Powerful Things Come In Small Packages

Powerful Things Come In Small Packages

I have lost count of the number of times I have designed an installation and longed for a neat, sophisticated and compact control option that was simple to use yet had the power of a complex theatrical lighting console, without having to bother with a console in a room or a PC hidden away in a cupboard. The new Mosaic Tessera Touch Panel is not much larger than your iPhone, yet has the inbuilt processing power to control 512 channels of DMX over Ethernet and can be programmed with any user interface you design, and can take external triggering and time and date events, plus cue and preset programming. Not only can it be a standalone controller but it can combine with an integrated Mosaic Show Control System to create an expanded lighting solution.


What is Mosaic?
Mosaic is ETC's Architectural line based on the platform of complex show control for colour-mixing fixtures, conventional dimmable fixtures, and automated lights, led lighting and pixel mapping. It is a truly scalable solution ranging from a 512 channel stand alone Tessera control , right up to a 102400 channel count system containing inputs for contact closure, DALI, time code and AV. The system is scalable in any format that a user desires simply by adding modules to the system.

The Tessera Touch Panel is just one part of this entire Mosaic package yet it is one of the most exciting. The Tessera is literally tiny, it measures just 86mm x 146mm x 10mm yet it packs as much DMX control as a small lighting console.

How do I program my Tessera Panel?
Programming of the Tessera Panel is achieved using the Mosaic Designer Software available as a free download from the ETC Website. The Mosaic Designer Software is extremely user friendly and allows for the creation of complex lighting installations. Everything you need is part of the software: from importing project plans for system layout, to positioning lighting fixtures and other devices in the plan, to editing triggers and timelines, picking specific colours, programming special effects, mapping pixels to an array, playing back video clips and visualising your results.

To import your configuration to your Tessera touch panel all you need to do is put your PC on a network with your Tessera, and then you can upload your config straight into your panel.

But wait the offline programming I did is a bit off....
Luckily with the Designer software, while we are online and part of the system you can make any changes to configuration and see them happen live in your installation, that way you can fine tune all of your positions, colours and looks to give them the maximum bang.

Once your show looks perfect, all you need to do is upload your final configuration to the Tessera, then you can unplug your PC from the network and let the Tessera become a standalone controller. If you never need to do any tweaks you never need to touch a PC again, the Tessera will run unaided for the future.

However as we know this is never the case, you always have the ability to touch up your show on the designer software offline then upload a new configuration using the same process at anytime.


The other part of the configuration process is the User Interface customisation. The Tessera has the power to look just as you or your client desires. Using the Mosaic Touch Editor Software you can edit and create the feel of the touchscreen, you can either choose one of the Base templates and edit that or you can create your UI from scratch. For example, you could create one page that is just for colour presets, a series of buttons that changes the colours of the lights, then have another page with an HSI colour picker for those "picky" users, then a page for your cues and so on. All of these custom pages can also have custom backgrounds, or pictures anywhere, such as your company logo, or your pet dog. The Tessera may be tiny but it is powerful enough to be what you want it to be.

The final part of the software suite is the Remote Manager Software. If you Tessera panel is part of a network, by utilising the remote manager software you can remotely upload a configuration or monitor an installed system. This means that if your client needs a small change done you donít need to trek out to site to load your config, you can do it from the comfort of your office.

So what would I need to set up a Tessera system?
At its most basic to set up your fully functional lighting installation, if your fixtures take a DMX over Ethernet protocol all you will need is a Mosaic Tessera Touch Panel, Ethernet cabling, and some lighting fixtures.

ETC Tessera Set-Up 1

Adding to this if you need a legacy DMX protocol to your lights, all you need to add to the schematic is a DMX over Ethernet node such as a Pathport Uno. This will convert the Ethernet protocol from the Tessera to legacy DMX to enable control for your fixtures.

ETC Tessera Set-Up 2

Both of these system risers give the system the capability to control 512 channels of DMX, full cue list and preset programming and Time and Date events, it will also give the user the ability to dynamically change the looks from the touch panel if they desire. If you want external triggering into the system such as serial control all you need to add is a network switch and a Mosaic Remote I/O module and you have a system capable of taking serial commands from any other third party control system. It may seem that with these diagrams that I'm over simplifying the solution but that is the beauty of the Tessera control solution, finally this is all you need to have a fully functional and powerful installation.

Speaking of installation, this is also as simple as it comes, no other accessories are needed to flush mount, and it only takes two screws to mount. Alternatively a back box is available to surface mount the unit.

You can read more about the Tessera Touch Panel and the Mosaic Systems here.

The Hard Facts
Mosaic Tessera Touch Panel
• 86mm x 146mm x 10mm
• 512 Channel Ethernet Based Control Output
• Support for sACN, KiNET, Pathport or Art-Net
• Integrated real or Astronomical Clock
• Scalable up to 40 Mosaic Show Controllers or Mosaic Tessera Panel controllers using standard Ethernet networking
• Project data stored in non-volatile, solid-state memory
• Resumes output automatically upon receiving power
• Software and configuration upload using Ethernet
• Integrated web server provides with active monitoring and remote triggering using Ethernet
• Remote management and upload of configuration using Remote Manager software application
• Flush or surface mount using provided backbox
•  Integrated light, proximity and temperature sensors support system-wide feedback
• PoE power input (IEEE 802.3af), 4 watt consumption
• 1 0/100Base-TX Ethernet using RJ45 connection.

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