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View Full Version : Controlling the Olsen 595



Nadurru
03-13-2010, 05:01 PM
Well as I have said before, this is my first year doing a light display and I was wondering if there is an alternate way to controll the 595? (usb, or network card) I don't have a parallel port on my PC. I have other older machines that have it but I would rather run the show from my pc instead of a seperate one.

Also I have upgraded to Win 7 64 bit. I tried to install Vixen and it coughed all over the place on me. It also wants version 2.0 of the .Net framework. 64bit OS's don't use 2.0 anymore. Is there a version ov Vixen out there that works with a 64 bit OS?

budude
03-13-2010, 05:13 PM
I don't have a 595 myself but you can get either a Ren-C or a DMX-Grinch interface to drive the 595. These either require a RS-232/485 interface or DMX Dongle to run them. Look around in the Wiki for more information:
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Ren-C
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=DMX_to_Grinch/595_convertor

As for Win7-64/Vixen - I think folks have gotten that to work - check some of the posts in the Vixen forum.

Good Luck

dirknerkle
03-13-2010, 06:13 PM
Nadurru, I hear your pain!

Budude has given you great places to look for excellent information, but I'll toss in another idea: purchase a good used PC that has Windows XP just for running your lights and nothing else. You can find some excellent and fast equipment for less than $200.

Over time, you will find this to be vastly superior than trying to get all the wierd Vixen plug-ins to work on the newest of the new OSs from the boys from Redmond. Then you won't be pulling your hair out (providing you have hair...that is...) fiddling with the PC and you can focus on making a great show.

Many DIYC members use a dedicated PC for their shows and I'm sure they'd echo the thought. You don't even need anti-virus/anti-spyware software on it because in all likelihood, you won't be using it to connect to the Web. You won't believe how fast even a lowly 1.8ghz PC performs when it doesn't have to be bogged down with AV/AS stuff!!!

Nadurru
03-13-2010, 06:30 PM
WOW!!! You must be psychic or something, how did you know I didn't have any hair? :D I have other pc's here but I think the fastest I have is a 1.4 Ghz. Should work just fine for me. Thanks for the input

dirknerkle
03-13-2010, 06:39 PM
WOW!!! You must be psychic or something, how did you know I didn't have any hair? :D I have other pc's here but I think the fastest I have is a 1.4 Ghz. Should work just fine for me. Thanks for the input

Psychic? No. I'm sure others here at DIYC would say that "psychotic" is perhaps a better adjective...



...you'll get there too...once this hobby possesses your entire life!!! :lol:

Nadurru
03-13-2010, 07:00 PM
ok, here is something that I thought about. Since I have the Olsen's and am thinking about the possibility of dimming. That leaves me with the Ren C. If I use the Ren C, it has a serial input, can it be used with a parallel port? I also saw another board in there a Rec T. Is that another unit that I need to build to make everything work together?

Man this is getting complicated. LOL

Looks like this if I looking at it right:

Computer---Ren T---Ren C---595---SSR---lights

dirknerkle
03-13-2010, 07:16 PM
ok, here is something that I thought about. Since I have the Olsen's and am thinking about the possibility of dimming. That leaves me with the Ren C. If I use the Ren C, it has a serial input, can it be used with a parallel port? I also saw another board in there a Rec T. Is that another unit that I need to build to make everything work together?

Man this is getting complicated. LOL

Looks like this if I looking at it right:

Computer---Ren T---Ren C---595---SSR---lights

To dim the 595 you do need the Ren-C, which is serial only. You can use either the serial port on the PC (if it has one) or a USB-RS232 or USB-RS485 adapter, so it's more versatile. You do not need the Ren-T, as there are other easier and less expensive ways to provide power to the Ren-C/595 as well as give it the required ZC signal. In a nutshell, it would look like this:

Computer---Ren C---595---SSR---lights

But in addition, you'd probably tap +5v power (and ground) from a spare/unused hard disk drive plug inside the PC, and on top of that, you'd have a small little ZC circuit that plugs into the Ren C. Lots of info about the ZC circuit here so I won't go into that. Suffice to say that you need it for the Ren C or it won't work.

dirknerkle
08-31-2010, 09:53 PM
Just for fun, I built an Olsen595, Ren-C, Ren-W Rev6, ZC board and a 2A 5vdc wall-wart power supply into a CG2000 case. The result: a wireless595 that's roughly equivalent to a Ren64.

The only issues are that you cannot use start_address firmware with a Ren-C and, of course, the Ren-C is limited to 192 levels of dimming. But it's a pretty sweet way to extend the usefulness of the stalwart, rock-solid 595 controller. :cool:

ErnieHorning
08-31-2010, 10:54 PM
Just for fun, I built an Olsen595...This is how Dirk kills time while waiting for Christmas.:rolleyes:

budude
08-31-2010, 11:03 PM
This is how Dirk kills time while waiting for Christmas.:rolleyes:

Well - he's already got his sequencing done for his 5 hour show so - nothing else to do... #$#@ @#$)( @#_)_# ;)

I do like the use of the cable tie-downs though - I may try that!