Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums
B_Mills

LOR Network Using a Switch

Recommended Posts

Sorry if this has already been answered because it seems like a simple question, but I can't find an answer anywhere.

I recently purchased 8 LOR controllers (CTB16PCG3) and a usb485 adapter. I would like to set up the boxes so I connect them all to a network switch instead of running them all in series because of where I'll be placing them throughout the yard. For simplicity I'd like to still run a LOR network instead of trying to setup and maintain an E1.31 netrok since I only have LOR devices.

I can't find any documentation anywhere for this type of setup, and I'm getting nowhere just playing around. Anyone able to help???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The LOR Network runs on RS485 protocol. Network switches, etc., do not speak that language, and thus are not compatible.

If you want to use a 'regular' network switch, you would have to use E1.31.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three choices including Dons above.

8 controllers will not max out a network.

The other two

1. Daisy chain, the cable length will not be a problem

2- USB network adapter and run 1 on Reg LOR network and the others on aux networks

I had 14 Networks last year using 2 Black web 7 port hubs about $20 each at Walmart.com

The Ducks just reminded me - ea h network will require an adapter

JR

Edited by dibblejr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are RS485 splitters (used for industrial/security).  They ain't cheap. 

I don't know if anyone has tested them on a LOR network.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any major downside or loss of functionality using a E1.31 network? All the LOR documentation seems to push you to a LOR network.

 

I was really hoping it would be easier because the network port on the computer I'm using isn't working, so I was relying on the usb rs485 adapter. Guess I should have done more research up front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some very large shows that run in the RS485 adapter.

4 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

because the network port on the computer I'm using isn't working, so I was relying on the usb rs485 adapter.

This gives me a bit of a concern. You don't use the RS485 adapter to go into E1.31 mode. Not sure if that's what you are trying to do, but it's the way I read the message. If you use the RS485, you are using the LOR based network.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't use E 1.31 with LOR AC controllers, at least not easily. RS 485 is the best option. There is a USB 485 B adaptor which will split one into two outputs which can be used as a splitter. It's not a high speed adaptor though, but you should be fine with just AC controllers.

Look on the LOR website.

Seems to me that daisy chaining would not be a problem though, probably shorter distances than splitting.

Remember, controllers, can be connected in ANY order. 

Edited by PhilMassey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

Is there any major downside or loss of functionality using a E1.31 network?

There is a really huge one in your case.  The LOR CTB16 controllers that you bought CAN NOT be driven by anything except a RS-485 serial interface.  That RS-485 interface can be carrying either LOR protocol or DMX protocol data.

With that said, if you really needed to use E1.31 to drive your CTB16 controllers, you can do so with one or more E1.31 to DMX over RS-485 adapters.  Most pixel controllers have that capability to one degree or another, but it would mean spending potentially hundreds of dollars to avoid some cable (and you'll still need the cable to each controller).  If you really want to use E1.31, many of us here can explain it.  BTW, for 2018, I ran about 65,000 channels of E1.31 along with abouyt 1,000 on LOR networks.

36 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

I was really hoping it would be easier because the network port on the computer I'm using isn't working, so I was relying on the usb rs485 adapter.

Like Don said, that statement has possible concern written all over it.  Ethernet and RS-485 should NEVER touch each other.  Doing so CAN leak the magic smoke out of one device or another. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, B_Mills said:

Is there any major downside or loss of functionality using a E1.31 network? All the LOR documentation seems to push you to a LOR network.

 

I was really hoping it would be easier because the network port on the computer I'm using isn't working, so I was relying on the usb rs485 adapter. Guess I should have done more research up front.

OT (LOR AC and Pixies can only use RS485)

Do you know WHY the port is not working? Turned off in BIOS, bad driver, damaged connector?

Solutions in order of desirability:

Get a PC card (PCI or PCIe, depending on open slots)  << this also can be used to upgrade an older 10/100 PC to 10/100/1000

Get a USB network dongle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify, I wasn't trying to do a E1.31 network through the RS485 adapter,  I was just hoping that I could easily use the RS485 through a switch (obviously why I'm posting in the noob section).

Haven't figured out yet why the network port on the motherboard is bad. It's enabled in bios, has the newest driver, and the connector looks fine.  I'll get a  cheap card off of amazon.  

The reason daisy-chaining boxes is such a pain is that I have to bury all the cable since I live in south Florida. Even in January the lawn guys come every week, so I was putting an outlet and single cat 5e cable out to all the places I was putting a box.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose the other option is to buy the wireless adapters.  A little pricey,  but may save a TON of headache in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

I suppose the other option is to buy the wireless adapters.  A little pricey,  but may save a TON of headache in the end.

Still require cat5 cables. Do you have various power sources to power the controllers?

You could always do like I do for some of my cables. Run them through pvc conduit laid above ground. If you need extension cords you can ziptie to the pvc or run separate pvc for that. We have grass cutting year round as well. Unless it snows or all the rain we had last season.

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

The reason daisy-chaining boxes is such a pain is that I have to bury all the cable since I live in south Florida. Even in January the lawn guys come every week, so I was putting an outlet and single cat 5e cable out to all the places I was putting a box.  

Unless you go wireless, you still have to run a cable.  I assume you are planning on conduit for both the outlet and the network - remember that means two conduits because you can't legally put the AC power and network in the same conduit.  Presumably your AC will not all be home runs to a common location.  Install the second conduit for the network running parallel to your AC conduits.  Carefully plan your layout and where you need power and data.  Some locations will be a home run to a common location and some will be daisy chained.  When you pull cable into the conduit, you may well have two cables - one out and one back.  Remember that the RS-485 standard allows 4,000 feet of cable, so unless you have a HUGE yard, you will be no where near that!  Yes, you may need more cable, but Cat-5 in bulk is fairly cheap.  Also, although you CAN put two pieces of Cat-5 into a 1/2 inch conduit, install AT LEAST 3/4 inch.  Once you have conduit under the yard, you will be amazed at how much stuff you may find to put into it.  Trust me, I know.  I have almost a quarter mile of conduit under my front lawn (and it's not all that large).  I also have an AutoCAD drawing of all the conduit in the house and yard so when I need to get from point X to point Y, I just look at the drawing and can find a path.  My biggest regret is that the early runs are smaller than I wish.  If I had to do it over, there would be essentially nothing smaller than 1 inch, and the major runs would likely be 2 inch.  As I said, you will be amazed at how quickly conduit can fill up.

Note BTW.  Use different color cables for different types of data.  For example, my "normal" home LAN is blue, E1.31 LAN is green, LOR networking is purple, etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Unless you go wireless, you still have to run a cable.  I assume you are planning on conduit for both the outlet and the network - remember that means two conduits because you can't legally put the AC power and network in the same conduit.  Presumably your AC will not all be home runs to a common location.  Install the second conduit for the network running parallel to your AC conduits.  Carefully plan your layout and where you need power and data.  Some locations will be a home run to a common location and some will be daisy chained.  When you pull cable into the conduit, you may well have two cables - one out and one back.  Remember that the RS-485 standard allows 4,000 feet of cable, so unless you have a HUGE yard, you will be no where near that!  Yes, you may need more cable, but Cat-5 in bulk is fairly cheap.  Also, although you CAN put two pieces of Cat-5 into a 1/2 inch conduit, install AT LEAST 3/4 inch.  Once you have conduit under the yard, you will be amazed at how much stuff you may find to put into it.  Trust me, I know.  I have almost a quarter mile of conduit under my front lawn (and it's not all that large).  I also have an AutoCAD drawing of all the conduit in the house and yard so when I need to get from point X to point Y, I just look at the drawing and can find a path.  My biggest regret is that the early runs are smaller than I wish.  If I had to do it over, there would be essentially nothing smaller than 1 inch, and the major runs would likely be 2 inch.  As I said, you will be amazed at how quickly conduit can fill up.

Note BTW.  Use different color cables for different types of data.  For example, my "normal" home LAN is blue, E1.31 LAN is green, LOR networking is purple, etc.

 

Yup, My underground conduit is either 2' or 3". I learned while installing irrigation about pulling cable through conduit and cementing the conduit together. Unless using a mouse to pull a string through its a pain to run a metal snake through the slightest turn esp if you hit the edge of a connection. For long runs I use a junction box or LB depending on # of cables.

On my farm my longest run was 1700' but had miles of cables for power and video. (pre POE equipment). Had to use video balons every 700'. Painstaking. All 3' conduit and 2 trenches.

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a few of the Easy Light Linkers will save me a lot of hassle. I am having electrical runs installed to a few of the locations where boxes are being put, but having to run extra for all the network cables might not be worth it. There are a lot of obstructions to deal with (irrigation lines, roots, septic drain field, etc.) that make it a lot more of a hassle than just spending the money on the wireless modules. 

The next question is what am I doing wrong when daisy-chaining the boxes??? Individually connected each box shows up in the Hardware application, and I'm able to assign unique unit ID's. When I try connecting more than one box and hit refresh it says "found 0 units".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, B_Mills said:

I think a few of the Easy Light Linkers will save me a lot of hassle. I am having electrical runs installed to a few of the locations where boxes are being put, but having to run extra for all the network cables might not be worth it. There are a lot of obstructions to deal with (irrigation lines, roots, septic drain field, etc.) that make it a lot more of a hassle than just spending the money on the wireless modules. 

The next question is what am I doing wrong when daisy-chaining the boxes??? Individually connected each box shows up in the Hardware application, and I'm able to assign unique unit ID's. When I try connecting more than one box and hit refresh it says "found 0 units".

Try shutting HU down and try again. 

JR

Edited by dibblejr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

Yup, My underground conduit is either 2' or 3". I learned while installing irrigation about pulling cable through conduit and cementing the conduit together. Unless using a mouse to pull a string through its a pain to run a metal snake through the slightest turn esp if you hit the edge of a connection. For long runs I use a junction box or LB depending on # of cables.

On my farm my longest run was 1700' but had miles of cables for power and video. (pre POE equipment). Had to use video balons every 700'. Painstaking. All 3' conduit and 2 trenches.

JR

JR A wadded plastic bag on the string and a ShopVac on the other end works wonders. Do have the pull string so it can move FAST. It will (keep your bare hands away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, TheDucks said:

JR A wadded plastic bag on the string and a ShopVac on the other end works wonders. Do have the pull string so it can move FAST. It will (keep your bare hands away.

Yes, I have used bags before but I still have my greenlee mouse

Needed that in 1994 when I helped building a new prison in NC. Lots of conduit for everything. 

JR

Edited by dibblejr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

JR A wadded plastic bag on the string and a ShopVac on the other end works wonders. Do have the pull string so it can move FAST. It will (keep your bare hands away.

I was actually waiting for someone to ask how to get a mouse to cooperate and pull a string through pipe - cheese at the other end might work. Or drop a snake behind him.

JR

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, B_Mills said:

The next question is what am I doing wrong when daisy-chaining the boxes??? Individually connected each box shows up in the Hardware application, and I'm able to assign unique unit ID's. When I try connecting more than one box and hit refresh it says "found 0 units".

First guess is a shorted cable somewhere along the line.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

First guess is a shorted cable somewhere along the line.

 

Look at all your CAT5 cables (plugs). I grabbed a yellow one for a bench test. It only had the 4 wires needed for 10/100 Ethernet. No blue or brown pairs. LOR uses the Blu pair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, turns out it was the cables (what are the odds of 2?). Tried a third between the two and it works perfectly fine. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A cable tester is your friend.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the Cat-5 cable tester I bought one of these a couple years ago - based on a recommendation of someone else here on the LOR forum.  Works well and cost all of $7.99

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OUFX38W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1

I will be the first to admit that there are better ones out there, but for our purposes, this is just fine.  We have one at work that is really fancy, but also costs hundreds.  Not needed for our purposes!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

This is the Cat-5 cable tester I bought one of these a couple years ago

I've got one similar to that. For what we do, it works just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...