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sACN Streaming ACN E1.31

Streaming ACN (sACN) is a standard protocol developed by ESTA to efficiently transport DMX universes over the network. It is comparable to ArtNET in many aspects. One nice thing is the multicast option allowing very easy configuration. sACN is a popular protocol to control a large number of RGB LEDs. You can find very affordable LED controllers taking sACN input like the Advatek PixLite 16 and the very professional Enttec Pixelator. See more controllers...

A custom installation by Daniel Schaeffer using Lightjams to output sACN to control LED strips via Advatek controllers. Lightjams is being remotely controlled by TouchDesigner in real-time.

 

Here's a video from Michael Spitzler using Lightjams and Light-O-Rama (LOR) to create a great Christmas light show. Lightjams contains all lighting effects and LOR is used to create a timeline and trigger the effects in Lightjams in sync with the music.

64 Output Universes

64 universes give you 32768 DMX channels to create with, enough for individually controlling 10880 RGB LEDs.

16 Input Universes

Easily receive commands from other lighting software over sACN. For example, you can use Vixen and Light-O-Rama (LOR) to do your sequencing and triggers the effects in Lightjams via sACN. This duo is really powerful and will save you many hours of sequence programming.

SanDevice sACN E1.31 controller

Wireless Network (WIFI) Optimized

Contrary to ArtNET, sACN defaults to using multicast instead of broadcast. Broadcasting literally kills a wireless network. So sACN performs great out of the box with a WIFI.

Multicast

Multicasting means that the sender (Lightjams in this case) sends DMX universes to those subscribed, in one copy only, even when there are multiple receivers (sACN to DMX nodes for example) at the other end. This is a standard in the network world and is implemented at the hardware level by most routers and switches. The end result is a really optimized network usage and easy configuration since the sender doesn't need to know the IP addresses of the receivers.

Walkthrough

1. Global Configuration

Access the sACN configuration by going to View/Configuration.

Network: Here you can select your network card if you have multiple. There is no port to configure since it is fixed by the ACN standard - less configuration is good!

Input: The input monitor lets you see which universes are coming in. You can subscribe to multicast universes by checking the corresponding boxes.

Output: The output monitor lets you see which universes are going out. For each output universe, you can specify whether you want to use the default multicast option or send DMX to a specific IP address (unicast).

Streaming ACN sACN configuration panel

RGB LED/Pixel Controllers

Here are some sACN E1.31/ArtNET controllers working great with Lightjams. Most controllers are pixel controllers, meaning they are specialized for RGB LED control. Some controllers even offer DMX output to control conventional lighting equipment. You can use as many controllers as you need to handle all your LEDs.

Device # Universes Pixel Types DMX Out Approx. Price (USD)
Enttec Pixelator 48 (8160 RGB pixels) WS2812B, APA-104, Enttec Pixel Tape No $2000
Advatek PixLite 4 16 (2770 RGB pixels) WS2812/B, APA102/4WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, INK1003, TM1804, TM1803, TM1812, SM16715, TLS3001, LPD6803, D705, LPD1101, USC6909, UCS6912, SM16716, MBI6020 Yes (1) $114.95
Advatek PixLite 16 32 (5440 RGB pixels) WS2812/B, APA102/4WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, INK1003, WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, TM1804, TM1803, TM1812, SM16715, TLS3001, LPD6803, D705, LPD1101, USC6909, UCS6912, SM16716, MBI6020 Yes (4) $189.99
Advatek PixLite MkII 96 (16320 RGB pixels) WS2812/B, APA102/4WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, INK1003, WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, TM1804, TM1803, TM1812, SM16715, TLS3001, LPD6803, D705, LPD1101, USC6909, UCS6912, SM16716, MBI6020 Yes (4) $220
SanDevice E682 12 (2040 RGB pixels) WS2801, WS2803, WS2811, TM1804, TM1803, TM1812, SM16715, TLS3001, LPD6803, D705, LPD1101, USC6909, UCS6912, SM16716, MBI6020, GE Color Effects, P981x Yes (4) $109 (kit), $180 (assembled)
J1SYS ECG-PIXAD8 8 (1360 RGB pixels) WS2801 No $155
J1SYS ECG-P12R 12 (2040 RGB pixels) LPD6803, WS2801, TM180x No $175
DMXKing LeDMX4 8 (1360 RGB pixels) WS2801, WS2811/2812/APA104, APA102, LPD880x, LPD6803 Yes (1) $129

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