Product Review: iPhone App – DMXCalc

Today we start the iPhone applications reviews for apps that are designed to help us, the lighting professional accomplish their job quickly and easily.

Our first iPhone app review is the DMXCalc from West Side Systems.  West Side Systems are the developers of and publishers of personal computer products for entertainment lighting design.  One of their products that most industry professionals have worked with at one point in their life is Virtual Light Lab.  A 3D rendering program to visualize color combination’s on stage.

Product Review – At first glance at the DMXCalc through iTunes, .99 cents seems pretty reasonable.  While the app is not that complicated, you do have to consider that someone took time and made a very nice interface to find and calculate DMX addresses.  So the price is pretty reasonable considering.

With in the application you can enter a DMX Universe and Address and DMXCalc will instantly give you the absolute or EDMX address.  Vice verse, you can enter an absolute DMX address and DMXCalc will give you the Universe and Address with in that universe of the Absolute address.

The + and – buttons can be set to increment or decrement the address by any step size.  This is handy when addressing a sequence of multi addressed fixtures, such as moving lights.  A nice feature about the + and – button is that when there is not enough space in the current universe for additional fixtures, the address and + values turn red.  This is good to know when you have to move the fixture to a different universe.

Older model and/or less expensive DMX devices utilize dip switches to configure the DMX address for that fixture.  The row of dots at the bottom of DMXCalc display which dip switches will need to be “turn on” to obtain the desired DMX address.  What is a little disappointing is that you can not touch the dip switch dots on the bottom to find a DMX address to go backwards.  This would be helpful to find what a fixture is addressed at.  While not a huge concern, we can see where this might be useful.

Overall View – This is defeniatly a one hit wonder, but it does that job wonderfully and eaily.  DMXCalc is well worth the .99 cents.  To download the iPhone or iTouch app through iTunes, click here.