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LOR & DMX Side-by-side

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I run an indoor Christmas light show at a church.  2016 was 110,000 lights on 280 channels.  2017 is looking to be about 220,000 lights on 672 channels. The show is being run off a Windows 10 laptop just using Sequence Editor (live presentation so I want to be able to click Play and have it go on demand; I also like having a counter I can read times off of to cue the lighting guy since I don't take control of the main lights) with an EntTec USB Pro dongle. This year we had to use DMX because we had a mixture of Seasonal Entertainment boxes and LOR CTB16PC boxes. Next year we're moving to all LOR boxes (several of the SE boxes are broken, and I've had a number of smoothness of dimming issues). So with that, we could run a LOR network, which would be my preference for status info and whatnot. But... we're doing one sequenced song a week, then we want the lights to be on in some simple looks for the rest of the service. So we've been giving control of the Xmas DMX network to the main lighting board (Jans Vista... might be T2; 4 universes, one dedicated to Christmas) by switching the wire feeding into the main Christmas DMX splitter (SE's DMX Split). Seems to work ok. Sometimes we get a flash some some of the SE boxes when we change, but I think that's an issue with the Vista and stuff not being totally off. Anyway, there are two issues...

First, next year we'll exceed one DMX universe with our 672 channels (42x CTB16PC's). So we're going to have to divide stuff up into two Universe's when the Vista takes control (or all the time is fine, I could get a second DMX dongle for the laptop). Being LOR all the time, one network would be fine, as I understand it (240 LOR units, IIRC), but not for DMX.

Second issue is my desire to switch to LOR when the laptop has control (I'm ok with it being 2 LOR networks to facilitate the DMX control). How well do the CTB16PC handle switching between LOR and DMX? If I did my pin swapping (since LOR and DMX use different pins) at the head end, how would the CTB16PC handle getting DMX, then poof, getting LOR, then poof, back to DMX?

I'm also open to commentary or suggestion on other facets of the control.  Other ideas for click to play sequence playback schemes (with clock ideally). Other suggestions for ways to do various on demand looks (rather than give control of the Christmas lights to the main board for the rest of the service, I'd keep it the whole time, but I'd want to be able to call up different cues/looks on demand; static, and ideally ones with simple loops). Other network topology/control ideas?

Sorry it's a bit rambly... it all makes sense in my head. :-)

 

-Scott Lewis, Cathedral of Faith (also of Lewis Lights fame... lewislights.com)

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Scott, I can't say that I've tried "instantly switching" a LOR controller from LOR to DMX protocol, but I would think it would deal with it OK - especially if the channels were off at switchover time.  Should not be that hard to test however.  Maybe I'll play with that this weekend...

It would obviously simplify your concept to keep all the LOR controllers controlled by a single LOR network and never have it controlled by the main lighting board.  Doing the static lights for the rest of the service would be easy enough.  You could even set up a show that used interactive triggers that would set up different settings that could be run by a pushbutton from the main lighting guy even if you were not there (something simple for a mid week prayer service when you're not available for example).

What are you doing for the clock to queue the main lighting guy - or are you just looking at the display in Sequence Editor and reading data verbally to the other guy?  I can think of some automated ways to do that from within SE,.

 

 

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