Whoops! I missed it. There it was, channel 12! According to the downloadable manual, but sure enougn, 12 is dimming. Serves me right for scanning film strips while reading this forum!
As I've said in the past, I've had my DMX Operator 192 since it turns out 2001(end of 2001!) I didn't program anything into it until February or January of this year. Of course, I've since zero'd it out, but that was a decision I made. Through documentation, I can redo what I want the way I want. I basically re-did my channel assignments.
So, I can tell you first hand that programming these units is not necessarily the easiest thing in the known universe, but at the same point, it's not that difficult. My hint: Read all the way through the programming section first. Don't me at the gear, just read that section all the way through. Then take a break, read it again, but slower this time, mainly since now you know where to pay more attention.
Take another break. Now get in front of the gear, and take your time and do it. I'm working on some note sheets for documenting my programming. What's great is, since I erased my DMX Operator, I can just re-use the values to get the results I want, no guesswork. I'm lazy, and lazy is still a lot of work!
I bet some things could work out. If you set your DMX channel that controls focus to focus, you can set the fixture to otherwise be in sound active mode. I cold very well be wrong, but I am betting that will give you both things you want: sound active and focus. I'd say try it. And you still get your 2AM "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" announcement before you hit the blackout button capability.
You're lucky in the fact that you have facilities and can test what you're working on easily. For me, it's not so simple since I gotta set up a truss and stands and t-bars, dimmers, hang stuff... too much effort for a quickie. I'd say use down time or non-prime hours for play. Well, that's what I would do.
OK, my post count went up again. Do I get a cookie yet? It's not 2AM here, but I gotta hit my blackout button.