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greenie95125

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I'm having an issue with my network. When the control panel is running, my internet network speed drops dramatically. The last run with speedtest.net my internet speed was 14.8Mbps without the control panel running. With the control panel running, my speed was 3.8Mbps. I can consistently reproduce this. My suspicion is that it's actually the comm listener that's causing this, since I never noticed it before. I also tested this with and without an e1.31 controller on the network, and the result was the same.

 

Any suggestions from anybody? Thank you.

 

Mike

Edited by greenie95125

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Comm listener is VERY chatty, especially when it can't find all the E1.31 devices in the network preferences.

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Comm listener is VERY chatty, especially when it can't find all the E1.31 devices in the network preferences.

That's exactly why I tested it with and without my 1.131 controllers on  the network. Chatty or not, is it normal to affect network speed as much as it does in my case? It seems excessive to me. 

 

Mike

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Do you have your E1.31 controllers set for "multicast" or "unicast"? If you have chosen "multicast" (which is easier to set up) all your E1.31 traffic will be going out over the broadband looking for controllers.

 

Regards,

Alan.

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Do you have your E1.31 controllers set for "multicast" or "unicast"? If you have chosen "multicast" (which is easier to set up) all your E1.31 traffic will be going out over the broadband looking for controllers.

 

Regards,

Alan

I set everything up as unicast. I have two e1.31 controllers, each with a unique ip address.

 

Mike

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Is the network connection wired or WIFI. I have seen data sprayed out by the WIFI port before.The only way I have been able to stop that was by going wired and putting a second wired NIC in for E!.31.

 

Cue lecture on routing.

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Thus the reason I'm running my show through XL4 and a Raspberry Pi.

 

I got tired of my ISP sending me emails and telling me I went over my allotted data for the month. 700 plus Gb one month and 900 plus Gb the next.

 

Once I turned off the Control Panel/Comm listener, the data usage went from ~10-30 Gb a day to ~ 1 Gb per day. Internet speed suffered dramatically prior to turning it off.

 

You can put a band-aid on it. Go into the LOR DMX Network options, export your config to somewhere you can find it later. Then select "Local" for all Universes. Export that config also. It only takes a couple of seconds to re-import what you already set up.

 

It's just a band-aid, but when you test props or run your show, you'll need to import the original set-up.

 

Or, you can convert all of your sequences to XL4 and set up a Pi and never have to worry about the Comm Listener.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Oh, and a great big thanks to philmassey for coming to my house and trying to get me set up properly. We confirmed about everything that's been said in this thread. I did get the second NIC, just in case. Thanks to Andy Harrison too, for helping with the Pi.

Edited by Ron Boyd

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Thus the reason I'm running my show through XL4 and a Raspberry Pi.

 

I got tired of my ISP sending me emails and telling me I went over my allotted data for the month. 700 plus Gb one month and 900 plus Gb the next.

 

Once I turned off the Control Panel/Comm listener, the data usage went from ~10-30 Gb a day to ~ 1 Gb per day. Internet speed suffered dramatically prior to turning it off.

 

You can put a band-aid on it. Go into the LOR DMX Network options, export your config to somewhere you can find it later. Then select "Local" for all Universes. Export that config also. It only takes a couple of seconds to re-import what you already set up.

 

It's just a band-aid, but when you test props or run your show, you'll need to import the original set-up.

 

Or, you can convert all of your sequences to XL4 and set up a Pi and never have to worry about the Comm Listener.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Oh, and a great big thanks to philmassey for coming to my house and trying to get me set up properly. We confirmed about everything that's been said in this thread. I did get the second NIC, just in case. Thanks to Andy Harrison too, for helping with the Pi.

Quite frankly, I'm very surprised that this hasn't been reported by others. Maybe no one has made the connection yet. I hope this at least get's some folks to check it out, and report to LOR if they do infact discover a network performance hit. This is literally a show-stopper for me, and I don't think I have the time to switch to new software/hardware as yo have. Can x-lights run the LOR ac controllers? Or is it just e1.31.

 

Mike

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Andy Harrison is running his LOR controllers in normal mode with the Pi. If you just use the XL4, and not use the Pi, I believe you do have to run them in DMX mode. I'm not 100% sure about that, so don't hold me to it.

I have reported the problem but was shot down for not understanding networking, even though I ran E1.31 for 2 years without problems. So, as I said above, my show will not be ran in S4, and this problem is specifically why I'm using what I am.

I believe the reason why it's not been a hot topic, is because folks are just starting to do major testing since we're so close to show time. I am guessing this is going to be talked about a lot in the near future.

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Andy Harrison is running his LOR controllers in normal mode with the Pi. If you just use the XL4, and not use the Pi, I believe you do have to run them in DMX mode. I'm not 100% sure about that, so don't hold me to it. I have reported the problem but was shot down for not understanding networking, even though I ran E1.31 for 2 years without problems. So, as I said above, my show will not be ran in S4, and this problem is specifically why I'm using what I am. I believe the reason why it's not been a hot topic, is because folks are just starting to do major testing since we're so close to show time. I am guessing this is going to be talked about a lot in the near future.

Yeah, I saw that thread. It's unfortunate how quick they are to point to something other than their software. I would venture to say that MOST of us are not networking experts, and their software should not require a masters degree in network architecture to run properly. When x-lights is running with 32 universes loaded up, it has no noticeable  affect on my network, so why does the LOR comm listener? I'm going to submit a trouble ticket anyway to see where it goes. I suspect that as more and more folk turn to e1.31 it'll become more of an issue. When enough people scream about it, maybe they'll to something to fix it. At the very least they should explain to us IN DETAIL how our networks should be set up. That doesn't mean telling us to separate or networks with another NIC and router either.

 

Mike

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I noticed this the first time I started using E1.31 . The kids/wife complained about the speeds. For me it's not a big issue because my dedicated show computer doesn't have internet access.

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Yeah, I saw that thread. It's unfortunate how quick they are to point to something other than their software. I would venture to say that MOST of us are not networking experts, and their software should not require a masters degree in network architecture to run properly. When x-lights is running with 32 universes loaded up, it has no noticeable  affect on my network, so why does the LOR comm listener? I'm going to submit a trouble ticket anyway to see where it goes. I suspect that as more and more folk turn to e1.31 it'll become more of an issue. When enough people scream about it, maybe they'll to something to fix it. At the very least they should explain to us IN DETAIL how our networks should be set up. That doesn't mean telling us to separate or networks with another NIC and router either.

 

Mike

Well I was right, they said that they suggest a 2nd router and 2nd nic for e1.31 traffic and that my network is misconfigured. They flat out said that it's NOT their software. Hows THAT for developer arrogance. This is absurd. How does x-lights work so well then? Looks like I have a steep learning curve for new software... LOR is history in my book.

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Well I was right, they said that they suggest a 2nd router and 2nd nic for e1.31 traffic and that my network is misconfigured. They flat out said that it's NOT their software. Hows THAT for developer arrogance. This is absurd. How does x-lights work so well then? Looks like I have a steep learning curve for new software... LOR is history in my book.

 

As I told you in your ticket, the issue is a configuration problem.  I also gave you some other steps to follow to see if I can identify where the issue with YOUR configuration is.

 

The issue is not arrogance, the issue is that you are not correctly configuring your network.  Hows THAT?

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As I told you in your ticket, the issue is a configuration problem.  I also gave you some other steps to follow to see if I can identify where the issue with YOUR configuration is.

 

The issue is not arrogance, the issue is that you are not correctly configuring your network.  Hows THAT?

Yes, and when I get home, I will try those suggestions, but I don't have high hopes.

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We are also publishing a document later today that will hopefully explain to users like you why it is a configuration issue and not a software issue.  I don't have high hopes for that either.

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Here is a couple facts about E1.31 - regardless whose software is driving it.

 

1)  Each universe will produce about 1/4 Megabit per second of traffic.  It does not matter how many channels are in use in that universe.  So in my case with 15 universes for Christmas this year, I will have almost 4 Megabits per second of data.

 

2)  That traffic will be sent out any time the sending device is configured to send traffic.  In the case of LOR software, that means any time the Comm Listener is running.  Other software may be different.

 

3)  If you use WiFi for all or most of your home networking, it is STRONGLY suggested that you keep you E1.31 traffic off you WiFi - unless you want the wife complaining that Netflix is too slow.  It's not hard to choke a WiFi network with too much traffic - especially an older WiFi.  There are several ways to accomplish this providing you know what you are doing.

 

4)  If your ISP is seeing your E1.31 traffic, YOUR network is configured wrong.  Under no circumstances should your E1.31 traffic be leaving your local LAN (unless you are intentionally sending traffic to a remote location - which VERY few of us would be doing).

 

5)  IP networking will try very hard to get your traffic to where you want to send it.  If it can't figure out where to send it, the traffic will be routed to your default gateway (normally your router).  Your router better under stand that you do not want your E1.31 traffic to leave your local LAN.  In most cases you don't need to do anything since normally we are using a private LAN address segment that your router is not supposed to route.  There are a few consumer routers out there that WILL forward private IP address segment to your ISP.  If that is the case and it's not configurable, about your only option is to replace the router.  It's not the fault of the software if your hardware is a piece of crap that does not follow the IP rules that it's supposed to!  BTW, if you are using a commercial router, generally EVERYTHING needs to be configured - including not routing private IP address segments.

 

Since someone is bound to ask, here are the private IP address blocks for IPv4:

10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255

172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255

192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255

 

For IPv6, any address starting with fd is a private IP range.

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Here is a couple facts about E1.31 - regardless whose software is driving it.

 

1)  Each universe will produce about 1/4 Megabit per second of traffic.  It does not matter how many channels are in use in that universe.  So in my case with 15 universes for Christmas this year, I will have almost 4 Megabits per second of data.

 

2)  That traffic will be sent out any time the sending device is configured to send traffic.  In the case of LOR software, that means any time the Comm Listener is running.  Other software may be different.

 

3)  If you use WiFi for all or most of your home networking, it is STRONGLY suggested that you keep you E1.31 traffic off you WiFi - unless you want the wife complaining that Netflix is too slow.  It's not hard to choke a WiFi network with too much traffic - especially an older WiFi.  There are several ways to accomplish this providing you know what you are doing.

 

4)  If your ISP is seeing your E1.31 traffic, YOUR network is configured wrong.  Under no circumstances should your E1.31 traffic be leaving your local LAN (unless you are intentionally sending traffic to a remote location - which VERY few of us would be doing).

 

5)  IP networking will try very hard to get your traffic to where you want to send it.  If it can't figure out where to send it, the traffic will be routed to your default gateway (normally your router).  Your router better under stand that you do not want your E1.31 traffic to leave your local LAN.  In most cases you don't need to do anything since normally we are using a private LAN address segment that your router is not supposed to route.  There are a few consumer routers out there that WILL forward private IP address segment to your ISP.  If that is the case and it's not configurable, about your only option is to replace the router.  It's not the fault of the software if your hardware is a piece of crap that does not follow the IP rules that it's supposed to!  BTW, if you are using a commercial router, generally EVERYTHING needs to be configured - including not routing private IP address segments.

 

Since someone is bound to ask, here are the private IP address blocks for IPv4:

10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255

172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255

192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255

 

For IPv6, any address starting with fd is a private IP range.

Thanks for the explanation, Jim. However, in my case the computers and controllers in question are all hard wired to the router, but internet speed is grossly affected on the wifi devices as well. It also doesn't really explain why x-lights doesn't have the same hit on network performance. I know I keep bringing up x-lights, but it's the only other e1.31 software I have.

 

Mike

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I reviewed your stuff, and the Tracert clearly shows it is not LOR that is causing the problem.  All we do is send data out to the IP, and those 2 IPs appear to be routed properly.  I asked for more info.

 

You also need to remember that there are a LOT of other factors that come into play:

 

Ask Verizon customers a few years ago about how good the router they were giving customers were - the ones supplied that didn't have enough memory to properly create routing tables and would slow everything to a crawl after a day or 2 of usage...  

 

Or perhaps the switch built into your router doesn't have enough switching fabric (speed) to deal with all the ports and is slowing down.

 

Of course, you could also be using 10mb network hardware (as opposed to 100 or 1000).  With 32 universes you should be (if my math is correct) completely saturating a link.

 

Maybe instead of switches you have hubs.  Don't get me started there.

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I sent you the info requested. No hubs or switches here. I have devices and a router, Some devices are hard wired, the rest is wifi.

 

You say the the tracert clearly shows that your software is not the problem and that the controllers are routed correctly. Maybe I'm an idiot, but to me that shows the exact opposite. If the ips are routed correctly, and the network grinds to a halt when the listener is running, it's the software, not a mis-configured network.

 

Mike

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I sent you the info requested. No hubs or switches here. I have devices and a router, Some devices are hard wired, the rest is wifi.

 

You say the the tracert clearly shows that your software is not the problem and that the controllers are routed correctly. Maybe I'm an idiot, but to me that shows the exact opposite. If the ips are routed correctly, and the network grinds to a halt when the listener is running, it's the software, not a mis-configured network.

 

Mike

 

That would be true if and only if there were some way in an IP packet to force it to go in a particular direction.  There is not.  In this case the IP data coming out of the software is very simple:  Give this data to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.  We do not choose how to get the packet to the destination, Windows and the routers do that.  According to the trace, Windows is correctly sending the packet up to the router, which then sends the data back down to the E1.31 device.  That makes it 100% outside of us.

 

In this case, the differences between software are what have you hung up on blaming us vs some other program.  The listener (per the E1.31 spec) is constantly sending DMX frames out.  Yes, it is very chatty - as opposed to other software that may not be following the same rules.  BUT we don't do anything funky.

 

The test you need to perform to test your theory is this:  Run a network capture program like Wireshark.  Run a sequence with S4 that exercises every channel on your E1.31 devices at a particular rate, and then run a sequence with another E1.31 software that exercises the SAME channels at the same rate.  You will find that both should be sending the same amount of data at the same rate (as long as the other software is correctly obeying the spec).

 

In other words, just because something is different does not mean that it is wrong.  In fact, in programmer terms if I were you I would be complaining to the other E1.31 guys since their lack of idle packets is going to hang channels if packet gets lost along the way.

 

What all this data fails to show is if the router is leaking packets, which it could very well be.  The only way to catch that would be if we could investigate the traffic between the modem and the ISPs first hop.  

 

In the end, all this also shows me is that there is an issue somewhere outside of the software and outside of your configuration - which appears to be fine:  Everything you have sent shows that you are properly configured, unicast, with a proper net mask/etc.  

 

The issue is now either the router leaking packets, your testing method, or a physical problem with your network.  

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Thanks for the explanation, Jim. However, in my case the computers and controllers in question are all hard wired to the router, but internet speed is grossly affected on the wifi devices as well. It also doesn't really explain why x-lights doesn't have the same hit on network performance. I know I keep bringing up x-lights, but it's the only other e1.31 software I have.

 

Mike

 

Based on that paragraph, your network has a problem.  Without seeing the Tracert that Mike did, I can see a couple possibilities:

 

1)  This assumes that the problem is that your WiFi is getting choked.  Your router may behaving like a hub and sending all network traffic to all ports on the switch.  A switch should not do that unless the source data is being broadcast (multicast), OR the target device if using unicast is not present so the switch has not learned what port it's connected to.  If you are using multicast, and your WiFi is on the same network as your E1.31, the WiFi is going to carry all your E1.31 traffic.  Solution is to use unicast, or better yet put the E1.31 traffic onto it's own network (or better yet, both).  At my house my E1.31 is unicast and is on it's own network.

 

2)  This assumes that your internet connection is being choked.  Your router is forwarding Private LAN traffic to it's default gateway (your ISP).  Your router needs to either be configured properly or replaced because it's not following the rules.  BTW, for most consumer routers, you can't configure that option (you shouldn't be able to BTW) so if it's forwarding private IP addresses, it needs to be replaced - maybe a firmware update to the router will fix that.

 

Also note that in the new 4.2.4 beta release today, there is a modification that reduces E1.31 traffic when the lights are not on.  See my post 5 in:

http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/37346-why-is-the-lorcommportlistener-so-chatty/ for some details.  That only will affect idle times.  During your show the E1.31 is going to be chatty.

 

Also for a little bit on an explanation.  Your typical home 4 port router with WiFi is actually three separate devices in one box (and normally on the same PC board).  The first is a router that has one WAN port and one LAN port.  The router normally also functions as a DHCP server, and has a web server that is used for configuration.  The second function is a 6 port network switch.  I know you're about to say "6 ports?".  Yes .  I'll explain shortly.  The third function is a WiFi access point.  Now, you wonder why I said 6 port switch?  The 4 ports that show up on the back are obvious, but there are two more.  One connects to the LAN port of the router and the other connects to the WiFi Access point.

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Once again, thank you for the info. I'll give the new release a try, but in the mean time, I'm frantically trying to get a grasp on x-lights.

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I smell another 'Ramblings from the help desk' post about this... 

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