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newspire
06-30-2007, 12:28 AM
For years I've been wanting to build a computer controlled Christmas display and I decided that 2007 would finally be the year.

I have built a 64 channel Olsen 595 using Sean Bowf's HowTo. So far I have four SSRs built into a power strip and I'm also using Vixen.

While running my four channels through their paces I noticed that every 5 to 10 seconds the sequence pauses for I'd guess 200 ms. I have Vixen set to 100 ms slots. The software doesn't seem to pause, it's just the lights pause and skip one or two slots. The computer is 2GHz running only Vixen so I don't think it could possibly be a horse power issue.

Something else I've found is that on my desktop computer I can only control about 40 channels. The rest of the channels will work randomly or sick on or off. My laptop can control all 64 just fine.

If you know what might be going on please let me know. Thanks!

Andy

BillAd
06-30-2007, 08:33 AM
Andy,

When I use a slower computer I also encounter a temporary freeze. This is probably a result of the video card not able to keep up or there is insufficient main processor speed. I was using a 350 MHz computer, 200 Meg ram, and running XP.

My solution to minimize the delay is to select only one plug-in at a time. Example: when you are working on a sequence only select the preview plug-in and make sure the 595 plug-in is not selected. I hope this helps.

Bill

FireGod
06-30-2007, 09:05 AM
Your port voltage may be low. I suggest building an adjustable power supply using a LM317T voltage regulator. You will find that lowering the votlage to the 595s will allow them to read the data from the parallel port.

And I have also had the problem with pauses. Bill is right, turn off the preview when running the 595 plugin and it should help.

Macrosill
06-30-2007, 10:55 AM
Are there any other applications running in the background while vixen is running? When I am working in Vixen I turn off everything else that I can so nothing else is running. Sometimes another application may be running and stealing memory, whether video or ram, and causing a hiccup like that.

Just another point to look into.

Mudsculpter
06-30-2007, 11:17 AM
While running my four channels through their paces I noticed that every 5 to 10 seconds the sequence pauses for I'd guess 200 ms. I have Vixen set to 100 ms slots. The software doesn't seem to pause, it's just the lights pause and skip one or two slots. The computer is 2GHz running only Vixen so I don't think it could possibly be a horse power issue.

Something else I've found is that on my desktop computer I can only control about 40 channels. The rest of the channels will work randomly or sick on or off. My laptop can control all 64 just fine.

If you know what might be going on please let me know. Thanks!

Andy

This behavior sounds like the port is not set properly. In the BIOS setup set your parallel port mode to ecp+epp and try again. If that does not work try another mode (It worked for me). SPP (or normal) mode will give the random weirdness and pauses.