Stage Research has released its eight-channel USB relay input and output boards (each controllable via the SR RelayManager driven by Stage Research SFX6) to the theatrical design and tech communities.
The input board is designed to take external switch control and send script commands directly to SFX, which will allow users to set up an external control device to trigger events in SFX. It has a standard 25-pin female connector for custom wiring into any external switching device. Opto-isolated inputs protect the board from voltage spikes and do not require any external power for the make/break switch.
The output board is designed to have SFX control external switches. It has a standard 25-pin male connector for custom wiring into any external device requiring simple switching. It can be wired NO or NC and will drive ample current for most low powered applications. Higher power applications can be wired into external relays for larger current loads.
Both the input and output relay boards are USB-controlled, and with a proprietary TCP interface, can be controlled by SFX via TCP/IP. This allows the boards to be on the same computer or on an entirely different computer that SFX is on. As long as the board is visible via the network, SFX will be able to control it. Stage Research incorporated these attributes for two reasons:
1) to enable the control of many devices through an entire network for better load balancing, and 2) to enable setup personnel/operators to put devices much further away, than where a typical USB device can be put, from the computer.
More than one 8-channel board can be used on the same system with each board assigned its own unique ID. Boards can be installed on the same machine as SFX or on any machine on a network accessible via TCP/IP.
"These are exciting little boards that expand the capacity of SFX in controlling or being controlled by external equipment. You can literally talk to these devices through the network over long distances and the possibilities are endless," comments Stage Research's Carlton Guc. SR RelayManager is a Windows Service that will manage all the USB relay boards plugged into the computer.