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Major Show Problems with 2.0.12


Tim Fischer
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I upgraded to 2.0.12 the other night to deal with my X-10 issues. I've been gone so much that I haven't been watching the show... Tonight we watched it, and terrible problems were happening. Every so often, its as if the show just pauses. The music continues, but all the lights freeze in their 'last' state for a time, creating no action at all. Then it resumes where it left off.

Here's a suspicion -- is it possible that every time the X-10 background sequence sends out the XON events every minute, the show pauses until those commands get sent?

I will try it without a background sequence and report back. If that doesn't work, I'll have to downgrade to 2.0.8. This is not working right now. Too bad this has been our busiest weekend and I didn't notice it until tonight...

-Tim

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I am basically running the same thing with 2 X10 background channels running. I have yet to notice an issue with this however. When I upgraded I specifically watched the show to make sure that what was happening before didn't happen again, and it wasn't. There seems to be no pauses and seems to be little to no issues with my X10 stuff.

Just thought I would give another view point.

Greg

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It definitely seems to be the X-10 background sequence. I just stopped the show, replaced it with an identical version, sans background sequence, and all is well.

My static background sequence is trying to send X-10 events to something like 7 or 8 different X-10 addresses (I'd have to check for sure). In LOR I that worked fine, but something evidently changed in LOR II to make the regular LOR boxes stop getting commands during that time.

If this were an easy fix, I'd appreciate it, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll go back to using ActiveHome... I'd be happy to zip up my entire show and related files for use in reconstructing the problem on your end.


-Tim

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Ponddude wrote:

I am basically running the same thing with 2 X10 background channels running. I have yet to notice an issue with this however. When I upgraded I specifically watched the show to make sure that what was happening before didn't happen again, and it wasn't. There seems to be no pauses and seems to be little to no issues with my X10 stuff.

Just thought I would give another view point.

Greg


My guess is that it's the number of channels. If you get a chance, can you add 6 or 7 X-10 channels to your background sequence (even if they're fake ones that you don't use) and see if you get pauses? I'm going to keep watching, but removing the X-10 seems to have fixed the problem. Of course maybe it was just stopping and restarting the show... I could try putting the X-10 back in and see if it affects things...

It also might be possible that it's related to the number of LOR channels/events going on. I noticed the pauses mostly in particularly 'busy' passages.

-Tim
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I just stood outside and watched for about 30 minutes -- not a single skip without the background sequence.

Of course there's one other variable -- I disabled and re-enabled the shows to switch to the no-x10 show. Tomorrow I'm going to have it run with X10 as normal, slip outside to watch once the show starts, and see if I get the pauses again. If not, maybe it was just something fluky tonight. Either way, I'll report back my findings.

-Tim

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This is interesting as I am seeing a lag with 2.0.12 as well. I do not run X10, but the pause between musical sequences has gone from nearly non-existant to 5 or 6 seconds with x.12.

Not enough for me to care too much, but since you brought up a timing/pausing issue perhaps I'll chime in.

Cheers,
Charlie

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Push Eject wrote:

This is interesting as I am seeing a lag with 2.0.12 as well. I do not run X10, but the pause between musical sequences has gone from nearly non-existant to 5 or 6 seconds with x.12.

I've noticed that too. Sometimes it's worse than others.

LOR I had almost no pause, unless you asked for one in the show editor...

-Tim
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Tim Fischer wrote:

Push Eject wrote:
This is interesting as I am seeing a lag with 2.0.12 as well. I do not run X10, but the pause between musical sequences has gone from nearly non-existant to 5 or 6 seconds with x.12.

I've noticed that too. Sometimes it's worse than others.

LOR I had almost no pause, unless you asked for one in the show editor...

-Tim

You made me check... my pause time is definitely set to "0" in the show editor.
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My problem is most definitely related to the X-10 background sequence. I tried it again tonight, got terrible pauses.

For now I'll be sticking with 2.0.12, but once again using ActiveHome to control X-10. It's so close to Christmas that I'll just plan on running it this way for the rest of the season, unless Dan&Co pleasantly surprise me with a quick fix...

Once again, I'd be happy to pack up my entire show and related files for use in isolating the bug, if you can't make it happen there.

-Tim

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Is your background sequence just "turn on these channels", and nothing else?

How long (timewise) is it?

The way that sequences in the background section (and those in the animation section if "concurrent" is selected) work is essentially the same way that "loop at end" works in the Sequence Editor. So, when it gets to the end of the sequence, it loops back to the beginning, and fires off the events at the start of the sequence again.

In the case of X10, this might be an issue because of the very slow speed at which X10 commands can be sent out.

So, perhaps, the following might help (if the sequence is just "turn on these channels" and nothing else, or if you're not otherwise relying upon the fact that it "loops at end"):

Increase the length of the background sequence to something longer than the scheduled length of your show. That way, it will never reach the end of the sequence, and so never loop back, and so the commands at the start of the sequence should only be sent out once (per run of the show).

If you choose to try this, please let us know the results. Thanks, and sorry for the problem.

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bob wrote:

Is your background sequence just "turn on these channels", and nothing else?

How long (timewise) is it?

The way that sequences in the background section (and those in the animation section if "concurrent" is selected) work is essentially the same way that "loop at end" works in the Sequence Editor. So, when it gets to the end of the sequence, it loops back to the beginning, and fires off the events at the start of the sequence again.

In the case of X10, this might be an issue because of the very slow speed at which X10 commands can be sent out.

So, perhaps, the following might help (if the sequence is just "turn on these channels" and nothing else, or if you're not otherwise relying upon the fact that it "loops at end"):

Increase the length of the background sequence to something longer than the scheduled length of your show. That way, it will never reach the end of the sequence, and so never loop back, and so the commands at the start of the sequence should only be sent out once (per run of the show).

If you choose to try this, please let us know the results. Thanks, and sorry for the problem.


Bob,

I'm pretty sure that would work. But here's the wrinkle: X-10 is just flakey enough that sometimes I miss events, especially with all the interference of the lights. The nice thing about getting the ON every minute was that if the event was missed the first (or second, or third) time, chances are it would get hit sooner or later, and within the first few minutes I'd have all the static lights on. I fear that with only the "one shot deal" I might not get the lights on every single time.

The other thing I should mention is that this has worked flawlessly for me under LOR I for several years now, with the same setup. It's a one-minute background sequence, with about 7 channels turning on as the only event. Did something change in LOR II so that things wait for the X10 event to get sent, where as in LOR I it happened asynchronously?

Thanks for the input. I will try your suggestion and see how it goes.

-Tim
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A couple other things I tried tonight:

1) Set up a "fast macro" in ActiveHome to turn on and off my entire static displays. The idea was that LOR would then have to only send one X10 command (the macro) and since others have had success doing that, that it might work.

But Macros and LOR evidently don't play nicely together. My guess is if I set up a macro in a second CM-11A this idea would work, but since the the same CM-11A is being used to both store the macro, and have LOR send commands, that there is a conflict somehow.

2) I was able to trim a couple of unused X-10 commands out of my background sequence, that were there from previous years but I no longer use. I also jacked up the sequence time to 5 minutes. Tomorrow I will monitor a) if everything comes on in the first 5 minutes, and B) if I'm getting pauses every 5 minutes. From there, I can decide what to do for the remainder of the season...

Just thought I'd keep everyone updated...

-Tim

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  • 10 months later...

Just wanted to bump this thread to see if there's been any resolution in the software, and if anyone else has experienced this. I was watching some of my raw video from last year and it's really annoying when the entire show stalls (all lights holding their current on/off value) for about 5-10 seconds every few minutes...

Thanks!

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I tried messing with my LOR2 and X-10 last night for the first time. I didn't try running a show. I was using sequence editor to run a song to check it out and it seems like when the CM11A is plugged in it causes a conflict with LOR. It's telling LOR that the COM port is open, so LOR won't control the lights in Sequence Editor mode, or using the Hardware Utility. Since this is my first time using X-10, I'm not sure if this is expected, or if I'm running into a problem. I'm going to have to try running a show tonight and see if I have any problems or if there are any delays. Tim, I'm interested in your input since you've been using X-10 with LOR for a couple of years. By the way Tim, I've gleaned a lot of info from your posts and your website. Thanks for the info!

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Tom -- make sure ActiveHome is shut down and the "Communication Bridge" is not on, or Activehome will keep the COM port for itself and LOR can't use it.

-Tim

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Tim,

Would that be just for using the sequence editor to test a sequence and using the Hardware utility, or would that include running shows? I haven't installed any Activehome software. I just installed the serial connector for the CM11A. By making sure that the "Communication Bridge" is not on, are you referring to unplugging the CM11A? I haven't tried running a show with X-10 yet so I'm not sure how it is working in that mode. Thanks again for your help.

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No, the communication bridge is part of Activehome that can run even when Activehome itself is shut down. If you haven't even installed it, it's not the problem...

Not sure what's going on -- you shouldn't have a port conflict by simply having a hardware device plugged in... Is LOR configured to see the port as an X-10 CM11A vs. a LOR network?

-Tim

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Tim,

I'm not sure how it's seeing it. I have the LOR USB to Serial adapter which uses COM3. The CM11A is using COM1. I've set those up using the Hardware Utility. Once I set up the CM11A and have it plugged in, I no longer have control of the LOR boards using either the Hardware Utility or the Sequence Editor. I have to disconnect the CM11A and revise the setup in the Hardware Utility in order to regain control of the controllers. If I don't I get an error message telling me that the COM port is open and I won't be able to control the lights. I was curious if that was normal operation. I'm guessing that it's not. BTW I'm using Windows 2000. I'm going to go home tonight and play with it some more and see if I can figure out what it's doing. Thanks,

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TomD wrote:

Tim,

I'm not sure how it's seeing it. I have the LOR USB to Serial adapter which uses COM3. The CM11A is using COM1. I've set those up using the Hardware Utility. Once I set up the CM11A and have it plugged in, I no longer have control of the LOR boards using either the Hardware Utility or the Sequence Editor. I have to disconnect the CM11A and revise the setup in the Hardware Utility in order to regain control of the controllers. If I don't I get an error message telling me that the COM port is open and I won't be able to control the lights. I was curious if that was normal operation. I'm guessing that it's not. BTW I'm using Windows 2000. I'm going to go home tonight and play with it some more and see if I can figure out what it's doing. Thanks,

I use X10 with LOR and don't have any problem. COM1 is connected to the CM11a and LOR is using COM6. In the hardware utility, I can control the LOR boards and switch over to the X10 tab and control those modules as well, which is the way it is designed to function. When you say you have to go back revise the setup in the Hardware Utility, are you changing anything or just applying the same settings?

Mark
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Just to get back on topic (mods feel free to break out the sub-topic) -- anyone know anything about the delaying issue with X-10 I was seeing last year, and hope not to see this year?

-Tim

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Tim,

I tried a short show yesterday with two X-10 channels in the background and a couple of on events with X-10 in a sequence. I didn't notice any pauses or delays. Everything seemed to work in order. I'm going to test a longer show this weekend and see if there are any other problems. I hope that gives you some confidence. It sure did boost mine last night when those X-10 channels turned on right on cue!

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TomD wrote:

Tim,

I tried a short show yesterday with two X-10 channels in the background and a couple of on events with X-10 in a sequence.  I didn't notice any pauses or delays.  Everything seemed to work in order.  I'm going to test a longer show this weekend and see if there are any other problems.  I hope that gives you some confidence.  It sure did boost mine last night when those X-10 channels turned on right on cue!


Thanks. I did notice last year that it's having multiple X-10 channels that causes the delay. We have our static displays split up into groups with different X-10 addresses.... Normally I want them all on and off at once, but I like to split them so I can turn on just specific segments when debugging or working on the lights... I think I have 8 different codes that get sent out in the background sequence, and it was pausing for about 10-20 seconds trying to send all these.

I won't know if it's happening again until I get things fully wired, hopefully this weekend. But hopefully your results show promise for me!

-Tim
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I'm gonna hijack Tim's thread long enough to bump it back up. I'm hoping as someone gets their display operational (who uses X10) taht they will be able to answer this question.

I'm kinda torn as to if I should use ActiveHome to run my X10 devices, or if I can safely use LOR to run 'em.

Mike Maness

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I'm very close to being able to test it, but not sure I'll get it done before the holiday. It's pretty easy to switch over to Activehome if necessary though...

Otherwise just make sure all your background X-10 stuffs on the same house and unit code -- people have reported LOR definitely has no issues with sending out a single code or two in a background sequence...

The thing that was most surprising to me when I first reported this last year is that LOR, all the way back to the first versions that had the background sequence, worked just great for me with the same X-10 setup. Something evidently changed for the worse in S2 (but there's enough great things about S2 to make it worth the hassle, not that I wouldn't like to see this fixed if it isn't already :) )

-Tim

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I gotta chime in on this --

I'm using 2.0.16, with a new dedicated laptop running Vista "OS", and I'm NOT running any X10 stuff, just conventional incandescents on channels on 9 controllers. It has run nicely for the sequence editor for three weeks, and successfully ran test runs of the show multiple times. Then Thanksgiving evening, the night before lights-on, it started in doing this sort of thing on the longest and most detailed of the sequences, then on a couple of the longer ones following that one.

The music stops, but the sequence continues for a time, then the animation stops and the music catches up. When they meet up, it plays in sync for a few seconds, then pauses one or the other again, etc.

This turns a 21-minute show into a choppy and unpleasant 35-minute embarassment. Good thing opening night was just a couple dozen close friends.

I migrated all the sequences back to the PC I used last year, and the show successfully ran start to finish three times.

One thing I did more recently on the laptop that hasn't worked the way I expected was to use Task Scheduler to launch a WMP playlist for Christmas music during the day. It's supposed to start at 4:59 AM and play for 12 hours, then stop that, and the LOR show would start at 5:00 PM. The playlist has never start on schedule like that, but if I set it for some other time during the day (when I'm awake) to play for an hour or 30 minutes it will start and stop just fine. Then it will launch the LOR show on schedule. Then it will behave as I described above.

I have purposely loaded nothing on that laptop just to keep it clean for LOR, but there is a "screen saver" that seems to demo every feature it has including the built-in webcam. I've tried letting it turn the display off after 15 minutes as well as making it stay on all the time, but the result is the same.

I'm not precisely sure where to go with this next, but I thought it might be helpful to know that your problem may not be directly related to X10 control.

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