During the recent APEC summit in Sydney, Australia, an entire fleet of yachts sailing through Sydney Harbor were illuminated with SGM Palco 5 fixtures with OEM-installed WDMX™ receivers in a first-of-its-kind display.

The exhibition was part of a showcase for the leaders and ministers from 21 APEC economies, displaying the best that Sydney has to offer. The APEC summit involved a series of meetings focused on the discussion of economic, trade, security, and environmental topics.

Produced and designed by Mark Hammer of Hammer Lighting, in conjunction with Simon Crow of Chameleon Touring, the sailing display was part of the formal finale event hosted at the Sydney Opera House. The display was a formation and exhibition sail involving 5 tall ship and 18 30-foot yachts, which followed a massive fireworks display.

Each of the yachts had their sails illuminated by two SGM Palco 5 RGB LEDs with onboard WDMX receivers on either side of their sails. The effects included color changing, rainbow effects, chases, and the ability to light up each side differently. The LEDs were powered only by gasoline generators.

DMX control was provided by Wireless Solution’s WDMX system. The entire fleet was controlled by one WDMX transmitter fitted with an outdoor aerial signal booster. This configuration was designed to transmit to the WDMX receivers within a half-mile radius (1km), however it did better, and controlled the Palcos at much greater distances. At one stage the control boat containing Mark Hammer, a grandMA console, and the WDMX transmitter was located under the Harbor Bridge, while controlling the yachts in White Bay, an approximate 4-mile (6.4 kms) distance. According to Hammer, even over this distance, the WDMX “worked effortlessly and never skipped a beat.”

Both Crow and Hammer agree that this project would have been impossible without the WDMX system and low power consumption of the Palco 5. Crow asks, “What would I have done—put DMX controllers on every yacht? That would never have worked!” He goes further to say that the Wireless Solution system “worked all day and all night without a hitch, and has continued to do so since.” He even suggests that we will see a lot more events combining wireless systems and LED due to the flexibility and color options such a system provides with the benefits of low power consumption.

The WDMX system and the SGM Palco 5s were provided by the exclusive Australian distributor, ULA. Crow was very effusive about ULA’s attention to detail and customer service and support on this project. He states, “ULA provided fantastic service and extra attention to ensure that the project worked without any issues. Con Nomikos, ULA account manager, came onsite the day before the event to help during testing, when we checked everything worked on dry land, and then also came on the night to ensure that everything was fine. ULA was a fantastic help.”