Jump to content

Getting confused as I think about S4 to S5 + pixel transition??


Recommended Posts

Ok I need some help.  I have been doing LOR for about 7 years and have gradually gone from one CTB16PC controller to four controllers, all the while simply using old fashioned strings of incandescents.  I have expanded my show from 2 songs to 7 songs and done most of the sequencing on my own.

Well, now we have moved from the open spaces of snowy northern Minnesota to the sunny gated communities of SW Florida.  Our home here is substantially smaller and I think I could do a nice show with 2 controllers and 32 channels of incandescents.  But I am thinking now might be the time to start the switch to pixels.  

Just need to know some of the basics.  Can I just buy a Plug-n-Show Pixel tree and use that controller on my network with one more controller to control 16 channels on the house?  I just downloaded S5 and my license supports v5.3.8 Standard.  I have never even looked at Super Star but have a feeling now might be the time to learn.  Is SuperStar an additional license fee beyond what I have now?  Do I need it to run the pixel tree?

Sorry for the probably simplistic questions but it is quite confusing for me.  Thanks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You will need a pro license if you want to run a pixel tree. as the controller will use 16 ID's just for the tree and a Standard license only supports 8 ID's. If you figure in your other four controllers then you are at 20 ID's. You will also need a high speed network so a Red USB485 adapter will be required.

Edited by Mr. P
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really late to try to grasp S5, let alone pixels this year. I would put on a downsized version of your existing show, and plan on stepping it up next year. S5 is a steep learning curve, and pixels, even pre programmed, still need to be integrated into your setup.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Donl1150 said:

Ok I need some help.  I have been doing LOR for about 7 years and have gradually gone from one CTB16PC controller to four controllers, all the while simply using old fashioned strings of incandescents.  I have expanded my show from 2 songs to 7 songs and done most of the sequencing on my own.

Well, now we have moved from the open spaces of snowy northern Minnesota to the sunny gated communities of SW Florida.  Our home here is substantially smaller and I think I could do a nice show with 2 controllers and 32 channels of incandescents.  But I am thinking now might be the time to start the switch to pixels.  

Just need to know some of the basics.  Can I just buy a Plug-n-Show Pixel tree and use that controller on my network with one more controller to control 16 channels on the house?  I just downloaded S5 and my license supports v5.3.8 Standard.  I have never even looked at Super Star but have a feeling now might be the time to learn.  Is SuperStar an additional license fee beyond what I have now?  Do I need it to run the pixel tree?

Sorry for the probably simplistic questions but it is quite confusing for me.  Thanks in advance.

As PhilMassey has already stated, S5 has a steep learning curve and it is a big jump from incans to pixels. My suggestion would also be to stay with the earlier version and incans for the rest of this season and start playing with S5 when the pressure is off.

Pixels and pixel controllers are much more complex to setup...having said that, the S5 software with make programming pixels easier. Good luck for now.

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you taken a look at Xlights?  I wouldn't recommend for this year as its getting late.  FREE software is a plus.  You can import LOR sequences as well.  I just started from scratch with Xlights when I made the jump from 100% incans to 100% RGB.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Donl1150 said:

 I have never even looked at Super Star but have a feeling now might be the time to learn.  Is SuperStar an additional license fee beyond what I have now?  Do I need it to run the pixel tree?

Since no one had addressed this one, yes SuperStar is an ADD-On and will require a new License.  However, I think you might have to upgrade to a PRO license before adding the SS License, as the Pro license is an upgrade from any lower license levels{cheaper to upgrade than buy a new license}.  I don't think just by adding a SS license will get you to a PRO license in the LOR Software Suite.

And Pixels being what they are, if smart, a strand of 50 Pixels would = 150 channels {I think a dumb strand is the same}, the difference being that smart pixels you can control the color of each bulb independently from each other, where dumb pixels the entire strand can only be one color at a time.

So depending on the total number of pixels that would make up the channel count, that is what would determine which license level you will need in SuperStar, if you opt to go with the SuperStar add-on.

I don't use S5, but I have 5 RGB Controllers and 10 strands of 50 pixels, which = 1,500 channels and I just use the current Sequence Editor {SE} in my current version of the LOR software and works fine.

Also depending on how old you CTB16PC Controllers are, if PRE-GEN3, they can't be used on an High Speed, 500K Network, only Gen 3 CTB16PC's can be.   But Pixels usually also need an Enhanced Network.  I'm not sure if the G3 CTB16PC Controllers can use the Enhanced Network, someone with those type controllers would have to chime in on this part of the equation.

My current set up is 4 older CTB16PC {V2} Controllers on the old USB485B Black adapter {Regular LOR Network, 115K}. whereas my 5 RGB Controllers are on a Red HS Adapter using AUX A Network, 500K and Enhanced.

And S5 is far too late in the season to change over and learn at this time of the game to put on a show.  Very steep learning and it is very complex.  Yes it has more features {bells and whistles} but will take some time learning to use it.  S4 is so much easier and simpler, so if your using anything Pre-S5 I'd stick with that for this years show and after the season, switch over to S5 at that time.

Edited by Orville
Fix some typo's and punctuation.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I think you have convinced me the Pixel Tree & S5 are out for this year.  That got me thinking in another direction.  Would a Singing Face be an easier route to go at this point?  Reading through LOR store info, it seems like that would be a possibility.  I should add too that I use 2 ELL's with a black adapter to get my signal out to the yard.  I would stick with S4 and then maybe upgrade my license to get Super Star which I think would make sequencing the Face easier.  What are your thoughts on this line of reasoning?

Link to post
Share on other sites

ELL's cannot do high speed so that would take pixels out of the picture all together. The LOR singing trees use pixels but there are other singing trees from other vendors that use standard led lights and can be run off a CTB16 or even dumb RGB which can be run off a CMB24 for lower speed networks with your black adapter and ELL's.

When you hear the word pixels you need to think high speed network, pro license and red usb adapter.

Edited by Mr. P
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Donl1150 said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I think you have convinced me the Pixel Tree & S5 are out for this year.  That got me thinking in another direction.  Would a Singing Face be an easier route to go at this point?  Reading through LOR store info, it seems like that would be a possibility.  I should add too that I use 2 ELL's with a black adapter to get my signal out to the yard.  I would stick with S4 and then maybe upgrade my license to get Super Star which I think would make sequencing the Face easier.  What are your thoughts on this line of reasoning?

SuperStar Auto face is not meant for normal LED;s, Its used for the RGB nodes.

Still mw be a learning curve there even if you get the RGB LOR faces.

And great advice from my friend Mr. P

JR

Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on now, you can run the 4 controllers and the pixels next year. Most of the singing faces I see use 8 channels, so two faces per controller. I see many people selling the patterns. I'm adding 4 "bells" in front of my upstairs windows using led strings. I could not find anyone who sold the corrugated plastic patterns for bells that I liked so I ordered the 15 pack of 2'x3' black corrugated plastic from Home Depot ($65) and am drawing my own. If they work like I think they will this year I plan on making my own singing faces because I want different bulb shapes and I want to put each one in a different location. Most patterns I see are two bulbs together. I like the bulbs over the trees.

Plus I've been cracking myself up with the ideas I have pre-show and during the show between songs to make the faces have different voices and talk to each other. Some cross between how I've watched too many cartoons in the 70's (real cartoons) and the wall mounts inside Disney's Country Bear Jamboree attraction (Buff, Max and Melvin) which I will spend time watching when we go there at the end of February, lol... I think my wife thinks I've finally lost it as I tried to explain it to her and kept breaking out in laughter. Maybe no one will get it but me, but hey, it's my show.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it is probably too late to change to S5 when you are already used to using the older software.  I'm relatively new to the software (my husband used to do all of it, but last year he handed everything "software" over to me and he is focused just on the hardware end of our display.)  I looked at both S4 and S5 and decided to just start with S5 since I was pretty much a clean slate going into this.  I don't actually feel that S5 is more complex, it is just different and if you are used to the old software, you need a totally different mindset to get things setup with S5

We've been reduced to a sub-size show for the last couple of years as my husband has been building an insane over 120ft retaining wall along the front of our property.  With everything torn up and under construction, a full show just wasn't possible.  He handed everything "software" to me a little too late for me to do much last year anyway - so we just ran his existing show (I think originally created in S3) on the parts of the show we were able to put up.  This gave me basically all year to figure out S5 - I haven't found the concepts difficult, but there is a lack of tutorial videos and such.  I  eventually sat down and read the entire help file (downloaded it to my e-reader)!  I also ended up watching a number of older tutorials for S3 and S4 in order to learn about the basic sequencing interface - someone moving from an older version wouldn't have that issue - they just need to learn where the various functions are in the new layout and I think a few things may have been renamed.

We have added 2 - 16x50 pixel trees this year.  This hasn't really impacted our existing traditional setup at all.  We are using DMX over E1.31 for the pixel trees with AlphaPix16 controllers (but I believe there are other options as well including ones by LOR).  We have 5 or 6 CTB16PC controllers (I'm pretty sure we haven't used more than 4 in the past).  I have 3 running the Halloween show right now (4 monster faces and a set of 16 pumpkins) on the LOR Network (black dongle that we have had for years and the ELL).  The show PC uses it's wireless network for normal internet, everyday type stuff and its wired internet output is connected to a basic switch and then the CAT6 cables run from there to the pixel trees.  The wireless and wired are setup as separate TCPIP networks so the traffic is completely separate.  

I had already created a preview for our traditional props and linking them to their controllers.  I then copied that and added the pixel trees to the preview and when I want to sequence something for the trees, I just take a copy of one of our traditional sequences and change it to use the Preview with the pixel trees.  I haven't bothered with SuperStar yet (I really want to walk well before I try running!) and have just been using the motion effects in the sequence editor for the trees.  We do have the Pro version so we can do pixel stuff and we have a small SuperStar licence CCR-4 so I can start looking at it when I get to that stage.  I'm assuming I will have to update that in the future, but for now I'm getting by just fine without SuperStar.

My suggestion would be to run as much of your traditional show as you plan to keep this year and as soon as the new year starts, begin moving to S5 and deciding how you want to include pixels.  I've been very happy with the DMX over E1.31 route so far.

PJD

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...