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Okay... to start this will be LONG!

So I started back in 2009 in Poestenkill New York. I was know to some as Poestenkilllights.com and have been on the news.

With that said I started with 2 PC controllers and slowly grew to about 20 PC controllers ranging from version 1's(about 5), 2's(about10) and some 3's(about 5). I took a break and did not do Christmas in 2015, was packing during Christmas 2016 and moved to the Colorado River side of Arizona in 2017. Just before I did RGB was making headway and I hadn't really messed with it too much. I had at the time the advanced version of the software which I think was 3.xxx something.

I now have my new and final home and I'm looking to start back up again. But I have SOOO MANY QUESTIONS, I don't know where to begin. I sorta feel like a newbie again. One thing I DO KNOW, I want to jump into both smart and dumb RGB ribbons and floods. I also see Kevin Dunn no longer does Voice overs, he was my go to guy. 

Some questions:

-Do I have to repurchase the software again so I have the newest? Or will what I have still work?

-Will my current version 1,2 & 3 PC controllers still work with the new software if I go that route?

-What version PC controller are they on now?

-Im sure companies closed shop or people retired. So what are the go to websites for Sequence sharing, voice overs and supply stores?

-And so many more questions...

I will be running a non-dmx setup as I had a cat5 setup from before and that I packed and took with me, plus with dmx I'm sure that's even more to add to my plate to learn. And I'm fully aware of the normal and mad dash sales. So when I buy I will be buying during those times. I did start experimenting with diy rgb from ebay before I took a break. I know buying the plug and plays from LOR is WAY more expensive...but a LOT less headaches, so that's the way I plan to go. But I want to reeducation myself so I know where to start buying. I know I'm planning on dumping $3k-$4k my first year just on rgb supplies. So I'm prepared...but I want to make smart buys, not dumb buys, if you know what I mean, no pun intended. And spending the following year with learning the new setup curves and sequencing.

I still have a 20' mega tree bought from Christmaslightshow.com. But most of the incandescent light strings, homemade display pieces, my arches and so on I did not take on my move. So basically the lighting and maybe some DC controllers is all I'm going to need to be repurchasing when I'm ready.

I know this was extremely long. But thanks in advance for everyone's help.

Edited by rgardner518
Forgot a few words
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-Do I have to repurchase the software again so I have the newest? Or will what I have still work?

No, what you have still works. I would recommend that you renew your license so you can download the newer versions as they have many more features that you can use as well as higher network speeds.

-Will my current version 1,2 & 3 PC controllers still work with the new software if I go that route?

Yes, they will still work. You will just have to make sure they are on the proper networks as the v1 & 2 will not work on the higher speed networks or ELOR.

-What version PC controller are they on now?

G3 

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You should plan on doing the upgrade to Pro if you are planning pixels. This late in the year, you might consider going no higher than version 4, I think 4.4.6 is the highest S4 version.

S4 is basically similar to the S3 you are familiar with but with more features. S5, the newest software, is a much steeper learning curve than S4, but has much better capability with pixels.

I would skip dumb rgb, if i were you, except for floodlights. I ran dumb strips for one season in 2012 and then canned them in favor of pixels. Strips, dumb or smart are also more fragile, harder to waterproof, and to solder, than bullet or square pixels.

If you are planning a lot of pixels and thinking to the future, you should look into E1.31 protocol over Ethernet for your controllers for pixels and keep tour LOR network for your AC stuff, which is what I do.

Edited by PhilMassey
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And buy a couple of RED (HS) adapters needed  for use with Gen3 controller SPEEDS (they will run fine at 56K).

A SPARE or 2 is always handy ;)

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2 hours ago, PhilMassey said:

You should plan on doing the upgrade to Pro if you are planning pixels. This late in the year, you might consider going no higher than version 4, I think 4.4.6 is the highest S4 version.

S4 is basically similar to the S3 you are familiar with but with more features. S5, the newest software, is a much steeper learning curve than S4, but has much better capability with pixels.

I would skip dumb rgb, if i were you, except for floodlights. I ran dumb strips for one season in 2012 and then canned them in favor of pixels. Strips, dumb or smart are also more fragile, harder to waterproof, and to solder, than bullet or square pixels.

If you are planning a lot of pixels and thinking to the future, you should look into E1.31 protocol over Ethernet for your controllers for pixels and keep tour LOR network for your AC stuff, which is what I do.

Glad you posted this, as I never knew there was an upgrade from S4 version 4.4 to 4.6!  So just upgraded to 4.6.  Not ready to get into S5 just yet.

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20 hours ago, PhilMassey said:

You should plan on doing the upgrade to Pro if you are planning pixels. This late in the year, you might consider going no higher than version 4, I think 4.4.6 is the highest S4 version.

S4 is basically similar to the S3 you are familiar with but with more features. S5, the newest software, is a much steeper learning curve than S4, but has much better capability with pixels.

I would skip dumb rgb, if i were you, except for floodlights. I ran dumb strips for one season in 2012 and then canned them in favor of pixels. Strips, dumb or smart are also more fragile, harder to waterproof, and to solder, than bullet or square pixels.

If you are planning a lot of pixels and thinking to the future, you should look into E1.31 protocol over Ethernet for your controllers for pixels and keep tour LOR network for your AC stuff, which is what I do.

 

E1.31 protocol?

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E 1.31 is DMX over an Ethernet network. LOR protocol is RS 485. They are electrically very different, but use the same Cat 5 cable, unfortunately. They are incompatible with each other.

E1.31 uses the same type of network your internet uses and plugs into the Ethernet port on your PC. There are many E1.31.controllers out there, including the Pixcon 16 from LOR

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On 7/21/2020 at 7:03 AM, TheDucks said:

And buy a couple of RED (HS) adapters needed  for use with Gen3 controller SPEEDS (they will run fine at 56K).

A SPARE or 2 is always handy ;)

I currently have this one now.

yhst-1552586516070_2270_11271243

Your saying replace with the red one?

yhst-1552586516070_2270_14498732

 

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Yes, that is what he means.

I don’t believe the one you have pictured will work in ELOR at 500/1000k speeds required by pixies.

And as the Ducks stated always have a spare.

i have never seen a problem with the red adapters and have 12-14 networks all with red adapter and I always have spares - luckily

When I set up my Covid show one of my adapters has burnt- I don’t know how or why and I did not know until I ran my sequence and had no lights in my ccr tree

After troubleshooting I found the adapter fried with a burn hole in the side of it.

JR

4F6F4EB7_12FD_4CF1_BEDA_D1E19CF50F67.jpe

Edited by dibblejr
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The one you have is fine for low speed networks, and low channel counts.( eg a few hundred.) The newer red one is faster and Gen 3 controllers, can use the extra speed. Needed for large channel counts such as a couple of thousand pixels. Since the red one is backwards compatible.plan on those for future purchases and expansion.

I still use a black one for my LOR network but I only have about a hundred channels. Everything else is E1.31 on an Ethernet network.

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Electrical storms can put stray currents into wires laying on the ground.

One member has a Power supply with high leakage currents that managed to cook before he found the issue.

AFAIK, the booster is only needed for special cases (but it will work fine on older  or for dumb controllers

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  • 1 month later...
57 minutes ago, basis21b said:

FYI - Kevin Dunn is back.

I would call that good news!

 

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On 7/25/2020 at 3:51 PM, TheDucks said:

Electrical storms can put stray currents into wires laying on the ground.

One member has a Power supply with high leakage currents that managed to cook before he found the issue.

AFAIK, the booster is only needed for special cases (but it will work fine on older  or for dumb controllers

I have the same black adapter USB-485B, the booster is specifically for accessories that require power via the Cat5 cable to operate, the power is usually not more than 9VDC, so low voltage, it's mainly used to power something like an MP3 Director unit, and I think it may also be capable of providing power for the LOR ELL units as well.    They get this power from the first CTB16PC Controller on the Regular Network,

I know the Pixie2D that control the LOR Singing Trees, nor the CCB-100D original 5V RGB controllers will supply power to the N4-G3 {G4} Director I'm now using to run my show this year for 2020.   Plugged them into the first port on the Director and they can't power it, and since the 1st Netwrok port on the N4-G3 Director can not be changed from a Regular network or be enhanced like the other 3 networks, my older V2 CTB16PC Controllers {2} are connected to Network 1, Regular, 115K, non-enhanced, my CCB-100D 5V RGB Controllers are connected to Network 2, Aux A, 500K, Enhanced and my 2 LOR Singing Trees {Pixie2D} Controllers are on Network 3, Aux B, 1,000K, Enhanced on my N4-G3 {G4} Director, Network 4 is not used, it's open for future expansion.

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