Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums
dibblejr

Pixie Controller Setup Advice/ Tips

Recommended Posts

Over the past 6 months or so I may have learned a little about the pixie controllers. I though that this topic will be useful for someone experiencing problems with setting up the pixie controllers. I have spent many hours on the phone with members whom I have had the pleasure of assisting but figure some tips may help you. 

I am typing this from notes I have taken while troubleshooting my own faults and/or assisting others. 

First lets start off by License Version. I can only refer to the pixie16 on this topic, once again learned from experience. You must have S4 version 4.3.18 or newer in order for HU to recognize the pixie16. If you connect your pixie16 to HU and you receive "found 0" or "unknown device" this has been the common factor. The pixie16 came out after 4.3.18 so HU will not recognize them in earlier versions of the software.

The manuals for the pixie series controllers have recently been broken down. Until a couple weeks ago we all shared the same manual 2,4,8 and 16. http://www1.lightorama.com/documentation/

Just scroll down to your pixie series.

The latest version of pixie16 has 8 dip switches. In order for you to assign the controller a non factory Unit ID through the HU all 8 dip switches must be off prior to connecting to HU ( I just discovered that yesterday while assisting another forum member) none of my 5 pixie16's or 8 have dip switches.

Next and most importantly and the most over thought subject of posting problems.

This is where most are overthinking things and the tech side of things do not make it easy for us Leigh men to understand so I will make this simple.

Unlike the AC controller(s) which assign one unit ID and then channels, the pixie series assigns Unit ID's. 2,4,8 or 16.

When you add a pixie device and set the Unit ID- do not, I repeat, do not try to circumvent the system. Let the HU and Channel Config do their jobs. They will assign consecutive Unit ID's. These unit ID's will start with the first one "you" assign and will be consecutive for 2,4,8 or16 depending on your device.

Example; If you assign your pixie16 to unit ID #1 your channel config will show ports 1-16 however if you open the ports you will see that the Unit ID's will show 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 0A, OB, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 10. To actually see what this looks like you can just open any controller setting with the channel config and use the drop down arrow to look at how the unit ID system is numbered. 

One more note. Once you correctly set your pixie up, and want to add another device keep in mind your pixie has used 2,4,8 or 16 unit ID's. So in the above example your next available unit ID would be 11.

Also do not get confused with the port #'s. I do not include the port #'s while I set up my configurations. There is a box to uncheck while adding the pixie controller.

I found out the hard way, I wanted to keep my config easy. On my first pixie16 assigned my unit ID. Not understanding and failure to read and comprehend what the manual was saying I renamed all of the what I will call alpha numeric units assigned and the final unit ID so I had consecutive unit ID's 1-16. Built my tree in Vis, fired up my sequence. Had only 9 channels working. Posted a request for assistance and several outstanding members stepped up. Mr. P, K6CCC. Itsmebob. (thank you)

As soon as I got my head wrapped around the fact to leave the automatic unit ID assignment alone, all worked fine and has since.

Nine out of ten, if you have lights in HU but no lights in SE on vis or actual prop it is in the thinking process of your unit config.

Hopefully this will help someone who is searching for pixie configuration problems.

If not feel free to pm me.

JR

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got my first  pixie2 controller with 2 strings of 100, I have the controller set up in HU like the manual says and can actually make the lights work in testing. however I got lost after that, I cant get the lights to work in sequencer. I'm not sure, take that back I am positive I am missing something and not doing it right. Can you help?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, azfrankp said:

Do you know if Pixie Controllers are backwards compatible with the old Cosmic Color Ribbons (CCR)?

Depends on what you mean by backwards compatible.  From a sequencing standpoint, for the most part the answer is yes.  From a hardware perspective, maybe.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your post is very timely JR.

I have been around LOR a while , (and DMX for a long time before that) so I'm familiar with channels and start addresses , but I too struggle interpreting what I'm reading about the controller setup.

I wanted to add a 180 degree tree this year, and I thought 50 pixels / string looked a little rough, so I ordered 100 pixel ws2811 strings and a Pixie 16 . I just started soldering connectors onto my strings last night, and I was successful in getting all 100 pixels working via HU. I am stuck at the moment wondering how / IF this will work if I buy a pre-made sequence ( I suppose this depends a lot on how the sequence was made) I saw there was a resolution setting in the HU, and I believe the manual states I can also set resolution on the fly via a channel. Im unclear IF I can use the HU setting to make my 100 pixel string appear as 50 pixels ( which I THINK is what I need if I'm going to use a sequence from Wowlights. )

Does anyone know If I set the resolution in HU 1-to-2  Will it let me ? ( it seems like the manual is saying I can ONLY set a resolution of 1-to-50 and it becomes a single 'dumb' 1 pixel string OR 1-to-1) If I set 1-to-1 and get a pre-made sequence designed for CCB's, then my tree will stop at pixel 50 - right ?

I made a post to WOWLights to ask what the sequence file would look like, but I think the final answer will depend on what I can set for resolution on the controller. Anyone who has used strings with >50 pixels & / or bought sequences from WowLights have any idea ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2017 at 4:48 PM, dibblejr said:

Over the past 6 months or so I may have learned a little about the pixie controllers. I though that this topic will be useful for someone experiencing problems with setting up the pixie controllers. I have spent many hours on the phone with members whom I have had the pleasure of assisting but figure some tips may help you. 

I am typing this from notes I have taken while troubleshooting my own faults and/or assisting others. 

First lets start off by License Version. I can only refer to the pixie16 on this topic, once again learned from experience. You must have S4 version 4.3.18 or newer in order for HU to recognize the pixie16. If you connect your pixie16 to HU and you receive "found 0" or "unknown device" this has been the common factor. The pixie16 came out after 4.3.18 so HU will not recognize them in earlier versions of the software.

The manuals for the pixie series controllers have recently been broken down. Until a couple weeks ago we all shared the same manual 2,4,8 and 16. http://www1.lightorama.com/documentation/

Just scroll down to your pixie series.

The latest version of pixie16 has 8 dip switches. In order for you to assign the controller a non factory Unit ID through the HU all 8 dip switches must be off prior to connecting to HU ( I just discovered that yesterday while assisting another forum member) none of my 5 pixie16's or 8 have dip switches.

Next and most importantly and the most over thought subject of posting problems.

This is where most are overthinking things and the tech side of things do not make it easy for us Leigh men to understand so I will make this simple.

Unlike the AC controller(s) which assign one unit ID and then channels, the pixie series assigns Unit ID's. 2,4,8 or 16.

When you add a pixie device and set the Unit ID- do not, I repeat, do not try to circumvent the system. Let the HU and Channel Config do their jobs. They will assign consecutive Unit ID's. These unit ID's will start with the first one "you" assign and will be consecutive for 2,4,8 or16 depending on your device.

Example; If you assign your pixie16 to unit ID #1 your channel config will show ports 1-16 however if you open the ports you will see that the Unit ID's will show 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 0A, OB, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 10. To actually see what this looks like you can just open any controller setting with the channel config and use the drop down arrow to look at how the unit ID system is numbered. 

One more note. Once you correctly set your pixie up, and want to add another device keep in mind your pixie has used 2,4,8 or 16 unit ID's. So in the above example your next available unit ID would be 11.

Also do not get confused with the port #'s. I do not include the port #'s while I set up my configurations. There is a box to uncheck while adding the pixie controller.

I found out the hard way, I wanted to keep my config easy. On my first pixie16 assigned my unit ID. Not understanding and failure to read and comprehend what the manual was saying I renamed all of the what I will call alpha numeric units assigned and the final unit ID so I had consecutive unit ID's 1-16. Built my tree in Vis, fired up my sequence. Had only 9 channels working. Posted a request for assistance and several outstanding members stepped up. Mr. P, K6CCC. Itsmebob. (thank you)

As soon as I got my head wrapped around the fact to leave the automatic unit ID assignment alone, all worked fine and has since.

Nine out of ten, if you have lights in HU but no lights in SE on vis or actual prop it is in the thinking process of your unit config.

Hopefully this will help someone who is searching for pixie configuration problems.

If not feel free to pm me.

JR

 

Hey JR - thanks for the tips. I have a Pixie16 already setup but bought two more Pixie 2. They won't seem to keep the channel I want to assign to it. I have a jumper in the box and I see the dip switches but I can't tell from the instructions if I need to change anything. Pixie 16 ends at 19 and the next channel is 1A but won't hold that. Any ideas or advise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is 2nd Gen it has dip switches. I’m setting up props so can’t read manual but I would ensure all dip switches are off.

I am assuming it is currently finding only unit 1 in HU 

Not knowing how many dip switches there are just look for one that is in opposite direction.

Id take a pic of it just in case you get interrupted or something you can revert it back.

Pm me a phone # and I can call you while I set up props

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, CampbellHouse said:

Hey JR - thanks for the tips. I have a Pixie16 already setup but bought two more Pixie 2. They won't seem to keep the channel I want to assign to it. I have a jumper in the box and I see the dip switches but I can't tell from the instructions if I need to change anything. Pixie 16 ends at 19 and the next channel is 1A but won't hold that. Any ideas or advise?

I don't have a Pixie so I'm not the expert here, but as I understand it, the newer Pixie controllers that have DIP switches to set the Unit ID.  On any of the controllers that have DIP switches, if you set the ID with the Hardware Utility, it will generally revert back to the DIP switch setting when the controller is power cycled..

So, if your new Pixie controllers have DIP switches, use them...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, k6ccc said:

I don't have a Pixie so I'm not the expert here, but as I understand it, the newer Pixie controllers that have DIP switches to set the Unit ID.  On any of the controllers that have DIP switches, if you set the ID with the Hardware Utility, it will generally revert back to the DIP switch setting when the controller is power cycled..

So, if your new Pixie controllers have DIP switches, use them...

 

Pepsi! 

JR

Share this post


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

I don't have a Pixie so I'm not the expert here, but as I understand it, the newer Pixie controllers that have DIP switches to set the Unit ID.  On any of the controllers that have DIP switches, if you set the ID with the Hardware Utility, it will generally revert back to the DIP switch setting when the controller is power cycled..

So, if your new Pixie controllers have DIP switches, use them...

 

If the OP turns the dip switch off it allows the end user to set the unit ID and will retain that ID. Unless/ until the dip switch is turned back on, then it will revert to unit 1 every time powered.

At least that’s what the pixie16 does.

PM sent, have question for you.

JR

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

×