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Are You Having LOR Problems This Year?


Mark Belgen
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It seems like alot more people are having problems with their LOR products this year.

If you have had any problems with LOR software or hardware such as no operation, communication issues, fire, system crashes, etc., then vote yes.

It is still considered a problem even if you resolve it yourself.

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I don't think LOR II issues should be included in this poll. Remember Dan released it because we were all insisting on the new version. We knew going into this that there were still minor issues with LOR II and that there would be no support, other than on this board.

I think Dan, once again, has gone beyond what he has promised us by not only providing quick on-line support, but also releasing patches for some of the issues.

With that said. Not counting my LOR2 software issues I seem to have had more issues this year with hardware than in the past. Not only with the controller boards but with lights as well. I check all my lights out prior to hanging them, but yet it stills seams that I had several strings that would go bad as soon as they were clipped to the roof.

I blame Global Warming......

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I think this poll is much too black and white.

A lot of people are having issues that are related to channel config issues and other "user error". Frankly, some of the people who have reportedly returned boards to LOR, it still sounds like possibly user error to me.

Also, this poll is going to be heavily biased because hundreds of people who are having trouble-free shows aren't going to frequent this forum, meanwhile most who ARE having problems will be...

-Tim

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You sound a little defensive and personally I love the product.

The Poll question was not regarding light strings, LEDs or any other non-LOR device that is attached to the LOR controllers that is having functional problems.

The question was one to capture some Product Quality Metrics.

This is not about blaming anyone, just LOR feedback to hopefully improve the product and service support.

Also, keep in mind that the number of LOR units sold has significantly gone up, so there will be more issues occuring.

Hope this clarifies the question.

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johnny christmas

not going to vote cuz my problems were more 'user related' than software related and i worked through them...as stated earlier, this poll is too black and white

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Tim Fischer wrote:

I think this poll is much too black and white.

A lot of people are having issues that are related to channel config issues and other "user error". Frankly, some of the people who have reportedly returned boards to LOR, it still sounds like possibly user error to me.

Also, this poll is going to be heavily biased because hundreds of people who are having trouble-free shows aren't going to frequent this forum, meanwhile most who ARE having problems will be...

-Tim

That's the point. This is the audience to capture this info.

You can't fix what you don't know is broken.
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I'm very much a newbie. This is my first year of animation, first year of LOR, first year of more than 4,000 lights. I haven't had a single problem with LOR. I've built two - 16 channel PC boards. I've never really built much of anything electronic before but I understand electronics pretty well. I am pretty computer knowledgable. But I've read and re-read every instruction, and then re-read them again. Everything has worked perfectly. But I've got to be honest. Some of the questions I've seen asked, and some of the problems I've seen described, I have to ask if anyone is really reading the instructions and documentation, or are they just going full steam ahead and hoping everyone else will fix their problems. If you are having multiple problems, I suspect you either don't understand what you're doing, or you haven't spent much time figuring this out. This isn't rocket science, but it's a lot more complicated than hooking up a home entertainment system, and most folks can't figure that out. Read, understand, THEN Do. Don't Do, try to read, then ask questions when it doesn't work. That's the problem I see for Dan. As it's gotten more popular, folks who have more money than knowledge are buying these products and then having lots of problems. This isn't for everyone. Some folks may have a hard time accepting that. I acutally have a friend who doesn't have a clue about how this stuff works, but he's got a lot of money and he just dumped 4 figures on some Action Lighting stuff. I know he's going to want me to help him figure it out because he told me he's not sure how it works. And he knows I can figure it out. I guess that's probably part of this whole idea becoming more mainstream. Just some random thoughts.

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I have to agree with Tim. I think your poll will simply be inaccurate in this venue.

Kind of like walking into a doctor's office and asking how many people present are sick.

Nonetheless, I hope you get the results you're looking for.

Cheers!

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Mark,

Sorry wasn't trying to be defensive. And I wasn't talking about non-animation related problems. It's just we've seen a huge percentage of posts (here, as well as on PC and CC) about "channels not working" which turn out to be improper channel config (now I've pointed out in other posts that the sequence editor could do a little more hand-holding to help prevent this, but it's still user error). We've seen people report problems that were fixed in later versions of the software that they didn't yet have. We've seen people report blown fuses/triacs on enclosures they've assembled themselves, and there's probably about as much chance of it being their fault as a faulty board from the box... These are hard to point the blame at LOR for...

Then there's the fact that a lot of us are using unreleased (gamma) software. I'm having problems with X-10, but I took the risk and ran the gamma... Is that LOR's fault or mine?

Push Eject made a great comparison of the doctor's office as well. I think you'd really have to somehow survey a cross-sampling of LOR users to get a true picture. A few of us LOR geeks hang out here for 'fun'. Most users, though, are only going to come here if they have a problem...

Maybe my "defensiveness" is moot, because so far only 2 people have reported problems...

-Tim

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Jeff Millard wrote:

LOR products rule! They rule because the owner of the company stands by his product sight unseen! He has on many occasions just boxed up product and shipped it out to a customer in need after a telephone discussion. He often replaces a defective product (or even one that was damaged by the user!) with an upgraded replacement piece.

If you have a problem with a part... post about it and discuss it. Call LOR or email them too. I have no idea what other manufacterers do, but I know from experience what Dan Baldwin will do. It's why I will continue to purchase product from him and support his support forum. ...and be outspoken about dissent.


AMEN. This kind of support is why those of us who've been customers for years get "defensive", even with something as seemingly innocent as a "have you had problems this year" survey...

-Tim
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I have to agree with you Jeff. I did have a problem this year (Dan pointed towards a bad comm chip), was it LOR's fault, no. Sometimes components fail. I will say however that Dan Baldwin backs his company 100%! I discovered my problem on a Saturday Night, by Monday afternoon they had a completed board to me to use while mine was repaired. As I stated many times in emails to LOR, Their support is by far the best I have ever dealt with. They go out of their way to keep the smallest of customer happy. This is one reason I will recommend their product to anyone that asks about it and continue to purchase their great product.



greg

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Guest wbottomley

Tim Fischer wrote:

Jeff Millard wrote:
LOR products rule! They rule because the owner of the company stands by his product sight unseen! He has on many occasions just boxed up product and shipped it out to a customer in need after a telephone discussion. He often replaces a defective product (or even one that was damaged by the user!) with an upgraded replacement piece.

If you have a problem with a part... post about it and discuss it. Call LOR or email them too. I have no idea what other manufacterers do, but I know from experience what Dan Baldwin will do. It's why I will continue to purchase product from him and support his support forum. ...and be outspoken about dissent.


AMEN. This kind of support is why those of us who've been customers for years get "defensive", even with something as seemingly innocent as a "have you had problems this year" survey...

-Tim

Tim, you beat me to it! I agree 1000%, not 100.

I'll put it just like this and hopefully my post will not be deleted.

I first started with Animated Lighting and from the beginning, I had problems with a board. Greg (won't mention his last name) was kind enough to call me many times and try to diagnose the problems. Each time we turned up with the samething, board not working properly. After I turned them on until December 23rd, that's when I received my new board, no one at Animated Lighting ever contacted me after numerous emails and busy phone calls to them. On the other hand, Greg help me get the new board and I'm greatful for this.

During this trouble, I found Light-O-Rama. I emailed Dan before I bought anything and he replied back on a Sunday morning. Saying he'll stand behind his products, help me if I have any trouble and appreciates the business.

So I bought the software first and started sequencing my music before I turned off my Animated Lighting products. Last year was my first with LOR. I jumped in and bought 8 controllers. About two weeks after I had taken-down my lights, I sold my other controllers (worked perfect after the replacement).

So, any trouble I've had with LOR products, Dan has always been there just like on Thanksgiving night at 10:30pm this year.

Dan... thank you for the service you provide and the great product. And since you've help me like you have, anyone that asks how I do it, I give them LOR's website.
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Another thing to take into consideration is the complexity of the display's that are being built. You can take a brand new computer out of the box and have problems with it. But the adding machine that has been cluttering up the desk will still work perfectly for years.
I would rather have a few "issues" with a computer.

My 1st year I had 16 channel's and 6,000 lights. 0 problems all month.
2nd year, 10 controllers, 40,000 lights and wireless controllers running lights across the street. I have had a couple of "issues". Far from a show stopper. Most people didn't even realize that something was wrong. Just knowing the sequence like I do I saw a couple a channels reacting funny.

But think about this...
How many people even had an idea that display's as complex as this are even conceivable??

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sorry for all the hits you are taking about this poll....

Maybe a better question to get the results you were looking for would have been to ask "Who thinks the Quality or Support of LOR has decreased this year?"

than you might get the answer you are looking for, but I feel it would still be a loaded question.

Anybody that has worked for a small company or owned one knows the problems that come with growth. This year LOR has released several brand new products that were not available last year.. I.e. the DMX and MD controller. Not to mention working hard on a new software release which is a bigger headache than just an update. Plus moving to a new location which I am sure included new hires.

Maybe I am defensive and seem to be defending LOR. But in my history as a business owner and in the business world I think LOR is way above average in how it is handleing the Growth Pains. As for the people who have had legit issues with Hardware and Software failures how many have been unsatisfied with the end result that Dan and LOR have provided.

I remember sending off my new $2,000 stereo amp because of issues and not getting it back for 8 weeks. Dan, on the other hand, in his busy season not only responded to my email within 12 hours on a weekend, but also pre-shipped out a replacement for a $129 dollar controller.

Every company can do better, and you can never please everyone. But Dan is, in my opinion, way above industry standards in his Quality Control, Timeliness (with factors included), and by far one of the Top 5 business that I have ever dealt with in Customer Support/Service.

There are just too many factors to ask a loaded question as to how many have had problems with LOR this year. Thats like asking How many had a flat tire this year. What caused the flat tire? Could it have be prevented? Was it a self inflicted wound? to many unknowns for statics gathering. And it would not provide you with anything other than number of people with issues. Not how many failures due to the tire.

Like Tom said, there are lots of new people in this hobby now. It wouldn't supprise me if the actual number haven't doubled this year.

sorry for the Rant and if I P.O'd anyone, but even my wife asks How does Dan stay in business with customer support like he has and with free upgrades to software. Of course don't tell Dan about this, I don't want this gravy train to end..;)

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kevin wrote:

Dan is, in my opinion, way above industry standards in his Quality Control, Timeliness (with factors included), and by far one of the Top 5 business that I have ever dealt with in Customer Support/Service.

Okay, seriously? I want to know the other four.

;) Charlie
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LightORamaDan

I think that there are a couple of reasons that it seems like there are more problems...

1. Way more users: Generally (but not always) the users that start posts are those with problems.

2. A bug in version 1.6.3 that caused shows to stop running. This had been fixed in an earlier version but was re-introduced in version 1.6.3 due to lax source control procedures (The but and the lax procedures both have been corrected).

3. A problem when we moved files and file locations due to vista requirements. This required that the LOR entries in the system registry be rebuild. This caused a number of different problems including the in ability to save schedules... etc.

------

It was the correct choice to move files to new locations however the implementation should have been handled better and it should have been better tested. The combination of numbers 2 and 3 above DID result in more software issues than we have had in years past.

The result is that we will make sure that we have fully tested all migration paths to LOR II and that this does not happen to our customers when they move to LOR II.

I am going to close this thread because I have answered the original question.

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