This year, I added a Light Show and Dance Floor to the Linden Party Venue. This turned out to be a great success!|
You can see it in use in some of the videos on the main Halloween 2019 page here.
The Dance Floor was pretty straightforward, with lots of space, a hardwood (actually, Pergo) floor, and side tables to lay
down drinks. On the far side of the room, a new sectional chaise sofa, ottoman, and papasan chair afforded guests and
host a place to relax between dances, engage in conversation, or just watch people enjoying themselves. A new Sony sound
system added to the experience.
But the new Light Show system stole the 'show', so to speak. It consists of LED spotlights, mirrored balls, strobes, a laser
projector, baseboard LED strings, and control hardware based on the DMX protocol. A laptop computer, which we affectionately
call Shell Bell, plays all the MP3 music (through the main sound system) and controls all the fixtures. Control scripts were
written beforehand, then executed during the party, avoiding the need for a Light Show DJ or any other significant intervention
during the festivities. This all worked out well.
The following scripts were written for the party. You are welcome to download them, and even write on of your own for the next party!
The "Show_Disco_Blue" script was the one we used the most.
The Shell Bell laptop computer is the main control point, and sits next to the papasan chair. It runs WINAMP software
to play pre-edited play lists of MP3 music cuts, chosen by the Host. This audio goes through a cable to the Sony sound
Shell Bell also runs PUTTY software to bring up an interactive console on the DMX Raspberry computer. This console is
used to select the DMX Script to run, and monitor its progress.
Shell Bell is networked to the DMX Raspberry computer using a regular network cable.
The DMX Raspberry computer runs Debian Linux and is located in the entertainment center, along with most of the other
hardware. It is a 'headless' server - it has no monitor or keyboard. It has only a Velleman VM116 (K8062) USB-to-DMX
interface, plugged into one of its USB ports. The light show scripts are interpreted by home-grown software running on
this Linux server, and the DMX control commands which result are sent via the USB port to this K8062 interface.
The DMX interface connects, via a daisy-chain configuration, to all the fixtures. These include the spotlights, which are
directly DMX-controllable, as well as a 24-channel LED dimmer (controlling the LED baseboard lights), and an 8-channel relay
(controlling the room lights and mirrored-ball motors).