HOW TO USE

To use FixtureTester, you at least need a WiFi Access Point and a Network Node capable of sending sACN or Art-Net. On this page you will find an explanation of the app and a guide to setup the network.

SYSTEM SETUP

The first step is downloading FixtureTester in the iOS App Store (Click here for a direct link). When the app is installed, you need to install and configure your Ethernet Node to output the desired sACN or Art-Net universes. I strongly recommend the dmXLAN Nodes from ELC lighting, since FixtureTester is fully integrated with those. A nice entry level node is the dmXLAN Buddy, which has 2 DMX ports and supports all the merges, softpatch and even RDM. That said, testing with FixtureTester does work with all Ethernet Nodes which are capable of sending sACN or Art-Net.

Lets say you want to test fixtures which are patched to sACN universe 1, then you need to configure the DMX port, to which the fixtures are connected, to output sACN universe 1.

The next step is to connect your WiFi Access Point to the ethernet port of your node. If you are using a WiFi router (which often has more then one ethernet port), make sure you don’t plug it in the WAN port. Instead use a LAN port (First image). When using an Apple Airport, make sure the Network is in Bridge Mode (Second image). Please write down the IP address of the WiFi Access Point. It does not really matter what it is, but iOS will connect much faster if you filled in this IP address in the IP settings.

Then connect your iOS device to the WiFi network of your WiFi Access Point. To be able to program the Nodes, make sure your iOS device has an IP address in the same range as the Nodes. Usually the IP is 2.x.x.x (x representing a number between 1 and 254) and the Subnet Mask is 255.0.0.0. To configure a static IP address on your iOS device, go to Settings->WiFi. Tap on the i-button on the right side of the active wireless network. Default, the ‘DHCP’ tab is selected. Change this to ‘Static’ (Third image). For the IP address, fill in an IP address which is almost similar to the IP address of the Node. Lets say the Node has ‘2.20.42.12’, the you can fill in ‘2.20.42.13’ for instance. For the Subnet Mask fill in ‘255.0.0.0’. For the fastest connection, fill in the IP address of the WiFi Access Point at Router and DNS field. At the Seach Domains field, you can fill in anything, but don’t leave it empty. Filling in an ‘a’ is already sufficient. Save these settings by tapping on the ‘Wi-Fi’ text in the navigation bar on the top left. After a couple of seconds, you will see the WiFi reception bars appear on top of the iOS device. If not, you are not connected to the WiFi and FixtureTester will not work (Fourth image). If you see the reception bars, you are ready to go!

ADDING FIXTURES

The Fixture List contains three sections: a search field, a group section and a Fixture section. To test Fixtures, you first need to add them to the Fixture List. This can be done in two ways, either manually or download a patchlist from ELC lighting’s dmXLAN (Free). Downloading a patchlist is explained in the settings section.

To add Fixtures manually, tab on the + in the top right corner. Now you can select a manufacturer. Items like a RGB LED, or desk channel can be found in the ‘Generic’ section. When you have selected a manufacturer, you will be taken to the next screen where you need to select the Fixture type. The Fixture type in this list also contains the mode selection, so the same Fixture can appear several times in the list using a different mode. Next, you are taken to the Add Fixtures sheet.

In the first two rows, you can change the manufacturer and Fixture type again. The second section in this list contains the patch information. Fill in the Fixture id in the ‘Id’ field. When adding more than one Fixture, this number will increment for each Fixture. In the Count field you can fill in the numbers of Fixtures you want to add. Please be aware that their are only 512 channels on a single universe, and FixtureTester patches only the fixtures to the selected universe. The ‘Align’ field defaults to the number parameters the selected Fixture/mode has. This field will be used as spacing when patching more than one Fixture. In the ‘Universe’ field you can fill in the universe the fixture should be patched to. This is a decimal number. For Art-Net universe 0-0, you should fill in 0. For Art-Net 2-1 you should fill in 33 (2*16 + 1). When using sACN, be aware that universe 0 does not exist. The last field, labelled ‘Use sACN’, indicates wether or not this is an sACN universe.

When everything is filled in, tap ‘Save’ in the top right corner. The Fixtures will be added and selected. This is the perfect moment to create a group from these Fixtures. To create a group, select the Fixtures you would like to be in that group. Next, tap on ‘Group’ in the top left corner. Here you can fill in a name for the group. When done, tap ‘Done’ on the keyboard. The group has been created now.

On top of the Fixture List, you will find a search field. The search field can be used to search in two different modes. When the mode is set to ‘Group Names’, you can search groups by partly filling in the name of the group. When the mode is set to ‘Fixture Numbers’, you can search for specific Fixtures.

When you have found the Group or Fixtures you would like to test, you just tab them to select and again to deselect them. If you firmly shake your iOS device, all Fixtures will be deselected. When tapping the info symbol on the right side of a Group, a new window will appear show where you can delete the group, see the number of Fixtures in that group and see what kind of Fixtures are in that group and the Mode they should be set to. If you tap on the info symbol on the right side of a Fixture, you can edit the patch and delete the Fixture.

Macros

In the ‘Macros’ tab, you can Lamp On, Reset etc. the selected fixtures. The Marcos shown in the picker vary for each Fixture Type. Simply pick the Macro you want to run and tap the ‘Run Macro’ button. The text below the button will show you the current status of the Macro.

Address Test

With the ‘Address Test’ you can verify if the Fixtures are properly addressed. In idle state, FixtureTester sends the value 0 for all universes the selected fixtures are patched to. If you tab the ‘Start’ button, the selected Fixtures will go the their home/open position, one by one. In this way, you immediately can see if the addresses are correct. You can adjust the speed of the test with the slider. If you wish to step through the selected Fixtures manually, first tab the ‘Pause’ button. Now you can use the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ button to step.

The label below the buttons shows the current Fixture Number, Universe and Address. The dipswitch settings of the current Address is shown in the graphic below the label.

Parameter Test

With the ‘Parameter Test’ you can test all the functions of the selected Fixtures. In idle state, all selected Fixtures will be in their home/open position. When you tab the ‘Start’ button, the test will be started. All parameters will be tested, one by one. They start from the default value, then goes to value 255, next to 0 and then back to the default value. When arrived at the default value, this test will repeat itself for the next parameter. Skipped parameters will be skipped: Pan Fine you don’t need to test since this is barely visible and you’ve already seen that the Pan works just fine.

You can pause the test by tapping the ‘Pause’ button and adjust the test speed with the slider. Below the slider there is a status label, displaying the parameter being tested and its value.

Next follows the Parameter List. In this list you can see al the parameters of the selected Fixture Type. The color indicates whether it is skipped, normal or repeated. You can find the default value at the right side of the parameter. If you tap on the parameter, the Parameter Details window will load. Here you can adjust the default value, activate the Skip function, or active the Repeat function. When a parameter has repeat switched on, all other parameters will switch of the repeat function. When testing while a parameter has the repeat function switched on, only that parameter will be tested over and over again.

At the bottom of the Parameter List, there are two special cells: ‘Set all to Default’ and ‘Invert all’. ‘Set all to Default’ clears all the adjustments you have made in the Parameter Default window. The ‘Invert all’ switch, inverts all the default values. If you want to test RGB LED’s for example, normally they start with Red, Green and Blue at 255. The test will run every color to 0 and back to 255. If you invert al the parameters, the test will start with all LED’s off, then runs Red to 255 and back to 0. For some types of fixtures (mostly RGB LED’s & conventional lights), this can make the test more distinct.

Settings

In the ‘Settings’ tab you can manage the Patchlist and Fixture Library. When there are ELC lighting’s dmXLAN nodes online, it also gives access to program the nodes and manage your Fixtures using RDM (Remote Device Management). RDM is discussed in the next section.

To download a Fixture Library, you will need to have the free application ‘dmXLAN v4’ from ELC lighting. FixtureTester uses the same Fixture Library. When there is a computer running the dmXLAN software connected to the network (with matching IP settings compared to your iOS device), the connection status indicator will be green. If there is no connection, it is red. When you see a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside, you should check your IP setting of the iOS device or computer. If you experience problems, please  switch off you FireWall and reboot.

When the connection indicator is green, you can tap the ‘Download New Fixture Library’ button. This will download the library dmXLAN is using into FixtureTester. If you tab the ‘Download New Patchlist’ button, the current Patchlist (.dxl file) which is used in to dmXLAN will be downloaded to FixtureTester. Please make sure you save the settings in dmXLAN to be sure all modifications are included in the file. Depending on the connection and file size, it takes about 1 to 10 seconds to transfer the files. If for some reason this process fails, and FixtureTester won’t start anymore, delete FixtureTester and download it again from the App Store (when using the same Apple ID, nothing will be charged). When your iOS device is connected to iTunes, you also can select FixtureTester in the App section and add or remove Fixture Library files or Patchlists.

After downloading a Patchlist or Fixture Library, tap on the ‘Load show’ button. Now the Patchlist is loaded and ready to use. If there was already a Patchlist loaded, and you would like to start with a clear show, tap the ‘Load empty show’ button. To switch between Patchlists, tap the ‘Manage Patchlists’ button. This will open a list with all available Patchlists. The active Patchlist is marked green. At the bottom of this list, you will find a button ‘Save current Patch’. If you tap on this button, you can save the patch you’ve made. A pop-up window allows you to fill in a name. To load another Patchlist, simply select another patchlist and then go back to the ‘Settings’ tab. Now tap the ‘Load show’ button and the Patchlist will be loaded.

When there are dmXLAN nodes online from ELC lighting, an extra button will appear with the text ‘Configure Nodes’. Tapping this button will bring you to a list with all the discovered nodes. When nodes are green, this means they are online. When red, they were online, but now are lost. If you select a node, you will be able to program the basic settings of this node. A list with ‘Identify’, ‘Generic Settings’ and all ports is displayed. ‘If you tab the ‘Identify’ cell, the node will Identify itself by blinking its display or flashing its status LED. If you tap the ‘Generic Settings’ cell, a window will appear where you can program the name of the node. Furthermore, you can program the backlight in this window. Tapping a port brings you in the program port window. Here you can select the direction of the port, select the used protocol (sACN, Art-Net or Shownet) and select the universe. Nothing happens until you tap the ‘Program’ button. The button labeled ‘RDM’ will bring you to the RDM functions of the next section.

RDM

YEEAAAHHH! Now you’ve reached the REAL COOL section. Sow, when using dmXLAN nodes from ELC lighting, you have a fully capable RDM controller right in your pocket! Since there probably are a lot of Fixtures in your rig, RDM in FixtureTester is operated by DMX Port. To access the RDM menu, goto to the ‘Settings’ tab, then press the ‘Configure Nodes’ button. Now select the correct node in the list and then select the Port. Tab on the ‘RDM’ button. This will take you to the RDM Device List. When doing this for the first time this gig, the list will be empty. Tab the ‘Discovery’ cell. The node will run the discovery sequence to look for RDM Devices. All discovered RDM Devices will appear in the list. This can take a couple of seconds (about 5 to 20, depending on the number of discovered RDM Devices). Tapping the ‘Discovery’ cell again will remove all detected RDM Devices and start over again. If you tab ‘Additional Discovery’ cell, only new detected RDM Devices will be added to the list. To stop the node from sending RDM packets over the DMX wire, simply tap the ‘Stop RDM Communication’ cell. If you switch on the ‘Identify’ switch, all the Fixtures you select will run their only identify sequence. This sequence are implemented by the manufacturers and cannot be changed. If identify mode is on, you will not be able to enter the device’s settings. To change the settings, first switch of identify. Tapping the ‘Check Status Messages’ cell, will get the last status messages from all the RDM Devices in the list. If there are devices with an error, this device will be marked with red text. If a RDM Device is completely red in the list, this means the RDM Device is lost and there is no connection with the device anymore. At the bottom of the RDM Device List, there is a section labeled ‘Set for same devices’. From every discover type of RDM Device, a cell will be created. If you make modifications in a device from this section, they will be applied to all the devices which are the same.

If you tab on a RDM Device, a list will appear with all available RDM Property’s (PID’s). Some PID’s you can edit immediately, others will bring you to a list with options. Some PID’s are read-only, for instance sensor readouts. Changes to PID’s are immediately executed, there is no save or store needed.

A special cell in the PID list is the ‘Manufacturer Specific’ cell. Manufacturers can choose to implement extra PID’s which are not documented in the official RDM standard (ANSI E1.20 and several extensions). Tapping this cell will open a whole new list with all the Manufacturer PID’s. Only the documented PID’s can be adjusted. Please fill in the contact form if you are missing some.

FixtureTester also provides a very easy way to address Fixtures via RDM. When you are in the RDM Device List, you can tap on the ‘Reorder’ button in the top right corner. If you then switch on the Identify mode, you can go and look for the first Fixture in the rig. Using the drag -bars at the right side of the Fixture, you can drag this Device to the top of the list. Once a Fixture has been dragged, it will become yellow, so you know which Fixtures are already in place and which are not. Then you can go and look for the next Fixture and drag this to the correct position. When all Fixtures are dragged in place, switch off the Identify mode. Then set the address of the first fixture. When back at the RDM Device List, tap on ‘Done’ in the top right corner. A popup with three options will be shown on the screen. To address all the Fixtures, select the top item labeled ‘Address all’. If you only want to address the Fixtures similar to the first Fixture in the list, select ‘Address only the first fixture type’. If you don’t want to change the addresses at all, tap on ‘Cancel’.