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Bought myself into a corner?


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So as I sit and read through some of the posts and topics on these forums I'm kicking myself in the hind quarter because I believe I "bought myself into a corner". 

I have wanted to get into the exciting world of light o rama for many years and finally pulled the trigger during this last sale, after perusing the site for what was probably a couple of hours at different times I bought the Showtime Central Starter Package with the pre-programmed sd card thinking this is what I needed to get started in this expedition.

Please let me know if what I think I have learned since, is correct or not.

1: The Mini Director has no internal timer, so I must use a timer for the power?

2: The Mini Director can only support an RS485 network? If so, does this mean I can not add dumb or smart RGB's to this starter system?

Sorry for such basic questions, trying to soak up as much info as I can.

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19 minutes ago, zbrewer said:

So as I sit and read through some of the posts and topics on these forums I'm kicking myself in the hind quarter because I believe I "bought myself into a corner". 

I have wanted to get into the exciting world of light o rama for many years and finally pulled the trigger during this last sale, after perusing the site for what was probably a couple of hours at different times I bought the Showtime Central Starter Package with the pre-programmed sd card thinking this is what I needed to get started in this expedition.

Please let me know if what I think I have learned since, is correct or not.

1: The Mini Director has no internal timer, so I must use a timer for the power?

2: The Mini Director can only support an RS485 network? If so, does this mean I can not add dumb or smart RGB's to this starter system?

Sorry for such basic questions, trying to soak up as much info as I can.

1- Timer, correct. You can use it on an external timer though.

2- You can add any type of lights to the single port up to a point of quantity based on the different strings. As long as the controllers can talk to each other and connect to each other the only limit is qty of lights before color issues. Each type of controller can control certain types of lights.

JR

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Let me say I don't use a director, but I think I can answer.

I believe the director starts playback when it gets powered, so yes to external timer.

LOR has lots of pixel controllers which work over RS485, but third party pixel controllers will not

They have dumb controllers too.

 

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25 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

2- You can add any type of lights to the single port up to a point of quantity based on the different strings. As long as the controllers can talk to each other and connect to each other the only limit is qty of lights before color issues. Each type of controller can control certain types of lights.

JR Thanks for the response, a couple of quick questions. The first part of your answer you say "based on the different strings" and later you say "qty of lights before color issues" I'm not entirely following these points? 

28 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

LOR has lots of pixel controllers which work over RS485,

Also thank you Phil, based on what I'm understanding it looks like I will be able to connect both AC controllers and dumb/smart RGB controllers together in one network from the Mini Director.

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Channel count is still fairly low with dumb RGB so pro is probably overkill, but you'll need it sooner or later.

I used dumb RGB for one year in 2012, and quickly went to smart pixels. All that expense of the dumb setup was wasted.

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2 hours ago, zbrewer said:

JR Thanks for the response, a couple of quick questions. The first part of your answer you say "based on the different strings" and later you say "qty of lights before color issues" I'm not entirely following these points? 

Also thank you Phil, based on what I'm understanding it looks like I will be able to connect both AC controllers and dumb/smart RGB controllers together in one network from the Mini Director.

The more controllers and or lights you add to a network the lights will start being effected by the power and or data loss. So a given network can only handle so many lights and or consume so much power before the lights start dimming or mply just don't work.

And yes the mini can handle the different controllers. just goes back to the numbers with vary.

JR

Just now, dibblejr said:

The more controllers and or lights you add to a network the lights will start being effected by the power and or data loss. So a given network can only handle so many lights and or consume so much power before the lights start dimming or mply just don't work.

And yes the mini can handle the different controllers. just goes back to the numbers with vary.

Its really not as difficult as it sounds.

JR

 

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6 hours ago, dibblejr said:

The more controllers and or lights you add to a network the lights will start being effected by the power and or data loss. So a given network can only handle so many lights and or consume so much power before the lights start dimming or mply just don't work.

And yes the mini can handle the different controllers. just goes back to the numbers with vary.

JR

 

I didn't have dimming issues or lights not working at all, what I had were some SERIOUS LAG TIME issues with the lights {Smart RGB} getting way out of sync with the normal AC {CTB16PC} Controllers, but I was using older CTB16PC {Version 2} units and a single network.  Fortunately the new G3 Controllers can run at 500K {enhanced?} because that's what was needed in my case.   So I had to add a 2nd network for my RGB lighting.   It's also why I purchased the N4-G3 {G4} MP3 Director to run my shows this year.

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I still use two dumb controllers for windows and rgb stars but at some point, I'll upgrade the windows to smart strips therefore E1.31 controllers. Just this last year, I finally had to separate into three networks...RS485 for the AC and Dumb controllers, then two different E1.31 controller networks.  Before it was just the two networks but with 19 controllers, which included a CCR,  several E1.31 controllers, it was time.

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1 hour ago, tomsusie said:

You may need to upgrade your license also.  The basic only runs 2 unit IDs and BAsic plus gives you 4 unit IDs.  For a chart showing what each license allows you to do and its limitations go to http://www1.lightorama.com/showtime-sequencing-suite/#levels

 

Yeah so far I'm only going to have the one that comes with the starter package, I'm on the lookout for a used second one though. But I have a tight budget right now.

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