PDA

View Full Version : Making Everything Automated



olingerjccj
11-04-2010, 01:34 PM
I was thinking, I know bad Idea but last year I seemed to rush home to plug everything in to get the show going. I want this year to be less stressful so I understand vixens timers but at my plugs do you all use the little timer deals or just leave everthing plugged in and have vixen do all the work. I was just a bit worried about having power to the controllers all the time.

Thanks
John

budude
11-04-2010, 01:41 PM
This gets asked every year - no real consensus really - some use timers to shut down between show times, others leave them up all the time. I personally leave them powered up for the entire time - including the PC and let Vixen do it's thing.

WakeFan
11-04-2010, 02:08 PM
This gets asked every year - no real consensus really - some use timers to shut down between show times, others leave them up all the time. I personally leave them powered up for the entire time - including the PC and let Vixen do it's thing.

ditto for me

tjetzer
11-04-2010, 02:10 PM
Same here. I see no need to go through the extra hassle of timers when Vixen can do a better job than I can at making sure everything turns on at the right time.

ctmal
11-04-2010, 02:29 PM
All up all the time!

BuzzKill
11-04-2010, 02:33 PM
All Vixen. All the time.

tweist
11-04-2010, 03:29 PM
i'm the same way, leaving the PC and controllers on all the time. Vixen loves to take control.

dirknerkle
11-04-2010, 03:48 PM
* The PC boots itself up at 5 pm;
* The PC then turns on the mains power to all displays;
* Vixen starts automatically upon PC startup and is scheduled to start the show at 5:30pm and run the nearly hour-long sequence until 10:29pm;
* The final sign-off sequence starts at 10:30pm;
* The PC powers off the mains at 10:45pm;
* The PC powers itself down at 11pm.

I do this at the request of my sweetheart who's always concerned about leaving the power on all the time. ;)

olingerjccj
11-04-2010, 04:09 PM
Ok so if the pc is off the Renards have no power?

John

Aussie Ryan
11-04-2010, 04:11 PM
* The PC boots itself up at 5 pm;
* The PC then turns on the mains power to all displays;
* Vixen starts automatically upon PC startup and is scheduled to start the show at 5:30pm and run the nearly hour-long sequence until 10:29pm;
* The final sign-off sequence starts at 10:30pm;
* The PC powers off the mains at 10:45pm;
* The PC powers itself down at 11pm.

I do this at the request of my sweetheart who's always concerned about leaving the power on all the time. ;)

PC turns the mains on and off outside? little DIY explination and guide please :p

dirknerkle
11-04-2010, 04:23 PM
PC turns the mains on and off outside? little DIY explination and guide please :p

Upon startup, a small batch file executes that sends a little trigger pulse out the printer port that toggles on a couple 40A SSRs, one for each of the 20A circuits I use. At the end of the day, I execute the same batch file using Windows' task scheduler that toggles the SSRs back off again.

StandingInAwe85
11-04-2010, 08:30 PM
PC turns the mains on and off outside? little DIY explination and guide please :p

This year I'm do the same thing, except in a slightly different way than dirknerkle. I have a Ren24LV and a DCSSR that stays powered 24/7 which controls 4 30A SSR relays in my sub-panel and in an enclosure with a couple Ren SS that are not plugged into that panel. Whenever I create a sequence in Vixen, I just turn on that channel for the entire time and thus have a solution that only powers the controllers and lights when a sequence is running.

Last year I left everything on 24/7 and I'm pretty sure that made an impact on my power bill (and led to a couple GFCI trips during the day; and as a fair warning, if you're going to rely on the keypad that opens a garage door as your means of entry into your home, do not plug your lights into the same GFCI protected circuit as the garage door opener...)

holtm
11-04-2010, 08:47 PM
I use x10 to turn on an outlet to the PC about an hour before show time and the PC boots. A digital off-the-shelf timer to turns the 110 power on to the controllers about 10 minutes before show time. I leave the 110v tot the lights on all of the time. After the show the timer turns off the 110 to the controllers and the PC waits for 1/2 and hour before it shuts itself off. The x10 then follows about 1/2 hour later. I was using x10 for the controller power too, but that module went bad, so I went with the digital timmer. I turn the PC on a little early and off a little late in case I need to tweak the show.

Larry Hazeltine
11-05-2010, 03:27 PM
Do your controllers really use enough power when the show isn't running that you need to turn them off? I suppose you could use a kill-a-watt meter to see how much they use, figure out the cost by kWh, then figure out if buying and building SSRs to turn the mains off is cost effective or not.

Me? I just leave everything on.

oldcqr
11-05-2010, 03:59 PM
I run my controllers and PC 24/7 during the season. The draw on the controllers is low enough that I wouldn't notice the difference. Because I have SS controllers, the transformer puts out a tiny bit of heat which could help keep things dry overnight.

Outside audio, the transmitter, and static display elements are all X10. 2 mins before showtime, a batch file runs on the show computer turning everything on (my X10 schedule is actually more complicated than that, but this is simplified).

I LOVE X10 for static stuff (http://www.landolights.com/main/content/category/6/18/39/). Once you have the basics, additional 'channels' are easy to install and inexpensive.

rogerv
11-05-2010, 04:32 PM
I want to suggest something to you, and it's quite easy:
For these year I bought 4 10A relays and I mounted it on a panel and then i maked a simple circuit. I bought a molex for conect the relays to the computer directly on the power supply. But if you don't want to open your computer you can use 2 usb ports to power the relays 1 port for 2 relays. And wen the computer turns on all the relays and power of the display go on.
And in the BIOS of the computer you can set the time of it will start and with a simple .bat you can programe the shutdown.

I hope you've understood that, I do not speak well in English...

olingerjccj
11-05-2010, 08:07 PM
I want to suggest something to you, and it's quite easy:
For these year I bought 4 10A relays and I mounted it on a panel and then i maked a simple circuit. I bought a molex for conect the relays to the computer directly on the power supply. But if you don't want to open your computer you can use 2 usb ports to power the relays 1 port for 2 relays. And wen the computer turns on all the relays and power of the display go on.
And in the BIOS of the computer you can set the time of it will start and with a simple .bat you can programe the shutdown.

I hope you've understood that, I do not speak well in English...

This sounds good but do you have a pic?

rogerv
11-06-2010, 03:34 AM
No, it's very easy. Only take the power of the relays from the computer (power supply, usb...) without resistors, pics, and circuits only a cable to the relays.

Mactayl
11-06-2010, 07:01 AM
No, it's very easy. Only take the power of the relays from the computer (power supply, usb...) without resistors, pics, and circuits only a cable to the relays.

Morta, I believe olingerjccj, is asking if you have Pictures or a circuit diagram that he see.

budude
11-06-2010, 11:32 AM
That's a pretty good idea actually - just take an extra USB Cable, whack the end off it and determine the +5v/Gnd connections and wire it directly to an SCR which typically takes 3-32vdc to energize. When you turn on your PC you get 5v sent out to the SCR and voila - SCR is on.

I think you have to make sure you turn the PC off (or hibernate) - I don't think 'sleep' turns off the USB port but I could be wrong. I know my DMX dongle keeps my desktop 'awake' anyway so I have to unplug it to make the computer sleep.

rogerv
11-07-2010, 02:40 PM
Hey! sorry but in these post:

This sounds good but do you have a pic?
i don't undersood well the meaning of the pic, i thinked that if I was using a pic (microchip) for make the job sorry im from spain and sometimes I don't talk/understand well the things.
I'm making the circuit diaram and pictures and I will upload it in 10 minutes!

rogerv
11-07-2010, 03:11 PM
Here are the pictures!
http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=181&pictureid=891
In the picture I maked an error the pins are 1=+5V 4=GND SRRY
http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=181&pictureid=892

But with all.. there is a problem, now i'm taking the power from my power suply but if the power is taked from USB there is a problem: It's with 5v and only 500ma! So we need to use a transistor... This is if you want to work with usb. Tell me if you want to use usb and i will look for the correct transistor and circuit :) (very, very, very easy to make... )

rogerv
11-07-2010, 04:50 PM
while writing this I wanted to design the circuit would be used to mount the usb as well that I have almost finished designing and tomorrow I'll upload and photos and the final result of the circuit.These circuit really look better than the power supply as well not have to do any joint within the tower.

bmcgeeny
11-07-2010, 05:28 PM
I leave everything on. Including the PC to the network. I can remote in while still in the car and see if everything is working. If Vixen is running I assume everything else is.

joeytx
11-10-2010, 08:09 AM
First the yard power: I use a 12" x 12" x 6" enclosure, inside is a 100 amp contactor (large two pole relay). It has a 120 VAC coil; I use a X10 module to power the coil. I separate the power out into (4) 20 AMP GFCI outlets for the yard. I also use individual X10 modules throughout the house and attic for spot power where needed. I wrote a custom program which uses the X10 Firecracker (http://www.x10.com/automation/firecracker.htm) and my show PC to turn all the units on and off as needed. If anyone is interested in the app please let me know.
I run my show PC on a UPS and it runs 24/7. I usually reboot once a week just for grins.

MikelMD
12-09-2014, 11:38 AM
Joey,

Yes, I would be interested in the app. I have x10 and I use the remote for my indoor lights. It would be great to use it for some outdoor control, specifically the speaker.

Mikel.


First the yard power: I use a 12" x 12" x 6" enclosure, inside is a 100 amp contactor (large two pole relay). It has a 120 VAC coil; I use a X10 module to power the coil. I separate the power out into (4) 20 AMP GFCI outlets for the yard. I also use individual X10 modules throughout the house and attic for spot power where needed. I wrote a custom program which uses the X10 Firecracker (http://www.x10.com/automation/firecracker.htm) and my show PC to turn all the units on and off as needed. If anyone is interested in the app please let me know.
I run my show PC on a UPS and it runs 24/7. I usually reboot once a week just for grins.

jaywalk101
12-09-2014, 12:27 PM
I bought a $12.00 timer box this year and all of my gear runs through it. I personally don't like my controllers turned on all day when I'm not home. I leave my netbook turned on and xLights is always running however. Show runs automatically and I don't have to worry about anything.