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Everything posted by k6ccc

  1. Power injection is not that big of a deal. I'm running power injection in several places in my year round landscape lighting,and there will be some more when I finally finish that project. And just because running at 12V vs 5V does not make you immune to voltage drop. I will happily tell my story about 30 feet of 12V WS2811 strips and the measurements I did that resulted in me adding power injection.
  2. Welcome to the world of power injection. Nothing unusual about this.
  3. Klayfish, although the show player or Sequence Editor normally sends Visualizer commands, you can send them to any other IP address. If running a remote visualization, you also have to set Visualizer to look at it's network adapter rather hang local. Quite easy to do both. In my case, I usually hang out in my family room, but my show computer is in the garage. The audio cables from the show computer pass through a sound mixer next to the family room computer, and there are amplifier speakers on that mixer so I can hear the show in the family room. I set the show computer to send Visualizer commands to the IP of the family room computer. During show season, I set Visualizer on the Family room computer to look at it's network adapter. That way if I start Visualizer on the Family room computer, I see what is running in the yard. I can also sort of watch what is going on in the yard by looking at the security cameras monitor. Just to try it out, one day I set the show computer to send Visualizer commands to the IP address of a router at work. I then set port forwarding in that router to point the Visualizer commands to a computer on my desk, and set Visualizer on that computer to look at it's network adapter. When I started Visualizer, I could watch my show at home 26 miles away. Of course I could not hear the show, so it was largely just to prove that it would work. Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android
  4. As of a few minutes ago I am able to run my LOR landscaping show on my server instead of a dedicated show computer - the goal being to reduce my electric bill by not running a second computer full time. Getting here has been a little bit of a challenge and I wanted to tell the story. First a little background. I have run a year round landscape lighting show for six years in addition to a Christmas show for the last five years. For the landscape show, I am using interactives and E1.31 which mandated running on a computer rather than a director. Ever since the beginning, I have used a dedicated show computer, even though I had a server that runs 24 x 7 already. About five years ago I had attempted to load the LOR software onto the server that I was using at the time, but found that the S3 software would not even load on Windows Server 2000. That server finally died a couple years ago, and was replaced with an ancient Dell server that I loaded with Server 2012 R2. That computer was not expected to be used long, but it had been given to me at a time when I really did not have the money to buy something better, so it was far better than nothing. After I received my tax refunds in 2016, a newer server was purchased and put into service in June - also running Windows Server 2012 R2. Although the server was used as a file server for all the LOR files, I had not made any attempt until early 2017 to actually run the show from it. After Christmas was torn down a couple months ago, I started the project to see if I could run the landscape show from it. So here's the story... One of the limitations I had was that during the winter, the landscape show is already running by the time I get off work, so I could only work on this over the weekends. With Server 2012 R2, I had no issues loading the LOR S4 software. To make things a little easier, the server already had a network connection on the dedicated LAN for the E1.31, and the LOR Show computer and the server are both in my data cabinet and are all of six inches apart. This would make it FAR easier for cabling the LOR networks. The three USB cables for three LOR networks are nicely dressed in, so I had to come up with a way to get the three cable plugged into the server without having to cut a bunch of ty-raps in order to make the swap, and still have it look decent. The solution was to add a four port USB hub that sits next to the show computer and is connected to a port on the server. Issue number one. There are only four USB ports on the server (two on the back and two on the front), and both back ones were already in use. No problem, get a three foot USB extension cord, and use one of the front USB ports. I go up to my local Staples for some other stuff anyway and sure enough, they had six foot USB extension cords, but wanted $20 for them. Gotta be able to do better than that. Across the parking lot was a Best Buy, so I tried there. They also had six foot USB extension cords, and they wanted $25 for them. First off, I really did not want a six foot extension, and I knew I could get a better price. Monoprice.com had three foot cables for just over a buck. Ordered a couple cables. Next weekend. Hooked up the three foot USB cable to my four port hub and plugged in the three USB cables from my RS-485 adapters into the hub. The Windows Device Manager did not recognize any of the adapters. Issue number two. My first assumption was that the installation of the LOR software did not result in the USB driver software, so I downloaded the driver software from the LOR website and ran that. Still could not recognize the RS-485 adapters. I did test the USB hub by plugging in a thumb drive and the server immediately recognized the thumb drive and I was able to read files from it. Next I assumed the issue was that I had violated one of my own policies in having a STRONG preference for powered vs un-powered USB hubs - and this was a un-powered hub. Dug around my pile of stuff and found a four port and a seven port powered hub that I have used for years, but could not find the power supply for either of them. OK fine, I'll just order a powered hub from Amazon. I lucked out and found the power supply for the four port hub before I ordered a new one. Swapped hubs and all of a sudden, all three USB to RS-485 adapters were found. Did some testing with the Hardware Utility and was able to control lights, and the Input Pup was working. Great! Let's see if I can run my show. Because of some timing issues, my landscape show is actually a musical show although the music is really four minutes of silence. Therefore, I did not need to worry about audio cabling - or so I thought. First tried to run a show and the LOR software could not start the show player because Windows Media Player was not installed. Remember that this is a server OS, and there are quite a few thing that are normal on user computer Operating Systems, but are not included on a server OS because there normally is no real need for them on a server. Issue number three. A quick Google search revealed how to enable Windows Media Player on Server 2012 R2. Tried to run the show and this time it complained that there was no sound device installed. Again, this is a server and there was no sound card, nor a sound device installed on the motherboard. Issue number four. OK, I have a few old sound cards that I have pulled out of computers and one of those should work, but it's end of the weekend and the show is already running so have to wait until the the next weekend. Yesterday, I shut down the server and open it up only to find that both of the old audio cards I have are a different bus type than the new server has. Issue number five. Went onto Amazon and found a five dollar USB sound device that I could have next day with my Amazon Prime. Today the USB sound module arrived, and plugged it into one of the ports of the four port powered USB hub and Device Manager immediately recognized that it was there. Great, moved the three cables to the RS-485 adapters over to the other three ports on the hub and the Device Manager was only seeing two of them - ARGH! Issue number six. Did a little testing and found that one of the ports on that four port USB hub was dead. OK, moved the three cables to the RS-485 adapters to the three working ports on the hub and the USB audio module over to the last USB port on the computer. Device Manager said that everything was there, and test with Hardware Utility showed it all working! Last test was to run a show on demand, and it worked perfectly. Even the Windows Command that sends me an E-Mail when the show starts worked. Since this looks like it will work, I shut down the LOR Show computer. This will be nice in reducing my already high enough electric consumption. Not only the power for the computer, but also the extra load on the air conditioner for the data cabinet. On the server I set the LOR Control Panel to launch at startup and enabled the schedule. Status display looks right, so hopefully in about four hours my lights will come on from the server! So there is my six week story. I hope you enjoyed reading it...
  5. Just one more followup to this. I have the server set to re-boot every Friday afternoon. On Friday St. Patrick's Day, the server re-booted just like it was supposed to and when it got dark the St. Patricks Day show started. My St. Patrick's Day show is completely static, and none of the interactives are included, so I did not notice anything wrong. However on Saturday, I noticed that the normal landscape show was stuck in the condition that it should be at the end of the startup sequence, but the two normal sequences were not running, nor were the interactives running. Logged into the server and found that the show could not run due to an audio problem. A little troubleshooting later and I found that the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder service was not running. Started that service and the show started working. I assumed that it had not started after the re-boot on Friday. Changed the Startup Type from Manual to Automatic so hopefully it would start up correctly after the next re-boot. The following Friday was my wedding anniversary, so I was a little tied up with my wife of 27 years so I was not able to check on it after the re-boot. However I was happy to note when we got home from dinner that the show was working correctly - yea!
  6. Wow, I see this is a six year old thread. Bob's suggestion of MIIP might be a good suggestion. I have used VNC for years with my show computer. works fine from either a laptop or my phone.
  7. In Visualizer, go to Options and on tab 6, verify the communications setting. For normal people it should be Local which will show and IP address of If you are using Visualizer on one computer and SE on another (as I sometimes do) there is a different setup. BTW, just since I sort of mentioned it, if you push the right magic buttons, you can get Visualizer to work anywhere in the world across the internet (I've done it). Kinda cool to sit in my office and watch what is happening at home 26 miles away.
  8. Did you remember to put Visualization in simulation mode (the button that looks like a "Play" button on left end of the lower row of buttons)?
  9. If you go to: http://newburghlights.org/Videos.html and select the first video, there are five camera angles used. Two were a GoPro, and the other three were a Canon DSLR. The two that were the GoPro were the "closeup" of the pixel tree and star that looks like the camera was sitting on the grass (it wasn't), and the view that looks along the row of arches with the pixel tree in the background - that also looks like the camera was very low. The views farther back were the DSLR (yes, I know one of them was out of focus a bit). This was shot in January 2016 so obviously not the same new camera you are looking into. I will ask the guy who shot and edited it what the camera was.
  10. I will assume that you simply did not that it was down. Actual down time was almost 24 hours (confirmed on three separate computer all with different internet connections, plus my phone via both web page and Tapatalk). I'll remember that for future reference
  11. I just confirmed from the Help file. The Advanced Rendering Engine was released with 4.0.0. That would explain why you don't see it.
  12. Yes. If I recall, the advanced rendering engine came out with S4 (early 2015), so if you're running three or four year old software, you would not have the advanced rendering engine.
  13. Yep, full hard drive will cause all kinds of issues. Time to do some housecleaning and/or larger/more hard drives. Fortunately hard drives have gotten so inexpensive that adding capacity is not that hard to do. Glad you got the install resolved.
  14. Sorry it did not help. I had not noticed that this thread was in the Pixel Editor section (I had just been looking at new posts on my my phone and it's not very obvious what section of the forum a post is in on Tapatalk). I don't use PE (never could make it work), so really don't know anything about it.
  15. Every one of the "euro" type connectors I have ever seen are righty tighty, lefty loosey. If you are trying to install the wires so that is not the case, you are installing the wires wrong, and that is likely your problem. The electrical contact is on the side of the connector on the opposite the screw. The screw moves the clamp part towards the fixed contact. I have seen people who screw the clamp part all the way down which leaves a nice gap to put the wire into on the screw side of the clamp. Then when you screw the clamp back "up" it will sort of hold the wire, but it is not making contact with the electrical contact. It's little hard to tell in your photo, but in the second photo that has the connector with the DVM probes connected it looks like the problem are on the screw side of the movable clamp.
  16. Thanks for the reminder = had a REALLY busy weekend. http://www.landolights.com/main/component/option,com_remository/Itemid,54/func,select/id,20/
  17. Nice quickie job. One advantage of having essentially all of my year round landscaping being RGB, is that I can make it any color I want. I have run all green for St. Patrick's day for quite a few years. My Irish neighbor across the street loves it. I also do other colors for several other evenings through the year. Sorry, I did not take a photo of it last night.
  18. It would solve the problem of the GFCI tripping. What isolating a metal cage from ground does NOT do is keep the cage from becoming electrically hot. What is so often forgotten is that in this situation the GFCI is not mis-behaving when it trips, it's doing it's best to protect you and your visitors from death. It has no way of knowing if the current leakage is from hundreds or thousands of tiny capacitors created when energized wires are really close to the metal cage, or a place where the insulation on that wire has been compromised and is now in direct contact with with the metal cage. The GFCI won't trip in the latter case if you isolate the cage from ground, but the metal cage will be fully energized until you or one of your guests touches it, and then their life may depend on the GFCI tripping. Think about it this way. If you were to attempt to get a UL rating for an exposed metal cage with lights wrapped around it and intended to be plugged into an AC outlet, in all probability you would be REQUIRED to ground the cage and use a three wire cord and plug it into a grounded outlet. Same concept as your washing machine which comes with a three wire cord. Personally I think this is a great project idea. Thanks for sharing Daniel.
  19. You got me with the subject - I was asking what the heck is an LPL file, until I saw you wanted a Prop (LPF) file. I assume you mean a prop of the flying mammal common in Halloween displays and not a baseball bat (I'm watching the World Baseball Classic as I type this)... Since the prop in Visualizer needs to match the actual lights, It would help if you told us what your actual prop looks like.
  20. What lights are you using? Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android
  21. Matt, I also prefer the look of the S, but out of my budget. Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android
  22. I'm not familiar with the Boscoyo Studios matrix products and could not find anything other than the mounting strips on their website, I'm curious what pieces you have to give those limitations, considering that one option is 800 pixels and the other is less than half of that at 336. That part notwithstanding, given the choices you gave, for text I would go with the 8 x 42. Note that 8 x 32 would for all practical purposes limit you to text only - can't do much graphics with only eight pixels in one direction. Personally if I were to do a text only matrix and had 800 pixels available, I would be looking at either 9 x 88 or 10 x 80.
  23. Someone here recently pointed me to a site that has several spiral tree props. When I get pack to a computer I will post the link. Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android
  24. If you are trying to do a marque for text, in my opinion, the longer the better. I would consider 50 pixels wide as a minimum. As for height, you can do all CAPS with as little as six, but in my opinion seven is the minimum. To do lower case with decenders, as said above nine is about the minimum. Again, more is better. Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android
  25. Leroy, First of all, it's not completely plug and play. There will some systems integration that you will either need to do or hire out. Warning, this will end up long... I'm likely going to give you far more information than you asked. There are dumb RGB and smart RGB lights. I have used both for years both for Christmas ans also for my year round landscape lighting. Let me explain the difference, and how I'm using them. then I'll get into how to control them. Dumb lights will have an entire string or strip the same color at any given time. They can be any color that you want, but the entire string or strip will be the same color. An example of where I use dumb strips is my front porch steps. On the underside of the bull-nose brick on each step is a dumb strip. The strip lights up the step below. I originally installed the strips because my Dad who is about 90% blind could not see the steps in the dark. Inside the 8x8x4 electrical box at the far right edge of the photo is a LOR CMB16D controller. As there are three steps, and each step takes three channels (one each for Red, Green, and Blue), I am using a total of nine channels for the steps. Another example of using dumb strips is my column lights. These each have three meters of RGB dumb strip wrapped around a piece of two inch ABS plastic pipe inside the light fixture. Again, each fixture uses three channels. The address sign has several strips of RGB dumb strips to evenly illuminate the sign. An inside view of the column lights showing the strip wrapped around the pipe. Dumb RGBs are almost universally controlled (in the LOR world) by a CMB16D or CMB24D controller. The difference between the two is that the older CMB16D has a total of 16 channels, whereas the CMB24D has 24 channels and the wiring strips are organized with RGB lights in mind. In both cases, the card is connected to a LOR network just like your existing AC light controllers. Smart pixels can be either strings of lights or strips, but the big difference is that each RGB LED (or group of three of them - more on that later) can be individually controlled. Each pixel has a integrated circuit (commonly called a "chip") that has the smarts that controls that individual pixel. Now for that difference of one vs three RGB LEDs. Because of the native voltages of LEDs, they are often put in a series circuit and driven with a higher voltage. I'm not going to get into the technical behind that, but for strips that operate at 5 volts, almost always there is one chip per RGB LED, but for strips that operate at 12 volts, most (but not all) strips have three RGB LEDs per chip. The three RGB LEDs will light up the same. The photo below is an example of a 12 volt WS2811 smart strip. You can see the little black square every four inches (look where the strip crosses the mortar between bricks). That's the chip. Each chip drives a group of three RGB LEDs (one to the left and two to the right of the chip (in this photo)). The RGB LEDs are the white squares. One of the very common uses for smart pixels are pixel trees. In my case the tree is 12 strips of 50 pixels each for a total of 600 pixels (plus 360 more in my pixel star). These are individual 5 volt WS2811 pixels mounted into split 3/4 inch PVC pipe, and then diffused with clear one inch split loom tubing. Shown both with and without the split loom in place, and then a side view. Last example are my LOR Cosmic Color Pixel based arches. They are each 50 CCPs in PEX tubing. There are MANY other ways to integrate RGB (both dumb and smart). I am only showing you part of what I'm doing. More details if you go to my website: http://newburghlights.org/index.html As for driving smart pixels, there are several ways to do so. I will start with the CCP arches. Cosmic Color Pixels are driven from a controller that connects to a standard LOR network. Each controller drives one or two strings of lights. In the first arch photo, the controller is under the black trash bag between the two arches. The rest of my smart pixels are being driven by SanDevices E1.31 controller cards. These run over an ethernet LAN in a protocol called E1.31. The LOR software will control E1.31 with an Advanced or Pro level license. One word of caution when mixing LOR networking and E1.31 networking. Although both use Cat-5 cables, they are NOT compatible and potentially plugging a device into the wrong type of network could damage equipment - and it certainly wont work. In my case to help avoid that issue, I use different color Cat-5 cables - Purple for LOR networks and Green for E1.31. At the time I built most of my smart pixel based items, LOR did not sell much smart pixel hardware except the Cosmic Color Ribbon - which cost too much for me to spend. It's really good quality, but would have cost me about six times as much to build my pixel tree. A couple years ago LOR introduced the Pixcon16 controller. This is a high end controller that will control 16 strips or strings of several different technology types. The Pixcon16 can be controlled either with almost standard LOR networking or E1.31 which gives it a LOT of flexability. The reason I state "almost standard LOR networking" is because using a Pixcon16 controller over a LOR network REQUIRES that the network run at one of the two highest network speeds (either 500Kbps or 1000Kbps) AND as an enhanced network. Although most of the newer controllers will operate on a LOR enhanced network at 500K speed, almost none of them will operate at 1000K speed. Older controllers will not operate on either an enhanced network nor 500K or 100K speed. This means that you would likely need to use two LOR networks to use your existing controllers and a Pixcon16. This page lists what works on what speeds of LOR network: http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/ Last year, LOR introduced the Pixie series of controllers. These are a much simpler pixel controller that only operates on LOR networks. Like the Pixcon16, the Pixie controllers only operate at 500K or 1000K speeds, but do not require an enhanced LOR network. If I were starting today with RGB, I would be looking much more at the Pixcon16 or Pixie controllers. As far as more leaning, there are quite a few people here who will help both on the forum and phone. There might be people somewhat local to you but since your profile does not state your location, we don't know. That's a hint - update your profile to include your location. There is a lot of reading you can do here, and the Ausie forum has a lighting 101 that is also a good place to do a lot of reading: https://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting_101 Another source for starter pixel information is on the SanDevices website at: http://sandevices.com/aboutrgbpixels.html At the end of that is a link to a PowerPoint that explains more. I see there have been a couple other posts since I started this novel, that answered some of what I just said...