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codechick

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

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On 12/7/2018 at 2:36 PM, a31ford said:

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.......

I haven't thought about it much, but I guess that's the case.  At any rate, as you already know, a simple incandescent bulb or small resistor load solves the problem.  I'm glad that was added to gen 3 as I was tried of putting snubbers everywhere.

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Early in this thread a31ford talked about termination on the RS-485 network.  Let me say this about that.  First of all, the RS-485 specification requires a120 ohm terminator at each end of the network.

However the vast majority of lighting people get away without termination just fine.  Particularly for someone running only a few controllers on a relatively short network, you will get away without termination just fine.  Bear in mind that the spec allows 32 devices on the network with up to 4,000 feet of network cable, so most of us are running a relatively short network with few devices.  The other major factor is network speed.  As we get faster, proper termination does become more of an issue.  In other words, a network that worked fine at 56k speed and three controllers on 200 feet of cable, may not work as well without termination when you up the speed to 500k, added 14 new controllers, and 2,000 feet of additional cable.

With all that said, all three of my networks are terminated (including my Regular network that is about 120 feet long with one InputPup that is running at 56k).

 

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2 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Early in this thread a31ford talked about termination on the RS-485 network.  Let me say this about that.  First of all, the RS-485 specification requires a120 ohm terminator at each end of the network.

However the vast majority of lighting people get away without termination just fine.  Particularly for someone running only a few controllers on a relatively short network, you will get away without termination just fine.  Bear in mind that the spec allows 32 devices on the network with up to 4,000 feet of network cable, so most of us are running a relatively short network with few devices.  The other major factor is network speed.  As we get faster, proper termination does become more of an issue.  In other words, a network that worked fine at 56k speed and three controllers on 200 feet of cable, may not work as well without termination when you up the speed to 500k, added 14 new controllers, and 2,000 feet of additional cable.

With all that said, all three of my networks are terminated (including my Regular network that is about 120 feet long with one InputPup that is running at 56k).

 

YA ! what he said ! 🎄

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Jim and Greg, thanks for re-enforcing this in my brain.  As I mentioned, I never had trouble in the 15+ years of doing this stuff, YET next year, I'll be running lines to the house next door that we got for Wife's mom.  It's going to be an added 500 feet run and a 3 more controllers.  As Murphy's Law will have it, I anticipate this problem, so I'm making notes for a termination to add. I presume these might be readily available to buy somewhere.  I hated making snubbers and this is just one more thing. 😣

Edited by Richard Hamilton

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If you go back to the original post I had where I showed those two little female and male CAT5 jacks you will see that in the very very last pair of pins which of course or four and five there is a 120 Ohm resistor and each one what I did after all of that was I actually put hot glue from hot glue gun over top of that to waterproof it they work great you just plug him into whatever unit it doesn't matter and of course if you were to make it into a cable or then you can never remember which cable has the resistor and which doesn't this way it's just a little adapter you plug the cable into the female and you plug the male into the board that's the end of the line done deal

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So what happened to code lady and hubby.   Problem fixed ?   or electrocuted ?  🙂

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Does anyone know if LOR included the Feed end 120ohm in their dongles.  (I made some RJ45 plugs with 1/4W 120ohm resistors. 1/4W leads will fit the contact crimp direct

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2 hours ago, TheDucks said:

Does anyone know if LOR included the Feed end 120ohm in their dongles.  (I made some RJ45 plugs with 1/4W 120ohm resistors. 1/4W leads will fit the contact crimp direct

Not to my knowledge.

 

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47 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Not to my knowledge.

 

That is just wrong for all the single port dongles. I do security systems, they have a Terminator jumper that you remove if you drive a Y (2  lines, both terminated).

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I stand corrected.  I just measured my spare Red USB to RS-485 adapter, and sure enough, there is a 120 ohm termination across pins 4 & 5.

 

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:04 PM, Richard Hamilton said:

So what happened to code lady and hubby.   Problem fixed ?   or electrocuted ?  🙂

I'm still here & I haven't hung husband by his beard yet.  I had to take an unexpected quick trip out of town, and can you believe he didn't even have all the lights fixed when I got back.

I'm heading out to start firmware updates now which I hope goes smoothly, but also nothing does around here so I'll leave my rose colored glasses for the next time I ask if these pants make me look fat.

As far as I can tell it's pretty straight forward.

  • Download the latest version for each piece of hardware/controller.
  • Terminate a single controller (connect 1 controller to the computer)
  • Follow the dialog in the firmware tab of the HU to upload new firware. Careful not to interrupt the update/connection 
  • Tada

Am I oversimplifying this? 

Edit:  Are incremental updates required?  If existing version is 4.01 and current is 4.35 can I jump straight to 4.35 or do I have to run through all versioning?

Edited by codechick

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The firmware updates went well, everything is now running the latest version except...  on the lor16 "CTB16D" blue.  It's noted that if you're on version 4.40 or higher you cannot go back, so I opted to first upgrade from 4.01 to 4.30 to be safe, if something went bad, I could at least go back to one of many different versions between 4.01 & 4.30. Once the 4.30 upgrade completed, I did a refresh and then tried to upgrade to 4.40 and it was not happening so I left it at 4.30. 

Of course that's the only box that won't play during a sequence now, glorious! It's the com3 regular network, so I suppose it could still be a network issue.  This box runs half our regular led lights. It's showing fine in HU.

I finally got the two songs I had already sequenced to play, all.. wait no.... most of the pixels played (a ribbon controller that's refusing to power up now so I've just rerouted) the regular led tree and house trim on the other lor16 played.  They played fine multiple times, except the lor16 blue box I mentioned first, I could not get it to fire at all in a sequence.    Eventually when playing either song, the rest of the lights stop responding, with the exception of one Pixie16 tree, nothing has changed in HU or NP or in the sequence. 

Does that sound like a cabling issue? I do think it sound like a network issue, information isn't getting where it needs to go.  I'm not running my setup very far at all to think I need special terminators, the longest single run of cable is about 25' I'd say. Our son (IT kid) made all of our cables, and tested all the connections, but I did just find out that it's cat-6 rather than cat-5 but 6 is backwards compatible so it shouldn't be an issue.  However with the way things always work over here, we probably need a dog-9 cable instead. XD

Edited by codechick

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9 minutes ago, codechick said:

Our son (IT kid) made all of our cables, and tested all the connections, but I did just find out that it's cat-6 rather than cat-5 but 6 is backwards compatible so it shouldn't be an issue.

Cat-6 is fine, but one word of warning.  Cat-6 is much stiffer than Cat-5.  On some controllers, when the controller door is closed, the cable can't bend enough and will put a lot of stress on the RJ-45 connectors on the controller PC board.  This CAN result in the connector breaking loose from the PC board.  It depends on which controllers you have.

A common work-around to that is to put a short jumper of Cat-5 into the controller connector and connect the Cat-6 to that.  This product was made specifically for the purpose:

http://store.lightorama.com/rjwada.html

 

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I’m having similar issues and I want to make sure I understand the guidance correctly:

According to my HU, I have

1) 1xCTB16D (ver 4.40)

2) 3x16PC-G3

3) 2xCR150D

4) 2x CMB24D

5) 1xPixie8

I upgraded to S5 this year and am trying to get the enhanced network thing to work for my pixel tree as well. The question i want to clarify is:

Can I update my CTB16D’s firmware to make it work, or is the Gen 3 thing a hard wired aspect of it? 

If it’s not something I can fix, it sounds like I have to run 2 networks, but how do I do that? Do I plug in two separate USB cables using the dongle? I’m not completely clear on the physical nature of the wiring. 

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2 hours ago, Army Lights said:

I’m having similar issues and I want to make sure I understand the guidance correctly:

According to my HU, I have

1) 1xCTB16D (ver 4.40)

2) 3x16PC-G3

3) 2xCR150D

4) 2x CMB24D

5) 1xPixie8

I upgraded to S5 this year and am trying to get the enhanced network thing to work for my pixel tree as well. The question i want to clarify is:

Can I update my CTB16D’s firmware to make it work, or is the Gen 3 thing a hard wired aspect of it? 

If it’s not something I can fix, it sounds like I have to run 2 networks, but how do I do that? Do I plug in two separate USB cables using the dongle? I’m not completely clear on the physical nature of the wiring. 

Your license level is to low. You need at least advanced for pixels and Pro for enhanced. 

Start with that and then follow my guide.

Read and follow the steps in my pixie configuration step by step in the General Hardware section of the forums. It’s stickied at the top .

It is a huge learning curve from S4 to S5 can’t for the life of me figure out why some folks want to try to change mid Show season.

you will need two networks for the mere reason you have the one non gen3 CTB16. But until you upgrade that license the only thing you will get to work is 2 ctb16s

Pro is the way to go and then you never look back and S4 would be the best software version at this point in time. 

Once you have the license then I think that ctb16 May com well but if still just run 2 networks or at least be prepared to.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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My license level is already pro. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but I changed because I was told by someone I needed to in order to use this tree. I think I’m picking up steam on the software, but I still haven’t figured this issue out. 

What’s confusing to me is that it specifically says in the setup instructions that this thing can be used in Regular or Enhanced networks. It appears that’s technically true, but if you want to add Motion Effects, you must use Enhanced. What’s the point of having the tree without motion effects?!

I’ll take a look at the guide now and hopefully that will solve my problems. Please let me know if I’m incorrect in anything I said about. 

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, dibblejr said:

Your license level is to low. You need at least advanced for pixels and Pro for enhanced. 

Start with that and then follow my guide.

Read and follow the steps in my pixie configuration step by step in the General Hardware section of the forums. It’s stickied at the top .

It is a huge learning curve from S4 to S5 can’t for the life of me figure out why some folks want to try to change mid Show season.

you will need two networks for the mere reason you have the one non gen3 CTB16. But until you upgrade that license the only thing you will get to work is 2 ctb16s

Pro is the way to go and then you never look back and S4 would be the best software version at this point in time. 

Once you have the license then I think that ctb16 May com well but if still just run 2 networks or at least be prepared to.

JR

Sorry, I meant to nest my response under yours. Please see above. 

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6 hours ago, Army Lights said:

I’m having similar issues and I want to make sure I understand the guidance correctly:

According to my HU, I have

1) 1xCTB16D (ver 4.40)

2) 3x16PC-G3

3) 2xCR150D

4) 2x CMB24D

5) 1xPixie8

I upgraded to S5 this year and am trying to get the enhanced network thing to work for my pixel tree as well. The question i want to clarify is:

Can I update my CTB16D’s firmware to make it work, or is the Gen 3 thing a hard wired aspect of it? 

If it’s not something I can fix, it sounds like I have to run 2 networks, but how do I do that? Do I plug in two separate USB cables using the dongle? I’m not completely clear on the physical nature of the wiring. 

That Gen 2 CTB16 is the choke point. It is hardware limited. But that is only a small bump. You really need 2 networks. Pixels need bucket loads of data. At least put those (items 3, 5) on their own HS NETWORK.

All that other Dumb stuff will work at 115K on the older Black dongle

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37 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

That Gen 2 CTB16 is the choke point. It is hardware limited. But that is only a small bump. You really need 2 networks. Pixels need bucket loads of data. At least put those (items 3, 5) on their own HS NETWORK.

All that other Dumb stuff will work at 115K on the older Black dongle

Yup, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve already ordered the red dongle so it should be here in less than a week. 

So, just to be clear: there is no way to make the Gen 2 compatible with the Enhanced network via firmware update, correct? As you said, this is hardware related, not software. 

I just want to reiterate one of the issues I see here: The Pixie8 trees are specifically listed as NOT needing to be on an Enhanced Network. It also explicitly discusses it on the last page of the instruction manual that comes with it. 

“The Pixie8 controller is Designed to be part of the Light-O-Rama network. It will run in a standard network or an enhanced network. The Pixie8 controller is daisy chained into the network like any other Light-O-Rama controller.”

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3 minutes ago, Army Lights said:

o, just to be clear: there is no way to make the Gen 2 compatible with the Enhanced network via firmware update, correct? As you said, this is hardware related, not software

Correct.  Gen 2 controllers can not in any way, shape or form, operate on either an Enhanced network nor a network operating faster than 115K speed.

5 minutes ago, Army Lights said:

I just want to reiterate one of the issues I see here: The Pixie8 trees are specifically listed as NOT needing to be on an Enhanced Network. It also explicitly discusses it on the last page of the instruction manual that comes with it. 

“The Pixie8 controller is Designed to be part of the Light-O-Rama network. It will run in a standard network or an enhanced network. The Pixie8 controller is daisy chained into the network like any other Light-O-Rama controller.”

True - but...  I don't have any Pixie controllers so only going by what I have read.  I know LOR states that the Pixel controllers do not require an enhanced network, but some people here are disputing that statement.  In any case, unless it's a very lightly loaded Pixie, it's too many channels for a 115K network (regardless of Enhanced vs non-Enhanced).

 

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Advertising Spin. Yes it works. Fairly slow changes can exist on a slow network. Synchonized stuff needs speed to happen in time

The folk who are saying Enhanced mode required are pushin Pixels hard. 

 

Edited by TheDucks
re worded

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17 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

Advertising Spin. Yes it works. Fairly slow changes can exist on a slow network. Synchonized stuff needs speed to happen in time

The folk who are saying Enhanced mode required are pushin Pixels hard. 

 

No, here’s the thing (and please let me know if I’m doing something wrong): The LOR S5 Sequencer will not allow me to export the sequence if I have Motion Effects on a non-Enhanced network. 

By the way, props and gratitude to LOR. I just saw they upgraded me to overnight shipping for the dongle for free. 

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13 minutes ago, Army Lights said:

No, here’s the thing (and please let me know if I’m doing something wrong): The LOR S5 Sequencer will not allow me to export the sequence if I have Motion Effects on a non-Enhanced network. 

I don't think that is a correct answer (sort of).  Motion Effects can only be contained within Intensity files.  Intensity files require an Enhanced network in order to control the lights.  However, it will create the intensity files regardless of your network settings, but they won't work unless you have an Enhanced network.  For example, this computer has never driven lights and likely never will.  I do have S5.2.2 Pro loaded and I occasionally do some sequencing on it.  I just verified that my Network Preferences is set to Com1 for Regular network at 56K non-enhanced, and no other networks defined (LOR or DMX).  I just opened a sequence that has over 55,000 channels of E1.31 that were created as Motion Effects and 10,000 channels of SuperStar Effects, and then created playback files.  It gave me a warning message that none of my networks are enhanced, but after clicking OK, it created the play.lms and play.lms.pe.lid files.

 

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1 hour ago, TheDucks said:

Advertising Spin. Yes it works. Fairly slow changes can exist on a slow network. Synchonized stuff needs speed to happen in time

The folk who are saying Enhanced mode required are pushin Pixels hard. 

 

Advertising has nothing to do with it. It’s down to earth trial and error that counts.

Even some of the guys just starting out have to have enhanced! Beit 100 pixels or 10,000 pixels.

I have probably helped well over 200 people closer to 500 with pixies in one way shape or form. 

Both new users as well as seasoned LOR veterans and 90% have had to have enhanced to work.

There have been exceptions just the other day I helped a guy connect and run his pixie at 115 non enhanced with his Gen2 Director.

I do not know what the uncommon denominator is, but the majority do have to have the ELOR to run.

JR

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