Jump to content

Controller Clock Variable Speed Observations


Jay Czerwinski
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently made a clock using a mDM-MP3 (mini Director Module with MP3 Player) and 60 of the 100 pixels of a Cosimic Color Pixel unit.  I posted more details about it here - http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/23083-unique-tricks-using-lor-light-controlers/?p=285536

 

 

The mDM-MP3 presented challenges because I ended up needing at 12 hours of music!!!  Ha!  But that is another story.

 

The interesting observation is that in trying to make sure the clock is showng an accurate time every day, I am seeing that the time drifts from being too fast to too slow. (from several minutes plus and minus, but it seems to recover radomly over a day or two)   Maybe a technical LOR engineer can help explain this.   I know that it is unconventional to use the LOR hardware as a clock, but it is charming to say the least that I got to put my Christmas lighting in to a corporate sign!  

 

Questions I have:

1. What is causing the time drift?  The whole show is made from (6) musicals usng the same 2 hour long song - which is actually just a silent MP3 in a constant 8kbps bit MP3 file.

2. Would a different controller with a better clock help?  Maybe just using a dedicated PC? (running off a PC or other might allow me to just do an animation instead)

3. Maybe off-track, but would using a trigger sequence make the original sequence start from the beginning, or does the triggered sequence "layer" over the top and the original clock musical would stay on time?

 

Thank you for any words of wisdom from the forum!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3EeXsdrowk

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/k3EeXsdrowk/mqdefault.jpg

mqdefault.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this: Instead of using a musical sequence, use an animation sequence. I don't know if you can do this with the simple show builder, but you can use the MP3 tab of the hardware utility, and add an animation sequence from there. Since an animation sequence doesn't rely on the timing from a MP3 file, it may show more constant timings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this: Instead of using a musical sequence, use an animation sequence. I don't know if you can do this with the simple show builder, but you can use the MP3 tab of the hardware utility, and add an animation sequence from there. Since an animation sequence doesn't rely on the timing from a MP3 file, it may show more constant timings.

 

Thank you Steven for the starting direction!   I thought I tried this before but must have given up with a lack of confidence or sleep or ...?    Anyway, I didn't think I could load an animation in to the controller but your method with the Hardware Utility worked!!!  YEAY!!!     (I wish I knew that before all of the Audacity work I had to do in creating 12 hours of music!)

So, I have started the animation at 5pm this Friday evening and will see what it looks like on Monday morning.  (If my curiosity doesn't get the best of me to check in on it this weekend!)

Updates to follow, and thank you again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Max-Paul, that's just how the Kwikset Kevo comes when you buy it.  It's a bluetooth deadbolt.  They're little over $200.  I bought mine at Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kwikset-Kevo-Single-Cylinder-Satin-Nickel-Bluetooth-Enabled-Deadbolt-Compatible-with-iPhone-4S-5-5C-5S-and-Included-FOB-925-KEVO-DB-15/204379769)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay, could you shed some light on the lockset? How did you get the LEDs around the key hole? Thanks

Max-Paul,

I think you are referring to my actual model. The clear ring that is holding the 60 CCPs is a 3D print done on a Connex Objet printer. It is a very cool machine that can print in multiple materials simultaneously. After testing various tints, I ended up going with clear and a sand-blasted frosted finish.

To pay a service bureau for that part could cost up to $1000, but I am fortunate to have equipment like this where I work. I can't use it for my personal projects, but being for a corporate display the sky was the limit!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jay, could you shed some light on the lockset? How did you get the LEDs around the key hole? Thanks

Max-Paul,

After reading your message again I see that jonsimp911 understood you better than I.

The way we got the LEDs around the lock cylinder was essentially a donut shaped circuit board almost on the face of the lock, so as to keep as much metal as possible behind it and around the cylinder to maintain the engineered grade of security for the deadbolt. (Matches all of our residential deadbolts that don't have the LEDs)

There is a thin cover over the circuit board that is plated to match the plating finish of the lock set, and that is set in to a clear light pipe disc with an exposed outer ring. There aren't any security elements on the circuit board, so from an electronics point of view, it does not create a hacker access point.

Funny thing is that I used 5 of the the LOR CCPs originally in my mockup to identify color codes and timings of the LEDs in the actual product. It was easy in the sequencer to change how fast things blinked according to marketing feedback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this: Instead of using a musical sequence, use an animation sequence. I don't know if you can do this with the simple show builder, but you can use the MP3 tab of the hardware utility, and add an animation sequence from there. Since an animation sequence doesn't rely on the timing from a MP3 file, it may show more constant timings.

Thanks again Steven for the suggestion!   So far I have had a few good things and only one bad.  

Good:

1. Learned how to load an animation on to the mini director with MP3 using the hardware utility

2. Substantially reduced file size

3. Seemed to eliminate the variability in the timing (back and forth slow/fast)

Bad:

1. The speed is consistently fast -- about 11 seconds/day.   But I think I will just modify the sequence to account for this once I have a full week of data.

 

It is interesting to have learned that the clock changes variably so much when running MP3 files.  Being a geek, I would love to hear more from an technical standpoint, but maybe that will just have to be one of life's mysteries for me....  just as long as it works, then don't worry about it.

 

Thank you again!     (Now to explore trigger inputs and how they overlap or interact with the running sequence)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you use an MP3, we derive timing information from the MP3 file itself.  If your MP3 was encoded at an incorrect sample rate (higher/lower than 44.1khz), or if it was encoded using VBR rather than CBR the MP3 director will exhibit the problems you had.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you use an MP3, we derive timing information from the MP3 file itself.

It would seem to me that a sequence with a correctly-encoded MP3, and an animation sequence would both depend equally on the accuracy and stability of the timebase in the director, correct?

 

Also, when using a musical sequence, it seems that there will be some unavoidable transition times at the start and end of the MP3 file. On the other hand, an animation sequence can have loops that will keep a constant timing for as long as you need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would seem to me that a sequence with a correctly-encoded MP3, and an animation sequence would both depend equally on the accuracy and stability of the timebase in the director, correct?

 

Correct.  The OP was wondering why it seemed to drift randomly with his MP3.  That is because of the bitrate issues.  The nearly constant drift with the animation sequence is going to be due to the mfg variances of different oscillators, ambient temperature/etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct.  The OP was wondering why it seemed to drift randomly with his MP3.  That is because of the bitrate issues.  The nearly constant drift with the animation sequence is going to be due to the mfg variances of different oscillators, ambient temperature/etc.

 

Thank you both for the insights.  The Animation seems to be the answer for me.  I might just stretch my cells by a fraction to get the ~1s/hour correction.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to keep a more accurate time?  

I thought of taking my existing system and putting it on a timed outlet module that could reset everything very early in the morning every day.

f2964730-309a-4d99-a4dd-96c6ce176922_145

or maybe a different controller solution From LOR?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...