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Doing field testing already and the HU can only find 2 of 3 controllers.....


Donl1150
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I am doing field testing of my setup.  So far I have set up 2 singing faces, each driven by a Pixie 8 along with 2 small "mega" trees driven by a Pixie 16.  I have daisy chained the 3 units and when I play a sequence, one face and the mega trees look great, just as the Preview shows, but the other singing face has "garbled" pixels.  The Preview shows it running properly but in reality it is nowhere near correct.

So my first question is:

  1. Do the units have to be chained in the sequential ID order or can they be in any order as long as you get all three?

When I run the HU for the entire setup, it only picks up the 2 singing faces and not the mega trees.  Yet, as stated above, the mega trees are running properly.  When I run the HU separately for each of the 3 units, it picks up each one properly and they test properly.

My next question is this:

  1.  Is it possible I have signal loss (or interference) due to the number of cat 5 connectors I have on the entire setup?  For ease of installation, I wound up with about 5 or 6 female - female connectors in order to get the cable from controller 1 to controller 2.  Then I have one more female - female connector in the line from controller 2 to controller 3 (the one that is acting up).

Or is it possible my sequence has mis-identified the ports for that singing face?

Thoughts?

Don

 

 

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They can be in any order. RS485 is a Addressable Serial BUS (everybody listens).

Be certain that only the LAST in the chain has the termination (JP4). 4000' is the limit for the cables (when terminated). There is a (electrical)  limit on the number of controllers. You ain't even close 😛

Remember you need to reserve 'n' Id's per pixie, including the base: where 'n'= the # of pixie ports

DO NOT lace the CAT5 to the power cords. random crossings are usually fine. (Same rule applies to Ethernet). I do have 'rj45 barrel' in my cable path as those will be swapped out for Xmas controllers

 

FWIW the LOR is pretty robust. I made a set of 'Splitters' to use in my shop. Jack 1 is wired for 568 (Ethernet), then I used 1-2,7-8  and wired that to jack 2  4-5, 3-6. No problem with using either a 10/100 Ethernet or LOR

 

@LOR Why did you not pass 1-2,7-8 thru each controller? 🙄

I made  a 2 jack 'flipper' s I can have 2 LOR networks connected (1 to each flipper port) to the cable and at some point down the line, continue on with Jack 2 (second net) . Less cable home runed.

 

OH can you describe 'scrambled'.  Wrong colors? Or random Lights?

Edited by TheDucks
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17 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

LOR Why did you not pass 1-2,7-8 thru each controller?

1 & 2 do pass through (or at least they used to).  One of the security tricks is to put an alarm loop on 1 & 2 and then on the last controller, tie pins 1 & 2 together.  If someone unplugs a controller, the loop is broken and an alarm can detect that.

 

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The Ducks....

  1. I don't know what you mean by "only the LAST in the chain has the termination (JP4)".  What is JP4?
  2. I think I am fine on ID's per pixie
  3.  I should have mentioned that I have laced the cat cable through a PVC pipe that also contains AC cables for incan lights.  I'll disconnect that and test with a cable NOT passing through the pipe.
  4.   I don't know what you mean by "Why did you not pass 1-2,7-8 thru each controller".
  5.   As far as 'scrambled", I mean that the face seems to be lighting up pixels at random, not at all looking like the sequence is telling it what to do.

 

kc666.....

  1.  Not sure what is meant by "on the last controller, tie pins 1 & 2 together".  Although I am not concerned with anyone tampering with the display.

 

Thanks guys!

 

 

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It is a daisy chain. The End of the line gets a terminator (JP4 in Gen 2 Pixies. Hint if you have a mix of G1 and G2, put the G2 last))

ShowComp-------C------C------C terminated

Jim made use of the extra wires (not used by LOR) and put a shunt at the end (just like Alarm systems do) If the shunt is not detected RING BELLS, Shout THIEF 😛

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On 9/25/2021 at 2:08 PM, Donl1150 said:

I am doing field testing of my setup.  So far I have set up 2 singing faces, each driven by a Pixie 8 along with 2 small "mega" trees driven by a Pixie 16.  I have daisy chained the 3 units and when I play a sequence, one face and the mega trees look great, just as the Preview shows, but the other singing face has "garbled" pixels.  The Preview shows it running properly but in reality it is nowhere near correct.

So my first question is:

  1. Do the units have to be chained in the sequential ID order or can they be in any order as long as you get all three?

When I run the HU for the entire setup, it only picks up the 2 singing faces and not the mega trees.  Yet, as stated above, the mega trees are running properly.  When I run the HU separately for each of the 3 units, it picks up each one properly and they test properly.

My next question is this:

  1.  Is it possible I have signal loss (or interference) due to the number of cat 5 connectors I have on the entire setup?  For ease of installation, I wound up with about 5 or 6 female - female connectors in order to get the cable from controller 1 to controller 2.  Then I have one more female - female connector in the line from controller 2 to controller 3 (the one that is acting up).

Or is it possible my sequence has mis-identified the ports for that singing face?

Thoughts?

Don

If you have a Cat5 Tester {everyone should have one of these} you can verify if those female blocks are functioning correctly.  Plug one end of a Cat 5 into a Cat5 Tester, the other end of that cable into the Fmale-Female Pass Through block, {test the cat5 cable BEFORE plugging it into the pass through block.  If it tests out good, plug it into the Pass Through F-F block, take another cat 5 cable {make sure you've tested it as well before using it, it could be bad}, if the 2nd cat5 cable is good, plug it into the other end of the F-F Pass Through block, then plug the Cat 5 cable into the other end of the Cat5 Tester.  This will show you if the signal IS getting through the pass through block.  I use these F-F pass through blocks, and I've had a couple that were bad or went bad.   Always test these things before you use them, that way you know they were working when you installed them.

In another post I see you stated you had electrical wires going through the same conduit as your Cat5, this is a definite no-no, the cat5 can pick up the stray electrical RF, and it can play havoc with your display, much of what you describe about things randomly lighting or lighting up incorrectly can be caused by this.  You should run your electrical wiring in a separate conduit and keep it at least a minimum of 6 inches away from any Cat5 cables to help prevent this from happening.

As for Controllers, they can be placed anywhere, and in any order along the line, unless they are G1 or G2, mixed with G3 Controllers, as far as I am aware G1 and G2 CAN NOT run at 500K speeds, I have G2 CTB16PC Controllers in my display, and they are all on a Regular Network, 115K and NON-Enhanced.  If all are G3, there shouldn't be any issue with the order in placement or 500K speeds.

Good Luck on finding and fixing your issues.

 

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DO NOT INSTALL THE JUMPER - any jumper ON JP4- it is only for some and 95% of us will never need it.

IF IT iS THERE REMOVE IT AND PLACE IT ON JP2

If there is no jumper on JP2 put it there. You need it!

If there is a jumper on JP4 or JP5 - remove them

As far as the singing faces they worked as I built them for you but you had to put the nodes in the exact order. If you did put the nodes in the ordeR perhaps you have not sorted the node channels in your grid view. You need to sort them using one of the selections- since it was a custom prop you will probably need to sort in bulb order or ho back to the prop and create ME rows for the props and use them instead of the rows.

Don you really need to just read everything I have PMd you over the months I have helped you instead of posting and getting more confused.

You should / would have had a completely working grinch/ show had you followed everything we have discussed.

There are to many hands in this cookie jar. Best of luck.

JR

*** adding update all firmware of your controllers - if it is a pixie 1.07

Edited by dibblejr
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On 9/27/2021 at 9:37 PM, Orville said:

If you have a Cat5 Tester {everyone should have one of these} you can verify if those female blocks are functioning correctly.  Plug one end of a Cat 5 into a Cat5 Tester, the other end of that cable into the Fmale-Female Pass Through block, {test the cat5 cable BEFORE plugging it into the pass through block.  If it tests out good, plug it into the Pass Through F-F block, take another cat 5 cable {make sure you've tested it as well before using it, it could be bad}, if the 2nd cat5 cable is good, plug it into the other end of the F-F Pass Through block, then plug the Cat 5 cable into the other end of the Cat5 Tester.  This will show you if the signal IS getting through the pass through block.  I use these F-F pass through blocks, and I've had a couple that were bad or went bad.   Always test these things before you use them, that way you know they were working when you installed them.

In another post I see you stated you had electrical wires going through the same conduit as your Cat5, this is a definite no-no, the cat5 can pick up the stray electrical RF, and it can play havoc with your display, much of what you describe about things randomly lighting or lighting up incorrectly can be caused by this.  You should run your electrical wiring in a separate conduit and keep it at least a minimum of 6 inches away from any Cat5 cables to help prevent this from happening.

As for Controllers, they can be placed anywhere, and in any order along the line, unless they are G1 or G2, mixed with G3 Controllers, as far as I am aware G1 and G2 CAN NOT run at 500K speeds, I have G2 CTB16PC Controllers in my display, and they are all on a Regular Network, 115K and NON-Enhanced.  If all are G3, there shouldn't be any issue with the order in placement or 500K speeds.

Good Luck on finding and fixing your issues.

 

Actually- all G2 AC controllers are G3.

According to LOR every one of the G2 stamped are G3. 
 

I only discovered this fact a couple days ago. I had 6 of them and now have 2 left. I thought that only some were stamped incorrectly.

So all G2 stamped controllers have the small Led light, will be found in HU as G3 and run on 500k ELOR networks.

So actually there are only G1 and G3 AC controllers.

Good news for many people who did not know this.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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Get rid of the "Cat 5 connectors". You have three controllers. Your just making it difficult on yourself. Every connection is a potential failure point and you should not split RS485 anyway.

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46 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

Get rid of the "Cat 5 connectors". You have three controllers. Your just making it difficult on yourself. Every connection is a potential failure point and you should not split RS485 anyway.

👍 Especially the Ivory ones. Those are 'telephone grade' (Like early Dimension PBX" sets), they only pass the connections, with no impedance matching needed for Digital Ethernet.

Also, IMHO, Avoid mini CAT cables. I had 4 @ 100' that all pass the pin out verify test on my VDV Scout, but I could not get the controllers (even properly terminated) past it , to reliably show up (and the LED would flash).

 

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Thanks for all the tips you guys.  As suggested, I used my Cat5 tester and discovered I wired one of my cable ends wrong and that was screwing up the sequence on the last singing face on the line.  I have corrected that and now everything is working properly as displayed in the Preview.

JR, I really do appreciate the help you have given me as I go along my Pixel journey.  However, I posted this issue on the forum since I felt I was being a bother to you.  Plus, getting another set of eyes on the problem is always a benefit......at least in MHO.

Don

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Nope. I bought 500’ cat5 cable, ends, crimpers, tester, etc and built my own cable lengths custom fit for my layout.    Got all 4 pixel props working properly.  
now have a night test run to see/adjust the brightness levels. 

Then will work to get the neighbors hooked up via ELL’s and relocate some of my AC props into their yards.  
 
All the while working on more sequences.  

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14 hours ago, TheDucks said:

👍 Especially the Ivory ones. Those are 'telephone grade' (Like early Dimension PBX" sets), they only pass the connections, with no impedance matching needed for Digital Ethernet.

Also, IMHO, Avoid mini CAT cables. I had 4 @ 100' that all pass the pin out verify test on my VDV Scout, but I could not get the controllers (even properly terminated) past it , to reliably show up (and the LED would flash).

 

Call me lazy and lucky. I used 1 of the old ivory ones for 3 years in my bushes because deer broke a cable and I didnt want to pull and have to re run through my wall during Christmas. After take down I said "i will fix that next year". I never did until the hurricane forced me to.

I didnt waterproof it or anything. Just luck but sometimes thats what we need in this hobby.

JR

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12 hours ago, Donl1150 said:

Thanks for all the tips you guys.  As suggested, I used my Cat5 tester and discovered I wired one of my cable ends wrong and that was screwing up the sequence on the last singing face on the line.  I have corrected that and now everything is working properly as displayed in the Preview.

JR, I really do appreciate the help you have given me as I go along my Pixel journey.  However, I posted this issue on the forum since I felt I was being a bother to you.  Plus, getting another set of eyes on the problem is always a benefit......at least in MHO.

Don

Never a bother. However, as in this case you get a lot of answers that are way over a few of our heads. I just posted the latest version (today) of the singing Grinch for sharing. this was designed for Pixie controller users. Non e1.31

I've helped several people besides you this year and another last night and today with this.

You would probably have to rip out all of your pixels to use it but it may be better than ripping out hair. LOL

JR

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On 9/29/2021 at 8:14 AM, dibblejr said:

Actually- all G2 AC controllers are G3.

According to LOR every one of the G2 stamped are G3. 
 

I only discovered this fact a couple days ago. I had 6 of them and now have 2 left. I thought that only some were stamped incorrectly.

So all G2 stamped controllers have the small Led light, will be found in HU as G3 and run on 500k ELOR networks.

So actually there are only G1 and G3 AC controllers.

Good news for many people who did not know this.

JR

My 2 CTB16PC ~AC~ RESIDENTIAL Controllers do not show up as G1 or G3.  And they can only use FW up to I believe was 4.4.0, if these are, or supposed to be G3, then shouldn't I be able to install the latest FW above that for them?  As I purchased these back in January 2021, long before G3's or S4 was even thought about at the time.  I had just migrated from Software Suite 2.7.6 to S3  about a year or so later after buying controllers and a DC MP3 Director{Original}.   So there is no way I can see my CTB16PC units being anywhere near a G3 AC Controller.

And I know they aren't G1, the boards are marked V2, Green Board PCB, so I'm pretty sure these are what most folks call a G2, as that is the FW updates I've always downloaded to them and the latest in mine are 4.4.0 and as far as I know mine don't run at 500K Enhanced, the highest speed is 115K, Unenhanced, if I try 500K Enhanced, they don't work correctly, or at all.

If I could update these to do, or run at G3 speeds, I'd sure like to know what FW and where to get it, because anything above 4.4.0 won't install and isn't supported in my particular controllers, and none of the G3 FW will install, so if these were really G3, wouldn't the G3 FW install in them?

I think you might not be correct on this one, at least not on the ones I have.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Orville said:

My 2 CTB16PC ~AC~ RESIDENTIAL Controllers do not show up as G1 or G3.  And they can only use FW up to I believe was 4.4.0, if these are, or supposed to be G3, then shouldn't I be able to install the latest FW above that for them?  As I purchased these back in January 2021, long before G3's or S4 was even thought about at the time.  I had just migrated from Software Suite 2.7.6 to S3  about a year or so later after buying controllers and a DC MP3 Director{Original}.   So there is no way I can see my CTB16PC units being anywhere near a G3 AC Controller.

And I know they aren't G1, the boards are marked V2, Green Board PCB, so I'm pretty sure these are what most folks call a G2, as that is the FW updates I've always downloaded to them and the latest in mine are 4.4.0 and as far as I know mine don't run at 500K Enhanced, the highest speed is 115K, Unenhanced, if I try 500K Enhanced, they don't work correctly, or at all.

If I could update these to do, or run at G3 speeds, I'd sure like to know what FW and where to get it, because anything above 4.4.0 won't install and isn't supported in my particular controllers, and none of the G3 FW will install, so if these were really G3, wouldn't the G3 FW install in them?

I think you might not be correct on this one, at least not on the ones I have.

 

 

According to the LOR Document there were no actual G2.

All G2 stamped boards are G3

What status light do they have?

What does the HU actually say?

As stated I thought there was a fraction of boards marked G2 that were G3 however the document says otherwise

Here is the link- scroll down to CTB16PC and you can see what it says.

I believe the ones that do not say anything other than CTB16 in the HU are G1- the several I had only said CTB16 if I recall

JR

https://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/?fbclid=IwAR0MF5sFsV_R_dDajwCdIZldrRu1WC2AQg2FTe8qEbGjGGMIBs9EejC-xiE

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FW 4.4 makes it a V2 (I have 1) 

Note the Network list uses V(ersion) no G(eneration) for this on. and it has a Red Status led

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2 hours ago, TheDucks said:

FW 4.4 makes it a V2 (I have 1) 

Note the Network list uses V(ersion) no G(eneration) for this on. and it has a Red Status led

Correct G1 V2 not a CTB16G2 the V is irrelevant to the generation. The V only indicates the series of the particular model (sort of like a date stamp) v1, v2, V3 and v4 so on so forth. V1 would always come first in that group. 
 

V2 does not mean Gen2

JR 

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57 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

Correct G1 V2 not a CTB16G2 the V is irrelevant to the generation. The V only indicates the series of the particular model (sort of like a date stamp) v1, v2, V3 and v4 so on so forth. V1 would always come first in that group. 
 

V2 does not mean Gen2

JR 

Folks kept referring to these boards as G2, so that is what I took it as.  Apparently this was an error, because that's what a lot of folks seemed to be calling these when the V2 boards came out, long before G3 was on the scene.  So that's why I referred to them as G2 Controllers.   I was just going by everything I had read when the change occurred on the updated "older" controllers.   I'll have to correct this in my notes in my log book where I try and keep a record of this stuff.  No wonder folks keep making errors like this, we read and see something, and then find out, maybe a few years down the road, this wasn't the case at all.  Gets very confusing and also very misleading in that respect!

 

EDIT: Had to correct my signature on the CTB16PC, as well as had CMB100D, which I typoed and didn't catch that one, that was supposed to be CCB100D!  *DOH!*  Now corrected.

Edited by Orville
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