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Thread: "Existing Universe" error message.

  1. #1
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    Default "Existing Universe" error message.

    I'm currently patching / adding controllers in Setup Display.
    Virtually all controllers are Picap systems and each is setup to unicast to a specific IP.
    I had just successfully added (in vixen > Setup Display) a Picap at 192.168.16.81.
    I went to add another at 192.168.16.83 and received the following error "Universe 1 already exists on another controller transmitting to the same device...."

    All my controllers have a Universe 1, but this one (as all my others) have a unique (unicast) IP address.

    What am I missing?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    No matter if it's different controllers and IP addresses, you can only have 1 universe 1, 1 universe 2, etc.

    So you can either go numerically starting at 1,2,3 and then continue that on the next controller (4,5,6, etc...), or, as an example, you can have controller 1 start at 1,
    controller 2 start at 20, controller 3 start at 30, etc.

    Bottom line; you CANNOT repeat universe numbers.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Popo-B-Trippin View Post
    No matter if it's different controllers and IP addresses, you can only have 1 universe 1, 1 universe 2, etc.

    So you can either go numerically starting at 1,2,3 and then continue that on the next controller (4,5,6, etc...), or, as an example, you can have controller 1 start at 1,
    controller 2 start at 20, controller 3 start at 30, etc.

    Bottom line; you CANNOT repeat universe numbers.
    This is not correct. The unique part is IP + Universe ID. You can only use a Universe ID once per destination IP address (I do it all the time). This also means that if you use multicast, you can only define a universe once in the entire multicast domain.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    Yes, you can send the same universe to different unicast ip addresses. Where you may be getting caught in Vixen is if you are rearranging them things get cached in the logic that determines if you have the same universe going to the same ip address on different controllers. If you are rearranging you might need to close and restart Vixen when you make some changes to clear that out. It is a long standing bug that does not come up very often.

    However, I would generally try to give each unicast controller it's own set of universes to keep things clearer. In my mind if they are using the same universe, that implies the same data, although in the unicast space that does not have to be so. But when you get to multicast on the same domain, then it absolutely means the same data or you will have collisions. There is a thing called priority, but I have not seen any of our controllers implement it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    Sorry... I was thinking along the lines of exporting to FPP

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    This is one of those nuances of what is the right way, vs what usually works in the real world. Do you come to a complete stop at every stop sign, or do you slow down enough to make sure it's clear to cross the intersection?
    The sACN spec does not permit duplicating universe numbers on a network. sACN controllers are to use only the universe number in the packet to identify the data. The spec does not comment on how the receivers are to handle the IP stack for incoming data. And it does not comment regarding requirements of networking equipment and methods. It says something to the effect of "a receiver shall also respond to unicast data on its network interface" While it's not common on modern networks, it's technically possible for data for unicast data intended for a different device to arrive at the interface of a given device. This would happen with an older style ethernet hub. It could theoretically also happen on a daisy chain network if the controller designer isn't sorting packets properly at the built in switch. That's pretty rare these days and will likely not show up as a problem as the network will sort your traffic appropriately.
    These error messages are there in Vixen to follow the spec and prevent you from doing things you shouldn't. We specifically put that logic in many years ago when we were actually seeing issues with certain controllers. And there's really no good reason to not follow the rules. Universe numbers are just numbers. Just use numbers for each controller. As Popo suggested earlier, start with a new range for each controller. There's no need for them to be consecutive. He suggested a new 10 universe range for each contoller. Others offset by 100. such as 101-116, 201-232, 301-304. You're allowed to go up to 63999. So unless you have more than 639 controllers, you won't run out of universe numbers using the 100 offset scheme.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    I did try to restart, but I'll try again.
    I guess I'm not sure how to setup a controller with a start universe other than 1. I've never tried. Maybe it's easy...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    when you configure the universes, just type different numbers into the universe columns.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    Thanks.
    I restarted the app, even restarted the computer and still got the error message.
    I ended up just changing the universe numbers on the controller setup in Vixen.

    Now will how the universes are setup on the FPP/Picap need to be adjusted to reflect this?… or will what's coming to the controller still look like Universe 1?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Existing Universe" error message.

    only universe 1 should look like universe 1. Everything else should have its own number. End to end. Vixen [to FPP if used] to controller

    You'll need to adjust each of your controllers to reflect the universe numbers you defined for them in vixen.

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