Wireless DMX – WiFi DMX System Review

Monday, July 28th, 2008 - Stage Lighting Control - by:

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.

If this has helped you, consider buying me a beer and CLICK HERE to donate a few bucks to On Stage Lighting (why should I donate?).

Don't miss out on future articles about stage lighting, get the next one sent straight to you! Click Here to grab our feed by RSS or Email

Don't Keep It To Yourself

Share this on Facebook, if you have something to say about » Wireless DMX – WiFi DMX System Review, or found it useful and want your friends to know about it

Rob is a Lighting Designer and Moving Light Programmer and currently Senior Lecturer in Technical Theatre Production at Bath Spa University in the UK. He is also the Editor of On Stage Lighting and runs workshops in stage lighting practice.

Recent Searches:

dmx wifi, wifi dmx, iphone dmx, wireless dmx, wireless dmx system,

Things To Do

Share With The Crew...

Don't keep it to yourself! Share this article on your favourite social site - Facebook, Del.icio.us, MySpace etc. or send to a friend via email.

Take Our Poll

Vote for the kind of stage lighting articles you like to read most here

Tell us...

Don't forget to leave a comment on this article. Help other readers by checking that you are adding your comment to the most relevant post. If you just want to get in touch, contact On Stage Lighting instead.



6 Comments

  1. Maurits:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    linksprite has an affordable wifi dmx adaptor.

  5. allen:

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

  6. lmc:

    been using vatritec wireless dmx. workes fine for me.

Leave Your Comment



Theatre Production Degree Course

About

On Stage Lighting publishes original articles, tutorials and information about stage lighting techniques, modern equipment and best practice - all written by lighting industry professionals. The website has a lot of information on stage lighting for beginners, along with contemporary topics in the lighting world.

Videos

YouTube Channel

Buy Us A Beer

Got a Question?

If you've got a stage lighting related question we haven't covered and you would like to read an article on, leave a comment at our What's Next... page.

Links

Donate