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Mr. P

Am I stupid or what?

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I have been running this years show for a week now and when I went to start last night nothing would come on. I was running around checking everything, plugs, cat5, resetting controllers, verifying everything and I could not get the thing to start. After about three hours I cancelled the show last night and told myself to go to bed, not think about it and get a fresh clean start in the morning. Well after another three hours of running around and troubleshooting this morning it finally hit me square in the face, I FORGOT TO START THE CONTROL PANEL!!!!!!!!!  😲

So for all you beginners out there, even a seasoned vet gets a brain fart once in a while. 😁

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Ha.  Well I don't think any of us think of you as stupid.  Just the opposite.  But, yea, sometimes we forget the simplest things, and as I get older, I forget more.  That is why I have a "NASA STYLE" checklist that I walk down it to check all the items when ready to start a show for the season or when something goes wrong.   I guess that process comes from having flown in the Navy.   Nothing like having a nice checklist.

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Oh yeah, I have never had that problem, NOT.  I have a check list as well but about the time I think I remember and do not look the list that's when I get bit.  I have a habit of tweeking things during the day and then forgetting something when showtime comes. If it is true what they say about learning from ones mistakes I ought to be a genius by now but.....

 

Larry

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Yep, know that feeling too Mr. P.  Been there and done it too, just recently as a matter of fact.   Couldn't figure out why nothing was working right, outside checking connections, testing cat5 cables, checking the dangles to be sure nothing came unplugged somehow, couldn't find a thing wrong outside, okay, must be something inside, open HWU finds controllers, turn on lights, all working.  Huh?  What? 

Then why isn't the SE running lights or the show functioning?   

I finally realize after several hours of running around I FORGOT to load the LOR Control Panel!  

Once done, everything went back to normal.   

And yep, it sure makes you feel like a blooming idiot when you finally find the issue, and it was right smack in front of your face the entire time, but overlooked.

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19 minutes ago, Orville said:

I finally realize after several hours of running around I FORGOT to load the LOR Control Panel!  

I've made that mistake so much that now I just have it automatically load whenever I log in to Windows.  Then I don't forget.

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11 minutes ago, Richard Hamilton said:

I've made that mistake so much that now I just have it automatically load whenever I log in to Windows.  Then I don't forget.

So do I.   But on occasion I have to unload it to install a newer version, that's when I forget to turn it back on, that is "Launch at start up" didn't get re-checked.  So it didn't load automatically, and I didn't notice it wasn't loaded, then there I go, running around trying to figure out what happened.🤣

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2 hours ago, Mr. P said:

<snip>

I FORGOT TO START THE CONTROL PANEL!!!!!!!!!  😲

So for all you beginners out there, even a seasoned vet gets a brain fart once in a while. 😁

I think we have all done some brain fart like that!

Except for sometimes on the weekend, my show ALWAYS starts without me anywhere near home, so I depend on it starting automatically.  I do get an E-Mail when it starts.  So if I don't get the E-Mail, I can check.  One advantage of running MIIP is it's VERY easy to verify that it is dong something, and with VNC or TeamViewer, I can easily remote into the show computer fix anything if there is a problem.  I also have multiple cameras that I can see the show from multiple angles from my phone.  Push really comes to shove, at show start time, there is generally at least a couple people home who I can call and have them check on stuff for me.

And yes, the Control panel starts when Windows starts.

 

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11 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

I do get an E-Mail when it starts.  So if I don't get the E-Mail, I can check.

Hmmm, that sounds nice, but I would like to get an email if the show does NOT start.   Is that possible?  I'm just too forgetful to remember to look if I got an email.

And yes, TeamViewer and cameras have been a livesaver for me on rare occasions.

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1 hour ago, Richard Hamilton said:

Hmmm, that sounds nice, but I would like to get an email if the show does NOT start.   Is that possible?  I'm just too forgetful to remember to look if I got an email.

Should be as long as you are using a computer rather than a director to run the show.  Just a little creative scheduled tasks and batch files.  To do this, you first need to understand how "Windows commands" in sequences work.  Next step is to install a command line based E-Mail client.  I use Blat for that.  For the most part, Blat wants to send a text file.  Last step is to understand how to create scheduled tasks in Windows.  So here is a first pass of how to get a message that tells that either the show started, or failed to start.  You can change files names shown in the example below.

Create a text file called Show_status.txt  In that file have a line of text that the show failed to start.  (you only have to do this once)

In your start sequence for your show, add a Windows command that calls a batch file called Show_status.bat

In the batch file, add a line similar to this:

  Echo %date%  %time%  Christmas show is starting. > Show_status.txt

That will overwrite the text in the Show_status.txt file with a line that has the date, time, and Christmas show is starting

Create a Windows scheduled task that is set to run every day at one minute after your show is supposed to start.  The task will call a batch file called Send_show_status.bat

In the batch file, add this text (obviously you will have to substitute your information for all the fields in <>:

  blat Show_status.txt -to <your destination E-Mail address> -f <E-Mail address the message comes from> -server <the server to use> -u <the User ID to use on the E-Mail server> -pw <your password on the E-Mail server>

This will send the file Show_Status.txt to the address specified in the destination address field using the E-Mail server, account, and password specified in the appropriate fields.  You CAN create separate lines to send the same message to several addresses - for example your phone and home addresses.

The last line in the Send_show_status.bat file is a line similar to this:

    Echo CHRISTMAS SHOW FAILED TO START!!!! > Show_status.txt

    Echo Investigate immediately!!!! >> Show_status.txt

The first line will overwrite the Show_status.txt with a failure message, and the second line APPENDS that message with the second line of text.  That is what will send the following day if the show fails to start.

Remember this was a first pass at doing this, so I may have missed something, but it should be close.

 

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That's fabulous Jim.  Very creative !

Too bad I can't add a "thank you" cup today.   Guess I added too many for one day.

Yea I completely understand everything you said (done some Windows programming in the past), so I am going to do that !!!   And yes, I am running my show on a dedicated show computer in the garage.

 

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Mr. P

You know the s happens saying.

I spent an hour and wasted $1.99 on a new copy of the Greatest Show last night. I thought the possibility of the MP3 getting corrupted during data recovery.

Since the computer crash I have had a lot of static in the Greatest Show sequence while playing the show.

Last night my friend text me to tell me it was getting worse. I purchased the new copy, audacitized it, shut my 3 sequence show down, re linked the song.

No change.

Was just about to remove it from the show list when it hit me. I had been using my laptop while putting up props and soldering to listen to music.

Had volume maxed out and the Greatest Show is already a loud song.

Turned the volume on laptop down and - wala- all good.

Nobody is perfect, but it takes a great person to admit it.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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Keep in mind that my show has been running for three weeks and I had not noticed a problem with my pixel star - EXCEPT on my two overnight sequences.  For these two sequences, the star starts with the smallest ring for 5 seconds, then every 5 seconds, moves to the next ring of the star.  The 3rd and 4th ring were not lighting.  It's kind of a low priority as it's only overnight, but I have looked at the sequences and could not find anything wrong.  Finally last night, I made a couple other tweeks to the sequences and saved with a new filename and changed the show to use the new filenames.  That way I KNEW that the revised sequences were being used  Sure enough, after the regular show ended, rings 3 & 4 were not lighting.  I'm standing out in the front yard staring at it and thinking about the string arrangement.  String 1 (70 pixels) continues as string 6 (20 pixels) for a total of 90 pixels in DMX universe 27.  String 2 (60 pixels) continues as string 5 (30 pixels) for a total of 90 pixels in DMX universe 28.  String 3 (50 pixels) continues as string 4 (40 pixels) for a total of 90 pixels in DMX universe 29.  It hit me that both non-working strings were in universe 29.

So I go back inside and carefully examine the Preview that all of my 2018 Christmas sequences are using, and it is correct.  Next step was to look at the status page for the SanDevices controller that is driving strings 17 - 24 of the pixel tree and the pixel star.  Whoa! What the heck - the packet count for Universe 29 on the controller showed ZERO packets.  So I bring up the Network Preferences for DMX on the Show computer and spotted my error.  That SanDevices controller has an IP of 192.168.131.92.  Only problem was that Universe 29 was being sent to 192.168.131.93 (another SanDevices controller that uses Universes 31 - 34).  Oops!  Changed it to 192.168.131.92, and restarted the show player and amazing - the star fully lights!

So yes, even us long time LOR users can and will make mistakes...

 

 

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My shows been running nightly since thanksgiving. One night my wife texts me while I’m working still and says the show isn’t on. I have a schedule to start at 6 daily. Til 10 weekdays and 11 Friday and Saturday nights. No one touches the pc or light O-Rama but me. All it needs is a double mouse click to wake the pc. And the show starts. My schedule was disabled for some unknown reason or cause.

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Rule no 1.

Always disable Sleep and hibernation.  Sleep and especially hibernation can be very unpredictable. Just turn off the monitor. An occasional hard restart doesn't hurt.

Disable Hibernation Win 10

https://www.google.com/search?q=disable+hibernation+windows+10&amp;rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS820US820&amp;oq=disable+hibernation&amp;aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.10167j1j7&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8

Edited by PhilMassey
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Had my own flub this week too.   I noticed my green mini trees were not working.    The green is a third color on 32 trees, I mostly use the red and white on them.     The green uses just two channels with 16 switched on each.   Checking it out I find the two cords just draped over the controller !   They had never been plugged in or tested.    Three weeks into the show and these lights had never been on!        doh !

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4 hours ago, ItsMeBobO said:

Had my own flub this week too.   I noticed my green mini trees were not working.    The green is a third color on 32 trees, I mostly use the red and white on them.     The green uses just two channels with 16 switched on each.   Checking it out I find the two cords just draped over the controller !   They had never been plugged in or tested.    Three weeks into the show and these lights had never been on!        doh !

Now I don't feel so bad!

 

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13 hours ago, JayStang said:

My shows been running nightly since thanksgiving. One night my wife texts me while I’m working still and says the show isn’t on. I have a schedule to start at 6 daily. Til 10 weekdays and 11 Friday and Saturday nights. No one touches the pc or light O-Rama but me. All it needs is a double mouse click to wake the pc. And the show starts. My schedule was disabled for some unknown reason or cause.

This has happened to me also.   Twice my wife called me at work saying the show did not start.   The LOR bulb was red!   There is an elf playing games.  I know of no reason the bulb would go red overnight but I dont think I did it. 

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23 hours ago, ItsMeBobO said:

...The green is a third color on 32 trees, I mostly use the red and white on them.....

There's a bigger problem here. Blue should be the third color. RWB-G was thoroughly explained to me by Santas Helper (Tom) years ago...….

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39 minutes ago, Mega Arch said:

There's a bigger problem here. Blue should be the third color. RWB-G was thoroughly explained to me by Santas Helper (Tom) years ago...….

Applying the color differential curve to the dichotic color chart below.  It is intuitively obvious that complementary colors green and blue are present in equal amounts and do not have a position or rank. Therefore, being co-equal parts of the wheel, they do not submit to each other in the fashion delineated here. 

9781617451447_p0_v1_s600x595.jpg

 

Edited by ItsMeBobO
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On 12/7/2018 at 2:04 PM, k6ccc said:

I think we have all done some brain fart like that!

Except for sometimes on the weekend, my show ALWAYS starts without me anywhere near home, so I depend on it starting automatically.  I do get an E-Mail when it starts.  So if I don't get the E-Mail, I can check.  One advantage of running MIIP is it's VERY easy to verify that it is dong something, and with VNC or TeamViewer, I can easily remote into the show computer fix anything if there is a problem.  I also have multiple cameras that I can see the show from multiple angles from my phone.  Push really comes to shove, at show start time, there is generally at least a couple people home who I can call and have them check on stuff for me.

And yes, the Control panel starts when Windows starts.

 

In the future I want to have a talk. You keep astonishing me..... I need to pick at your knowledge. Still new now but it’s coming

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8 hours ago, ~DOC~ said:

In the future I want to have a talk. You keep astonishing me..... I need to pick at your knowledge. Still new now but it’s coming

As quite a few people here on the forum have learned, I will talk your ear off in my attempts to educate you...

 

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That should have been obvious. He's a Ham. They love to either Yak or pound their fist. (My OM loved 80M CW)

Edited by TheDucks

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2 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

That should have been obvious. He's a Ham. They love to either Yak or pound their fist. (My OM loved 80M CW)

Ooooh, only held one CW conversation in the last 25 years or so.  That was a satellite contact with a station in Algeria and he was ONLY running CW.  Africa is hard on satellite because it close to the antipodal point from southern California, and had to dig out a CW key so I could get the continent worked on satellite for my WAC.

 

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