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ColorKinetics PDS-150e and ColorBlast Lights

The ColorKinetics ColorBlast lights are  LED floodlights designed for washing a wall or large surface. They can be used with any DMX universe, but the power/data supply that they plug into, the PDS-150e, needs to be configured first. This guide explains how.

First, set up the lights with the  PDS-150e. Each box has four fuse groups,  each of which can support one or two lights. According to the PDS-150e spec sheet, each fuse group in the box can support one ColorBlast 12 or 2 ColorBlast 6 lights, but with a maximum of 3 ColorBlast 12 or 6 ColorBlast 6 lights per unit. Don’t overload the box. The Product Guide explains in more detail the wiring and setup.

The PDS150e is configured over Ethernet, then can be controlled over Ethernet or DMX-512. This guide only explains how to configure them over Ethernet, then how to control them with DMX. Once configured, the boxes can be daisy-chained together using CAT-5 or CAT-6 Ethernet cables. The DMX connection should have an Ethernet-style RJ-45 Jack on one end. ColorKinetics provides guides to wiring RJ45 to XLR5- and XLR3-pin connectors.

The PDS-150e board. The DMX jacks are the three on the top on the left. The Ethernet Jack, plugged in, is on the bottom left.

Once you’ve wired the lights up, download and install QuickPlay Pro for programming addresses in the PDS-150e. Open your computer’s networking control panel and choose your wired Ethernet interface. Most modern Macs and many PCs no longer have wired Ethernet connectors. A USB-to-Ethernet or Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet will work. Set the network interface’s address manually to 10.1.2.3. Set its subnet mask to 255.0.0.0. Then plug an RJ45 Ethernet cable between your computer and the PD-150e’s Ethernet jack. Don’t plug in the DMX connector while you’re configuring the box.

QuickPlay Pro Network Preference pane.

Power up the PDS-150e and open QuickPlay Pro. Click the File -> Preferences menu, then choose the Network tab. Choose the interface that starts with 10.1.2.3. That’s your wired Ethernet connection to the box. Click OK and the preferences dialog will go away. In the main window, click the Refresh Controller List button. PDS-150e will now show up in drop-down menu.From there you can configure the lights and the system.

QuickPlay Pro main wondow

Each ColorBlast uses three DMX channels, R, G, and B. Each needs its own DMX starting address, although they can all be ganged together on the same channels if you prefer.Click Fixture Configuration and the application will query the box for all attached fixtures. Pick any from the drop-down menu to begin. You can read their current starting channel, or program it.  Pick each light, program its starting address, and move on to the next. Start each one three channels away from the previous one, e.g. 1, 4, 7, etc.

If your light is not in the drop-down menu, you can search for it manually. Click the Manual tab, and enter the serial number from the back of the light (it’s on the white sticker).

Serial Number from a ColorBlast 12. The serial number is the white tag.

Once you’ve configured all the channels, those particular lights should always be plugged into that PDE-150e. You should check that all channels work before plugging in DMX, by clicking the Test Channels button.  When you get the test screen, click any channel to bring it to full.

QuickPlay Pro channel test window

Once you know all your channels, you can plug the DMX line in and control it just like any other DMX light.