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gmbartlett
06-08-2010, 09:26 PM
I just ran a 1,568 channel test sequence in standalone mode on a single Helix controller. It ran for 5 minutes and kept perfect timing. The test song was an MP3 file encoded a 128kbps. The channels were divided between three DMX universes with 512 channels each and 32 channels being driven by the main board using the standard 4 ch SSRs.

I would like to say I had lights on each and every channel but I donít have that many DMX SSRs or enough room in my garage. The test consisted of one of RPMís DMX4 SSR and one DMX16 SSR. I had the DMX4 address set to 1 and the DMX16 set to 497. I then monitored the first 4 channels of the DMX stream as well as the last 16 channels. Since DMX is a serial protocol it is a safe assumption that all of the channels in between also worked. I then moved these DMX SSRs between the three different channel banks on the main board as the sequence was playing. I was able to verify that all three universes were operating as planned.

The test sequence was created using Vixen v2.1.4.0 and exported to the Helix format using the Helix Network Supervisor. The sequence ended up being almost 9MB; this is almost twice as large as the MP3 file.

My next step is to start testing the Renard driver. But I first have to build the Ren 8SS that I purchase last fall. Iím confident that I can get this working also. Iím also working to finish the assembly manuals and test procedures. It is getting very close to the point I will be confident enough to release this new version of the Helix to the group.

dirknerkle
06-08-2010, 11:05 PM
Fantastic, Greg! Way to go! Helix is REALLY coming along!

-dave

crazylightlady
06-09-2010, 12:35 AM
Greg,

I've said this before, but dude you are scary smart. If you need room and led light strands you're more than welcome to set up down here in Bonham. I have a bunch of Renard SS's, Lynx, and D-Light boards with nothing to do.

I even have a spare pinball or two all ya'll would love.

gmbartlett
06-09-2010, 07:41 PM
Greg,

I've said this before, but dude you are scary smart. If you need room and led light strands you're more than welcome to set up down here in Bonham. I have a bunch of Renard SS's, Lynx, and D-Light boards with nothing to do.

I even have a spare pinball or two all ya'll would love.

Thank you for the compliment. You just need to host a North Texas/South OK mini later this summer/early fall. I'll be there if at all possible. I don't know about the D-Light boards but the Helix should be able to light up the Renards and Lynx boards. It could be very impressive.

Wombat
09-08-2010, 12:03 AM
Hi Greg,

I am looking to go big this year using a new RGB board that AussiePhil has designed which uses DMX to SPI protocol. This drives SPI strings of nodes. using DMX protocol.

I was wondering how many DMX universes the main board could handle? could it handle up to 8 universes all driving channels. Each dmx-spi board drives 510 channels (170 RGB LEDS)

http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,231.0.html

Thanks
Wombat

ukewarrior
09-08-2010, 07:04 AM
Greg,

Great news !

gmbartlett
09-08-2010, 07:44 AM
Hi Greg,

I am looking to go big this year using a new RGB board that AussiePhil has designed which uses DMX to SPI protocol. This drives SPI strings of nodes. using DMX protocol.

I was wondering how many DMX universes the main board could handle? could it handle up to 8 universes all driving channels. Each dmx-spi board drives 510 channels (170 RGB LEDS)

http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,231.0.html

Thanks
Wombat

Hello Wombat,

This is something that I've actually thought about. Each of the Helix channel bank ports has three RS-485 drivers; so, it is physically possible to drive a total of nine DMX universes. However, I'm not sure it is possible to drive the nine universes and play MP3's at the same time. That is a lot of data to pull off of the microSD card. So my thought was to have this capability on a Helix Network Node but not the Helix Network Controller. The nodes only have to worry about the channel data so it shouldn't be a problem pulling all of the data. You would need to create a custom Cat5 cable that splits the one port w/3 drivers to three outputs, but I could provide the details.

It would require a rewrite to the Helix DMX driver and the main firmware also. Unfortunately my laptop mother board died so I'm down until my new one arrives. It is scheduled to be built next week and shipped after that.

So the short answer is I think it is possible. It would require two Helix Main boards, one for the Network Controller and one for the Network Node. The Network Node would do all of the hard work and the Network Controller would play the music and control the show. (Sorry, it wasn't as short of an answer.)

lboucher
09-08-2010, 12:51 PM
Vixen 2.1.4 ???, I thought there was only 2.1 and 2.1.1?
Where do you attain this software? What are the added features?
(I know 2.5 exists, but have decided to stay away from it this year.)

budude
09-08-2010, 12:57 PM
Vixen 2.1.4 ???, I thought there was only 2.1 and 2.1.1?
Where do you attain this software? What are the added features?
(I know 2.5 exists, but have decided to stay away from it this year.)

2.1.1.0 upgrades to 2.1.4.0 if you allow the online update to take place. That is the latest version of 2.1.

gmbartlett
09-08-2010, 06:40 PM
Well I need to eat a little crow. While everything I said this morning is correct, after thinking about it today, it will take more effort than I will have this year to make it a reality. I would also need to change my Helix Network Supervisor app as well as the firmware. I wouldn't be able to do much with it until the end of this month and I need to get on my sequencing for my show this year.

If you are still interested then you could do it with three Helix main boards. This would give you nine channel bank ports each capable of supporting a single DMX universe. You would also get 96 standard SSR channels. If you only needed 8 DMX universes then the ninth channel bank port could support a Renard chain or another 32 SSR channels.

If you have any other questions please let me know.

Sorry for the miss leading information this morning. That'll teach me to write about technical stuff before my coffee!

Wombat
09-08-2010, 08:05 PM
Hi Greg,

No problems, It was just an idea as there are many of us starting to realm into the world of DMX controllers. I will be looking at doing 2X ECG DR4 (EtherConGateway) this year which is an E1.31 (ethernet UDP) to DMX/Renard controller giving 4 DMX or Renard universes per board.
http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-dr4/

It was just an idea as I still have the boards I got from you last year that I haven't had a chance to complete and play with yet.

Thanks
Wombat