On Friday the Thirteenth the ANSI Board of Standards Review approved the reaffirmation of ANSI E1.3-2001, Entertainment Technology—Lighting Control Systems-0 to 10V Analog Control, making it the R2006 version of this control scheme. Six days later, on October 19, the Board of Standards Review approved ANSI E1.17-2006, Entertainment Technology—Multipurpose Network Control Protocol Suite, better known as ACN: Architecture for Control Networks. Both will be published in the next few weeks. The new ANSI E1.3, being a reaffirmation, has no substantive changes, so the new version will only differ from the 2001 version in its note that it is a reaffirmation and in the listing of working group members. ANSI E1.17 is a new standard that is a suite of more than a score of documents, some of which are hyperlinked to each other. It will take more work to prepare for publication, but absolutely minimal formatting changes are expected to be made to the documents that were offered to the public in the last review, which should shorten the preparation time. The biggest change and most pervasive change to the E1.17 documents will be adding the approval date on which it became an American National Standard to each of the documents in the suite.
ANSI E1.3 is a description of 0 to 10 volt, analog control. It is not the cutting edge of technology, but it is a control scheme appropriate for simple applications and that is still used on custom projects and a few new products. ANSI E1.3 relieves equipment designers of having to work out input impedances, transmitter current capabilities, and other technical details, and helps equipment from different manufacturers work together.
ANSI E1.17, Architecture for Control Networks (ACN), is designed to provide interoperability between equipment of different types from different manufacturers operating on networks that support UDP, IP, and related protocols. It is not bound to Ethernet as a transport medium, but probably it will be implemented most often in Ethernet-based lighting control networks. It may be used most often for lighting control, but ACN is a system of building blocks--an architecture that can be used to create a communication protocol to exchange status and control information between anything, including audio equipment.