Jump to content

G3-MP3 Director, WAIT and LOR Hub


Recommended Posts

I just spent the last 45 minutes debugging a problem with the G3-MP3 Director.  For reference, my Halloween show ran perfectly last night, and for years has had two separate networks; one LOR regular 57.6K and one 500K LOR/ELOR (Aux A).  This morning, I set out to add a new 8x50 matrix with a new LOR Pixie8D-V4 on the high speed network side.  Got everything connected up, supplied power, and put a SD card in the G3-MP3 that had only a single sequence that was nothing but test patterns for the matrix.  When I used LOR HUB to create that show, I selected the "This show plays...whenever the show director has power".  Once the G3-MP3 indicated it was done with "init", it would then alternate between "wait" and the current time, which is counter to how I had created the show.  Assuming since the configuration had changed from last night (aka added a new controller), that it had something to do with it.  After 30+ minutes of power cycles, cable disconnects, and SD card resets, I finally went in the house and re-created the show only this time using "This show plays...During the scheduled times on the days shown" and made sure the current time fell well within the scheduled times.  My test sequence and the matrix worked perfectly after that.  So the take away is, at least in my case, do not select "play whenever the show director has power" during "Create SD card show".  Hope this helps someone down the road...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am having the same trouble with the G4-MP3 Director, although switching to "show plays during scheduled time" has not worked for me.  I have made sure that the director's time is set correctly.  I only get a display reading "init".  The first controller connected is a CCB2 and did not appear to power the show director consistently, so I connected external power.  Does anyone else have a solution?  Could it be related to overheating of the show director?  It is still 90 degrees in Texas and though I have the show director in a covered box, it sometimes feels hot to the touch and does not display anything at all while connected to power.  If I disconnect it and let it cool down, it seems to work again.  I'm at a loss here.  I bought the show director this year so that I would not have to run it from a computer (FYI - show runs perfectly from my computer), but the G4-MP3 is not as "plug and play" as described.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear about your issue.  I unfortunately do not have any experience with the CCB II or Cosmic Color Ribbons, and do not know if they are capable of properly powering adjacent devices like your G4-MP3.  I do know that in my setup having either a CMB-24D or a CTB16PC first in line does power my G3-MP3 with no issue.  As for being stuck in the INIT state, I would try a few things: 1) make sure the show was properly written to your SD card, and that you properly "eject" the card from the PC; not just pull it out which could corrupt the contents.  2) Try removing your CCB II and have another device "first" to see if that changes the behavior.  3) Again, not knowing much about CCB II configuration, you may want to make sure it is on the correct network (LOR vs LOR/ELOR), as you may need two (2) networks coming out of your Director (some out here will correct me if this is not required for a CCB II device).  There are plenty of other posts out here about Regular vs Enhanced networks.  The reason I say this is because it could be the Director is having issues initializing trying to load a show that has pixel-like operations on an incorrect network.  Hope this helps a little bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your suggestions.  I tried a different SD card and made sure it would not be corrupted.  I moved the director to a new position in my network, right by a CTB16PC controller.  No luck with either idea.  I am running a 115k enhanced network.  Everything works on one network when running from my computer.  I started a helpdesk ticket to get answers before I make a ton of network changes.  I was hoping to start my Halloween show today and I suppose I can use a computer for Halloween and hopefully get the G4-MP3 director working for my Christmas shows.

Best Regards,

Michelle

Link to post
Share on other sites

Michelle,

It just dawned on me that another specific issue with the G3-MP3 Director is that you have to be sure that your MP3/Music files are sampled at a constant bit rate of EXACTLY 128Kbps.  Your computer playback may be more forgiving.  The first thing I do with any new music purchased on-line (iTunes, Google or whatever) that I intend to sequence to is to open the MP3 file using Audacity (free download), and then immediately save the file which will ask you what sample rate you want it saved it.  Even if the file you purchased states it is 128Kbps, it may not be a "constant" sampling rate.  Opening and then saving the file with Audacity will fix that.  The problem you may run into is that when you apply this new sampled file back into your sequence that it may drift off from what you had programmed over the length of the song.  If you discover this, then that means the original MP3 was not a "constant" bit rate.  Also note that a lot of music on iTunes is 256Kbps.  Converting it via iTunes to an MP3 file may result in some other number (like 160Kbps).  I would recommend you try this with one song, save off a copy of the associated sequence, copy this new sampled version into the sequence, save it, create a show on your SD card with just the one song, and I bet this solves the "init" problem.  If so, then go through the rest of your sequences/music and do the same.  I seem to recall now that I battled this problem years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Michelle said:

Thanks for your suggestions.  I tried a different SD card and made sure it would not be corrupted.  I moved the director to a new position in my network, right by a CTB16PC controller.  No luck with either idea.  I am running a 115k enhanced network.  Everything works on one network when running from my computer.  I started a helpdesk ticket to get answers before I make a ton of network changes.  I was hoping to start my Halloween show today and I suppose I can use a computer for Halloween and hopefully get the G4-MP3 director working for my Christmas shows.

Best Regards,

Michelle

You need to use a Kingston SD card.

As soon as you create your show on the Kinston SD card it will amazingly run.

What are your other controllers and generation?

Remember some controllers will not work in ELOR and some controllers that work may not have the correct firmware.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
Link to post
Share on other sites

WAIT always indicates that an MP3 director has fully booted, has read the show SD card, and  has determined that a scheduled show is next to run, and is not yet running that show.  That is to say the time on the MP3 director is not between the start and end times programed for the show.  That means it is WAITing for the correct time to start playing.

If you incorrectly programmed dates/times for a show to run, or did not properly set the date and time on the MP3 director you won't get the results you are expecting. For example, if you programmed a show to start at 8PM, and it really is 8PM but the director thinks it is 4PM, your show is not going to start.  If you accidentally set the show to start at 8AM (instead of PM), if the director correctly thinks it is 8PM, your show is not going to start.

To make things easier, you should be using Hub in either S4 or S5.  If your version does not have hub, consider upgrading or renewing your license so you can use hub.

When you create a show in hub, a plain English explanation will be shown at the bottom of the screen telling you exactly what will happen.  Now all you have to do is make sure the time on the MP3 director is set properly.

FYI:  You should always check the current time on the MP3 director before using it if it has been powered off - especially between seasons.  The clock is backed up with an internal battery, but as those batteries age the time can run faster or slower.  If the battery goes dead, the director will no longer maintain time once powered off.

Also remember that a director uses a priority system when it comes to shows.  So for example if you have 2 or more shows programmed on an SD card, the lower number show is given preference to a higher number show.  If show 1 is set to run on a schedule, and show 2 is set to run whenever there is power, show 1 will win and your director will be WAITing.  On the other hand, if show 1 is set to run when powered, and show 2 is set to run on a schedule, show 2 will never run, even at the correct time.  Show 1 has priority and is 'run when powered'.  If show 1 and 2 are BOTH set to a schedule, both have equal priority.  Whichever one is scheduled to run next is the one that runs next.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

DevMike...agree with your post in general.  But my original post was about it being in the WAIT state even though I selected the "play whenever the director has power" because I was trying to test out a single test sequence in the middle of the day.  I used S5 5.5.6 Hub to program the SD card, and reformatted the card to remove all previous data.  Given that selection I would expect it to play immediately; what would it be waiting on?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you created this 'Runs Anytime Powered' show as some show other than #1, then any show before it that is set to run scheduled is going to take preference and put the MP3 director into WAIT.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is good to know...but this was the only show (Show 1) with only 1 test sequence in it, and on a freshly formatted card.  Once I selected to use a start/stop time instead to create the SD card this same show/sequence worked just fine.  I will try this out again this weekend when I add in additional props.

Edited by hasslerk
Add text
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

17 hours ago, hasslerk said:

That is good to know...but this was the only show (Show 1) with only 1 test sequence in it, and on a freshly formatted card.  Once I selected to use a start/stop time instead to create the SD card this same show/sequence worked just fine.  I will try this out again this weekend when I add in additional props.

What brand of SD Card are you using and what size is the SD Card?

Some other brands of SD Cards MAY work, but only for a short time, if at all.  I have several brands of SD Cards, but when I purchased the newest version N4-G3 {G4} MP3 Director, I made sure to buy spare 32GB Kingston Cards as that is the maximum size this unit will use, some previous versions of the MP3 Directors may not use an SD Card with that capacity.  My Original one would only go to 2GB maximum.  And the pre-runner of the N4-G3 Director may only use up to 16GB SD Cards,

And as JR stated, Kingston is the ONLY SD CARD that WILL WORK 100% of the time in the newer MP3 Directors, I had older SD Cards, SanDisk and others, some worked when I inserted them, but the next time I inserted them, the Director went into wait mode like yours, and would not start the show.   As you have done, only one show on the card and run as soon as powered, sometimes on these non-Kingston cars the show ran, but usually not correctly, seems the Director had issues reading these non-Kingston brand SD Cards properly.  Lights would not be on when they should or go off when they should.  Now I had the same issues of the SD Card NOT working when I used a Kingston card that was OVER the capacity of the Director to use, I tried a Kingston 64GB in my N4-G3 Director and got erratic results or the card would not be read at all, again due to the limit is 32GB.

Highly recommend you buy at least 2 Kingston Cards {check your MP3 Directors documentation for SD Card maximum size} and stick with that.   I usually always have 3-4 SD Cards, this is so if I make any changes, additions to an existing sequence or add new ones to my show, I just need to unseat the current SD Card and place the new written show SD Card into my Director.   This is so you aren't shutting your show down for more than the time it takes to change out the card and restart the show with the new updates/sequences.  I always have at least 2 SD Card backups with the current show on them, just in case something might happen to the one in the Director, change out the SD card and continue with a small interruption. 

Of course the show has to restart from the beginning, but it beats having the show down for a long duration to re-write to a single SD Card if something would go amiss.  And as long as the start time and end times are within the same parameters, the show will just start over and run until the end time is met.   At least I've never had a show not run that I normally started at 5:30pm, had an issue or updated sequences and replaced the card at 7:15pm, show restarted from beginning and ended at my show end time of 10pm{Sun-Thur} or 11pm{Fri/Sat}.

But I'd definitely 2nd JR's recommendation of using only Kingston SD Cards, again, all the Kingston cards have worked reliably and 100% {except for the over capacity Kingston card of 64GB}, again N4-G3 MP3 Director is limited to a maximum of 32GB SD Card, check your MP3 manual for your particular units limitations on SD Card type and memory size.

Good Luck.

 

Edited by Orville
Remove some text above quote that was entered there accidentally.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Orville, thanks for that write up.  Yes, my cards are a mixture of card manufacturers, including the ones that came from LOR, and given that the max for my G3-MP3 is 8GB, none are larger than that.  Most of my cards are 512MB or 1GB.  But note that using the same card with "whenever powered" and "between set times" behaved differently.  I will try to run some tests this weekend to see if I can determine any possible root causes to include card manufacturers, and post my results here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, hasslerk said:

Orville, thanks for that write up.  Yes, my cards are a mixture of card manufacturers, including the ones that came from LOR, and given that the max for my G3-MP3 is 8GB, none are larger than that.  Most of my cards are 512MB or 1GB.  But note that using the same card with "whenever powered" and "between set times" behaved differently.  I will try to run some tests this weekend to see if I can determine any possible root causes to include card manufacturers, and post my results here.

The one that came with my N4-G3 Director and Card Writer/Reader was a Kingston and I purchased a couple of extras from LOR, as well as a few higher capacity cards direct from Kingston.  So if you're using the LOR SD Cards that came with it, they should work without any issues.

I don't know what it so different between SD Cards, but seems the newer LOR MP3 Directors have issues with any other brand than Kingston.  My original DC-MP3 Director would use any SD Card I used in it, hence why I have so many SanDisk SD Cards as they all worked fine in that unit, but they won't in my new N4-G3{G4} MP3 Director, and they are all still good{with one exception that went defective}, they work in everything else I put them in, just not the MP3 Director!

Edited by Orville
Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's not one things, it's another.  I am convinced that this is not a light hobby, it's a problem-solving hobby and yes, it causes temporary insanity!

 

Thank you for all the previous suggestions.  Here are the issues I'm still having and responses to previous replies:

- I have changed all my audio files to constant 128k speed and redirected the media files in each sequence.  This did not completely solve my problem.  The show would start, but then crashed.

- I am using a Kingston SD card - the one provided with my new G4-MP3 Director 

- I updated software at the beginning of this season.  I use the Hub to create/edit shows - version 5.5.2

- I have double checked the clock on the director and on my scheduled show (I only have one show), and all are correct

- My controllers all work on ELOR and until last night would play from my computer instead of the director.  My setup includes: 3 CTB16Cg3 controllers, 2 CMB24D controllers, 1 CF50D Cosmic Flood, 2 Pixie 2D Cosmic Color controllers, and 1 Pixie 8D (LOR pixel tree)

- I am running a 115k ELOR

 

As of 10/29, because my show director was not working properly, I began running the Halloween show from my computer.  It worked perfectly for 4 days and then last night, after some light rain, my network cannot be detected by my computer and while the audio will play, the lights cannot be controlled.  I have checked all controllers and they all have power (no GFCIs tripped) and they all have Status LEDs blinking twice/second - some green, some red.  I cannot recall if red is normal and manuals do not indicate a color for the Status LED.  When I ran Hardware Utility, no controllers could be found.  I have restarted the computer, reconfigured the port, switched to a backup computer - nothing worked.  I then tried my inconsistent G4-MP3 director again as a last ditch effort.  It magically loaded and would play audio, but does not control lights.

I'm at a loss.  I've promised a Halloween Social-Distance Dance Party for my neighbors and now nothing will work.  Anyone have any other ideas for getting the G4-MP3 director to work and for solving my new undetected network issue?

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all the Pixie controllers must run at 500k or above.

Second, go back to the basics, connect one controller to the computer and see if it sees it in the HU. If the controller is found connect the second and check to see if both controllers are found. Keep doing this until the HU doesn't find one then stop and find out why, bad cable, bad connector? Keep adding a controller until they are all found. You have to narrow down where the issue may be.

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

I changed to 500k.

I also connected to each controller one by one and found a bad connection.  My 50W cosmic color flood has connections that are not in a box.  I had them on the ground with a cord keeper around them to protect it from rain, but water still got in the CAT5 connection.  Once I bypassed that controller, everything worked fine (when run from my computer).  I still cannot get the G4-MP3 Director to work, but I should be able to run my Halloween show.

In the meantime, the wind in my area this morning broke some of my singing face props.  If it's not one thing, it's another  On the the next repair!

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Michelle said:

I changed to 500k.

I also connected to each controller one by one and found a bad connection.  My 50W cosmic color flood has connections that are not in a box.  I had them on the ground with a cord keeper around them to protect it from rain, but water still got in the CAT5 connection.  Once I bypassed that controller, everything worked fine (when run from my computer).  I still cannot get the G4-MP3 Director to work, but I should be able to run my Halloween show.

In the meantime, the wind in my area this morning broke some of my singing face props.  If it's not one thing, it's another  On the the next repair!

Now that you narrowed it down and you bypassed that bad controller, what is now going on with your G4 MP3 Director that things aren't working?   What exactly isn't working properly with the Director unit?

 

Edited by Orville
. should've been a ?
Link to post
Share on other sites

Orville,

The G4-MP3 is all over the place!  Sometimes it stalls out at "init."  Sometimes it starts and then crashes.  Sometimes it does not even respond to the network connection and SD card.  More details above in this thread.

Basically, the director is set to the correct time and the SD card is written to play within the time that I'm testing it.  I am creating it with the correct network speed - 500k ELOR.  I have power run to the director, since it may not be getting enough juice from my first controller.  I am using the recommended Kingston SD card.  The only time I got it to play my show was when I was having network problems.  It began cycling through sequences and played audio, but because of the problem with one of my controllers, it did not control the lights.  Have you ever had these problems?  Any suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like using my Director.  I do have issues from time to time, but usually determine it has nothing to do with the Director (except for my current "run anytime" problem posted at the start of this thread (it does not work)).  My last major frustration with it had to do with controller firmware and upgrading to LOR S5, so nothing to actually do with the Director.  Once I updated all the firmware on all the controllers, I had no issues.

Problems observed over the years:

- Issues with MP3 sampling rates (must be exactly 128kbps)

- Incorrect network settings and use of Director ports.  I finally just went simple.  All AC-type controllers are daisy-chained on the regular port at 57.6k, and all my pixel controllers are on the Aux A port running 500k.  So I have two "networks" running all over the yard.

- Controller firmware versions

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Michelle said:

Orville,

The G4-MP3 is all over the place!  Sometimes it stalls out at "init."  Sometimes it starts and then crashes.  Sometimes it does not even respond to the network connection and SD card.  More details above in this thread.

Basically, the director is set to the correct time and the SD card is written to play within the time that I'm testing it.  I am creating it with the correct network speed - 500k ELOR.  I have power run to the director, since it may not be getting enough juice from my first controller.  I am using the recommended Kingston SD card.  The only time I got it to play my show was when I was having network problems.  It began cycling through sequences and played audio, but because of the problem with one of my controllers, it did not control the lights.  Have you ever had these problems?  Any suggestions?

I'm seriously thinking that maybe due to that bad network connection where water got into the jacks may have possibly damaged your Director.   So you may need to open a help desk ticket and possibly have to send in your Director for repairs, if something has happened to it.  LOR would need to get it and test it to see if there may be something in need of repair.   But they may be able to troubleshoot it over the phone with you and possibly resolve the issue, if not, then they'll probably ask you to send the Director back for further testing and investigation to see what happened to it.

Otherwise, have no idea what could be causing your issues as I've never had any issues with mine.  My N4-G4 works fine and have yet to have any issues with it running  any shows I've thrown at it.

Edited by Orville
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Makes me glad I have never used a Director...

 

Directors are awesome and very easy to use for the most part.   You just have to make sure things are how they need to be for them to function correctly and to the best of their capabilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My network issues were solved after some trial and error.  I have 9 controllers on one network.  #4 in the chain had some water in the cat 5 connection point that knocked out the entire network for some reason (don't know why I could not at least detect #s 1-3).  Once it dried out, it worked fine.  I have done some extra water proofing to avoid future problems.  

Regarding the G4 MP3 Director, I finally got a response on my helpdesk ticket.  They suggested resetting it.  That seemed to do the trick as it is working perfectly so far.  In an effort to help others in the future, here are the LOR helpdesk instructions for resetting.

  • You can try resetting the MP3 director. To do this you hold the up and down buttons at the same time for a while and you should see a rset in the screen. Depending on the firmware you may need to hold the up down and select buttons.... If it does not reset at all then you may need to update the firmware in the director.
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Michelle said:

#4 in the chain had some water in the cat 5 connection point that knocked out the entire network for some reason (don't know why I could not at least detect #s 1-3).

Glad you got it working.

Most likely it was shorting out the data line as opposed to simply being an open.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michelle said:

Regarding the G4 MP3 Director, I finally got a response on my helpdesk ticket.  They suggested resetting it.  That seemed to do the trick as it is working perfectly so far.  In an effort to help others in the future, here are the LOR helpdesk instructions for resetting.

  • You can try resetting the MP3 director. To do this you hold the up and down buttons at the same time for a while and you should see a rset in the screen. Depending on the firmware you may need to hold the up down and select buttons.... If it does not reset at all then you may need to update the firmware in the director.

Michelle, glad you finally solved your multiple problems.  Thanks for sharing the G4 MP3 Director reset procedures.

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...