# 13 Position Control Module

Controlling Position with Ray Console is just as simple as controlling colours.

Position Picker

With Ray Console you can also control moving heads. The position picker is a straightforward and well known way of getting started with panning (rotating) and tilting your devices. The x-axis controls the pan parameter. The y-axis controls the tilt parameter. Ray Console takes account of the fact that some devices can move further than others and highlights the positions that all selected devices can achieve.

Position Joystick

The position joystick is perfect for fine-tuning the position of your device. Simply drag the dot in the direction you want to move pan and tilt. The further from the centre you drag the dot, the faster your device will move. We show the calculated pan and tilt values in degrees as well as a small graphic similar to the position picker to help you understand what is going on. Use the fine mode to get the very last little adjustment perfect.

Inverting Pan and Tilt

Depending if your device is sitting on the stage or hanging from a rig, the controls for pan and tilt will operate in different directions. To make the pan and tilt controls more intuitive we recommend that you go to Settings View / Patch / Device Properties. There it is possible to invert the direction of pan and tilt so that pan and tilt work intuitively.

Helpful as Always

If you forget to select a device, Ray Console will simply ask you which device you wish to position and also every tool in Ray Console comes with a context help to get you quickly started.

 

#12 - Colour Control Modul

Ray Console has a simple, intuitive and helpful interface for controlling colours.

Colour Picker

The colour picker is an intuitive tool to select the colour that a light shines. Simply tap anywhere on the colour picker field to select a colour. You can also drag your finger across the colour field to dynamically select a colour. Ray Console intelligently estimates nearest possible colour regardless if you are using a device with RGB, CMY, Colour Wheel or Colour Scroller.

The colour picker also includes a list of recent colours that updates every time you select a colour. Tap on any recent colour to set it for the selected devices. You can always return to the default colour (white) by selecting the permanent white button on the bottom bar.

Colour Tiles

The colour tiles are a relieable and straight forward way to select colours. Simply tap a tile to select a colour. The tile with the black boarder is selected. Ray Console intelligently selects which tiles to show based on the device you have selected. For example, if a device with a colour wheel is shown, the colours on that colour wheel will be shown as tiles.

Help and Being Helpful

On both the Colour Picker and Colour Tiles dialogues you can press ? on the screen or the Help button to display the context help. This help shows you where each button exactly is and gives a short description of what it does.

The normal process for using the Colour Picker is to first select the devices you wish to adjust and then to select Colour. If you forget to select a device first, Ray Console just asks you which device you wish to colour instead of showing an error.

Future Colour Controls

The Colour Picker and Colour Tiles are plenty to get you started. We are busily building further colour control features. Here is a selection of what we are working on:

Colour Faders – get control of the raw DMX values and so get complete control of your device’s colour control.

Colour Pallets – create a pallet of colours for your show and quickly apply those colours while editing. Update all instances of a colour in one go

Colour Selector – select a range of colours in action on the Colour Picker to instantly have a rainbow or monocromatic colour progression.

#11 - Open Source Device Templates

Ray Console uses a well established, completely free and truly open source device template library.

What are Device Templates

Device template libraries, variously known as fixture profiles, device profiles and fixture personalities, exist in many lighting control consoles. Devices, such as lights, smoke machines and led bars, are controlled by a console via DMX channels. Each DMX channel can be set to a single value between 0 and 255. A basic device will only have one DMX channel for intensity. A RGB Par might have 4 DMX channels for intensity: dimmer, red, green and blue. Finally a complex moving head might have 32 DXM channels for everything from intensity, through colour, position, gobos, gobo rotation to reset functions. The problem is, the console must know which attribute, e.g. intensity, colour, position, etc. is on which DMX channel. To do this, every console has a library of device templates which contains details of which attributes are on which channel for each individual device. To patch a device, you must choose the correct device template in order to control attributes such as colour and position effectively.

Introducing QXF

To avoid having to build another console-specific library or increase the cost of the console because a library must be rented, Ray Console uses QXF device templates. QXF is the format used by the Q Light Controller+ project, also known as QLC+ for short. This project is completely open source, you can download the source code fromGitHub without even signing up for an account. Ray Console contains all the QXF device templates in the QLC+ project. If you don't find a device template in the QXF library, we will create them on request and add them to the Ray Console and QLC+ libraries. You can edit and create your own QXF device templates by downloading and installing QLC+ and opening the Fixture Definition Editor. Documentation can be found on the QLC+ Website. Device templates created or edited in QXF can be added directly to your Ray Console.

GDTF and Open Fixture Project

Recently MA Lighting launched the General Device Type Format (GDTF) along with Vectorworks and Robe. We appreciate this effort to create a device template standard. Unfortunately GDTF is not open source. The fixture editor and library must be used on the MA Lighting operated website with no option to download or run the source yourself. Another great project is the Open Fixture Library, which aims to create an abstract device template that can easily import and export other formats. The open fixture library can for instance import GDTF and export QXF, making it possible to use GDTF fixtures in your Ray Console.

The Future of Device Template Management

At the moment most console manufacturer maintains their own libraries. Other console manufacturers rent databases. This all essentially duplicated the same work across many companies, we wanted to avoid.
RDM (Remote Device Management) is an extension to DMX, where devices report what attribute are on what channels directly to the console. Maybe this will eventually replace the need for device libraries. Until then we believe in supporting and using an open source library where all manufacturers and customers can benefit.

#10 - Quiet times in the Lighting Industry

As life slows down across the globe we invite you to take some time to learn about the new Ray Console.

Coronavirus

Because of COVID-19 clubs, schools, theaters, community halls and houses of worship form New Zealand, through Switzerland all the way to Alaska are closed. We understand that many of you are therefore less busy than usual. This can be a big challenge and our thoughts go out to everyone who is suffering due the pandemic. For many of us however, it is also an opportunity to step back, reflect and look at new and exciting opportunities. One of these opportunities is Ray Console.

Have a browse here on this website through the different features available on the console. Check out the Datasheets about the different models and the available software modules.

Sadly all our trade shows have been canceled and so we won’t be able to meet you as planned. However we would love to hear with you if you have any questions via telephone +49 7621 916 60 90, Email. As soon as the lockdown has been lifted across Europe we would love to find an opportunity to meet you and give you an in depth demonstration.

Keep well and stay healthy!

#8 - The tactile key switches on Ray Console

With the tactile key switches you can operate the Ray Console confidently and in complete silence.

Types of Key Switches

The key switch is the mechanical part under any key (or button) you press. There are three general groups of key switches: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. Linear switches have a smooth, linear resistence all the way as you push them down. This makes them quick to operate but prone to error if you do not bottom out properly (bottoming out is when you press a key all the way down) Tactile switches have a small increase in the resistence in the middle of the travel. The button triggers as the resistance decreases again, creating a point of no return. This means you are sure the button has been pressed, even if you don’t hear any sound or don’t bottom out. Clicky switches, as well as giving tactile feedback, also give an audible click when the switch is activated.

Quiet and Reliable

The Ray Console will often be operated in small venues, where the lighting technician is sitting right in the audience. The sound of the lighting technician operating the console keys can easily break the magic when the suspense is at it’s heighest. Therefore Clicky switches were out of the question for Ray Console. With Tactile switches, it is easy to operate the Ray Console without any sound at all. Just press the keys and feel the tactile point-of-no-return. You do not need to bottom out to be sure that the button has been pressed. This eliminates any noise that bottoming out could cause and so makes it possible to operate Ray Console in complete silence.

Sail Through and Bottom out

Not all Ray Consoles need to be operated quietly. A firm key press will fly through the tactile feedback and quickly bottom out. This is due to the short travel distance of the Ray Console keys. So while working under pressure in noisy rehersals the Ray Console also gives the familier feeling of bottoming out common on other lighting consoles.

Long Lasting Keyboard Switchs

A key focus of Ray Console is providing quality, long lasting hardware. The switches we have selected are rated to an astounding 50 million cycles. The were develop for keyboards, where users are typing constantly all day long. So you can be sure the buttons on the Ray Console will serve you reliably over the entire life of the console.

 

Introducing Key features #7 - Why Ray Console doesn't have encoders

Modern touch screen technology and innovative interface design has freed Ray Console from dedicated encoder hardware.

Clear Hardware / Software Split

With the widespread use of smartphones we are used to doing almost everything directly on the screen. However, many consoles have some functions on the screen and others exclusively on encoders or buttons next to the screen. This often leads to situations where it is unclear if you should twirl the encoder or just tap the screen. On Ray Console it is clear when a control is on the screen and when a button can be used.

Modern Screen Technology

Anyone who has played a game on a phone or tablet knows that modern touch technology is quick, precise and reliable. Ray Console has a large capacitive touch screen that feels just like a tablet to use. This makes it possible to easily control the position of a device in real time by lightly draging your finger across the screen.

Intelligent Position Controls

Ray Console has an onscreen joystick for controlling position, as well as the standard position picker field with a tilt and pan axis. The Joystick lets you select the direction and speed in which you want the device to move. With it’s fine mode, the Joystick is an extremely simple way to make fine adjustments to position without having to calculate which encoder to turn in which direction.

 

Introducing Key Features #6 - How the modules in Ray Console work

The software on a Ray Console can be extended by purchasing modules here on this website. Ray Console is a new lighting control console. It is simple to use, engineered to last and has an extendable modular software.

Introducing Modules

Ray Console comes with all the software features you need to get started. However there are many features that you may need as your experience and system grow. These features could be ArtNet, RDM, a second universe of DMX, a second sequence, etc... These features are packed into convenient modules that can be purchased or subscribed to on rayconsole.com. Once purchased, modules can be enabled the next time the console is connected to the internet.

Choosing Modules

Modules can be chosen on rayconsole.com by selecting Modules at the top of any webpage. Details are given for each module with images and a clear list of the software features included. It is possible to browse rayconsole.com directly from the console, just go to Settings and select Get Modules. By adding the modules that you require, you can tailor the console to your needs, while not paying for features you don’t need.

Purchasing Modules

Modules can be purchased from the rayconsole.com via a computer, tablet or phone. We accept all major credit cards and paypal. Modules are locked to the console hardware, so your console will increase in value as you add modules. There are two license options, modules can either be purchased or subscribed to on a monthly basis. If you are not sure if you need a module, we recommend the monthly subscription.

Using Modules

Once a module has been purchased or subscribed to, the module will be installed during the next software update. Simply connect the console to the internet via ethernet or Wifi and start a software update from the Update dialogue in Settings. Once the module is installed it can be used straight away and will continue working without an internet connection. Every module comes with its own context help, as well as a chapter in the manual.

Disabiling Modules

You can see which modules are installed by going to My Modules in Settings on the console. To turn off a module, simply tap the undesired module. Subscribed modules can be canceled via rayconsole.com. Your show information will not be removed when you cancel a module. However some features may no longer be editable and you may need to reconfigure the location of memories, the patch and some network settings.

Introducing Key Features #5 - A Patch that is flexible, clear and straightforward

On Ray Console the fader number, DMX address and device template of a device can all be changed without removing the device from your show. Ray Console is a new lighting control console. It is simple to use, engineered to last and has an extendable modular software.

Abstract Device

Instead of fixing a device to a fader number or device template, in Ray Console the device is simply an entry in the patch list. This means you can change the fader that controls the device’s intensity, change the dmx address by which the device is controlled and even change the device template without loosing any information from your saved memories or sequence steps. This means that you can easily change devices in your system or adapt your show to a new system when on tour, without having to reprogram your entire show. Alternatively, if you want to make no changes to your show, but want a device on a different fader, you can move it without changing anything else.

Changing Fader Number

To change the fader number of a device, simply tap the Fader : Page cell for the device you want to edit. The dialogue to change page clearly shows which faders are free and which are already taken. No need to try 15 different fader numbers until you find a free one.

Changing DMX Address

To change the DMX Address simply select the DMX : Universe cell for the device you want to edit, select Move Device and select the new starting position. The old position is the shown in black, the new position in green, and any conflicts are shown in red. This graphical approach removes the need to remember how many channels a device has and calculate where a device has space on the patch.

Changing Device Template

Changing the device template works in the same way as adding a new device. If the new device template can’t do something the old one could, the data is not lost, it will just not be used. This means if a device breaks, you can replace it with whatever you have available and Ray Console will seamlessly handle this, until the device is fixed.

Introducing key features #4 - Control who accesses which settings

Settings Login

Simple settings, such as the screen brightness, are available to all users. To access complex settings, like the Patch or Network setup, the user has to login. Each user that logs into the settings has access to a different selection of settings. The technical director can have access to all the settings. The lighting technician can only change the patch and load a show. The teenager lighting a rock concert can’t change any complex settings.

Account Management

The owner of the console can create user accounts on the console. Each user account has a name, password, and access profile. There are four standard access profiles. With a module update, the owner can create custom access profiles. Using the user accounts, the console owner can make sure that no one changes anything they shouldn’t.

Standard Password Reset  

You don’t need to worry about forgetting your password. The password of all other users can be reset by the owner. The owner’s login details are the same on the console and on the website.  A password can be reset on rayconsole.com or on the console (as long as it is online). A code is simply sent to the owners email address, with which they can create a new password.

Introducing key features #3 - Help where you need it

The help on the Ray Console is exactly where you need it.

View Help

Every single view in the Ray Console software has it’s own help screen. This help gives you a couple of simple tips for getting started. Quickly start controlling lights, creating a sequence or tweaking settings. No scrolling through an endless manual to answer simple questions. Just tap  the ? button.

Dialogue Help

Dialogues also have their own help screen. The exception is when the dialogue is self explanatory, e.g. an error screen. This allows you to get a quick introduction to editing a device’s colour, saving a memory, etc. Just tap the ? button.

Manual

We do of course provide a manual as well. A printed manual is delivered with your console. The manual is always available on the website: rayconsole.com. The online manual is updated with every software update. The console also has a copy of the online manual, which updates automatically when the console is online. If you connect a monitor to the console, you can open the manual on the monitor screen. Then you can work on console touchscreen while viewing the manual on the monitor.

 

Introducing key features #2 - Light Layout

The light view on the Ray Console is clear, simple and powerful.

Light View

The desktop on the Ray Console is the Light View. The light view shows you exactly what is happening on stage. This makes it is very easy to understand what is going on and simple to find out why a device is misbehaving. All the tools to edit attribute, such as colour, position, gobo, etc… are available in the light view. Every change made to your devices via DMX and is immediately visible on the light view.

Device Symbol

The device symbol tells you everything about a device. The number on the device symbol is the device’s fader number. The colour of the number tells you where the intensity is coming from. The device symbol shows the actual intensity of the device, the same as on our unique Light Guides. All the other devices attributes are also shown e.g. colour, gel, position, gobo, etc.

Layout Light

The layout of your devices can be easily changed in the light layout. Just drag the individual devices. Being Swiss we like to keep things tidy, so we added buttons to align and evenly space the devices. Changes are immediately applied across the entire console software. This makes the light layout consistent regardless where you are in the software.

Introducing key features #1 - light guides

Light Guides
Ray Console has something completely unique. Light Guides. These are rows of individually controlled LEDs placed next to each fader. The light guides show you the intensity (brightness) of your device, memory or sequence. Light guides are there to help you understand how your console works. Sometimes they even suggests what you could do next.

Device Light Guides
It could be that a device is shining brighter than would make sense, given the position of the device fader. This is probably because a memory or sequence is causing the device to shine at a higher intensity. Confusing right??? Our light guides will show you the REAL intensity of the device. They will always do so, regardless if it comes from the device fader, a memory or a sequence step. The light guides help you understand what your Ray Console is doing.

Memory Light Guides
The console comes with 4 pages of memories. When you change page, suddenly all your memory faders do not match the memory output. How on earth are you going to find out what is going on now! Here the light guides come in handy again. The light guides will always show the intensity of the memory for the current page. If there is a mismatch, you can always trust the light guides. Furthermore, the light guides will show you how to move your fader, to rematch the fader to the intensity.

Sequence Light Guides
Sometimes you are not looking at the sequence screen when you want to move to the next step. Here the light guides help again. Pressing Seq (GO) not only starts the fade, it also starts an animation on the light guides. The light guides show you exactly how the fade is progressing. With our light guides you can concentrate on the stage, and helping you to run you show smoothly.


We are still scratching the surface, of how light guides can help you use the console. What we are sure of, is that light guides will make lighting easy and intuitive. They will guide you through lighting’s technical challenges to create beautiful lighting.

Pressrelease #1

Our first press release is has been published by ProMedia News