Hi... I didn't know what DMX was last week, but I started a project to build some laminar water jets with built in light control for my inground swimming pool. I had already purchased a pi 3 and some arduinos with RS-485 shields with the idea that I would design my own protocol and write the software, but once I did a bit of research it seemed like DMX was a very well-matched protocol and it was perfectly compatible with all the hardware pieces I already purchased. So... in just a few hours, I had found QLC+ for the pi, had it installed on the pi, configured to talk over my RS-485 hardware and was controlling my LED lights that will eventually be embedded into a series of underground water jets that shoot illuminated water streams out of the walkway and into my swimming pool.
My overall design is a Raspberry Pi as the master controller with 6 water jets as fixtures. Each water jet will have an Arduino embedded and connected on an RS-485 bus. In addition to RBG LEDs on each water jet, I will also be building a "cutter" on each water jet that will chop the water stream as it flows to produce "segments" of water that fly through the air. I will also have a "knocker" on each water jet that simply bumps the jet to make a disturbance in the water stream that will reflect the light in the stream. So, in the end, each water jet will be a single fixture with RGB, cutter, and knocker capabilities. (Maybe these end up as three distinct fixtures per water jet... I'm still learning DMX).
Clear as mud? Here is a pic to illustrate the water jet...
I have yet to add an acrylic rod through the center of the water jet, the LED's will be at one end of the acrylic rod, outside of the water jet housing, the acrylic rod acts as a light pipe that will project the LED light directly into the water stream as it exits the jet. With a perfectly clear water stream, the light will not be visible until it splashes down somewhere, or if the stream gets disrupted (by the knocker).
That's the water side... I'm still fine tuning this prototype jet, the water stream isn't quite perfect yet.
On the electronics side... here is QLC+ running on the raspberry pi, sending DMX data to my arduino which is using PWM on digital outputs to drive three LEDs. I am using a USB sound card dongle to receive an audio signal (from a chromecast, which is irrelevant, but cool).https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B27Fb ... Tl0R2YtNDA
After all that... my problem is not even related to the water stuff, but thought some of you might find it interesting
My "problem" is that the levels in an audio widget are very low and I'm working with 5%-6% triggers to get these lights to trigger. I am using a 30ms single shot chaser to get this effect and simply using the audio widget to trigger a cue for each color.
Is there any way for me to adjust the audio level on the USB sound card so that the audio widget has higher levels to trigger from? Currently it is volume dependent and I have to crank up the output from the Chromecast (which also feeds my audio amp) to get suitable levels to trigger the audio widget.
Since I'm an absolute newbie at DMX and QLC+, I'm open to learning new ways to accomplish an audio driven unattended light show (so we can just play music at the pool and have the lights chase with the music). However, I think I may also need to build some custom light shows in QLC+ to get the best effects from the combination of lights, cutters, and knockers that will be available on each water jet.