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codechick

Multiple Networks, trazillion lights, I'm gonna kill my spouse, loljk but really.

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I would've added a more specific title but this mess just keeps growing instead of getting smaller.

We've been using LOR for probably 10 years, def not newbies, but it certainly feels that way.  I'm the Mrs. in this situation and generally the tech expert.  Every year he adds more lights, and I get to learn something new, the last couple years it's been RGB lights. Pixies and Ribbons.  I have no idea what I'm doing so naturally let's throw some more money at it.  Upgraded to S5 Pro, Superstar etc.  Discovered a couple of days ago that the reason our show wasn't working is we have waaaaaayyy (technical term) too many lights on one network and the Black adapter we bought last year to make the Pixel tree work was not sufficient, we need 2 more adapters, the fast Red ones and we need 3 to divide our lights up between 3 networks.  

I have 2 Red adapters, 1 Black.  I put all the analog (LED) lights on the Black, which are 2 LOR16 controllers, it's network settings are Comm3-Regular-115. Then one of the Red has 1 Pixie16 and 2 CCR (ribbons) w/one controller, the 2nd Red adapter has 1 Pixie16, and 4 CCR(ribbons) w/two controllers. Network settings for those are Aux A/Aux B-500k-ELOR

I've updated my sequence info to reflect the added networks.  But my show still won't work, one Pixel tree works and that's it, which is bizarre.  Is there a step by step for exactly what I need to do for multiple networks?  I feel like I may have missed steps in HU but I can't find anything to back that up.  If I need to run auto configure for the Aux A and Aux B, how do I do that? 

I'm convinced the network issues are the root of my show problems.  Please help!

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Bummer.  I am not at home so don't exactly have my checklist handy, yet a couple things that come to mind...

When you open the "NP" (network configuration utility), did you actually click on each line for the port that contains the 500K speed and red adapter and click on the checkbox "ENHANCED"?   Thus showing the word enhanced on the far right? As in my photo?  Yes, I see you did say "ELOR", but thought I would clarify you actually have the settings.   Nice explanation of what you have.

In the HU utility,  are you saying that you can't get the lights to work there either?  Or they just won't work when you run a sequence.

Also, when you mention you updated your sequences info for the changed networks, I assume that means you changed the prop definition for each item to reflect the proper unit, ID, and circuit number ?

Side note, after you kill the husband, he will make a good prop if you just hang him from the gutters 😎

2018-12-07_133540.jpg

Edited by Richard Hamilton

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OK, Penelope Garcia, HERE'S THE THING.... I'm gona bet you have no terminators on any of your 3 (or 4) networks..

As the speed of the network goes up, so does the need for proper termination and topology.. this is Daisy Chain RS-485 serial, running on Cat-5 cables. 485 is WAY different than RS-232 (standard com port)..

a resistor at EACH end of EACH network should correct all of this..

My version >

Pc150003_zps17811f7d.jpg

the male connector goes into the last thing on each network, example a controller at one end and the adapter at the other... EACH network.

the resistor needs to be about 120 ohms (around there, higher is NOT better) and is connected ACROSS pins 4 and 5

 

A good tutorial on this is found here:

https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/763

 

Edited by a31ford
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A31, that's a good point, yet I wonder why my show has worked perfectly for years without any terminators?  I think I saw somewhere that it depends on the length of the communications lines and maybe a couple other reasons ?

My setup is not greatly different from theirs.  I have two networks with a pixie 16 on each one and 10 ccr ribbons (5 ccr controllers) on each network.  Maybe at some point in the future I will need such a thing.

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Hi Richard,  generally distance and noise (Electrical) and control cables too close to the electrical cables all play a factor in needing terminators.

My network is a single, HOWEVER it is well over 1100 feet long !

This is from an older setup, but gives you an idea...

LOR-fencer_zps5bd6fe82.jpg

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Thanks, that makes sense.   Gee, that is a LONG network.  My total length (on each network) is not more than 200 feet, and high quality cables that I was careful to route in the attic to be away from any electrical lines. 

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there's even MORE TO IT NOW.. All underground, except about 25 feet in the house, and 5 at the base of the antenna tower on the hill behind the house.. TRUST ME, rock-solid when terminators are used.

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Just now, a31ford said:

there's even MORE TO IT NOW.. All underground, except about 25 feet in the house, and 5 at the base of the antenna tower on the hill behind the house.. TRUST ME, rock-solid when terminators are used.

I'm going to keep this in mind in my notes for future reference if I have trouble when adding to the display.  After seeing your post, I got curious and went out to put an O'scope on various positions of the network and ran the display.  A tiny bit jagged on the signals, but not a big deal.  Ok, now wondering if this is the OP's issue that will help.

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And gee, this reminds me of years past when I had to make "snubbers" to put on led lines with the older controllers.  Different issue of course, not noise related, yet does remind me of that.

Edited by Richard Hamilton

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Actually, the 2 issues are somewhat related from the standpoint of Hi-Z (impedence) on cables, studio microphones use the 600 ohm "XLR" type connector, where as the old crystal microphones used hi-Z phone jacks. Distance was the issue with them, more than 15 feet, and the capacitive effect of a hi impedence cable would start attenuating the hi frequencies so the person speaking would sound muffled....

Snubbers  stop the hi-z on LED strands from triggring the Triacs, terminators stop the capacitive effect (hi-Z) on fast network speeds causing a slur in the waveform.......

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49 minutes ago, Richard Hamilton said:

Bummer.  I am not at home so don't exactly have my checklist handy, yet a couple things that come to mind...

When you open the "NP" (network configuration utility), did you actually click on each line for the port that contains the 500K speed and red adapter and click on the checkbox "ENHANCED"?   Thus showing the word enhanced on the far right? As in my photo?  Yes, I see you did say "ELOR", but thought I would clarify you actually have the settings.   Nice explanation of what you have.

In the HU utility,  are you saying that you can't get the lights to work there either?  Or they just won't work when you run a sequence.

Side note, after you kill the husband, he will make a good prop if you just hang him from the gutters 😎

2018-12-07_133540.jpg

Hi Richard,

Yes, I've clicked and specified Enhanced on each Network. (side note: I've toggled the speed of the Regular network from 57 to 115 without any noticeable change).  

I can get each controller to respond through the HU, when connected independently.  Though when I connect all pieces back together, the HU doesn't recognize all controllers.  I know I've read on the forum that the HU is really only for testing each unit and giving unit #'s, so I'm not sure if I should give much weight to the HU not acknowledging all controllers or not.

We just installed new gutters in the spring, but I think the live oak tree could use some decoration. ;) 

1312863223_ScreenShot2018-12-07at3_29_35PM.png.77b7051aadfb4fb4f025a9bf522c90af.png

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Wait a second.  You set com3 to enhanced?  Why?  Did I understand correctly that com 3 has the older black (slower speed) USB connector?   Not that this will solve your problem, but curious.  It probably works setting that port to enhanced anyway.

Still thinking !   Somehow this all sounds very familiar.    Oh and yes, HU mainly for testing, however, if you are not seeing the controllers in HU, it makes me think the system might not see them in the control panel either.

Edited by Richard Hamilton

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Oh, another thought.   In the HU when you say you don't see the controllers when all connected again.....   I assume you have the "MAX UNIT ID" set high enough to be able to see all of the IDs on that particular comm port when you click REFRESH?   And of course all of your controller IDs are different?

Edited by Richard Hamilton

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Are your CCRs old?  The original firmware would not support Enhanced networking.  You may need to update firmware on the older CCRs (I did with my CCPs).

If you are running your entire show as an intensity file, ALL three networks must be Enhanced and your controllers must support it.  I have run multiple network for year and am more than happy to get you on the phone to help.  It's not that hard.  If you want me to call you, PM me a phone number and when would work for you.  I leave work at 5:00 PM Pacific time today and pretty open all weekend.  On the weekend I'm usually up till at least 11:00 and usually later than that.

 

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My brain looks a lot like oatmeal right now, but I think I set com3 to enhanced last year actually.  We added a single pixie16 along with our regular lor16 controllers in 2017 and that's when we swapped out the old adaptor (RJ45) for the faster black usb and I believe that's when the com3 setting was changed.  

Should I uncheck it on com3?

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7 minutes ago, Richard Hamilton said:

Wait a second.  You set com3 to enhanced?  Why?  Did I understand correctly that com 3 has the older black (slower speed) USB connector?   Not that this will solve your problem, but curious.  It probably works setting that port to enhanced anyway.

Still thinking !   Somehow this all sounds very familiar.    Oh and yes, HU mainly for testing, however, if you are not seeing the controllers in HU, it makes me think the system might not see them in the control panel either.

I have have 12 networks this year.

comm3 can be enhanced but all controllers need to be gen3. That’s pretty obvious.

I don’t know why so many people think that lights on in HU is an indicator of anything more than your physical lights work, nothing more. 

With that being said even though HU does not see a controller it may still be workable in a show. I had this while assisting someone last week or so. I told them “let’s not worry about HU right now and see if it works”.

Turned outto be anfaulty cable.

Also the pixcon is not a HU controller. 

The OP prob will be cables or Network config. Easy to make mistakes.

JR

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1 minute ago, codechick said:

My brain looks a lot like oatmeal right now, but I think I set com3 to enhanced last year actually.  We added a single pixie16 along with our regular lor16 controllers in 2017 and that's when we swapped out the old adaptor (RJ45) for the faster black usb and I believe that's when the com3 setting was changed.  

Should I uncheck it on com3?

No, I would leave it.  Focus on Jim's response.  He is really smart and mentioned the facts that are new to me about old CCRs and firmware.

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1 minute ago, k6ccc said:

Are your CCRs old?  The original firmware would not support Enhanced networking.  You may need to update firmware on the older CCRs (I did with my CCPs).

If you are running your entire show as an intensity file, ALL three networks must be Enhanced and your controllers must support it.  I have run multiple network for year and am more than happy to get you on the phone to help.  It's not that hard.  If you want me to call you, PM me a phone number and when would work for you.  I leave work at 5:00 PM Pacific time today and pretty open all weekend.  On the weekend I'm usually up till at least 11:00 and usually later than that.

 

I had a ticket open earlier just to get to this point and asked specifically about firmware updates.  I suspected updates would be necessary, but support said NO.  I have concerns that could be part of the problem but I certainly don't want to break anything.  But I may very well take you up on your offer, I generally return favors in food offerings, coffee or alcohol, but pacific time tells me that could be a problem.  haha

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15 minutes ago, Richard Hamilton said:

Wait a second.  You set com3 to enhanced?  Why?  Did I understand correctly that com 3 has the older black (slower speed) USB connector?   Not that this will solve your problem, but curious.  It probably works setting that port to enhanced anyway.

Still thinking !   Somehow this all sounds very familiar.    Oh and yes, HU mainly for testing, however, if you are not seeing the controllers in HU, it makes me think the system might not see them in the control panel either.

I have have 12 networks this year.

comm3 can be enhanced but all controllers need to be gen3. That’s pretty obvious.

I don’t know why so many people think that lights on in HU is an indicator of anything more than your physical lights work, nothing more. 

With that being said even though HU does not see a controller it may still be workable in a show. I had this while assisting someone last week or so. I told them “let’s not worry about HU right now and see if it works”.

Turned outto be anfaulty cable.

Also the pixcon is not a HU controller. 

The OP prob will be cables or Network config. Easy to make mistakes.

JR

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I believe in the higher versions of S4 and all S5 you have to update the firmware of the CCRs to have full control.

Note the Star next to the firmware and note at bottom. 

JR

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17 minutes ago, codechick said:

But I may very well take you up on your offer, I generally return favors in food offerings, coffee or alcohol, but pacific time tells me that could be a problem.  haha

Don't worry about that.  I have helped MANY people on the forum over the years.  I will settle for a thank you.  Every once in a while I get something back, but I don't ask or expect it...

 

 

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21 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

Note the Star next to the firmware and note at bottom. 

I'm unsure what you're asking/saying?   If it's to check the firmware version, yes I can confirm all are out of date, some more critically than others.  

I'll work through updates and see where we land.

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29 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

 

Also the pixcon is not a HU controller. 

 

For clarity, I don't have a PixCon, we have 2 "Pixie16 Smart Pixel Controllers".  

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2 minutes ago, codechick said:

For clarity, I don't have a PixCon, we have 2 "Pixie16 Smart Pixel Controllers".  

I was just using that as a reference to the other comment.

All I have are pixies for RGB stuff and a ton of them at that.

I type in my cell and my hands are not 100% functional so sometimes something doesn’t get entered or entered correctly.

I meant it’s not a controller that is recognized in the HU but is still controllable in shows and SE.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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7 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

I was just using that as a reference to the other comment.

All I have are pixies for RGB stuff and a ton of them at that.

I type in my cell and my hands are not 100% functional so sometimes something doesn’t get entered or entered correctly.

I meant it’s not a controller that is recognized in the HU but is still controllable in shows and SE.

JR

Oh that's good to know anyhow.  What about ribbons, do they behave differently in HU?  We have 2 different kinds; Cosmic Color Controller 2 and CCR Smart Strip.

Edited by codechick

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