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Software Documentation

Flame and spark fixturesDocumentation

IntermediateLast updated: July 20, 2021

1 Explo X2 Wave Flamer

The Explo X2 Wave Flamer unit is a flame projector with a single nozzle that can rotate and fire flame bursts or continuous wave under programmable control. The unit can be controlled by the Explo ignition system, or by any of the DMX-capable firing systems, such as Piroshow, Pyromac, PyroSure, fireTEK, Cobra, and Mongoose.

Figure 1 – Explo X2 Wave Flamer

 

If the flame unit is controlled by the Explo ignition system, the “SHW” script file contains flame triggers in the same format as the pyro ignition triggers, and intermixed with the pyro ignition triggers. In the SHW file representation (details here), each trigger row represents the flame unit as a module number, and the triggered flame effect as the pin number. The pin number is a number from 1-66, representing 66 pre-defined flame effect “macros.” Some of the effect macros are simple flame shots at specific angles for specific durations. Other effect macros are animations that involve multiple shots or continuous flame sweeps across an angle range. Since the SHW file doesn’t contain angle or duration fields that get passed to the controller, the pre-defined effect macros are the only capabilities available when controlled by the Explo ignition system. Designing a flame show for the Explo ignition system involves adding triggers of flame effect macros at various times and at various positions. In Finale 3D, that means simply choosing the effect macros you want to insert in the effects palette or effects window, and clicking on their icons to insert them into the show.

If the flame unit is controlled by DMX , it has more controllable capabilities. In addition to the 66 pre-defined flame effect macros, you can trigger flame shots and sweeps at arbitrary angles and for arbitrary durations. You insert the controllable flame shots in Finale 3D the same way you insert the flame effect macros (by clicking on an effect icon to add it to the show), but after inserting controllable flame effects, you can angle the effects interactively by dragging their trajectories in the 3D view or by doing scripting commands like “Fan” to make interesting patterns of angles. Finale 3D will incorporate your adjusted angles in the exported DMX script. DMX scripts are more complex than SHW scripts, because they contain multiple DMX channel values for controlling different characteristics of a single effect (angle, on/off, speed, etc.), and they need to issue the channel value events in the DMX signal at the proper times, taking into consideration the preparation time (“drive time“) for the nozzle to rotate to the desired angle before a flame shot is triggered. Finale 3D takes into account all of the DMX constraints when it exports a DMX script for any of the DMX-capable firing systems. So designing a flame show for DMX simply involves adding triggers of flame effect macros or adjustable flame effects at various times and at various positions, and optionally angling the effects interactively or changing their durations.

For further information about the Explo X2 Wave Flamer units, see the Explo website (www.explo.at/en/zundanlagen.html) and the User Manual.

 

Instructions for non-DMX firing systems (using the Explo ignition system)

To design a show for Explo X2 Wave Flamer units, please follow these steps:

  1. Set up. (A) Follow the flame set up instructions in the Flame systems basic instructions and Exporting a firing system script for flame systems. (B) From the menu item, “Show > Set show information…” set the firing system to Explo. Selecting this firing system will disable a warning dialog that would otherwise appear when you add Explo X2 Wave Flamer effects to launch positions that are not configured as DMX fixtures. If you are not using DMX, the launch positions should look like orange disks, not blue diamonds.
  2. Add flame effects to the show. (A) In the effects window, select the Generic Effects collection, and enter the words “explo” in the search box to filter to Explo X2 Wave Flamer effects. There are about 70, beginning with part number GFX9001.
  3. Design the show. You can select groups of any of the Explo effects and do functions like “Sequence” to make interesting timing patterns; the timing patterns look particularly good with the effect macros. Since the non-DMX firing systems do not support rotatable angles, you should avoid the scripting functions that affect angles, like “Fan”.

 

Instructions for DMX firing systems

To design a show for Explo X2 Wave Flamer units, please follow these steps:

  1. Set up. (A) Follow the flame set up instructions in the Flame systems basic instructions and Exporting a firing system script for flame systems. (B) Configure each physical unit’s “Start Address” in the real world to be exactly the first channel in the DMX channel range (older versions of Finale 3D required subtracting 1 on the DMX Channel Base, but that is no longer correct; the DMX Channel Base should match the Start Address exactly).
  2. Add flame effects to the show. (A) Right-click on DMX Fixture positions to add compatible effects from the context menu or to filter the effects window to compatible effects. There are about 70, beginning with part number GFX9001. (B) In addition to the effect macros, there are a few generic “Explo [001] DMX X2 Rotatable Flame” effects beginning with part number GFX9070. These are the adjustable angle effects in a few pre-made durations, for use with DMX systems. If you are using DMX, then you will also need to add an “Explo X2 Wave Flamer DMX Safety Channel” effect (GFX9099) and to adjust its duration to cover the time the Wave Flamer should be eligible to fire.
  3. Design the show. If you insert “Explo [001] DMX X2 Rotatable Flame” effects, you can drag the tops of their trajectories in the 3D view to set their angle, and you can select groups of them and do functions like “Fan” to create interesting patterns. Of course, you can select groups of any of the Explo effects and do functions like “Sequence” to make interesting timing patterns; the timing patterns look particularly good with the effect macros.

 

Choosing the DMX channel ranges for fixtures

Each Wave Flamer fixture requires six channels, so if you are putting multiple fixtures in the same DMX Universe, you need to set the Start Address on the fixture in the real world and the corresponding DMX Channel Base on the fixture in Finale 3D to a range of channels that doesn’t overlap with others. A DMX universe has channels 1-512. If you want to pack as many fixtures into the 512 channels of a DMX universe as you can, back-to-back ranges are the most efficient. Some DMX firing systems only support 50 or 100 channels, so you may not have all 512 channels to work with.

 

Table 1 – Example channel ranges for Wave Flamer fixtures in a DMX universe

FixtureDMX Channel BaseChannels Used
111-6
277-12
31313-18
41919-24
52525-30
63131-36
73737-42
84343-48
94949-54
105555-60
85505505-510

 

Technical details for non-DMX firing systems (using the Explo ignition system)

The Explo ignition systems use scripts in the SHW format (details here). Each row in the script represents the flame unit as a module number, and the triggered flame effect as the pin number. The pin number is a number from 1-66, representing 66 pre-defined flame effect “macros.” The mechanics of exporting an SHW script based on the pre-defined Generic Effects or effects you make yourself make use of the “Custom Part Field” property in the effect definition. The effects in Finale 3D representing the 66 Explo effect macros (part numbers GFX9001 through GFX9066) contain the corresponding Explo macro number (1-66) in the Custom Part Field of the effect definition (i.e., the part). When you address the show for the Explo ignition system from Finale 3D (“Addressing > Address show…”), the addressing function uses the normal pin and module number assignment algorithm for those effects at positions with “Module Type” of a pyro module such as “Explo 20K”, but does something special if the Module Type is “Explo Flame Unit”: it copies the Custom Part Field from the effect definition into the pin number field. Thus when you export the SHW file for the Explo ignition system, the pin number fields for the pyro shots correspond to actual pyro ignition pins; whereas the pin number fields for the flame shots correspond to the chosen effect macro number.

 

DMX channels

The Explo X2 Wave Flamer unit can be configured with a “Start Address” from 1 to 507. The flame unit listens to the six DMX channels beginning from the Start Address, i.e., Start Address + 0, Start Address + 1, …, Start Address + 5. The six DMX channels are,

 

Table 2 – DMX channels

DMX ChannelMeaningEffect in Finale 3D that controls channel
Channel 1 (DMX Channel Base + 0)Angle (127.5 + angle * 1.2143)Part numbers GFX9001 – GFX9066 representing various “macros” and GFX9070 – GFX9087 representing rotatable flame effects that can be adjusted by dragging the trajectories in the Finale 3D user interface
Channel 2 (DMX Channel Base + 1)Speed (1 = min; 255 = max; 0 also = max)Part numbers GFX9001 – GFX9066 representing various “macros” and GFX9070 – GFX9087 representing rotatable flame effects that can be adjusted by dragging the trajectories in the Finale 3D user interface
Channel 3 (DMX Channel Base + 2)Ignition (254-255 = ON)Part numbers GFX9001 – GFX9066 representing various “macros” and GFX9070 – GFX9087 representing rotatable flame effects that can be adjusted by dragging the trajectories in the Finale 3D user interface
Channel 4 (DMX Channel Base + 3)Open time (255 = permanent, 0-254 = N*10ms)Part numbers GFX9001 – GFX9066 representing various “macros” and GFX9070 – GFX9087 representing rotatable flame effects that can be adjusted by dragging the trajectories in the Finale 3D user interface
Channel 5 (DMX Channel Base + 4)Program (2 + program number * 255/100)Part numbers GFX9001 – GFX9066 representing various “macros” and GFX9070 – GFX9087 representing rotatable flame effects that can be adjusted by dragging the trajectories in the Finale 3D user interface
Channel 6 (DMX Channel Base + 5)Safety channel (0-49 = OFF, 50-200 = ON, 201-255 = OFF)Part number GFX9099, “X2 Wave Flamer [001/0000] DMX Safety Channel”

 

Table 3 – Example files

Download linkExplanation
explo_dmx_example_piroshow.txtPiroshow DMX test script
explo_dmx_example_firetek.csvfireTEK DMX test script
explo_dmx_example_pyrosure.wyhPyroSure DMX test script
explo_dmx_example_pyromac.txtPyromac DMX test script
explo_dmx_example_cobra.csvPyromac DMX test script
explo_dmx_example.finShow file to generate the DMX test scripts
Bedienungsanleitung X2 Wave Flamer ENv1.4.pdfOld hardware documentation
X2 Wave Flamer v2.0 ENG.pdfNew hardware documentation