Given that this is The Lighting Issue, we just knew we had to contribute. It has been a challenging year, especially for the entertainment industry, and especially in Melbourne. Through all the lockdowns, ENTTEC has been fortunate enough to remain operational, and what’s more is that we’ve used this time to bring out some new goodies!
We’ve already talked about our new Octo pixel controller, and the S-Play playback controller this year, but now we’ve come out with a great new DMX-controllable, pixel mappable, constant voltage LED driver – the CVC4.
So now when you are planning your lighting ecosystem, you can easily control CV strip, LED tiles, or signage modules, all using the CVC4, and better yet, control them alongside your pixel lighting using ENTTEC pixel controls, and tie the whole system together with a building BMS using the S-Play.
First off, let’s talk the new CVC4.
This unit has a compact, low-profile, form factor reminiscent of ENTTEC PLink injectors and our previous gen CVC3s that you may be familiar with. The difference though, is that it’s elongated to fit these chunky, heavy-duty screw terminals.
You can drive a max of 5A per channel, across four channels, with a total overall throughput of 20A.
Next to the DC input you’ll see a marking for a fuse – this is a user-serviceable fuse that will protect your installation. We’ve opted for simple blade fuses here so you have no trouble finding a suitable replacement should it burst.
Speaking of protection, there is also an in-built overheat protection to save your CVC4 from cooking in non-ideal situations.
An onboard temperature sensor ensures that if your CVC4 looks like it’s getting too hot, it will dim to 50% and flash the status LED red, letting you know that you need to fix or add cooling before anything gets destroyed.
The CVC4 has four channels of output and incorporates DIP switches for setting the operation mode. The left switch controls RGB or RGBW mode, and the right switch lets you choose between 8-bit or 16-bit operation so you can easily adjust this controller to suit your application.
DIP switch settings help with the auto-addressing function which makes this product extremely easy to set up and commission.
You can control these with DMX in to the first CVC4 and daisy chain them using Cat5 cable on the PLink ports to get them to auto-address themselves like LED pixels:
This lets you daisy chain up to 170 x CVC4s on one DMX line, and because they’re using PLink to daisy chain, there’s no need for additional DMX splitters or terminators.
You can also control this with PLink in from a Pixelator/Pixelator Mini and double your daisy-chain quantity!
We wanted the CVC4 to be feature packed and uncompromising on performance, so it’s designed to have a fixed PWM frequency of 1kHz, high enough to ensure that any filming or photography can take place without the lights appearing to flicker in the footage like slower refreshing controllers would.
You can be sure that using the CVC4 in your film set or livestream studio will result in beautiful, professional, flicker-free footage.
That’s about it for the CVC4 – but let’s go back to talking ‘lighting ecosystem’ for a moment.
Let’s say we have a fixed installation project. There’s some constant voltage RGBW strip in extrusion grazing the walls, a pixel lighting feature in the lobby, and the space is already fitted out with a BMS.
How can we easily integrate all this for control via the BMS?
We have the CVC4s for the RGBW wall grazing strip – Octo for the pixel lighting feature, and then we can have the S-Play controlling the lot:
Here we have the S-Play acting as our ‘hub’ for all the decorative lighting so the BMS only has to send low-bandwidth trigger commands to the S-Play and not be burdened with sending DMX/pixel data out itself.
Commissioning of the pixels is quick because they auto-address. Commissioning of the RGBW strip is quick thanks to the auto-addressing CVC4s, and the whole rig is pixel mappable since you can map each CVC4 as an RGBW pixel.
Record your shows into the S-Play, set up your playlists, triggers, and schedules, then take your laptop home, and let the system run on its own!
And there it is, your decorative lighting ecosystem, made even more complete with the new CVC4 controller.
CVC4 – DMX-controllable, pixel mappable, constant voltage LED driver
CX Magazine – December 2020
LIGHTING | AUDIO | VIDEO | STAGING | INTEGRATION
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