ESTA - Streaming ACN [sACN / E1.31]

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Introduction
Note
Step-By-Step Configuration
Additional Functionality
Important Notes
Troubleshooting
Further Configuration

 

 

Introduction

ESTA LogoStreaming ACN [sACN/E1.31] is a protocol that transfers DMX data over Ethernet. It is another network-based DMX protocol. It is a standard created by ESTA [Entertainment Services and Technology Association; web link »www.esta.org].

 

 

Note

There are several steps required to set up Streaming ACN products in MADRIX. This chapter is only part of the process. You need to set up other configurations as well [such as virtual LED matrix, DMX Devices, MADRIX Effects, Audio, etc.].

 

 

Step-By-Step Configuration

1] Configure network settings in Windows.

2] Activate Streaming ACN in MADRIX.

3A] Configure single DMX devices.

3B] Configure multiple DMX devices.

4] Choose if you are going to use your devices as output or input interfaces.

5] Set up the correct DMX universe.

6] Set up the Frame Time.

 

1] Windows Network Settings

MADRIX automatically sets up Streaming ACN network settings for you.
[MADRIX supports multicast Streaming ACN. Data is automatically sent to all corresponding sACN devices in the network.]
You only need a computer with a network card and a valid IP address.

 

You do not have to change the IP address settings in Windows for Streaming ACN!
The IP address range for sACN devices is 239.255.X.X according to the Streaming ACN specifications.
[Even if your sACN devices are set to a different IP address range, you may try the connection from MADRIX to your devices. You can use the MADRIX demo version to test the software prior to purchase.]
Make sure that your Firewall does not block data of the 239.255.X.X IP address range!
Check the settings of the Windows Firewall.
Learn more »Tips [Microsoft Windows / Networks / USB]

 

2] Activating Streaming ACN

Go to Preferences > Options... > Devices Network
[Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+O > Devices Network]
Activate Enable ACN E1.31
Choose your network card from the drop-down list. Make sure to select the correct network adapter that will be used for Streaming ACN!
[The IP address and Subnet mask label should help you select the correct adapter. It is not necessary to change any of these networks settings.]
ACN Device Count - Set up how many you are going to use.
[This is the total amount of OUT and IN devices. Please set the exact number of devices you are using. If the count is higher, this creates unnecessary network traffic.]
Press Apply

Devices (Network)

 

ACN CID - Being a network protocol, Streaming ACN sends a so-called CIDs [Component Identifier].
- Every single ACN device has such a unique ID.
- When using Streaming ACN, your MADRIX software is one of those devices.
- When you start MADRIX for the first time, this ID will be generated automatically for you. From this point onwards it will be used on your PC.
- With this ID your MADRIX software can be easily identified in the network. Interfaces can detect this unique ID and can be configured to receive data from this particular device. Please note that the ACN interface must support this feature.
- Do not change the ACN CID, unless you are an experienced user!
Press OK to close the window.

 

3A] Configuration Of Single DMX Devices

Go to Preferences > Device Manager... > DMX Devices
[Keyboard shortcut: F4]
MADRIX automatically creates and adds the number of interfaces to the list.
[according to ACN Device Count]

ACN DMX Devices

 

Select a device in the list and click
A new window will open.

ACN Configure Device

Set up the following settings for your devices:

Source Name - Allows you to set up a specific name for the device. This name is send via network as well. Therefore, interfaces may be able to retrieve this name and can be configured to receive data from this source.
- If you are using the default name MADRIX U:X, the universe will automatically be displayed in the name [represented by X: 1, 2, 3, etc.].
ACN Universe - Defines the DMX universe of the device.
- Set up the same universe that is set up in your sACN device.
- According to the Streaming ACN specifications, MADRIX will automatically change the ACN IP Address according to the ACN Universe.
ACN Priority - Was implemented for backup solutions. Valid values range from 0 to 200, which is the highest priority.
- For example, you may have set up two MADRIX PCs. One gets a priority of 100. The second PC gets a priority of 50. If the first PC fails and only if it malfunctions, data will be automatically received from PC #2.
- Data will always be received from the device with the highest priority. Please note that the ACN device must support this feature.
ACN Protocol - Allows you to choose the protocol version. The official version is called ANSI. This option is selected by default.
- If you are using an older device that is using the Draft version, you may select BSR.
- Do not change the protocol unless you are certain.
ACN IP Address - Displays the IP address of the device as automatically assigned by MADRIX according to the Streaming ACN specifications. The last 2 digits match the assigned DMX universe.
 
Press Apply to confirm your changes.
Press OK to close the window.

 

3B] Configuration Of Multiple DMX Devices

You can configure several interfaces at the same time.
Follow the steps of 3A, but select multiple devices and press
A new window will open.
 

ACN Configure Multiple Devices

 

Set up the settings as described under 3A].
For ACN Universe you have now additional options for Auto Numbering:
 
Auto Numbering Off        Leave this button deactivated and every device will get the same number of universes.
Auto Numbering On        Activate the button and MADRIX will automatically increase the number for all the selected devices, starting with the ACN Universe value you entered.
Press Apply to confirm your changes.
Press OK to close the window.

 

4] Output or Input

Make sure that your device is still selected under Preferences > Device Manager... > DMX Devices.
A] Enable Output if you wish to send data to this device in order to put it out onto your LED fixtures.
Click Apply

 

B] Enable Input if you wish to receive incoming data through this device.
Click Apply
In DMX-IN mode, you will not be able to select the ACN protocol. MADRIX will automatically select the correct protocol version.
Learn more »DMX-IN

 

Note: If you are loading a MADRIX Setup, please check if the number of ACN devices in your setup corresponds with the number that is activated. The Setup stores the number of devices. But if you changed the amount and then loaded the Setup, the newly defined number will be activated.

 

5] DMX Universe

Make sure that your device is still selected.
Set up Universe
- Enter the specific DMX universe number
This setting assigns a specific DMX universe [of the Patch] to the device or the port of the device.
Make sure the correct universe is assigned according to your requirements.
Learn more »Glossary
Click Apply

 

6] Frame Time

Make sure that your device is still selected.
Set up Frame Time (ms)
- The Frame Time affects the Frame Rate. The Frame Rate specifies how fast data is sent to the device or received from it [Frames Per Second; FPS].
- Increase the Frame Time in order to decrease the Frame Rate [e.g., 40ms = 25 FPS].
- Decrease the Frame Time in order to increase the Frame Rate [e.g., 20ms = 50 FPS].
- The default value is 30 ms / 33.3 FPS.
- Some LED fixtures might have problems with a high Frame Rate. Then, it is recommended to increase the Frame Time / to decrease the Frame Rate.
Click Apply

 

 

Additional Functionality

Rescan For Devices

Rescan For Devices - MADRIX disconnects all DMX512, Art-Net, and other network devices and starts a new search for devices.

 

Highlight Mode

Highlight Device Button

Highlight - Activates the highlight mode for the selected interface and universe. Select one or more interfaces and click the button. The corresponding fixtures at the selected interfaces will flash for a better identification or tests. This makes it easier to see them on stage. It considerably speeds up the procedure of programming or testing the selected DMX512/Art-Net interfaces.

 

DMX Watcher

DMX Watcher

DMX Watcher - Opens the DMX Watcher to monitor your DMX output or input
Learn more »Tools

 

Resizing The Window

If wish to resize the window of the Device Manager to see more devices in the list, simply move your mouse pointer to the bottom of this window. Then, select the border and hold the left mouse button, while moving your mouse downwards.

 

 

Important Notes

Please switch off your Firewall or configure your Firewall accordingly. sACN might not work with a Firewall!
It is recommended to run sACN in a separate network without internet access. Else, the internet connection may not work properly.
Keep in mind that network devices, if activated, cause network traffic!
When using a network-based output protocol and when the startup option Start MADRIX After Booting Windows is used, it is highly recommended to also activate the Startup option Start With Timeout (s) with a value of 30 or higher.

 

 

Troubleshooting

If you are encountering problems, please work through the following checklist:

Make sure to set up the Windows Firewall correctly or deactivate the Windows Firewall if possible [only if no connection to the internet is available]. Learn more »Tips [Microsoft Windows / Networks / USB]
Use Start With Timeout (s) in the MADRIX Options to make sure network is initialized correctly before MADRIX starts. Learn more »Startup
If output problems occur, decrease the output frame rate [FPS] in the Device Manager.
Make sure that sACN is set up as an individual network and separate from the Internet.
Double-check if routers and switches in the network allow communication and IP address forwarding for the 239.255.X.X range of IP addresses.
Double-check if your sACN devices support multicast Streaming ACN and are configured accordingly.

 

 

Further Configuration

Remember to configure your light matrix in the »Matrix Generator or »Patch Editor

Make sure to save your MADRIX Setup after the configuration process.

 

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