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Terranovaa

Questions from a newbie on a set up I inherited from my FIL

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Gentlemen, and ladies too,

I inherited my father-in-laws LOR set up when he passed in early 2013.

Being an electrical engineer type, and never one to do something half ass, I got quite the set up. I only helped him set it up once and even then, I was really only the light hanger.

If you would please help me figure out what I currently have and what I need to look for on my next trip back to the MIL's

More pics in the next post.

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post-13742-0-53885300-1411097782_thumb.j

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What you are missing is the computer another black box with an antenna that might be hooked up to the computer.

A FM Transmitter and a lot of extension cables!

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Looks like 4ea 16 channel residential controllers. You will need the LOR adapter, LOR Software cat5 cable to attach the adapter to the first controller. And as mentioned extension cords and FM transmitter. You can go to the LOR website and look at their package setups to figure out what you are missing. If you plan to get into this. I would go ahead and pop for the Advanced software. Might check and see if you can get his computer with the sequences on it. I don't know if you can transfer the LOR software over or not, but LOR can tell you that.

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Certainly there are other items around that was used and needed to make the display operate.

Computer with software and sequences.

USB adapter/cat5 cable from the computer to the controllers.

FM transmitter.

Hopefully the MIL will have an idea where these items are but they shouldn't be too far from the Christmas lights and props or the computer room.

With any luck, you shouldn't have to purchase anything. It should all be there if he had a working display.

Edited by Santas Helper

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Because I'm new to the forum, I was only aloud to post an initial post which wasn't well thought out or organized, sorry.

I have been doing more reading and research since that post and have figured some things out.

I have found the the "sending" half of the transmitter.

I actually have two more controllers here at my house and possibly one or two more at my MILs

I have six totes full of lights and their "corresponding" extension cords.

I have not physically located the RS485 but my awesome in-laws kept paperwork, so I've found documentation of purchase and a manual and drivers CD for a USB adapter.

My main question is...

If I understand correctly, the RF sender will connect to the USB connector, but from there I will need to connect the control units with cat5? The pairs on each board are connected but then I'll need to chain the boards together, correct?

The next biggest crux is the software. My FIL set up a copy of the software on my old laptop so I could do a sequence or two.

The version number is 2.8.12 according to what I can find. Do I get some award for oldest version and should I donate it to the LOR museum? LOL

1. I hope that it's eligible for update from my laptop, which is what I plan on using to run the show.

2. In order to update the software (original system, or the copy on my LT) you need access to the email address that was originally connected to the purchase. I obviously don't have access to that. I hope they understand and let me transfer it.

Thanks for the feed back gentlemen! I hope to keep you updated on how it progresses.

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There are two cat5 connectors on the controller. Use one as input and use the other to output to another controller.

If you can obtain the license (LOR website can help with this), you can upgrade and not even be connected to the internet. At this point last year I still had version 1 (gotcha beat there) :) and updated my laptop without connecting to the internet.

There are procedures on the LOR forum on how to do that.

When you say RF sender, are you referring to the FM transmitter? That is an RF sender. Radio Frequency.

Edited by Santas Helper

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So, progress has been made. After a "quick jaunt" to my mother-in-laws Sunday, I now have the USB425B adapter, the radio signal sender (not the one offered by LOR) and a seventh controller, which I don't plan to use at this point. I also got ahold of LOR and they are letting me upgrade the software too. They were really easy to work with.

With everything finally in one place, I plugged everything in last night in an effort to see if I could get everything to talk to each other and actually light some lights.

By "everything", I mean: Computer>USB connector>easy light linker>controller.

My FIL set up two controllers attached to plywood backer boards and each of those was connected via cat5.

When I started poking around the hardware program, it wouldn't let me test anything at first. I finally disconnected the second controller and poked around enough till it let me change the controller ID and light some lights.

All this leads to a few questions:

1. Should I eliminate the light linker when I'm testing the hardware?

2. do I need to connect the controllers one at a time to set their IDs cause they won't change IDs when daisy chained?

3. After I get that all set, all the controllers need to be daisy chained with cat5, correct?

4. It appears that there are two Cat5s coming out of the light linker, does that mean. I can have two daisy chains?

Thanks again gentlemen.

Mike T

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I'm pretty sure you can only set ID's on one controller at a time. Hook each one up individually and refresh the hardware utility. If you already have the controllers daisy chained and you refresh then all your controllers should show up. If you're not changing anything the hardware utiltity should show what ID's have already been assigned to the controllers. Probably won't have to reassign any of them unless you wish to change them or if they controllers aren't labelled on the enclosures.

 

Once all your ID's are set yes, daisy chain them together.

 

When you refer to light linker are you referring to the wireless light linker? If not then should it not be: Computer>USB connector>RS485 >controllers. I'm sure the guys on the forum will chime in if I'm wrong...Keep tinkering, the eureka moments will come soon and when they do it feels awesome! :)

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A black sharpie is useful in writing down on each controller what unit you have turned them into. I would have to guess that being part of a show already they have been assigned a unit number, but you have probably changed computers and have your own license, so that may have an effect on unit ID. You can only have one plugged in at a time to change their unit numbers. I don't know the procedure off the top of my head, but going to youtube and looking up "listentoourlights" will help a lot as he has several informative videos on setting up, programming, mapping that may be of some use to you. I think it is cool that you are following in his footsteps and setting up a light show, but you find out shortly, it will become an addiction.

Don't forget other things like possibly locking your controllers to trees, etc., as I have heard of people getting theirs stolen. Talk to your neighbors and tell them what you are planning and what hours you plan to run the lights.

Have fun, and start early sounds like you have lots and lots of lights to set up and if your first year I have been told to start early so you can get everything laid out just right. That's where I am at this year, my first too. Starting Oct 1 myself.

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You can test the hardware using the ELL's. About the only thing you shouldn't do with those is changing addresses or updating the firmware. Do not confuse the Cat5/6 cables as truly TCPIP connections...they are not TCPIP. They are in fact, used with RS485 communications on an LOR comm buss. LOR just uses the Cat5/6 cables as they'll work and a lot cheaper that formal RS485 cables for all of us but never plug in the cable to an NIC or network connection on a computer. You'll fry something for sure if the other end is plugged into any LOR box.

 

Hopefully you have your FIL's license too with the computer and with that, hopefully all of his sequences. Look for the lightorama directory and see if it exists under documents or other location. 

 

I wouldn't have thought that your FIL had all the addresses for the controllers, the same. They should have each been different as others have said already. Also as said, address each and label them. Just FYI, the addresses will have to match the sequence(s) hardware setup. If you find the sequences, open the sequence editor, then tools, channel configuration. You can and should, print that out. It'll tell you how he configured things

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