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Help! New to RGB and Cosmic Color Pixels!


MonstrousMike
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I just purchased two sets of Cosmic Color Pixels with the intent of making four leaping arches, 50 pixels each. This is my first step into RGB, and first step beyond controlling simple LED light strings and incandescent spot lights via LOR 16 channel controllers. I walked through the Quick Start guide and have a decent idea of what various channels do. (The lights came on as expected per the guide, that has to be good!) To get started, I'm just trying to get two arches configured from one CCP controller. If I can do that, adding the two additional arches from the second controller should be a piece of cake.

 

I've read the documentation (CB100D User Manual, Programming Guide, Quick Start Guide, LOR Help) and have scoured the forums for guidance. I found several forum threads on this topic, but I couldn't seem to follow what was being suggested. Maybe it is being new to RGB, but I can't seem to get the arches configured correctly in the Visualizer and can't get Superstar to recognize the second arch. I tried the Arch Wizard and the CCR Draw Wizard. Not much luck there. I found the arch fixtures shared by ItsMeBobO, successfully added each (controller on left an controller on right) to the Visualizer, and can sequence them. I have one set to Unit ID 7, the other to Unit ID 8. That seems to be in line with the guidance I found in the forums. Problem is I can't get both arches to "leap" in the same direction. I know that the one arch needs to start with the pixel farthest from the controller, so I set the starting pixel at 50. When I try to "play" the visualization, I get the following error: "Fixture Arch right does not have a main CCR Fixture". when I set the starting pixel back to 1, it works fine. I don't see an option on the fixture to "flip" the starting pixel. To add to my troubles, Superstar only sequences the first arch (Arch left). BTW, I have a 2 CCR license for Superstar. From what I've read, I may need to upgrade to a 4 CCR license to sequence all 4 sets of CCPs.

 

While I'm at it, I am unclear as to how to configure the CCP controller via the Hardware Utility. Should I configure it "Normal" (one ID), or Legacy (multiple IDs), or Dual Normal (two IDs)? Again, from what I've read I need to set up each set of 50 pixels like they are each on their own controller. That seems to imply that I need to configure the controller to use 2 IDs.

 

I hate to think that I may I need to get myself in to one of the training classes this year just to learn how to configure these devices. I had hoped that configuring LOR hardware in the LOR software would be an easy thing. That's why I forked out the extra $$$ for CCPs vice a DIY solution with non-LOR DMX controllers. Hopefully it is easy and I am just making rookie mistakes.

 

Thank goodness I got the CCPs now --- I have about 8 1/2 months to figure this out and update my sequences before my Halloween display goes live! Plus I have to update my Christmas sequences.

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Ron, thanks for the help! Everything is working in the Visualizer, Superstar and the Sequence Editor. (I went ahead and upgraded my license to 4 CCRs.) I configured the controller and ran a test sequence, which worked fine.

 

One question, how do I change the starting pixel for arches 1 and 3? With the controller in the middle, it would seem that arches 1 and 3 would start with the pixel farthest from the controller, and arches 2 and 4 would start with the pixel closest to the controller. That way I can copy my sequencing from one arch to the next to get a series of "leaps" across all four arches in the same direction.

 

Thanks again, your help got me farther along in a few minutes than I was able to manage in several hours!

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I played around some more and thought, why not copy arch 1 and paste it as arch 2. That seems to solve the "direction" issue in the Visualizer. Problem is it doesn't solve it for the actual CCP strings. I have the CCP controller set up for Dual Normal, and selected "Flip String 1", but it did not have any effect. I tried "Flip String 2", which also had no effect.

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Here's a silly(?) thought... Should I simply buy an extension cable for one string to physically flip it? I'd rather flip it in the software and keep the controller in between both arches, but I can be happy with a hardware solution.

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Yes you can (and should) flip it in the software. I'm on my phone right now so I can't give step by step instructions. If either you don't figure it out or someone else tells you, I'll give a better answer when on a computer.

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Progress!. Ron, without your help I'd be pulling my hair out! Here's what I did...

  1. I used Ron's Visualizer file to save two fixtures, calling them "CCP Arch P1 near controller" and CCP Arch P50 near controller". (P1 = Pixel 1, P50 = Pixel 50) I "assumed" that Arch 1 and Arch 2 were created this way.
  2. In my Visualizer file, I added 4 arches:
    1. Arch 1 = CCP Arch P50 near controller (unit 07)
    2. Arch 2 = CCP Arch 1 near controller (unit 08)
    3. Arch 1 = CCP Arch P50 near controller (unit 09)
    4. Arch 1 = CCP Arch P1 near controller (unit 0A)
  3. In the Sequence Editor, I added 4 Cosmic Color Devices
    1. Arch 1: Default settings + set Unit ID = 07 and selected "Flipped (Channel 1 at far end) for String 1 Orientation
    2. Arch 2: Default settings + set Unit ID = 08 and selected "Flipped (Channel 1 near controller) for String 1 Orientation
    3. Arch 1: Default settings + set Unit ID = 09 and selected "Flipped (Channel 1 at far end) for String 1 Orientation
    4. Arch 1: Default settings + set Unit ID = 0A and selected "Flipped (Channel 1 near controller) for String 1 Orientation

Results:

  • All arches behave as expected in the Visualizer and in SuperStar. They all "leap" in the same direction when I want them to do so. :)
  • The controller is configured as "Dual Normal". Both strings work when I play a test sequence, but String1/Arch1 is still starting at the wrong end. :huh:

I'm sure there has to be something I'm missing, presumably in the Hardware Utility.

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Victory at last! Here's what I did since my last post...

 

  1. Used Ron's Visualizer file to create a sequence in Superstar. <<< This ensured I was using a properly configured Visualizer file.
  2. Re-added the CCP devices in the Sequence Editor, using the default settings for all 4 arches, of course with my Unit IDs. <<< Once I saw the pixel numbers in Ron's Visualizer file, I realized I did not need to reverse them here. I'll chalk it up to being an RGB-newbie for not noticing them earlier.
  3. Imported the Superstar sequence into the Sequence Editor and played/viewed it in the Visualizer. <<< Everything played exactly as expected/desired.
  4. Re-configured my CCP controller in the Hardware Utility as follows:
    1. Unit ID Mode = Dual Normal
    2. Channel Mode = Triples
    3. Standalone Speed = 8
    4. Ribbon/String Parameters:
      1. 50 Pixels
      2. Num of end-to-end connected CCBs/CCRs = 1
      3. First Pixel is Status Indicator = checked
      4. CCP (Pixel) Color Correction = checked
      5. Flip String 2 = checked <<< This got both strings going in the same direction, and the direction I wanted.
      6. DMX Mode = Both Macro and RGB Channels

So, this was clearly a PICNIC --- Problem In Chair, Not In Computer! It would seem that I had some configurations that conflicted with each other. That's the only thing I can figure since the "Flip String 1" and "Flip String 2" options in the Hardware Utility did nothing until I got the rest sorted out.

 

This was a major hurdle for me as an RGB-newbie. Bummer that it took a while, but I learned a lot. I'm pretty sure I could now create the arches from scratch in the Visualizer and make them work in Superstar, the Sequence Editor, and on the actual CCP strings. Now all I have to do is update all of my Halloween and Christmas sequences to use my new CCP arches. Oh, and I guess I need to actually assemble the arches. I still need to decide if I'm going to use the paver edger method (see Gary Lipps' how-to for the paver edging mounting method) or clear PVC/PEX. I really like the idea of the PVC/PEX as a diffuser for a smoother lighting effect. But I'd need to decide if I want to buy 4 arch frames or build something myself. Hmmm...

 

A BIG thank you to Ron on this one! :D

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The arch wire frames are not necessary. Save your $$$ for more lights or controllers.  A lot of folks just drive a piece of rebar in the ground and slide the PVC/PEX over it. The natural curve of the PEX will help make the arches the way they should be. If you don't like the way they look after trying the rebar method, then I suggest the wire frame method.

 

I used them for 2 reasons, at the end of the season, I take the wire frames with the PEX and lights attached pick them up and carry the whole thing to the basement. 2nd, I'm OCD.

 

Oh, and you're quite welcome. If I can help further, let me know.

 

Ron

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  • 1 year later...

Configure it as Dual Normal (two IDs)

If one Unit ID is 7, doing it this way will create ID 7 and 8. Unit 2 will be set to Unit 9 and will be ID 9 and 0A

 

Try this and see if it works. Let me know either way.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5j2rtlk9luagcax/CCP%20ARches%20Share.zip

The file is gone, and I am learning this ccp thing from scratch. I think this might help...  Could you please share it with me?  Thank you!

Edited by ehgilman
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BTW, check out this video for building arches. I'm going to use this method, but with the CCPs instead of the pixel strips. I used electrical tape to fold back the space between CCP bulbs to bring them closer together. The wind up at about 10' long and fit well in the Polyethylene tubing that Matt Johnson uses. And they look way, way, WAY better than using PVC, which I used last year. Plus they are much more substantial. That said, don't let the $30 an arch fool you. The Polyethylene tubing was pretty cheap, but the shipping was steep. Four 10' sections ran me about $150 including shipping. Ouch! But it will be so worth it.

 

Matt Johnson's How to build a Leaping Light Arch

 

If you still need a configured prop file (and visualizer file) for the arches, let me know. I can save them out and send them to you. I'll just need your email address.

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The file is gone, and I am learning this ccp thing from scratch. I think this might help...  Could you please share it with me?  Thank you!

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/35eaed5gg5tu3us/AABY2o2y_DliqXQjh49Zs-Via?dl=0

 

Since these were created early last year in the S3 visualizer, I used the DMX Keywords to use in Superstar. If I create it now, it will be created in the S4 format and may not work in S3. That being said, there are some instructions needed for this file.

 

1.) once you open up the file, in the right hand column, it will have 4 fixtures named, Arch 1 - CCR 1a, Arch 2 - CCR 1b,  Arch 3 - CCR 2a, and Arch 4 - CCR 2b. Select the Props tab and now you'll have CCR 1 and CCR 2

2.) double click on CCR 01. Under the "Name" is a comments box that will have the keywords in, "superstar dmx=1,1" and  "superstar dmx=2,1". These keywords will need to be removed for the prop to work in the visualizer. Otherwise, it will only work in Superstar.

 

I also added a backup file that S4 created. just remove everything in the name after .lee, and you should be able to open it, just in case the other one doesn't work.

 

If I can help further, let me know.

Edited by Ron Boyd
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  • 2 weeks later...

When I try to run Visulizer, I get this error:

There are one or more errors with your simulation that prevent it from running.  Please correct these errors and try again.

The CCR on network "Regular" unit ID 10,when assembled has pixels which are not contiguous.  The Following fixtures should be checked:
--Arch 2 - CCR 1a (Start Pixel=1  Next start pixel should be 51)
--Arch 4 - CCR 2b (Start Pixel=26  Next start pixel should be 51)
--Arch 1 - CCR 1b (Start Pixel=26)

The CCR on network "Regular" unit ID 10, when assembled does not have exactly 50 pixels. Instead it has a total of 75.  The following fixtures should be checked:
--Arch 2 - CCR 1a
--Arch 4 - CCR 2b
--Arch 1 - CCR 1b

The CCR on network "Regular" unit ID 11, when assembled does not have exactly 50 pixels. Instead it has a total of 25.  The following fixtures should be checked:
--Arch 3 - CCR 2a
 

 

WHat the heck is going on?

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