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I want to use a DC board in my display for a train. I don't want to spend the extra money on a wireless light linker when the board can store the sequence, and just needs an input to start the show. How about setting it for a 24 hour show and just starting it the first time?

 

Thoughts?

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When you load a sequence onto a DC board it will run until stopped.

 

In your case, once you start the show with a trigger, it will run until you stop it. If you load a 10 second sequence onto the board, that sequence will loop until stopped. Same goes for a 5 minute sequence. Will loop until stopped.

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I think what he was asking was creating a sequence that is 24 hours long with a substantial portion of that having nothing on.  For example, if the desire is to have show running from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM, and then nothing from 10:00 PM until 5:00 PM the next day.  Create a single sequence that is 24 hours long.  For the first 5 hours the lights do whatever they were programmed to do.  For the next 19 hours, do absolutely nothing.  Off hand, I don't see why that would not work - with a couple possible gotchas.

 

The first is that you would have to either program the desired lighting for 5 hours (whereas in normally you would repeat a much shorter sequence).  Then program 19 hours of nothing.  One of the problems with that is that any of the controller boards have a limited number of commands that can be stored on board.  There is a workaround however.  Let's say that you have a 5 minutes sequence you want to repeat for the 5 hours.  Create a sequence that has the first 5 minutes with your desired operational sequence of lights.  Set that portion of the sequence to loop 60 times.  That would give your 5 hours of playing, then have the next portion of the sequence do nothing for 5 minutes and loop that 228 times which would give you 19 hours of nothing happening.  When that loop is completed, that ends the sequence so it then repeats.  If you get the timing right, the same 5 hours of playing starts at the same time every day.  That does lead to the second gotcha however.  I don't know how accurate the clock is on the DC controller board.  You may find that your start time drifts a little every day.  Could very well vary with temperature or voltage too.

 

It would be an interesting experiment.

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I think what he was asking was creating a sequence that is 24 hours long with a substantial portion of that having nothing on.  For example, if the desire is to have show running from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM, and then nothing from 10:00 PM until 5:00 PM the next day.  Create a single sequence that is 24 hours long.  For the first 5 hours the lights do whatever they were programmed to do.  For the next 19 hours, do absolutely nothing.  Off hand, I don't see why that would not work - with a couple possible gotchas.

 

The first is that you would have to either program the desired lighting for 5 hours (whereas in normally you would repeat a much shorter sequence).  Then program 19 hours of nothing.  One of the problems with that is that any of the controller boards have a limited number of commands that can be stored on board.  There is a workaround however.  Let's say that you have a 5 minutes sequence you want to repeat for the 5 hours.  Create a sequence that has the first 5 minutes with your desired operational sequence of lights.  Set that portion of the sequence to loop 60 times.  That would give your 5 hours of playing, then have the next portion of the sequence do nothing for 5 minutes and loop that 228 times which would give you 19 hours of nothing happening.  When that loop is completed, that ends the sequence so it then repeats.  If you get the timing right, the same 5 hours of playing starts at the same time every day.  That does lead to the second gotcha however.  I don't know how accurate the clock is on the DC controller board.  You may find that your start time drifts a little every day.  Could very well vary with temperature or voltage too.

 

It would be an interesting experiment.

You're right on track with my thinking there....unfortunately, LOR says there is no clock built into there board, or else it could just be programmed to start at the same time as my other controllers...that would be too easy right?

 

Another issue I am thinking of, is that if I had a hiccup in my show computer, then that would make the timing off as well....

 

I may be back to using relays to switch the board power on, and set it to start when powered.....(sigh).....that or dish out the cash for light linkers or wireless DMX...

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If you are trying to co-ordinate show elements between the train and the rest of your display, you really have no choice but to have have the control come from the same source.  Even if the board had a real time clock, it would be real hard to keep it in sync.  Although that depends on what you are trying to do.  If you need to keep timings within 1 tenth of a second between the train and the rest of the show, you are unlikely to have any on-board clock accurate enough over a month.  Look how much your computer clock drifts (remember that it most likely time syncs over the internet regularly).  Just for a test, I looked at the time setting log on this desktop.  It got a time correction when I booted it about an hour and 20 minutes ago.  I manually told it to update time and the error was -995 ms  At that rate, even over the course of an evening show the time error would be several seconds.

 

So again, the question is what really are you trying to accomplish?

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