DALI? Salvatore?

DALI is an important communication interface for fixtures and controls. Compared to DMX it is much simpler with a restrichted functionality. Nevertheless, DALI is a market standard. There is a very good documentation available at DALI AG, which describes DALI in detail, but also with an overview and most important things to know. The manual is available in German and in English.

Getting DMX engines online

The DMX engines Butler S2 or Butler XT2 sometimes seem to cause trouble when trying to connect them to the LAS (Lighting Application Suite) server. In nearly all cases the connection between Butler and server is not correct, IP addresses are duplicated or wrong cable used. For this reason here a more detailed description.

Use the right cables and switches

System diagram

System diagram

Do not connect server and engine with an Ethernet cable directly. Use an Ethernet switch in any case, like shown in this picture. The Ethernet switch may have DHCP enabled or not, as nobody sends DHCP requests, it does not matter.

Even an Ethernet cross cable will not work in any case, in general avoid cross cables as they may cause damages, e. g. in networks with Power-over-Ethernet. Be sure not to use any cross cable at all, they are devil’s work.

RJ45 pairing

RJ45 pairing

You can recognize a cross cable when laying the two plugs together. A cross cable reverses the pinning on the two sites, the standard RJ45 cable does not, like in this picture. This is a general RJ45 CAT5 Ethernet cable without crossing. The red wires are on the same side, the pinning is identical on both sides.

Connect all Butlers over this switch to the server running the Programmer or Patchelor.

Do not mix networks

Programmer - Appl Options

Programmer – Appl Options

Use a separated, closed network segment for your lighting control. Do not use enterprise or open networks. The best way is to use a dedicated Ethernet card in the server, a switch and the Butlers. Be sure to assign the right network card in the Programmer in the Application Options, if there are more than one in the server.

Use the network IP range 192.168.123.*, assign a unique IP address to the server network interface, like 192.168.123.10 or similar, this is done with the Windows Control Panel in the network section. Be sure that the server IP address is really unique and does not conflict with any UMTS USB/WLAN sticks or WLAN adapters. Build a clear address structure in your network, this makes it easier to separate address ranges, like

  • 192.168.123.1 = do not use, reserved for factory state engines!
  • 192.168.123.10 – 192.168.123.20 = servers
  • 192.168.123.100 – 192.168.123.199 = engines
  • 192.168.123.200 – 192.168.123.255 = any other network devices

The hidden enemy

Be sure that all firewalls are switched off. As the e:net system is a closed network, no firewall is necessary, neither in hardware nor in software. Firewalls in Windows 7 get switched off via the Control Panel.

Set proper IP addresses

When arriving from the factory, the Butlers have an assigned IP address 192.168.123.1, always. To connect more than one Butler be sure to have only one of them connected to the network, otherwise more than one system will try to communicate over 192.168.123.1, which will not work. Never connect more than one factory-state Butler to the network.

Programmer - Network

Programmer – Network

If all is well, the Butler should become visible in the Network tab of the Programmer now. If this happens, the Butler is recognized and the network seams to work properly.

Now assign a unique and new IP address to this engine, to do so, click on the device in the network tab line, here “Butler XT2” and the device configuration dialogue opens. In this dialogue a new IP address can be given to the Butler.

Device configuration

Device configuration

Enter a new IP address for this engine, click OK and the new configuration will be transferred to the Butler. Now you may connect the next Butler to the network and continue to set up all addresses.

Be sure that every engine has a unique IP address, also the server!

Even better with the Butler XT2

Butler XT2 standalone config

Butler XT2 standalone config

The Butler XT2 has a build-in webserver, connect a PC with a webbrowser instead of a server with the Programmer. Or use a WLAN router to be connected with the Butler XT2 and access the Butler XT2 with PC or mobile devices with a webbrowser.

 

 

 

butler_xt2_webconfig_mainStart the web browser and enter the IP address of the Butler XT2 in the address field of the browser, in factory state 192.168.123.1 (if the Butler was configured differently before and you do not know the IP address, perform a Reset to factory settings).

Butler XT2 password

Butler XT2 password

You can now see the current settings and  parameters.To change the configuration, click the upper Configure button and enter the password.
The default password is “ecue”, it can be changed during configuration.

Set the parameters and click Submit to save the changes. This makes the basic configuration of several Butler XT2s much easier.

Defining triggers for Butler S2/XT2 and ETH2DALI standalone

Butler XT setup online/standalone

Butler XT setup online/standalone

For the e:cue Butler XT the definition of Triggers and Actions was quite clear. There were separated tabs for online and standalone mode, for Triggers and Actions. You could assign different Triggers and connected Actions for standalone mode and for online mode.

Butler XT2 setup

Butler XT2 setup

This has changed for the Butler S2/XT2 and the ETH2DALI. The configuration of the Butler S2/XT2’s Actions and Triggers in the Device Manager makes no difference between online and standalone mode. You will define all properties in one single dialog, as you can see on the left. No tabs, only one selection is possible. Define all Triggers and Actions here. When later exporting the show to the Butler XT2 and running a Quick Update, all Triggers not supported in standalone mode are not transferred to the Butler XT2, they are ignored. This seems a little bit confusing. The idea behind is to allow a simpler configuration and to harmonize the standalone and online configuration.

Triggers supported in standalone mode

ETH2DALI Butler XT2 Butler S2
Initialization Parameter context ignored
Cuelists Only stop/end supported
Hourly Seconds are ignored, only hour/minute
Label Fully supported
Periodic Fully supported
Sunrise Fully supported
DALI Event Fully supported

Conditions supported in standalone mode

Valid From/To is supported in standalone mode. Since LAS V7.0 this is Condition > Date.
All other Conditions in Trigger Rules (since LAS V7.0) are not supported in standalone mode.

Supported Actions in standalone mode

ETH2DALI Butler XT2 Butler S2
DALI Fully supported (except Ramp Intensity > Toggle Ramp Up Down)
Cuelists Supported except parameter Choose
Mutual Exclude Group Fully supported
Set Intensity Fully supported
Ramp Intensity Start Fully supported
Ramp Intensity Stop Fully supported
Reset All Fully supported
Step Intensity Fully supported
Stop all cuelists Fully supported
Trigger Label Fully supported
Hibernate Fully supported
Freeze Fully supported

Other restrictions in standalone mode

For Butler XT2 and ETH2DALI, a total of 99 cuelists can be exported and not more than 100 trigger rules will be evaluated in standalone mode.

ETH2DALI specific

The Butlers do not, but the ETH2DALI supports the following Actions additionally in cues and as cuelist “Release Action”:

  • DALI
  • Send Labeled Event
  • Toggle Trigger Label (useful to realize “toggle on/off” for a Ballast or Group with PBCs)
  • Driver Command (to switch the ETH2DALI relays)

See the LAS System Manual, Chapter »Managing devices«, »Configuring a Butler XT2« for details.

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