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PixCon16 Issues

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 11:03 AM, DevMike said:

If anyone has had a need to use this troubleshooting guide, or if you are bored and just want to try it, please let me know about your experience.  I am looking for feedback.

I purchased 2 - PixCon 16 boards last year and was able to upload them with the Network Configuration program.  This year I purchased 2 more and have tried all avenues to read these and not able to.  I have a ticket in LOR help desk, but the only response I receive is to read the manual, read the 19 steps or read the Trouble shooting guide.  I have read, changed IP configuration on PC, purchased a new router and after a week of struggling, I still not able to see the board. 

I can unhook the Cat-5 from the board and connect it to the board from last year and read it without any issues. 

I really need some one on one dialog instead of asking me to read.  Who can I turn to for this type of assistance.  Apparently LOR does not offer that any longer.  I have been an LOR customer for many years and really upset with the responses. 

Any positive advice would greatly be appreciated.

Jerry

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You have to remember that the PixCon16 is a pro level board that requires some pretty specialized knowledge to get running.  Integrating that board into an existing network (even one where there is a working Pixcon already) is not an easy task.  It requires knowledge that we simply can't provide - how to work your computer and configure your network.

There are simply far to many variables for us to be able to one-on-one tell you where an issue could be since we don't actually 'own' (by that I mean know anything about the computer you have, the network it is attached to, etc) your other equipment.  That responsibility has to fall on you since it is yours.  Compare that to something on an LOR network using an LOR USB adapter:  We own ALL of that so I can work you through and find exactly where the problem is (and quite quickly).  

 

The two guides we have (and yes, I am the one that sent you both on your help desk ticket) come at the issue from 2 different directions.

The 19 point checklist and the associated DMX and E1.31 document attempt to teach you a little bit about how networking works and how the PixCon16 fits into the equation.  It is more a stepping stone to get you thinking about how to configure network devices and why those devices are configured the way they are.  They are designed to give you the basics to go out and learn how IP networking does its thing. 

You have to understand that there are entire college degrees dedicated to teaching how to network. Teaching a customer everything they need to know about networking is something that is simply beyond the scope of anything we do.

The other guide (the one I recently sent to you, and the one you originally replied to before I split your message into a new thread), comes at this issue from the other direction.  That particular document holds your hand step by step and configures your computer to talk to the PixCon16 without fail.  That particular document is complete with pictures and shows you exactly what you need to change on your computer.  It is written in an easy-to-use format, and at the end of that document it will tell you exactly where the issue lies:  Your configuration, or a bad board.  If it is your configuration it will again attempt to point out where you should go looking.  

 

The PixCon is a challenge to support since there are simply too many things that need to be looked at - things that are not actually in our wheelhouse.  Performing some of the steps can take you hours, since you are probably not familiar with the concepts.  Documents like the PixCon16 Troubleshooting Guide are the best way for us to communicate what needs to be checked as they allow you to work through them at your pace.  If you were to call us, it would be the exact steps we would walk through with you, except you would not have the benefit of all the pictures.   We  have great customer service, but the team is limited.  I am the only person who can help with PixCon16 issues.  We rely on these documents since it may take you several hours to understand the concepts - hours that we can be helping others.  Unfortunately we don't have the time or resources to try to teach every customer how TCP/IP works, how network equipment works, etc.

I'm not sure if you followed that document at all since the final steps let you know if you have a config issue or if you have an actual hardware problem.  I have a feeling you did not.  Some of the final steps direct you to contact us with explicit information in the case things don't work, and I did not get any from you.

I will admit that the PixCon16 troubleshooting guide is a 'It's us or It's you' document.  By that I mean it is designed to let us know if the issue is the hardware itself , something we are responsible for, or if it is something on your side (configuration, network equipment failure, etc).   It is our experience that most problems with PixCon boards (especially with those that are returned to us) are not problems with the board at all.  They are configuration issues.  The PixCon16 Troubleshooting Guide is designed to give us the information we need if a board does actually need service.  Without you following the Troubleshooting guide to completion, I still have to assume that the issue is configuration - not the board.

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Thanks Mike for your words of encouragement.  I will review the steps again and attempt to achieve a level of understanding at the end of my journey.  I am sure there is nothing wrong with the board.  I can ping the IP address and receive positive responses.  I know it is an issue on my end.  It just gets to be discouraging when you spend hours to see a negative result.  I am positive that I will figure out the error at the end.  I will send a response, once I do  so others that may have the same issue, may shed some light upon it. 

I run a dedicated PC, just for Christmas.  I do not have Internet, Wireless card, Firewall.  I run a static IP of 192.168.0.200.  My other board runs on IP 192.168.0.100.  So the new Factory setting of this board should in fact be read. 

Thanks for taking time to enlighten me on my lack of knowledge in technology.  Most of us try to gain a higher level of understanding in technology to improve the Wow! factor our displays.  We are Christmas Geeks, not computer ones.  I do thank you and your team for the quick responses and look forward to many more years of working with LOR. 

Jerry Ludy

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Just follow that second document step by step.  Then let me know the outcome.  If there is something wrong with the board (and there could very well be) I am more than happy to send you another.  

If you are unsure of how to perform one of the steps in that second document, let me know that too.  That means I did not write those instructions clearly and I want to improve them.  

My job is not to frustrate you into getting something to work or for you to quit trying.  

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I am having the exact same problem. Read and followed all documents at least three times, watched a dozen instructional videos about networking (very informative). I also have a stand alone computer and network, no wireless, only one PixCon16. I have tried connecting with and without a router. After a few back-and-forths with tech support, it was suggested that my board might be bad so LOR sent me a new card (thanks Mike or whomever sent it). Unfortunately the replacement card also cannot be seen by the LOR software, so I am in the same  position as SantaLudy.

I'm having a hard time imagining  that both boards would be bad, so I'm thinking there must be a setting on my computers I don't know about. I have also tried on both my laptop and desktop PC with the same result. So I will keep searching for a cause and educating myself, while watching to see if Jerry (SantaLudy) comes up with a fix. I am also planning to hire an IT guy to see if he can figure it out - will let you know if I come up with anything.

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There are pictures and everything in the Troubleshooting document:
http://www1.lightorama.com/PDF/PixCon16Troubleshooting.pdf

That is a different document from the E1.31 and DMX for pixel control:
http://www1.lightorama.com/PDF/IntroductionToDMXandE131.pdf

The troubleshooting document WILL get the board to work or will tell you what is wrong and how to contact us with the information we need.  

All of our customers should know:  I am DEVIOUS (Don't believe me?  See what a jerk I am here->  It's page after page of me complaining :)

 

99.9% of problems with the Pixcon16 checklist are at step 6.  That is the part that requires the knowledge about TCP IP and tries to point you in the right direction.  Step 6 tries to get you to properly integrate the board into an existing network where it will play nice with other things.  That's not something we can do for you - But that also means we have to take you at your word that you know what you are doing and that you have absolutely done everything properly (even though we know you probably didn't).

The Troubleshooting document takes care of step 6 for us.  Once you have exhausted yourself, I send that to you.  While there are a couple of places where you need to make decisions, the troubleshooting guide is absoluteIt doesn't ask you to learn anything, it simply says 'DO THIS', and you have to do it.  At the end of that document either it works, or it doesn't.  If it doesn't work it tells you why it is not working.  It will tell you if the configuration is wrong, or the board is bad and to contact us.   Ok, let me just put this bluntly: the troubleshooting guide is designed to squarely point the finger at us, or you.    

Why don't we just start with the troubleshooting guide?  Well the problem (for you, not me) is that the Troubleshooting guide WILL force your computer into a state that allows it to talk to the PixCon16, but probably nothing else. Now you will be mad at me for 'breaking' your computer.  I really don't need that :)

I try very hard to write things like the Troubleshooting document as simply as possible and in this case with as explicit directions as possible.  But here is the problem:  I'm an expert when it comes to things like this, so it is very easy for me to gloss over a step (see step 9 where I use the acronym 'NIC' but don't explain that means 'Network Interface Card').  It is like proof-reading your own writing:  you are more likely to miss an error because your brain sees what it wants to see.  In those cases, STOP.  We have not done our job properly creating that document.  Let us know you don't understand something and why you don't understand it.  We will fix it.

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Good Afternoon Mike,

No positive results.  It truly is amazing that last year, I was able to configure 2 of the boards.  I can read the NEW boards on the Network Configuration screen.  Now for over a week, I am not able to achieve any level of results in reading the board.  Yes, I have performed all the steps.  The results indicate that I have an issue with computer configuration.  I know that I have aged another year, but I do not feel I lost all the knowledge to execute these steps without a positive result.

I operate Windows 10 on a dedicated computer.  There are no routers, no wireless, no firewall, no other devices attached (other than mouse and keyboard).  I have set the IP address as instructed.  All LOR programs are ALLOWED to sift through the Firewall, if I had one.  I restarted the PC as instructed.  I Factory Reset the PixCon 16 and IP address as instructed.  LOR Comm Listener is Shutdown.  The Ethernet cable is attached and the data signal lights are flashing on both the board and PC.  The Red status light on the board just continues to flash, once I open the Network Configuration window. 

I have gone to length of utilizing a New Router and setting it up to the requested IP.  Nothing. 

IT HAS to be something silly that I just can't put my finger on. 

I am so lost now that I don't see any light at the end of my tunnel of frustration.  I would be willing to pay someone $50.00 if they could help me solve this and let me get back on setting up my lights.

Santa without Solution

Santa Ludy

Edited by SantaLudy

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Sounds like your computer is not talking to the controller. Are they both in the same octet in the IP addresses?  Example - 192.168.1.xxx

What is the IP address of your ethernet card on your computer? Is it static?

What is the IP address on your Pixcon? Is it static?

When setting up your network config in LOR is it enhanced?

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The IP of computer is 192.168.0.51 and is Static

The Pixcon board is assumed to be 192.168.0.50 (based on factory reset) If I can't read the board, then I am not able to set the IP address or set it up as Static.

Yes, I do set the Network Config to Enhanced, when I run the boards.

 

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The controller comes from LOR set as DHCP so its IP is assigned from your computer. In the manual page 16 there is a procedure to force it to 192.168.0.50 as it does not come up automatically.

Once you force it to that IP then you can go in and set it to static.

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Yes, I have performed that procedure almost every time I plan on connecting the Cat-5 to the computer.  Once I forced it and connect the controller to the PC, the Network Configuration program still is not able to see the board. 

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Can you ping the controller from the cmd prompt?

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Well the computer can see the controller but they can't talk, I recommend you open a Trouble Ticket.

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Yes, I have one for a week.  It appears I am not understanding something simple, because I believe I have covered the difficult parts all too many times.  LOL.  Thanks for trying to help.  I need someone that may have experienced the same problem in the past and overcome it with a simple process. 

Thanks again my friend.

 

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I saw your PM and have now read this thread.  Note that I am pretty good with networking, but I have never played with a Pixcon16.

This may sound like a dumb test, but start a ping command with  the -t option so it continues to ping until you tell it to stop.  While you are getting a valid ping from the Pixcon, unplug the Pixcon.  The pings should start failing.  Because there is nothing else connected, the result may show something like a general failure.  Plug in the Pixcon and make sure the pings start working again.  The reason for the test is to prove that the device that you THINK is responding to the ping is the device that is actually responding to the ping.  You would be amazed how many times I have found that what device we thought was responding to a ping was not actually what was responding.

 

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Hey Jim,

I performed that procedure and it actually is the Board that is receiving the Ping packets and returning.  The procedure showed a General Fail, once the connect was broken and started back once the connect was again made.

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Update for my issues - for what it's worth - I used Mike's troubleshooting document and did two things I hadn't done before, namely step 3 (setting the firewall to allow LOR thru); and resetting the computer when the document said to. All of the other items in the troubleshooting guide I had done previously. I also had an IT professional come look at my setup, he said I had done everything right. But we still couldn't get the LOR Network Configuration to find the PixCon16. All status lights on the board and ethernet cable were correct. Then we tried another brand controller he had and was able to use xLights to control it just fine (didn't have time to try his controller with LOR software). LOR is my preferred platform for playing shows, so I need to get this fixed! Or else buy a Falcon controller to use with LOR, and return the PixCon16.

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The only other thing I can think of is since your computer is not connected to any network is make sure the firewall and any antivirus is disabled then restart the computer.

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No positive results. It truly is amazing that last year, I was able to configure 2 of the boards, and still able to see them this year. I can't read the NEW boards on the Network Configuration screen. Now for over a week, I am not able to achieve any level of results in reading the board. Yes, I have performed all the steps. The results indicate that I have an issue with computer configuration. I know that I have aged another year, but I do not feel I lost all the knowledge to execute these steps without a positive result.

I operate Windows 10 on a dedicated computer. There are no routers, no wireless, no firewall, no other devices attached (other than mouse and keyboard). I have set the IP address as instructed. All LOR programs are ALLOWED to sift through the Firewall, if I had one. I restarted the PC as instructed. I Factory Reset the PixCon 16 and IP address as instructed. LOR Comm Listener is Shutdown. The Ethernet cable is attached and the data signal lights are flashing on both the board and PC. The Red status light on the board just continues to flash, once I open the Network Configuration window.
I have gone to length of utilizing a New Router and setting it up to the requested IP. Nothing.

IT HAS to be something silly that I just can't put my finger on.  

Last evening I brought out of storage my older computer and loaded LOR into it.  I did not make many adjustments in the configurations and tried to see the board on it.  Guess what? No problems at all.  I could see the board and was able to set the IP address on Static.  I then removed the cable and connected the new board to my Christmas computer and NO positive results.  I figured that since I locked the board in with a Static address, that the Network Configuration would pick it up on the other computer. 

I spent more than an hour going through all the steps again, with no good results. There is something that is blocking me from seeing this board. I can see my other boards, but this newer version, I am not able.  To being able to lock into it from my other computer without any difficulties, is amazing I can't do the same with the main computer.  I will continue to see if I can come up with something that is blocking this process and update you on it.

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Are you positive that all antivirus is disabled, Defender or any third party software?

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I will say that I am positive, but we all are human.  This particular computer was built and customized with no software other than Windows 10.  I have a CD drive, video card, Audio card and that's it.  The only software is what I loaded which LOR is most of them.  Others like Audacity. 

Is there a antivirus that I am missing?  I don't know, because I looked and can't locate any.  I have antivirus on my other computer and did not disable it last night, and the board still came up.  Weird, I know.  The only thing I had to do was upload the LOR so the Comm Listener was not on. 

I really need someone much knowledgeable than  to talk with on the phone and try to walk through some scenarios.

 

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The fact that it worked on the old computer, but not the new computer pretty well narrows it down to something about the comptuer.

I'm going to guess something in the Windows firewall.  However usually consumer type firewalls by default block inbound new traffic and allow most anything outbound (and their related inbound).  I don't remember having to open a firewall port on my new Windows 10 computer, but I may be forgetting it too.

 

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After being inspired by SantaLudy,  I dug up my old laptop out of my wife's craft room and got the exact same result! I connected thru the LOR Network Configuration with no problems at all. Furthermore, I didn't even turn off my antivirus software. This older laptop is running Windows 7 Home Premium, while the newer laptop and desktop I couldn't get to communicate with the PixCon are running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 10 respectively. I wonder if that has anything to do with it? I went deeper into the Windows Firewall settings and there was no difference between the old laptop and the new. I may have to negotiate with my wife to use the old laptop this year for the show until I get the new laptop to work. I hope we can eventually solve this.

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To be honest these Pixcon's were much easier to setup when they first came out. I don't know if it is the firmware upgrades or Windows 10 or what but I use to be able to talk someone thru the setup in 10 minutes. These things have become so tempermental lately that it has gotten to the point where I can't even recommend them anymore.

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