ETC lights Sue the T. Rex in Chicago
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
etclightssuethetrex1copyrightfieldmuseumphotobymartinbaumgaertnerThe project called for the complex integration of control protocols
USA - Sue the T. Rex has a new home in the Chicago Field Museum’s Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet.
Lighting and AV presentation for Sue’s new home were designed by Lightswitch Chicago using ETC and Xicato luminaires and ETC controls. The fossil is named after Sue Hendrickson, who discovered the skeleton in South Dakota in 1990.
Following a three-month prototyping phase to show the curators how Sue would be lit the new quarters, the design team at Lightswitch Chicago produced a meticulously-cued AV presentation worthy of the $8.7m fossil.
“Conservation of the delicate stones and resins is very important - Sue will receive about a quarter of the light, and none of the direct sunlight it did before,” says Thatcher Waller, senior lighting designer for Lightswitch Chicago.
The project called for the complex integration of control protocols and diverse fixture types including ETC Source Four LED Series 2 and ColorSource fixtures, as well as fixtures from Xicato, that are wirelessly controlled using DMX over Bluetooth.
System Integrator Ivan Jones expected a “sandstorm” but was pleasantly surprised. “ETC did special programming for the job. Chris Price wrote an entire new control module inside Mosaic to speak to Xicato. They handed me a product that worked - I never had to patch it.”
This is the world’s first execution of the interoperability between ETC Mosaic and Xicato Controls. “We believe interoperability between control systems is essential as we move into the IoT age of lighting,” says Ron Steen, VP of NA specification sales for Xicato. “Our open API has allowed ETC to harness the benefits of our system in concert with Paradigm and Mosaic.”
The heart of the AV system is an ETC Mosaic controller playing an unusual role. “For Sue, Mosaic is acting as the switchboard instead of the commander. It does not make a single decision on its own. It is being commanded by both Watchout and AMX. It provides feedback to AMX while acting as the integration point to Xicato wireless lighting and Paradigm,” explains Jones.
The Xicato Control solution features a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless protocol. Names, groups and scenes were set in the Xicato individually addressable modules
ETC Paradigm handles all the white house lights that operate on standard relays or dimmers and also provides control stations for temporary override.
(Jim Evans)

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