2019 marked Dartmouth College’s 250th anniversary which made their annual fall homecoming celebrations even more special. This weekend long event (10/11/19-10/13/19) included a parade, a 7’ long cake, and a roaring bonfire. High Output’s undertaking for this larger than life weekend was to provide lighting and control for the 12 buildings surrounding the Hanover Green, with some additional effects on/around the clock tower.
Challenges and Solutions
- Controlling over 200 IP65 rated lights in an area over ¼ mile long and about 1000’ wide, without running any cables across roadways or public sidewalks. Around 12 universes worth of DMX control were used for this project which was larger than the capabilities of most wireless DMX systems.
- Finding enough open frequencies without major interference for that many individual wireless links was extremely challenging in this environment.
- Network solution. A Point-to-Point wireless network in the 5ghz range (Wi-Fi AC), using business-class wireless long-range access points. Over this network, we ran sACN from a Gio @5 to various ETC 2-port and 4-port Net3 Gateways, to distribute DMX at each building. We were able to set up an additional connection from the Gio @5 in our control/distro area, to another Gio @5 on a cart in the middle of the Hanover Green, which served as our remote programming station – in a location where we could actually see all of the lights. This allowed for the operator to see all of the action in real time, as it happened, and respond dynamically as the event unfolded.
- Software managementof the network devices allowed us to view the connection strength in real time and adjust the transmit power on each access point to compensate for obstacles in the signal path – in this case, trees. This professional-level wireless solution provided us with all the reliability of a wired network, without the time, expense, and inconvenience of running cable between every building that we were lighting.
Elation Sixpar 200IP, Sixbar 1000IP, Arena Zoom Q7IP, Paladin, Proteus Beam, Proteus Hybrid, Chauvet Colorado 2 Solo, various other Colorado fixtures, Astera AX5, 2x Gio @5 console, Assorted Networking gear.