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Dimmers should be pretty easy to control since most of them use DMX-512. You just need a DMX-512 interface for your computer if you don't already have one.
 

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Yes, this is some of the pics of my VSA setup:
I run this as a relay board

to 2 of these

and for Dimmer control I use a Velleman usb to dmx that controls chauvet dmx-4.
If you want specifics let me know and I'll post them.
 

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I purchased the servo/relay controller from here:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=52

The relay board I assembled myself, It's a kit from Vellemen. Kit # K6714-16 from here:
http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl;...e3eSc38TaNqNe34Pa38Ta38LbN90?sc=8&category=36
I try to find them on ebay for cheaper.

As far as the usb to DMX, I use the Vellemen USB CONTROLLED DMX INTERFACE VM116 from here also:
http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl?sc=8&category=36&search=DMX

The Relay/Dimmer from chauvet is the DMX-4 which I buy off ebay. You can go to here to see specifics:
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/dimmerrelaypack_fix.shtml

I also use these lights controlled by VSA:
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/colorsplashjr_fix.shtml
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/ledtechstrobeuv_fix.shtml

I run the VSA program, on the first set of channels are reserved for servo control for the animated skulls. I use different boards, like EFX-tek, pico pic, mini-ssc, just depends on what I'm putting out.

The the second set of channels run my Velleman USB controlled DMX 512 interface which goes out to a chauvet DMX-4 relay/dimmer, 4 colorsplash jr and led shadow.

The last remaining channel's run the Lynxmotion's SSC-32, it can be used to run servo's or controll relay's. I use it to control the 2 Velleman 16 relay boards for prop control and various function's. The SSC-32 is close to the computer and the cat5 runs out the house to the relay board's about 30 feet outside, then hard wired extrention cord's go the rest of the way.

I also use this setup to run my christmas lights and works great!

Any other questions just ask away!
 

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Just thought I would also throw this into the mix....VSA also supports the Enttec open and pro dmx interfaces. We use the Enttec open. You will also need the 5pin to 3 pin adapter for additional $6.

http://www.enttec.com/index.php?main_menu=Products&prod=70303&show=description&name=opendmxusb

Driving relays can also be done directly from the controller boards using these PWM relays. The plug in the same location as a servo and can be turned on and off in your VSA routine. This maybe a good solution for those folks that need only one or two relays.

The pico and battle switch use the 500 and 800 VSA settings for the parrallax board
http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=106

The mini switch uses 250 and 1250 VSA settings for the parralax board
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/unusual.htm
 

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Twisted Dementia, I just got the SSC-32 board and was planning to use as a relay controller with VSA. The docs say that the discrete output is +5v, but I'm measuring only +3.25v. I'm using VS1 at +5v and VL at +9v. I was hoping for +5v out of the PWM to drive relays and LEDs. Any suggestions?
 

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I purchased the servo/relay controller from here:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=52

The relay board I assembled myself, It's a kit from Vellemen. Kit # K6714-16 from here:
http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl;...e3eSc38TaNqNe34Pa38Ta38LbN90?sc=8&category=36
I try to find them on ebay for cheaper.

As far as the usb to DMX, I use the Vellemen USB CONTROLLED DMX INTERFACE VM116 from here also:
http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl?sc=8&category=36&search=DMX

The Relay/Dimmer from chauvet is the DMX-4 which I buy off ebay. You can go to here to see specifics:
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/dimmerrelaypack_fix.shtml

I also use these lights controlled by VSA:
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/colorsplashjr_fix.shtml
http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/ledtechstrobeuv_fix.shtml

I run the VSA program, on the first set of channels are reserved for servo control for the animated skulls. I use different boards, like EFX-tek, pico pic, mini-ssc, just depends on what I'm putting out.

The the second set of channels run my Velleman USB controlled DMX 512 interface which goes out to a chauvet DMX-4 relay/dimmer, 4 colorsplash jr and led shadow.

The last remaining channel's run the Lynxmotion's SSC-32, it can be used to run servo's or controll relay's. I use it to control the 2 Velleman 16 relay boards for prop control and various function's. The SSC-32 is close to the computer and the cat5 runs out the house to the relay board's about 30 feet outside, then hard wired extrention cord's go the rest of the way.

I also use this setup to run my christmas lights and works great!

Any other questions just ask away!
I hope you are still with us, TD, I was wondering how exactly the SSC-32 is connected to the Vellmann 16 relay board. How are the servo outputs connected to the board? Seems like a great way to free up a parallel port for a kit 74..like having 24 relays altogether!:cool:
Also I was wondering if other servo boards can control the Vellman-16 like a Parallax?
 

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Twisted Dementia, I just got the SSC-32 board and was planning to use as a relay controller with VSA. The docs say that the discrete output is +5v, but I'm measuring only +3.25v. I'm using VS1 at +5v and VL at +9v. I was hoping for +5v out of the PWM to drive relays and LEDs. Any suggestions?
You can't use PWM to drive regular relays( just PWM relays especially made for that like Halloweenguy said). You need TTL outputs, and the only board I know of that does this is the Lynxmotion SSC-32, which you have. Just move the jumpers to switch over the outputs. It will drive a relay board fine.
 

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I would like to add something to this thread, if you want to use VSA for dimming lights, and you can't afford a DMX set up right now, you can always connect a servo to a dimmer switch and use the servo to turn the dimmer up and down.
 

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Buckaneerbabe and Doc., You can use either slide or rotary, heres a simple drawing of how to connect them.

 
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