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Everything posted by DevMike

  1. Triacs

    You probably asked for where to get them. You probably didn't say you wanted a couple of them Reopen the ticket. Tell us you have stuck channels and you want them sent. We will probably send a reply back that says: We are happy to send you parts to repair your controller. However, replacing parts may not be as simple as you are lead to believe. Replacing parts on a printed circuit board, what is called 'rework', typically requires specialized tools and experience.Rework requires more extensive experience than just being able to solder. If you damage a board while attempting to fix it, that is not covered by your warranty. Removing parts, especially Triacs and other devices with heat sinks, requires precise temperature control and the need to completely remove ALL solder from a pad/through hole. Applying excessive heat or improperly trying to remove a part, for example by rocking it, will lead to breaking the solder pad off the board. Once a pad has 'lifted' off of a circuit board, the board can no longer be repaired and will not work. Removing multi-pin devices is also difficult. For example, the spacing between pins (called 'pitch') on an RJ45 jack makes it very difficult to remove all the solder. Because there are 8 pins it is very easy to leave some excess solder, and when you remove the socket you can very easily break/lift one of the pads.Triacs and RJ45 jacks are the two most requested parts. As you can see, both are very difficult to replace without proper tools.Customers who are soldering their own controllers may sometimes install a part backwards or otherwise damage a part - frequently a resistor network or electrolytic capacitor. Small parts can usually be cut out with a sharp pair of side cutters and the pins removed one by one. You MAY be able to replace that part yourself, but if you are not sure, please don't risk it.If you feel you do not have the experience or tools to replace a part please don't! We can do the repair for you. Simply ask us for an RMA number, and we will have you send the device in for our repair department to fix. If the board is in warranty, the cost is simply shipping both ways. Even if your board is NOT in warranty, the maximum charge is $25 per board (Pixie and Cosmic Color devices may be higher).If you have the proper tools and experience we are MORE than happy to send you the part you need - usually at no charge. However, if you do not have the tools or experience, seriously consider sending the board in rather than attempting the repair yourself. Recently we have seen a LARGE uptick in the number of boards sent to us for repair where the customer destroyed the board while trying to repair/replace a part. We hate to see this. We are not trying to make $25, we are trying to save you several hundred. If you still would like the part, please reply with your shipping address and the exact part you need (if you have not already done so). Be advised that by attempting to install the part yourself, any damage you may cause is not covered under warranty. If you would rather send the device in for us to look at, please reply and ask for an RMA. We will start the RMA process and you can send it in for repair. If you still want them, reply as instructed. Since you are intl, we will ask that you pay shipping.
  2. Release Notes For ShowTime 5 Beta Version 5.0.2 28 July 2017 Updates To The Sequencer Enhancement: move the "Insert SuperStar Effect" right-click menu item up a level. Requested by Light-O-Rama. In version 5.0.2 the "Insert SuperStar Effect" menu item appears twice due to an error. The second entry is the one you should use to invoke SuperStar. Enhancement: when a sequence is open and the user selects Tools > Effect Generator from the main menu, the Effect Generator is now opened in the context of the sequence. Requested by Light-O-Rama. Enhancement: improved display of the favorites tree in the Effect Generator so that highlighted nodes are much more visible. Requested by Light-O-Rama. Enhancement: add an option to disable the message displayed when creating playback files: "The sequence uses 1 LOR network, and according to Network Preferences Regular is enhanced". Requested by user brichi. Enhancement: add a Christmas tree shape to the Simple Shapes effect. Requested by user stevehoyt. Enhancement: install the additional dimming curves that are available in the Pixel Editor forum. Requested by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: a white twinkle effect on RGB pixels or dumb RGB lights looked different when played on a regular LOR network versus an Enhanced LOR (ELOR) network or DMX. Reported by users Bry and brichi. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43632-s5-twinkle-only-on-white/ http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43605-random-twinkle-effect/ Fixed: there was a delay the first time the media was played for a sequence (would happen with media). Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: if you try to start the sequence with the spacebar sometimes it will "stall" and you will have to hit the stop button and hit it again to get it to play. Only applied to MP3 files. From bug report TC02. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43590-tc02-starting-with-spacebar-stalls/ Fixed: opening an LMS or LAS sequence directly from Windows Explorer instead of opening the sequence from the S5 Sequencer will leave the Light-O-Rama splash screen on the display, blocking the box underneath. You have to hit alt tab and click on the x to clear it out. From bug report TC01. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43562-tc01-lor-banner-wont-go-away/ http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43568-s5-sequencer-stuck-at-initializing-effect-generator/ Fixed: when setting your user folder, the user folder cannot be the root folder of a drive, e.g. "L:\". From bug report JRW12. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43541-jrw12-unable-to-assign-lor-default-drive-to-network-drive/ Fixed: "Add Grid View" should not prompt for props/groups and instead save the current grid view. Renamed "Add Grid View" to "Save Current View As". Removed "Copy View" as it did almost the same thing. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: the "Mix Overlay" mode in the Effect Generator changed from the Pixel Editor to the S5 Sequencer, which caused some Pixel Editor sequences to import incorrectly. "Mix Overlay" in S5 has been changed back to the original Pixel Editor logic. The new mixer function in S5 has been renamed "Mix Alpha Blend" which takes into account alpha blending. Reported by user Bry and others. If you have created new effects in S5 that use "Mix Overlay" mode, they should be changed to use the new "Mix Alpha Blend" mode. From bug report JMW-S5-001. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43600-jmw-s5-001-curtain-effect-not-working-properly/ http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43569-effect-mixer-issues-with-imported-pe-props/ Fixed: many Visualizer import bugs -- improved handling of DMX fixtures, pixel string orientation, detection of strobes and multicolor strings, bulb sizing, and bulb color. Reported by user K6CCC. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43587-jrw13-using-preview-that-was-created-by-importing-visualization-error/ Fixed: buttons on Preview Management screen were not sized correctly on Windows XP. Reported by user K6CCC. Fixed: "Delete Grid View" function was not working. Reported by user stevehoyt. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43618-v5-delete-view-not-working/ Fixed: an LMS file created by SuperStar does not import correctly into the S5 Sequencer, moving many channels to the Archive area. Reported by users K6CCC & RocketCitySanta. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43645-opening-superstar-generated-lms-in-s5-sequencer-problem/ Fixed: crash when reading motion effect rows from archive props. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: appending props to current grid view didn't flag the sequence as having unsaved changes. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: crash when reading some custom preview props with no data. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: upgrading a sequence with a fixed grid spacing of less than 0.05 seconds got converted to a grid of 0.05. Fixed timing grids in upgraded sequences will now retain their spacing down to 0.02 seconds. However, the minimum spacing for new timing grids created within S5 will remain at 0.05 seconds. Reported by user dgtlpro. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43625-s5-timing-grids/ Fixed: the drop-down list of props in the Effect Generator wasn't getting populated sometimes when the Effect Generator was opened. Reported by user stevehoyt. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43622-motion-effect-generator-has-no-choices-in-far-right-window/ Fixed: after creating a new group in preview design, the group wasn't selectable. Only affected new groups with arrangement=none. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Fixed: unable to open 2 sequences with the same file name that exist in different directories. Reported by user RocketCitySanta. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43641-multi-copies-of-same-sequence/ Fixed: when upgrading a Sequence that includes a Pixel Editor file, the Pixel Editor props did not appear in the grid. Pixel Editor props are now appended to the first grid view. Reported by user JamesWright. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43546-500-how-do-you-edit-the-rgb-lights/ Fixed: users with an Advanced license can't see the Sequencer's motion effects window or use an enhanced LOR network in beta. Reported by users attending Expo 2017. Fixed: bug when pasting multiple rows with condensed mode off. From bug report SCC04. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43648-scc04-copy-paste-losing-objects/ Fixed: in the Beat Wizard, after applying a beat pattern to a beat channel, clicking undo does not clear the beat marks. The same issue was also fixed in the VU Wizard and the Tapper Wizard. From bug report SCC03. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43647-scc03-beat-wizard-undo-not-clearing-beat-channel/ Removed "File References" item from the toolbar's preview menu - as the preview menu is for actions that apply to the preview, and this item applied to the sequence. The function is still available from the Sequence menu. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Removed "Export to SuperStar" link in Preview Management screen. This function is not fully implemented yet. Reported by Light-O-Rama. Updates To SuperStar Fixed a bug in the Load/Save Clipboard dialog box. The effect counts were not being defined if you have navigated to a folder. Fixed a bug where the export of a sequence would only export the effects from where the time ruler is currently at. Fixed it so it always exports all the effects in the sequence. When launched from the S5 Sequencer the time ruler would always be at time 0:00. Fixed it so it is within 1 second of the start time of the request. When launched from the S5 Sequencer SuperStar would sometimes display a message box saying "Enter a value between -64 and 64" When launched from the S5 Sequencer as a musical file, SuperStar would sometimes fail to launch, and if it did launch the audio file would fail to load. Fixes That Will Be In The Next Release (version 5.0.4) Removed duplicate "Insert SuperStar Effect" menu item Sequence > Channel Configuration > Import now works when the import updates the currently selected view. Open Issues Add support for multiple clipboards and ability to import/export clipboard file (same functionality as S4) Add "Foreground Effects" Fade up and Fade Down (from S4) http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43643-foreground-effects/ Add support for props sharing the same channels Add support for SuperStar globe topper Make it easier to create a CCR Tree Add to grid's context menu options to create motion effect rows with subregions automatically based on columns or rows Add support for S4's Color Fade tool and a history of color fades used No way to chase across 8 pixel arches http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43556-no-way-to-chase-across-8-arches/ Improve SuperStar integration S5 LORVerifier needs to be updated. S5 Sequencer Help file needs a major update. Restore toggle tool functionality from S4 http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43620-toggle-button/ Improve performance of the Motion Effect Generator http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43570-s5beta-1-fx-generator-locking-up-a-lot/ Motion Effect Enhancement Requests Would like an option in the spiral effect where you could do a fill like a true spiral tree would do. Requested by SPaschall. Add ability to set text size on individual letters in text effect. Requested in Pixel Editor forum. Waiting For Feedback Issues with subsequences http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/43557-opening-subsequence/
  3. Thanks! I've talked to many of you this season, and about once a day a conversation goes like this: "Are you DevMike on the Forums?" "Yes I am." "I love your posts in that one thread of yours! [Ed: This thread you are reading now']" THANKS! I will say that it is difficult to put some of this down without offending people (which I am very good at!) or our customers. I am not sure if I succeed in that or not, but right now the number of people who like this thread is many, while I have not had anyone tell me I was a jerk because of it. About the only negative I hear is that it is locked to other people. Sorry! What I don't want is a 'bully' thread where we start to make attacks personal. Of course you can always send me a PM and ask if you like. Or share. A problem shared is a problem halved. A customer halved on the other hand won't be calling back! How much has this thread helped? I suspect 0. Let's face it - everything I've ever posted here really should be common sense. 99% of you take all these to heart because it is either the logical or decent thing to do. The other 1% (the ones that prompted these postings in the first place) are never going to learn. I will say that this thread is therapeutic for the author! Writing about the circumstances of the incident here gives me an outlet. I did go back through some of these posts and estimated how many I had of each this season. HUNDREDS. Thousands maybe didn't include basic information. At least 1 per day. Since Nov 1 I've killed at least 15 babies (according to the customer's anger). 2-3 times a day. If you can't figure out how to write an SD card for your MP3 director, don't tell me the FM transmitter is only broadcasting dead air. (Happened. No lie) One in every 20 tickets. Most will pound their chest that they are some magical 400lb gorilla of technology and they know the best way to test something. One even used the argument that he was a rocket scientist in real life! (I kid you not). One ticket a week is so bad that I can't decipher it. Our Japanese customers who use Google Translate write more coherent English! (FYI: if English is not your first language we will NEVER make fun of you! We will work our butts off to try to understand you. DO NOT let your embarrassment prevent you from opening a ticket. We very much APPRECIATE that you are trying, just like you would appreciate someone trying to speak your language. On the other hand, if you are a native English speaker use a period, a capital letter, and a comma once in a while will ya!) Many tickets can be dumped into this bucket. The ones that are the most frustrating (and the ones I count here) are the people who make 0 effort to read anything. Do you have Netflix? If so, go watch 'Canada's Worst Handyman'. Have one of these handy. (Note to my dear Cannuck friends: I do not mean to imply that all Canadians are bad handy men. That's just the name of the show. It was filmed there. Go get a twofour!) Time to get serious for a moment. PLEASE DON'T CALL ME WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING! Just DON'T DO IT. In fact, don't call ANYONE while you are driving. If you get into an accident while talking to me on a phone I will not forgive myself and that is guilt I can do without. Your lights are not that important. Not so many recently, but in Nov? WHEW! We screw up orders. It happens. It shouldn't but when it does we ALWAYS make it right. I know I need to do better on these too. For the ones that demanded stuff ASAP (and it's variants), I seemed to always forget to ask shipping to expedite them. Drat. I've been doing more of these lately. This year's poke (with the exception of the PixCon.... grrrrrr...) is the V2 Pixie. 'My Pixie always goes back to Unit ID 1!'. "Read the manual, pay attention to the section that talks about setting the DIP SWITCHES to set the UID'. Jacob is STILL leading in the 'Worst customer EVER' contest. No one is even CLOSE yet. To those of you who where happy and jolly in the face of frustration and got to talk to me- I hope that not only did I fix your issue, but that I also taught you something in addition AND we had fun doing it! Sigh. EVERY ticket and phone call I've got so far that mentions something like this does NOT know who they talked to previously. Please folks. We all have EASY names. Mary. John. Dan. Mike. Brian. Matt. Chuck. Tor. Ok, so maybe not that last one, but it is pretty short! Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Joy and Safety in the new year (or whatever other greeting you prefer)! -Mike
  4. August - December seems to be the busiest time both here and in our Help Desk system. It's probably your busiest time too, since many of you use our products for Halloween and Christmas. It is frustrating when something doesn't work, performs unexpectedly, or simply confuses you. We are here to help. We also know that if you are asking for help something has gone wrong and you want an answer as quickly as possible. Here are some general tips on what you can do to help us help you Naturally, the first thing you should do is review the documentation we have available here on the website. We have all of our user manuals available as PDFs as well as searchable copies of our help files. Many times your answer is there. If your question isn't answered, it's time to ask us. The number one rule to ALWAYS remember is this: It's better to give TOO much information than too little. If you think the issue is related to the color shirt you are wearing, include that information. More is ALWAYS better. In general, support requests come in 3 flavors: Pre-sale, Sales, Technical. Each has it's own set of information that is generally needed. Pre-sale questions are usually all over the board. That's because you are simply not sure if our products/services/etc will meet your needs. The best thing you can do is after taking a look at our literature, and ask away. It may take a few exchanges, but we will sort you out. Sales questions encompass things like order status, shipping cost questions, software purchases, etc. In general, anything you are or will end up spending money on. Typically you'll ask these questions via the help desk and not here on the forums. Please include as much information as you can about what explicitly you are asking, but never reveal personal information on public forums. Examples of information you should include in your help desk ticket: if you looking for an order's status, include the order number if you need international shipping costs, include your address if you have a software license question, include your license number and registration eMail. Where sales questions typically have quick cut-and-dry answers, Technical issues are a whole other ball of wax. They may be as simple as pointing you at the correct option, all the way to multiple exchange tickets that take some time. If you have a how to question, you may get a faster response here in the forums that you would from the help desk system. That's because we have thousands of users who have 'been there, done that', and only a limited number of people on the help desk. The added benefit is that you may help someone in the future who has the same question. We actively monitor our forums, so it may even be one of us who replies. Naturally, if you are not comfortable posting in a public forum, use the help desk system. We are here to help! If you do decide to use the forums, please try searching for your issue first. Believe it or not, 90% of the time you are not the first person to experience that issue. A quick search could find you an answer. Whenever asking about a technical issue, either via the help desk or the forums, the best thing to do is OVER share. The more information you include initially helps both us and the old-timers get the answer you need. Software Questions: Always include things like your operating system (XP, Vista, 7,8), the version of our software that you are running (S2/S3 V2.9.4, 3.8.0, etc), the feature level (Basic, Basic +, Standard, Advanced), and what you were doing at the time. If you attempted to get around the issue, what did you try? If you are getting an error message, include the EXACT message -- nothing is worse than working a trouble ticket where someone says 'I got an error, but I just clicked OK'. While it may not mean much to you, that error message means the WORLD to us Hardware Questions: Hardware issues can be very frustrating. That's because for most of us the hardware performs 'electronics magic' that we have no clue about. But even hardware issues have certain things and information that is always helpful. The best thing you can do is 'swap with known good working'. That means if you have another thing you know works, swap it with the one that does not. Then, and this is the most imporant part, tell us what worked, what didn't, and if the problem moved.
  5. Dealing with low voltage wiring brings with it a new set of challenges. We tend to be more lax when it comes to things like wire strip length, how tight we make the connection, and a host of other things. Since we are dealing with low voltage connections, the terminals are usually much closer to each other. All of these things conspire together and lead to controllers that won't work, or boards that are blown, and a lot of hair pulling. I have previously talked about being able to burn down your house as quickly at 12V as you can at 120V, so we are going to skip talking about that. Instead I want to focus on channels/ports that don't work, work improperly, or worse: you blow them up because of a short. It is very easy to short a port on a CMB24, Pixie, or Pixcon: The screw terminals are located close together, and you may have over-stripped the wire by only a few millimeters. You lightly pull on the cord, the wire slides out a little from the terminal, touches another and BZZZT....Or, you don't twist all the strands of a wire tight enough. One strand gets loose ends up near the next terminal, BZZT. Now you've blown a Mosfet, a fuse, or worse - damaged the board itself. What happens the most with me is I try connecting things with the proper strip length, and the wire from a different terminal will 'pop' out. I put that wire back and really honk down on the screw. There is just not a lot of wire for that connector to grab on to. Blam. I just busted the connector. Most of the wire leads LOR supplies are stripped to the proper (short) length and 'tinned' - dipped in solder to prevent the stray strands from escaping. That is usually enough. But what about wires you strip yourself? I am guessing that many of you don't have a solder pot around. Or what about if you want a little MORE security than just tinning a wire? There is another way: insulated ferrules. What the HECK is a ferrule? It is a small metal tube that you crimp onto the end of the wire that holds all the strands together. Because it is a sold piece now it is much easier to insert into a connector. It is large enough that you can make a good connection without over-tightening the screws. The insulated end protects you from shorts. Here is a good video on how to use them: Ferrules are CHEAP. I recommend an assortment of sizes from 10-22/24 AWG as your first purchase (or these) - that should cover both power leads as well as leads from pixels/etc. When you run out of the smaller ones, just purchase that size in bulk. The person in the video is using a different kind of crimp than I would suggest for smaller gauge wire - like what we deal with on pixels and dumb RGB strips. Instead, I would recommend a 'self adjusting square' crimp. Do not use any manual crimp (the strip tool in the video) or ones like this. You don't need to break the bank, but do purchase a 'better' (more expensive) crimp. Yes, you can add ferrules to wires that are already tinned, if you like. There is one thing I would like to add/correct/comment on from the video. If I remember it correctly in there he says to only strip the wire to the length of the ferrule. I personally don't like that suggestion. Instead, I like to strip mine a little longer than the barrel part, and then trim the excess. When you insert the wire, do so until it 'bottoms out'. If you are using a ferrule of the right size, that will be the insulation hitting the inside top of the barrel, and you should see the wire come out the bottom of the barrel. Now crimp and then use a sharp pair of side cutters and remove the excess wire flush to the ferrule. Just don't forget to do the cut. My reasons: If you strip a little too short, you don't get a full connection on the entire barrel length when you crimp. You won't be able to tell. If you use a ferrule that is too small, you may only catch a few strands, which you'll see instead of the actual full wire come out the bottom. If you use a ferrule that is too big, the insulation won't 'bottom out', and instead you will see it exit the bottom of the connector. If the ferrule slips during crimping, you'll be able to tell. If you don't see wire out the bottom after the crimp, cut it off and re-crimp a new ferrule. Oh, and make sure you CLOSE that container! Don't do what I just did about 10 minutes ago. I was putting some ferrules on some CCR II ribbons for testing, and knocked the box on the floor. 1000 small ferrules on the ground, and they need to be sorted by color. Some one kill me now! Do a professional job: Ferrule your wires! (4/5/2017 edit note: I combined several of my messages into this one, and removed some others to keep things clear)
  6. HOA said NO to my sign

    Devious? No. I play by the rules, and they are the ones that made the rules. It doesn't matter if it is the law, DCRs, whatever. Those laws and rules may be used by those people to gain an upper hand, but those same rules and laws protect YOU. But YOU need to use them. Now between you and I, I see what the issue is with that sign. It's commercial looking, and that is probably where the argument will go. BUT again don't admit to it. Get your due process meeting, extract what the issue is THEY see. Now take the sign and decorate it. Garland. Snow Flakes. Wish people happy holidays, merry Christmas, WHATEVER. and send it back for review. The thing to remember in this case is, you are not looking to WIN. You are looking to delay. This is all very true. However, most HOAs work on the thought that they are kings and everyone will just capitulate (the Bully rule). As soon as you stand up and demand your rights they usually back off. I had a 2 year fight with mine. I wanted a shed, and the DCRs say that sheds must be screened from the street and approved. I went to the meeting to get approval for the shed, and they agreed that a hedge row would screen the shed. A year later a new board came in and decided I needed to put up a fence. I had my meeting notes, and (with respect) told them to look at the minutes for the meeting where it was approved and gave them a picture with the hedges. They put up a fuss because 'they couldn't find or don't have the minutes' from that meeting. FL law to the rescue! According to the law here, they have to keep those for a minimum of time. Without them, the association was unlawful. At the next due process meeting I dropped the bomb that if they wanted to press the issue - I wanted it in front of the courts here in FL. During that time I would ask the judge to dissolve the entire HOA because it was operating unlawfully. No more fence The next 2 years were heck. They wrote me up for every little thing. Every other month it was a new violation. Some were easier to just do what they asked (paint my mailbox post). Most I fought. And they backed down. Finally I had it up to here with their shenanigans. For 3 months I went to board meetings. If people showed up for due process I found where in the DCRs or laws they could fight. If they came for approval of something, I found ways to get it approved even if the board tried to turn it down. People would come in asking the board for help with a neighbor issue and the board would say they couldn't do anything. I would find in the DCRs where they were compelled to do something. After the 3rd month I took the president aside after the meeting. "Maybe you are sending TOO many violations?" (the "to me" was implied). The violations stopped. About 3 years after that (last year), here comes a violation letter telling me I need to pressure wash my driveway (new board apparently). Oh goody, time for more fun! My section of FL has some very strict laws about water conservation. No car washing. Water lawns only once a week in a small time window, that sort of thing. The law also very clearly states that any provisions in DCRs that require the use of water are NON ENFORCEABLE during the drought declaration. DUE PROCESS MEETING! I get my time, drag out the statute and read it to them. 'We'll have to look into it'. 'No problem. But your attorney over there (who is on the board) should know the law better. Perhaps he's not qualified to sit on the board, or maybe even be a lawyer?'. 3 days later they send an eMail to the entire association that they were sorry. They were in error demanding that people pressure-wash their houses or driveways during the drought. Darn right you are sorry! I can talk at great lengths about HOAs. It is NOT that I am against them - in spirit they should enforce what people should be doing. But in practice they are nothing more than documents that give certain people a swelled head. Or maybe I just like to use peoples rules against them. Or maybe I need a hobby! It's the Anti-Suck-Up rule
  7. HOA said NO to my sign

    First, check your DCAs to see how much the fine will be. The fine must be specified. Sometimes it's easier to just give them their $10 a month than to fight. If you have to fight: Is your sign decorated in any way? Does it have anything Christmassy on it? Doesn't have to be religious. That is helpful as you can claim holiday decoration and that they can't put an undue burden on how you celebrate. NEVER call it a sign. It is a holiday decoration. Don't change the sign now even it isn't Christmasy. Leave it AS IS. The next thing to do: They have to give you a grace period to either remove the sign, or for you to request a due process meeting. That may be in the letter you just received. Wait until the last minute, and hand-deliver a written letter to the HOA that you want your due process meeting. Do it in writing, not EMAIL. ENSURE you get a receipt that you handed it to them. If they refuse YOU keep a note of the person you talked to, date and time. Documentation is GOOD. They then have to give you written notice of the date and time of your due process meeting. Rules vary by state, so they can't just make a date up - it should be during one of the scheduled meetings of the board or the committee. If not balk - tell them you want this in front of the board/committee and you want your day. Again, Check your DCAs. Is there a provision for you to request an extension? If so, do it AGAIN: Hand deliver a letter close to the date of the due process meeting and let them know that you will not be able to make that meeting and to reschedule it. Have a good reason (but not a lie). Before your due process, take a walk around. Take pictures of EVERY 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy New Year', 'Welcome to the Jones's' sign you can find. Bring them. Go to your due process meeting. Tell them you refuse on the grounds of religious expression (even if you are not religious). Show them examples of these other 'signs' and ask why THEY are permitted. Ask them for the exact DCR reg you are violating. Ask them where in the DCRs they define exactly what a sign is - question why other can have xmas decorations that also have words (making them signs). They'll get mad. They will rule against you. That's OK as they must now give you ANOTHER written notice on what their decision was, as well as another grace period Make sure you TELL them that - that you expect the decision of the board to be IN WRITING, along with the date that corrective action must be taken. Let them know that they should send the notice with a return receipt to ensure you receive it. (If they don't.... well... lost mail) By this time, it's probably January. Take the sign down, Christmas is over. Send a letter telling them that you have removed the sign. If not... There are still more ways to push: Remember the return receipt you told them to send with the letter? The post office will re-deliver that for a few days. Push it till the last minute. They can't start to fine you until you receive the letter. Don't however refuse delivery. Now they have you. Now, redecorate your sign. Change the size if you can, and add elements to make it more 'festive'. This will be VERY effective if no one else has to take down their 'Happy Holidays' decoration. Again send a letter to the HoA. Tell them you have modified the item to be more inline and to reflect the 'spirit' of the DCA's and claim that you believe it meets all published requirements - especially in light of the holidays and other members decorations. Send a picture. Request another meeting. That should frustrate them long enough. The two most important things: 1 - Whatever you do, don't just ignore it. Remember - keep EVERYTHING in writing. 2 - He who lives by the book, DIES by the book. Use the DCRs work FOR you as well as against you. Use them to YOUR advantage. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this. These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways. If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this. In other words: you are on your own!
  8. License Level

    Also remember that you can try Superstar without purchasing anything. The only things it won't do are the functions that would allow you to control lights.
  9. Gen 2 Pixies do have much better output. However remember when we say you can extend them 50' that means in best case scenarios @ 12V. 5V is less than half of that. Electrically noisy environments or marginal extensions/connections/etc will reduce the total. Also remember that there is still voltage drop to contend with. You may find out 50 feet later that your whites are more pink compared to other strings with no extensions.
  10. Why no HD FM Transmitters?

    Ok, so for those of you in the know -- why have low power HD radio transmitters (or equipment that can take an FM signal and add the IBOC digital signal) not made it out? HD radio has been out for 15 years here in the USA, and an hour worth of googling finds nothing. I can find plenty if I am running a real radio station, however nothing for us low power types.
  11. I NEED IT ASAP! This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for us. Now through Friday we will do thousands of orders, thousands of tickets, and a ton of calls. If you look at our online store you are going to see that most things now say 2-3 days to ship, if not longer. Not to mention this is going to be a short week with the Thursday holiday. I'm sorry, but there is just no way I can promise that you will have whatever it is you order in time for Thanksgiving or even this weekend. I understand that you promised the world things would be running Saturday, but that doesn't allow me to put you in front of everyone else who placed an order before you. The same will hold true for technical support. We do our best to serve all and we do that first come first served. The following are ALWAYS going to be true in this world: You will forget to order something Something will break requiring repair You will forget how to do something or use something If your date is very very important, YOU must give the date the importance. That means testing your entire setup WELL before the cut off date. You should be set up well in advance, and should be checking and rechecking things daily. You may also want to have spares in case of failure if your date and/or display are that important. We sympathize with you if something fails. We will do our best to try to get you up and running and keep you up and running. But only you can ensure that you are going to be successful, and if that includes a drop dead date, or 0 down time, you should be planning accordingly.
  12. Buying Premade sequences from LOR

    As stated, Software Licenses are not transferable. Be aware that at some point you are probably going to need a USB adapter. If you didn't get one you may be tempted to purchase the Generic Starter Package - because the software comes free with the adapter. Sorry Charlie. We only sell those if you are also ordering a controller from us at the same time. Instead, you will have to pay full price for both the USB adapter (approx $30) AND the software (Starting at Approx $50). If you didn't save at least $40 on your controller purchase from eBay, you end up paying more. You should also know there are no warranties on used equipment. We extend our warranty to the FIRST end user only. When requesting warranty work we will ask you for your LOR order number. If you do not have one, we can not verify your warranty. We will still stand behind and repair the equipment, but you will be responsible for all shipping and repair charges. Be aware of this when purchasing equipment from eBay or others who are not authorized LOR partners. Even if the equipment is NEW IN BOX - if it wasn't purchased from us or our partners the warranty is void.
  13. Christmas Expo 2018

    Mike in NOT LOR mode: I have to agree with trying to get this more out west. Yes, many of the vendors are here on the east coast so travel to the West coast would be a little difficult. But I also think we have a completely untapped market out there. Doing a little schmoozing with our west coast users would be awesome. The first Expo I attended we suggested Denver as the next stop. Would like to see that happen some time too! For a while I was excited to go to new towns. Then I discovered that my feet hurt SO BAD after an expo that the last thing I want to do is visit a town - no matter HOW cool it is. I suppose the good thing about going back to DFW is that we can go to Babe's Chicken Dinner House again!! The LOR staff and family went there and had a great time!
  14. iDMX 1000 Help

    There is a little confusion when it comes to using the iDMX and what level of software you need. As Mark said, the first thing to do is get that iDMX set up with a NON 0 ending address. It is confusing to leave it at 0, and legacy mode has not been required for quite some time. Now is where the software level comes into play.... NATIVE DMX requires Advanced or Higher. What is Native DMX? Anything that uses a DMX adapter (like an Entec or one of our USB adapters), or E1.31. You are going to be setting the channel up in Sequence Editor (PE/Sequencer or SS) as a DMX channel. DMX Via an iDMX1000 requires nothing more than Basic - the iDMX is a bridge and it accepts LOR commands and outputs them as DMX. Since it accepts LOR commands it is NOT native DMX. In the sequence program you will set up the channel as an LOR channel (even though it eventually goes to a DMX device). HOWEVER... The Unit ID restrictions of the software DO come into play when using an iDMX. In other words, you could use your iDMX1000 set as unit ID 01 or ID 02 with Basic. But if you set it to 03 (or higher) it is no longer going to work.
  15. Xmas tree fail...

    As will snow and ice. Remember your physics: Cylinders are very strong in the direction they are made (compression). They are super weak perpendicular to that direction (tension). If you could keep that cylinder perfectly plumb it will hold HUGE loads because it is under compression and ALL the material of the pipe is under the load. However once that load shifts even slightly off balance, the pipe experiences uneven tension stress, and usually cascade fails (like your tree did). Keeping that pipe straight up and perpendicular to the ground (plumb) is key. Once that pipe starts to bend, it's pretty much all over. As the ducks said: guy wires help keep things straight.
  16. Starting up - Help Please

    To get a feel for how everything fits together in the new world of show animation, take a look at our typical setups: http://www1.lightorama.com/typical-setups/ Here's a really good way to get started if you want to use off-the-shelf lights: http://www1.lightorama.com/lighting-starter-package/You may want to download the Light-O-Rama Software demo and try it out to see how you create your personal show. http://www1.lightorama.com/sequencing-software-download/ We do require the Microsoft Windows operating system for our software.You can use your own lights if they are incandescent or LEDs and can be connect to a standard wall plug. See more information here (including a link to how many lights you can control): http://www1.lightorama.com/your-lights/Thinking about getting into pixels (any light, any color at any time)? Here's a good place to see what is available: http://store.lightorama.com/rgbdevices.htmlNot interested in writing your own shows? No need to worry. We have plenty of pre-built shows (we call them sequences) that will make any venue look great. Checkout our sequence store at http://sequences.LightORama.comDon't want to dedicate a computer and speaker system to your show? Consider our ShowTime Central. It includes a specialized mini-computer just for running LOR shows as well as a small FM transmitter so you can broadcast on the radio. See details at http://store.lightorama.com/shce.html You can also join our forum where there are a plenty of helpful LOR users.http://forums.lightorama.com/We don't do custom work but if you have a project where you think you need a bit of help then please contact an official Light-O-Rama partner. They specialize in making sure your venue will look great. See the latest partner list at: http://www1.lightorama.com/partners/Thanks for considering Light-O-Rama!
  17. 11/10 - Update We have a fix in place that should allow for new as well as upgrade/renewals to process correctly. We also manually updated all licenses, but it is possible that we may have missed yours. If you placed an order that contained software in the past two days, and have verified that there is an issue with your license, please open a help desk ticket. include your order number (Starts YHST-) and your license number and we will get it fixed.
  18. We are currently experiencing some difficulties with the interface between our storefront and the back-end Licensing DB. Starting at 10AM this morning, if you have purchased a new license, license renewal, or upgrade the purchase may have gone through, however your license was NOT updated/created. We are still experiencing this issue. Please note that there is no problem with the store itself, or with the Licensing DB. You can make purchases and register your software if you have already received your key. Once we have corrected the issue, your license will be automatically updated/created. If you did purchase a new license, license upgrade or renewal and need the functionality as soon as possible, please open a help desk ticket. Include your order number (Starts YHST-), as well as your license key. We can then manually update/create your license. Please include BOTH of these - it is nearly impossible to look up the correct order or license without them! Also please remember that it is currently after hours for us. It may take several hours for us to get to your request.
  19. 16 Channel Controller

    Back before CAT(whatever) became popular and before it was the de-facto standard for communications, it was EXPENSIVE. Phone wire on the other hand was CHEAP and already in use on long distance RS485 networks. It is a vestige of those times. The RJ11 is, as Mr. P stated, a good backup in case one of the RJ45 fails. Twisted Pair (using the RJ45) is always preferred, but the RJ11 with phone line will work in a pinch.
  20. 11/9 - Update We are still experiencing issues with the 'glue' that binds the Storefront and the Licensing DB. Both are functioning 100%, but automated creation or updates of licenses is still not working. Again,we can manually update your license - please open a help desk ticket with your order number, and existing license number (if it was an upgrade/renewal). During our regular support hours, we can usually have you up and running in a few minutes.
  21. CMB24D RJ45 burns out USB 485 Adapter

    Engineering replied back to your ticket, so I'll let them finish this up.
  22. CMB24D RJ45 burns out USB 485 Adapter

    I see where we have already started the RMA for the board. I looked up your order and see where you only purchased bare boards. 1 - What power supply are you using with this CMB24? 2 - Are you 100% positive that you didn't hook it up backwards? (swaped negative and positive)
  23. Back again!

    Ours does That is, if you order it as part of a Showtime Central: http://store.lightorama.com/shce.html or a TSO Showtime Central: http://store.lightorama.com/tsosise.html
  24. FYI, we had a registration issue with the latest version of S5. Depending on where you were in the scheme of things (amount of time left on license, was it good for S5, did you have pro, etc) you may have got an error saying 'Your license does not cover this version...' Ooops! Our Bad! We forgot to update something on our registration server. If you previously got that error, be sure you re-register now. Things will work much better. Sorry again (and thank Tor for fixing it!)
  25. crappy LOR green cables

    Absolutely correct - We do not sell CCA CAT 5. Our cables are a little expensive since they are high quality. We have sold countless numbers of them, and can only recall a single instance where a customer got a bad cable OOB.