Posts by JoelD


    It worked great for me, connected to our 2Port Node Pro and OnPC. (I purchased and used the Dell USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter for the Ethernet connection to the node.) Our rig is very small so, of course, YMMV for rigs not as small as ours. It seemed to handle it without breaking a sweat.

    I really like the form factor of the XPS 18 for a highly portable PC lighting "console". It is extremely thin and light. The built in legs allow it to sit on a table or desk at a decent angle for a "console" (when placed in the lower angled, "upside down" position), if you don't want to or can't bring the fully tilting stand along. I like that it has a built-in battery (roughly 3.5-4 hours run time). And I really like the nice large 18.4" screen, providing lots of control surface for OnPC.

    On the web site scroll down to the "Accessories" section on the page for each console (like on the dot2 Core console page, for example:


    4000016 MA case for dot2 core (by Amptown), also fits two wings
    4000017 MA case for dot2 XL console, (by Amptown), also fits three wings or one core plus wing

    It doesn't look like they are listed on the Amptown web site yet, though. And I have no idea when they'll be available, since I'm just a potential customer too. -- So basically I guess I'm actually of no help to you. ;) I just had seen where they are listed on the web site.

    "If you are just adding a single wing to a Core or XL-? then it would plug in directly with a network patch cable, Simple." - Good point.

    True... it's not that hard at all. But for the novice/inexperienced it still is (slightly) more involved than something dead simple like - "...plug your first wing into the 'Wing1' port on the back of the console, and your second wing into the 'Wing2' port, etc...". I was just thinking that maybe it could be made to be even easier.

    Also I was thinking that when the wings aren't working it's an additional point of failure and troubleshooting that the novice/inexperienced with limited knowledge has to deal with.
    I've know couple of novices for which putting this other separate "black box" that they don't understand into the middle of things would add to the confusion and apprehension they already have about a console, especially when the wings aren't working and all they know is "I plug this cable into the first wing and that port on the switch, this cable into the second wing and that port on the switch, and this other cable into the console and that port on the switch... I did that, but the wings aren't working".

    But, as you point out, when using one wing and just the DMX outputs it IS dead simple - just plug the wing directly into the network port on the back of the console. And likely the truly novice/inexperienced will be doing no more than that anyway - i.e. not using network protocols or multiple wings - so they won't need a switch and it will be dead simple for them.

    (Just in case they're reading this -- I meant no offense to any one on the team that created dot2. I really like what they've done and the direction their headed, and the whole idea behind the dot2 line. I'm just the kind of person that naturally often thinks: "How could this be even better." Especially for things that I already really like! And, I apologize, that part of me kicked in when I saw that you can't just simply connect all your wings directly into the console.)

    After second thought and a little closer look at some of the comparable consoles (taking into account it needs to be compared to 4096 versions), I find the need to contradict myself. I have to say that I think, in my opinion, that the price point of the dot2 may actually be not too bad (if the street price of the Core hits around $10-12k).

    But... those other console lines do have options at lower price points, for those that don't need 4096, so personally I'd like to see a dot2 console option in-between OnPC+Wing and the Core - maybe a version of the Core limited to 2048 for $2-3k less (upgradable to 4096 for $2.5-4k).

    Again, just my opinion.

    For me, the control surface plays a very small role in whether I like a console line or not. (I understand that's not the case for other folks, and I respect that. But for me that's the case.)

    Much more important to me is the software/OS. If the OS has the features I need/want, is easy for me to grasp (works the way I think), is clean and straightforward, has the power I need/want, allows me to customize/configure some things to the way I like to work, etc... then that's what's important to me, and the control surface just provides better access to that functionality. For me, for a console to be good it should be good no matter what level of physical control surface I have, or even if I have no control surface at all except touchscreen (or mouse). A physical control surface may make things easier, quicker, more accurate, etc. - but it is only a small aspect of what makes a console line "good" (or "great") to me.

    That's one reason I love grandMA - whether I'm sitting behind a Full, and Ultralight, a Command Wing, or just OnPC with a Node its always a great console. For me, the physical control surface has pretty much nothing to do with the fact that I think grandMA is a great console line - it's all about the features and functionality of OS/software.

    Again... that's just me.

    I agree. So the question is if that market will see the value in the unique advanced features, quality, and ease-of-use of the dot2... and if they'll be willing to pay a premium price to get them over other consoles aimed at that market. I'm skeptical, because that market is so price sensitive.

    But I'm going to reserve my final opinion until I get a change to play with the OnPC to see how "easy to use" it actually is and which unique advanced features from grandMA they have included and which they have left out.

    As well there are schools, houses of worship, and small theaters that can make good use of the dot2. They also don't want or need grandMA2 and would never need an upgrade path to it.

    I think MA's not trying to get more of the market it's already in - those who currently use, need and want grandMA2. I think it's trying to get a piece of a market that does not (and will never) need or want a high-end console like grandMA2.

    My concern is that from the pricing I've seen I think the dot2 consoles are priced at premium above current comparable options in that (highly price sensitive) market. In my opinion, that may be MA's biggest issue with making a go of the dot2 line.

    Just my $0.02

    Andreas - Thanks for stating it like that.

    At first I was wishing for the option to turn Autofix off, but I now agree that having permanent Autofix is the correct (and a good) decision for the dot2 product line. Especially a very good point that enabling that one simple option will introduce various complexities that would go against the huge focus on ease-of-use of this line. I suspect that's one of the stuggle's MA has in developing the dot2 line - deciding which features to include to provide the functionality folks need and want, while watching out for the potential impact on ease-of-use that adding even one supposedly "small"/"minor" feature could have.

    I just upgraded from to

    When I load my latest show file into I'm seeing something strange -

    Many of the fonts, but not all, on my virtual external screens are oddly larger than normal. Even within the same window, some fonts are large while some are normal. (Except the Effects window - it's fonts are all normal.) If I put the same windows on one of the internal screens all of the fonts are correct/normal. (Except the Effects window, whose fonts are all consistent but are smaller than normal.)

    I've tried "Reset Size of Windows".
    I've tried removing and re-adding the windows to the external screen.
    Adding a new item also has the issue - it's font is larger than normal.
    I've loaded other shows and they all have the same issue.

    Could this just be part of how things work now with the change to OnPC noted in the Release Notes: "The resizing of grandMA2 onPC with deactivated window frame has been implemented."?

    I've attached a screenshot of an external screen from, and another of the same screen from

    Is it possible to get the Store Options Popup to come up with onPC? Since there is not hard/physical Store key to hold, is it possible?

    Long press of virtual Store button on a touchscreen doesn't do it, nor does right-click.

    Do we just have to create Macros for each of the Store Option possibilities that we want to use?


    Looks like for me that the whole rig flickering issue has been cleared up with the 1.77 firmware update that came with the recent OnPC software update. Whole rig flashes completely gone! Thanks, MA!

    I still had a problem with individual instruments occasionally sporadically flashing. These are inexpensive LED pars and strips, and after some research I came to the possible conclusion that they likely can't handle a particular piece of the DMX timings MA2 uses - similar to the issue discussed here:…lorstrip.14661/
    (Mine are also instruments from Chauvet's DJ line - LEDrain 64C and ColorBand Tri.)

    I had already been looking at the DMX Decelerator from Doug Fleenor Designs as a possible solution for my issues, and my dealer was willing to get one for me to test with...

    Sure enough, it resolved the sporadic individual instrument flashes. Rock solid with the DMX Decelerator! Thanks, Mr. DMX!

    Interesting thing is that both the Fast and Slow settings eliminate the flashes. Before I got it I was assuming that only the Slow setting would resolve my problems. Makes me wonder which particular timing item it is that these instruments have an issue with. But in any case, both the Fast and Slow settings apparently use a value for that particular timing item that these instruments can handle.

    Thanks, MA! Thanks, Mr. DMX!

    I am SO glad to know other people are experiencing this issue! Sorry... I'm not glad you're experiencing the issue, just glad to know I'm not alone.

    I tried 3 different PCs. (One new one, and two that had run the rig just fine before.)
    I tried a new network cable between the PC and the node.
    I tried new DMX cables.
    I tried with just 1 new DMX cable and 1 instrument.

    Finally I contacted our dealer, explained all the various troubleshooting I did and they agreed it's most likely the node. So they sent it to MA (USA) for evaluation, and repair if needed. After evaluating it MA said it did need to be repaired, and they charged us $100.

    Well, I got the node back a while ago but hadn't had a chance to fire it up until tonight. Guess what...
    Still has the issue!

    So I upgraded OnPC to and upgraded the node to 1.74...
    Still has the issue!

    And all the time it's been in for repair I've been running the rig using a competitor's free PC version of their console and an extremely cheap USB-DMX dongle... without a hitch! So I'm now 100% confident it isn't caused by any of the equipment in my rig, including the PCs.

    Hopefully MA is looking into the issue and will ultimately resolve it.

    I'm definitely going to inform my dealer that the issue wasn't fixed. And I'll probably also contact MA myself, with the hope that it will move up the priority list with every new instance of the issue they are contacted about. As well as to offer any information or help I can (if they need some people with the problem to try or test anything, for example).

    Luckily I've got that other console and $70 USB-DMX dongle that I can use for now. (That console's actually pretty good and has great potential - it's still in its early versions.) But I'd sure like to start using my favorite console and DMX node that we paid $1000+ for again soon.

    I'm curious what the weakest PC is that any of us are successfully using to run shows with GrandMA OnPC.

    So what are the specs of your OnPC computer?

    Mine is...

    HP Pavilion dv6700 laptop
    OS: Windows 7 32bit
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 2.10GHz
    Video: NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
    RAM: 3GB

    Typically only controlling a small rig. (Around 16 LED PARs and strips.)