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ESTA Announces Four Projects, One New Standard Available

Four new projects were started at the Technical Standards Program's working group meetings held by ESTA July 13 through 15 in Ft. Worth, Texas, and it was announced a standard for Remote Device Management is now available.

Extension for DMX512 Streaming Protocol

BSR E1.33-200x, Extensions to E1.31 (DMX512 Streaming Protocol) for Transport of ANSI E1.20 (RDM) is a project to develop a set of extensions to E1.31 to support ANSI E1.20 functionality. The basic E1.31 protocol can be described as "DMX512 over Ethernet." It is intended to be suitable for implementation in hardware with very limited resources. The E1.33 project can be described as "RDM over
Ethernet." It will add RDM functionality while maintaining E1.31's compatibility with the E1.17 (ACN) control architecture and ANSI E1.11 (DMX512-A). BSR E1.33 is a project of the Control Protocols Working Group, which is particularly interested in gaining new voting members in the interest categories of dealer/rental company, user, and general interest.

Measuring, Specifying Slipperiness of Floors

BSR E1.34-200x, Entertainment Technology-Measuring and Specifying the Slipperiness of Floors Used in Live Performance Venues, is a project to develop a means of quantifying the slipperiness of floor surfaces used by performers in live entertainment venues. The goal is to come up with a measurement that will correlate with a performer's perceptions when he or she says a floor is too slippery or not slippery enough.

Floor slipperiness is something that must be managed for the convenience and safety of performers, so there must be a way to measure it. Other standards exist to help make sure firefighters don't slip off fire engine steps and pedestrians don't lose their footing, but none deal with the concerns of performers trying to dance or do some other unusual movement in front of an audience. BSR E1.34 is a project of the Floors Working Group, which is particularly interested in gaining new voting members in the dealer/rental company category.

Lens Quality Measurements

E1.35-200x, Standard for Lens Quality Measurements for Pattern Projecting Luminaires Intended for Entertainment Use, is a project to develop a method for measuring lens quality with particular emphasis on contrast and perceived image quality (sharpness). It also will offer a method for presenting these results on a datasheet in a format that is readily understood by a typical end user and that allows the end user to directly compare lenses in a meaningful way. Currently, there is no way to describe how clearly a stage lighting instrument projects an image, other than by showing a person, which is effective, but often inconvenient. Standards exist for projection lenses, but these are not applicable to the lower quality lenses used on stage and studio luminaires. This is a project of the Photometrics Working Group, which would welcome new voting members in the areas of dealer/rental company, users, and general interest.

Tungsten-Halogen Lighting For Vendor Exhibits

E1.36-200x, Model Procedure for Permitting the Use of Tungsten-Halogen Incandescent Lamps and Stage and Studio Luminaires in Vendor Exhibit Booths in Convention and Trade Show Exhibition Halls, aims to develop a model set of procedures that can be used by convention center and trade show exhibition hall staff to mitigate the risks associated with the use of tungsten-halogen lamps and stage and studio luminaires in convention centers and trade show exhibition halls. There is no evidence that tungsten-halogen lamps or stage and studio luminaires present any greater risk in exhibition halls than any other light source or type of luminaire, but the management staff of at least one major convention center in the United States believes they do have elevated risks and have moved to prohibit or limit their use by exhibitors. The restrictions are inconsistently enforced, and this complicates the trade show business. A model set of procedures to allow the use of tungsten-halogen lamps and stage and studio luminaires would bring uniformity to the regulations and simplify doing business in the trade show industry. It also may improve safety by assuring that the lamps and luminaires are used in a safe manner. This is a project of the Photometrics Working Group.

Anyone interested in joining to work on these projects can find more information at Anyone objecting to one of these projects because it is unnecessary or conflicts with an existing standard is invited to send objections Those interested may also contact Karl G. Ruling, Technical Standards Manager,ESTA; 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1005, New York, New York 10001; Phone 212-244-1505; fax 1-212-244-1502; e-mail

ANSI E1.20 Is Available Now

ANSI E1.20-2006 Remote Device Management (RDM) for DMX512 was recently published and is available for immediate purchase as a PDF or hard copy. The PDF and hard copy are available from The list price is $40; member and quantity discounts are available. Members of the new ESTA Technical Standards Program Subscription Service automatically receive this new standard as well as copies of all published documents as part of their subscription.

ANSI E1.20 (RDM) is an extension to DMX512 that allows for bi-directional communication on the primary pair of a DMX512 link. This allows a controller or piece of test equipment to intelligently discover other RDM-enabled devices on the link -- such as moving lights or dimmer racks -- and manage them remotely. This includes the ability to remotely set the DMX512 Starting Address, querying the devices for Error or Status Messages, and accessing almost any configuration setting normally accomplished from the front panel of the device.

RDM can operate in conjunction with both newer RDM devices as well as any legacy DMX512 products on the same data link without any performance impact. Since RDM operates on the primary pair of the DMX512 link, the only infrastructure upgrade required for RDM is upgrading existing Data Splitters to bi-directional models that support RDM.

Co-Chair of the ESTA Control Protocols Working Group Steve Terry commented, ''The true power of RDM will become evident in hybrid systems that combine ACN (E.1.17 Architecture for Control Networks) and RDM. The DMX512/RDM link is the ideal bi-directional solution to handle the 'last mile,' daisy-chained link between network gateways and lightweight equipment throughout the rig, while ACN provides the scaleability and power of an advanced network protocol.''

ANSI E1.20 (RDM) was developed by the Control Protocols Working Group with input from the lighting community via public reviews.

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