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Want to convert from 48 CCR's to Pixie16 Need Advice

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Looking at budgeting for this year and saw the original CCR's look to be obsolete. We have a  very large megatree that has 24 columns (360 degree tree) with 48 CCR's. There also is a ball on top using 2 strands of bullet pixels at 50 lights per strand on the top of the tree. Each column is Approximately 40' tall with two CCR's  that start in the middle of the column and extend to the top and bottom of the tree.  The columns are numbered 1 through 24 top and 1-24 bot. I have an original CCR controller for each tree segment and have 12 CCR's on one Aux network. because we were told that was the maximum we could have on one network. We are using the high speed networks for this tree. The current configuration follows:

Pixel  Network    Base ID    Resolution     Unit ID Mode     Channel Mode | Name

1     |     Aux A     |     01     |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | 01 Top CCP (Globe)

1     |     Aux A     |     02     |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | 02 TopMid CCP (Globe)

1     |     Aux A     |     03     |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | 03 BotMid CCP (Globe)

1     |     Aux A     |     04     |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | 03 Bot CCP (Globe)

1     |     Aux B     |     05-10     |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | MT1 Top #01-12 (Tree)

1     |     Aux C     |     11 -1C    |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | MT1 Top #13-24 (Tree)

1     |     Aux D     |     1D -28    |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | MT1 Bot #01-12 (Tree)

1     |     Aux E     |     29 -34    |     50 Pixels     | Normal Mode | Triples             | MT1 Bot #13-24 (Tree)

Without having a pixie controller available to me, I'm wondering if it's possible to duplicate the networks and ID's that currently exist. We have over 20 songs in our system and not looking forward to having to resequence the songs which would be miserable. Most are done in Superstar, but there are some that are a combination of Superstar and manual edits in version 4 of the sequence editor.

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I don't know about Superstar, but here is what I know about Pixie4 USING THE sequence editor.

Ports start at the base ID and ports inherit from that. That is locked in hardware. 💡 set Pixie base numbers at HEX digit break points.  20,30,40.  Gaps are OK as long as your license would run them if used.. The actual ID maps to the port and it is a lot easier to NOT have to remember to shift a Digit  1D, 1E, 1F, 20,. 10-1F for a Pixie16 is easy-peasy

In the sequence editor, it is easy to shift ID's and networks. Tools: Channel configuration: change controller (button at bottom) : choose controller UNIT ID (each port on a Pixie has an ID derived from the base ID ).

You can change the Network,  and Unit assignment. You can NOT change the channel number. The sequence is adjusted

That fixes that sequence, repeat for the others  Remember to save.

?? you said 48 CCR IIRC the old CCR's are 5V and can't be daisy chained (100 nodes). You also indicate center fed (50 up, 50 down)

I think you have big problems changing the geometry (up, down) of your sequence and using a single controller. You might consider 2 Pixie16 (1 For the UP ports, 1 for the down ports) and remap the IDs

I will let the experts step up on this

 

 

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On the semi-quick read (on my phone), it should be very easy if you are intended in replacing the CCRs with Pixie controllers mounted in the middle - like your CCR controllers are).  If you want to change the configuration so that the controllers are at the top or bottom with 100 pixel strings, it will take a little more effort, but I don’t think it will be that hard.  I assume that you are using Visualization mode in SuperStar. It’s been a couple years since I used Visualizer since moving to S5, but I don’t think it will be that hard to make that change in Visualizer.  I can give a longer answer when I’m on a computer.

 

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I've looked at the 12 mega tree bundles. I would need 4 of them if I'm reading things correctly to get my 48 ribbons. But with our current visualization, there are only 12 ribbons on an Aux network. That isn't that big of a concern with the old CCR's as I have 6 CCR controllers in a separate enclosure with one power supply and I daisy chain two enclosures together for the 12 ribbons per network. I have 8 enclosures fixed to the middle of the tree for the 48 ribbons.  If I'm able to assign the unit ID to match the old CCR ID in the pixie controller that would help and then I would assign the 4 Aux networks we currently use to the 4 new pixie controllers and everything else should be transparent to the software. We haven't taken the plunge to version 5 yet but we are considering it. Our channel config is HUGE! with 50- 16 channel controllers, 11-4 channel controllers, 2 pixel controllers, 50-CCR Controllers, 91 LED Floods, and 2 servo Dogs.

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2 hours ago, MSB said:

I've looked at the 12 mega tree bundles. I would need 4 of them if I'm reading things correctly to get my 48 ribbons. But with our current visualization, there are only 12 ribbons on an Aux network. That isn't that big of a concern with the old CCR's as I have 6 CCR controllers in a separate enclosure with one power supply and I daisy chain two enclosures together for the 12 ribbons per network. I have 8 enclosures fixed to the middle of the tree for the 48 ribbons.  If I'm able to assign the unit ID to match the old CCR ID in the pixie controller that would help and then I would assign the 4 Aux networks we currently use to the 4 new pixie controllers and everything else should be transparent to the software. We haven't taken the plunge to version 5 yet but we are considering it. Our channel config is HUGE! with 50- 16 channel controllers, 11-4 channel controllers, 2 pixel controllers, 50-CCR Controllers, 91 LED Floods, and 2 servo Dogs.

IMO youd be better off starting from fresh and copy paste from old to new. 4 Pixie16's will net you the 48 strands and a pixie4 for the globe if Im reading it correctly. I had 12 networks last year and as I move more to pixels less and less ac controllers but I will always have some.

When you get the pixies if you have problems configuring see my sticky post in the general hardware section. I added a video to enable most users to bypass the step by step.

JR

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3 hours ago, MSB said:

I've looked at the 12 mega tree bundles. I would need 4 of them if I'm reading things correctly to get my 48 ribbons. But with our current visualization, there are only 12 ribbons on an Aux network. That isn't that big of a concern with the old CCR's as I have 6 CCR controllers in a separate enclosure with one power supply and I daisy chain two enclosures together for the 12 ribbons per network. I have 8 enclosures fixed to the middle of the tree for the 48 ribbons.  If I'm able to assign the unit ID to match the old CCR ID in the pixie controller that would help and then I would assign the 4 Aux networks we currently use to the 4 new pixie controllers and everything else should be transparent to the software.

I don't see any real problems with that.  You could theoretically get by with only three Pixie16s for the 48 strings plus a Pixie4 for the ball on top.  That would end up with 2400 channels which is doable with a 1,000 K speed network.  As you are running with an Advanced license,  you can't run in Enhanced mode (unless you upgrade to Pro).  However if you go with 12 strings on each Pixie16 with each Pixie on it's own network, your channel loading is exactly the same as it is now (1800 channels per network), so obviously, it will work.

Since you plan to continue to feed the strings from the middle (as you do now), you should not need to make any channel changes.  If you decide to change things (see next paragraph), you should be able to make the channel changes in Visualizer and import that into SuperStar, and by magic the changes will appear.  You would need to load the new Visualization file for each existing sequence and then save the file - WITH A NEW FILENAME.

As the Ducks said a few hours ago, I would take the opportunity to clean up the Unit ID numbers.  Make each Pixie start with a new first digit - For example Use Unit IDs 11, 21, 31, & 41 (or if you want to count starting at zero, use 10, 20, 30, & 40).  The software does not care, but it's generally easier for use for us human beings.  Note that because each Pixie is on a separate network, you COULD use the same Unit IDs - i.e. Aux A Unit ID 11 and then Aux B Unit ID 11 etc.  I DO NOT recommend this and it could make it far more confusing for us human beings.  Personally my regular network is allocated Unit IDs 01 - 1F (only one ID is use), my Aux A network is allocated Unit IDs 11 - 1F, and my Aux B network is allocated Unit IDs 21 - 2F.  None of those networks are full - although Aux A is close with 14 controllers.

3 hours ago, MSB said:

We haven't taken the plunge to version 5 yet but we are considering it.

If you do move to S5, NOW is the time to start.  There is a learning curve.  Don't wait until September to start!  I started with S5 on the first day of the beta in the middle of 2017.  Although my 2017 show was sequenced and ran entirely under S4.  I committed to S5 as soon as my 2017 show was completed.  My year round landscape lighting moved to S5 in January of 2018 and my 2018 show was a strange hybrid of S4 and S5, but ran entirely under S5.  2019 will be 100% S5 (landscape, minor holidays, Halloween, and Christmas).

3 hours ago, MSB said:

Our channel config is HUGE! with 50- 16 channel controllers, 11-4 channel controllers, 2 pixel controllers, 50-CCR Controllers, 91 LED Floods, and 2 servo Dogs.

Well, I could make a jab about "You call that HUGE"?  But I won't...

 

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Thanks for being nice!  I have to do some measuring to pin down the distance from the center of the tree to the center ring.  It just fits with a set of controllers 90 Degrees apart. I have a picture  from the start of setup I'm trying to attach from drop box but it's not working as an attachment.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ceqpc326c8eycad/2018-10-22 17.51.19.jpg?dl=0

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The reason for starting at 0 is 16 ports uses 0-F. if you start at 1, then it is 1-x0

I also considered the LOR sequence ID assignment, just in case I wanted to buy a 'canned" sequence in the future

My plan works. I am planning on upgrading a Pixie4 Location to a Pixie8. I will just give it the old ID base (20) and sequence 4 more ID's (24-28) and assign a new ID to the old Pixie (or keep it as a spare)

 

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1 hour ago, TheDucks said:

The reason for starting at 0 is 16 ports uses 0-F. if you start at 1, then it is 1-x0 

But he would be only using 12 outputs, so it just does not matter...  Most humans tend to count better starting at 1 rather than 0.

 

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

But he would be only using 12 outputs, so it just does not matter...  Most humans tend to count better starting at 1 rather than 0.

 

Been pushing bytes too many years 😕

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The RGB IC in a CCR ribbon is a very old device that only supports 32 intensities. The CCR controller creates 128 intensities by rapidly updating the pixels and mixing an intensity with some off time. During every four ribbon updates, the controller will use the lower of two adjacent hardware supported intensities once, twice, or three times before switching to the next higher hardware intensity. This happens rapidly enough that your eye integrates it. So, if the CCR turns the pixel on for 3 of the 4 updates, you get an intensity that is 75% of the way to the next intensity supported by the RGB IC.

The Pixie does not do this.  If your fades are slow enough, your effects will appear choppy.

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Thank you LOR John for posting this.    Trying to clarify.   The CCR II ribbon also has the slow component?   And the pixie (all port count) does not do the intensity mixing to support smoother fades. 

Last year I purchased a CCR II (two ribbons)  for testing.   I used it in my office display,  not my main show.    When attempting slow smooth color transitions it did seem like the colors did not rotate as smoothly as my memory of the old CCR,  but I didnt have them side by side.   

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No, only the original CCR is based on the primitive RGB IC. The CCR II has current generation 256 intensity RGB ICs, so it has twice the number of intensities that the original CCR controller simulated. The CCR II ribbon (or pixels) will be smoother than the older controller because if this.

The CCR II controller is a Pixie and can control the old CCR ribbons, but it does not simulate intensities beyond what the RGB IC does natively. One thing I have noticed is that people will sometimes not use an enhanced network when driving pixels/ribbons. The older, non-enhanced, network protocol is incredibly command intensive and this can make displays look choppy. This occurs because people are dramatically upping the number of pixels on a network and the older network protocol performs poorly in that situation.

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We saw this originally 6 years ago making the first version of the tree that only had 24 CCR's. When we doubled the tree to 48 CCR's we had terrible performance even with the high speed option . Separating the tree with 4 high speed networks solved the problem. Now if we go down to 3 controllers at 16 ribbons each will there be an issue?

I know we use different unit ID's for each of our 48 ribbons. And the 5 networks for the tree are dedicated to the tree. That turns out to be a good thing in our situation but we still need to assign those ID's to the correct network. Looks like lots of work.

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TheDucks explains how to quickly change the unit ID/network above. A 1M enhanced network should easily handle 16 50 pixel ribbons.

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We got the tree up and running. There have been some glitches. For some reason, the legacy file colors are different than using the new superstar intensity data.. It looks like the green and blue are reversed. I'm in the process of removing all the old CCR's from the original sequences and adding them as intensity data from SuperStar. It's been a process to say the least. 

Also, I updated the visualizer with the new channel configuration and auxiliary networks The tree was originally fed from the center with the 1st pixel closest to the controller at the center of the tree traveling both directions from that point. I setup the pixie controllers and reversed those channels at the controller to mimic our old setup but that actually reverses the bottom of the tree so guess I need to undo that. I absolutely love the new CCR's . They are much better sealed as we had lots of water issues causing failures of the pixels in the past. And they are significantly brighter.

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Thanks for the update report!

 

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