Script Format

The COBRA script file is a comma-separated values (.csv) file format, as shown below.


A script has two main components. The first is the Header Row, which defines different attributes such as which button on what channel will start the script. The second is the Event Rows, which specify which channel and cue fires and when.

Header Row

Below is a description of each attribute within the header row.

  • Trigger Channel (column A) (optional) - The channel the remote should be set to when pressing the Trigger Button (explained below). Values can be 00 to 199 in firmware version 6.0 or higher and 00-99 in firmware version 5.1 or lower. COBRA recommends using channel 0 for the trigger channel as a general recommendation, however, any value is acceptable.
  • Trigger Button (column B) - The button you press to start the show. Values can be 1-18, STEP, or AUTO-FIRE.
  • Deadman Button/Trigger Confirmation Button (column C) (optional) - Depending on your firmware version, this field is either the Deadman Button or the Trigger Confirmation button, explained below. Please make sure this value is not set to the same value as the Trigger Button above.

If you are running firmware version 4.0 or lower, this field defines the Trigger Confirmation Button. When defining this button, the operator is required to press this button following the Trigger Button (explained above) to start the script.

If you are running firmware version 5.0 or higher, this field defines the optional Deadman Button. If you plan to use the physical COBRA Deadman, enter "deadman" into this field, without the quotes. You can alternatively use values 1-18 as a deadman button. The user is then required to press and hold the defined deadman button for the script to run.

  • Return Channel (column D) - The channel the 18R2 returns to after finishing the script. When using a multi-script file it is recommended to make this channel the trigger channel of your next script.
  • Audio Box Filename (column E) (optional) - The audio box filename. Please make sure to properly format the audio filename using Audacity software.
    In firmware version 3.0 or 4.0, you can enter the word "audiobox" or "audiobox.mp3" to configure the script to play audiobox.mp3 file located on the USB drive you place into the Audio Box. In these versions, the filename must be named audiobox.mp3. In firmware version 5.0, you can specify your own filename, but the filename must be 12 characters or less including the .mp3 file extension. In firmware version 5.1, the filename can be up to 45 characters long, including the .mp3 extension. In firmware version 6.0 and higher, the filename can be up to 31 characters long, including the .mp3 extension.
  • Script Name (column F) (optional) - Only available in firmware version 5.0 or higher. This field is helpful if you have multiple scripts in your 18R2 and you are using the COBRA Control Panel to select a script to fire.
  • Disable Firing Button (column G) (optional) - Only available in firmware version 5.0 or higher, the disable firing button you press to cause the modules to stop firing; however, the script will continue along with the audio. Values can be 1-18. You can also use the COBRA Control Panel to disable firing even if this button is not defined.
  • Alternate Firing Button 1 (column H) (optional) - Only available in firmware version 4.0 or higher, the alternate firing button 1 fires the next Alternate 1 event. Values can be 1-18. For more information on what Alternate Firing is, please see Multiple Scripts, Clearing Scripts, and Alternate Firing in this user guide.
  • Alternate Firing Button 2 (column I) (optional) - Only available in firmware version 5.0 or higher, the alternate firing button 2 fires the next Alternate 1 event. Values can be 1-18.
  • SMPTE Timecode (column J) (optional) - Only available in firmware version 5.1 or higher, the SMPTE argument within the script files tells the COBRA 18R2 if it is to expect timecode1 or timecode2. For more on using SMPTE in your script please see SMPTE Sensitivity Options

Event Rows

Below is a description of each attribute within the event rows. If you are using COBRA DMX, you can have both pyro and DMX events in a single event row for which each will operate independently with their own pulse times, but fire at the same event time. For example, if a single event row fires at a 1 minute event time, but the pyro event has a 1 seconds pulse time and the DMX event has a 5 second DMX pulse time (different column), the pyro event will only fire for 1 second while the DMX event will fire for 

  • Event Time (column A) - The exact time on which the event will execute. The time format is as follows: where hh is hours (e.g., 00 is 0h), mm is minutes (e.g., 01 is 1m), is seconds (e.g., 01 is 1s), and .ss which represents a 1/100th-second increment. Note that 1/100th of a second timing is only available in firmware 5.0 and higher. If your firmware is lower than 5.0, only 1/10th of a second timing is available, and only one decimal place is supported. The time begins when the operator presses the button. Therefore, if you wish the first event to occur immediately, you'll want to start with 00:00:00.0.

If you are creating a STEP only or combined STEP / Timed event script, you can enter the word "STEP" without the quotes into the event time field. This will cause the script to pause at this line, display "SP" on the bottom of the 18R2, and require the user to press STEP to fire the event. If you want multiple events firing at the same time as the STEP button, use 00:00:00.0s as the time format for subsequent events. For example, a STEP event followed by two events with 00:00:00.0s as the event time will fire all three events at the same time. Please also note that when using a STEP event, the event time following the STEP event resets back to 0.0s as if it's a stopwatch resetting. Therefore, if you want to fire an event 10 seconds after a STEP event, use 00:00:10.0s vs. 10 seconds following the previous event time in the script.

The formatting is relatively loose and does not require all values. For example, for 1.5s, you can use 1.5. You don't need to enter the full 00:00:01.5 value. 

  • Channel (column B) - The channel you are firing. Modules are set to a single channel. Values are between 0 and 199 in firmware versions 6.0 or higher and 0-99 in firmware versions 5.1 or lower.
  • Cue (column C) - The cue you are firing. Values are 0 to 18.
  • Description (column D) (optional) - The description of the product you are shooting. For example, "Blue Mine".
  • Disable Groups (column E) (optional) - The disable group name. Max characters are 64 using a-z, A-Z and 0-9. For example, "High Wind". Any events with the same disable group name will combine together to allow instant disabling of groups of effects. Note this feature is only available in firmware version 7.0 or higher and is available within the COBRA Control Panel (gen 2 only) within Menu > Show Controls > Disable Firing. You can define a total of 10 disable groups per script.
  • Pulse Time* (column F) (optional) - The length of time the physical pyro cue fires. Supports values up to 20 seconds and down to 1/010th second resolution. For example, 02.32s. By leaving this blank, the firing module defaults to its local Talon/Clip-on Igniter or e-Match Firing Mode.

*Not available for 18M Hardware A modules, produced prior to June of 2015. If 18M hardware A is used, the local Talon/Clip-on Igniter or e-Match Firing Module is used.

  • AUX Data (column G) (not used)- This functionality not currently supported and will be available in a future firmware version.
  • DMX Universe (column H) (required for a DMX event) - The DMX universe from 1 to 99.
  • DMX Channel (column I) (required for a DMX event) - The DMX channel from 0 to 200.
  • DMX Value (column J) (required for a DMX event) - The DMX value from 0 to 255.
  • DMX Pulse (column K) (optional) - The length of time the DMX value is sent between 0 seconds and 10 minutes down to the 1/100th second. The accepted format is MM:SS.XX. For example, 1 minute, 10.3 seconds is 01:10.30. By leaving this field blank, the DMX channel and value will be sent continuously until another event with the same DMX channel and value is sent. Leaving this blank is helpful when setting a master "on" switch for a specific DMX hardware device at the beginning of the script and then turning it off at the end of the script. At any time the DMX channel and value is not sent, a value of 0 is sent in the module's DMX signal output.

End Line

On the final line of the script in column A, place the word "end". This last line signifies to the 18R2 that this is the end of the script. Please find an example script below. Note that we are only defining the Trigger Channel, Trigger Button, and Return Channel in the below script. 


0,1,,1,audiobox,My Script






Please see below for some example event times:

- 1.5 seconds ­ 1.50

- 30 seconds ­ 30.00

- 1 minute and 30 seconds ­ 1:30.00

- 5 minutes, 12.2 seconds ­ 05:12.20

- 1 hour, 10 minutes and 1.3 seconds ­ 01:10:01.30

We have provided several sample scripts for download; please see Can I reference some example scripts?

Was this article helpful?
9 out of 10 found this helpful

Articles in this section

Our Support Team Hours:
We can be reached by phone at 518-741-4300 or email
Emergency Shoot Site Support
COBRA offers a 24-hour support system for on-site emergencies. If you are on a shoot site and encounter a show-stopping issue, please reach out to us via phone at 929-930-6868.