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MikeA

Sequence runs slow when connected to lights

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When I run a sequence not controlling the lights it runs through the sequencer  fine.  When I plug in my 16 string CCR tree it runs the lights slow. The song plays fine and will end and the lights will keep running for 30 seconds or so.

Using windows Vista, 4gb RAM.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Vista was not exactly the best version of windows, but it would generally probably run better with 8GB of ram. 4GB is pretty low and anything running in the background could slow it down. So here's the standard checklist.

Reboot the machine from a power off state, no sleep or hibernate, and disable both. No screensavers, other than maybe blanking the screen.

Remove any unwanted/unneeded programs. make sure there is no LAN activity, or disconnect entirely.

You should be on an enhanced high speed  LOR network (red adaptor)

Make sure the audio file is the same length as the sequence, and is 128kbps and constant bit rate.

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I agree, if you can afford to upgrade that machine I would get off the Vista. If you have a show only computer I see many refurbed win7/win10 machines pretty cheap on Craigslist and other sales sites.

If it is a show only computer and never accesses the internet, remove the anti-virus software if you have any, or disable it (if you are concerned about the files you copy over) when you are running your show on that Vista computer. The anti-virus is trying to look at any files running on the machine and any network traffic which can be a huge drain on resources.

Open the system SERVICES (admin functions) which I can't remember if you can just type services in the run menu on Vista, but make sure you disable any WINDOWS SEARCH items that auto-start with the computer. Look at the other services and see if you can disable any other of them as they are all running in the background.

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1 hour ago, MikeA said:

When I run a sequence not controlling the lights it runs through the sequencer  fine.  When I plug in my 16 string CCR tree it runs the lights slow. The song plays fine and will end and the lights will keep running for 30 seconds or so.

Are you trying to play the lights from SE or are you creating a show and running the show?  That makes a HUGE difference in CPU load.  Running a show takes very little CPU load.  For comparison, until Christmas 2018, I was running an ancient Pentium based XP computer as my show computer and up to about 10,000 channels.  That was pushing it a little on fast songs until I switched to Intensity files for essentially everything (I sequence in SuperStar, so that was an easy change).  After that the old show computer was peaking at about 18% CPU load.

1 hour ago, PhilMassey said:

Vista was not exactly the best version of windows, but it would generally probably run better with 8GB of ram.

Come on Phil, don't sugar coat that.  Vista was the second worst OS ever released by Microsoft - only behind Millennium Edition.

 

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27 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Come on Phil, don't sugar coat that.  Vista was the second worst OS ever released by Microsoft - only behind Millennium Edition.

 

Hahahah, I still have a ME install disk somewhere if you want to borrow it.

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5 minutes ago, MichRX7 said:

Hahahah, I still have a ME install disk somewhere if you want to borrow it.

I was fortunate enough to never run ME on anything.  I did have a bunch of years of Vista on some work stuff.  I was SO GLAD to retire / upgrade that to Windows 7.

At home I went from Windows 98 to 2000 to Windows 7 and now Windows 10.  Loved 2000 and was still using 2000 Server on my server until that computer died in 2014.

 

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I miss Clippy!

 

And Bob.

Edited by tlogan

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I skipped Vista, but had spent enough time with it on my users machines to make sure I never wanted  it on my own machines. Win 7 was a welcome relief, once we persuaded the company to endorse it.

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Ugh, Vista and ME were both horrible.  Totally skipped both on computers that I controlled.  Unfortunately, as the "computer expert" that family and friends always contact, I had far more interaction with both than I would have liked!  Both are long gone from any machine I need to work with.

MikeA - I suspect that even a cheap, used computer would be better than your current Vista, 4GB setup.  Vista was released in 2006.  Since Windows 7 was released in 2009, I would guess that your computer is over 10 years old.

We purchased a small HP mini desktop this year to be our show machine.  It has the bare minimum software installed and as others have said, we turn off WiFi and AntiVirus while the show is running.  It seemed to be running fine when I was testing it with everything turned on, but why risk it?  We chose the mini desktop over a laptop since it had a lot of USB ports for future expansion.  We also wanted both WiFi and a physical internet port because we are running our pixels on E1.31.  The physical network is dedicated to E1.31 and any internet/local network is via WiFi if needed (usually off).  Since a show PC doesn't need to be super powerful, we purchased it "refurbished" from Woot at a pretty decent price.

PJD

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Thanks everyone.  I am going to get a new laptop with windows 10 and 8GB memory.  I am tired of messing with this POS.

 

Edited by MikeA

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11 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Thanks everyone.  I am going to get a new laptop with windows 10 and 8GB memory.  I am tired of messing with this POS.

 

And that is the A#1 choice.

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Well $600 in a new computer did NOT fix this.  I turned off windows search, nothing.

I am running a Pixi 16 controller on LOR network. 

Any suggestions as to what to do next?

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Can you tell us what usb adapter, speed settings, controllers on network? Any screenshots of your setting will help as well.

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On 10/24/2019 at 6:58 AM, PhilMassey said:

Vista was not exactly the best version of windows, but it would generally probably run better with 8GB of ram. 4GB is pretty low and anything running in the background could slow it down.

IIRC there were many Vista computers sold that had Pentium 4 Processors (32 bit), and those can't use mor tha3.x Gigof RAM

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39 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Can you tell us what usb adapter, speed settings, controllers on network? Any screenshots of your setting will help as well.

It's the RS485 HS (red) adapter.  Pixi16 controller on LOR network.  What screenshot would help?

Someone suggested I should run this on a DMX universe but I have no idea how to do that.

I just updated the firmware on the controller and it did not help.

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4 minutes ago, MikeA said:

It's the RS485 HS (red) adapter.  Pixi16 controller on LOR network.  What screenshot would help?

Network Preferences.  How many channels (or pixels, or number of strings of what length so we can calculate it)?  How many controllers and of what type.  The more details, the better.  Feel free to include a network drawing if that would help.  This is mine - yours likely is not as complex and does not need the details.  A lot of this one is there to show the conduit routes.

LOR_Network_2016-07-19.jpg

4 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Someone suggested I should run this on a DMX universe but I have no idea how to do that.

You can't run a Pixie16 controller on DMX.  LOR only.

 

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One suggestion that is conspicuously missing from this thread is to consider running a LOR show director rather than a computer to run your show.  They are significantly less expensive than a new computer and tough as nails.  I've been using a show director since version 4 and been very pleased.  I would consider the new N4-G4-MP3 to cover you for future expansion.

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

Network Preferences.  How many channels (or pixels, or number of strings of what length so we can calculate it)?  How many controllers and of what type.  The more details, the better.  Feel free to include a network drawing if that would help.  This is mine - yours likely is not as complex and does not need the details.  A lot of this one is there to show the conduit routes.

LOR_Network_2016-07-19.jpg

You can't run a Pixie16 controller on DMX.  LOR only.

 

I am only testing a 16 string CCR tree.  Nothing else

The guy who sold me the sequences said he has setup many Pixi 16 with DMX.  He claims my controller is not configured right.  This is where I got them. https://www.holidaysequences.com/

Edited by MikeA

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39 minutes ago, Rick P said:

One suggestion that is conspicuously missing from this thread is to consider running a LOR show director rather than a computer to run your show.  They are significantly less expensive than a new computer and tough as nails.  I've been using a show director since version 4 and been very pleased.  I would consider the new N4-G4-MP3 to cover you for future expansion.

I have tested running the sequence from both the sequence editor and show director.

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Just for clarification,  you tried a show director (seperate piece of hardware - not connected to your computer) and it still runs slow? 

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28 minutes ago, Rick P said:

Just for clarification,  you tried a show director (seperate piece of hardware - not connected to your computer) and it still runs slow? 

Oh, no, sorry.  I do not have one of those.  I ran a show because someone said it takes less memory for the computer to run a show than running the sequence editor.

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No worries.  The suggestions that have been given above are all good and  address the problem you may be having with "bandwidth".  Pixels take a significant amount of data throughput and your computer with Windows Vista may in fact be having a hard time running your show.  I do a significant amount of my development with a tiny OLD mini laptop that works find for development but struggles running a show with many pixels.  I don't like running a show from a computer due to a number of personal preferences.  One problem is just what was pointer out above.  If you don't remember to shut off the screensaver, if an update tries to install itself, you have to figure out how to get network wires from where ever you keep your computer to your show controllers, etc.  Rather than do all that, I just use an LOR show director.  Small box, dedicated to running a show.  That is all it does.  They are easy to set up and handle all the networks like a champ.  In my earlier post, I suggested the newest one simply because it will pretty much be future proof.  It is a bit pricey, but quite a bit cheaper than a computer.  I have had outstanding luck using show directors.

If your existing computer is working OK to do show development, then this is just another option you may consider that is a reasonable price point compared to buying a new computer. 

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FWIW you can get a refurbished (off lease) x64 PC (no monitor) with W10 for the price of the Show director.

My Dell core Duo came with 8G RAM, 1T HD and W8pro   for $292 (a few years back)

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3 hours ago, MikeA said:

I am only testing a 16 string CCR tree.  Nothing else

The guy who sold me the sequences said he has setup many Pixi 16 with DMX.  He claims my controller is not configured right.  This is where I got them. https://www.holidaysequences.com/

According to the LOR Networking speeds page, a Pixie16 controller can not be run on DMX.  Pixcon16 yes (via E1.31), but not a Pixie16.  Besides, a single DMX universe can only drive 170 pixels, which would substantially limit a 16 string tree!

http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/

What speed is your LOR network configured for, an Enhanced or non-enhanced?

I'm assuming 16 strings of 50 pixels for a total of 800 pixels or 2400 channels.  That should be OK on a 500K non-enhanced network - but not by much.  A 1000K and/or enhanced networking would give a lot of extra capacity.  Anything slower than 500K would be too slow.

 

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