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Muskrat42

Basic Equipment and Terminology Questions

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Total newbie here and I have some pretty basic questions.  I am not even sure of the terminology, which makes it tough to search for answers on here.  Please bear with me.

 

I have ordered the Showtime Central Starter Package

  • ShowTime Central with miniDirector and FM Transmitter
  • S3 Basic Plus Suite License
  • USB Adapter and USB filtered cable
  • 30 Amp ReadyToGo 16 channel light controller
  • 50' Cat5 cable to connect Director and light controller

 

with 2 additional 16 channel controllers (for a total of 48 channels) and the Plug n Show SD card.

 

 

 

1. What is a "director"?

 

2. With the LOR Basic Suite software, I can edit the arrangement (sequences?) on my computer, then just plug the card back into the 1st controller when I have finished editing?

 

3. Using 3 controllers daisy chained together, does only the first one need an SD card? Are there any other accessories I need for the additional controllers?  Do the additional controllers from LOR come with CAT5 cables?

 

4. I have the option of locating all of the controllers together under a patio roof to keep them out of the weather - or - Installing them spread out across my display so they are closer to the light strands each controls. (Reducing the lengths of the extension cords and minimizing cords running over walkways and the driveway) Which option is recommended?

 

5. What is it called when the lights on a strand come on individually to give the illusion of flow?

 

6. Can I download the editing software to multiple computers or is it a one time download license?

 

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance or advice you can give! I am excited to get started, but as you can tell, I'm clueless.  :)

 

Michael

 

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Total newbie here and I have some pretty basic questions.  I am not even sure of the terminology, which makes it tough to search for answers on here.  Please bear with me.

 

I have ordered the Showtime Central Starter Package

  • ShowTime Central with miniDirector and FM Transmitter
  • S3 Basic Plus Suite License
  • USB Adapter and USB filtered cable
  • 30 Amp ReadyToGo 16 channel light controller
  • 50' Cat5 cable to connect Director and light controller

 

with 2 additional 16 channel controllers (for a total of 48 channels) and the Plug n Show SD card.

 

 

 

1. What is a "director"?

 

2. With the LOR Basic Suite software, I can edit the arrangement (sequences?) on my computer, then just plug the card back into the 1st controller when I have finished editing?

 

3. Using 3 controllers daisy chained together, does only the first one need an SD card? Are there any other accessories I need for the additional controllers?  Do the additional controllers from LOR come with CAT5 cables?

 

4. I have the option of locating all of the controllers together under a patio roof to keep them out of the weather - or - Installing them spread out across my display so they are closer to the light strands each controls. (Reducing the lengths of the extension cords and minimizing cords running over walkways and the driveway) Which option is recommended?

 

5. What is it called when the lights on a strand come on individually to give the illusion of flow?

 

6. Can I download the editing software to multiple computers or is it a one time download license?

 

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance or advice you can give! I am excited to get started, but as you can tell, I'm clueless.  :)

 

Michael

 

1) A 'Director' is a device that can control the controllers without the use of a computer. The Directors have the ability to allow you to run musical sequences without a computer.

 

2) Yes/No. Depends on how the sequences from the Showtime Central are delivered. If they are actual sequences, then yes, you can open them in the Sequence Editor, and modify the sequences. If they are pre-programmed sequences already loaded on the SD Card, then you would not be able to. Once you are done editing sequences you have to use the Simple Show Builder or Hardware Utility (MP3 Tab) to create the shows for use on the directors.

 

3) One director can control any number of controllers. Haven't looked at LOR's store in a while. Last I checked you had to order them separate.

 

4) Which ever option works for you. 

 

5) With the controllers you purchased you do not have the ability to control individual lights on a string. You can control everything plugged into a channel at once, just as if you were plug/unpluging it from a regular wall outlet. You would need the smart RGB devices (Cosmic Color Ribbons/Bulbs/Pixels) to control individual bulbs/pixels on a string.

 

6) The license is a 5 seat license. You can activate it on up to 5 different computers.

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Take some time and go through the video tutorials. It would save you and a lot of others some confusion and the initial oh F--- shock

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And make sure you have a SOLID plan B in place in the event the Whole Room transmitter's signal doesn't quite reach the street.

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4. I have the option of locating all of the controllers together under a patio roof to keep them out of the weather - or - Installing them spread out across my display so they are closer to the light strands each controls. (Reducing the lengths of the extension cords and minimizing cords running over walkways and the driveway) Which option is recommended?

It is strongly recommended (at least by me and many others) to install the controllers right next to the light strands. The controllers are in weatherproof boxes that are grey, so they tend to blend in.

 

 

5. What is it called when the lights on a strand come on individually to give the illusion of flow?

 

It's called "chasing". I spent a bunch of time my first year modifying candlestick strings by cutting and splicing them such that each of 4 plugs is connected to every 4th candlestick. It was a bunch of work, but I've used this fixture for 8 years.

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Don't make the mistake I made before getting into LOR. I went out and bought a bunch of extension cords. Not only expensive, but they are darned heavy to pack away.

Look into buying a spool of SPT-1 or SPT-2 wire and vampire plugs. It's way cheaper lighter and fully customizable.

Edit; I should also add, that spt wire is only for hooking up your lights, not to be used for powering your controllers, that would be bad.

Edited by m1ke05

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Edit; I should also add, that spt wire is only for hooking up your lights, not to be used for powering your controllers, that would be bad.

Sorry - I must disagree. I've personally got a couple dozen controllers (Not including the various CCDs I have) with spt 1 power cords. You've got to know your load, but then that's true of every configuration. With LEDs, spt 1 is plenty.

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You're powering your controllers with SPT wire? There's no ground wire in SPT.

Edited by m1ke05

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You're powering your controllers with SPT wire? There's no ground wire in SPT.

m1ke05, I agree - I am shocked too. No pun intended.

George - I have read so many of your posts giving such good advice. Please tell us that you have a ground in your setup.

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In a yard full of fused controllers and plugs which are all connected through GFCI receptacles I'm not sure how much safer I'd be with a ground wire connected to a plastic box, but I'll give it some consideration some day when I have the time.

 

But ... horror of horrors - and close your eyes now if you're sensitive - the overwhelming majority of my controller dongles are also spt 1.

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Have you seen where the ground wire goes in the PC controllers? It only goes to a connection point and to the pigtails. If you aren't connecting anything with 3 pins, then the ground adds nothing.

 

A ground wire is useful only if the equipment has a metal case. Look at your coffee maker. Does it have a ground wire?

 

SPT1 typically has a limit of 7 amps. (It can probably carry more in cold weather, but I wouldn't push it.) If you use it to supply power to your controllers, then you really need a 7-amp fuse in series. Otherwise, you may forget and keep adding strings until you get close to the 15-amp limit, and then the insulation will melt.

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Well, that is a fair point, gfi and fused controllers and even fused led or Incan lights. Maybe it isn't really any safer, I was just a bit shocked is all.

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Consider yourself enlightened!  Pun intended

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Remember this:

 

The job of a fuse (or circuit breaker) is to protect wire.

 

The job of a GFCI is to protect humans (from electrocution).

 

A ground wire (and metal case) will also protect humans, by blowing the fuse if a hot wire touches the case.

 

Those tiny fuses in the plugs of light strings protect the wire from melting when there is too much load on it. They will not protect humans, because it doesn't take very much current to electrocute you. That's why you need a GFCI.

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OMG a group of newbies got a lesson in electricity today. I agree with George and the rest that are trying to open your eyes about ground wires. Do you realize why drills had ground wires added? Most of them at one time have or had metal bodies. The ground wire is attached to the metal body. Now if the hot wire would happen to short to the metal body in times prior to grounds. The body of the drill would become hot and shock you. But the ground wire would cause the breaker or fuse to blow.

 

BTW my show is 98% LED. And the power to each of my controllers are daisy chained. Over the years I have split it up to 3 daisy chains. But all of the wiring is SPT 16 or 18 gauge. A Kill-A-Watt is a must have.

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