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About Galen

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    Lindon, UT
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  1. I have LED dripping icicles on my roofline which I have used for probably 6+ (from Costco) years with no issues (literally, no failures), but this year, when that channel goes on, there is a crackling interference noise on the radio (regardless of the frequency I select). Each string has a little transformer/control box and I have probably 8-10 strings. I suspect one or more of these strings is failing and throwing off interference. Has anyone experienced something like this? Any ideas for solving the problem? The quick solution is to simply not run those lights in the show, which I will probably do until I can solve this. I will try to narrow down whether it is just one string or multiple, etc. as well, but if someone has been down this path before and has any suggestions, I'd love to know. Thanks!
  2. Yes, 'Control Visualizer' always has a check by it - and I double check every time just to make sure :-) So, are you saying that the fact that the visualizer pops to the front indicates that there is communication between SE and visualizer? Hence not a firewall issue? That is a good thing to know. However, it makes me even more puzzled.
  3. I've searched and checked and tried the past suggestions - even went through the tuorial step by step, but I still do not have the Visualizer working this year. Here's the background: I'm running S3 (3.8.2) on Windows 8 (ugh) and I have McAfee Security Center. Both the Visualizer and SE are using the same IP address and port and in SE the Control Visualizer box is checked. For several years I have run the Visualizer with absolutely no problems, however, this year when I decided to edit a few sequences, I found I could not get the Visualizer to work. I see my background photo come to the front when playing the sequence, but no lights blink (yes, I have the Visualizer in simulation or play mode). I wonder if I could be having some firewall issues, but when I turn off the firewall (McAfee), it doesn't help. I wonder if there is some cross issue with McAfee and Windows in terms of which firewall is in control, but either way I can't seem to get the Visualizer to actually work with SE. So, does anyone have similar experiences and/or suggestions for this? And/or could there be some of you who have had isues with McAfee firewall and have any tricks for it? Thanks
  4. I've had a 14' spiral tree for 5 or so years. The first year I did what Mwhite did (used calculator, marked the cables where each string would cross, etc.). I had hoped to leave it all connected (16 cables to the pole, light strings to the cables) for the following year - and I was successful with that - until set-up the following year. I was a horrible rat's nest and took me more time untangling than setting it up in the first place. I vowed to do better the following year and took more care with the take-down at the end of the season, but I had similar results to the prior year. So, what do I do now? I still leave the cables attached to the pole year to year (along with mega tree strings attached to the cables), but the spiral strings come off at the end of each year. I attach them to the top each year and have a helper walk them around the tree and attach to the cable at the bottom. That's it, a zip tie at the top and a zip tie at the bottom. The lights hold their place just fine in the middle, and if I feel I need a little adjustment, I throw a zip tie mid-way for a string or two. It's easy to take down, much less aggravating in set-up, and it looks great. It's easy once you have the first string on there to use it as a pattern for the subsequent strings so it looks very consistent and uniform. Oh, getting to the top to attach the strings with the tree already up is easy. I've got 16 guy lines (cables) stabilizing the tree, so I just lean my extension ladder up there and have no problems attaching the strings at the top. Mwhite's method of dropping the strings down doesn't work for my tree since I don't have a telescoping flagpole - my topper is permanaent since it also acts as the anchor for the guy wires to the pole. Galen
  5. George and everyone else, thanks for the information. Every year I feel like my shows are a "house of cards" just waiting to fall apart - but fortunately they somehow don't I decided that for his year I needed to set up and use groups and tracks effectively and was going to re-work my "master" configuration, but it sounds like maybe I shouldn't touch it (I do not want to do a lot of re-work on all of my sequences). So here are a few questions: Is it bad to have groups in the "Master" track? If I have them, are there certain precautions I should take to make sure I don't foul things up? Maybe my biggest question is, What is really saved in my .lcc? Meaning, is it ALL channels, tracks, and groups from whenever I saved the file? Is the reason that I don't touch the "Master" track really that this is presumably the only place where the actual channel/controller/circuit linking takes place and all the tracks that just have groups are simply 'shortcuts' to the real deal? So, if I don't mess around with the "Master" track but I make all kinds of modifications to the later tracks with all kinds of new groups and save that configuration, what happens to a sequence in which I import this new configuration? That is, is the master track good, but all the later tracks messed up due to the changes in the config? Sorry or all the questions, I think I'll have to spend some time experimenting as I start to get my new config planned.
  6. I experienced the same situation a couple days ago. I thought I could upgrade to 3.9, but my license was obviously only good through 3.8.x. (That is, I was left in Demo mode of 3.9 and you can't go back to a earlier version with the installer). I simply uninstalled 3.9 using windows (from the control panel) and then installed 3.8.2. It was not problem, no data was moved or lost and I was back running in just a few minutes.
  7. So I see there's a new version of the software to address a memory leak. Is this something for which everyone should upgrade? Or is it something that if you don't notice an issue, just let it ride? More specificially, I've had two issues the last week that have concerned me and now I wonder if it may be a "leak". Both of these issues my computer seems to still be turned on, but is unresponsive (like it is frozen), even unable to have the screen wake up. The power indicators, etc. all indicate that the computer is on, but we need to reboot it to get it going again. Both of these happened when the show was NOT running (i.e., sometime overnight or during the day) however the shows were enabled and had been simply running the show for several days. I am mildly concerned that my show computer is failing, but now I wonder, Could this be a memory leak symptom? I think I'll upgrade anyway, but just wondering if this type of behavior is how a leak can manifest itself. Thanks, Galen
  8. Forgot to wrap it up . . . Of course then you need to make sure those three 'fixtures' are attached to your new unit/circuit appropriately.
  9. I think I would open one of your sequences, go to the channel configuration and change the three channels to the unit and circuit that are good (you wish to use). Under Edit, export the channel configuration (give it a different name). Then, in all your other sequences that you are using in your show, simply open them in the sequence editor, import your new channel configuration, and save. I think this does it. There may be an easier way, without having to import the channel configuration into all of your sequences, but I'm not aware of that.
  10. One more update. I suspect this may be a failed com chip or something like that. Its funny how in the midst of these issues we (or I) sometimes don't think clearly. One thing that was happening even when the controller was "not" on the network (i.e., the status light was off) was that lights on downstream controllers were being "controlled". If the controller really weren't "on the network" I suspect that this should not have been happening. Also, some upstream controllers were also behaving badly then as well. That should have convinced me that it wasn't just a bad connector or connection. So, unless it is any easy chip swap, I think I'm in over my head.
  11. Max/Jamie, maybe we are all in this together. I removed the problem controller from the network and fortunately everything in the show runs great. However, when I look at the problem controller I see that in fact the status LED does sometimes have a very very faint glow (so maybe it wasn't completely off. I do now believe that it is NOT related to the network jacks. They are solid as a rock. Maybe some other component is bad. It seems that I can connect the cable, and the light blinks then goes steady, but after a minute or so it sometimes just goes out. It seems like to get it back I can unplug the cable and plug it back in, and start the cycle over. I also noticed that even without any network cables connected (and power on) the LED goes out (or so dim you can't tell its on). I suspect this is beyond my rudimentary skills to diagnose and fix - I'll see what LOR can do. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
  12. Jamie, my status LED is never dim or flickering, it is either completely dark, or it is blinking briefly until it is completely on. Unfortunately I don't have a spare, but I'm going to try the phone jack to see if that solves the immediate problem (if it is a loose connection, maybe that end is still solidly soldered). If so, I will at least get by until the weekend when I can take a closer look. If not, I may be forced to choose what props I'll give up. This controller runs my mega tree and I really need that prop working - so I may have to sacrifice my 2 arches to put that controller on the mega tree.
  13. Yeah, the boot is removed (I can hardly get them through into the box with them on). My last resort before replacing or sending the whole thing in to be repaired) is to see if I can re-solder the jacks. They don't seem to be loose, but that is probably another thorough check I need to make. However, I think to get a good look I need to remove the board from the enclosure (to look in the back) which I don't look forward to doing. I don't look forward to disconnecting all the spade connectors. Is anyone experienced with "field" repair such as simply loosening cable clamps, unscrewing the board and just tipping it out enough to check the soldering on the rj45 jacks? I'm not sure that is even possible. Or, if it is, it may not be wise. However, it may be a quick way to just check. However, if its a loose jack, I don't see how that translates to the status LED being completely off. Galen
  14. That was my first thought, too. However, there is definitely power. Eventually a little wiggle of the network cable and shazam! the LED is solid and the channels spring to life. I was puzzled by this as well. But, almost as soon as I turn my back (back in the house and comfortable) the same problem surfaces. I think I'll try the following, stopping when I think the "house of cards" is standing : 1) Reset the controller (I'm skeptical on this, I truly think it is some other sort of "loose connection" problem, but it only takes a little time to do). 2) Use a telephone cable to connect this controller to the prior one 3) Re-route my cat5 cables so that this offending controller is the last in the chain (I believe - or at least hope - that the other network connector is okay) Galen
  15. Thanks, George. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is some sort of comm issue, but I'm not sure of the cause. I thought about trying the phone cable, but was worried that it may not handle the traffic well. However, I'm only running 160 channels, so hopefully that isn't a problem - I'll try that. As for the connector, it doesn't seem to be loose (as in, it doesn't seem to need to be re-soldered). However, I know that visual inspection doesn't always suffice in these situations. Question for anyone: Has anybody had an issue with the network connection seemingly affected by the pressure of the enclosure door bending the cable when closed? I would think the connections should be robust enough to not be an issue. Also, what does it mean if the LED is completely off? When I first noticed this I thought I had a power problem, but that is clearly not the case.
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