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Thread: Mid Year Status check

  1. #1
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    Default Mid Year Status check

    KC and other Xmas light nuts (you know who u are).

    I was interested to get your ideas on the Vix 2.0 roadmap.

    I am starting to plan my 2007 shows and lighting layout and want to make some good plans based on what I can do today, and where we are headed with Vixen. These are more just some ideas, rather than a fixed view of what I will do.

    Hardware.

    I have a plethora of controller hardware, to the point I could open a Vixen Museum! Options for this year include Olsen 595/GRINCH boards and RENARD based dimmers. I ewill also have my LEDTRIKs panel as well.

    This drives the dicussion on what PC platform to use.

    The analysis from the above hardware is that I need a PC with at least two LPT ports and USB 2.0 and/or fast serial, unless I want to go fully RENARD and LEDTRIKs. Many others will need to think thru there PC platform compared to Vix 1 and a single Olsen board from last year (not that there is anything wrong with 64 channels, i had 0 channels last year)

    From other projects going on, it looks like we will need to run more COOPs for SSRs, 8, 16, 24, 64 and 128 channel RENARDs; LEDTRIKS; and GRINCHs/595s.

    Audio.

    I am looking at a simple FM transmitter for local audio and maybe some speakers for certain times (until I annoy the neigbours). I saw a note about mulitple Audio cards and mulitiple audio tracks. Can you please expand?

    Vix 2.0 and LEDTRIKs


    Thanks for you on going support to Vixen, I was interested to know what features are planned for 2.0, in layman’s terms.

    Some points I picked up from the forums:

    Scheduled shutdown on the PC (for those who don’t like to leave the PC running 24/7.

    Triggers. Remote triggers for events (push a button to get the sequence to start)

    Vixen Light. Just a player, lower hardware overheads.

    Vixen networked. The world of Server/client. Have one PC with the editor and files, and remote vixen PCs that are able to take part/all of the seqence and play/control the lighting assigned to that client. It was discussed here http://blinkyflashy.14.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=255 and you suggested two versions – Monlithic and distributed.

    Vixen CE. for those who want to step outside and control thier lights from their HP CE device.

    I am sure there is more, spectrum displays, resizeable windows, etc etc. I'll let the others chime in. I just thought it would be good to set the scene on what is coming and how we should plan for Xmas 07.

  2. #2
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    Audio
    The allowances for multiple sound devices, right now, is limited to trigger response sequences. Limited only because there isn't any UI right now for selecting a different sound device in the standard editor, only the trigger response editor.

    General 2.0
    Without getting into the minutia of bug fixes and little changes here and there, I'll cover some of the more noticeable ones, starting with the ones you brought up.

    Yes, the ability to schedule a shutdown of the PC. This is one of several preferences changes, along with a new preference UI.

    Triggers...two parts to this one. Trigger plugins can be created to facilitate external triggers, such as could be used for haunted houses. The other side of this is the above-mentioned trigger-response editor, where you can map sequences to respond to external triggers. The problem, right now, is the lack of concrete hardware to create trigger plugins for. Lots of talk, lots of "could", but nothing to code against yet. As a result, there are no trigger plugins as of yet.

    Vixen Light...this one got left on the cutting room floor. The combination of the time crunch, a plethora of 1.1 and 2.0 requests, and 80-hour weeks has claimed this as a victim. But, on the plus side, since it would be a stand-alone application, there is hope for it in the future.

    Vixen networked...also known as the Remote Client add-in. This is already in 1.1, but has had some internal changes. The biggest noticeable change for this is the support of the Pocket PC 2003 PDA application.

    PDA application...a cut-down version of the standard editor. Allows you to download a sequence, edit it (limited), upload it, execute it. Also gives you channel on/off control. Fun to walk around the yard with.

    This somewhat brings us to the subject of editors. The editor has been dis-integrated from the application so new editors can be created. Currently, there are editors for the standard sequence (the existing editor), LedTriks, scripting, and trigger responses. There's also going to be one that's animatronic-centric. Hopefully.

    This is getting long, so I'll summarize some others, though I don't know if any of it will affect any planning.

    * Internet updater, so no more installation.
    * New scheduler, as everyone knows.
    * Ability to change the display order of channels.
    * Channels can be masked to limit which channels a sequence has access to. This can be useful for allowing people remote access to a limited subset of channels in your display while sequences execute on the remainder.
    * Profiles...an encapsulation of channels, plugin setup, and channel masking. The idea is that you attach a sequence to a profile. When the profile changes, so does the sequence.
    * MIDI add-in that creates event data based on MIDI note events. However, this one is suffering from a timing bug that I can't nail down.
    * Ability to play and loop a selected range of time in the standard editor.
    * Spectrum analysis add-in to create event data based on decibel levels of frequency bands.
    * Scripting has been reimplemented and brought over to C#. There are a number of reasons for this, but supporting LedTriks with scripting was the genesis.

    There are a bunch of small changes that I'm going to have to document, but that means taking the time to walk through all of this and documenting it, which I'm not crazy about, so it gets put off. Anyway, this is a high-level overview of the 2.0 to come.

  3. #3
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    KC,

    as always, thanks for the software and your ongoing support to the Forum.

    This really helps me plan for the year.

    John

  4. #4
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    Sounds great!

    If you need any help with documentation just send me a PM, I'd be happy to help.

    -Matt

  5. #5
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    Default K8055 For Trigger Testing?

    KC,
    You could use the 8055 for triggering. It has 5 Digital Inputs and 2 analog. If you are interested let me know.
    Thanks - Don
    2006 video - [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k63Lq19r4uQ[/url]
    2008 Halloween Pictures - [url]http://picasaweb.google.com/Alwysrit2/SpaceOddity2008#[/url]

  6. #6
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    Hey KC
    did you get the windows media player .ASX "plugin" so we (or at least i) can use streaming radio for in between shows?

    Thanks and keep up the great work... and let me know when you need testers for the PDA version 8)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: K8055 For Trigger Testing?

    Quote Originally Posted by alwysrit2
    You could use the 8055 for triggering.
    You did tell me that, didn't you? Cool, could be our first concrete piece of trigger hardware. But first, we have to get your multi-board issue resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh
    did you get the windows media player .ASX "plugin" so we (or at least i) can use streaming radio for in between shows?
    Not as of yet, sorry.

  8. #8
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    Can receiving a character (or a break) on a serial port cause a trigger, or reception of a packet on a particular ip port (ipv4 or ipv6)?

    --

    Phil

  9. #9
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    As long as the plugin can accurately determine when the trigger state is achieved, then yes. I wrote one for a prototype piece of hardware that received serial data packets stating switch states, so serial is no problem. And I don't see why a plugin couldn't spawn a thread to monitor a TCP/IP port. Two of the entry points are Loading() and Unloading(), so you'd know when to start/kill the thread.

  10. #10
    cmurray Guest

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    Ohhhh.... Ahhhhh.... Yessss Yesss Yessssss Droooollll

    Now that you have us all excited any chance we will be seeing this version in the next week.

    Have to finish up the a few display items and then I have to start sequencing if I am going to do a July4 display this year.

    I promise if I got a version of Vixen 2.0 it would get a workout.

    JOel

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