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is there an API?


eldoradoboy
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eldoradoboy

ok I am new to LOR this year... for 2006 and 2007 I ran AL and was frustrated that AL(animated lighting) would not help me out on this one...

but anyway after having played with S2 i made the switch to LOR for 2008 back in winter when dan had the ultimate sale on controllers... i got 7 so im rockin for channels this year..

first off.. Im LOVING the S2 compared to having used the Animated director from AL... nice to not have crashes and to be able to do sequences much quicker and better..

the main thing I am looking to do though is this:

1] in Ohio it seems last 2 years we have had torrential rainstorms at least once or twice in december.. which no katter how much insulating, checking, grounding etc i do I always start tripping GFCI's. well last couple years my job has travelled me a lot in december so of course Id have to have someone go to my house and reset the GFCI.. so I could run the show the next night...

my home has a full home automation system on it including watching the weather radar and alerting me of incoming rain etc... I use my security camera software with a video image of the local weather radar on it.. I have it set up so if certain colors showed up in certain areas of the screen it would alert the system... which would in-turn text my cell so then id have to log in remotely and manually turn off my show... except I wasnt always near internet or my PC...

so.... onto 2008 I would Like to be able to write a program that would interface to the LOR S2 program and tell it hey look dont start the show heavy rain is on the way or is here.. but instead run this other show that is audio only explaining to passers by that for safety reasons the show wont be running during the heavy rain.... then once the threat passes.. my system could then start it or scrap it for the night...

however i cant find any evidence of a programmer interface to the S2 software... is there one there or am I going to have to rely once again on the manual method and friends that reset my breakers for me if I trip them...

-Christopher

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eldoradoboy

is there any way to sen the program data so it can respond? ie.. will it read the status of an X-10 device via a cm11a and start a show or not start a show based on that device?.. im just wanting to try and automate this somehow so I dont lose the show when its raining and im out of town..

-Christopher

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I know that some people have done things that rely upon input, but I'm not sure exactly what or how. I'll ask around. In the meantime, maybe someone else reading this thread will have an idea.

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Not exactly the way you want to do it but I have the same issue; travel a lot during the season. I did it with a stand rain gauge you can buy at you home improvement store ~$20 hook this in as a trigger onto a director to play a blank sequence when the switch is open.

It is simple and that is key.

Harrison

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eldoradoboy

is a director another piece of LOR hardware i need? because this is easy as i could set an open or closed contact from my Home automation system.. im just not familiar with what a "director" is

-Christopher

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eldoradoboy wrote:

is a director another piece of LOR hardware i need? because this is easy as i could set an open or closed contact from my Home automation system.. im just not familiar with what a "director" is

-Christopher

Yes

http://store.lightorama.com/dicawimp3pl.html
OR
http://store.lightorama.com/midiwimp3pl.html

There is going to be an upgrade and new hardware to support this latter thsi year.

Harrison
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Al in Raleigh

This may have been already brought up on another thread, and this could be outside of what you are wanting, but you could use a RS-485 repeater module as a means of rs-485 control. Most of the galvanic isolation modules have a need for a separate DC power input. You could hook up a rain gauge to switch the power on and off to the repeater. When no power is present, the module would disable rs-485 communications stopping the show. You could even write a program to control another I/O interface that would do the same thing as the rain gauge to which you could interface your weather station. You might find a X10 dry contact module that would work as the I/O interface. I tried to research a dry contact module on the X10 website and got dizzy from the flashing lights, so I stopped. And this might make Dan cringe, but you could hack the USB to Rs-485 LOR module to do basically the same as the repeater. Maybe Dan would consider an interface to disable rs-485 communications for the upcoming repeater module.

Here is an example of a cheap rain gauge and repeater module:

http://www.toro.com/irrigation/res/smturfcont/rainsensor_trs_wired/index.html

http://www.rs485.com/pirsfc24fb.html

I hope this helps,
Al in Raleigh

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eldoradoboy

well see its easy for me to break the comms protocol with my HA system.. I could simply use my Ocelot controller to break the tx line... but if i did that during the middle of a show wouldnt I have "hung Lights"? you know lights that are on as i stopped it in the middle of a song? plus the audio would keep going... thats rather redneck and not my style....



with my AL system if I broke the comms in any way it would pop error messages up on my screen and crash the software resulting in me having to interact to restart the show... I havent tried real comms with a controller in LOR yet...

thats why i want some sort of "polite" means to handle this.. detecting the rain and creating a signal ISNT the problem.. my HA system does this already.. the issue is telling LOR to stop thats the issue here...

-Christopher

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eldoradoboy wrote:

well see its easy for me to break the comms protocol with my HA system.. I could simply use my Ocelot controller to break the tx line... but if i did that during the middle of a show wouldnt I have "hung Lights"? you know lights that are on as i stopped it in the middle of a song? plus the audio would keep going... thats rather redneck and not my style....



with my AL system if I broke the comms in any way it would pop error messages up on my screen and crash the software resulting in me having to interact to restart the show... I havent tried real comms with a controller in LOR yet...

thats why i want some sort of "polite" means to handle this.. detecting the rain and creating a signal ISNT the problem.. my HA system does this already.. the issue is telling LOR to stop thats the issue here...

-Christopher


It is true it would "hang" if you dropted to comm line. If you did a trigger and did quick on quick off would turn all off. AND you could also play a bad weather voiceover.

Harrison
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eldoradoboy wrote:

well see its easy for me to break the comms protocol with my HA system.. I could simply use my Ocelot controller to break the tx line... but if i did that during the middle of a show wouldnt I have "hung Lights"? you know lights that are on as i stopped it in the middle of a song? plus the audio would keep going... thats rather redneck and not my style....



with my AL system if I broke the comms in any way it would pop error messages up on my screen and crash the software resulting in me having to interact to restart the show... I havent tried real comms with a controller in LOR yet...

thats why i want some sort of "polite" means to handle this.. detecting the rain and creating a signal ISNT the problem.. my HA system does this already.. the issue is telling LOR to stop thats the issue here...

-Christopher


It is true it would "hang" if you dropted to comm line. If you did a trigger and did quick on quick off would turn all off. AND you could also play a bad weather voiceover.

Harrison
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Without the heartbeat signal from the LOR software, the controllers will shut down pretty quickly.

Also, I'm pretty sure you can replace or redirect the show or schedule files (while the show is running) to do something similar. Someone had a post about doing this from a phone. I'm not sure if it was post here or Planet Christmas.

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CUTTHEMUSIC

Last year I wrote some .NET code to rewrite the schedule file, the schedule file is text based and fairly simple to figure out if you play with it for an hour or two. Once you rewrite the schedule file you need to kill the LOR service and start it again(I did this all through code). It's definately a hack but it works. I'd share my source with you but I can't find it. ;)

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If is a problem with GFCI's - you can replace them with the Leviton 36895

They are a bit pricey, but they can be remote reset, they are also dimmable

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Mark Steele

CUTTHEMUSIC wrote:

Last year I wrote some .NET code to rewrite the schedule file, the schedule file is text based and fairly simple to figure out if you play with it for an hour or two. Once you rewrite the schedule file you need to kill the LOR service and start it again(I did this all through code). It's definately a hack but it works. I'd share my source with you but I can't find it. ;)

I used this ability to overwrite the schedule to create an interactive display that could be controlled locally through buttons on a 'kisok' or remotely through a cell phone. Rather than rewrite the file, I just copied over the existing weeksched.lsc file. I did not find it necessary to re-start the LOR service. More details can be found in this thread:
http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum72/15756.html.


Mark
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eldoradoboy

now THAT has gotten it for me... this looks to be pretty easy to do.. i can easily rewrite the schedules with my system as once I trigger my event in the HA(homeseer) system that rain is on the way I'll rewrite the file... the current song will finish and then "musical" no light sequences will just play christmas music with an announcement that the show is off due to the rain...

I had thought about remotely resettabke GFCI units however if I trip one then the show is running degraded.. and I dont really want to have the HA system reset GFCI's on its own.. they tripped out for a reason... although If I could detect a trip out say using a small relay that connects to my Ocelot(microcontroller) I could run the show in the rain until 1 GFCI tripped... then cancel the show... reset the GFCI the next day...

it does run in the rain most of the time.. just when that real heavy stuff comes through that throws it for a loop... im thinking its my Mini-trees that cause the issue so this year im going to build them on a wood platform so they arent staked into the ground....

its wierd because I sprinklered, hosed down the heck out of the system last year and couldnt get a trip... first heavy rain and "snap".

thanks for all the ideas.. time to run with this!

-Christopher

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michael.farney

What about just using batch files? I controlled my LOR1 using batch files last year. You can start or cut off shows without hanging lights using a batch file to start or kill the LOR show process. I used zara radio, so I could build in complex schedules and do more seamless show transitions. I just had zara radio start or stop the LOR process using batch files, and zara could take over the necessary radio voiceovers, end of show, announcements, whatever. I haven't investigated if this still works for S2.

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