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Thread: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

  1. #1
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    Default Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    Hi:
    I have searched far and wide, but apparently not in the right place.

    Nowhere can I find how to setup and use the generic serial port in Vixen 3. I need to communicate to an Arduino board (Nano or Mega).

    Vixen, through the serial port, will tell my moving message sign what song is "Now Playing". Takes the place of RDS. Not everyone has RDS!!

    Anyone with any ideas?

    Thanks, guys.

    Idun
    Idun

    http://www.vixenlights.com/sig/sig_h.php/152/136.gif

    Lotsa' Patience! (Some days you can't win, the others you lose, and forget about the rest)

    Some mornings I wake up GRUMPY and other days I let her sleep!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    The Generic serial output controller won't do that for you. It not that generic. It's a byte per channel type of output just like renard or dmx.
    Wha you probably want is the command controller output module and send it strings using the RDS effect.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    Hi:
    Thanks, Jon.
    I will look into that.

    There is very little info available on thr "generic" serial port.

    Thanks again.
    Idun

    http://www.vixenlights.com/sig/sig_h.php/152/136.gif

    Lotsa' Patience! (Some days you can't win, the others you lose, and forget about the rest)

    Some mornings I wake up GRUMPY and other days I let her sleep!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    Generic serial is a port from older vixen versions. I'm really not sure why it was created in the first place. It's a streaming protocol with one byte per channel representing the channel value. And it gives provisions for a custom header and footer of your choosing. It seems to be popular with the arduino crowd. It is a streaming output so it'll be sending a new complete frame for every update of the vixen engine regardless of change of channel state.

    It sounds like you want to be able to send single serial messages at specific times to update your sign. The command controller was originally designed for RDS, but it'll do this job just fine. It can send data to a serial output or to an IP port. You can specify a format string with whatever format you like or leave it empty. I think the default format string is in URL format for the vast transmitters. The RDS effect is used to send the string to the controller. You can put whatever you like as the string for the RDS effect. That is what gets sent to the controller and gets wrapped in the format string (or not) and gets sent out the port.
    The RDS effect and command controller were created with a specific purpose in mind. That's why they have the names they have. They really should eventually get renamed to be more generic since there's so many other potential uses for them.
    Hope that makes sense.


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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    Hi Jon:
    Thanks for the explanation. And that is just exactly what I want to do.

    I am setting up a matrix display using 8x8 LED displays controlled through an Arduino.

    The name of the next song would be sent out the serial port to the display, along with maybe some other information.

    Thanks for your help.

    I prefer Vixen 3 to the other offerings out there, but documentation is decidedly lacking. It would be nice to have a nice printed manual that could be upgraded as things change. I know this is a tremendous undertaking to write such a document. I'm an old diehard who believes that "If all else fails, read the instruction manual".

    Thanks again.

    Idun
    Idun

    http://www.vixenlights.com/sig/sig_h.php/152/136.gif

    Lotsa' Patience! (Some days you can't win, the others you lose, and forget about the rest)

    Some mornings I wake up GRUMPY and other days I let her sleep!

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Vixen Generic Serial Port Setup

    I hear you on the docs. That's a constant work in progress. I just spent two solid weeks writing up docs on the effects. Hopefully that's an improvement. Those are slightly ahead of released version. It's all now based on the upcoming 3.4 release. (Good stuff coming soon)
    I'm never quite sure how far to go with certain aspects of the documentation. Particularly when it isn't really vixen specific information (like the generic serial output) but nonetheless we keep trying to improve the software to make it as self explanatory as possible and document as needed.


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