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Randy

LOR Software Wishlist - Allowing a Channel to be On/Off Only

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Posting a new software feature here to see if there's any acceptance or agreement before submitting to the wishlist....

My son was goofing around with a controller awhile back, err..He was "testing" :D and had some stuff plugged in, including a strobe light....

I was doing some stuff in the garage and he was having a good time doing some testing, and all of a sudden the strobe light quit working because he had hit it with some fading (even though we had discussed only sending on/off commands to it)...

It got me to thinking.....Would there be support for a feature on the software to allow a channel to be locked or configured as non-dimming (i.e. only 100% on or off) ?

It might save someone else from damaging an expensive device inadvertently....

Anyone like the idea?

Thanks, Randy

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I'd rather the programmers work on features that are useful, not ones that keep us from shooting ourselves in the foot.

D.T.

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DownTown wrote:

I'd rather the programmers work on features that are useful, not ones that keep the software from shooting ourselves in the foot.

hmmm...not shooting myself in the foot seems useful to me... :P

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I like the idea also Randy as I have several strobes on a particular channel or two and would hate to "smoke" one because I dragged a fade command on one. Good idea!

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I also thought: a way to 'program' a controllers channel to only be full on or full off, may help with this mishap. This 'program' would be on and stay with the controller.

We already have the abality to set max. intensity for a controller.

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What about adding to that by giving each channel options. I like the just on or off, but what about setting the fade up and down, intensity , etc...

On a side note, I think the just on and off is more of a safety. It will help protect your investment. Mistakes happen. When you get over 100 channels, you could easily miss something during the programming. I would hate to burn out a ton of strobes right at the beginning of the season.

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knute73 wrote:

When you get over 100 channels, you could easily miss something during the programming. I would hate to burn out a ton of strobes right at the beginning of the season.

I must be missing something....are you guys talking about special strobes? 'Cause the strobes I have just flash 3-4 times per second on full intensity...don't they?

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jimswinder wrote:

knute73 wrote:
When you get over 100 channels, you could easily miss something during the programming. I would hate to burn out a ton of strobes right at the beginning of the season.

I must be missing something....are you guys talking about special strobes? 'Cause the strobes I have just flash 3-4 times per second on full intensity...don't they?



No, nothing special

Yes..... full intensity.

If you accidental program in a 50% on or anything than 100% 'on' the strobes could be damaged.:shock:

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Paul Roberson wrote:

If you accidental program in a 50% on or anything than 100% 'on' the strobes could be damaged.:shock:

Yikes!!

I thought I always read that to have them fire at the exact time you wanted them to you NEEDED to "preheat" them using a less intensity?

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jimswinder wrote:

Paul Roberson wrote:
If you accidental program in a 50% on or anything than 100% 'on' the strobes could be damaged.:shock:

Yikes!!

I thought I always read that to have them fire at the exact time you wanted them to you NEEDED to "preheat" them using a less intensity?



I have read that also. Some people do that. I turn mine on 100% a fraction of time before I want them to fire.

"Accidently" shimmer them for awhile and let us know the results.:P

This kind of accident is what Randy's idea would help to prevent.

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jimswinder wrote:

I thought I always read that to have them fire at the exact time you wanted them to you NEEDED to "preheat" them using a less intensity?

I think you're confusing the reason for pre-charging them Jim. With LED strobes (and ONLY with LED strobes from CDI as far as I'm aware) pre-charging them at a lower intensity helps to randomize them more quickly when they are fired. Personally, I've never had an issue, at least one that my eyes could detect, with any strobes not firing precisely when they were supposed to.

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George Simmons wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
I thought I always read that to have them fire at the exact time you wanted them to you NEEDED to "preheat" them using a less intensity?

I think you're confusing the reason for pre-charging them Jim. With LED strobes (and ONLY with LED strobes from CDI as far as I'm aware) pre-charging them at a lower intensity helps to randomize them more quickly when they are fired. Personally, I've never had an issue, at least one that my eyes could detect, with any strobes not firing precisely when they were supposed to.

Oh okay....I guess I should have mentioned I was speaking of LED strobes...

haven't tried my new Xenons yet, but good to know I don't need to pre-charge them...

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I agree this would be a nice feature

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Very good Request!

I would like to have this feature also. I am concerned that less than 100% might hit my strobes, and it would be nice to prevent that.

It would also work nicely with the DC Board. I have an on/off solenoid for pneumatics, and I do not want it going to anything but on or off.

Maybe there is a way on the DC controller to define this, but I am not aware of it.

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One way you could check channels now, without having to add extra features.

Simply select the entire length of the channel in the sequence. Then, with foreground effects turned on, apply an "On" command. Any cell within that channel that has an event in it would be forced to "ON". Channels that are off would not be affected.

So, if you accidentally put a fade on a channel, it would be corrected to an "On".

When I'm sequencing a display that has some non-dimmable items, this is the quickest way I know if to make sure I don't have a cell/event at less than 100%.

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rikerz wrote:

I like the idea also Randy as I have several strobes on a particular channel or two and would hate to "smoke" one because I dragged a fade command on one. Good idea!

And most of the time there isn't just "one" on a channel but rather 10, 20, 50, etc. At 6 bucks a pop, that can be costly.

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Not to mention that in Australia it is very common to have low voltage lights with a supplied adapter (it is the law that outdoor lights need to be low voltage except when they are completely waterproof). Feeding the adapter anything other than 100% intensity has potential to damage it.

Very useful suggestion.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Yes good idea

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Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I turned in the idea via the wishlist email address and referenced this thread...

Randy

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Jeff Millard wrote:

+1 for Paul's idea. IMHO it would be a better approach to be able to use the hardware utility to set a channel to behave as a DIO channel. Then, any effect added to the sequence would be treated as an "on" taking care of the on/off issue with things like strobes and motors. Then your could put a piece of red tape on the wire to remember that it's been set to on/off. It would make it forgiving when sequencing.

This on/off feature discussion has come up before. But I think Paul hit the nail on the head for the actual incorporation of it into the system. I believe Dan would have a direct role in something related to the firmware and hardware utility. If anyone is interested in this being added to the Sequencer or Hardware utility and firmware... the wishlist really is the best place. A higher number of requests for a particular feature moves that feature up the ladder and improves it's chance to make it into the system.

Jeff

This was more along the thoughts that I had. I don't have any strobes yet, but if I did, it would be great to set it via the hardware utility and/or have the sequencer lock any effect on a track set to control a strobe to be ON/OFF only. This way a fade is just ON until it is off, a shimmer is ON, and so on.

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There's a weird behavior of subsequence channels that you could take advantage of in order to force channels to be 0% or 100% intensity. Before I show it, a couple caveats:

(1) This is obviously not good as a "real" solution, but it might at least help in lieu of one.

(2) The weird behavior that it takes advantage of is something that we've intended to get rid of for a long time now, so this trick might not work in future versions of the software.

A link to a video showing how to do it is at the end of this message, but the basic idea is this:

(1) Set up a channel config file in a certain weird way.

(2) Set up another channel config file properly (i.e. reflecting how you actual sequences to be).

Then, whenever you're about to play a sequence that you want protected, and you have reason to believe that it may have been changed in the meantime:

(3) Import the weird channel config file.

(4) Save.

(5) Close the sequence.

(6) Open the sequence.

(7) Import the real channel config file.

(8) Save.

Here's a video showing in more detail:

http://www.lightorama.com/bobpublic/ForceToOnOrOffViaSubsequences.swf

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Jeff Millard wrote:

cyberfix wrote:
This way a fade is just ON until it is off, a shimmer is ON, and so on.


This is similar to how a DIO channel works already. ANY effect is treated as an on to a DIO channel.

Jeff


Thanks for the clarification...

So if I understand this correctly, by setting this at the hardware level you have the ultimate protection. In the event that you did not set it correctly in the sequencer, the hardware would know better and will still only allow OFF and ON. Is that right? If so, seems like a nifty idea with lots of protection built-in.

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cyberfix wrote:

Jeff Millard wrote:
cyberfix wrote:
This way a fade is just ON until it is off, a shimmer is ON, and so on.


This is similar to how a DIO channel works already. ANY effect is treated as an on to a DIO channel.

Jeff


Thanks for the clarification...

So if I understand this correctly, by setting this at the hardware level you have the ultimate protection. In the event that you did not set it correctly in the sequencer, the hardware would know better and will still only allow OFF and ON. Is that right? If so, seems like a nifty idea with lots of protection built-in.


Is this how a DIO channel works or the whole DIO board?

To be clear, we would want to be able to make ON/OFF only control, at the channel level on a regular LOR controller.

Of course we would still be responsible for getting the strobes plugged into the correct channel output.:shock::)

I would like this function and I would use it.

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