Electronic design line follower

Project X – the remote control line follower

What happens if you give a sixth form design student a brief and 1 week’s access to EMP’s facilities?

The project was a line follower with remote control. The process included:

  • Understanding the brief
  • 3D design and modelling
  • 3D printing of custom parts
  • CNC of custom chassis
  • Component identifying and purchasing
  • Schematic design 
  • PCB design
  • Microprocessor programming

The results from the young mind certainly impressed us!

If you’d like to see the video of the project in action, visit our social media pages (links top right of page).

 

Film & TV lighting motion and animatronics

Film and TV Lighting, Motion & Animatronics

EMP Designs was first set up when a film company came to our founder Dan Stanton and asked for some help with a bespoke electronics project. Dan has always loved an electronics challenge, so he set to solving it! Once complete, more requests came in and Dan set up EMP. This year the company is 15 years old and although we’ve diversified into many other areas and sectors, our film and TV work is still going strong and we’re proud to work with some of the industry’s finest.

We’d love to shout about all our projects, but many of them are confidential and we have to keep our enthusiasm to ourselves. However, we’ve created an infographic for our Projects webpage to give an overview of our work in this industry across lighting, motion and animatronics. To see the full details go to Projects.

Bespoke micro radio DMX pixel controller

Micro Radio DMX pixel controller – created for use on film sets

Working regularly with film makers, we created a micro radio DMX pixel controller for use on set. At only 12mm wide, it is exactly the same width as LED strip, allowing the controller to be completely hidden away, ideal for use on lead active props.

It receives the full DMX universe, enabling control of every individual LED on addressable RGBW strip and the creation of any colour or pattern. More controllers can be added to address more than the full DMX 512 channels. This device has been popular already being used to illuminate many movie weapons.

We also developed a recordable version of the radio DMX pixel controller. This allows a pre-defined light pattern to be programmed in and run back on a repeating loop via 2 playback buttons to minimise background pattern channel usage.

In line with this technology, our customers have also requested many bespoke custom single circuit board contained units, which have the LEDs on one side of the circuit board and the control electronics on the back, and sometimes the battery too!!. These have been used to produce a range of other lighting effects on film props, including lanterns, flickering candles and glowing fireplace embers.

Look out for our new 12mm wide five channel 5M strip controller coming soon!

IMG_0921

Electronic Product Designer Required

The Job
As our business grows, we are looking for an Electronic Product Designer to join our friendly, small and busy team. Our projects are diverse and we offer a dynamic environment where no two days will be the same – from industrial mechanics, to retail projects, to working with leading film production companies on new concepts for special effects, props and set lighting control.

Essentially, we are looking for the right fit – someone passionate about solving electronics problems and willing to embrace new challenges and be part of the team. The extent of the role will depend on the person and their experience.

Requirements
If you have 3 or more years’ electronics experience, a minimum of a HNC or HND, and skills in the following areas:
• Electronic product development
• Analog and digital electronic design / engineering
• Schematic design
• PCB layout
• Understanding of micro controller integration
• 3D design and prototyping

Possible Additional Skills
In addition any of the following skills would be a bonus but we do not expect candidates to have all (or indeed any) such skills and experience:
• Electronic and electrical schematic design
• Microprocessor programming in PICMICRO, both 8 and 16 bit assembly and C languages
• Industrial and motion controller programming preferably around the codesys platform
• Ability to program programmable logic and FPGA’s
• Mechanical design ability with 3D Cad preferably Solidworks
• Adept at picking up new programming languages and a willingness to try
• Web and social media aware with some understanding in web page updating and broadcasting new content

We are looking for someone with a positive personality and the ability to work both individually and as a team member. You should be content to work hands-on in both prototyping and small batch production. We require the ability, or the desire to develop the ability, to liaise with clients to understand their complete requirement and then be able to communicate this full spec back to the EMP team.

A sense of humour would also be a massive bonus. EMP is a small company and the ability and desire to mix with the team is important.
We expect the salary to be in the region of £30,000, but for the right candidate this could be considerably more.
The company is based in Farnborough and the convenience of being close to our premises would be important and make it easier to work flexibly in an interesting environment.

If you feel this could be a good fit for you, please send a CV and a brief covering letter to graham@empdesigns.co.uk

LV8 Pro - 8 channel radio embedded LED controller

LV8 Pro arrives

The LV8 is now available in LV8 Pro version. The LV8 is a popular product from our market-leading LV range of radio embedded LED controllers. It is one of our larger products offering 8 channels. The LV8 Pro is a streamlined, more powerful version, with 8 amps of power per channel.

As with all our controllers, it is quality designed and built in the UK to deliver the best in reliable flicker-free lighting control.

For more information on our products click here.

The SkyNode Remote Device Management micro-radio DMX receiver.

SkyNode now with RDM

SkyNode RDM – The SkyNode micro-radio DMX receiver now comes in a Remote Device Management version.

At 26 x 50 x 10 mm,  it is the same depth as the standard SkyNode, but just slightly longer allowing for the addition of RDM technology.

Still the smallest unit on the market, it docks to the back of any light to become an integral feature. It fits into any DMX input instantly giving RDM radio control.

For more information on our products please click here.

40 way radio desk transmitter

40 Way Radio Desk Transmitter

Following the success of our standard radio desk transmitter which provides easy and portable control of 8 channels, we have been asked to develop a desk with the same features but more channels. Introducing the 40 way desk….

There 32 sliders, and 8 flash buttons delivering 40 channels. Each slider provides a channel of easy access and real-time control.

With a manual interface, Lumen Radio technology inside, it takes just 5 AA batteries to run for over 24 hours.

The unit works well with the LV4 & LV4 Pro.

Features

Sliders 1- 32 – to vary brightness, movement direction or axis control

Flash buttons 33-40 –  turn from 0% to 100% instantly

Sync button – clears memory and connects to new source

Down / Up buttons – to change DMX address

Digital DMX Address display

Radio Desk

New extended operating mode for Radio Desk software

every DMX channel can now be assigned as an active channel

Introducing ‘Pages’ – New Radio Desk Software 

In collaboration with Cinelex, our developers have created new software that will drastically change the capabilities of our Radio Desk from 8 active channels to a full DMX universe.

Our 8 channel desk was designed as a simple, compact, portable unit to provide instant access to 8 easy channels of control. It is a highly popular item in the film and TV industry and is used around the world. However, speaking to users, we had requests for more complex functionality to allow the same unit to be used to set up more complicated and detailed lighting scenes, which would normally require a much larger desk.

With the new software, Pages mode allows  every-single address to be assigned as an active channel. Users can move through the 512 DMX channels in pages. Each Page represents 8 channels, with 64 Pages in total.

 Intelligent Memory

The new pages can be saved  and edited as part of an ‘Intelligent Memory’ system. This ensures parameter states are retained,  meaning a light will remain continually active and set, even when controlling  fixtures across multiple Pages. In addition, all fixture settings remain constant until the applicable fader is activated, avoiding sudden jumps when Pages are changed.

With some complex LED lights requiring multiple channels to control one head, this software extends the capability to control significantly more lights and larger scenes.

Research & Development

At EMP Designs, we take great pride in talking to our clients and product users and ensuring that we deliver the best technology and solutions. We are always seeking to evolve and develop to meet new requirements.  Users often know what they want, but don’t understand how it might work and what the problems might be. We listen, then design, develop and test as quickly and responsively as possible to deliver high functioning, quality products.

Availability

All DESK-TX8 from January 2018 will include the new features as standard, at no extra cost. We are delighted to have worked with Cinelex on this project. The new desks are available from them now.