Bring up output by dimmer

amersonamerson Registered User
Sorry for the stupid new-user question, but I can't figure out how to bring up an output by dimmer on a RoadHog. I asked a couple of Hog experts and they said you do it by "DMX." I searched the whole manual for DMX and couldn't figure it out. They thought it was in the patch screen, but I can't find anything remotely like dimmer or DMX. I brought up the DMX output screen and tried "setting" an output, but that didn't work. In learning the Hog, I've discovered that it does most everything the traditional boards do, it just calls it something different. That makes it a little hard to search the manual to find what I want, but I'm adapting.

Anyway, what I want is the function that every console has had from day one: bring up a dimmer for focus or whatever. On Obsession, you just say "Dimmer xx at xxx enter" to bring up a dimmer. You can also park dimmers on. The syntax on Strand 520 is similar and the tricky thing is knowing to press "dimmer-dimmer" to unpark the dimmer. But for the life of me, I can't find how Hog3 brings up dimmers. Sorry for the stupid question, but I've spent a long time looking for it and I feel really stupid that I can't find it. If it's not called DMX or dimmer or DP, I can't guess what it might be.

Comments

  • tedcooktedcook Registered User
    edited December 2008
    If I'm understanding you correctly, you need to first patch your dimmers. These are called "desk channels" and you'll find them in the generic section of the fixture schedule. Read your manual to learn about patching.

    The board won't send any thing out the DMX until it knows there is something to send it to.
  • snowmansnowman Registered User
    edited December 2008
    amerson wrote:
    On Obsession, you just say "Dimmer xx at xxx enter" to bring up a dimmer.
    Same on a HOG, but as Ted said they are called "desk channels"
    amerson wrote:
    You can also park dimmers on.
    Just select your fixtures and give them an intensity (i.e. 1@FULLenter (the desk channel part comes automatically) ). On the bottom of the right screen tap "more" and then "park". To un-park: select the fixtures, click "more" then hold down PIG and tap "park"
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited December 2008
    What you are suggesting is bringing up an output by channel, I want by dimmer NOT channel.

    Actually, on Obsession you must patch an output before it can be brought up by dimmer. This is a peculiar quirk of the Obsession that doesn't happen on Strand. The workaround for this is to patch everything to channel 299 or any other unused channel. Then put the real patch in later. Nonetheless, when you then bring it up by dimmer, only the one dimmer comes up. What you are suggesting is to bring up channel 299 which would bring up all the unused dimmers.

    Suppose I patch desk channel 1 to dimmers 2 and 5. How do I bring up only dimmer 2 without also bringing up dimmer 5? On Obsession, you type "dimmer 2 Full" and you get just that one dimmer. What you are suggesting is to bring up channel 1 which brings up both dimmers 2 and 5. Many times when something is not coming up by channel, I bring it up by dimmer. If that works, there's an error in the patch.

    Thanks for your quick replies. Sorry my original message wasn't a little clearer. Hope this explains what I'm looking for.
  • snowmansnowman Registered User
    edited December 2008
    sorry, Im getting a little confused, are you saying you want to bring all the lights on a dimmer, or is your definition and my definition of dimmer different?
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Here's the terminology I'm accustomed to. A circuit is the wire that runs from a fixture to the dimmer rack. The circuit connects to dimmers in the dimmer rack. A DMX signal enters the dimmer rack and controls the dimmers. The dimmers output up to 120V on the circuit which goes to the fixture. The console connects to the DMX which controls the dimmers. The console has channels and a soft-patch allows the console to patch a channel to a "dimmer" or DMX channel. The Hog3 Patch screen does this patching function that maps channels to dimmers. At the dimmer rack, circuits are plugged into the back of the dimmer packs. This is the hard-patch. It maps circuits to dimmers. Nowadays, most facilities have dimmer-per-circuit which eliminates the hard patch and dimmers and circuits have the same numbers.

    It's possible that the console has a one-to-one patch where the channel matches the dimmer number. Some consoles don't have soft patch, and this is the case. Hog3 allows patching as do most modern high end boards.

    The Hog3 patches fixtures, which in the case of a dimmer rack are "desk channels" to the dimmers. Some fixtures have multiple DMX channels, e.g. color faders have cyan, magenta, and yellow. On the Obsession, these are patched as scrollers, but still require a channel. On the Strand 520, they are patched as fixtures and become subsets of the intensity channel. It is possible to address the intensity DMX of channel 5 as 5.1, for example. This parallels the Hog3 except these are a little more visible in the Strand 520. In the Obsession, they are somewhat more visible since the Obsession doesn't handle moving lights very well.

    So, what I would like to do is address dimmer #5 in the dimmer rack directly, independent of the channel it is assigned to. Or on a moving light, I might want to bring up cyan. (Ok, not so common, but I have done it to troubleshoot.) Bringing up a dimmer is usually a troubleshooting maneuver or else a focus maneuver. When I'm focusing two instruments that are patched to the same channel but on different circuits, I can bring up one for focus without the other.
  • jthatcherjthatcher Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited December 2008
    Sorry worked in the wrong window. So you terminolgy is correct. But the multiple parametered fixtures like martin 2k have to be patched as a consecutive group of addresses because that's the way the profile works. A scroller dimmer works differently so you can patch out of sequence. A fixture that has two seperate dmx values assigned to it, to my knowlege can not be brought up individually.

    Is taht more in line of what you're wanting to do?
  • jthatcherjthatcher Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited December 2008
    So if you bring up desk channel that has a dmx address of15 & 1 assigned to it will always bring up both dmx assignments.
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited December 2008
    jthatcher wrote:
    So if you bring up desk channel that has a dmx address of15 & 1 assigned to it will always bring up both dmx assignments.
    So you're saying there is no way to bring up by dimmer, only by channel? I'm talking about the Hog3, not a Dove board. That's unbelievable. Really?? You can't bring up a dimmer? Wow! That's pretty basic stuff. Is there a workaround? What do people normally do instead? How do you troubleshoot? As with most everything else when I thought Hog3 won't do something, there is some other useful function that gets you where you want to go through a completely different route. Any idea what that might be?

    For example, I was at a theater where the dimmers had been patched so that two universes overlapped. I think universe two started at 513, but universe 3 started somewhere in the 400's of universe 2 and continued on to universe 3. I finally just started stepping through dimmer numbers until the fixture came alive. At that point I knew the actual DMX number it was responding to and could patch it to a channel. How would you handle this on the Hog3? Would I have to patch the fixture to every possible dimmer one at a time until I found it? That's a lot more tedious than just pressing "Next".
  • jthatcherjthatcher Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited December 2008
    Yes, I am speaking of the Hog3. I could have missed something, but I have operated one for several years now almost everyday.

    One work around if you nee to see just one portion is to maybe you have multiple addresses to one desk channel is go to edit fixtures and set the max and min to 100% try that for the time you need then set it back to normal when done.

    As far as attacking a venue like that there are definate ways to get what your looking for. Patch 3 universes of desk channels 1 to 1. Find the address you looking for using the next and highlight adjust user numbers and patching and just remove what you don't want.

    I dont know everything has its own attack plan. Trial and error still is a live and well.
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for your help. It's great to have input from you guys with extensive expertise.
  • barnes2000barnes2000 Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited December 2008
    Hi Rick. I understand your frustration. There are things about other consoles I wish the Hog did too, and maybe one day they will add them. You have to remember, the Wholehog is a Moving Light console. Although many people use it for conventionals, myself included, I understand that I am choosing to use a console that was designed to primarily control Moving Lights and Media Servers, and I believe it does this very well...so well that I can live with working around things like checking dimmers. I'm sure if you add your request for this feature, the wizards at the High End office will see to it that it gets added to the to do list. They are very helpful and love to hear ideas for software enhancements.
  • theDutchGuytheDutchGuy Registered User
    edited December 2008
    i think the most common way of handling this kind of situation would be to patch all dimmers as separate deskchannels so you have individual control over them, and then use "groups" to select several deskchannels/ dimmers at the same time.
    lots of theatre-style board operators get frustrated by the way some (or even most) top-level lighting consoles handle the control of individual dimmers (not just selecting /patching /testing, but in/out timing issues as well). this leads to comments such as Amerson's "that's pretty basic stuff", and his surprise at finding out the Hog lacks a function he's known in older boards for years.

    what Barnes says is correct: the Hog was designed with different primary functionality in mind. it doesn't handle channels as elegantly as some theatre boards out there, and makes up for it when programming movers.
  • bradpepebradpepe Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited December 2008
    Rick,

    The feature you are looking for is commonly referred to as "DMX Test" in the Wholehog world. It is a feature that is on the Wholehog 2, but not part of the current Wholehog line of consoles. As suggested the best method to achieve what you desire is to patch dimmers one to one to desk channels.

    We do plan to implement a DMX test funciton in the future, however it goes a bit against the abstract fixture library model. The current Wholehog consoles operate on the principle that users do not have to be aware of DMX channels and instead make use of common functions throughout fixture libraries. This is why you need to use desk channels. However this system is not ideal in all situations, thus the need for a true DMX Test mode where you can assign values directly to specific DMX channels.

    thanks for you understanding,
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Thanks Brad. DMX test is exactly what I need. I can see where that's not a part of the fixture model, but it is very useful for test, as the name implies. I would never use it once everything is up and running unless something breaks.

    I'm looking forward to the version that implements DMX test. As I noted in my original post, Hog usually does everything the traditional boards do but calls it something different. In this case it calls "dimmer check" "DMX test" and it's not yet implemented. What would be great is a translation card from old-speak to Hog-speak, or maybe "Hog as a second language."
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited December 2008
    amerson wrote:
    What would be great is a translation card from old-speak to Hog-speak, or maybe "Hog as a second language."

    HES did have to do a HOG 2 >>>> HOG 3 translation because of the sheer change in the terminology. :p
  • bradpepebradpepe Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited December 2008
    Joe,

    You are correct about the guide for learning the current Wholehog from the previous Wholehog 2. First there is a chapter in the current user manual, and second there is a document here:
    http://www.flyingpig.com/support/HogThesaurus_000.pdf
  • Kenneth BellKenneth Bell Registered User
    edited January 2009
    One easy way i found around this was to creat a show that had 512 desk chanels patched 1 to 1. I was then able to use the next and back buttons to find the "dimmers" that i wanted and made note of them. Then I switched over to my show file and patched the dimmers where I needed them. Easy work around in my mind.
  • ChrisTallChrisTall Registered User, DL Beta
    edited January 2009
    How about patching the dimmers 1 to 1 with the desk channels, and using the Groups Pallet to combine them. Like Group 1 is "Down Stage Left" and consists of dimmers/Desk channels 1 and 15?

    Just a thought.
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Chris,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've created groups, but I often want to use the channel numbers to refer to lighting areas as well. If they are patched 1-1, it is difficult to recall which channel refers to which area. When the areas are numbered sequentially, my small brain can better grasp the whole picture.
  • amersonamerson Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Kenneth,

    Your suggestion is probably what I'll do. It's not as easy as bringing things up by dimmer since it requires dumping my show, going to another show, and then restoring my show when I need to do this. Fortunately, situations where I absolutely need to bring things up by dimmer are not too common, so the several minutes overhead may be quicker than digging around in my show to make it happen.
  • Matthew TweddleMatthew Tweddle Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I agree that DMX test is very handy in many situations.

    Bringing up dimmers via a dimmer direct method is particularly useful when diagnosing potential patch issues.

    Is it really not implemented in H3 software yet?
  • stagelitesstagelites Registered User, Hog Beta
    edited March 2009
    I would love to see a DMX test back in the H3. I loved it in the 2 particularily when I was on a rig that I did not have patch info. Would run thru the DMX and quickly figure out what went where. I love the abstraction of the H3\. But I need DMX test a lot. Right now I use my ipc in h2 mode to do this and then switch back to h3.

    Hope they do implement it.
  • kirkf1tzkirkf1tz Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Add me to the list of people that need DMX test feature. I really hope this function is high up on the priority list.

    I understand the suggestions of just grouping together 1:1 desk channels, but this is not at all a viable option in theatre. I have my lighting systems channeled in manner that makes sense. When my plot goes to the electricians to dimmer and patch, not having a way to bring up just a dimmer makes it very difficult. The 1:1 show workaround helps, but we all know its not a quick process switching shows.

    I know HES has a long list of to-do's for the Hog, but there are many instances where I would have spec'd a Hog for a show, but I wasn't able to because of the lack of this function.

    –Kirk Fitzgerald
  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited March 2009
    Currently, if I need it (which I have only had 2 times in 6 years), I just patch an alternate universe on the same show. So, if your show runs universes 1-3, patch universe 4 to 1:1 and just switch a DMX cable.

    Just a thought...I didn't see if it was out there already....
  • ChrisTallChrisTall Registered User, DL Beta
    edited March 2009
    Great idea Jon.

    That's why I look forward to reading posts on the forum.
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