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philnuffer

AC and RGB integration

30 posts in this topic

I have checked the typical setups page and, of course, cannot find my particular setup.I have been using 6 PCB16s for a few years now, operated by a Mini Director, and would like to add a couple of RGB pixel arches.

1:  Is there a way to connect the Mini Director into the integrated system instead of using a computer to run the show?  I know that the Showtime Director has separate outputs, but can’t afford one this year.

2. If using the computer, can I connect the PCB16s to the dongle to the USB port and a Pixie 4 through an Ethernet switch to the Computer Ethernet port? (This computer is NOT connected to my home network).

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How many channels are you planning on running?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

A total of 100-400 2 standard arches this year and possibly a couple of windows next. I'm an RGB Newbie and have chosen this way to familiarize myself with the genre. I like LOR a lot and am not interested in learning a different program right now. Plus, I'm old and would rather not have to stuff any more data in my shrinking brain.

 

Edited by philnuffer
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I am not an expert on pixies but from page 4 of the users manual it states-  Unlike most multi-string pixel controllers, the Pixies

do not use a LAN. The Pixies run on a standard

LOR network in either normal or enhanced mode at

speeds up to and including 1Mbit/sec.

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So, I theoretically can just hook my new Pixie 4 in parallel (on the same RJ45 line) with my existing AC controllers, using my Mini  Director like I always have?

 

 

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35 minutes ago, philnuffer said:

So, I theoretically can just hook my new Pixie 4 in parallel (on the same RJ45 line) with my existing AC controllers, using my Mini  Director like I always have?

Any devices that run the LOR Protocol can be linked together. Thus if the Pixie is using the LOR network then you can connect it to any recent (last 3-4 years) model of controller with no issues.

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Posted (edited)

Remember, I am using PCB16s. Kits that I built. I understand that there are differences than the prebuilt ones. I have been looking at the http://www1.lightorama.com/typical-setups/ page and the CMB16D-QC Typical Setup. While it specifically lists the CMB-16D-QC controller, all of the data lines are common, regardless of the model of controller. ??????  Why would I have to have a specific model AC controller or greater? Unless the Pixie needs a different protocol than the older controllers can handle. Maybe that is the reason for 2 networks.

 

Edited by philnuffer
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The Pixie4s can use a lot data running smart pixels.  the USB485-HS is recommended. 

Depending on the Generation (Gen 3) of your AC controller, they may be able to run in the enhanced mode and exist on the same RS485 line as the Pixies.

If you have an older LOR AC controller, that can not support enhanced mode and will need to be on a different (standard) RS485 line

<I already had  a Gen2, and Gen 3 AC controllers when I added pixie4's. So I now have 2 USB dongles. one is a HS and will be on the RED CAT5, the other, will be the Green CAT5. Blue will be  for Ethernet :) >

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Remember, I am using PCB16s. Kits that I built. I understand that there are differences than the prebuilt ones.

Thanks, Duckie, That helps a lot. I already have a high-speed Ethernet Switch, so I will connect the RG-45 output from the computer to the switch and then to the Pixie 4. Now on to the software!

 

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2 hours ago, philnuffer said:

I already have a high-speed Ethernet Switch, so I will connect the RG-45 output from the computer to the switch and then to the Pixie 4. Now on to the software!

Wait a minute.  I'm unsure if you're just mis-using terms, and if so, forgive me. 

But your high-speed Ethernet Switch has no place in a LOR-protocol network.  The two are NOT compatible at all, and serious equipment damage is more than than just a possibility if you try mixing them.  The ONLY way to communicate with a Pixie4 is via a LOR network using only LOR equipment.

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8 hours ago, philnuffer said:

Remember, I am using PCB16s. Kits that I built. I understand that there are differences than the prebuilt ones.

Thanks, Duckie, That helps a lot. I already have a high-speed Ethernet Switch, so I will connect the RG-45 output from the computer to the switch and then to the Pixie 4. Now on to the software!

 

Ditto what George Simmions Said.

LOR Primarily use RS-485. SERIAL, The younger brother to RS-232 (but on Steroids :) )

(LOR) Ethernet is used ONLY with the newer Model  Smart pixel controllers.

Color code your CAT5 cables so you NEVER mix Ethernet and RS-485 if you have both laying about you show. Damage is possible.

Mixing HS and regular, RS-485just means loss of hair trying to figure out WHY it no work :P

 

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And, you absolutely CAN'T use an ethernet switch with RS 485 of any flavour.

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Ok, guys. I may be getting confused by all of the ways to connect different controller boards. I have seen copies of half a dozen diagrams, and I now see that I have been mistaking the Alphapix 4 with the Pixie 4. The AlphaPix uses an LOR 485 Dongle from the USB port for AC along with an E1.31 from the computer Ethernet port to a Network switch to the AlphaPix controller. Guess I will just have to break down and purchase an HS dongle from LOR for the RGB side. Getting complicated. All I wanted to do is add a couple of RGB arches to my existing LOR AC sequences.

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32 minutes ago, philnuffer said:

Ok, guys. I may be getting confused by all of the ways to connect different controller boards. I have seen copies of half a dozen diagrams, and I now see that I have been mistaking the Alphapix 4 with the Pixie 4. The AlphaPix uses an LOR 485 Dongle from the USB port for AC along with an E1.31 from the computer Ethernet port to a Network switch to the AlphaPix controller. Guess I will just have to break down and purchase an HS dongle from LOR for the RGB side. Getting complicated. All I wanted to do is add a couple of RGB arches to my existing LOR AC sequences.

The easiest way to remember things is:

If LOR sells it (or their partners) then it plugs directly into their networks.

If someone else sells it (HolidayCoro, Falcon, San Devices) it doesn't, you will need an adapter (dongle) or use ethernet.

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1 hour ago, Mr. P said:

The easiest way to remember things is:

If LOR sells it (or their partners) then it plugs directly into their networks.

If someone else sells it (HolidayCoro, Falcon, San Devices) it doesn't, you will need an adapter (dongle) or use ethernet.

Not 100% true.  We do have an E1.31 product, and then almost all of our stuff can be controlled by DMX - which can use a DMX adapter not made by us.

The best advice to give the OP is to know what control system each controller he is purchasing uses, and then know how those controllers connect.

That's why we provide the table here:
http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/

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21 minutes ago, DevMike said:

Not 100% true.  We do have an E1.31 product, and then almost all of our stuff can be controlled by DMX - which can use a DMX adapter not made by us.

The best advice to give the OP is to know what control system each controller he is purchasing uses, and then know how those controllers connect.

That's why we provide the table here:
http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/

I understand what you are saying but as a general rule it is true, everything you sell will connect directly into your LOR network.  The Pixcon can connect to E1.31 but it will also connect into the LOR network whereas the Alphapix will not.

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I think you folks must think I am a total airhead, but here goes. I can use the following to integrate 1 show into both High (AC) & Low (pixel) voltage products, all LOR equipment. It would seem that my PCB-16s are a bit of an anchor on increasing my flexibility. No problem, I had a great time building them. So, here is my latest thought:

1. From 1 USB port to a USB-485 Dongle to my existing High Voltage (AC) controllers.

2. Additionally, from another USB port to a USB-RS-485-HS Dongle to a Pixie4D (RGB) controller.

I have everything except the red dongle, so there would be little further cost. I like it! My wife may let me live after all.

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36 minutes ago, philnuffer said:

I think you folks must think I am a total airhead, but here goes. I can use the following to integrate 1 show into both High (AC) & Low (pixel) voltage products, all LOR equipment. It would seem that my PCB-16s are a bit of an anchor on increasing my flexibility. No problem, I had a great time building them. So, here is my latest thought:

1. From 1 USB port to a USB-485 Dongle to my existing High Voltage (AC) controllers.

2. Additionally, from another USB port to a USB-RS-485-HS Dongle to a Pixie4D (RGB) controller.

I have everything except the red dongle, so there would be little further cost. I like it! My wife may let me live after all.

Not knowing your license level keep in mind that the Pixie4 would be the equivalent of four controllers since it would use four consecutive unit ID's. Make sure your license can handle the total number of controllers.

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I have a PRO level license, latest release and will probably be adding SuperStar in the future.

 

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54 minutes ago, philnuffer said:

It would seem that my PCB-16s are a bit of an anchor on increasing my flexibility.

Just like humans, your older controllers know what they're doing, but they don't move as fast, and need to be spoken to a bit slower than the newer models. 

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Yes George, that sounds like me. 😁

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  • In the world of animated lighting Ethernet means E1.31.
  • The Pixe4 does not do E1.31 (Ethernet).
  • The LOR network has different speeds and an "advanced" option.
  • When controlling a reasonable amount of pixels, the Pixie4 needs the highest LOR speed.
  • The PCB-16 controllers can't handle high speeds.

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I have come to figure that that is the case. Therefore I picture the red dongle allows me to run a separate "high speed" network in concert with the normal "low speed" AC PCB-16 network operated by the black dongle. It would be nice if the diagrams shown in LOR explained whether the dongle outputs were DMX, E1.31, LOR or whatever. Not having gotten into the Pixel Editor yet, knowing that a particular board is capable of which protocol doesn't tell me what the diagram protocol is. I hope to learn more while I learn the software. 

 

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1 hour ago, philnuffer said:

I have come to figure that that is the case. Therefore I picture the red dongle allows me to run a separate "high speed" network in concert with the normal "low speed" AC PCB-16 network operated by the black dongle.

Yes, the Red USB-RS485-HS is RS-485 (hence the RS485 in the name).  RS-485 can be used for DMX or LOR protocol.  For the technically curious, RS-485 is the electrical standard, LOR or DMX are data protocols that are in this case carried over an RS-485 signal.  DMX is also commonly carried over ethernet in a protocol called E1.31.  When using E1.31, the LOR show computer generates DMX data, but encapsulates that data in ethernet frames rather than a RS-485 data stream.

 

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Thanks, Jim. I started working on computers in 1960 and have continued until my retirement 11 years ago. The changes from the analog computers and the later evolution has been amazing. There were no protocols when I started, except 115vac, 400HZ and 28VDC. I eventually graduated to a Radio Shack Color Computer with an amazing 4K of ram and finally to programming in Fortran a Stromberg Carlson Telephone switch billing system. I never got into networking so the boggle factor is high. I have looked into X-Lights and Vixen, but since I started in this crazy hobby with LOR, I plan on continuing to stay with them. Since I have a mini-display, I don't plan on going much beyond a couple of arches or so and maybe some windows in RGB. My present display includes 8 mini-trees, 4-6 ft. trees, 4 faces, 4 column towers, a 6 ft star,  and 4 channels of roof edging. All are AC. The next steps are tiptoeing thru the tulips while trying to not set the house on fire or blowing my social security. I appreciate the explanations that I have been getting here and am getting a glimmer of what is next due to the patience of the contributors. Meanwhile, today I built my first arch. LOL.

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