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Equipment update question


o2btom
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So last year my wife got me in a “light fight” contest. I wound up (because of time constraints) ordering the TSO plug and play package. 2 16 gen 3 boxes, mini director, fm transmitter. Last year, I used my desktop to create, modify shows, transferred to SD card - all was good. Long story short, I was given an alphapix16 controller and pixel ribbons to make a tree. I have configured for Alphapix controller, created a DMX universe, tested and have the pixels working on my desktop. I am running S5, with pro level.  The mini director is not capable of running LOR and DMX universe.. Those that have been doing this awhile - would I be better off getting a new laptop/desktop and transferring software, resetting up everything, or getting a new director capable of running both? What is going to give me the best flexibility in the future, etc? I see few low end laptops capable of running two Ethernet, don’t know if I could run both universes off a splitter, and would rather spend money on more pixels than on a computer solely to run a show. I plan on continuing to add to my new crack addiction in years to come…lol Thoughts? Suggestions?

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As far as I know, none of the directors will output E1.31.  In my opinion, using a director is highly limiting.  For less money than any director, get yourself a desktop computer to use as your show player.  Does not need to be high end, so you can get one at almost give away prices.

So many things that are pretty easy with a PC, that are difficult or impossible on a director.

 

Edited by k6ccc
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7 minutes ago, o2btom said:

So last year my wife got me in a “light fight” contest. I wound up (because of time constraints) ordering the TSO plug and play package. 2 16 gen 3 boxes, mini director, fm transmitter. Last year, I used my desktop to create, modify shows, transferred to SD card - all was good. Long story short, I was given an alphapix16 controller and pixel ribbons to make a tree. I have configured for Alphapix controller, created a DMX universe, tested and have the pixels working on my desktop. I am running S5, with pro level.  The mini director is not capable of running LOR and DMX universe.. Those that have been doing this awhile - would I be better off getting a new laptop/desktop and transferring software, resetting up everything, or getting a new director capable of running both? What is going to give me the best flexibility in the future, etc? I see few low end laptops capable of running two Ethernet, don’t know if I could run both universes off a splitter, and would rather spend money on more pixels than on a computer solely to run a show. I plan on continuing to add to my new crack addiction in years to come…lol Thoughts? Suggestions?

A dedicated computer to run the show is IMO the best way. I do use a mini director on my remote tune to sign and on my golf cart matrix however for expansion purposes a computer is best.

JR

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56 minutes ago, o2btom said:

I could run both universes off a splitter, and would rather spend money on more pixels than on a computer solely to run a show. I plan on continuing to add to my new crack addiction in years to come…lol Thoughts? Suggestions?

Keep in mind that you are talking two totally separate networks. Your original setup will run off the LOR USB adapter plugged into a usb port, your new Alphapix will run off the ethernet port coming out of your computer do not mix the two up.

Directors are limiting, go get a cheap computer from a pawn shop to run the show as it doesn't take much resources to run a show.

Edited by Mr. P
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1 hour ago, o2btom said:

I have configured for Alphapix controller, created a DMX universe,

Unless it's a really small tree, you needed to create more than "a DMX universe".  Each universe can only support 512 channels or 170 pixels.  170 pixels would be a VERY SMALL pixel tree.

1 hour ago, o2btom said:

I see few low end laptops capable of running two Ethernet,

I doubt you find any laptop with multiple Ethernet connections - nor is there any need for it.  As Mr. P said, the LOR network and the E1.31 are totally separate networks.  Do not connect your LOR network to a Ethernet network - that can result in the magic smoke getting out.

One of my general pieces of advise is unless you REALLY need a laptop, get a desktop.  A desktop will cost less, is better designed for 24x7 operation, and is far easier to do hardware updates or repairs.

 

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Over the years, I have bough Refurbish Dell Optiplex from Amazon.  Last one had 8G RAM,  a SSD and a 2T HD (and a older I7, not W11 compatible) for under $400.

I do prefer Business class as I think the hardware has not bee 'cost reduced' to within an inch of its life.

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I have bought refurb computers from both Dell (the one I'm typing on), and TigerDirect.com with great success.  My current show computer came from TigerDirect.com for under $200.

 

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Like others have stated, A cheap Desktop is best for running shows and expansion.  However I do use an N4-G4 to run my shows, but I don't use E1.31, so not an issue for me.

 

For me, it all boiled down to convenience, no cables or cords exiting through windows or under doors for folks to trip over.  So everything I need is outside and out of the way.  Plus, even though the Directors are limited, I prefer the N4-G4 because it does have 4 networks and I use all of them, no need for extra adapters or USB ports.

Simply put, it just depends on what your needs are and personal preference as to what you use to run your show.   In some cases a Director is better suited than a computer, other the computer may be the best option.  But if it were me, I'd still purchase an N4-G4 Director with the Real Time-Clock, you just never know when you might wish you had one.  They come in real handy for emergency use of a show computer happens to have issues or stops working.  Same for having the spare computer that runs the show, if you use a Director, and it goes belly up {had one of the original DC-MP3 Directors do that years ago}, then you have a computer to run the shows until either/or are able to be replaced.  Although, again, depending on what you use for networking, like E1.31, as Jim stated, the Directors CAN NOT do.  But they can do DMX and ELOR.

It all really depends on your actual needs for what you require to run your show.

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Thanks everyone for their input. I found a refurbished off lease desktop from MicroCenter for $200.. Now it is just a matter of getting everything transferred over and hopefully it works....LOL

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4 hours ago, o2btom said:

Thanks everyone for their input. I found a refurbished off lease desktop from MicroCenter for $200

That's what I did a couple of years ago. I've had great luck with mine. Mine was less than $200 and has 8 USB ports! Fortunately the Micro Center is only about a 30 minute drive form here, so I go there often.

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On 11/15/2021 at 2:22 PM, TheDucks said:

I do prefer Business class as I think the hardware has not bee 'cost reduced' to within an inch of its life.

What TheDucks said!  I am currently running a WHS2011 server on an old HP Compaq desktop business machine purchased refurbished 8 or so years ago.  It has been on 24/7 for those 8 years only being shut down for a good de-dusting once or twice a year.  Not one issue with the computer itself, but for full disclosure, did have the OS hard drive go out last year.  Quick replacement and back in business. 

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