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Not-so-Elegant Interactive Display solution

Mark Steele

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I continue to be intrigued by the potential for a jukebox type show selector to allow spectators to choose their favorite sequence. I know this feature is forthcoming next year with the full release of LOR II, but I was determined to come up with some type of alternative for the time being. While experimenting with the show scheduling, I realized I could copy the weeksched.lsc file while the shows are enable and the schedule would be dynamically updated within 10 seconds or so. So I created two versions of the weekly schedule - one that only had my static animation and the other contained a few musical sequences. I re-named them to weekly.music and weekly.static. I wrote a small Basic program that would prompt for either static or musical display and copy the appropriate file and overwrite the weekly.lsc file. This in effect allowed me to call up the music show on demand. I expanded on this by creating additional weekly schedules that contained a single musical sequence. I could now play any of my six sequences on demand – at least from a computer.

I now needed a quick and dirty interface so I could build a type of kiosk that would have a button for each of the songs. I remember playing around with game ports and joysticks many years ago, and a since my show computer has this port available, I figured I’d give it a try. There are four button inputs available on this port – two for each joystick. I modified the program to poll these ports and use this to trigger the file copy process. So now I could select up to four different sequences using buttons. For additional buttons, I used the analog ports which determine the positions of the X and Y axis on the joysticks. By using a few trim-pots set to different values, I had three more inputs available on each axis. I now have the capability of selecting up to 10 songs, which could easily be expanded to 20 or so if needed.

Unfortunately I got a very late start this year due to work conflicts and family obligations, so I’m using this in a limited fashion now due to a lack of musical sequences. Like I stated in my thread title, this is sort of a back-door approach and might be considered a ‘hack’ by some. But I always enjoy the challenge of doing things a little differently. And of course the interactive show feature next year will pretty much render this obsolete. But it works for now. Any comments or questions will be welcome.


I first posted this in the LOR II section, but I thought it would be more appropiate here, so I apologize for the duplicate post.

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Richard Hamilton

That's a clever idea.

Along those lines, I tried a new experiment this year that seems to work nicelessly.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, I run a special combination show whereas, I have a little script that goes to my web site, tallies the votes for the most popular sequences from the week from visitors, and then creates a custom LSS file for the weekend shows.

Thus, people can vote for their favorite songs and the software takes the top 7 most highly voted songs to put in the weekend sequences.

Ok, ok, so I am retired and have nothing better to do with my time ;-)

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