Blizzard | Snowblind FX | User manual | Blizzard Snowblind FX User manual

Blizzard Snowblind FX User manual
Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Waukesha, WI USA
Copyright (c) 2013
SnowBlind™ FX
1. Getting Started
What’s In The Box?
Getting It Out Of The Box
Powering Up!
Getting A Hold Of Us
Safety Instructions (Don’t Stick Your Hand In The Toaster!)
2. Meet The SnowBlind™ FX
Main Features
DMX Quick Reference
The SnowBlind™ FX Pin-up Picture
Rear Connections
3. Setup 7
Fuse Replacement 7
Connecting A Bunch Of SnowBlind™ FX Fixtures 7
Data/DMX Cables 7
Using this fixture with the wiCICLE® Wireless DMX System 8
Cable Connectors 10
3-Pin??? 5-Pin??? Huh?
Take It To The Next Level: Setting up DMX Control
Fixture Linking (Master/Slave Mode)
4. Operating Adjustments The Control Panel Control Panel Menu Structure
DMX Channel Values In-Depth
Troubleshooting 5. Appendix A Quick DMX Lesson
Keeping Your SnowBlind™ FX As Good As New
Returns (Gasp!) Shipping Issues
Tech Specs
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 2
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
What’s In The Box?
• 1 x SnowBlind™ FX
• This Lovely User Manual
Getting It Out Of The Box
Congratulations on purchasing one way cool, way flexible, way original LED strobe light! Now that you’ve got your SnowBlind™ FX (or hopefully, Snow Blind FX’s!), you should
carefully unpack the box and check the contents to ensure that all parts are present
and in good condition. If anything looks as if it has been damaged in transit, notify the
shipper immediately and keep the packing material for inspection. Again, please save
the carton and all packing materials. If a fixture must be returned to the factory, it is
important that the fixture be returned in the original factory box and packing.
Powering Up!
All fixtures must be powered directly off a switched circuit and cannot be run off a
rheostat (variable resistor) or dimmer circuit, even if the rheostat or dimmer
channel is used solely for a 0% to 100% switch.
AC Voltage Switch - Not all fixtures have a voltage select switch, so please verify that
the fixture you receive is suitable for your local power supply. See the label on the
fixture or refer to the fixture’s specifications chart for more information. A fixture’s
listed current rating is its average current draw under normal conditions. Check the
fixture or device carefully to make sure that if a voltage selection switch exists that it is
set to the correct line voltage you will use.
Warning! Verify that the voltage select switch on your unit matches the line
voltage applied. Damage to your fixture may result if the line voltage applied
does not match the voltage indicated on the voltage selector switch. All
fixtures must be connected to circuits with a suitable Ground (Earthing).
Getting A Hold Of Us
If something is wrong, just give us a call or send an email. We’ll be happy to
help, honest.
Blizzard Lighting
N16 W23390 Stoneridge Dr. Ste E
Waukesha, WI 53188 USA
Disclaimer: The information and specifications contained in this document are subject to change
without notice. Blizzard Lighting™ assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions
that may appear in this user manual. Blizzard Lighting™ reserves the right to update the existing
document or to create a new document to correct any errors or omissions at any time. You can
download the latest version of this document from
Last Edited:
J. Thomas
J. Thomas
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 3
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
• Please keep this User Guide for future use. If you sell the unit to someone
else, be sure that they also receive this User Guide.
• ALWAYS make sure that you are connecting to the proper voltage, and that
the line voltage you are connecting to is not higher than that stated on the
decal or rear panel of the fixture.
• Make sure there are no flammable materials close to the unit while operating.
• The unit must be installed in a location with adequate ventilation, at least
20in (50cm) from adjacent surfaces. Be sure that no ventilation slots are
• ALWAYS disconnect from the power source before servicing or replacing fuse
and be sure to replace with same fuse size and type.
• ALWAYS secure fixture using a safety chain. NEVER carry the fixture by its
cord. Use its carrying handles.
• DO NOT operate at ambient temperatures higher than 104°F (40°C).
• In the event of a serious operating problem, stop using the unit immediately.
NEVER try to repair the unit by yourself. Repairs carried out by unskilled people
can lead to damage or malfunction. Please contact the nearest authorized
technical assistance center. Always use the same type spare parts.
• NEVER connect the device to a dimmer pack.
• Make sure the power cord is never crimped or damaged.
• Never disconnect the power cord by pulling or tugging on the cord.
• Avoid direct eye exposure to the light source while it is on.
Caution! There are no user serviceable parts inside the unit. Do not
open the housing or attempt any repairs yourself. In the unlikely event
your unit may require service, please contact Blizzard Lighting at
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 4
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
2. MEET THE SnowBlind™ FX LED Strobe Light
• Way bright output from 4x 3.5-watt cool white LED’s
• 4-segment LED pixel strobe effects
• Each LED is individually controllable via DMX
• Variable electronic strobe
• Variable electronic dimmer
• Controlled via 6-channel DMX and master/slave
• Two sound active modes in standalone and DMX modes
• Four intense built-in programs
• Auto run with speed control
• Rear microphone sensitivity adjustment knob
• 4-button easy to use LED control panel menu
• Aluminum mounting bracket with locking knobs
• Able to directly power the wiCICLE® wireless system via DMX
• Lightweight and Compact (It kept its New Years’ resolution!)
DMX Quick Reference - 6 Channel Mode
What It Does
LED 1 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
LED 2 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
LED 3 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
LED 4 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
Flash (Slow <--> Fast)
Built-in Programs and Sound Active Modes
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 5
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Figure 1: The SnowBlind™ FX Pin-Up Picture
Mounting Bracket
Aluminum Housing
Locking Knobs
4x 3.5-Watt
Cool White LED’s
Figure 2: The Rear Connections
Mic Sensitivity
Adjustment Knob
AC Power In
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B LED Control
DMX512 In
Page 6
DMX512 Out
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Fuse Replacement
CAUTION! The SnowBlind™ FX utilizes a high-output switch-mode power
supply with an internal fuse. Under normal operating conditions, the fuse
should not require replacement. The fuse is field replaceable, however
it is an advanced procedure suited to qualified individuals. Should your
SnowBlind™ FX fuse require replacement, please contact Blizzard Lighting
for instructions, or to return your unit for service.
Connecting A Bunch of SnowBlind™ FX Fixtures
You will need a serial data link to run light shows using a DMX-512
controller or to run shows on two or more fixtures set to sync in master/
slave operating mode. The combined number of channels required by all
the fixtures on a serial data link determines the number of fixtures the
data link can support.
Fixtures on a serial data link must be daisy chained in one single line.
Also, connecting more than 32 fixtures on one serial data link without the
use of a DMX optically-isolated splitter may result in deterioration of the
digital DMX signal. The maximum recommended cable-run distance is 500
meters (1640 ft). The maximum recommended number of fixtures on a
serial data link is 32 fixtures.
Data/DMX Cabling
To link fixtures together you’ll need data cables. You should use datagrade cables that can carry a high quality signal and are less prone to
electromagnetic interference.
For instance, Belden© 9841 meets the specifications for EIA RS-485
applications. Standard microphone cables will “probably” be OK, but note
that they cannot transmit DMX data as reliably over long distances. In
any event, the cable should have the following characteristics:
2-conductor twisted pair plus a shield
Maximum capacitance between conductors – 30 pF/ft.
Maximum capacitance between conductor & shield – 55 pF/ft.
Maximum resistance of 20 ohms / 1000 ft.
Nominal impedance 100 – 140 ohms
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 7
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
In addition to the unbridled thrill you already
received the first time you plugged in your fixture, you’ll be delighted to know that This fixture also works seamlessly with our wiCICLE®
Wireless DMX system, without additional power.
• ONLY fixtures bearing this logo are certified for use with the wiCICLE®
without external power.
• Unauthorized modification and/or using the wiCICLE® with unapproved fixtures may cause damage to the wiCICLE® or fixture.
• Fixtures bearing the above logo MUST only use cable and connectors
which separate chassis/case ground from cable shielding. Cabling with
the shield connected to the connector’s case/chassis may cause malfunction and damage to the wiCICLE® or fixture.
• wiCICLE® transmitters have additional power requirements and
therefore cannot be powered directly from the fixture. You will
need to utilize the supplied AC/DC adaptor to drive wiCICLE®
transmitters in your system.
Antenna Housing & 1/2-wave
Antenna ferrule & articulation
Stainless Steel Housing
Recessed Selector Button
Status LED
3-Pin XLR Connector
(Male on transmitter, Female
on receiver model)
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 8
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Each wiCICLE® acts as both a transmitter and a receiver, depending on whether a
DMX source is applied to the integral XLR connector. This is an extremely powerful feature of the system, however, it also requires 1 piece of due dilligence,
and that is the removal of extraneous DMX signals from your lighting rig BEFORE
THEM AS SLAVES PRIOR TO RETURNING THEM TO DMX MODE (IF APPLICABLE). Most fixtures contain a built-in automatic, sound active or custom program which is designed to operate with the fixture NOT connected
to a DMX chain.
Some of these programs will automatically run unless the fixture is set to slave
mode. These fixtures typically sense DMX automatically and switch to DMX mode
upon receiving DMX signal (our Pucks do that!)
If you plug a wiCICLE® “receiver” into an autosensing fixture set as a “master,
“chances are good that the wiCICLE® “receiver” will begin transmitting the master
program. Most times, this is undesirable, and taking the two seconds to switch
these programs off will solve a lot of ails.
Got that done? Good! Then let’s proceed!
1. Plug the wiCICLE® Receiver into the “DMX IN” connector of the fixture and
verify it is receiving power (the STATUS LED should illuminate.)
2. Connect the AC/DC adaptor to the the wiCICLE® Transmitter and verify it is
receiving power (the STATUS LED should illuminate.)
3. Press the RECESSED SELECTOR BUTTON on the Transmitter to select the
operating channel group. (The system will store this setting for future use)
The 7-Color Status LED will change color to indicate the current channel group:
NOTE: “GROUP” number also
corresponds to the “GROUP”
setting on our LightCaster™
wireless DMX Transceiver.
4. Follow the same procedure on the Receiver to select the channel group.
5. Once both the transmitter and receiver(s) are both set to the same channel
group, connect the transmitter to the DMX controller or the DMX out of a fixture
on your DMX chain.
6. Once a DMX signal is provided to the transmitter, the status LED will blink RED
slowly until communication is established with the receiver. The status LED on
the receiver(s) will flash GREEN slowly until communication is established.
7. Once the clearest channel is auto-selected, the status LEDs will blink quickly on
both the transmitter and receiver. NOTE: The color of the LED DURING operation does not indicate channel group, instead it indicates whether the unit is
transmitting or receiving. That’s It!
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 9
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Cable Connectors
Cables must have a male XLR connector on one end and a female XLR
connector on the other end. (Duh!)
CAUTION: Do not allow contact between the common and the
fixture’s chassis ground. Grounding the common can cause a ground
loop, and your fixture may perform erratically. Test cables with an
ohm meter to verify correct polarity and to make sure the pins are not
grounded or shorted to the shield or each other.
3-Pin??? 5-Pin??? Huh?!?
If you use a controller with a 5 pin DMX output connector, you will need to use a 5 pin to 3 pin adapter.
They are widely available over the internet and from specialty retailers If you’d like to build your own, the
chart below details a proper cable conversion:
3-Pin Female
5-Pin Male
Pin 1
Pin 1
DMX Data (-)
Pin 2
Pin 2
DMX Data (+)
Pin 3
Pin 3
Not Used.
No Connection.
No Connection.
Not Used.
No Connection.
No Connection.
Take It To The Next Level: Setting Up DMX Control
Step 1: Connect the male connector of the
DMX cable to the female connector (output)
on the controller.
Step 2: Connect the female connector of
the DMX cable to the first fixture’s male
connector (input). Note: It doesn’t matter
which fixture address is the first one
connected. We recommend connecting the
fixtures in terms of their proximity to the
controller, rather than connecting the lowest
fixture number first, and so on.
Step 3: Connect other fixtures in the chain
from output to input as above. Place a DMX
terminator on the output of the final fixture
to ensure best communication.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 10
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Fixture Linking (Master/Slave Mode)
1. Connect the (male) 3 pin connector side of the
DMX cable to the output (female) 3 pin connector of
the first fixture.
2. Connect the end of the cable coming from
the first fixture which will have a (female) 3 pin
connector to the input connector of the next fixture
consisting of a (male) 3 pin connector. Then,
proceed to connect from the output as stated above
to the input of the following fixture and so on.
A quick note: Often,
the setup for MasterSlave and Standalone
operation requires that
the first fixture in the
chain be initialized for
this purpose via either
settings in the control
panel or DIP-switches.
Secondarily, the fixtures
that follow may also
require a slave setting.
Check the “Operating Adjustments” section in this manual for
complete instructions for this type of setup and configuration.
Mounting & Rigging
This fixture may be mounted in any SAFE position provided there is
enough room for ventilation.
It is important never to obstruct the fan or vents pathway. Mount the
fixture using a suitable “C” or “O” type clamp. The clamp should be
rated to hold at least 10x the fixture’s weight to ensure structural
stability. Do not mount to surfaces with unknown strength, and ensure
properly “rated” rigging is used when mounting fixutres overhead.
Adjust the angle of the fixture by loosening both knobs and tilting the
fixture. After finding the desired position, retighten both knobs.
• When selecting installation location, take into consideration lamp
replacement access (if applicable) and routine maintenance.
• Safety cables MUST ALWAYS be used.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 11
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
The Control Panel
All the goodies and different modes possible with the SnowBlind™ FX are accessed by
using the control panel on the side of the fixture. There are 4 control buttons below the
LED display which allow you to navigate through the various control panel menus.
Is used to navigate the various modes.
Is used to enter into the selected mode setup.
Scrolls through menu items and numbers in ascending order.
Scrolls through menu items and numbers in descending order.
The Control Panel LED Display shows the menu items listed on the Control Panel Menu
Structure below. Pushing the <MODE> button repeatedly will scroll through the menu
settings. To edit one, push the <SETUP> button. Then use the <UP> and <DOWN>
buttons to scroll through your choices (if applicable). Push the mode button to confirm.
Control Panel Menu Structure
d --
001 - 255
DMX Starting Address
000 - 255
Brightness Adjustment (0% <-->100%)
Pr.1 - Pr.4 SP.1 - SP.9
Built-in programs 1-4 <SETUP>
Sets the Fixture to Auto Mode
SP.1 - SP.9
Speed Adjustment (Slow <--> Fast)
Sound Active Mode 1
Sound Active Mode 2
Sets the Fixture to Slave Mode
Sd 2
Speed Adjustment (Slow <--> Fast)
NOTE: If buttons are not pressed within 20 seconds, the LED display will shut off.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 12
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
DMX Values In-Depth (6-Channel Mode)
What It Does
000 <--> 255
LED 1 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
000 <--> 255
LED 2 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
000 <--> 255
LED 3 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
000 <--> 255
LED 4 Intensity (0% <--> 100%)
000 <--> 255
Flash (Slow <--> Fast)
Static Color & Strobe
Program 1 (Channel 1
Program 2 (Channel 1
Program 3 (Channel 1
Program 4 (Channel 1
Sound Active Mode 1
Sound Active Mode 2
Fixture AutoShut Off
Check the fan in the fixture. If it is stopped or moving slower
than normal, the unit may have shut itself off due to high
heat. This is to protect the fixture from overheating. Clear
the fan of obstructions, or return the unit for service.
Beam is Dim
Check optical system and clean excess dust/grime. Also
ensure that the 220V/110V switch is in the correct position, if
No Light Output
Check to ensure fixture is operating under correct mode, IE
sound active/auto/DMX/Etc., if applicable. Chase Speed
Too Fast/Slow
Check to ensure proper setup of speed adjustment.
No Power
Check fuse, AC cord and circuit for malfunction.
Blown Fuse
Check AC cord and circuit for damage, verify that moving parts
are not restricted and that unit’s ventilation is not obstructed
Slow Movement
Verify that 220V/110V switch is in the correct position, if applicable. Also check that speed channels are set appropriately.
No Response
to Audio
Verify that the fixture is in “Sound Active” mode.
Adjust Audio Sensitivity, If Applicable.
Fixture Not
Responding /
Make sure all connectors are seated properly and securely.
Use Only DMX Cables and/or check cables for defects
Install a Terminator.
Reset fixture(s).
Check lamp for properly installation.
Relamp, lamp may have reached end of life.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 13
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
A Quick Lesson On DMX
DMX (aka DMX-512) was created in 1986 by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) as a standardized method for connecting lighting consoles to lighting dimmer modules. It was revised in
1990 and again in 2000 to allow more flexibility. The Entertainment
Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has since assumed control
over the DMX512 standard. It has also been approved and recognized
for ANSI standard classification. DMX covers (and is an abbreviation for) Digital MultipleXed signals. It
is the most common communications standard used by lighting and
related stage equipment. DMX provides up to 512 control “channels” per data link. Each of these
channels was originally intended to control lamp dimmer levels. You
can think of it as 512 faders on a lighting console, connected to 512
light bulbs. Each slider’s position is sent over the data link as an 8-bit
number having a value between 0 and 255. The value 0 corresponds to
the light bulb being completely off while 255 corresponds to the light
bulb being fully on.
DMX data is transmitted at 250,000 bits per second using the RS-485
transmission standard over two wires. As with microphone cables, a
grounded cable shield is used to prevent interference with other signals.
There are five pins on a DMX connector: a wire for ground (cable
shield), two wires for “Primary” communication which goes from a DMX
source to a DMX receiver, and two wires for a “Secondary” communication which goes from a DMX receiver back to a DMX source. Generally,
the “Secondary” channel is not used so data flows only from sources
to receivers. Hence, most of us are most familiar with DMX-512 as
being employer over typical 3-pin “mic cables,” although this does not
conform to the defined standard.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 14
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
DMX is connected using a daisy-chain configuration where the source
connects to the input of the first device, the output of the first device
connects to the input of the next device, and so on. The standard allows for up to 32 devices on a single DMX link.
Each receiving device typically has a means for setting the “starting
channel number” that it will respond to. For example, if two 6-channel
fixtures are used, the first fixture might be set to start at channel 1 so
it would respond to DMX channels 1 through 6, and the next fixture
would be set to start at channel 7 so it would respond to channels 7
through 12.
The greatest strength of the DMX communications protocol is that it is
very simple and robust. It involves transmitting a reset condition (indicating the start of a new “packet”), a start code, and up to 512 bytes
of data. Data packets are transmitted continuously. As soon as one
packet is finished, another can begin with no delay if desired (usually
another follows within 1 ms). If nothing is changing (i.e. no lamp levels change) the same data will be sent out over and over again. This is
a great feature of DMX -- if for some reason the data is not interpreted
the first time around, it will be re-sent shortly.
Not all 512 channels need to be output per packet, and in fact, it is
very uncommon to find all 512 used. The fewer channels are used,
the higher the “refresh” rate. It is possible to get DMX refreshes at
around 1000 times per second if only 24 channels are being transmitted. If all 512 channels are being transmitted, the refresh rate is
around 44 times per second.
In summary, since its design and evolution in the 1980’s DMX has
become the standard for lighting control. It is flexible, robust, and
scalable, and its ability to control everything from dimmer packs to
moving lights to foggers to lasers makes it an indispensable tool for
any lighting designer or lighting performer.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 15
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Keeping Your SnowBlind™ FX As Good As New
The fixture you’ve received is a rugged, tough piece of pro lighting equipment, and as long as you take care of it, it will take care of you. That said, like
anything, you’ll need to take care of it if you want it to operate as designed.
You should absolutely keep the fixture clean, especially if you are using it in an
environment with a lot of dust, fog, haze, wild animals, wild teenagers or spilled
Cleaning the optics routinely with a suitable glass cleaner will greatly improve
the quality of light output. Keeping the fans free of dust and debris will keep
the fixture running cool and prevent damage from overheating. In transit, keep the fixtures in cases. You wouldn’t throw a prized guitar,
drumset, or other piece of expensive gear into a gear trailer without a case,
and similarly, you shouldn’t even think about doing it with your shiny new light
fixtures. Common sense and taking care of your fixtures will be the single biggest thing
you can do to keep them running at peak performance and let you worry about
designing a great light show, putting on a great concert, or maximizing your client’s satisfaction and “wow factor.” That’s what it’s all about, after all!
Returns (Gasp!)
We’ve taken a lot of precautions to make sure you never even have to worry
about sending a defective unit back, or sending a unit in for service. But, like
any complex piece of equipment designed and built by humans, once in a while,
something doesn’t go as planned. If you find yourself with a fixture that isn’t
behaving like a good little fixture should, you’ll need to obtain a Return Authorization (RA).
Don’t worry, this is easy. Just send an email to,
and we’ll issue you an RA. Then, you’ll need to send the unit to us using a
trackable, pre-paid freight method. We suggest using USPS Priority or UPS.
Make sure you carefully pack the fixture for transit, and whenever possible, use
the original box & packing for shipping.
When returning your fixture for service, be sure to include the following:
1.) Your contact information (Name, Address, Phone Number, Email address).
2.) The RA# issued to you
3.) A brief description of the problem/symptoms.
We will, at our discretion, repair or replace the fixture. Please remember that
any shipping damage which occurs in transit to us is the customer’s responsibility, so pack it well!
Shipping Issues
Damage incurred in shipping is the responsibility of the shipper, and
must be reported to the carrier immediately upon receipt of the items.
Claims must be made within seven (7) days of receipt.
SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 16
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Tech Specs!
Weight & Dimensions
12.59 inches (32 cm)
5.51 inches (14 cm)
3.54 inches (9 cm)
3.52 lbs (1.6 kg)
Operating Voltage
120VAC 60Hz
Power Consumption
16W Max, .21A, PF .65
Light Source
4x 3.5-Watt LED’s (Cool White), 100,000 hours.
Beam Angle
120 degrees
Luminous Intensity
590 Lux @ 1m
Max. Operating Temp.
104 degrees F (40 degrees C) ambient
DMX Channels
6 Channel
3-pin XLR Male
3-pin XLR Female
Operating Modes
Sound Active, Master/Slave, DMX
Special Ability
Can make things appear to move in slooow motion.
2-year limited warranty, does not cover malfunction caused by
damage to LED’s.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
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SnowBlind™ FX Manual - Rev. B Page 19
Copyright (c) 2013 Blizzard Lighting, LLC
Enjoy your product!
Our sincerest thanks for your purchase!
--The team @ Blizzard Lighting
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