RC4 OneTouch for Custom Pixel Profile Controllers

As of firmware version 4.064, RC4 wireless pixel controllers including the RC4Magic DMXpix and RC4 LumenDimPix can be configured entirely using RC4 OneTouch.  Every patent-pending feature is accessible using nothing but a standard DMX controller and the recessed buttons on the RC4 device.

This article summarizes all button features — the entire user interface — for RC4 Custom Pixel Profile controllers.  This summary does not include RC4Magic power-up functions for selecting Private System IDs.

System Startup

Apply power to the device and wait for initial start-up to complete, approximately 2 seconds.

Restore Defaults

Press and hold Func, tap and release SetA, release Func.  This procedure is the same for all RC4 Harmonized Design devices, including everything in the RC4Magic Series 3, RC4Magic-900, RC4 LumenDim, and RC4 W-DIM families.

Default settings for Drivers A and B:

  • DMX Start Channel: 1
  • String Type: WS2812
  • Color Order: Red/Green/Blue (RGB)
  • Profile Length: 170 pixels (510 DMX channels, 1:1 channel map)
  • Pixel Grouping: 1 Pixel per Group
  • Sequence Mode is Increment Channels

If a second string of 170 pixels is connected to the end of the first, it will be a perfect copy of the first.  Adding a third string will repeat again out to the 500th pixel.

Set DMX Start Channel and Pixel String Type

To set the start DMX channel and pixel string type for a pixel driver:

  • Establish a working DMX data stream.  The pixel device must be receiving DMX data.  OneTouch parameters values are set using DMX channel levels.
  • Clear all DMX channels to zero.
  • Raise only the one channel to be assigned to a pixel driver.  The level of the channel selects the string type, using 5 level ranges.
  • For devices shipped in April 2016 and later, running firmware version 4.071 / 2-71-x-x or later, the ranges are:
    • 0 – 37 (<15%)         Channel Ignored
    • 38 – 101 (30%)       WS2811/WS2812 (default)
    • 102 – 152 (50%)     WS2801
    • 153 – 203 (70%)     APA102
    • 204 – 255 (100%)   MY9231
    • When using the RC4Magic DMXpix the top option is user configurable using RC4MagicPC.  It can be any string type that is supported and available in the firmware version being used.
  •  For early devices shipped prior to April 2015 and running a firmware version lower than 4.070 / 2-70-x-x, the ranges are:
    • 0 – 37 (<15%)         Channel Ignored
    • 38 – 101 (30%)       APA102
    • 102 – 152 (50%)     LPD8806
    • 153 – 203 (70%)     WS2801
    • 204 – 255 (100%)   WS2811/WS2812 (default, not user configurable)
    • Firmware can be updated to the most current version using the RC4 CodeLoader cable and PC software.
  • Press and release (tap) the Set button for the driver being configured.  To assign DMX channel and string type to Driver A, tap SetA.  For Driver B, tap SetB.

To avoid changing Custom Pixel Profile settings, be sure ALL other DMX channels are at zero(0).  Non-zero levels on channels immediately above the DMX start channel will change other advanced settings in the device (described below).

Set Pixel Color Order

To change the LED color order for control of a pixel string, follow the instructions above.  Each time the Set button is tapped in succession, the next color order is selected from these options:

  • RGB (red/green/blue)
  • GRB
  • RBG
  • BRG
  • GBR
  • BGR (blue/green/red)

The order of the color options ensures that the first pixel changes color on each button press.  Remember that two different patterns start with each primary color (for example, RGB and RBG).  After releasing the Set button, test the color order using the assigned DMX channel and the next two above.

Set Pixel String ColorMatch

RC4 ColorMatch is used to offset the pixel string color mix for a more pleasing spectrum and/or to match the spectrum to other strings or other color mixing fixtures.  This is done by visually matching composite white so that the desired white color temperature is produced with all 3 primary colors at 100% full on.

After setting the DMX start channel, pixel string type, and color order (if necessary), adjust the first 3 assigned DMX channels until the first pixel in the string displays the desired white.  Because of wide variations in pixel string LEDs and circuitry, levels often vary substantially.

For best possible brightness and dimming resolution using RC4 ColorMatch, at least one color must be at 100%.

With the desired white color temperature visible, LONG-PRESS the associated Set button.  Do NOT tap, or the DMX channel/string type setting will be changed.  To save the current color offset for Driver A, press and hold SetA until the color shifts.  To save the current offset for Driver B, press and hold Set B until the color shifts.

Test the offset by raising the 3 DMX channels to 100%.  The previously selected white will appear.

To toggle back and forth between corrected and uncorrected color, keep the DMX channels at 100% and LONG PRESS the Set button to toggle back and forth.   If the DMX channels are NOT at 100%, the new settings will be saved as the color offset.  Toggling for review ONLY works when the 3 DMX channels are fully on.  Never tap, always long-press, or the DMX and string type assignments will be changed.

Set Sequence Length, Group Size, and Pattern Replication Mode

Overview of RC4 Custom Pixel Profile Parameters

RC4 Custom Pixel Profiles use three simple parameters to configure how a DMX console will control long strings of pixels without consuming large numbers of channels.

Sequence Length defines how many RGB console channels will be used in the profile. A length of 1 pixel uses 3 DMX channels; a length of 15 pixels uses 45 DMX channels. Because RC4 pixel drivers are controlled from a single DMX universe, the longest possible Sequence Length is 170 pixels, a total of 510 channels.

Group Length defines how many physical pixels in a row will be controlled as a single control pixel.  For example, a Group Length of 3 will cause the first 4 assigned DMX channels to control pixels 1, 2, and 3 together.  The next 3 DMX channels will control pixels 4, 5, and 6 together, and so on.  RC4 pixel drivers will control up 500 pixels per string.  With a Group Length of 500, a single set of 3 DMX channels will control all the pixels in a string together, in “unision.”

Sequence Mode, or Pattern Replication Mode, controls what happens at the end of each Sequence Length to propagate the same control channels to the end of the physical pixel string.  Four modes are currently available, with options for 11 more in the future (a total of 15).  Details about each mode are below.

OneTouch DMX Channel to Parameter Assignments

When using RC4 OneTouch, each Custom Pixel Profile parameter is configured using a single DMX channel level.  The three channels after the first assigned DMX channel are used for this.  For example, if the string is assigned to DMX channel 10, then channel 11 is used for OneTouch configuration of Sequence Length, channel 12 configures Group Length, and channel 13 configures Mode.

Pixel driver OneTouch configuration is designed for use with digital DMX consoles that allow individual channels to be set to precise numeric levels.  It is not impossible to use a simple analog DMX console, but it will be more difficult to accurately set Sequence and Group Lengths.

Sequence Length is directly mapped to DMX channel level from 1 – 170.  Zero(0) is ignored and no change to previous Sequence Length setting will occur.  Levels above 170 will result in a setting of 170.

Group Length is directly mapped to DMX channel levels from 1 – 250.  Zero(0) is ignored and no change to previous Group Length setting will occur.  Levels above 250 are mapped to extended length values:

  • 251 = Group Length 300
  • 252 = Group Length 350
  • 253 = Group Length 400
  • 254 = Group Length 450
  • 255 = Group Length 500 (Unison Mode)

Sequence Mode divides the DMX control channel into 16 level ranges.  The lowest range, from 0 – 15, is ignored and no change to previous Sequence Mode setting will occur.

  •  0 – 15: No Function, ignored.
  • 16 – 31: Increment Channels: The series of pixels (determined by Sequence Length) repeats from beginning to end – incrementally – all the way to the end of the pixel string, up to 500 pixels in length.
  • 32 – 47: Decrement Channels: The series of pixels (determined by Sequence Length) is displayed from end to beginning, and repeats repeats the same way – decrementally – all the way to the end of the pixel string, up to 500 pixels in length.
  • 48 – 63: Inc/Dec Channels: Alternating Increment and Decrement patterns, starting with Incremental (first pixel displays first control channels).
  • 64 – 79: Dec/Inc Channels: Alternating Decrement and Increment patterns, starting with Decremental (first pixel displays last control channels).
  • 80 – 255: Reserved for 12 additional modes in the future.  As of firmware 4.065, any value in this range will select Incremental Channels.

Setting and Saving Parameter Values

When setting the DMX start channel and pixel string type, adjust the 3 DMX channels immediately above the assigned DMX start channel to the desired RC4 Custom Pixel Profile settings.  To avoid changing Pixel Profile Settings, keep those 3 channels at zero(0).

To change the DMX start channel without altering Custom Pixel Profile settings, set the desired DMX start channel to the appropriate level for the string type being used, and be sure all channels below and at least the next 3 channels above are zero(0).  Tap SetA to set the new DMX start channel.

To change the Custom Pixel Profile parameters, you must also set the DMX start channel and pixel string type.  All 4 channels in  series must be configured.

Examples

To set Pixel Driver A to DMX channel 10 with a WS2801 pixel string, a Sequence Length of 16 pixels, a Group Length of 2, and a Sequence Replication Mode of Increment/Decrement, set DMX levels as follows:

  • DMX channels 1 – 9 MUST be at zero(0).
  • Channel 10 at 128 (50%) selects DMX start channel 10 with WS2801 string type*.
  • Channel 11 at 16 sets Sequence Length to 16 pixels (which is 48 DMX channels).
  • Channel 12 at 2 sets Group Length to 2, so every 2 physical pixels will respond together as one.
  • Channel 13 at 50 (within range of 48 – 63) sets Inc/Dec mode.

Tap SetA and all settings will be assigned and saved for Pixel Driver A.
* If device firmware is older than 4.071 / 2-71-x-x then use level 180 (70%).  Firmware can be easily updated using an RC4 CodeLoader cable and PC software.

To set Pixel Driver B to DMX channel 256 with a WS2812 pixel string, a Sequence Length of 85, a Group Length of 1 (for single pixel control), and Dec/Inc mode so that the console pixel pattern reflects out from the center of the 170-pixel string:

  • DMX channels 1 – 255 MUST be at zero(0).
  • Channel 256 at 75 (30%) selects DMX start channel 256 with WS2812 string type.*
  • Channel 257 at 85 sets Sequence Length to 85 pixels (which is 255 DMX channels).
  • Channel 258 at 1 sets Group Length to 1, for individual control of each physical pixel.
  • Channel 259 at 70 (within range of 64 – 79) sets Inc/Dec mode.

Tap SetB and all settings will be assigned and saved for pixel Driver B.
* If device firmware is older than 4.071 / 2-71-x-x then use level 255 (100%).  Firmware can be easily updated using an RC4 CodeLoader cable and PC software.

If a second string of 170 pixels is connected to the end of the first, the reflected pattern will mirror identically over the 340 pixels of both strings in series.  Adding a third string will repeat again out to the 500th pixel.

To set a simple one-to-one mapping of 170 WS2812 pixels to one DMX universe:

  • Channel 1 at 75 (30%) selects DMX start channel 256 with WS2812 string type.*
  • Channel 2 at 170 sets Sequence Length to 170 pixels (510 DMX channels).
  • Channel 3 at 1 sets Group Length to 1, for individual control of each physical pixel.
  • Channel 4 at 20 (within range of 16 – 31) sets Increment mode.

Tap the Set button associated with the pixel driver being configured.
* If device firmware is older than 4.071 / 2-71-x-x then use level 255 (100%).  Firmware can be easily updated using an RC4 CodeLoader cable and PC software.

If a second string of 170 pixels is connected to the end of the first, it will be a perfect copy of the first.  Adding a third string will repeat again out to the 500th pixel.

To set an entire APA102 pixel string, up to 500 pixels in length, to behave like regular LED tape on DMX channels 320(red), 321(green), and 322(blue):

  • DMX channels 1 – 319 MUST be at zero(0).
  • Channel 320 at 180 (70%) selects DMX start channel 320 with APA102 string type.*
  • Channel 321 at 1 sets Sequence Length to 1 pixel (3 DMX channels).
  • Channel 322 at 255 sets Group Length to 500, all pixels behave as one (unison).
  • Channel 323 at 20 (within range of 16 – 31) sets Increment mode. (In this case, all modes respond identically, so any level higher than 15 will work.)

Tap the Set button associated with the pixel driver being configured.
* If device firmware is older than 4.071 / 2-71-x-x then use level 75 (30%).  Firmware can be easily updated using an RC4 CodeLoader cable and PC software.

 

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