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enginear26
August 1st, 2006, 09:58 PM
Hey all!
I have read a few posts regaurding MIDI as a protocol for firing. After searching MIDI I only found 3 posts. I have a strong audio/midi background and it is amazing that audio and pyro run so parrallel.

My questions are as follows...

Does anyone out there have a MIDI rig complete and running with diagrams,pics etc???

How do you deal with fuse timing? Are you shooting 1.3 or 1.4?

I have more but just looking to get a ball rolling here :)

Using MIDI on a budget seems to make so much sense on a budget after looking at the MIDI decoders. Especially with putting a few heads together each of their own expert input.

enginear26
August 3rd, 2006, 08:55 PM
WOW. I thought for sure some one had put something together. Or is there some thing that just doesn't work I am missing.

Continuity Check
August 3rd, 2006, 11:27 PM
"Sort Of"...

I use a system which uses MIDI for timing, but the DMX-512 lighting protocol for latching cues on and off.

I only shoot 1.4 with this system.... haven't run in to any major timing issues when using good ematches... instant ignition right on cue w/ the soundtrack.

enginear26
August 4th, 2006, 06:27 AM
The timing factor of midi is what really interested me. I would think one would be abled to do some pretty amazing stuff simillar to some of the other Pyro software rigs.
DMX makes sense too as they are very similar. I was kind of snickering seeing some of the pyro hardware with "FSK" I have not heard that term in years as it was basically a song position pointer and not as acurate as MTC or SMPTE.
May I ask how you apply DMX with MIDI?

lamrith
August 4th, 2006, 10:06 AM
I did not catch this thread until now. I have a design in mind and have a MIDIman Midisoport 2x2 controller I just bought. only thing left is the midi convertor that normally gets used for making an instrument play from a midi source...

The thing I am most worried about right now is how to make my excel sheet (via BV or C++) send out the midi commands, I have no programming background other than some basic back in the 80's...

My basic set-up will be similar to cont checks in that I am putting relays in my existing firing system. the midi convertor will then trigger those relays as the controller board cannot carry the load I am sending out.. those relays will be triggerable by the midi controller or the existing buttons in my firing system.. That way my system is modular. It will run lieke my normal wired system, or plug the midi module in and the main panel becomes a slave. That way I can check continuity and then start the PC running. If the pc link drops I would be right at the panel and worst case could adlibe the rest of the show.. Afterall, EVERYTHING MUST GO!! :twisted:

enginear26
August 4th, 2006, 06:58 PM
I too have been looking at the Sound Research Midi Decoder 128 board. I understand the theory up to the "note" outputs except getting those contacts to trigger relays from there. Hence my weak point :).
128 cues for under $1100 seems possible. If anyone knows any better please let me know!

I am interested in using music software to handle the midi notes because I just don't have the skill for programming. You can get programs that will synch WAV files to MIDI for as low as $100. I know because I sell them. And like Continuity spoke of in another thread pulling your WAV file into software and dropping midi notes for each cue point in time with the music sounds like my kind of fun!

Lamrith I am interested in what you are talking about with a firing console in between the midi decoder and relays to fire the show in case the computer acts up.

I guess my big question from here is....

What relays after the MIDI decoder? If that is all that would be needed before the slat terminals. Besides the little pieces in between of course.

lamrith
August 4th, 2006, 08:38 PM
You can do much better than $1100!! $51 for midiman 2x2 delivered, then $225+shipping for a 128 note convertor from Gemhut!!

right now I have a big Zastrow style firing system seen here:504cuepanel.htm (www.pyrohouse.com/504cuepanel.htm)

The buttons ans switches are soldered to the wires in the bulkhead which goes out to the slats. so the buttons carry the current.. Problem is buttons/switches cannot be triggered any way other than physically. SO I bought 50 mini relays I will put into the system in place of the existing buttons. then the buttons will trigger the relays.. That gives me the base system so that then I can add a input bulkhead to the case. This bulkhead would be connected so that the input could also trigger the relays.

Then I will have the midi convertor and maybe the usb/midi unit in another case. the outputs of the convertor would go to an output bulkead which could then be connected to the input on the main firing panel to trigger the relays.

That is the plan at least. My hurdle is making the midi device trigger the convertor based on my timesheet. My reasoning for this is simple. I have functionality in my quesheet that lets me play a piece of music and capture timestamps from it at the press of the spacebar. So I can set when I want an event to happen exactly, then using collected data I can backtime when the given item needs to be fired and I then have my firetimes choreographed. If I could then have Excel (or access or VB) play the music and spit out MIDI notes as it does it I have a all in one system... I have found a midi file convertor that may let me do what I need, I will let you all know.

Pyrogtp
August 5th, 2006, 06:56 AM
I am planning on doing a midi fire system usung one of my keyboards. On a 61 key keyboard that would give my 61 cues. Since there is 128 midi channels I plan on using just the Velocity or note on message to trigger the ignition. Just have to figure out a way properly bastardize a midi interface properly! I plan on trying to use Sonar sofware, and creating a simple midi sequence. This way I can automate the show. Speeding it up or slowing it down is simple by just adjusting the tempo of the midi file! Doing it with a midi file in Sonar means I can overlay the sequence on ANY audio track seamlessly! We'll see!

Continuity Check
August 5th, 2006, 05:42 PM
Enginear,

Here's the basic run down of my system:

First a pic to show you what I'm talking about:
http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/500/80IMG_6784.JPG

My system is laid out so that cues can be shot both automatically as well as manually at the same time. That makes it easy to refire things, check continuity of upcoming cues while the show is running... As you can see, each cue has a swtich which selects where the cue is in manual or auto mode, or off.

The in manual mode, the cues are routed to a fairly typical common ground firing circuit, In auto mode, the cues are routed to a separate, similar circuit, however, before they are bussed together, they pass through a SPST relay (one per cue).

http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/508/80Pyro_Wiring.JPG

The coil contacts for each relay are then wired into a number of DB-25 connectors. These then connect to a 96 channel DMX > Analog converter which is typically sold to convert older theatical dimmers to DMX.

From there, the converter recives DMX data from a lighting desk, I usually use an ETC Express 48/96...

http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/500/80IMG_6783.JPG

The lighting board stores all of the cue timing information, and controls when the relays in the firing panel are open and closed. The lighting board then connects to the show control system, which is usually timecode, either MTC or SMPTE.

That is more or less how it works...

The system has worked out very well for me for the past few years... I built it for my Fourth of July show in 2004 and it's been doing fine since!

For relays, I used the 9v SPST flavor sold by All Electronics www.allelectronics.com I believe they were $.70 each.

lamrith
August 5th, 2006, 06:40 PM
In concept my system is much like continuity's in basic concept. However I am putting the relays to be controlled inside my existing system.

My system has a master power AND master power keys. once power is on the system goes into 100% full time continuity mode. It continuously checks continuity at all times, even after it is in fire mode. so I can see at a glance what my continuity is during the show on a slat by slat basis.
http://www.pyrohouse.com/images/panel/panelface.jpg

I will be taking the Sanyou srd-s-112d relays and installing them in place of the buttons and rockers used to control my slats and cues.
http://www.evita.lt/products/4364.jpg

If you look at this picture borrowed from the wireless thread, just imagine the relays on the wireless boards being freestanding, mounted in my case. the existing buttons and switches in my panel will be triggering them rather than a PCB board with a wireless controller on it.

BUT! I will then also be able to connect a second wire to the coil of the relays that can accept a feed from another source for triggering of the relay. That other source will be the Midi convertor!! so EITHER the manual buttons OR the Midi package can trigger the fire relays. What is nice is by keeping my existing test/fire layout, I can keep the switched side of the relays from getting full fire current but still have them able to be triggered, so I can test the system without risk of ignition!!! I am working on a layout picture right now.. give me a few min...

Pyrogtp
August 6th, 2006, 07:04 AM
Enginear,

Here's the basic run down of my system:

First a pic to show you what I'm talking about:
http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/500/80IMG_6784.JPG

My system is laid out so that cues can be shot both automatically as well as manually at the same time. That makes it easy to refire things, check continuity of upcoming cues while the show is running... As you can see, each cue has a swtich which selects where the cue is in manual or auto mode, or off.

The in manual mode, the cues are routed to a fairly typical common ground firing circuit, In auto mode, the cues are routed to a separate, similar circuit, however, before they are bussed together, they pass through a SPST relay (one per cue).

http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/508/80Pyro_Wiring.JPG

The coil contacts for each relay are then wired into a number of DB-25 connectors. These then connect to a 96 channel DMX > Analog converter which is typically sold to convert older theatical dimmers to DMX.

From there, the converter recives DMX data from a lighting desk, I usually use an ETC Express 48/96...

http://www.pyroreview.com/gallery/data/500/80IMG_6783.JPG

The lighting board stores all of the cue timing information, and controls when the relays in the firing panel are open and closed. The lighting board then connects to the show control system, which is usually timecode, either MTC or SMPTE.

That is more or less how it works...

The system has worked out very well for me for the past few years... I built it for my Fourth of July show in 2004 and it's been doing fine since!

For relays, I used the 9v SPST flavor sold by All Electronics www.allelectronics.com I believe they were $.70 each.

:eek: :eek: OMG!! Very nice work!! Is that an NSI console??

lamrith
August 6th, 2006, 08:10 AM
OK, I was able to mod an existing picture that had the basic info on it.. The green PCB's are NOT wireless boards they are generic breadboards I will have in my panel to place the relays on for ease of soldering. My system is becoming a addaptation of Continuity's relay set-up in a Ratman ground switching firing system. My relays will be trigegrable by 2 things; The existing manual buttons, or any outside add on module I install. I am currently working on both Midi and wireless modules that SHOULD be interchangable.
http://www.pyrohouse.com/images/panel/pc-wirelessfire.gif

Continuity Check
August 6th, 2006, 09:59 AM
The green PCB's are NOT wireless boards they are generic breadboards I will have in my panel to place the relays on for ease of soldering.

Good call!

You system is definately going to be pretty slick when it's ready to go. The ability to swap out the 'external control module' depending on what you need is very nice...

Jim,

That console is actually from ETC, and Express 48/96. It does a great job of interfacing with the pyro and water hardware... not so much with the moving lights, but that's what the Hog II is for! ;)

lamrith
August 6th, 2006, 11:07 AM
I have a question I am wonderig if one of you will know the answer too...

With this modular system I have 2 options for power. take a power feed from the main 24V batteries, drop it to 12V and feed it to the expansion, OR let the expansion have it's own 12v source.

Now if I have a separate 12V source can it send 12v(+) to the coils on the relays in the panel and to the bateries in that system and still actually trigger the coils to make the relay work??? I am not sure since it would be coming form a sep battery if it would still work since it is not making a full circuit???:brick:

Kevin13
August 6th, 2006, 08:22 PM
I have a question I am wonderig if one of you will know the answer too...

With this modular system I have 2 options for power. take a power feed from the main 24V batteries, drop it to 12V and feed it to the expansion, OR let the expansion have it's own 12v source.

Now if I have a separate 12V source can it send 12v(+) to the coils on the relays in the panel and to the bateries in that system and still actually trigger the coils to make the relay work??? I am not sure since it would be coming form a sep battery if it would still work since it is not making a full circuit???:brick:

If you're not going to return the circuit back to the separate source, then you won't be completing the circuit. In my system, I plan on using a DC-DC converter to bring the 24V for the firing down to 12V to power my wireless boards.

JoeRatman
August 7th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Lam,

if you already have two 12 volt batterys to give you 24 v system, you can hook into just one battery and get 12v with out any conversion. Or you might use the circuits in my battery box and have a switch to give you 12 volts (parallel) or 24 volts (serial).

lamrith
August 7th, 2006, 07:38 PM
Lam,

if you already have two 12 volt batterys to give you 24 v system, you can hook into just one battery and get 12v with out any conversion. Or you might use the circuits in my battery box and have a switch to give you 12 volts (parallel) or 24 volts (serial).

Joe,
I'm not sure I like that idea, to damn easy!!!:brick: It really sounds like I need to use 2 cables for connecting my modules to the main panel.. one for signals, one for power. just makes more sense that way..

enginear26
August 14th, 2006, 05:38 AM
[QUOTE=Continuity Check]Enginear,

Here's the basic run down of my system:

Thanks Continuity! Very cool using your trade to work for you!

enginear26
August 14th, 2006, 05:46 AM
OK, I was able to mod an existing picture that had the basic info on it.. The green PCB's are NOT wireless boards they are generic breadboards I will have in my panel to place the relays on for ease of soldering. My system is becoming a addaptation of Continuity's relay set-up in a Ratman ground switching firing system. My relays will be trigegrable by 2 things; The existing manual buttons, or any outside add on module I install. I am currently working on both Midi and wireless modules that SHOULD be interchangable.
http://www.pyrohouse.com/images/panel/pc-wirelessfire.gif

This is good! No better than good. I was not going to do a manual point but after rethinking it really should be there in case something were to go wrong. Are you building it already or still working out design? Let me know how it goes!

lamrith
August 14th, 2006, 10:07 AM
I am doign a bit of both, the base manual panel has been done for 2 years. Now I am upgrading it with the relays. I opened up the case lastnight and am realising that upgrade will be a major rework of the existing wiring. I am currently working on how I want to set-up the breadboards to hold the relays and how to deal best with dropping voltage from 24v to 12v to trigger the coils, while still having 24V feeding to the slats. I have a dc-dc convertor, just working on placement.

My dream is to have the breadboard mounted in the bottom of the case and all the in/out go to them, then have jumper cables go from those breadboards to the top plate of the panel with all the buttons etc.. but that means lots of back and forth jumpers, with continuity circuits having to be piggybacked on the relays but the wires run to the LEDS on the top plate...:brick: I just need some high conductor capacity plugs/wires that will fit inside the panel, I am thinking about traditional IDE ribbon cables as the back and forth to the top plate is all low amp signal, not current going to the slats...

Kevin13
August 14th, 2006, 01:16 PM
I I have a dc-dc convertor, just working on placement.



I assume you got them then? ;)

lamrith
August 14th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Yup yup!! I sure did!

dizzu
May 19th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Which software are you using to program midi timing output cues?