Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums
PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

Running multiple networks?

Recommended Posts

This year I'm adding servos which only run @ 115K (network Aux A).  My regular network runs @ 500K on com 3.  Com 3 seems to be for all USB ports on my computer and the LOR network preferences require different com ports be assigned to each network.  Do I need to add another USB card to my computer with it's own com port designation to run an auxilliary network or is there way around this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE said:

This year I'm adding servos which only run @ 115K (network Aux A).  My regular network runs @ 500K on com 3.  Com 3 seems to be for all USB ports on my computer and the LOR network preferences require different com ports be assigned to each network.  Do I need to add another USB card to my computer with it's own com port designation to run an auxilliary network or is there way around this?

Com3 has been assigned to that physical adapter. Modern Windows just made it USB port independent once detected.

My regular one comes up COM3. My HS one comes up COM4 

Under it all, it is still USB. Each new adapter will get a new COM#  (I have a friend that keeps losing his RS232 adapters and now has COM15 :P )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All usb ports are not assigned the same com port. Each device that you plug into a usb port has different properties which gets stored in the registry, so if you have the first device plugged into a usb port that usb port will be assigned a com port. When you plug the second device into another usb port it should assign a different com port. If for some reason it doesn't assign a different com port you can open the HU and manually assign a com port to that device.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pursuit,

It seems you got your answers, I just wanted to add a visual way of add networks, every so often this question comes up and I thought it would be handy to point people to this thread.

Here's how I have my multiple networks setup.

I use a Notebook PC to run my shows. I currently run 6 networks both Regular LOR speed (56K) and Hi-speed Networks (500K). I use a cheap USB hub I got from Staples. See the pic below. I numbered each connection point to make sure I keep everything straight.

networks.png

 

 

Open up Device Manager on your PC, as you plug in each USB Adapter one at a time, it will show up in Device Manager. Below is a picture with some of my USB adapters connected, showing Com Ports 3, 4, 5, 6 all as USB Serial Ports.

networks01.png

 

As you plug in each USB Adapter it will come up with the next available Comm Port, The USB adapter will remember what Comm Port it has been assigned. If for some reason, you want/need to change the Comm Port here is how it is done.

Click the Comm Port you want to change. In this example I want to change Comm Port 3.

networks1.png

 

It will open the Properties Box for that Comm Port, Click the Advanced Button.

networks2.png

 

It will open the Advanced Setting for (whatever Comm Port) you choose to change. In my example Comm Port 3. Click the Drop Down Menu.

networks3.png

 

This will show all the Comm Ports and allow you to change it.

networks4.png

 

Once you are done, it would be wise to label the USB adapters with their Comm Port Numbers, it wll help eliminate confusion in a few months/next year when you go to hook everything up again.

To setup Networks in LOR, Open the "Light-O-Rama Network Configuration" program and click the "Advanced Button"

network6.png

 

From here you can add your Networks to LOR. In the example below I am adding the AUX A network, fill in the appropriate info and click OK. After you are done adding all you new networks click the Export button to save this config. It will help later as you upgrade LOR programs.

network7.png

 

When all is done, I highly recommend that you create a some sort of cheat sheet to help you remember what networks you have setup. In a years time, this info will fade from your memory and a cheat sheet helps. Here is how I have mine setup.

network8.png

Hope this helps.

Alan...

 

 

 

Edited by default
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice write up Alan.  Although you showed it, you did not mention it - adding comments also are a very simple way of remembering what you have where.  I also have a spreadsheet that gives a lot more detail, although mine is organized quite different than yours but the end result is that I know exactly what is used where.  This is my Network Configuration page showing the comments - screen capture taken quite a while ago I see, since it's version 4.3.14 :)

Network_Config-Advanced.png

My DMX screen is far more involved but I don't have a screen capture from Christmas time on the show computer. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point Jim,

I overlaid a Windows screen over my LOR Config screen and it didn't show the info. I actually do have quite of bit of info on there and it would be good to show it for clarity. I place a screenshot of all the info I produce and put it into the Light-O-Rama directory for ready access.

network9.png

Just like your annual thread to remind people to make backups, reminding people to write their info down somewhere/somehow is my cause. :) Just in case someone runs into a bad case of CRS (can't remember sh#@) :o Been there, living with that. :huh:

Alan...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, default said:

Just like your annual thread to remind people to make backups, reminding people to write their info down somewhere/somehow is my cause. :) Just in case someone runs into a bad case of CRS (can't remember sh#@) :o Been there, living with that. :huh:

What were we talking about here?  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for some great information.  I'm currently using the Director to run my show but it is only a matter of time until I will have to switch to computer controlled as my show continues to grow.  This information will be handy when that day arrives. I appreciate your sharing all this.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim or Alan

In my quest to add networks I stumbled across this and have a couple questions.

1) Powered USB hub or not? 

2) I am assuming before setting up in NP I would connect the USB hub first? Then just leave them all plugged in as I go until all networks are configured.?

Thank you

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

1) Powered USB hub or not? 

My standard advise for USB hubs is to always used powered hubs unless there is a major compelling reason not to.  For example, in my laptop PC bag I have a four port non-powered hub.  However on the rare occasions that I need more than the three USB ports on the laptop, there is not normally power available anyway :)

I normally run three LOR networks.  On my show computer there are enough USB ports available that I don't need a hub, however during the off season when my server is running the show, there are not enough ports and I do use a four port powered hub.

16 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

2) I am assuming before setting up in NP I would connect the USB hub first? Then just leave them all plugged in as I go until all networks are configured.?

This is the way I would do it (and what I did when I initially set up LOR on my server).  Start the Windows Device Manager so I can see what USB to RS-485 adapter comes up as what comm port.  Plug in the USB hub.  Plug in the first RS-485 adapter.  Note what comm port shows up in Device Manager.  Repeat for each addition RS-485 adapter.  If desired, change the Comm port numbers using the Windows Device Manager.  Then start Network Configuration and set up each LOR network to the RS-485 adapters.  In my case, Com3 is my Regular Network, Com4 is my AuxA network and Com5 is my AuxB network.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was advised by LOR NOT to use a USB hub as the data can get scrambled...curious that yours seems to works tho...I had to have a special computer built with a lot of USB ports to handle my massive show.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

My standard advise for USB hubs is to always used powered hubs unless there is a major compelling reason not to.  For example, in my laptop PC bag I have a four port non-powered hub.  However on the rare occasions that I need more than the three USB ports on the laptop, there is not normally power available anyway :)

I normally run three LOR networks.  On my show computer there are enough USB ports available that I don't need a hub, however during the off season when my server is running the show, there are not enough ports and I do use a four port powered hub.

This is the way I would do it (and what I did when I initially set up LOR on my server).  Start the Windows Device Manager so I can see what USB to RS-485 adapter comes up as what comm port.  Plug in the USB hub.  Plug in the first RS-485 adapter.  Note what comm port shows up in Device Manager.  Repeat for each addition RS-485 adapter.  If desired, change the Comm port numbers using the Windows Device Manager.  Then start Network Configuration and set up each LOR network to the RS-485 adapters.  In my case, Com3 is my Regular Network, Com4 is my AuxA network and Com5 is my AuxB network.

 

Thanks Jim. Unfortunately the new laptop as high end of a gaming laptop it is only has "2" usb ports.  I am not a gamer but would imagine every gamer uses a headset which would be one port and any other number of accessories would consume port #2 so why in the world would Alienware (Dell) only include 2 USB ports. Hey but it does run my show.

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, debtoews said:

I was advised by LOR NOT to use a USB hub as the data can get scrambled...curious that yours seems to works tho...I had to have a special computer built with a lot of USB ports to handle my massive show.....

My guess is that LOR wants to err on the side of caution and remove every item they possibly can from the help desk inventory of issues that they need to deal with.

I've also been using powered USB hubs for years starting when my network count first exceeded the number of available ports on the PC.  I've moved from a four port hub up to an eight and now a ten, and have never had any issues whatsoever with their use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just don't go cheap.  Also check the output on the supplied DC adapter. It should offer AT LEAST .1/2A per port on the hub. More if it is USB3 capable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, George Simmons said:

 

My guess is that LOR wants to err on the side of caution and remove every item they possibly can from the help desk inventory of issues that they need to deal with.

I've also been using powered USB hubs for years starting when my network count first exceeded the number of available ports on the PC.  I've moved from a four port hub up to an eight and now a ten, and have never had any issues whatsoever with their use.

Thanks for the info George and thats good to know since we have even more neighbors wanting to join in which equals even more networks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, debtoews said:

Thanks for the info George and thats good to know since we have even more neighbors wanting to join in which equals even more networks!

At your current rate I'm thinking Clovis could be the first whole town synchronized to Christmas lights.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the information. I was going to ask this same question. I am going to a computer next year.
HVACR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2017 at 10:34 AM, B.Y.R.G. said:

At your current rate I'm thinking Clovis could be the first whole town synchronized to Christmas lights.

I dont think the ELLS will go that far  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, debtoews said:

I dont think the ELLS will go that far  :-)

There's ways....  Not entirely ELLs however.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×