hopefully it comes soon .... i like how LSP looks but Holy crank its pricy
hopefully it comes soon .... i like how LSP looks but Holy crank its pricy
Have you tried to use it? holy crud..
Coming from Vixen it's a friggen nightmare.
Imports for sure don't work, where is the "test channels" button? How does one add audio and when you do, why does it continue to try to optimize and not allow any blinky flashy.
I mean I'm a computer person, manage many a systems, but omg coming from Vixen and it's ease of use, LSP is a magnitude 100000000000 more difficult to just get in and get going.
Yes I love the RGB stuff, but I may end up in a divorce , lose my job, and everything else if I sat here and tried to learn it!! the price has not turned me off as I have no idea on costs at this point, but the usability omg..
Sorry Vixen thread, I would love to try 3.0 alpha, bleeding edge whatever, save me from LSP, save my marriage!
I'm brand new to Vixen. I have the LOR editor and found it incredibly easy to use and was even able to get some home brew DMX lights working in addition to the TRIAC driven strings. What I don't like about LOR is that I'm limited to their devices.
My VIXEN About tells me I'm running 188.8.131.52 and that after checking it's the latest verison. Playing with it find the software somewhat non-intuitive. I expect to see a File Menu item at the far left. Then a View Menu list and so on. The designer hasn't really adheared to the CUA format for Windows. For example, which menu item shows the available attached plugins? It's availble as a toolbar called execution control but it's not clear where it is if the tool bar isn't enabled.
Would have been nice if the tarbell came with a number of 'canned' sequence files. Something with 32 channels running with Wizzards in Winter perhaps.
One of the LED projects I have done is visible here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zsVU5n0YOk That was done with 750 RGBW lamps. The one in coal harbour Vancouver had 1500 lights.
So here's the thing. LOR are non-responsive on adding other devices. It looks like Vixen may well do the job. I have a custom protocol that heads out the USB to a 9S12 controller from Freescale. From there it splits into 5 CAN bus channels, one for each ring. In the case of the coal harbour rings I had to design a new 9S12 board that also controlled power to the rings. So we had two USB ports to two 9S12s to 750 lights each.
The control software looked like this. Shows were stored in XML files. BargeRingsTemperatures.JPG
The advantage of the CAN bus to run the rings was that I was able to read back status information from each node.
My problem with Vixen (and LOR) is that setting up a system with 1500 channels seems a bit overwhelming. LOR seems more oriented to strings of lights of the same colour. Vixen too.
Good to hear from you! That looks like quite an interesting project! Thanks for the feedback regarding Vixen 2.x; it's been a while since a release now, but as you might be able to tell, we're feverishly working on a new release (3.0) which is pretty much redeveloped from the ground up, which addresses lots of issues with 2.x.
One of the major benefits is the support of more complex concepts (like colour), so it would be perfectly suited for something like what you're trying to do. Also, the other benefit is that it's completely modular in its design, so you can write a new output plugin to support your controller, and then use the software to sequence it. As it's not commercial software, there's no incentive to lock people in to particular systems (like LOR).
So, in short, sounds like Vixen would fit the bill perfectly for you! You'll just have to wait a bit for a beta version of 3.x to play around with, but hopefully you'll find it suits your needs.
Yes, the project was incredibly interesting and challenging. Especially since the time frame from start to delivery was less than 3 months. The second one with the barge rings was under the same time constraint, had the venue changed to battery/genset powered mid project requiring a new CPU board for the lamps and the Windows Show programmer died just as the project started.
I think the RGB addressable Christmas lights are going to become more and more available over the next few years. If the GE-35 strings can go for $50 to $75 now who knows what the price will be next year. Anyway, I see the house done with these types of lights. When I want all blue I tell all the lights to be blue. In the past this was done with sets of three strings. But say I want to wipe from Blue to Red from left to right. That's like moving a vertical line cursor across the screen acting like a paint roller.
One way to deal with that is the lights on top of photo plugin. If each light is also part of an XY array indiviudally addressable all sorts of possiblities are available. Before I discovered the Vixen software I was roughing out a similar application that let me drop lamps or strings of lamps onto a photo. On the full screen image the lights would like like coloured dots or lines. Double click and it was going to throw up a dialog with lamp parameters, XY position, Node ID, number of RGB lamps per node ID, total number of RGB Lamps.
Zoom in on the photo and the dot or line turns into a larger graphic or bit map image that makes it possible to drag, rotate, stretch and orient across the photo. I was even going to add the ability to draw lines from node to node to show the consecutive numbering. Finally the ability to play the shows on the screen.
But, now that I've found Vixen I can't see the point of writing my own. The question is this sort of thing possible by an external programmer like me or is part of the main application.
I have to admit, for light control, CAN seems a bit of overkill. Are you giving each end controller a message ID? I am just curious.
Anyways, getting a driver worked into current vixen forms should be easy. There are plug in tutorials , if you have not seen them, that you could use to generate "something".
There are some people who have display files in a repository somewhere around here in the forum. Should be able to download something there to look at.
There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary, those that don't and some who know Gray encoding.
To start with they were to be on the Lions Gate Bridge and consist of 100 lamps per ring. That's within the drive capability of one CAN bus driver IC. RS485 would have needed repeaters. Once the rings went to the airport (YVR) they needed to be upsized to 150 lamps and that went over the 120 node drive limit. Plus mechanically they were built in 3 segments so we ended up with 50 lamps per segment. Still over the drive capability of RS485. Since the original project was to be physically hard to reach (on the bridge) we wanted bidirectional communications and the ability to measure the node voltage and temperature.
And I've been using CAN for more than two decades. With respect to your question about IDs. Yes, like DMX-512A, each lamp has an ID and also responds to a global ID 0. Plus ID #1 is a non-configured node ID. For YVR I used a Freescale 9S12 with 5 CAN channels - one for each ring. That was cleaner than 8 Universes. It was easy to load up all five CAN channels and by the time I got back to load up the first I only had to wait around a few microseconds before I could do it again. That meant I had 75 CAN messages back to back on each of 5 CAN channels. Each message had the information for two lamps.
At 25Hz (40mS) the 9S12 spent about 50% of that refreshing the lamps. The rest dealing with the PC USB communications. Had I been able to get the DMA processor working in time I'd have had almost 100% of the 9S12 for updating the data structures. BTW, the 9S12 module has an RS485 port that will get DMX-512 support. Configuration via USB or even USB to DMX-512 and CAN? I'm open to suggestions.
I've just finished writing some PIC code for a slider pot module that receives CAN messages from the 9S12 (CAN bus) and clocks out the colour information to one of the SPARKFUN 32 LED RGB tapes. The code can treat the array of 32 RGBs as a single lamp all the way down to 32 lamps. In non divisible multiples like 5 lamps per node ID it figures out how to overlap adjacent LEDs like two at the end of one strip and 3 at the start of the next strip. The slide pots adjust the colours of each lamp and there's a button to handle remote or local control. I've still got to test the DMX-512A part of the code since the slider also has an RS485 input.
It's going to be pretty simple. A node ID for the DMX address held in EEROM and parameters for how many LEDs are handled with each DMX set of 3 RGB intensities. I'll probably create a custom PIC board that will have a switching regulator to provide enough current to run one 32 LED tape from up to a 40V powersupply along with RS485 and CAN capabilities.
Last edited by jcdammeyer; 10-12-2011 at 02:30 AM.
Can you move the CAN discussion to another thread and stop hijacking this one
Heading into my 5th season in 2013
7x RGB Diyc Led floods
2x RGB 9Ch Led Leaping Archs
1x RGBW 12 strand Mega Tree 5m
10x RGB CoroStars
1x RGB Merry Christmas Sign
2x RGB Coro VU Meters
1.5m RGB Mega Star with led strobes
10x Ledancer tubes in DMX
150x ACL Led Strobes
3x RGB Coro flakes
6x RGB Pixel Candy Canes
8x RGB 1.5m Tint Tubes
Is there a planned date ?? ;)
Getting all excited....
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