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Extreme newbie - e1.31 question


BrookeBrew
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I recently purchased a 32 output LOR controller package from wowlights.  Here is what it included: 

Includes:
5 WowLights Christmas Sequences
Santa with 3 Outputs
PVC Mega Tree Kit with 16 Outputs + 1 Star Output
2 16 Output Light-O-Rama CTB16PC Controllers
Light-O-Rama Sequencing Software
USB485 Communications Adapter
100 Foot CAT5 Cable
25 Foot CAT5 Cable
6 Foot USB Cable

This was originally going to be used on our boat for an annual Christmas boat parade we participate in. Now after getting hooked on the fun I am looking at an expansion which is an RGB ribbon screen (or tree) includes:
 
Package Includes:
1 WowLights E1.31 Controller
12 WowLights Intelligent RGB Ribbons
1 100ft CAT5 Cable
2 WowLights Screen Sequences
 
This will allow me to have a 4’x16’ panel on one side of the boat which I can change out sequences easily year to year to match our theme.  And now I am excited to be able to put all of this investment in our yard as well.  
 
My initial thought was this additional 1.31 controller would plug and play by daisy chaining off of LOR controller #2.  But when I am reading in the other forum it looks like I need a router and another computer? I would think I would have to purchase another LOR software package too?  
 
The windows 10 laptop/tablet hybrid I am running off of is dedicated to my display.  I have the Latest pro version of LOR software.  
 
Is this correct?  Or can I chain as was my original plan?  I saw nothing on the wowlights description saying I would need to have a separate network.
 
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An E1.31 controller must be run off the ethernet port of your computer. You DO NOT daisy chain them with your other LOR controllers. It is pretty simple to do if you have basic networkng knowledge and feel comfortable with IP addresses.

Bottom line is you will have to run two networks, one LOR RS485 network and one E1.31 network.

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E1.31 connects via an Ethernet LAN - NOT the RS-485 serial that a LOR network runs.  Since you are running a dedicated laptop for your show, you could either plug a Cat-5 cable directly from the Ethernet jack on the laptop to the E1.31 controller, or you could put a LAN switch in between.  The switch would have the advantage of allowing for future expansion WHEN you want more.  Note that if you are using a direct Ethernet connection, you would need to set your laptop Ethernet and E1.31 controller to static IP addresses on the same LAN segment.  The other option would be to use a router as a DHCP server and set everything to DHCP.  I would recommend using static addresses.

So what you would end up with is the LOR controllers connected via Cat-5 to a USB to RS-485 adapter on a LOR network, and the E1.31 controller connected to the laptop via an Ethernet LAN.  Very easy to do.

BTW, my standard recommendation is to use different color Cat-5 cable for your LOR networking vs Ethernet.  Helps to avoid mixing them up - which can result in the magic smoke leaking out.  Personally I use Purple for LOR networking, and Green for E1.31 LAN.

 

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Thanks.  The replies are very helpful.  I’m not extremely technical but I can probably figure it out without calling in for backup.  

So I was also seeing something along the lines that the controller has to be very close to the start of the rgb strips?  I was looking at 25’ RGB intelligent wire extensions.  For security am trying to keep all of the controllers inside a large wooden lock box I have on the front porch intended for secure delivery of ups packages.  Am I going to be able to use these extensions? Front yard is over an acre and need to get the screen or ribbon closer to the road if possible.  My alternate would be to mount to front porch rail if extensions won’t work.

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9 minutes ago, BrookeBrew said:

So I was also seeing something along the lines that the controller has to be very close to the start of the rgb strips?  I was looking at 25’ RGB intelligent wire extensions.  

Maybe.  You MAY be able to get that length to work.  With the newer controllers and pixel types, the chances improve.  Best bet is to try one rather than make assumptions.  What I would do is hook up a length of the wire you intend to use that is at least 25% LONGER than the distance to test.  See if it reliably works.

 

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I understand that the E1.31 controller was purchased from wowlights but it would be helpful if we knew the controller board name. Is it an actual wowlights board or do they use Pixlite or some name brand for their boards. This would give us more insight on the specs of the board.

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Mr. P it looks like it’s their own brand of board.  The description of the extensions says that they only work with the wowlights E1.31 controller so I think I am good.  Took a little digging.  Thanks everyone for the very informative help!  

Putting the boat together with my existing LOR controllers this weekend. I will wait to do the RGB in the yard.  Two local on-ground parades pulling the boat and then our on the water parade next week.  We are doing “A Christmas Story”.  Making a 10’ leg lamp, still working on the shade right now but here are my LED legs. 

Extensions work with the WowLights Intelligent E1.31 RGB DC Controller and WowLights Intelligent RGB Lighting. They are not compatible with Cosmic Color Bulbs/Pixels or Light-O-Rama RGB Products.

13F57B89-3E23-4851-8FFF-2B6B5B8C84C3.jpeg

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