To avoid the annoying excercise of having to manually toggle the illuminators, I solved the IP conflict. Made a wiki page for the ethernet power strips since the documentation was woeful (the way the power strips are mounted in the racks, you can't even see the manufacturer/model/make). All chamber illuminators can now be turned on/off by the MEDM scripts . Note that there is a web interface available too, which can be useful in case of some python socket issues. The main lesson is: avoid using the "reset" button on the power strips, it destroys the static IP config.
Unrelated to this work: The EY laptop, asia, won't boot up anymore, with a "Fan Error" message being the red flag. I've temporarily recommissioned the vacuum rack laptop, belladonna, to be the EY machine for this vent. Can we get 3 netbooks that actually work and don't need to be tethered to a power strip for the VEA?