Skylink setup is awkward for anything other than SkyPanels.

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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:15 pm

I currently employ 20 Arri Skylink receivers, and 1 Base Transmitter.

I have used the Skypanel, and love it! The Skylink was clearly designed for it!
EDIT: On the other hand, the L5, and the L7 were not clearly thought of.

My issue with the Skylink receiver design is that it doesn't work well with the majority of my lights which are as follows:

10 - Arri L7 - C Fresnel lights
8- Arri L5- C Fresnel lights
8 ETC Source 4 LED LUSTR-2 ellipsoidals
10- Rosco Braq Cube LED lights[/list]

The receiver itself is an easy enough design to use, but when I hang the Fresnels from grids and truss', I find that securing power for both the Skylink receiver AND the light is a bit of a fumbling mess.

I find that the small USB-A "Tail" (power cord) on the Skylink receiver is simply too short for use on any fixture OTHER than a SkyPanel, as the SkyPanel was designed to have a USB power input on the fixture itself, whereas the L5, and L7 do not have this feature. The receivers USB-A tail is supposed to plug into a small USB (edison) power block. I always fret about the weight of the power cord being plugged into the USB block. I figure it will pull it apart, unplugging the power connection between the block and the USB-A tail.

My workaround for the short power "tail" on the Skylink receiver is to employ a short 5-Pin DMX (typically 3 ft. long) as a way to move the skylink away from the fresnel unit altogether and acting as a stress reliever. By doing so, I can use the cable holder on the fixture to loop: a power cord, a 3 way power splitter, the excess of the 5-pin DMX cable (along with the skylink receiver itself), and the excess of the PowerCON TRUE 1 cable. It is a real mess to look at, but it works.

TL;DR All of the excess wires and Skylink are held using the Arri cable holder on the fixture in my workaround.

I wanted to share my experience with using the Skylink setup for anyone who has an interest in using them for fresnels, or really any other light than a SkyPanel. I really really enjoy working with the Skylinks, as they are incredibly easy to setup and use. I travel all around with my lights/skylinks, and keep trying new ways to make my setup easier.

I hope and wish that there is a simpler workaround for my setup, such as a data/power port similar to the SkyPanel being implemented into future fresnel fixtures so that you may power the receiver natively. I am nervous about stress being put on the Skylink if you use it as intended. It can be a frustrating rats nest of wires. (edited).

I really hope that my experience can help other people. I can add pictures of my setup if there is any interest.

EDIT: To Arri- Please either extend the length of the tail, or make the Skylink less fragile please. I have extensive experience fumbling around with your product.

Happy Lighting!
Mike Wagner
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:42 pm

Hi Fixxer,

Thanks for your post. I think your experiences will be very helpful to others. And thank you for your feedback as well - it's very useful for our development process.

- Mike Wagner
Senior Product Manager, ARRI
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