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Wireless DMX

Wireless DMX explainer and lighting diagram by Tyler Kaschke, Colorado Gaffer

When you’re using different brands of lights in a scene it can be a huge pain to jump between the Astera app to Nanlink, to Sidus, etc. to make adjustments - let alone programming cues and effects.

If you’re looking for something with more flexibility and control, a wireless DMX system is the answer.

Wireless DMX (digital multiplex) signals are used to control lights in many applications. One popular solution is the RatPac AKS system, which utilizes a wireless transmitter and receiver to send DMX data from a lighting console app, such as Blackout or Luminair on your iPad, to the lighting fixtures.

In addition to the convenience of not having to deal with physical cables, wireless DMX systems offer greater reliability and stability. Because they use radio frequency technology, they are less susceptible to interference and and signal degradation especially compared to Bluetooth connections 🙅‍♂️

The best part about using an app like Blackout is that any light with built in CRMX or a DMX input and receiver can be controlled from one place. This allows for greater flexibility in setup and design to fully utilize the capabilities of LED technology.

If you’re looking for a good example of what programmed LEDs are capable of, check out “Everything Everywhere All At Once” It might be one of the most visually interesting movies I’ve ever seen. Gaffer @mattardine has some excellent BTS on his page.

Obviously I barely scratched the surface on this subject. Wireless lighting control can get very complex. This was my attempt at an introduction so thank you for bearing with me :)

This scene was a pretty basic sunny kitchen vibe setup, with everything connected to Blackout via RatPac AKS for dimming and CCT cues that shifted mid-take. Thanks to DP, Scott Park for letting my drive his console on this one.

Director: @allisonvolk

Producer: @anordgren

DP: Scott Park

HMU: Jessica Thommes

Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with a grip truck based in Lafayette, Colorado serving Boulder, Denver, Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountain region at large.

For more information about wireless DMX and other lighting tips, follow me on Instagram @colorado_gaffer


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