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Larry T.

Noob question: Turn on lights automatically?

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I recently bought a 16-channel controller and have been experimenting/learning.

Is it possible to do this:

- When the computer is turned off
- If I plug the controller into a power outlet.
- Can it turn on all channels, so all lights come on automatically?

- Then, when I do turn on the computer and run the show, it will run the show (override the auto-start) ?

Edited by Larry T.

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I'm only a second year noob but what I did last year was created a static show that turned everything on before the actual show and for short intermissions between shows and then after the show. Downside is that the computer has to be left on.

Z

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Leaving all the controllers, transmitter, and computer plugged in 24/7x 40 days has worked out great for my display. 

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The CTB16PC controllers do not have a stand-alone capability.

The 1602 controllers do have stand-alone abilities, meaning you would not need a computer to run an animation sequence. However, they could NOT be overridden by the show coming from the computer. You would have conflicting commands going to the controller, thus unpredictable results.

 

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Thanks for the quick response.

I was hoping it was possible, but I understand.

Thank you.

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I'm only in my second year of LOR. Your problem is one of the good things about purchasing Showtime Central. I put Controller number 1 on a timer, and my lights come on when it gets dark and go off about 4 or 5 hours later. Pretty simple.

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3 hours ago, Larry T. said:

I recently bought a 16-channel controller and have been experimenting/learning.

Is it possible to do this:

- When the computer is turned off
- If I plug the controller into a power outlet.
- Can it turn on all channels, so all lights come on automatically?

- Then, when I do turn on the computer and run the show, it will run the show (override the auto-start) ?

You do have the option to create startup sequences,musical/animated sequences and shutdown sequences. You could have an all on animated sequence for the startup then when your show starts up the musical part would start then if you wanted static again use your animated sequence again. This can all be setup in your show editor when building your show.

SPaschall

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+1 to Spaschalls method.

Another option people have mentioned but I have never tried is uncheck the box that says to turn lights off at end. At the end of your show your lights will stay on, at least the ones that were on as the last sequence ended. They should remain on until another command or the controller loses power. Just another option, again, I have never tried it.

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To get a better understanding...

Why are you wanting to turn the computer off? Is it because you use move it and use it after the show? 

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I assume from your response that most people leave the PC running 24/7.

I need that PC for other things - it's not dedicated to the light show.

I will be turning everything off at midnight.  I will turn it on again when it gets dark outside (about 5:00pm in Toronto).

Not a big problem. Minor inconvenience.

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#1. to answer your initial question, No, the controller can not just run and turn on lights by itself.  You do need a show file and sequences to make that happen or an MP3 Director unit using an animation sequence.

#2. You need to invest in a computer that can be dedicated to run your show, and yes, mine is left on 24/7/365 to run other shows during off season times, like landscape lighting as well as run music for the particular holiday during day time non-show times, then stops 5 minutes before showtime, then lightshow starts 5 minutes later.

Watch garage sales, thrift stores, etc. or ask your friends if they have an old desktop/laptop sitting in a close collecting dust.

  Sometimes you can be lucky enough to find an old laptop for $10-$20 to dedicate as a show computer, or even an older desktop for around the same cost.  

I have 2 additional desktops I was lucky enough to get free from a friend, so 1 is my show computer, the other I use for when the show is running.  Has worked out great for me having 2 computers.    So yes, a computer dedicated for show use is what you really want to do and get.  Plus the 2nd computer can also suffice as a backup for your show computer, which is what I use my 2nd system for as well.  

You just never know when something may happen that will really foul you up!

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Instead of your PC running the light show you could use a LOR director (G3-MP3).

 

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A properly functioning PC is quite capable of running 24/7/365 as Orv states 

In fact it is arguable that more stress is placed on the machine during startup and shutdown than steady state continuous operation.

My server which is a repurposed desktop is always on and except for an occasional reboot has been running for 2 years.

I also disable sleep and hibernation and just sleep the monitors on all my boxes.

 

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I agree with everyone, it makes sense.  A dedicated PC is the way to go.

I see the light  (if you'll excuse the pun).

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I purchased a refurb PC from bestbuy for $140 with great speed and memory.

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Getting back to the shutdown....I have an animation sequence to have all lights on for 30 minutes after the music ends.  I put that  in the show editor in the shutdown section. But it does not play.  The show shuts down at time in the schedule editor with no lights on after.  What am I doing wrong?  The same file for 30 min on plays at the beginning of show for start up.

BS

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27 minutes ago, bobs300 said:

Getting back to the shutdown....I have an animation sequence to have all lights on for 30 minutes after the music ends.  I put that  in the show editor in the shutdown section. But it does not play.  The show shuts down at time in the schedule editor with no lights on after.  What am I doing wrong?  The same file for 30 min on plays at the beginning of show for start up.

Bob,  A couple things to check.  First, so we can better understand your situation, are you running your show from a PC or a director, and how are you creating the show (Show Editor or Simple Show Builder)?

Are you sure you have the right file in the shutdown section?  That may sound like a dumb question, but I have done things such as: it was last year's version of the sequence (with a different channel configuration).  I did that this year with the background sequence that turns on the amplifiers for the speakers in the front yard - it was very quiet (and it's not even rabbit hunting season, Mr. Fudd)!

Is it a 30 minute animation sequence, or a much shorter sequence that repeats many times?  If it's a shorter sequence, it will only run once in the shutdown section (unless it's listed multiple times).

Do you have the "Turn used lights off ..." checkbox checked or not in each section of the Show Editor?

 

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I think this would be a nice addition to the functionality of the controller. Maybe an "AUTO/MANUAL" switch. The manual position could be an input to the microcontroller that commands all channels on. In auto mode it operates as normal. Maybe even a 16 position DIP switche so you can select which channels come on in manual mode.

Gary 

Edited by Say watt??
grammar

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Just to add to jims " this may sound like a dumb question" statement but, are you sure you saved the show after adding the shut down sequence? This has bitten me before. 

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5 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Bob,  A couple things to check.  First, so we can better understand your situation, are you running your show from a PC or a director, and how are you creating the show (Show Editor or Simple Show Builder)?

I am using a dedicated PC for nothing but LOR

5 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Are you sure you have the right file in the shutdown section? 

Yes, it works in the startup...same file, all lights on before the music starts

That may sound like a dumb question, but I have done things such as: it was last year's version of the sequence (with a different channel configuration).  I did that this year with the background sequence that turns on the amplifiers for the speakers in the front yard - it was very quiet (and it's not even rabbit hunting season, Mr. Fudd)!

Is it a 30 minute animation sequence, or a much shorter sequence that repeats many times?

That I am not sure of, will check tonight.

  If it's a shorter sequence, it will only run once in the shutdown section (unless it's listed multiple times).

Do you have the "Turn used lights off ..." checkbox checked or not in each section of the Show Editor?

Yes, turn used lights is cheked.

Thank you.

5 hours ago, k6ccc said:

 

 

5 hours ago, k6ccc said:

ob,  A couple things to check.  First, so we can better understand your situation, are you running your show from a PC or a director, and how are you creating the show (Show Editor or Simple Show Builder)?

Are you sure you have the right file in the shutdown section?  That may sound like a dumb question, but I have done things such as: it was last year's version of the sequence (with a different channel configuration).  I did that this year with the background sequence that turns on the amplifiers for the speakers in the front yard - it was very quiet (and it's not even rabbit hunting season, Mr. Fudd)!

Is it a 30 minute animation sequence, or a much shorter sequence that repeats many times?  If it's a shorter sequence, it will only run once in the shutdown section (unless it's listed multiple times).

Do you have the "Turn used lights off ..." checkbox checked or not in each section of the Show Editor?

 

 

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I got it working.  I double check all suggestions.  Don't know how but thanks for the help.

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