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Kyle Whitaker

Pixcom LOR Enhanced Network Setup - This shouldn't be this hard

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Has anyone setup a Pixcon16 from LOR with 100 pixels on each port using the LOR network?  I purchased the LOR Pixcon16 with the intent on using the LOR network because I understand it (or so I thought) and maybe later adding more and jumping up to DMX.  I have now spent hours and hours over 2 days trying to get it to work.  I have tried using DMX instead but I can't get it to work so I keep going back to trying to configure it on the LOR network.  There is documentation but none of it seems to really go through step by step for this setup.  I am close to giving up on this Pixcon.  I have some Pixie2D and they are easy to setup.  I and now starting to wonder why I didn't just get the Pixie16.  :( 

I am focused on just trying to get it working on the "easy" LOR network.

This is where I am at:

1.  Hold down Boot Loader and Factory and power up for 10 seconds.

2.  Power Off and connect network cable to silver jack and back of the laptop.

3.  Start the Net Config. Select Find/Config Pixcon16.  It finds the card on 192.168.0.50 but I cannot select it.  I diagnose and it sets the card to 192.168.0.51

4.  Now I can select the card and I check the J3/4 option.

5.  Go to Pixel Port setup and set the Pixel Type to WS2811/12.  Uncheck Pack Pixels Tightly (not recommended)  Set the number of nodes (pixels) per port to 100.

6.  Starting unit is 1 going to 0A for a total of 32 ports.  I ASSUME this is setting the port unit id's...  Hit Apply and OK.

7.  Connected a USB485B on Com6 and set that as the Regular Network 1000K Enhanced.

8.  Power off the Pixcon16 and switch the network cable to the USB485B and to one of the "stacked" black network jacks on the Pixcon16.  Verify the Jumpers are set to LOR.

9.  Reboot the laptop.  Power on the Pixcon16 and Start the LOR Control Panel.  Both lights on the Pixcon16 are solid BTW.

10.  It is currently my understanding that the HU will do nothing for me and a Pixcon16 so I don't bother with it.  I ASSUME that the work I did on the Net Config set the Unit IDs and the only way to test is with the sequencer.

11.  Start the sequencer.  New animation sequence and use a Design Preview with only my 16 channel Pixel Tree.  The prop definition is set to LOR, Regualr Network but only 16 units even though the Net COnfig seemed to assign 32.

12.  Add a simple color fade to the sequence.  

13.  Hit play and nothing happens.  For what it is worth I have 100 pixels connected on the Pixcon16 port 7 and 100 on port 11.  I didn't connect 100 pixels to each port.

Now, what am I doing wrong?  I don't really want to open a LOR support ticket because I am sure it's user error and not the board itself but I don't know what else to try.

 

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6 hours ago, Kyle Whitaker said:

6.  Starting unit is 1 going to 0A for a total of 32 ports.  I ASSUME this is setting the port unit id's...  Hit Apply and OK.

Here is one issue that I notice, IDs 1-0A is only 10 ports and it should be 1-10 to get 16 ports (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 10).

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Mr P - It looks like it lists ports 1 - 16 as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 10  The next 16 - 32 start as Unit 5 starting circuit 361, 50 pixels, ending circuit 510.  After that the units and circuits are all over the place.  I'm going to try and clear them in the Advanced Config.

 

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I can't seem to get rid of ports 17-32.  Do we know if the Pixel Type is supposed to be WS2811/12?

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44 minutes ago, Kyle Whitaker said:

Mr P - It looks like it lists ports 1 - 16 as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 10  The next 16 - 32 start as Unit 5 starting circuit 361, 50 pixels, ending circuit 510.  After that the units and circuits are all over the place.  I'm going to try and clear them in the Advanced Config.

 

I am not following 16-32? Why are those ports showing up for one Pixcon? One Pixcon should only label 16 ports.

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Agreed.  I have no idea why it lists 32 ports.  The first 16 look as I would expect but then there are 16 more "weird" ones.  IDK.  I just got a reply from LOR support with some generic suggestions so I am going to go over that and see what happens.

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Update:  I am going back and forth with LOR Support and they do not expect 32 ports.  We are trying to determine if it is a bug or a bad board.

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I am going to say that I now see at least 2 forum threads AND you have a ticket going.  Having that many cooks spoils the broth.  You really should concentrate on ONE.

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I changed to the Pixel area from general hardware hoping that might get better response.  Feel free to delete the posts.  I don't see where I can do it.

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FYI...

This does appear to be a firmware bug.  If you just ignore those extra ports, you should be OK.  

Once we get the firmware fixed I'll let you know.

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I can confirm that I now have the Pixcon16 working from the sequencer. The firmware bug doesn't seem to effect the operation of the Pixcon16 so I don't really know what I did wrong the other times that I tried.  I can say that running through these steps VERY METHODICALLY is probably what made it work.  http://helpdesk.lightorama.com/tickets.php?id=50286  I can probably say that I am now an "expert" on setting up a Pixcon 16 running on an LOR Enhanced network.  Thank you LOR support! 

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FYI...  It's not a bug, it's a feature :P

I heard back from Firmware.  There is actually an incomplete internal option in the firmware for MKIIs that allows the PixCon to drive TWO strings of pixels from ONE port.  Not by tying them end-to-end, but by re-purposing the CLK line as a DATA line.  Each physical green connector would then act as  if it were TWO ports (and why it shows 32 instead of 16), but the total number of pixels is dropped by 1/2 (IE, you could still only use a maximum of 340 pixels on each physical connector).  Glad they let me know! :P

This isn't something we are going to support now or in the near future.  Please don't ask.  I would not be poking around hooking up pixels in strange ways since who knows what will happen.  The next release of the software will force the MKII into 16 port mode which will eliminate this 'feature' :)

 

 

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Perfect. All we really care is if it works!  It could list 1,000 ports for all I care!

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@Kyle Whitaker Can you post the details of your help ticket resolution.  The link doesn't resolve to a valid ticket that I can see, but I am experiencing the same thing you did.  Thanks.

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Brian,

They had me update the firmware but I don't think that really helped.  The controller still lists 32 ports but the extra 16 ports can be ignored.  How far do you get in the checklist below?

 

 

The LOR-PixCon16 is a very advanced smart pixel controller, meaning there are many ways to configure it correctly... and incorrectly. Let's start with the basics.
 

Bare Minimum PixCon16 Setup Checklist

Be sure to follow each of these steps IN ORDER. Do not proceed to the following step until you are sure the current step is complete. Please note that you may be further along in your testing than where this check lists starts. Please do not skip any of the previous steps even if you think you have performed them correctly already. Start at #1.


If you have already tried to configure the board, you should first FACTORY RESET the PixCon16. Instructions are provided in the manual. This checklist assumes that you have a 'stock' PixCon16 to start with.


Critical checkpoints points are in bold, but you may experience a problem at any step. If you are having problems at a checkpoint, check ALL steps up to this one to ensure they are completed properly.


The PixCon16 is a professional level board, and does require some in-depth knowledge about how E1.31 works, DMX and networking concepts. You may need to consult other sources if you run into issues or do not understand a concept. 


If you do have an issue and if you think everything is good to that point, and you would like to contact us for help STOP. Do not go further and do NOT change any configuration. If you would like to experiment and try to resolve the issue, please do! We encourage you to find the solution on your own. However if in the end you must contact us, reset the board and start again at step 1 and then stop at the failing step and contact us. We rely on the board being in a known state at every step of this checklist to help you.


Please ensure that you have AT LEAST S4 V4.3.14 Or Higher to configure the board. Some older versions may not be able to properly detect the Pixcon16.
 

  1. Pixels have a front and a back (IN and OUT). Ensure you know which side data goes IN to. Pixels from LOR are plainly marked, or are correctly pre-wired. if your pixels have an arrow, that arrow points AWAY from the board.
  2. Pixels have a voltage. Ensure you have the proper power supply. LOR Pixels are typically 5v or 12v. If your pixel package from LOR included a power supply, you do not need to worry about this step.
  3. Pixels have current draw (amperage). Ensure you are not exceeding the amps per channel/power supply/etc. Pixels from LOR will draw 3A per 50 pixels at 5V (15 Watts), 3A per 100 pixels at 12V (36 Watts). If you pixel package from LOR included a power supply, you do not need to worry about this step.
  4. Wire power supply to PixCon16, if not already wired.
  5. Remember – never connect or disconnect anything from PixCon16 with power applied.
  6. Power up board. Follow instructions in "An Introduction to DMX and E1.31 for Pixel Control" document if needed (linked below). Open Network Preferences/Find Configure PixCon16/Click on PixCon16 in list, and open the PixCon16 configuration window. 

    Only work with a SINGLE PixCon16 connected to your network at one time until properly configured -- IP address conflicts can occur if you attempt to configure 2 or more. 

    Do not continue until you are able to reliably talk to the board and configure it.
    If you are having difficulty reliably talking to the board, read:
    http://www1.lightorama.com/PDF/IntroductionToDMXandE131.pdf
    Pay particular attention to page 8.
  7. Ensure board firmware is AT LEAST 1.4.8. WARNING! Do NOT downgrade if higher! Downgrading a PixCon16 will brick the board requiring special software to recover! All PixCon16s sold since late 2016 are at or above V1.4.8. 

    Do not continue until firmware is updated to at least 1.4.8. Instructions are found in the manual. If you have the LOR Control Panel loaded, UNLOAD IT before attempting to update firmware. Updating the firmware while the Control Panel/Comm listener are running can cause the board to FAIL.
  8. Properly set up Pixel Type and Pixel Speed in configuration. Ignore all other parameters. LOR Pixels are WS2811. Most are high-speed.
  9. Properly wire 1 pixel string to a 4 wire connector. Follow pin-outs in the manual. Note -- Some pixels do not have/require the clock signal.
  10. Connect pixels to a single port, and power up. Pixels may briefly flash. Pixels that stay ON indicate incorrect pixel type or speed selected in #8. For LOR Pixels, ensure that you selected 'High Speed'. If High Speed does not work (it should in almost all cases), select slow speed.
  11. Run hardware test on the pixels as documented in manual by using the buttons on the PixCon16. If pixels do not work, problem is most likely #8. Go back there. 
    Do not continue until the Hardware Test works properly.
  12. Wire the rest of your pixels to the 4 wire connectors. Connect them to the PixCon16. Run the hardware test (step 11) again. Ensure all pixels are working correctly. Pixels that are not working indicate a problem with the pixel itself, or an under-rated power supply.
    Do not continue until the Hardware Test works properly for ALL pixels.
  13. Again bring the PixCon16 configuration up. On the first tab of PixCon16 configuration, ensure you have the correct option specified for J3/J4. If you will use the board in ELOR mode, turn this option ON. For E1.31 ensure this option is OFF. If you have not done so yet, install the drivers for the USB adapter and ensure the USB adapter is working properly.
  14. On the Second tab set up each port of the PixCon16 properly. You can use simple mode or advanced mode. All options are documented in the help file for the software or in the manual for the PixCon16. Remember, for E1.31 universes must also be set up in Network Preferences (the software will offer to do it for you), for ELOR, 500K speed and Enhanced Light-O-Rama network (done in step 16). It is best to write down the settings.
  15. Ensure you have the LOR Control Panel loaded (which will load the LOR COMM Listener). The COMM Listener is ALWAYS required to control pixels.
  16. Properly configure your network preferences:

    E1.31: Ensure Universe matches universe on the board & Set IP address correctly (multicast or unicast/specify). It is easiest to use multicast.

    ELOR: Ensure the COM port is set to at least 500K and ELOR mode is turned ON.
  17. Properly connect networking:

    E1.31: Do not make any changes.   Both LEDs should be SOLID ON. 
    Do not continue until they are. NOTE: Your computer may need to be rebooted. If you reboot go back to step 15.

    ELOR: Disconnect Network cable, ensure jumpers on PixCon16 for J3/J4 are set to LOR. Connect HS USB adapter to computer, CAT5 from USB adapter to J4 of PixCon16. NOTE: You must have previously installed the drivers for the high speed USB adapter. Use another non-PixCon16 unit to test if you are unsure the USB adapter is working properly. Both LEDs should be SOLID ON. 

    Do not continue until they are. NOTE: Your computer may need to be rebooted. If you reboot go back to step 15.
  18. Start Hardware Utility. If asked if the HWU should take control of a port say NO. Open the pixel console. Set Pixel Console params correctly and test pixels with sliders.
    Do not continue until you can successfully control pixels.
  19. Your board is now ready to use.

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Thanks for the quick response and details.  I get all the way to step 16 and my problem is the 500K speed.  I have an older USB485 that, according to specs can do ELOR but is not able to acheive this speed.  Does the PixCon 16 require that speed or it is suggested because of the number of channels you could ultimately obtain.  Currently I am just trying to get one string of 100 pixels to work, but if that speed is required then that is my issue.

Thanks

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The PixCon16 requires 500K or 1000K speed and an enhanced network.  As for your older USB adapter, at least for testing, try it.  You have nothing to lose and sometimes the older adapters will handle 500K.   I would recommend ordering a red one for the show, but if the black adapter works at 500K, it will at least allow you to test.

 

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Posted (edited)

Agreed.  Buy the red one for the show but I expect you to have no problem testing it out with the older black one.  Let me know.  If it doesn't work it is still probably not the adapter.

Edited by Kyle Whitaker

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Thanks for the help guys.  I got it working with the 500K speed even using the old black USB adapter.  I will get a red one order for Christmas this year.  You guys rock!

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Correct - the workaround right now for the extra 16 ports is 'pretend they don't exist' :)

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1 minute ago, dibblejr said:

Did you try to connect it to port 16?

JR

I'll give it a try.  Thanks.

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21 minutes ago, pouterson1 said:

I'll give it a try.  Thanks.

No luck with port 16.  Any other thoughts?

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4 minutes ago, pouterson1 said:

No luck with port 16.  Any other thoughts?

Have you followed Kyle Whittackers post above?

I an not to familiar with the pixcon. If you had any of the pixies, now that's where I can be a pretty good asset.

Dang- what happened to the posts above the last 2. Like your initial question to me. Just disappeared.

JR

 

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10 minutes ago, pouterson1 said:

No luck with port 16.  Any other thoughts?

Not sure why the posts are disappearing and reappearing so typing this again on this one

HAve you tried to set the #60 to #4. First ensure all jumpers are equal ect. Just to ensure not some other problem.

JR

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