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N4-G4-MP3 Showtime Director


Felicia
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I currently run a laptop with 2 CTB16's and 2 RGB controller boxes. My laptop is old, my usb485b just let out some smoke, I can't see both RGB boxes at the same time because I only have one ethernet jack in my laptop. My question is: would it be more cost effective or feasible to go get another usb485b and a router specifically for a new laptop OR get the showtime director? Is there anything extra I would need if I go with a router or the director? I'm kind of at a loss right now as to what to do. I know my light show will not be played now this year but maybe I can get the hardware here and get started on it again.... 

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What make/model of RGB controllers do you have? Routers are for Ethernet. The USB485b is for LOR networks, which is NOT Ethernet. The only thing LOR networks and Ethernet have in common is that they both use Cat-5 cable.

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STOP!!!

LOR network and your computer Ethernet are NOT compatible.  Plugging one into the other CAN result in letting out the magic smoke.

You did not say what RGB boxes you are using.  Are they E1.31 devices or LOR network devices?  The answer substantially dictates what you should do.

In either case, you will need a replacement USB to RS-485 adapter in order to drive your two CTB16 controllers.  I recommend that any new USB adapter purchase be the red high speed ones.  The cost difference is only a couple bucks and even if you don't need the higher speed, it future proofs you from when you will.  Also, highly recommend a spare since as you have seen, your show is dependent on a working USB adapter.

Matt beat me to some of this...

 

 

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They are the pixcon16/e1.31

I know what the usb485b is for, I use it for the two CTB16's, that's what WOW Lights sent me when I bought the package a few years back. I also know these boxes and the pixcons each are on different networks. I'm just trying to find out if it would be more cost effective to go with the director and not have to buy a new laptop, usb485b and a router...

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Jim,

I know the two different kind of controllers cannot be hooked together. I run the LOR CTB's on one network, daisy chained to each other. One of the RGB E1.31 boxes plugs in to my ethernet jack on my laptop. I can't run both E1.31's because I don't have two ethernet jacks so I know I either need a router OR maybe the director, that's what I'm trying to figure out. Where to go from here. Do I buy a router, a new laptop (because mine is pretty outdated) and another usb485b to make the show work or go with a director and whatever else I might need to make that work. Just trying to get some help because I know nothing about the directors.

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The Director can only control PixCon16's when you use them in LOR mode. This would require changing the channel config in your sequences so that the PixCon16 channels are designated as LOR, not DMX.

I don't think your show is sunk for the season. Order a new USB485 and a spare (as suggested above), and you should be back up and running.

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The Pixcon 16 can be run either as a LOR network controller or as an E1.31 controller (using different connections on the board).  From your answer, I gather that you are using your Pixcon 16 controllers as E1.31.  In that case you can not drive them from a Director - they don't speak Ethernet.

You are not going to find a laptop with two Ethernet connections, nor do you need to.  Buy a LAN SWITCH - not a router and plug both Pixcon 16s into it along with the laptop LAN connection.

 

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You're welcome.  And I was not trying to jump on you with my STOP comment.  Way too many people around here do not understand that LOR network and Ethernet will not work together (and can damage equipment).

 

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Jim, no worries. I have an associates degree in IT but have never pursued it. I know enough to keep me out of trouble :) but not enough to go very far with networking... 

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