Colorado-based Wybron, Inc. is proud to announce InfoTrace as one of only eight winners of the PLASA Awards for Innovation. Aimed at recognizing the quality of innovation in the fields of lighting, sound, engineering, AV, and staging for entertainment, presentation and installation. The Awards are presented once a year at the PLASA Show in London. Sixty products entered this year and judged during the show by a panel of experienced industry practitioners.

InfoTrace, launched September 5, 2006, is a groundbreaking new system that uses RDM (Remote Device Management) for the control and management of DMX-controlled lighting devices such as color changers, moving lights, conventional lights, and dowsers. RDM is the new open standard of bi-directional protocol for DMX512 based control systems.

A complete InfoTrace system consists of the following components: InfoGate software and hardware, Wybron’s new line of IT products (Coloram IT color changers, Eclipse IT and Eclipse II IT mechanical dowsers, and CXI IT dual scrollers), ColorExpress IT Gelstrings, InfoChip legacy converter, and InfoStore web-based aggregate information tool. The heart of the system is InfoGate, specialized software that uses RDM to facilitate remote addressing and diagnostics for potentially every piece of equipment mounted on a rig. InfoGate works with all IT products and all RDM-compatible equipment from any manufacturer. In addition, any non-RDM equipment can be upgraded with the installation of an InfoChip. Because InfoGate can work with any equipment, the setup, unit testing, and troubleshooting for an entire rig can be coordinated from a single laptop.

Wybron’s IT equipment (Coloram IT color changers, Eclipse IT and Eclipse II IT mechanical dowsers, and CXI IT dual scrollers) is equipped with a series of sensors that can relay a wealth of information to InfoGate. These sensors can detect everything from light, temperature, and voltage to fan speed and even gelstring frame color information. So while RDM equipment will allow identification and remote addressing, IT equipment can give more specific status information and even warn of potential problems, possibly averting failures in the middle of a show. If the status of a device indicates any problem, InfoGate displays an alert with the nature of the problem and the exact location. Troubleshooting is now done in a fraction of the time.

ColorExpress IT Gelstrings have InfoTrace capability too. Every gelstring is built with an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag, which relays information to the sensors on Coloram IT and CXI IT. The tag contains individual frame information as well as a unique job number, which allows for easy reordering.

For operations requiring remote monitoring or multiple locations, Wybron offers InfoStore, a web-based program that gathers all the information sent from InfoGate. This makes the supervision of multiple sets possible, even from a distance. For instance, at the close of several touring productions, complete status reports can be sent to InfoStore. The lighting dealer or rental house can view reports immediately, and any replacement parts or repair orders can be arranged in advance. When equipment arrives on site, it is already known if every piece of equipment is present and working.

InfoStore can also analyze combinations of readings, detect trends, and store unlimited amounts of information.

In the past, setting up and monitoring a lighting system required constant access to a lighting console, hand addressing dipswitches at each fixture, and locating problems by physically inspecting the equipment. With InfoTrace, all of these things can now be done by one person equipped with a laptop. With the introduction of this bold new technology, even a novice member of the lighting crew can confidently set up equipment and run routine checks. A system that runs self-diagnostics and saves time during troubleshooting will be an enormous benefit to everyone involved in a production. Plus, InfoTrace products can be combined in a variety of ways to manage the future health of equipment.