Second UD512?

We currently run Vista V3 on a Mac with a silver cable UD512 USB to DMX converter. That is in turn split to a couple of physical DMX cables through a Chroma-Q 4Play splitter. In the not too distant future, I anticipate needing to add a second universe. I understand I’d just add a second USB license dongle, but it’s not clear how things would be managed on the output side.

I think I need to add a second UD512, but how are universes assigned to adapters in Vista? I didn’t see anywhere in the User Preferences where that would be done. Or is there a more elegant approach to adding a second universe? Perhaps with ArtNet?

Ton confirm: Vista’s licensing works on used channels. With your existing 512 channel dongle, you could, for example, output to two physically different universes with 256 used channels in each. Therefore you are correct that if you want to go above 512 used channels, you will need to purchase an additional dongle.

Once you have the correct dongle size it actually does not matter how you physically output the DMX, it’s totally up to you. Supported hardware would be:

  • A second UD512 (as you mention)

  • A Vista MV or EX Control Surface

  • Any third party Ethernet to DMX (sACN or Artnet) node.

The “user preference” that you are looking for is in the “Patch” window and is called “connect universes”. Here you route / assign the Vista universes to physical hardware or Ethernet protocols.

If you think you might go past 2 universes in the not so distant future, an 8 or 12 port Ethernet node might be something to think about. This could also replace the 4play and potentially give you other features such as RDM (depending on the chosen node and if you have any fixtures that support it).

Or another thing to consider is the price difference between an MV with (the extra) 512 channels and extra 512 channels on its own with an Ethernet node. There might not be much in it and you’d then have the advantage of physical faders and buttons, assuming you don’t already have any Vista control surface hardware? If you did go down the MV route, you could still use your UD512. In total you’d have the potential to output 3 universes.

Thank you, Jack. Brilliant answer, as always. I didn’t mention that we have an MV surface as I didn’t realize that the MV outputs could be used. As soon as I looked at Patch / Connect Universe, it was obvious.

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Hi Jack…We did order and receive a second 512 channel dongle. Unfortunate it threw an old/new dongle error on startup. Researching this, it appears the new dongle isn’t compatible with our old dongle. Is there a process we can use to exchange the old dongle for a new one?

Disregard - received response from support on how to work exchange with dealer.