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lkcubsrule

Emulating Computer + Network Capacity

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I am programming on my nice, quick machine; however, I intend to play my show off of a "lesser" computer -- with specs much poorer than mine.  Is there a way to emulate (or visualize) how well the computer might keep up to, say, 14,000 channels?   For reference, I have (64) standard channels, 7 CCB + Several Pixie Controllers (3,600 channels on LOR) and 10,350 DMX channels (3,450 pixels) on E1.31 for a grand total of 14,014.

Obviously the visualizer is an emulator of physical hardware.  If I install the Visualizer on my show computer and play a sequence, will that give me an accurate representation of how well (or how fast) my computer can output data to my controllers (via a LOR network and E1.31)?  And might this also be a way to see the top end of my computer's capacity (adding, say, a few thousand channels at a time until it chokes)?

Is this legitimate, or are there other more significant limiting factors (i.e. LOR network, router, etc.)?  

 

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Playing a show takes FAR less horsepower than sequencing. I am running an 7 year old XP desktop as my show computer with around 5k channels (about 4k being E1.31). I was starting to run out of CPU power on really fast stuff. Changed the output from SuperStar into intensity files and the CPU went back to under 20%.

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android

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I believe that is a pretty good gauge. I have seen when it lags a bit in the visualizer but doesn't lag with the show itself. If it doesn't lag with the visualizer you should be good to go.

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OK, now that I;'m not on my phone and trying to eat my lunch, let me give a bit longer answer.  You said you will have 3600 channels on LOR networking.  How many and what speed are your LOR networks?  Back in the old days, there general rule of thumb that was often used was not to exceed six CCRs (900 channels) on a 115K speed LOR network.  Since then, two major changes have changed to LOR networking.  First is the addition of 500K speed and now 1,000K speed networks.  Not all equipment will operate at the higher speeds, so you do need to keep that in mind.  The second change is Enhanced LOR protocol.  Again, not all controllers can use ELOR protocol, and you can't use inputs for interactive sequences on an ELOR network.  I have never heard any revised numbers for the general rule of thumb, but with about four times the network speed, I would assume that going to 500K speed would at least triple the channel capacity.  I have no idea what sort of increase is realized by going to ELOR.  If I remember right, one of the LOR developers said they were running 7200 channels on one network at Christmas Expo this year.  For my year round landscape lighting, I have two LOR networks.  One is running 115K ELOR and has less than 50 channels in use.  The second runs at 56K non-enhanced and has one InputPup on it.  For Christmas, I add a third LOR network that has 300 CCPs and one CMB24D on it and runs 500K ELOR.  Obviously none of my LOR networks are overloaded!  This page will show what controllers can use the various speeds and ELOR:

http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/

As for E1.31, each universe will cause about one quarter megabit per second of network traffic.  BTW, that amount does not change based on the number of channels in use in that universe - it's always the same.  With your 10,350 channels, you have to be running at least 21 universes, and likely more than that. Based on 21 universes, that's less than six Mb/s so the network traffic is not all that great (in the ethernet world).  A couple of recommendations however.  One is if at all possible, separate your E1.31 traffic from your "normal" home LAN traffic.  You don't want your show to have dropouts just because your kid is watching Netflix!  If you don't NEED to have your show computer on your normal LAN, the easy solution is simply to use a completely separate LAN.  If you can't do that, then adding a second NIC and a little editing of the PC routing tables is the solution.  In my case, I largely have to have both my normal home LAN and my E1.31 LAN appear on my show computer, so it has two NICs.  Second suggestion is to make sure your if you have WiFi at your house that the E1.31 traffic is NOT trying to share access to the WiFi (again especially while you kid is watching Netflix).

One more thought on getting an idea if your show computer is fast enough to run your show.  The suggestion was to run Visualizer on the show computer and see if there are lags or dropouts.  If that works, you are golden, but that puts quite a lot more load on the show computer because it has to run the visualizer in addition to playing the show.  A better solution is to set the show computer to point the visualization commands to the IP of your sequencing computer, and run Visualizer on the sequencing computer with it set to look for inputs on it's IP rather than locally.

One more thing that can help avoid Oopses.  Use separate colors of LAN cables for the different networks.  In my case, my E1.31 LAN uses green Cat-5 cable, my LOR networks use purple Cat-5, and my normal home LAN uses blue cat-5.  To differentiate the three LOR networks, I use color marking tape near the RJ-45 connectors on each end - Brown for Regular, Red for AuxA, and Orange for AuxB.

OK, that's likely enough for now...

 

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...A better solution is to set the show computer to point the visualization commands to the IP of your sequencing computer, and run Visualizer on the sequencing computer with it set to look for inputs on it's IP rather than locally.

This is a good idea...I do have both computers sitting in my desk. I'll try that.

Thanks for the background on the network speeds. I've only ever used 56k, but everything this year will be 1000k Enhanced. So it sounds like I should be more than fine... with the CPU of my show computer as likely the limiting factor.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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Better check on that speed. VERY FEW controllers can run 1000k. I think only the Pixcon can do 1000k speed. Check the link I posted above.

Maybe more later, gotta get off my train...

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android

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Better check on that speed. VERY FEW controllers can run 1000k. I think only the Pixcon can do 1000k speed. Check the link I posted above.

Maybe more later, gotta get off my train...

Sent from my Droid Turbo via Tapatalk, so blame any typos or spelling errors on Android

You're right. I meant 500k!

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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