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Is it possible to run 2 PC's to control multiple controllers at same time?


HowardShank

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Is it possible to run two PC's to control two different shows and connect them all on the same network? Sometimes I want 2 different shows running, one on left side and one on right side, other times I want a full yard show. I'm trying to get an understanding of how it all can be wired together.

PC 1 (Show 1) (Left yard and full yard)--
|
|---Controllers (Left)-----Controllers (Right)
|
|
PC 2 (Show 2) (Right Yard)-------------

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This runs into the issue of having more than one buss master at a time. Only one device can speak on the buss at a time, and only one device can control who is next to speak. No provisions have been made for more than one device to speak as a show controller.

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Is that what the different networks are for then?

How can a trigger on a unit execute a sequence on a single controller if there is only one bus master? Does putting it in stand alone mode create it's "own" network internal to itself?

I'm getting the feeling that if I want to have a sequence execute from a trigger I'm going to have to waste many channels on a controller in order to have multiple stand-alone controllers.

I'm really trying to understand this. I know what I am asking is way beyond a simple do a show and have it run. I want a show and interactive portions and the ability to do different things.

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one way is to use a mini director and load different shows into it's input triggers

i.e. pc - plays show A and the director plays show A

then pc plays show B but the director plays show 1

I believe the DIO32 board will have the ability to output contact closures for triggering the director

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HowardShank wrote:

Is that what the different networks are for then?

How can a trigger on a unit execute a sequence on a single controller if there is only one bus master? Does putting it in stand alone mode create it's "own" network internal to itself?

I'm getting the feeling that if I want to have a sequence execute from a trigger I'm going to have to waste many channels on a controller in order to have multiple stand-alone controllers.

I'm really trying to understand this. I know what I am asking is way beyond a simple do a show and have it run. I want a show and interactive portions and the ability to do different things.

Let us know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your shows and inputs. Then someone might be able to suggest the best way to wire it.
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michael.farney wrote:

HowardShank wrote:
Is that what the different networks are for then?

How can a trigger on a unit execute a sequence on a single controller if there is only one bus master? Does putting it in stand alone mode create it's "own" network internal to itself?

I'm getting the feeling that if I want to have a sequence execute from a trigger I'm going to have to waste many channels on a controller in order to have multiple stand-alone controllers.

I'm really trying to understand this. I know what I am asking is way beyond a simple do a show and have it run. I want a show and interactive portions and the ability to do different things.

Let us know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your shows and inputs. Then someone might be able to suggest the best way to wire it.

Thank you for your response. I've previously posted my entire description of what I wanted to do here http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum72/19247.html. There were no responses to my questions, so I've been trying to break the questions down into simple questions with yes and no answers in a couple other posts.

Dan was nice enough to speak with me on Friday and cleared up a lot of the confusion. Thanks Dan!

Thanks.
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Howard,

this has been not only answered here in this thread, but also in the other thread. Like the law of gravity, there is also laws about how things work. So, even if you do not understand. At least listen to wisdom when we all tell you this. YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE MASTER per network. YOU CAN NOT HAVE TWO MASTERS talking at the same time on a network. And so it is clear, a network is a communication cable running to either a PC or a stand alone controller with the director card installed and running it's own show. Weather it is sharing this with other controllers or just by it's self. Your diagram above will not work, PERIOD.

I think yoiur confusion is that this is not an Ethernet network where you can have many masters on one network. Read my lips, this is a RS-485 network with different rules. Even though LOR decided to use a ethenet cable with RJ-45 connectors. This is truely a serial buss. So do not confuse the two, two totally different things.

Max

edited to add second paragraph.

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No need to be rude about it Max. I merely responded to Michael's post to give a better explanation of what I'm trying to do. Therefore I suggest you actually read the threads to understand what is being asked and what is already been explained.

If you had read my threads, I asked about the additional networks too. I also asked other followup questions.

In any case, I greatly appreciate the assistance some people have offered and I've learned a lot through PM's and from talking to Dan.

End of thread.

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Actually Howard also PM me. But due to his also going public with his rebuttel to me. I feel the need to go public also. I did read the original thread and thus made reference to it and the fact that in that original thread he was told that he could not have two master devices controll the same slave controller. And in the 2nd or 3rd post in this thread he was told the same.

The young lad does not heed good information and wants it his way. I do not know about the rest of you old hands. But when the same advice is given twice in two different threads. Then the poster is getting to be something of a rub. Maybe I was a bit rude during the first paragraph. But in the second paragraph I tried to make reason of his persistance. And point out what might be the error of his logic.

As per your request Howard. I shall no longer respond to your postings here. Maybe at the same time you might find that others will tire of your persistance in asking the same question over and over if you do not find an answer that is not to your liking.

Max

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Just so people don't have mis-information about the RS485 standards, part of the RS specifications are summarized in the table below. Please note that the RS485 specification is in fact a multi-point communications network, and the standard specifies up to 32 drivers and 32 receivers on a single (2-wire) bus. Whether or not LOR supports multiple drivers on the same network should be answered by LOR staff.

As for cables, LOR uses a twisted pair cable with RJ-45 connectors or a straight cable with RJ-45 connectors or a telephone cable with RJ-11 connectors. Nowhere did anyone specify that it was an Ethernet network. The RS-485 uses differential line votage to help eliminate the possibility of ground shifts and induced signal noise.

SPECIFICATIONS
RS232 | RS423 | RS422 | RS485
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mode of Operation |SINGLE-END | SINGLE-END | DIFFERENTIAL | DIFFERENTIAL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Number of | | | |
Drivers and Receivers |1 DRIVER | 1 DRIVER | 1 DRIVER | 32 DRIVER
on One Line | 1 RECVR | 10 RECVR | 10 RECVR | 32 RECVR
(One driver active | | | |
at a time for | | | |
RS485 networks) | | | |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maximum Cable Length | 50 FT. | 4000 FT. | 4000 FT. | 4000 FT.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maximum Data Rate
(40ft. - 4000ft.
for RS422/RS485) | 20kb/s | 100kb/s | 10Mb/s-100Kb/s | 10Mb/s-100Kb/s

Edited to format the table because it did not take the original format.

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You can still run your two show format using one PC. As others have mentioned, it's not possible to hook up like your diagram.

You said end of thread above, so does that mean you've got all your questions resolved?

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Actually RS485 will support the text based diagram I show at the top. LOR may not support the configuration.

I think I have the answers to my questions now, I hope. I'll always have new questions though. Thanks for your comments on this thread. I responded on the configuration thread with my proposed solution that I think will cover all my needs.

Now the wife and I are waiting to see the Cosmic Color Ribbon video!

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  • 2 months later...

I have a question about RS 485 Ethernet cable distance. I have graduated from one controller to two. When I setup my first controller I had a 100 foot Ethernet cable made up. However it would not read my controller. I had the cable shortened to 80 feet and then it worked fine.

I have been reading up and I am getting the impression that the distance on the second cable does not have distance issues that the first unit does. Can I go over the 100 foot or 80 foot distance on second and third units.

What kind of distances can you run on second and third, ect., units after the first?

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Distance is only limited to the first controller if you are using the RS485 adapter. This adapter is powered from the first controller and therefore the greater distance the lower the voltage is to operate the RS485 reliably.

As far as successive controllers the distance is not a problem. The total distance from one end of the network to the other is limited to 4000 feet.

Chuck

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