wireless sensor convert to DMX/ARTNET Lanbox LCX


I have only started looking at arduino, in fact i don't even own one! But before i start tinkering I just want to check on which direction i should take. I want to do an interactive lighting installation using DMX/artnet as the main protocol. I also want to make it standalone, e.g. no laptop sitting in a box somewhere. I also want to interface it with an existing lighting controller that i own, LAnbox LCX.

I basically want a light to react to someone's presence or proximity to a sensor. I thought i could do this using a wirelss arduino + Ultrasonic sensor. Lanbox LCX can receive data and perform actions accordingly via 2 methods. Artnet over ethernet and via a wired digital or analogue input.

Is it possible to build a wireless Arduino sensor that converts the input from the sensor into an artnet signal and then boradcasts that wirelessly? Lanbox would then be attached to a router and look for particular artnet lighting channel levels.
Would it be easier to forget about artnet and send data from a number of Wireless Arduino+sensors to a 'master' wireless arduino wired into the digital i/o ports of the Lanbox.

I have been looking at DMXsimple and DMX shields, but most of these are geared towards sending dmx. I want to convert a sensors output into DMX/Artnet.

Please note the success of the project depends on wireless, but i guess I could start with a wired system

I hope this makes sense!


well as you already have the LanBox it would be easier just to use the Arduino to control the LanBox via the digital I/O pins but with a few parts and a bit more coding you could send DMX signals instead

for the wireless data if you have more than one or two sensors to talk to i would use the wireless xBee modules and you can either use them with or without an Arduino on the sensor side, if you want to use the Arduino for the sensor i would use the Arduino Fio if not you should be able to connect the sensor to the xBee module it's self as they have a small mico in them with a few I/O pins

xBee Model # XB24-AWI-001


ok that makes sense. I think i need to concentrate only on using Lanbox I/O ports.....as i need lanbox to also send dmx to my rgb fixtures, it can receive as well as send, but i would need to go into artnet to get this to work, which is too complicated to program with arduino....(for me).....(at the moment!!!) I am keen to stick with lanbox as it is a platform that i can prograqm easily, and i want to do other lighting effects over the top of my sensor array. So going to a pure arduino system wont give me the desired outcome.

I can see that the xBee comes with usb/ethernet/485 adapters, would i use something like this if I was to go without an arduino board on the input side? do you think these adapters have room for an internal battery?

Digital vs Analogue input.......I am still unsure of my thought process, so bear with me again.....Lanbox also has analogue inputs. If i was to use this i would get more options and 'steps' to program a lighting effect (DMX has 255)......eg. the closer you get to a sensor, a red light would fade up, instead of just turn on. With a xBee in a rs485 adapter and using the onboard i/o pins, would i be able to produce an analogue signal?

With regards to number of sensors, I was thinking of using 4 ultrasonic sensors working as one cluster, so i could get a relatively circular field of reception. There would be about 10 'clusters' placed on poles in a circular pattern, about 10m in diameter. Each cluster works individually controlling an RGB led fixture.

If i was to do this would i need a Fio at each cluster?
What board would you suggest to receive all of this? and does this board need anything special to receive from 10 xBee chips?

I am sure that i could find some of this information in the product spec sheets. But I always say there is no harm in asking!!!

Thanks for the reply, and any further advice.....