DMX Channel Assignments

This describes the DMX channels that are needed by Autopilot -- both what they are and why they are needed.

  1. Light Starting Channel

    Each moving light consumes a number of DMX channels for it's various attributes (pan, tilt, color, gobo, etc.). You need to select a starting channel for each light and, of course, not overlap the channels of two lights.

    The Autopilot II DMX map will graphically show assigned channels in green (as well as tell you the function of any DMX channel). It will also show you channel overlaps in red. You must eliminate any channel overlaps.

    Be aware that some automated lights can only be set to specific starting channels. For example, at least one model of moving mirror light can only be set to start on channel 1, 21, 41, 61 and so on.

  2. Beltpack Control Channel

    Each light can be commanded to follow a specified beltpack: #1, #2, etc.. It can also be commanded to ignore beltpacks and to be controlled (pan and tilt) from the lighting console. This control selection is determined by the DMX level of the "Beltpack control channel". This is a DMX channel of your choosing and there is one Beltpack channel for each light.

    The Beltpack channel is specified in the SYSTEM SETUP > CONFIGURE LIGHTS screen. The beltpack channels need to be contiguous.

    The DMX level vs. beltpack/console control selection chart is as follows:

    DMX level range

    Control value

    Control by
    0-5% 0% console
    6-34% 25% beltpack #1
    35-64% 50% beltpack #2
    65-79% 75% beltpack #3
    80-100% 100% beltpack #4

  3. Beltpack Height Offset

    The Autopilot system, as it is following a beltpack, has the ability to point the light beam directly at the beltpack element or at an imaginary point directly above or below the beltpack element. This capability is called "beltpack height offset" and you command the system to point the light beam at or above/below the beltpack element with the DMX level of the "beltpack height offset channel". Alternatively, you can specify the desired height offset directly from the PC -- more on that later.

    The beltpack height offset DMX channel is specified in the RUN > BELTPACK HEIGHT OFFSETS screen. The DMX channel number is specified in the box following the "Starting DMX channel" line. You must also click on "Control from DMX value" at this screen. There is a beltpack height offset channel for each of the eight beltpacks (regardless of the quantity actually used) and they are automatically assigned contiguously -- you specify the first channel. Height offset channels assigned to unused beltpacks could be used for other purposes.

    Note that you can control the height offsets with DMX channels as described above OR you can control the height offsets directly from your PC. If you wish to control them from your PC, at the RUN > BELTPACK HEIGHT OFFSETS screen, click on "Control from PC". Then, use the sliders on the left side of the screen to specify the height offset.

    Regardless of the control method, the commanded height offsets can be viewed on the bottom of the RUN > BELTPACK HEIGHT OFFSETS screen. Check these offsets to confirm they are as desired.