stadium.

    We hope to use Zero 88 Wireless DMX here.

  4. Linksprite July 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    linksprite has an affordable wifi dmx adaptor.

  5. allen April 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Zero 88 Wireless DMX are very interesting.i want to pick one unit for testing,how can i place an order?

  6. lmc April 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    been using vatritec wireless dmx. workes fine for me.

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