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About davids

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    Houston, Texas
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    computers, web sites, sci-fi, animation, CGI...
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    web research
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?
  1. Okay. I think I found it, thanks to these suggestions... Opening the configuration XML file with notepad, the channel that is misbehaving is incorrectly classified as 'deviceTyle="BSoft Digital IO"', whereas all the other channels are 'deviceTyle="LOR"'. Not sure how that happened, and - interestingly - the Animation display in the Sequence Editor doesn't give me any indication that the channel is of a different type. I'll update the config file and try that!
  2. Greetings, All! And happy holidays! Last year was my first experience with LOR. I purchased a CTB16PC controller unit and the Advanced software suite, and generated a very nice show connecting to just LED light strings. Things went so well that I purchased three additional CTB16PC controllers during the spring clearance sale, and this year, I've started expanding my display incrementally, adding one of the new controllers to the mix. However, in testing the display last night, I found something odd... My older controller (ID: 1) is responding to light commands on one channel that are directed to my new controller (ID: 2). Even more confounding, the old controller is responding on channel 10 to commands sent to controller 2 on channel 16. The new controller is responding as it should. I've checked, and double-checked, the sequences to ensure that I didn't do something stupid (like rename one of my controller channels to actually be on controller 2), and I've also noticed that the problem appears to be intermittent. That is, it only gets 'confused' when the scheduler starts a new show, and then it will respond either correctly - or incorrectly - until that show is shut-down. I suspect the issue is internal to controller 1, and I'm contemplating replacing it with one of my unused controllers to verify that. My question is: Has anyone else seen this type of problem, and is it related to the controller, or something else?
  3. Is there an easy way to clear a saved schedule completely? Or, do I have to delete each show manually? The reason I ask... I'm having an inexplicable issue with the scheduler this week. I'm trying to set-up a schedule where one show is active through Thursday morning (Thanksgving), then another show beginning Thursday night. I've tried both the calendar and the weekly scheduler options, but eventually, I run into a situation where - when I'm trying to add a show, the scheduler refuses to add the show because "The end time conflicts with another show", even though there is nothing scheduled on either calendar at that time. Confounding the situation, the scheduler won't tell me what show it thinks is conflicting, and a search of both scheduler windows doesn't indicate any conflicting shows. It simply doesn't add the show, and returns me to the scheduler window with nothing scheduled in that time slot. I suspect the issue is caused by an artifact from last year's schedule - I had a one-minute countdown to midnight setup to play on December 31, 2015, and the issue I'm seeing caused when I try to schedule a show on Thursday evening that ends at midnight. However, looking back through the calendar shows nothing on that date. I've worked around the issue by scheduling the show I want to play, but scheduling the end time to be one minute before the time when I really want it to shut down, but that leaves a one-minute gap with nothing playing. Any tips or pointers would be very much appreciated!
  4. Thanks to both Daniel and Orville for their inputs, and yes... the idea of leaving the show run continuously from start to finish has occurred to me. As I mentioned in an earlier message in this thread, my home is located on a fairly quiet cul-de-sac. We don't generally get a lot of traffic through the community, and even less on my street. We do, of course, get the occasional "drive-by" looking at lights in the neighborhood, and that traffic flow tends to increase as we get closer to the holiday. Also, my home has been - for several years now - the only one on the street (and probably in the entire subdivision) that is entirely decorated in lights for the holidays. Yes, there are others that put up a few strings of white/clear "icicle" lights along the roofline, or wrap a tree (or two) and put out net lighting on the shrubs for ground lighting. But, my home has become the "illuminated gingerbread" house in the community during the holidays, with all the gables, windows, and ground lighting glowing from a multicolor LED display that always garners praise. And, the LEDs don't consume a lot of power at all. The thing that concerns me about having the lights blinking non-stop from 6pm to 11pm every day of the week is that there are several families with small children on the street that have bedroom windows where the kids will stay awake to watch the lights instead of hitting the sack, and school is in session for at least the first two weeks in December. There are also dogs on the street that will bark at flashing lights - mine being two of them - and I don't want to cause too many headaches for the neighbors. One option to resolve these concerns is to limit the show to 6-8pm during weekdays, then run a static display from 8-11pm, and shut the lights off entirely after 11. But, that means that weekday visitors after 8 (or 9, or whatever the shutoff time ends up being) don't see the show. So, in my mind, a better alternative is to provide a means of turning on the show "on-demand". That way, I can have the show run continuously in the early evening, then whenever someone wants to see it after the kids have gone to bed. In any case, I'm going to need a sign in the front of the house telling people what frequency they need to tune their FM radios to in order to hear the music, so the idea of having a "glowing", big red button in the center of the sign (similar to the button seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y1DHmHHygQ) that kicks-off the display still appeals to me. As far as attracting attention, I'm pretty sure that after a few "drive-by" visitors see it in late November, word of mouth will attract additional visitors in December. But, that still leaves my original question: Is there an easy way to set-up a show so that lights are on until someone pushes the button, and then on again after the show until the next button push?
  5. Or, maybe it's as easy as unchecking the "Turned used lights off at the end of each sequence" option on the interactive group?... If the behavior of that option is to turn everything back on after the last sequence in the goup plays, that would provide the static display I'm looking for. Guess I'll try it and see...
  6. Thanks to everyone for your inputs on this topic, and please accept my apologies if the questions I'm asking are in the documentation somewhere... there's just so much stuff here that some of the subtleties are difficult to find. Okay, tangential question: Is there a way to have a LOR program start with all channels on (i.e. everything lit), then override and run one pass through the interactive program when an input is received from an external input PUP (a visitor presses the big red "Start" button), then go back to the default "everything on" mode after the interactive program completes? The confusion I'm having is because - while I have a fairly awesome, 10 minute musical program that uses all 16 channels of my single controller - I only want the program to play one time through when someone triggers it. Otherwise, I want all the channels "On" to have a static display illuminating my home. I'm looking at the LOR Advanced Show Editor, and I have my sequences set-up as a Soundboard in the Interactive tab. No problem there. I also have no concerns with creating a 1-minute (or longer) Animation sequence that has all channels on. What isn't clear to me is, where do I put the Animation sequence so that it stops when the Interactive program is activated? The Background tab doesn't seem appropriate, because I don't want this animation to run for the entire show, unless the Interactive program interrupts the Background program. Otherwise, when the Interactive program is triggered, I'd have music, but it seems to me that the light program would be overridden by the "everything on" background sequence. Nor does the Startup tab, since that appears to only run once and shut off. The sequences in the Animation and Musical tabs also don't seem to be appropriate, since they repeat forever - while the show's is playing - and, like the Background tab, would override the sequences in the Interactive section. Hopefully, I'm over-thinking this, and it's not that difficult. I'd appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.
  7. Thanks, Don! I missed that document during my online searches yesterday. There were two things about the Simple Show Builder that I found confusing yesterday when I was playing around with it, trying to figure this out on my own. The first was a mismatch in the options available on the SSB opening screen, where you select where the show will be played from, and the hardware I got with my STC package. The show director that shipped with my package is a "uMP3G3", and the only option on that configuration screen that even remotely resembled it is labeled "mDC-MP3" - which, when shown out of the PVC package, isn't immediately obvious that it's the controller inside the PVC shell (see screen snap below). The second thing I found confusing was the Select Files for the Show screen (see below), and this is why I didn't get further into the SSB to program my SD. On this screen, the only files available to select for the show are the ones that came with the basic-plus software package. My confusion here comes from the fact that there's (apparently) no option to add other .las files to the Available menu. Since I opted to build my show in a directory completely separate from the default directory, it would have been nice to be able to tell the SSB where to look for show files. Instead, it looks like I have to copy my show files into the default directory for SSB to find them. Anyway, the document reference is very helpful! I'll look through it and reply again if I have additional questions. Thanks for the pointer!
  8. Greetings fellow light fanatics! I'm new to the LOR family, having just made the plunge last month. I bought the ShowTime Central package, which gives me access to the basic-plus version with SuperStar Demo, thinking that this gives me everything I need to get started. I also splurged and bought the Plug-N-Show pre-programmed SD card, in case I ran out of time and didn't get to build my own sequences. I shouldn't have worried... In less than two weeks, I've got three sequences completed that will provide an awesome 10 minute show using just the dumb LED light strings that I've been collecting over the past several years. I'm now considering buying an input pup, so that I can have the entire house lit until someone drives up to start the show (I live on a cul-de-sac that gets some drive-by traffic during the holidays, but I don't want to give any of my neighbors an epileptic fit with lights flashing all night long during December). So here's my question: How do I program an SD card with my show to use in my ShowTime Central controller? I've read through what I found online that looked like applicable documentation, and watched several helpful videos about setting up and checking hardware. I've launched the schedule editor on my PC, set-up a schedule to display the sequences, and it runs just fine... on my PC. The step I'm missing in all this is actually programming the SD memory. Does the show scheduler need to see it plugged into the PC to figure out it needs to update the SD memory? Or is there a secret command hidden somewhere that I'm missing? Or, is it as simple as just copying the sequences to the SD card and building the show from there? A little about me... I'm an EE/CS engineer that has been building, and programming, everything from single-board computers to artificial intelligence applications on distributed computing environments, so even if this were rocket science - which it's clearly not - I could probably figure it out. Actually, I'd probably figure it out on my own if I just continue to tinker with it, but it occurs to me that if I'm having problems with this, there's probably at least a couple of other newbies that will benefit from my having asked the question. Thanks in advance for any help or insight anyone has to offer...
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