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BrianBruderer

Sequencing Software for Grid of CCRs

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LightORamaJohn wrote:

BrianBruderer wrote:
I believe it is indeed a problem in the CCR because it doesn't happen every time. Also, there are some segments that misbehave more often than others. So I think that if I returned the ones that misbehave more frequently it would be a lot better. Perhaps it would also help if I had a shorter cat5 cable.

-and-

BrianBruderer wrote:
Now that I think about it, part of the problem may be that due to the way you input things with my software, there are cases where a command to turn a segment on comes at the same time that a command comes to turn it off. I was aware of this and planned to run the sequence through a final optimizer that would consolodate some of the commands. This may help, I need to look into it.


I would be very interested in knowing if there are problems with the controller that cause stickies. If you have a ribbon where pixels stick and one where that never happens, maybe you could swap the controllers to see if the problem stays with the ribbon or controller.

If you are causing the lower levels of S2 to transmit two commands to the ribbon for the same channel in the same centi-second, the last one received will win. This behavior can be seen when there are two channels in a sequence that are configured as the same unit ID and circuit. If one channel sends an 'off' and one an 'on' the pixel will retain the state of the last received.


In one of the places where a stickie occurred, I checked the .lms file and in this case it had signaled for a channel to be at 100% for a period of time from 1270 to 1370, then from 1370 to 1570 it signaled to set the start intensity at 100% and ramp down to an end intensity of 0%. However, what happened is a few channels stayed at 100% and did not see the ramp down. In summary, the commands in the .lms file look fine.

Also, when you say "lower levels of S2" I think you are referring to the macro modes. I currently never use the macro modes so this should not be a cause of the problem.

I will try what you said. Most of the missfires seem to happen in 3 or 4 of the ribbons. I will switch controllers to pin down if the problem is in the controller or the ribbon.

-Brian Bruderer

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BrianBruderer wrote:

In one of the places where a stickie occurred, I checked the .lms file and in this case it had signaled for a channel to be at 100% for a period of time from 1270 to 1370, then from 1370 to 1570 it signaled to set the start intensity at 100% and ramp down to an end intensity of 0%. However, what happened is a few channels stayed at 100% and did not see the ramp down. In summary, the commands in the .lms file look fine.

Also, when you say "lower levels of S2" I think you are referring to the macro modes. I currently never use the macro modes so this should not be a cause of the problem.

Your support email was forwarded to me, but since we started here, others may wish to follow this problem.

If the two commands (on at 100% followed by ramp down) are done on the same channel in the Sequence Editor there should be no problem. If, however, you have defined two different channels that point to the same unit ID and circuit, then there may be a problem. In the case you described, what would most likely happen if two channels were used is that the ramp down might be lost, but the channel would be off.

By the lower levels of S2 I mean the software in the PC that sends commands to the comm port, not the macro capability of the controller.

Since the ribbons are not being driven with macros, the number of channels being manipulated is 12 * 150 = 1800. I am wondering if there are centiseconds where the number of commands is so high that they will not fit in a centisecond so some are dropped. Are you using the highest comm speed? If not, step up. If yes, you could try splitting the ribbons on to two networks.

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LightORamaJohn wrote:

BrianBruderer wrote:
In one of the places where a stickie occurred, I checked the .lms file and in this case it had signaled for a channel to be at 100% for a period of time from 1270 to 1370, then from 1370 to 1570 it signaled to set the start intensity at 100% and ramp down to an end intensity of 0%. However, what happened is a few channels stayed at 100% and did not see the ramp down. In summary, the commands in the .lms file look fine.

Also, when you say "lower levels of S2" I think you are referring to the macro modes. I currently never use the macro modes so this should not be a cause of the problem.

Your support email was forwarded to me, but since we started here, others may wish to follow this problem.

If the two commands (on at 100% followed by ramp down) are done on the same channel in the Sequence Editor there should be no problem. If, however, you have defined two different channels that point to the same unit ID and circuit, then there may be a problem. In the case you described, what would most likely happen if two channels were used is that the ramp down might be lost, but the channel would be off.

By the lower levels of S2 I mean the software in the PC that sends commands to the comm port, not the macro capability of the controller.

Since the ribbons are not being driven with macros, the number of channels being manipulated is 12 * 150 = 1800. I am wondering if there are centiseconds where the number of commands is so high that they will not fit in a centisecond so some are dropped. Are you using the highest comm speed? If not, step up. If yes, you could try splitting the ribbons on to two networks.


The comm speed was at 9600, so I stepped up to 14400, no difference, I kept stepping up all the way up to 230400 but it did not help. I tried resetting the computer also and no difference. So I think the next thing to try is multiple networks. I only have one adapter, so I have placed an order for more adapters. Thanks for the suggestions, I think the multiple networks has a good chance of solving the misfire problem.

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BrianBruderer wrote:

I bought 12 Cosmic Color Ribbons to be rays coming down from a star. CCRs have tremendous potential when using the full 50 pixels per ribbon but I soon found that sequencing them the standard way was difficult. I was not able to get anything ready in time for last Christmas, but I am determined to get this working well before 2010 Christmas.

Being a programmer by profession I started developing sequencing software designed just for a grid of CCRs. There are some very good sequence editors out there but I am not aware of one made just for a grid of CCRs.

My design principle is to never directly edit the standard .lms file. Instead, I have a meta file which is the source file for the effects. The effects can be exported as an .lms file and then they are playable by the standard Light-O-Rama sequence editor.

You can see 2 videos which are examples of what I have done so far by going to youtube and searching for Cosmic Color Ribbon. Or you can use the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDhMO2KcLcw



Does anyone know if there is already software to do something similar to what I am doing?

-Brian Bruderer






Very impressive, especially the scrolling text, what would be the minimun number of ribbons needed to create the scrolling text effect?

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BrianC wrote:

BrianBruderer wrote:
I bought 12 Cosmic Color Ribbons to be rays coming down from a star. CCRs have tremendous potential when using the full 50 pixels per ribbon but I soon found that sequencing them the standard way was difficult. I was not able to get anything ready in time for last Christmas, but I am determined to get this working well before 2010 Christmas.

Being a programmer by profession I started developing sequencing software designed just for a grid of CCRs. There are some very good sequence editors out there but I am not aware of one made just for a grid of CCRs.

My design principle is to never directly edit the standard .lms file. Instead, I have a meta file which is the source file for the effects. The effects can be exported as an .lms file and then they are playable by the standard Light-O-Rama sequence editor.

You can see 2 videos which are examples of what I have done so far by going to youtube and searching for Cosmic Color Ribbon. Or you can use the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDhMO2KcLcw



Does anyone know if there is already software to do something similar to what I am doing?

-Brian Bruderer






Very impressive, especially the scrolling text, what would be the minimun number of ribbons needed to create the scrolling text effect?




Hard to say. The ribbons are 16 ft long and have 50 pixels. You can cut them in half and have two 8 ft sections with 25 pixels each. You could buy 4 ribbons, cut them in half and have an 8 x 25 pixel grid. I would think that would be enough.

If you go to my website at www.superstarlights.com you can download a demo version of the software. Using the Image dialog box you can create your own characters that are 8 pixels wide and see how they look. There is a mini-tutorial that should help you get familiar with how to use the software.

-Brian Bruderer

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BrianBruderer wrote:

The comm speed was at 9600, so I stepped up to 14400, no difference, I kept stepping up all the way up to 230400 but it did not help. I tried resetting the computer also and no difference. So I think the next thing to try is multiple networks. I only have one adapter, so I have placed an order for more adapters. Thanks for the suggestions, I think the multiple networks has a good chance of solving the misfire problem.

It looks like you are trying to set the speed via Windows, S2 will override that selection. Set the comm speed through the Sequence Editor (Edit -> Preferences -> Network Preferences -> "Fastest Speed"

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LightORamaJohn wrote:

BrianBruderer wrote:
The comm speed was at 9600, so I stepped up to 14400, no difference, I kept stepping up all the way up to 230400 but it did not help. I tried resetting the computer also and no difference. So I think the next thing to try is multiple networks. I only have one adapter, so I have placed an order for more adapters. Thanks for the suggestions, I think the multiple networks has a good chance of solving the misfire problem.

It looks like you are trying to set the speed via Windows, S2 will override that selection. Set the comm speed through the Sequence Editor (Edit -> Preferences -> Network Preferences -> "Fastest Speed"


It is already set at "Short range fastest speed" so it looks like I will need to use more than one network.

But for grins, tonight I will try the other settings. Perhaps "Long range medium speed" will work better. What I saw last night is that 3 or 4 missfires happened when all the segments come on at once, but sometimes there were missfires when only a small number of segments were coming on. The 12 controllers are near the top of the star. My cat5 cable that goes to the first controller is 50 ft long. After that, each controller is connected via a 3 ft cat5 cable.

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BrianBruderer wrote:

LightORamaJohn wrote:
BrianBruderer wrote:
The comm speed was at 9600, so I stepped up to 14400, no difference, I kept stepping up all the way up to 230400 but it did not help. I tried resetting the computer also and no difference. So I think the next thing to try is multiple networks. I only have one adapter, so I have placed an order for more adapters. Thanks for the suggestions, I think the multiple networks has a good chance of solving the misfire problem.

It looks like you are trying to set the speed via Windows, S2 will override that selection. Set the comm speed through the Sequence Editor (Edit -> Preferences -> Network Preferences -> "Fastest Speed"


It is already set at "Short range fastest speed" so it looks like I will need to use more than one network.

But for grins, tonight I will try the other settings. Perhaps "Long range medium speed" will work better. What I saw last night is that 3 or 4 missfires happened when all the segments come on at once, but sometimes there were missfires when only a small number of segments were coming on. The 12 controllers are near the top of the star. My cat5 cable that goes to the first controller is 50 ft long. After that, each controller is connected via a 3 ft cat5 cable.

Well, it turns out that me having it set at "Short range fastest speed" was the cause of the misfires. I changed the setting to "Average Recommended Setting" and there were no more misfires. However, with this setting the effect where I turn all the ribbons to white in about .25 seconds lags a bit. All those 1800 channels aren't able to respond that quickly. But there were no misfires.

I also tried the "Long range medium speed" setting. There were no misfires, but the lag was even worse.

I then unplugged half the ribbons, and I removed the channel commands for that half of the ribbons in my sequence. With "Average Recommended Setting" the lag nearly went away, though you could still see a little lag.

So it looks like my best solution is one of the following:

1) Use "Average Recommended Setting" and avoid effects where all 1800 channels are changing in a short period of time. In my software, I could automatically sense that and use the macro to set the ribbons to fewer pixels. In this particular case, if each ribbon had 10 pixels the effect would still look smooth because when it is changing that fast, fewer pixels will not be perceptible to the human eye and 1/5 as many channel commands would be necessary.

2) Use "Average Recommended Setting" and use two or three networks. Then I could do fast effects on all 1800 channels.

I would prefer to do option (1) because I think it is possible to solve in the software. However, I would still like to order two more S485 adapters so I can prove that more networks solves the problem also.

Thank you for your help. It is good to know that the misfires were not due to an inherent defect in the ribbons or controllers!

-Brian Bruderer

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BrianBruderer wrote:

BrianBruderer wrote:
LightORamaJohn wrote:
BrianBruderer wrote:
The comm speed was at 9600, so I stepped up to 14400, no difference, I kept stepping up all the way up to 230400 but it did not help. I tried resetting the computer also and no difference. So I think the next thing to try is multiple networks. I only have one adapter, so I have placed an order for more adapters. Thanks for the suggestions, I think the multiple networks has a good chance of solving the misfire problem.

It looks like you are trying to set the speed via Windows, S2 will override that selection. Set the comm speed through the Sequence Editor (Edit -> Preferences -> Network Preferences -> "Fastest Speed"


It is already set at "Short range fastest speed" so it looks like I will need to use more than one network.

But for grins, tonight I will try the other settings. Perhaps "Long range medium speed" will work better. What I saw last night is that 3 or 4 missfires happened when all the segments come on at once, but sometimes there were missfires when only a small number of segments were coming on. The 12 controllers are near the top of the star. My cat5 cable that goes to the first controller is 50 ft long. After that, each controller is connected via a 3 ft cat5 cable.

Well, it turns out that me having it set at "Short range fastest speed" was the cause of the misfires. I changed the setting to "Average Recommended Setting" and there were no more misfires. However, with this setting the effect where I turn all the ribbons to white in about .25 seconds lags a bit. All those 1800 channels aren't able to respond that quickly. But there were no misfires.

I also tried the "Long range medium speed" setting. There were no misfires, but the lag was even worse.

I then unplugged half the ribbons, and I removed the channel commands for that half of the ribbons in my sequence. With "Average Recommended Setting" the lag nearly went away, though you could still see a little lag.

So it looks like my best solution is one of the following:

1) Use "Average Recommended Setting" and avoid effects where all 1800 channels are changing in a short period of time. In my software, I could automatically sense that and use the macro to set the ribbons to fewer pixels. In this particular case, if each ribbon had 10 pixels the effect would still look smooth because when it is changing that fast, fewer pixels will not be perceptible to the human eye and 1/5 as many channel commands would be necessary.

2) Use "Average Recommended Setting" and use two or three networks. Then I could do fast effects on all 1800 channels.

I would prefer to do option (1) because I think it is possible to solve in the software. However, I would still like to order two more S485 adapters so I can prove that more networks solves the problem also.

Thank you for your help. It is good to know that the misfires were not due to an inherent defect in the ribbons or controllers!

-Brian Bruderer



I have "Cosmic Color Ribbon Demo 4" on youtube, the link is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsWAlce4_-o

The misfire problem was solved by changing a setting in the Light-O-Rama Sequence editor. I went to (Edit -> Preferences -> Network Preferences) and selected "Average Recommended Setting".

This solved the misfires, but the first white burst lagged, so I changed the logical resolution of each ribbon to 10 pixels just for that effect and the burst is now even better than before because 1/5 the number of channels are being addressed so it reacts faster and is able to keep up.

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Great job Brian, looks like LOR will be selling more CCR's this year than expedited.

BTW: Thanks for coming to our TCL meeting last Saturday to demo your software.

Really had the members drooling.

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That secret sale resulted in my first CCR to tinker around and a few questions to go along with it.

1. Is there a macro option to fire the led's randomly white to incorporate the CCR in to a strobe sequence?

2. I'm using a seperate animation sequence to putter around with, when finished can I copy the channel setup into my current x-mas channel configuration?

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I have been focusing on my SuperStar Editor software and in the software I focus on using the full 150 channels of each CCR, so I have not done much with the macros. When using the full 150 channels you can set them all white and do shimmer or twinkle. In the CCR manual in mentions that using macro channel 155 you can do twinkle or dazzle. The manual describes dazzle as "Dazzle varies the intensity in a small range and can randomly select colors. It is like twinkle, but with no 'off'. Sort of like a color shimmer." It says channel 156 controls the speed of the color effect and channel 157 controls the overall intensity of the color effect.

Hope this helps, perhaps someone else can answer your question better.

-Brian Bruderer

BrianC wrote:

That secret sale resulted in my first CCR to tinker around and a few questions to go along with it.

1. Is there a macro option to fire the led's randomly white to incorporate the CCR in to a strobe sequence?

2. I'm using a seperate animation sequence to putter around with, when finished can I copy the channel setup into my current x-mas channel configuration?

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I just realized I didn't answer question number 2. When you say you are using a separate animation sequence, what animation sequencer are you using? Are you asking about my SuperStar sequence editor or a different sequence editor?

-Brian Bruderer

BrianC wrote:

That secret sale resulted in my first CCR to tinker around and a few questions to go along with it.

1. Is there a macro option to fire the led's randomly white to incorporate the CCR in to a strobe sequence?

2. I'm using a seperate animation sequence to putter around with, when finished can I copy the channel setup into my current x-mas channel configuration?

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Brian --- just a great job --- makes my 40,000 traditional LED lights look wimpy --- can't wait to see software that makes programming the CCR easier ...

Jim

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I am close to having an improved demo version of the SuperStar Sequence Editor. I plan to have it done by Sunday Mar 21. I plan to have a completed product by the end of June. To get the improved demo version go to:

http://www.superstarlights.com

New features:


  1. All effects appear as a bar under the time line
  2. Clicking on the effect's bar under the time line will also select that effect in the dialog box
  3. Play back speed can be at 1/4, 1/2, normal, 2x, or 4x
  4. Preparing a large .sup for playback was taking 46 seconds on my computer. This has been reduced to 9 seconds.
  5. Can change ribbon resolution from 50 pixels to 10 pixels for a particular scene.
  6. Undo/redo
  7. Copy/Paste and Cut/Paste
  8. Nudge, a feature that adds or subtracts .05 seconds to selected effects


Bug fixes:


  1. On some computers, attempting to open a wav file would crash
  2. Playing a song would repeat when it got to the end. It now stops
  3. Scrolling past the end of a song and attempting to play it would crash.
  4. Various other small bugs were fixed.

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BrianBruderer wrote:

I just realized I didn't answer question number 2. When you say you are using a separate animation sequence, what animation sequencer are you using? Are you asking about my SuperStar sequence editor or a different sequence editor?

-Brian Bruderer



All I did was make a seperate sequence in LOR2. I went through and configured 157 channels in a test sequence then realized "how do I add this configuration into my current setup"...any ideas?

Thanks

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