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About telecatprod

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  • Birthday 07/17/1973

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    Sunnyvale, CA
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    Video Engineer

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    Another user.
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  1. telecatprod

    LOR & DMX Side-by-side

    I run an indoor Christmas light show at a church. 2016 was 110,000 lights on 280 channels. 2017 is looking to be about 220,000 lights on 672 channels. The show is being run off a Windows 10 laptop just using Sequence Editor (live presentation so I want to be able to click Play and have it go on demand; I also like having a counter I can read times off of to cue the lighting guy since I don't take control of the main lights) with an EntTec USB Pro dongle. This year we had to use DMX because we had a mixture of Seasonal Entertainment boxes and LOR CTB16PC boxes. Next year we're moving to all LOR boxes (several of the SE boxes are broken, and I've had a number of smoothness of dimming issues). So with that, we could run a LOR network, which would be my preference for status info and whatnot. But... we're doing one sequenced song a week, then we want the lights to be on in some simple looks for the rest of the service. So we've been giving control of the Xmas DMX network to the main lighting board (Jans Vista... might be T2; 4 universes, one dedicated to Christmas) by switching the wire feeding into the main Christmas DMX splitter (SE's DMX Split). Seems to work ok. Sometimes we get a flash some some of the SE boxes when we change, but I think that's an issue with the Vista and stuff not being totally off. Anyway, there are two issues... First, next year we'll exceed one DMX universe with our 672 channels (42x CTB16PC's). So we're going to have to divide stuff up into two Universe's when the Vista takes control (or all the time is fine, I could get a second DMX dongle for the laptop). Being LOR all the time, one network would be fine, as I understand it (240 LOR units, IIRC), but not for DMX. Second issue is my desire to switch to LOR when the laptop has control (I'm ok with it being 2 LOR networks to facilitate the DMX control). How well do the CTB16PC handle switching between LOR and DMX? If I did my pin swapping (since LOR and DMX use different pins) at the head end, how would the CTB16PC handle getting DMX, then poof, getting LOR, then poof, back to DMX? I'm also open to commentary or suggestion on other facets of the control. Other ideas for click to play sequence playback schemes (with clock ideally). Other suggestions for ways to do various on demand looks (rather than give control of the Christmas lights to the main board for the rest of the service, I'd keep it the whole time, but I'd want to be able to call up different cues/looks on demand; static, and ideally ones with simple loops). Other network topology/control ideas? Sorry it's a bit rambly... it all makes sense in my head. :-) -Scott Lewis, Cathedral of Faith (also of Lewis Lights fame... lewislights.com)
  2. I run two shows (one at my house, one at my parents). Both run off DC-MP3s. Last year when programming, I discovered (by seeing it not work) that a DC-MP3 does not play loops in an animation sequence. It just plays straight thru like there was no loop. Now this year I was trying to create an animation sequence that had three tracks in it. When I tried to load that sequence, the Hardware Utility said that the DC-MP3 can't play an animation with more than one track so it wouldn't load it. Apparently it can play a multi-track *musical* sequence just fine (tried it). But not animation. Questions: * The first could have been addressed by a firmware update already. Has it been? I've been lax in checking firmware versions. My apologies for raising it if it's been fixed already. If it hasn't, will it be? Loops are your friend for things like stand alone leaping arches. * The second clearly is not firmware fixed already as the Hardware Util is the stopping point. Why can it play musical shows with multiple tracks but not animations? Will this be fixed? * Is there anything else a DC-MP3 *can't* do that I might want to know about? Thanks! -Scott
  3. So I've been working furiously to update my sequences to use the CCRs (I had two 8-segment arches, now have 2 CCRs). The one thing I've discovered that I really miss by using the macros is fades. When I did 'traditional arch' programming to move a segment across the arch, I always had the lights fade out. It provided a pleasing 'comet tail' effect. If I use the CCRs Macro Mode 1, with Submode 3 (or whatever) the pixels just turn on and on. With an LED that's a very abrupt off. It gives the movement a very artificial look (which I could see being good in a few cases). But I'd like something more.... organic? (even see KITT's scanner and the Cylon scanners which leave trails as they move). Within the current Macro Mode 1, I'm not sure how you work it into the setting. I guess if you restricted the size of the segment to 9 (probably big enough for most people for most things?), you could use the first digit for the fade time in tenths of seconds and the second for segment length. This would maintain compatibility with existing programming (unless it had a segment of more than 9). So a submode of 24 would move a 4 pixel segment with the pixels fading in 0.2sec after they are "off" (no longer part of the current position of the segment). Or if you didn't want to break existing stuff, a new Macro Mode could be created for it. I suppose this would also apply to Macro Mode 3. And I suppose it could even apply to the various Fill macros when "unfilling" the ribbon. This means enough to me I'd do an in season firmware update if it was available. I'm also considering 'doing it the hard way' and programming them 'by hand' using the 150 channels to get my beloved fades. Comments (or firmware updates) welcome. :-) -Scott
  4. telecatprod

    Intensities and CCRs... etc

    I just played with one of my shiny new CCRs for the first time (they've been sitting in the box since Wednesday... eek!). My first impression is "very cool!" My second is "theses are gonna be a PITA to program." Unless I'm not finding some existing features. Thoughts and desires... * As seen in another thread, it's very hard to tell if a channel has a value of 1 or 2, unless you blow up the vertical scale a lot. I'd go for the solution of showing a percentage in the box. Perhaps selectable on a per-channel basis so it can be set for only the Macro channels. I also love the idea (which I think I also saw mentioned) of an 'intelligent channel' that knows it's the Macro Mode or Color Effect Mode channel for a CCR and would show "Mode 3" or "Fill C-E" or something. Perhaps also be able to pick the mode by right clicking and selection of the popup, which would have choices appropriate to what channel it is. Anyway, something is needed for the small values common with the CCRs. * The bigger thing that I don't see (unless I'm missing it) is an easy way to set a specific intensity. I can have a selection of 10 intensities on the Intensity Tools Setting, but that's not nearly enough with the 18 Color Effect values, plus the need to select any value for the sub mode of the chases (5 & 6). One could want any value for the on-off pairings. Easiest solution I'm surprised isn't there already... right click "Set Intensity..." Note the ... Would bring up a little dialog I could put any intensity into, saving the Intensity Tool Settings for values I use a lot. Or is there some other way to set an intensity directly without having to make it a choice on the Intensity Tool Settings first? * I eagerly await RGB channels! * It would be nice when adding a CCR to a sequence if the software knew (or could be told) it was a CCR and name all the channels. Channel 1, Channel 2.... Channel 153 is not really useful. Red 1, Green 1.... Macro Submode would be a lot more helpful. Of course if would have to know or have a selection for the CCR being in RGB RGB RGB or RRR GGG BBB mode. Yes, I can do it by hand. But it's 157 channels and October 19th. * Not exactly CCR specific, but I see no way to be able to view two tracks on the screen at once (top and bottom). Wasn't there a time when all the tracks were a long 'stack' and one could scroll such that they could see the bottom part of track 1 and the top part of track 2 in a 'split screen'? For me at least it would be useful to be able to see both this year as I transfer programing for my arches from the old 8-segment style to the CCRs. I was planning to just throw the CCR onto a new track to keep its 157 channels 'out of the way'. I suppose what would actually be better, as I think while writing, would be the ability to split the screen and see two tracks at once, with independent scrolling for each track (so I could see the middle of each, rather than just the bottom of one and the top of the next). But perhaps I'm just weird (well ok, I AM weird, but you know what I mean). Thanks to others for any guidance. Thanks to LOR for some new software updates... I hope. -Scott
  5. telecatprod

    DC-MP3 Status Lights

    I have a DC-MP3 controlling 8 CTB16PC's. Single show on the SD card (created with the Hardware Utility) set to run fixed hours each night. All units and DC constantly powered. The show ran reliably. No problems. But I noticed when the show was not running I had the following LEDs showing: E (Red) is solid on R (Amber) is steady blinking. I understand the R blink is waiting for a show. That's good. But I don't see any notes in the manual that match this behavior for E. It's not connected to the hardware utility, just the CTB16PC's it controlling. Does this indicate there was some kind of issue during the show? I've seen the same behavior on two units. One is running the firmware it came with in August. The other has been updated with the current firmware (from the 12/12/08 release). Thanks! -Scott
  6. Silly me for not checking for another update. The one I had, IIRC, was dated the 8th. Responsives fixes are good. Thanks! -Scott
  7. This is the "other post" mentioned previously. I'm trying to write an SD card for my DCMP3 using the Hardware Utility (v2.1.2 Advanced). When I try to add a musical sequence to the show I get the error: Error with sequence file: Creating Sequence File Path/File access error When I try to add a filler animation, I get basically the same error: Error with sequence file: Path/File access error The sequences both open and play fine. They've both been opened and resaved in the Sequence Editor 2.1.2. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks. -Scott
  8. telecatprod

    Simple Show Builder Silent Animation

    I'm trying to setup up the one song I have to run once every half hour, with a "filler animation" in the interim. For my first attempt I was planning to use the Simple Show Builder, but I must be missing something... When I get to the schedule page, I can set the days and times. I pick "once every half hour" and the 'between shows' box appears. I pick "Run a Silent Animation" and then nothing more appears. How do I tell it *which* silent animation to run? Or it it just some build-in thing where it cycles channels? Trying to write the show to an SD card for my DCMP3. Running the just released version of the software. After this head scratcher, I decided to try to use the Hardware utility instead, but got various file errors. But I'll save that for another post. Thanks for the help. -Scott