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Orville last won the day on September 11

Orville had the most liked content!


About Orville

  • Birthday 11/18/1956

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    Orange County, Florida
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    O & G Gauge Trains, Computers, Holiday Lighting
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  1. Will a BASIC+ license even allow you to run an RGB controller of any type {Dumb or Smart}? I have used Advanced and Pro when it became available. But back when I started out, I don't think there were any RGB type lights or devices available, and I had a Basic+ license at that time, soon found out I needed to go advanced to be able to control the number of controllers I had. And CTB16PC Controllers are only 16 AC ONLY channels, you can not plug RGB lights into any of those AC channels or the magic smoke is coming out, and you may even start a fire in doing so!
  2. Glad you found the culprit! And everything is running smoothly again. I should have REMEMBERED and suggested that. Sometimes the simplest of issues that cause something just eludes us, or we fix them at some point and forget that's how we corrected it. I had forgotten about the USB cable could cause that, and I should have remembered it! Why? Because I've had to replace TWO USB cables that go to my 2 adapters. But that was a couple of years or so ago, so they didn't even come to mind....BUT, they should have.
  3. Yep, wording and information that isn't crystal clear in a manual can lead to all sorts of issues, especially when typing a response here. I know, I got tossed into the hoosegow here {Mod Que} for posting misinformation on the N4-G4 MP3 Director, but what I posted I got from the manual, but the manual was incorrect, and the real info was in the documentation of the S5 software, which I never would have, and did not know at the time, as I wasn't even looking at S5 at the time. So I'd have never seen this info, someone posted a link way after my post, I believe it was Aubrey that did {or she sent it to in a PM}, and then I could see for certain what I had posted was, in fact, inaccurate. But I honestly did not know it was at the time of my writing my reply to that particular N4-G4 thread. And I sure would not have thought to look in the S5 Software documentation for that content, since, again, I was not using S5 at the time. Not only did that get me into trouble, which could have been avoided, providing that info in the manual had been updated or added. That info SHOULD be in the N2-G4/N4-G4 manual as well. Since it wasn't, I responded with something I truly believed to be accurate from the manual, but was not So RTFM does not always apply! Because you may read it, misinterpret it, or it just is not clearly worded that makes it crystal clear, so interpretation is open to the end user, and they might just get it wrong. And then post something inaccurately, but not realize it. I know it can happen, because it happened to me.
  4. But trying to do a blind FW update doesn't work with the Pixie16 or any other controllers I have, if the HU can not see it, it literally is not there to send anything too. I let the FW update run the other day for 3, perhaps possibly 4+ hours, only ONE cat5 from Red HS Adapter to Pixie16, nothing, nada, was connected anywhere else. All the HU did was sit there for all those hours and show "Searching" in the box under Activity, no download ever commenced. So there is no way to do a blind FW update with this controller, tried it, and it just sat there and did nothing, never came back with controller not found or anything other than the word "Searching" in the box under Activity. I figured after 3 to 4+ hours, it's not going to send anything to the controller.
  5. What does your Com3 show assigned to it? Or does it show it as available {just com 3 displayed when looking for available com ports to use}? If it's open, there shouldn't be any issues in using it. I tried changing mine to a higher comm port in the Device Manager {This done w/ several versions of Windows, Win 98, Win XP and Win 7 - haven't tried this with Win 10 yet, and don't think I'll even try, since this has failed at all previous attempts at doing so.}. I also changed settings in the Network Pref software to match just to see if Comm3 would ever have an issue, I could use a different comm port. However, after doing this using several com ports, the Regular network on every port I tried that was open WOULD NOT run under Regular network {I even tried com port 2}, none of the com ports, although found in the HU, would find my CTB16PC Controllers, RGB Controllers or my N4-G4 MP3 Director. Once I put everything back on Com 3, everything worked fine. This was also using version 4.4.16 Pro and I tried this out on both my old USB485B adapter and the red HS adapter, my red HS adapter works fine on Com 4, but when assigned any other Com Port by manually changing it, rebooting the system for those changes to take effect, it didn't like the com ports I tried, and it too, would NOT find any of the controllers, even though the comm port was available in the HU, it seemed there was nothing connected to it, when I know there was. Also, if the com port wasn't changed in the NP software {LOR Suite}, and the LOR CP ran {on automatic boot up} the CP would lock in an endless loop with whatever com port was assigned to the adapter, if it was still at 3, but had been reassigned to 2, so the CP would show an error and a message on the line with the offending com port {com port 3 now doesn't exist, and is creating the error, remember it was changed to com 2!}. However, com 3 still exists in the NP, as it was not changed to com 2 and was not assigned in the NP. So the CP can't find the adapter now assigned to com 2, so it is now constantly repeating this error until you unloaded the LOR suite, and correct the NP settings to match. If ANYTHING is MIS-MATCHED in the LOR NP, nothing will work either {EXCEPT the HU} because the CP is running in an endless loop error. However, THIS error will affect the HU because there is an issue with that com port NOT being found {error code 5 in the LOR CP}, so even if the com port is found in the HU, the CP HAS NOT assigned it as a viable, working com port {USB adapter}, so the HU may show it, but it's not actually working in the HU, so nothing will be found when refresh is hit to locate controllers. Com port may be listed, but the adapter is MIA to the HU, and why nothing works or can be found when refresh is clicked on. Also, if your FTDI Drivers are not fully installed, you will also see problems that look very similar to this, the adapters WILL NOT WORK, not even in the HU, if the FTDI drivers are not completely installed properly! I've had this experience as well, just re-install the FTDI drivers. I hope I'm explaining this correctly, but this is what happened when I tried to shift my com ports around, just in case there was ever an issue with one and I needed or wanted to change one. Can't say for sure about this, but I think once the USB adapter is installed and windows assigns it a com port, too me, it seems it stays with the adapter, when I plug my adapters into another computer, they come up with the same com ports that they had on the previous system I was using. My USB485B black adapter has seen 2 laptops and at least a half dozen other systems before this one and my new Win 10 system, and on every single system I have ever plugged it into, it would always be on com 3 that was assigned to it when I first plugged it into my first computer I was using for LOR at the time, and that was back in Jan. 2010. And this com port on this USB485B adapter has NEVER changed on any system I've ever plugged it into since unless I manually changed it, then it didn't work on the new com # assigned to it, always had to go back to com 3 for it to function, since this is for my regular network. I couldn't get the regular network to work on any other com port, at least not on my system, other than com 3. I know these adapters contain some electronics, and I may be wrong, but maybe once Windows assigns them their com port, it could possibly stay with them in some manner? I know I have other electronic devices that retain settings that don't contain a battery, and they can retain their memory for up to 10 years after being disengaged from the device they control, as well as lying on a shelf unplugged from any power source. I'm not a LOR engineer, so I am guessing at the memory retention possibility. But to me, it makes sense, since my adapters have always remained with their same com port on the numerous computers I've plugged them into over the years, and those were com 3 {black USB485B} and com 4 {Red HS Adapter} from their very first installation into a USB port. Just my experience with attempting to change com ports around. Your experience may be completely different from mine.
  6. Unfortunately, if it really is the FW has gotten corrupted in yours, and the HU can no longer find it, the ONLY folks I know that can correct this, would be the Light-O-Rama folks. They are the only ones that have the means to fix a FW issue. And that means sending either the entire controller or removing the circuit board to send to them for repair. Would be nice if these Controllers had a fail-safe that if they lost FW, they would still have a way to be found and re-instate or re-load the FW back into them at the end user level. Would sure save a lot of time if we had such a way. U'm 99.9% sure mine is definitely a FW issue, but it'd be nice if the controller still had a means to talk to the HU and tell you the FW has an issue and needs to be updated or re-installed from, again, the end user and not need to take it apart or send the entire unit back for correction. I see JR sent you a PM, so he might have other things for you to try, sometimes something that appears like a FW issue could be something else. And JR has been a great help to me and many others on this forum, but I'm afraid, if it does turn out to be a corrupt FW issue in yours, I truly believe the only solution left is to send it in to LOR for correction or repair. Was hoping a solution could have been found here too, so the HU would find my Pixie16, that way I could at least re-install the FW, and then see if that fixed the issues with mine๐Ÿ˜Ÿ, but I don't think there is.๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
  7. Yes they are the best Floodlight Stakes I've ever used, my 6 HC 10W Smart RGB Floods came with them, but I'm going to be buying some extras for some of my past and future projects. These sure beat the cheap-o plastic stakes by a million miles! And the price is literally cheaper than most wood or plastic stakes I've seen. And they can be pounded into almost any ground type you may have. So I'll second the HC Metal stakes, the best value, and best mounting stake I've found.
  8. Just an update and an observation, I found my multimeter and checked the voltage at the board, both power supplies are sending 12.02VDC to the board, so that shouldn't be an issue. But I watched the RED Light blinking pattern while in "standby" mode, and from the way it is blinking, I think that blink pattern does mean the bootloader is not working or been somehow lost, it is blinking quickly, around 3-4 times a second, a normal controller usually blinks at around once per second. At least looking at my CCB100D's and G1V2 CTB16PC units blink at that rate in standby mode, then go steady when connected to the HU for testing, or to the MP3 Director when a sequence is playing from an SD Card with a test sequence on it. So I'm almost 100% sure The Ducks is correct, the FW is definitely hosed, I had this happen on one of my CTBPC controllers years ago, but I was able to recover that with a controller reset using the jumper method described in its manual. But the Pixie16D's reset button isn't doing anything to reset the controller. Now if there was another way to reset this beast, it might have been possible to recover and reload the FW into it. I did try The Ducks suggestion, but all the HU did was say "Searching for Controller", but never changed and never uploaded the FW. I tried doing it without selecting anything, but that wouldn't do anything at all, then I tried selecting the radio button for "only one controller connected", that's when it said it was searching, I let it run like that for a few hours, but nothing ever happened, and it never updated the FW back into the controller. Was still saying it was searching, but if it didn't find it after 3 hours or so, it wasn't going to. If there was a way I could force the FW back into the Pixie16D, I'm seriously thinking that would probably resolve the problem with it, as everything else looks to check out properly, so if the FW is corrupted and the bootloader is damaged, I have no idea how one would fix that in this particular controller model. I would hope there would be a way without having to take it all apart to send the Pixie 16D board to LOR for the FW to be fixed. What a pain this will be to do and really is something I'm not at all comfortable doing at this time. It's still mounted where I placed it for the time being, and will probably hang there until it gets a little cooler around here for me to take it down. It took 2 of us to mount it, so will have to find some help in taking it back down. Just too large, bulky, and heavy for me to handle by myself.
  9. Any time I update FW, I only do it ONE Controller at a time, Same if I'm re-arranging unit ID numbers, I do them one at a time, and only one is connected during any FW updates or ID changes, learned that the hard way years ago.
  10. If the HU can't find it, how can I "force" a firmware update? HU has to SEE it before it can upload the FW into it. Unless there is something I don't know, I see no way of forcing a FW update into it. If there is a way to do that, I'd sure like to know how! I know you don't need a network for the self test to run, but the LED starts flashing like the self test pattern IS running, but nothing lights on any port when it is in that state. The floodlights when connected just stay on at low intensity blue, the other RGB lights, 12V square nodes {3 strands of 100} and 7 CCR's do nothing at all, don't come on, no test pattern, no lights came on, disconnected the floods and tried again, still nothing on anything still connected. The floods were on the very last port, port 16. Tried plugging the square nodes and the CCR's into Port 16, no lights, no test pattern when the LED shows it should be running the test patterns.
  11. Yep, the 12V square nodes briefly flash pixel 1 red, and they stay off, but the controller still has a blinking red LED, it won't go steady no matter what RGB lights are on it. I tried the CCR ribbons {first set of 3 pixels flashed blue}, as well as the square nodes you sent with it, no go on anything. Pixie just won't reset, red LED just won't go on steady. Even tried various cat5 cables that I know are good, tested and verified with a cat5 tester, even opened a brand new cat5 cable and tried that, tried going straight to the connector jack inside the box via each side of the cat5 jack, disconnecting the one that was installed, although tested good when I used a good cat5 with the cat5 tester and each end plugged in to the tester, so showed data is getting through, but just not through to the board, apparently. I can find nothing wrong, nothing looks burned, scorched or melted in or on the PCB anywhere. So I'm not sure what to think, nor do I have any inkling of an idea what the issue is on why it won't reset.
  12. Are you referring to the FTDI USB Drivers? If so, they are available on the LOR website right here: https://www1.lightorama.com/firmware-updates/ Scroll down, the USB FTDI Driver software will be down near the bottom of the list. If you don't have these installed, you'll keep getting that 8002 error, when my system crashed years ago, I saw this error and found the USB Adapter Drivers got corrupted, re-installed them, and everything went back to normal. So if these are missing, I'm pretty sure that's your issue. Download and re-install, and hopefully you'll be good to go again. Let us know how you make out.
  13. Here's a flickering animation I created for illuminating 5 Jack O' Lanterns that emulates a candle flickering effect. You should be able to adapt these for use with RGB Floodlights with little problems. Hope this little flicker animation sequence may help you at least have a start on getting something done. I don't do Halloween displays any longer, but I keep this one around since I use it for a model for other lights I may want to add this option to for my Christmas display. I use it for my Blow Mold Candles, just the top flame tip, since I separated the flame light at the top from the stalk part. So each Candle requires 2 channels to operate, 1 channel for the stalk and 1 channel for the flame tip. Been using this method now for years for candles, or any element I want to emulate a flickering flame effect for. The animation file is attached and available for immediate download below. {This is an S4 sequence} 5 Jack-O'-Lantern Candle Flicker Test.las
  14. I ran two animatronic skeletons when I was doing Halloween displays {dancing in one mode, head/mouth movements only in the 2nd mode}, which I used the 2nd Mode on mine because I didn't need them to dance, just sing when I activated them. To give full power to an animatronic, depending on its adapter, some adapters don't work very well or at all with CTB16PC Controllers, I'm presuming that's what you're using to power your animatronics with. Mine had a stereo audio input which allowed head and mouth movements when the audio was on. But to answer your question, in the sequencer you will only use FULL ON and FULL OFF commands in the sequence on those channels controlling the animatronics, DO NOT Fade, Shimmer, Twinkle or use any other effects. If you have the newer G3 CTB16PC Controllers, you can set those channels specifically for ONLY FULL ON/OFF commands. That can be set up in the HU I believe. I don't have any G3 Controllers, so I'm not familiar enough with them to say how you set them up for this type configuration on specific channels, but I'm sure the manual on them can tell you that. It's really very simple to do. But before committing any channels to the animatronics, plug them into the controller channels you want to use for them and then in the HU test that you can turn it on and off successfully. If it works, you just need to set up the channels in your sequence specific to the animatronics. If you plug it in, and it activates before you turn on a channel in the HU, then the adapter allows current to flow through, even though the channel is off, some adapters will operate without turning on anything. Just the nature of some adapters. I don't know why or how it happens, but I've had some adapters that would always be on when plugged into any channel on a controller. This is why you need to verify the item will work as you need it too. Good Luck.
  15. You should be able top do this with the newer G4 N2 or N4 Directors, see pages #8 and Pages #36 in the G4-MP3 Manual. It gives the info needed to use the Interactive Inputs on these Director units. From my understanding oh the manual, you should be able to accomplish this, but I do believe you will also need to buy a header that slips over the pins, so that you can connect to the Directors Interactive Inputs. They can now Jim. The G4 N2 and N4 units have 6 interactive inputs on them according to the diagram in the manual {see page 8 and Page 36 of the G4-MP3 Manual}. From my understanding of the manual, the OP should be able to accomplish what he's trying to do. I'm not sure if he needs the Input Pup or not, some things in the manual on items like that aren't clearly spelled out, it just mentions NO and NC switches and shows wiring diagrams for same. But I do believe the OP will require a header to connect the switches {or Input Pup} to the Director. Manual also says to use the HU to create the interactive shows, but can't say for sure on the latest versions of S5, may be doable in the Hub now, but that would be something for the LOR folk to chime in on, as I know they were at one time going to remove the SD MP3 show creation option from the HU in S5 at some point. Haven't really looked at the HU in S5 on that yet, since I'm just now trying to figure S5 out for 2022.
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