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DevMike

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Everything posted by DevMike

  1. I just had my first ticket this year dealing directly with this: The ticket was sent after hours (remember, we close at 4) on a Friday, demanding that we fix a persons license because he is having a party in a couple of hours. Now, we are not even sure what the issue with the license is because the customer did not include enough information, but I can guarantee this person is going to be upset since WE ARE CLOSED for the weekend. You should NOT be waiting until the last minute if things are this important to you. Please remember this as the season picks up.
  2. Due to some internal issues with our forums, we were forced to restore the entire database from a backup overnight. The forums are now once again working properly. It appears that messages posted between 10/25 at approximately 2:30AM until 10/26 at approx 3:30AM (this morning) were lost. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  3. "Modified Sine Wave". Market speak for "The most horrendous saw tooth or square waveform you have ever seen but you probably won't know the difference so we can UP the price".
  4. You need a TRUE sine wave inverter, not a 'modified sine wave' or 'square wave'. Something like this:https://amzn.to/2RWyZ0N (frankly, I think that is actually too cheap to be a true sine wave inverter, but that is what it says. Maybe prices have come down.)
  5. Jim for the win. Old CCR did not understand 500K or ELOR. HWU will always be able to control them. It runs at a very slow speed. You however updated your network to run 500K or ELOR which the old firmware did not understand. Updating the firmware gets it to work. Go look at your network preferences for the network that the CCR is attached to. You will find it at 500K or using ELOR.
  6. Until the token fell out of the network and you had to go searching for it.
  7. I believe the minimum was only for ring topologies, not star. Something about impedance if I remember correctly. Who uses ring?
  8. You are right on all accounts. You used to need a crossover cable, but I don't think there is a switch mfg today that doesn't have auto-sense. When cascading switches now a days, I don't even think about it - I just run a normal straight CAT5/6 from one to the other.
  9. Let's not pile on too much. He was upset, and we explained the facts. In a way, it is a good thing - this customer thought we were big enough to have 24 hour service. We must be doing something right! The issue I have is that I am a big enough jerk that I get beat on enough all on my own (and deserve it). This was one of the times where it was not deserved. One of these year's I'm going to do a 'You won't believe THIS!' at an Expo and bring along some examples of 'um... well.. maybe the customer is actually WRONG'. Do it as a comedy thing. But again, please be gentle. Sometimes we just need to manage expectations.
  10. 10/09 update: As of right now, things look back to normal. However, we may still have missed your license purchase/upgrade/renewal. If we did, please notify us via a help desk ticket. If it has been several hours and your license still has not been updated or created, please open a help desk ticket. Include your order number (Starts YHST-), as well as your license key (for upgrades/renewals). We can then manually update/create your license. If this is an upgrade or renewal please include BOTH the order number and your existing license in the ticket. It is nearly impossible to look up the correct order or license without them!
  11. We are currently experiencing some intermittent difficulties with the interface between our storefront and the back-end Software Licensing DB. On Friday we noticed that some new licenses, license renewals and licence upgrades were not making it to our license server. We've been monitoring the situation, and thought that it was resolved this morning. However, the server is still intermittently missing these updates. If you have purchased a new license, license renewal, or upgrade the purchase may have gone through, however your license may not have been updated/created. Please note that there is no problem with the store itself, or with the Licensing DB. You can make purchases and register your software if you have already received your key. The only issue is the interface from the store to the license DB that automatically creates or updates the license. Once we have corrected the issue, your license will be automatically updated/created as normal. If you did purchase a new license, license upgrade or renewal, please check the status of your license first by using our online system here: http://www1.lightorama.com/software-license-retrieval/ If it has been several hours and your license still has not been updated or created, please open a help desk ticket. Include your order number (Starts YHST-), as well as your license key (for upgrades/renewals). We can then manually update/create your license. If this is an upgrade or renewal please include BOTH the order number and your existing license in the ticket. It is nearly impossible to look up the correct order or license without them!
  12. Absolutely. Think of each channel as having a 'key' (in computer terms). To LOR software any channel's key is: Network/Unit ID/Circuit So any different combination of those 3 different things is something different. REG/01/12 is a completely different channel from AUXA/01/12
  13. This is going to be a 'one hit wonder'. He probably won't be back on the forums. Here is more detail: We had an issue over the weekend with the automated system that sends license creation and update messages from one server to the other. These messages were only intermittently getting through. We did monitor the situation over the weekend (since the root cause of the issue itself appeared to be out of our control). As of now, we should have caught up on all the licenses that were missed. If we missed your license creation or update, simply open a help desk ticket with your order number and we will get you going. Our normal business hours are 10A-4PM M-F. We (like most companies) are closed on the weekend. As a courtesy we do try to pick up help desk tickets/etc on the weekend on an as-can basis. However there are only a few of us who have access to the ordering system and so the person picking up the ticket may need to send it to one of us. As John stated, the OP opened the ticket at 11:00 PM on Friday night, well after we had closed for the weekend. At 8:30 AM Saturday we replied that we received the ticket and that we needed to send this over to the ordering people to see what is happening. At 11:00 AM Saturday you asked again about your key. At 6PM Saturday you complained that we were not taking care of the issue and you demanded that we take care of it "immediately!". At 12:000 Noon Sunday we replied that we had manually created your license and explained we had some technical issues. At 1PM Sunday you complained that you had not yet received the eMail (FYI: You can ALWAYS get your license from our website: http://www1.lightorama.com/software-license-retrieval/). At 3PM we checked our eMail system and found no errors. We posted your license to your ticket. So in a nutshell, your entire issue was resolved in approximately 36 hours, which is pretty darn good by any standard during normal business days. We actually took care of the issue during the weekend, even though we are closed. I don't know if I would call that WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER! If the OP is still not satisfied, I am happy to refund his purchase if he has not yet registered the software.
  14. Correct - the workaround right now for the extra 16 ports is 'pretend they don't exist'
  15. We can sell you some more stuff to put on that network with the Pup so he's not lonely. No problem!!!
  16. You can use always use the most recent version (not just this latest one released, ANY latest version) of the Registry Wipe program on ANY version of our software, all the way back to S2. The registry wipe program is recompiled every time we make a release, and the most recent will always properly work with ANY version. In this case, older versions of the Registry Wipe program do not attempt to clean up the Program Files entries while the new version does. IE You do NOT need to use the 2.9.4 registry wipe because you have 2.9.4 installed. Use the latest available.
  17. FYI... It's not a bug, it's a feature I heard back from Firmware. There is actually an incomplete internal option in the firmware for MKIIs that allows the PixCon to drive TWO strings of pixels from ONE port. Not by tying them end-to-end, but by re-purposing the CLK line as a DATA line. Each physical green connector would then act as if it were TWO ports (and why it shows 32 instead of 16), but the total number of pixels is dropped by 1/2 (IE, you could still only use a maximum of 340 pixels on each physical connector). Glad they let me know! This isn't something we are going to support now or in the near future. Please don't ask. I would not be poking around hooking up pixels in strange ways since who knows what will happen. The next release of the software will force the MKII into 16 port mode which will eliminate this 'feature'
  18. As is usually the case, Jim is correct. ELOR is UNI directional from the sender, be it a computer or MP3 director, to the receivers (the controllers). Not only does this mean we don't have to do line turnarounds, but that we can reduce the amount of framing needed which allows us to pump more data with less overhead.
  19. If all users knew how to do #1, and what they actually needed to change, the board is the same as any other TCP/IP device. By definition since the PixCon16 and any other board MUST adhere to the standards of TCP/IP, neither can be easier or harder. They all must play by IDENTICAL rules. Next time you deal with someone with a Pixcon16, follow your own steps with one slight change: 1 - Have them set their computer IP (192.168.0.51 works great for the PixCon) 2 - power on the controller 3 - instead of opening a web browser and going to the IP address of the board, open the Network Preferences program and press the 'Find/Configure PixCon16' It will work. In fact this is the exact procedure we have in the Troubleshooting guide. We just break it down into smaller more-easily digestible steps with pictures. Once in the config screen, the user can take it from there, since all of the options/etc are well documented by us and familiar if they have used or studied other E1.31 equipment. If they want to use the device as an ELOR controller, those concepts will be familiar as well since they have used other LOR equipment. You are however missing that one LAST step - getting them to put their computer back the way it was so they can use it again (or not making any destructive change in the first place). We have to be responsible like that. You do not - they don't pay you. Again, I think it's your perception that is at issue. If you had one, you too would know that setting up communications to it is just as easy as any other TCP/IP device. But, you are mostly dealing with people who are brand new to pixel control, and who don't know how to properly configure their computer. You spend a lot of time with them, they get frustrated, it rubs off on you and that clouds your judgement causing you to blame the board. I deal with people like that all day long for ALL of our products. If I did not have something to compare to I would think that all LOR products are bad. So I ask again -- Do you actually have a Pixcon16, or is your opinion strictly based on those experiences you have with these neophyte users? If you would like to speak about how the actual configuration screens are set up and how those can be made more user friendly and easier to use, I would like that very much. Even with 30+ years experience designing user interfaces, and 20ish doing work flow management, I do get things wrong. If there is some functionality that other boards configuration screens supply that we don't, I'd like to know which you would most like to see. If we can add them, we will. I also take responsibility for ALL the documentation that pertains in any way to the PixCon16. I wrote it all. That includes online help for the configuration screens (F1), the Pixcon16 Hardware Manual, the E1.31 and DMX for Pixel Control document, the PixCon16 checklist, and the PixCon16 Troubleshooting guide. I have never claimed that I am a writer, so if you have suggestions for those I'd like them as well. [Those last two points apply to anyone reading and for any thing LOR sells, mfgs, etc. We do miss the mark sometimes. Give us examples on what you don't like and we will always seriously consider them. ] But when discussing the initial computer configuration that needs to happen to be able to talk to the PixCon16: With 100% certainty I can say It is equally as difficult as any other board, since it is the network that drives what needs to happen, NOT the board. It's TCP/IP - ALL boards have to play by those same rules. Anyone who has the skill set can configure our board as easily as the next. Anyone that does NOT have the skill-set will not be able to configure or will struggle with ANY board until gaining those skills. When properly configured, the PixCon16 will hold its own against any other E1.31 device. It will perform 100% to specifications in either E1.31 or ELOR mode.
  20. Sub-netting is a beast, even still for me. I usually end up doing it in Binary then converting back to dec/hex. -------------- Let me ask: Do you yourself own a PixCon, or are you only helping others that did purchase one? I ask, because your perception may be clouded. You have skills. Those people can't get things going and you help them and it takes hours. You own a whizbang2000 which you can configure with one hand tied behind your back. Therefore the PixCon must not be any good. The PixCon16 suffers from the same ills as any other E1.31 controller out there. Unless you know a little about what you are doing, NONE of them are easy to configure PROPERLY. Our hands are also tied since we have to deal with people who have less experience and we have to ensure they don't shoot themselves in the foot. When you remove those constraints the PixCon is every bit as user friendly as any other E1.31 board out there. I'll prove it: 1 - Have a computer on an already working network 2 - Connect a new or a factory reset PixCon to that same network 3 - Start Network Preferences 4 - Press 'Find/Configure PixCon16' 5 - Click the board in the list. I guarantee you'll be able to configure it and use it. 5 steps and NONE of them can be called anything BUT user friendly. At what point can anyone make any of that easier? Those steps (or at least a form of them) are what every other E1.31 controller requires. Maybe for some of them, like the whizbang2000 it goes more like: 1 - Have a computer on an already working network 2 - Connect a new or a factory reset WhizBang 2000 to that same network 3 - Start A Web Browser 4 - Goto WhizBang2000.com 5 - Click something to configure it. .. but still, same kinds of skills. I also guarantee that same set of 80%ers I described above are now going to have issues on their network with OTHER things. Those people are going to complain LOUDLY. As a company, you are going to take a hit. Which is the smaller hit: Customer complains board is too hard to use, or Customer complains the board took down their entire network (and/or got them shut down by their ISP)? Yes, the PixIE is light years easier to configure and is probably the controller that those people should have purchased. We agree. The reason for Pixie being so much easier is that I control the ENTIRE system. From software to USB adapter to controller to protocol in use. ALL ME. As soon as you get a device that has to co-exist with other devices that are not yours, on a network that is not yours, well... The rules change. These customers didn't buy Pixie, they purchased PixCon. We tell people "HEY! The PixCon is COMPLICATED. Are you really sure you want this board?" They buy them anyway. I just sell the Car. The customer needs the basic skills to operate it. When I learned to fly, I soloed with 9 hours training. It took another 31 hours of instruction, and almost 50 hours of solo for me to get my license. Flying is easy. Flying RIGHT is hard.
  21. I agree that it appears the PixCon is a pain to configure. I'm the one that needs to support the PixCon , so I get ALL the tickets. First, lets correct one thing: The PixCon is GREAT at the functions it performs (ELOR or E1.31). It is not mediocre AT ALL. The experience of using one for some can be however. The PixCon is a great controller. It works great if you know just a little about how IP networking works. If you don't, it is challenging. For example, I can get one configured in about 3 minutes from scratch. But then I know what a DHCP server is, how to set a static IP address, what subnets are, etc. Most people do not and that is why they think it is a pain to configure. Customers see the word 'Pro' or the higher price tag and think 'This is BETTER than a Pixie, I should buy it!'. Better is always better, right? Well, that is 100% true but in this case better comes with a price - you have to know how to properly set up a network. The Pixcon is also positioned as the 'transition' device between a strictly LOR display to a future E1.31 or hybrid display. You can purchase a PixCon this year, run it in ELOR, and then next year move to E1.31. Problem here again is people don't consider their skillset when it comes to using LAN equipment. So is it REALLY SO HARD to learn how to configure a PixCon16? Nope, not at all. We have the DMX and E1.31 for Pixel Control document that takes a two pronged approach. Prong 1 is the 'I don't want to learn anything' configuration which is on Page 8. New Router, normally configured Windows PC with all other networking turned off, Factory Reset PixCon16, 2 cat 5 cables. Page 8 ALWAYS works. If you want to learn more about how to get things working, the other 30 or so pages attempt to teach you the basics about IP Networking. All those pages really boil down to ONE concept: The first 3 parts of the PixCon IP address MUST match the first 3 parts of the Computer address. The problem there is that in order to get to that concept you need to learn a few others. We don't know how many people are successful by just reading that document and/or following the checklist. What we do know is that around 85-90% of the help desk tickets we get for the PixCon are because no one takes the time to read that document or to read and follow the instructions in the checklist, even after we tell them to. I said before that I am devious when it comes to documentation the end user will consume. I include very easy checkpoints that tell me if you read the instructions and if you are actually following them. When I send you the 19 point PixCon checklist, the instructions say start at #1 and work down. Stop when something doesn't work. Step 19 says you now have a working board. So why is step 19 even there? Because after receiving the checklist that 85-90% will reply "We did everything it says and it still doesn't work" - which can not be true since 19 says it IS working. I caught them. "We followed page 8 EXACTLY!" they will say. I ask for a picture showing their Computer and PixCon connected to the router. I get a picture showing the computer connected directly to the PixCon. I get pictures of switches. I get pictures of their existing router serving their house. That is no where close to 'Exactly'. "Why not just tell them exactly what they need to do?" you may ask. Equipment like the PixCon puts us in a bad situation - improperly configured network equipment can cause all kinds of headaches - more than just a customer not being able to configure a PixCon. They may no longer be able to access the internet, may saturate their network with bad data causing things like their TVs to not work. They may get their internet shut down by their ISP. These things all have and do occur. We would rather deal with 'My PixCon doesn't work, you stink!' than with 'Your suggestions killed my network and we can't watch Netflix!'. See, we can tell you what needs to be done, but we can't tell you exactly how to do it since everyone's LAN equipment is going to be different or configured different. BUT as a VERY LAST resort, we do have one more thing we can send people. It's called the PixCon Troubleshooting Guide. It is very up-front. It says that it will get the Pixcon to work, but it will also most likely break your computer so that it can no longer use it on your network. It does NOT require any knowledge what so ever - it has pictures and tells you exactly what to change where. No guesswork, no knowledge needed. It too has my checkpoints. If you fail to communicate with the board, the document points our where the failure is and says to contact us with that explicit information. First person I sent it to replied: "I tried all of that and it does not work'. No, you didn't since you didn't report the error like you were asked. If we could magically pour the knowledge into the customer's head, we would. The next best thing is to offer to teach them - which we do. What happens when end users don't want to take the time to read and learn? We take the blame because the customer experience is mediocre (or worse). Some people simply do not want to take the time or energy to learn to use something, and the PixCon requires that you have a certain skill-set. If you don't have that skill-set we can show you where to get the knowledge. What we can't do is force someone to actually go through with the little bit of work they need to do. I talk people out of the PixCon all the time for this reason alone.
  22. FYI... This does appear to be a firmware bug. If you just ignore those extra ports, you should be OK. Once we get the firmware fixed I'll let you know.
  23. Today we released production version 5.1.4 of the Light-O-Rama Software Suite. This is an official production release, not a beta release. S5 is the first software from Light-O-Rama that is designed from the ground up to work with mega-pixel displays. S5 can also be used for non-pixel displays, but you may wish to stay with S4 for this season as S5 is a big change. During this change over, we will continue to maintain BOTH S4 and S5. S5 fully integrates the Pixel Editor, Sequence Editor, and Visualizer into a single program and adds many enhancements to help you program large channel count stages. S5 uses a different methodology called 'Visual Sequencing' to create amazing sequences and has new automatic programming tools called 'Motion Effects' that will speed your sequencing. For more information on S5, please see the "Sequencer (Showtime 5)" section of our Tutorials and PDFs page on our main website. Help documentation is not yet complete for this version, however we expect to release it shortly. The latest S5 help can always be found online here: http://www1.lightorama.com/downloads/5.1.4/help/ We also will be creating S5 based tutorial videos in the near future. How to check if your license covers this version To check whether or not your license covers this version, please go to the license retrieval page, and enter your email address (the one you purchased your license with). An email should then be sent to you with information about your license. The "Summary" section of the email will tell you whether or not your license covers the latest version. If the email says... Your license covers the latest version, 5.1.*. ... then your license already covers this version. You can use it without making any additional purchase. Please note, though, that your computer may not yet understand that your license covers this version, so when you install, it might tell you that you are running in Demo mode. In this case, simply reactivate your license (for example, via "Upgrade Light-O-Rama" on the Sequence Editor's "Help" menu), and your computer will then learn that your license is valid for this version. On the other hand, if the email instead says... Your license does not cover the latest version, 5.1.*. ... then your license does not cover this version. In that case, you have several options: Upgrading or Renewing Your License (1) You can continue using whatever version your license does cover (for example, perhaps your license covers version 4.1). (2) If you want to take this opportunity to increase your license level to take advantage of additional features, you can purchase a license level upgrade. This counts as a license renewal too - that is, your license will now work with this new version (and some future versions too). So, if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. (3) If you already own a Light-O-Rama license, but you do not currently own Light-O-Rama SuperStar, or if you want to upgrade SuperStar to a higher number of CCRs/channels, you could purchase or upgrade SuperStar. This also counts as a license renewal for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite, so if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. Please note that you must already own a license for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite in order to take this option. (4) If you do not want to purchase a license level upgrade or Light-O-Rama SuperStar, you can purchase a license renewal. Your license will now work with the new version (and some future versions too), at the same license level as it currently does. For example, if you have an Advanced license, it will remain an Advanced license, but it will now cover the new version of software. What's New in Version 5.1.4 Much of the documentation for S5 has been completed, however there are still some rough edges and missing information. Please keep this in mind. Several new options and effects have been added to Superstar's Auto Sequence tool including effects 'Folding Ricochet', 'Snake Up/Down', along with options to 'Skip Inactive Grid Squares' as well as 'Average the Time Length of Effects'. The Sequencer now sends the current timing grid to SuperStar when inserting a SuperStar effect. This allows SuperStar to display the same timings as the Sequencer. Many Bug Fixes. How To Get the Latest Version You can download the new version from the software download page. If that page lists a different version number as the lastest version, please click your browser's refresh button. Thank You! Many thanks to the help and support all of our beta and release candidate testers gave us for the last year! Without you, S5 would not be what it is today!
  24. I am going to say that I now see at least 2 forum threads AND you have a ticket going. Having that many cooks spoils the broth. You really should concentrate on ONE.
  25. Today we released version 4.3.36 of the Light-O-Rama Software Suite. This is an official production release, not a beta release. This release improves the LOR Registry Wipe process and includes various SuperStar bug fixes. How to check if your license covers this version To check whether or not your license covers this version, please go to the license retrieval page, and enter your email address (the one you purchased your license with). An email should then be sent to you with information about your license. The "Summary" section of the email will tell you whether or not your license covers the latest version. If the email says... Your license covers the latest version, 4.3.*. ... then your license already covers this version. You can use it without making any additional purchase. Please note, though, that your computer may not yet understand that your license covers this version, so when you install, it might tell you that you are running in Demo mode. In this case, simply reactivate your license (for example, via "Upgrade Light-O-Rama" on the Sequence Editor's "Help" menu), and your computer will then learn that your license is valid for this version. On the other hand, if the email instead says... Your license does not cover the latest version, 4.3.*. ... then your license does not cover this version. In that case, you have several options: Upgrading or Renewing Your License (1) You can continue using whatever version your license does cover (for example, perhaps your license covers version 4.1). (2) If you want to take this opportunity to increase your license level to take advantage of additional features, you can purchase a license level upgrade. This counts as a license renewal too - that is, your license will now work with this new version (and some future versions too). So, if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. (3) If you already own a Light-O-Rama license, but you do not currently own Light-O-Rama SuperStar, or if you want to upgrade SuperStar to a higher number of CCRs/channels, you could purchase or upgrade SuperStar. This also counts as a license renewal for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite, so if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. Please note that you must already own a license for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite in order to take this option. (4) If you do not want to purchase a license level upgrade or Light-O-Rama SuperStar, you can purchase a license renewal. Your license will now work with the new version (and some future versions too), at the same license level as it currently does. For example, if you have an Advanced license, it will remain an Advanced license, but it will now cover the new version of software. What's New in Version 4.3.36 Some versions of the LOR UnInstaller process can leave behind unwanted programs. The RegistryWipe program can now clean those up. Various bug fixes and small improvements for SuperStar How To Get the Latest Version You can download the new version from the software download page. If that page lists a different version number as the latest version, please click your browser's refresh button. Thank You!
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