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Converting sequences to use PixieLink


randyf
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Not sure if this is the best forum to ask, butI acquired a PixieLink since last Christmas and intend to use it in this years display (especially since I've also moved, and e1.31 for long runs will be much more practical).

I've had no problems setting up and controlling the hardware I have, but all my sequences have controllers as LOR devices and not DMX (at least the ones that are not DMX already).

Any thoughts or advice on changing controllers to be DMX (to which I *could* save the configuration and propagate to other sequences)?  Or is it likely that I'm going to have to create new controllers and cut-and-paste the channels?

While my main show is still running S4, I've played with S5 on a test machine and could migrate that way if this change is more easily done there.

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In S5 the change is quite simple.  In S4 it is a bit more complex.  One thought I did have as I was typing this is that you could open your .lms file in S5, make the change there and export the result as an .lms file.  There is a chance it will work.  No guarantees that you would be able to import your S4 channel configuration file though.   
 

Below is an example.  It presumes you have a Preview in S5 that matches your .lms file.
Open the S5 Sequence tool. Open the Preview associated with your sequence(s). Edit your prop. In this example the prop is an LOR device, assigned to the Aux A Network with the beginning circuit of 1.

image.thumb.png.409aebec119258cc25f35e71a130a0ff.png

 

We need to convert this prop to be a DMX device controlled prop. Click on the pull down and select DMX.

image.thumb.png.dfb9cff76787d3f2028cbf8690ef683d.png

 

When we make the change, the tool automatically converts the LOR unit number to a Universe number. The LOR unit number is a hexadecimal value that is converted to a decimal number. In this example the LOR assigned Unit number was 50. 50 is (5*16) + 0 = 80. If you are comfortable with this value leave it as is. If you don't care for the Universe number, feel free to change it now. Make sure the Universe number does not collide with the Universe number of other props. You will need this information when you configure the ports on your output device.

image.thumb.png.0ea1d5dac93eb540a63dc9c0bd13a146.png

 

 

To make the same change in S4 requires that you adjust each and every channel.  Ways to make the changes in your S4 sequence(s).

 

  1. Use the channel configuration dialog in the Sequence Editor and change each channel. If you have many channels this will be a very long and tedious effort but at the end you can then use the configuration export and import to adjust the remainder of your sequences quickly.

  2. Create new DMX devices with the same number of channels in your sequence(s) and copy the sequence information from the old prop/device to this/these newly create device(s). This would go rather quickly as long as you do not have many sequences.

  3. If you are good at programming or scripting you can directly edit the LMS or LAS files. They are XML files in plain text mode and thus easily manipulated. However if you choose this option be very aware that if you make any sort of an error that makes it so the XML cannot be parsed, the Sequence Editor will not open the file. I STRONGLY suggest making a copy of the original sequence and manipulating that file if you decide to go with this option.

 

I cut and pasted this from another document I had created so forgive any typos.

Edited by basis21b
Added typo disclaimer
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Seems I do know how to do it in S4, but I think you've convinced me that it's time to complete the move to S5.  Though I've fiddled with it, I hadn't fully converted as I figured I wanted to take the time to get to know it.  But as I have a fair amount of needed change anyway, might as well take the plunge.

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, randyf said:

(especially since I've also moved, and e1.31 for long runs will be much more practical).

I'm rather puzzled about that statement.  RS-485 (what a Pixie runs on) can go 4,000 feet, but Ethernet is rated for 100 meters.  Unless you are planning on using a microwave link.

33 minutes ago, randyf said:

Seems I do know how to do it in S4, but I think you've convinced me that it's time to complete the move to S5.

I would not make that change at this time.  There is a learning curve with S5 and this close to show time is not the time to switch.  Do that in January when you have most of the year to learn the changes.  BTW, I firmly support moving to S5 - just not a few weeks before show season.

 

 

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

I'm rather puzzled about that statement.  RS-485 (what a Pixie runs on) can go 4,000 feet, but Ethernet is rated for 100 meters.  Unless you are planning on using a microwave link.

I'm certainly not going 4000feet, and probably not 100 meters, but a single 50 (maybe) meter cable to the PixieLink (at 100mbs) split to 6 shorter (much less than 20') runs at varying speeds seems way more practical for me than the 3 runs I currently do (not counting the 2 e1.31 links I already use) that are currently capped at 500kb (and I can still use those 3 to a different part of the yard where I'm mostly using AC controllers).  I'm even considering another PixieLink to totally replace my RS-485 links.

1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

I would not make that change at this time.  There is a learning curve with S5 and this close to show time is not the time to switch.  Do that in January when you have most of the year to learn the changes.  BTW, I firmly support moving to S5 - just not a few weeks before show season.

I've been playing with S5 for a bit, and had converted a couple of sequences; just haven't taken the "plunge".  I had expected to make the switch this year, but a significant move put a little wrinkle in the works.  As I've got to still complete a new visualizer layout, add some new props, and adjust sequences, it didn't seem like it would be that bad of a prospect to make the switch too.

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