Connecting to Eos with Your Laptop


Connecting to Eos with Your Laptop

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ll talk about why networking in as a client is useful in a different post. These are just the instructions on how to do it.

Get a Nomad Dongle

You can buy one here or from your local dealer, if you’re a student be sure to get the educational package. Plug it into your laptop – there will be no indication that anything is happening other than the red glow of the dongle itself.

Network Your Devices

Your laptop has to talk to your console so you’ll need some networking equipment. The simplest setup is a single ethernet cable connecting your console and laptop – if your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port, buy an adapter. WiFi is useless for this don’t even try. I like to add a network switch in the middle so that I can add more gear later. Cheap network switches let you connect a lot of things together, and don’t require any configuration.

Now that your stuff is physically connected it needs to get on the same page digitally. Unless someone did something weird your console should have IP address 10.101.X.X and subnet mask If that’s not true, go yell at the venue – there probably isn’t a legitimate reason it’s weird and you can change it back, but check first. If everything is normal, set your laptop’s IP address to and your subnet mask to

Everything’s gateway should be but it doesn’t actually affect anything.

Instructions to change your IP address on Windows & Mac.

Version Diversion

Make sure your laptop has the same software version as the console, keeping in mind that the build number has to match too, but library version does not (press About or Y to view). Download alternate versions here. Keep in mind that if you have to downgrade your laptop’s version, you need to uninstall it first, then install the older version. I like to update the console to the latest release instead, but some venues don’t want you to (just do it quickly before they can tell you it’s against the rules).

Launch Eos Family Software

If you just did a fresh install they helpfully put a shortcut on your desktop. Otherwise find the eloquently named “Launch Eos Family Software” by searching in the Windows start menu or Apple spotlight.

You now have some choices. You’ll probably see a menu like this. Click “Eos” unless you’re running Element or Element 2. If you’re running older software (like 2.6 or earlier) you’ll probably only see “Eos” and launch options (Client, Offline, etc) – if you need to launch as Element, there is a plain text “Change Console Mode” button on the bottom left, and it will let you change to Element.

Once you’ve picked a mode, click “Client”. If you see “Mirror” instead, you forgot to plug in your dongle. If it doesn’t recognize your dongle, relaunch the software with it already connected.

Client Mode

Your laptop should now automatically find the console and sync the active showfile. If not it will bring up a networking window and let you pick who you want to connect to. Click “Change Master” to sync. If that doesn’t happen or you click away before syncing, open the browser F9 and navigate to “Network” to get back.

If you don’t see your console in the network display, one of these steps was done incorrectly or something is physically broken. Always feel free to call ETC for support: 1-800-688-4116.

Subnet Masks

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What are subnet masks and how do they affect your life? In a gross abbreviation of how it actually works for real IT people – subnet masks control which IP address ranges your devices can talk to.

An IPv4 address, IE, is really just a 32 bit number, that we display as 4 octets. To create a subnet, you can prohibit different devices on the same network from talking to each other. This is where each device’s subnet mask comes into play.

The 4 octets of the subnet mask are linked to the 4 octets of the IP address. For our purposes, each octet of the subnet mask can either be 255 or 0. 255 means that the IP address must match, and 0 means it can be anything (ok only 0-255 are actually valid).

For Example

Say you have a device with the address and a subnet mask Because the first 2 octets of the mask are 255, the first two octets of the IP address of any device you want to talk to must also be 10.101. The second two octets are 0, so the second two octets of any device you want to talk to don’t have to match anything.

  • Your device can’t talk to – the first octet needs to match your address, 10
  • Your device can’t talk to – the second octet needs to match your address, 101
  • Your device can talk to
  • Your device can talk to

Keep in mind that the device you want to talk to also has its own subnet mask, which follows all of the same rules. In almost every theatrical application, the subnet masks of all your devices should match.

ETC Equipment

The default subnet mask for all ETC products is which means the first 2 octets have to match, but the other 2 don’t. All ETC products have a default IP range of 10.101.X.X.

ETC has a comprehensive addressing standard, including where to put some third party equipment like WiFi access points. You can read the entire guide here.

Most consumer access points have an IP address range something like 192.168.1.X, which is why usually nothing works when you just connect your laptop to the lighting network. If you want your laptop to play nice with the lighting network, you should change its IP address to -, and make sure its subnet mask is