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Wireless G4 Director Link- How To?


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My goal is to have a Wireless pixel controller network, LOR says that one way to to that is using 2-G4 directors, using the "Director Link" and 2 ELLs to link them together.

My questions are?

It says that Network 1 can only be used for linking the directors when in this mode, Does this mean a G4 director will power the ELL

-If not how do you power them for the wireless director link to work?

Has anyone that has done this and want to give me any tips?

Thanks!

I want to verify how it works before I spend the $$ for 2 G4s

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Other option if you are using E1.31 is to use a WiFi link.  Then at the far end, use a WiFi device set up as a bridge and either connect to one or more E1.31 controllers or use the new PixieLink to convert to drive Pixie controllers.

If you go this route DO NOT USE your existing home WiFi - unless you want your show to crash when your kid surfs YouTube or someone does a large file transfer.  Set up a separate WiFi.

 

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4 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Other option if you are using E1.31 is to use a WiFi link.  Then at the far end, use a WiFi device set up as a bridge and either connect to one or more E1.31 controllers or use the new PixieLink to convert to drive Pixie controllers.

If you go this route DO NOT USE your existing home WiFi - unless you want your show to crash when your kid surfs YouTube or someone does a large file transfer.  Set up a separate WiFi.

 

I guess I need to learn how to setup a e1.31 device in LOR, this sounds like it will be cheaper, I am a bit concerned on range for the wifi though.  This is going across the street.

Edited by MrMatt
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2 minutes ago, MrMatt said:

I guess I need to learn how to setup a e1.31 device in LOR, this sounds like it will be cheaper, I am a bit concerned on range for the wifi though.  This is going across the street.

Its easy and many of us can help you out when you get there.

Are you running AC or RGB. Since you are discussing ELL's I am thinking you are talking AC controllers.

JR

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42 minutes ago, MrMatt said:

I guess I need to learn how to setup a e1.31 device in LOR, this sounds like it will be cheaper, I am a bit concerned on range for the wifi though.  This is going across the street.

E1.31 pretty easy after you learn a few concepts  You do have up upgrade to at least an Advanced level LOR license to do E1.31.  However for pixels you pretty much need to go Pro anyway.

And if you do it right, it's not a problem to get miles on the right WiFi equipment (I have a 4.2 mile link from my house).

 

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3 hours ago, dibblejr said:

Its easy and many of us can help you out when you get there.

Are you running AC or RGB. Since you are discussing ELL's I am thinking you are talking AC controllers.

JR

I am running both, I am running AC on one side of the street, and adding Pixels on the other side of the street, thus the need for wireless.  Wireless just runs the AC.. In the future I want to run pixels on both sides and thus I am looking for options such as the Pixielink, or maybe just getting some E1.31 controllers to use with wifi.  Just need to take the time to learn this new level, I was happy with the simple AC controllers until now lol.

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Just keep in mind that the ELL's cannot run high speed which the pixels will require so they won't work on a network with pixels on it. ELL's also will not work on a E1.31 network either.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/28/2021 at 4:12 PM, Orville said:

#1. The N4-G4 to N4-G4 Director Link is only on Network 1 to Network 1 of the 2nd Director.  And if using ELL's this is ONLY for 56K speeds, maybe 115K at most, so if you need Enhanced or higher speeds, like for RGB Controllers that may require both 500K and Enhanced, using ELL's WILL NOT WORK, the ELL's are mainly for older AC Controllers {Pre-Gen 3} or G3 AC Controllers used at LOWER speeds {56K) and NON Enhanced Networks.

.....

I haven't used the Director to DIrector link yet, so I don't have any real world experience with it yet, but when I finally migrate to S5 and purcahse a 2nd N4-G4Director, then I'm going to start experimenting around with this "linking" ability to understand it better.

 

@Orville, my understanding is that while the N4-G4 uses Network 1 to sync them, you still have three remaining networks that could be run at 1000k speed.  Thus, it might make sense to use Network 1 as your traditional LOR network, while the remainder could be for RGB network(s).

I'm also really interested in real-world testing of this.  Keep us posted on what you experience.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As I am debating buying these at the spring sale,

I decided to submit a ticket and thought I would post the response, 

Quote

You would need to power the directors using a power supply ( small one that normally plugs into the wall )... Then the ELLs would be powered via the RJ45(Cat5) port of the directors. When linking multiple directors the primary network (network 1) is used exclusively to keep the directors in sync and is not available for "regular" data.
 

 

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Oh, now this is interesting.  So for clarification, if I read all this correct, I could have two G4 directors connected via ELLs (for director synchronization only), with each director then driving each of their other 3 ports as enhanced high speed.  I assume each director would need identical copies of SD cards inserted in each for this to work (which is simple).  So has anyone tried this?

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9 hours ago, hasslerk said:

Oh, now this is interesting.  So for clarification, if I read all this correct, I could have two G4 directors connected via ELLs (for director synchronization only), with each director then driving each of their other 3 ports as enhanced high speed.  I assume each director would need identical copies of SD cards inserted in each for this to work (which is simple).  So has anyone tried this?

I’m not sure you need 2 SD cards since “network 1 is to keep the directors in sync”

IMO

JR

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12 hours ago, dibblejr said:

I’m not sure you need 2 SD cards since “network 1 is to keep the directors in sync”

As I understand it (no guarantee here), that would be incorrect.  A I understand it, only data sync packets are sent over network 1.  That's why it can work over a low speed network.  I don't know if the SD card in each director needs to store the entire show or only the portion that is controlled by that director. 

This is similar to the same way that Falcon Player does this.

 

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3 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

As I understand it (no guarantee here), that would be incorrect.  A I understand it, only data sync packets are sent over network 1.  That's why it can work over a low speed network.  I don't know if the SD card in each director needs to store the entire show or only the portion that is controlled by that director. 

This is similar to the same way that Falcon Player does this.

 

Jim, that is my interpretation also (sync packets).  The interesting wrinkle you raise is having only the portion of the show executed by each director on their corresponding SD cards...not even sure how I would write the SD cards given that all props/networks are contained in any given sequence, which is why I think each SD card is an exact copy (and I think I recall seeing that comment somewhere else in another thread).  But I have zero experience with this setup (at the moment, but interested in the possibilities) and am soaking in everyone's responses.  Thanks @MrMatt for starting this topic and all the responses; it has given me some ideas.

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Then tell me Orv, how are you supposed to get three 1000K circuits worth of data over a single slow speed network?  Can't possibly do that.  And that's assuming only two directors.  Maybe six 1000K circuits, or nine 1000K circuits worth of data.  No way!

The Directors MUST know that they are operating in a master / slave configuration, and understand that the data over network 1 is just sync data.  Then use that sync data to keep both controllers in sync.

 

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I agree with Jim. SYNC just means what it was named. Make the pair run together over a (slow) Network.

I see 2 ways to prepare for that. 1) A mirror SD card 2) (If there is gobs of RAM) Preload the slave PRIOR to use. That requires the directors STAY powered and it could take hours at 56K to initialize the show

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I went and read the director documentation.  :)  When using LOR HUB to write your show to an SD card, one of the prompts is if it is multiple director.  If it is, it WILL create multiple SD cards.  What is not clear in the documentation, and based on what Jim mentions above, is that the creation software is smart enough to know what network is on what director and "may" just write those commands to that SD card.  This would mean you really really want to label your SD cards so that you put the right one in the correct director.  I wonder if audio is available for broadcast at each director?

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41 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Then tell me Orv, how are you supposed to get three 1000K circuits worth of data over a single slow speed network?  Can't possibly do that.  And that's assuming only two directors.  Maybe six 1000K circuits, or nine 1000K circuits worth of data.  No way!

The Directors MUST know that they are operating in a master / slave configuration, and understand that the data over network 1 is just sync data.  Then use that sync data to keep both controllers in sync.

 

The G4 can get 3 High Speed networks

Also the pixielink can be used for AC networks as well so if the G4 can’t achieve the goals of the OP maybe a combination will.

At this point until someone attempts this or the HD chimes in, it’s all speculation.

I have never had to use a 1000 speed network as the NP still says “for Pixcon16 only”

However the pixielink does have the capability of 6 HS networks.

JR

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OK, my statement about multiple 1000K networks was the worst case scenario, but you are still not going to get three 500K networks worth of data over a ELL link!

 

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Why do you guys do this.

A G4 MP3 director with Director Sync can run as many 1000K networks as there are ports available on the MP3 director(s).

IF you are using Director Link, that is PORT 1.  Director link sends timing data ONLY to all directors that are connected.  You can use ELLs to send director link timing data with NO issues.  Any OTHER port(s) can run 1000K speed.  If you have 2 4 port G4 MP3 directors using Director Link, the 6 (three available on each director) can run 1000K without an issue.  In this case you have 6 SEPARATE NETWORKS (REG and AUX A - AUX E) all at 1000K and they will all stay in sync - EVEN WITH an ELL being used for DIRECTOR LINK.

There are NO LIMITS to the numbers of directors with Director Link that can be in use at one time.  You can have 6 N4G4 directors in a director link chain, each having 3 different ports (REG & AUX A - AUX O) running at 1000K.  .  You could have 20 of them if you like (but of course that does mean some directors are going to be using the same networks).

The ELL in this case is ONLY sending SYNC CODE to all other directors.  It is NOT sending lighting data.  The lighting data for the channels in use is ON THE SD CARDS of all the directors in use.   You create as many SD cards as you have directors. 

http://www1.lightorama.com/help/how_to_use_director-link.htm

I will admit that point #2 in that help is misleading as it says you need a WIRED connection between 2 directors.  Later on the page it says that you CAN use ELLs to connect 2 directors.

http://www1.lightorama.com/help/advanced_sd_card_wizard.htm

This page describes how to create the multiple SD cards that will be required for Director Link shows.    At step 2 you tell it you are using Linked Directors.  "Step 4 for Multi Director Shows" allows you to specify exactly what LOR networks are going to run on what port of which director.  

Step 6 clearly shows you will be creating 1 SD card for every director.

Orville - please refrain from giving any more advice about this (or possibly other topics) which you have no experience in.  While we appreciate your willingness to help, please instead refer people to the help document or to create a ticket in the help desk system so we can give them correct information.

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Some other things I see posted here:

Directors DO NOT SUPPORT E1.31.  They support LOR/ELOR/DMX only.  

ELLs should NOT be used on LIGHTING NETWORKS with Pixels, or with any network that needs to run faster than 115K.  A director link is NOT a lighting network

If you power the MP3 director via a transformer, the MP3 director WILL send power to an ELL on port 1 over the CAT 5 for newer ELLs.  That's not something we advertise.   If not, you can power the ELL with a transformer.

You will want to ensure that EACH director in a director chain has something supplying power to it - that could mean each has it's own transformer, or each has its own LOR controller that can supply accessory voltage back to the director via that CAT 5.  What you don't want is a single transformer on director 1, and then let director 2 (and 3 and 4 and 5 and whatever else) draw power from it over the CAT 5s connecting all of them and then have NOTHING ELSE supplying ACC power.  You will eventually draw too much current and at best things will just shut down (or at worst - you melt your CAT 5s and possibly start a fire).

Please always consult with our product manuals and help materials first.  If you are still unsure, please let us know as that means we did not do our job correctly (help documentation needs to be clear and concise).  We are a help desk ticket away.

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