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Animation sequence with DC-MP3 Director


darrylmcginnis
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I'm posting this in General because the topic actually could fit 3 separate topics all at the same time, and I don't know within which product my problem actually resides.

I have a couple problems with running an animation sequence (.las file) with the Showtime DC-MP3 Director. I have nine CTB16PC controllers and one iDMX-1000 controller on the network.

The first issue is that intermittently 1 or 2 of the CTB16PC controllers don't "initialize" properly at the beginning of the sequence. Their status LED flash while the other controllers' status LEDs light steady. Obviously, none of the channels operate on the controller whose status LED is blinking during the sequence. As the sequence repeats, the controller may or may not re-initiallize properly; if it does, the show is great; if not, it's another round of a "dark" controller. I have never experienced this issue with music sequences, only animation sequences.

My question is, would this be the fault of the intermittent controller, the DC-MP3 director, or the network cabling? All of the controllers are connected with CAT6 cables most being 3 foot lengths, only 2 cables are longer - and each of those are only 6 foot lengths. I don't see how it could be a cable issue, but I'm just throwing that idea out there... How do I track down the real problem and correct it?

The second issue involves the iDMX-1000 controller. Again, music sequences seem to have no problem, but during an animation sequence the light channels "do their thing" when an intensitity change occurs in the sequence, but any steady-on (any intensity, I think) for any duration the lights go out. It is as though once a ramp up / ramp down to the desired intensity is complete, a zero intensity (off) is sent for the duration that the light should remain set at any particular intensity.

My question, is this the fault of the iDMX-1000 controller or the DC-MP3 director; and is there anything I can do about it?

Darryl McGinnis
The Lights On Townley
http://www.TheLightsOnTownley.com

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There have been "hundreds (almost)" posts this year where the "flakey" problems turned out to be bad cables.

Testing cables with a cable tester or just switching them out, is the quickest and cheapest test to make.

I would start with the cables

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Thanks John, I can certainly very easily swap out network cables to see how that changes things.

What I found most odd though was I don't have any issues while running music sequences - all controllers and channels function as expected. It is only during the short repeating animation sequence that the strange events occur.

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darrylmcginnis wrote:

Thanks John, I can certainly very easily swap out network cables to see how that changes things.

What I found most odd though was I don't have any issues while running music sequences - all controllers and channels function as expected. It is only during the short repeating animation sequence that the strange events occur.



Is it repeatable? Can you predict when it will happen?

If you can then you might have duplicate channel numbers in that file.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry it took so long for me to get back here...

Swapping cables did absolutely nothing. Additionally, all network cables are CAT6 at 3 and 6 ft lengths.
As far as trying to identify a pattern, for the most part, there isn't one; but with that said, there are a couple of things that might be recognized as "boundaries". Out of the 9 CTB16PC controllers, I have not seen controller numbers 01 through 04 demonstrate the problem; only controller numbers 05 and higher. In most but not all instances, the initialization problem occurs every other repetition. The problem also does not necessarily repeat with the same controller.

Now - since my original posts, I created a 12 second silent mp3 file and built a music sequence for it (copying the animation sequence information). This plays with no issue whatsoever. I have a show defined to play it continuously from a particular start time to an end time. So I have created my own work-around. It does still puzzle me why it doesn't work as expected as an animation sequence.

Regarding the second issue, I'm leaning toward the belief that it is exactly the same issue as the first; but manifesting itself only slightly differently being DMX. One interesting thing to note however, even though the unit number of the iDMX is set to '10', it is physically cabled between controllers 01 and 02. The remaining CTB16PC controllers happen to be cabled in the same sequence as their unit numbers.

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