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Thread: What Controller Now?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Just got the first Experience Light controller in the mail yesterday and here are my first impressions.
    How first testing is set up:

    Controller: Experience Lights Genius Long Range Pixel Controller
    Power Supply: Meanwell LRS-350-5 5VDC
    Receiver: Falcon F4 Differential Receiver v1.01 and Wizard of Wire Standard Differential Receiver
    Protocol: Distributed Display Protocol (DDP)

    Network Setup
    When the system boots, it will DHCP an IP address. If DHCP is unavailable, it has a preset IP address of 192.168.1.50/24.

    Input Setup
    Input screen allows you to select DDP, E1.13 or Artnet. I am running DDP, just because I had not used it before and wanted to try it out. I can see where some who is used to functioning in the Universe/Channel environment may have difficulty.

    Output Setup
    The GUI is easy to use and understand but it is not without drawbacks. The "major" one I see is the "Reset All Outputs" button. Once selected, it resets all your string outputs to default, without a confirmation window appearing. You can easily erase all you setup without confirmation.

    The "Outputs" screen maintains an absolute addressing format, despite if you are running DDP (Absolute addressing) or E1.31 (Universe addressing). In the Falcon series, this changes when you switch between the two, the string output reflects that change.

    The Outputs GUI has the ability to auto-number channels to reflect the change in per string pixel count. And in my opinion, the Null pixel configuration is a bit easier to us than Falcon's. Since all my Falcon controllers are dead, cannot do a direct comparison.

    You have the ability to set the brightness (or any setting) on all the strings at once with a single click.

    Other Features
    One of the key features I was the ability to utilize any remote receiver with the controller. I have ran Both Falcon and Wizard of Wire receivers without issues. Although I have not tested it yet the, 4 Output Long Range Pixel Genius Receiver indicates that it potentially does not work as well with 5 VDC pixels.

    Serial output is limited to DMX only. I personally would like to see it also do Renard, DMX and LOR.

    It appears to have a built in Wireless Hotspot (WAP). I was unable to join the WiFi hot spot. I can see the future advantage to this, if fully implemented.


    When I downloaded the config-file.json and reviewed it, there are other options available that are not presently presented in the GUI, such as: NTP setup, the ability to manage by Universe and the ability to change the hostname. Furthermore, the config-file.json gives a hint that we can cut the cable and operate the Genius systems via wireless network access maybe available in the future.

    I have a second genius board on the way, so I will start messing with these configuration settings on that one. Right now, I need to get the current board into the show to replace the dead Falcon.

    Pro Con
    Standard IP address available if DHCP is not. "Reset All Outputs" button
    DDP, E1.31 or Artnet Only serial output is for DMX
    Ability to set the brightness on all the strings at once with a single click. When switching between DDP to E1.31, outputs screen does indicate a change is made.
    Can us multiple vendor long range receivers The genius receivers work "best" on 12VDC
    In stock Having documentation would be better
    Last edited by ChiefWarrant; 11-29-2022 at 02:36 PM.
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Thanks for the review. Does the controller support the virtual string concept on the outputs?


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  3. #23
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Thanks for the review. Does the controller support the virtual string concept on the outputs?
    Not certain if it does/doesn't. You might be able to reach out to them directly with that. Like I was saying above, there is a whole lot of things currently encompassed in the config file, but do not present in the GUI.

    -Tony
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


  4. #24
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Thanks for the review. Does the controller support the virtual string concept on the outputs?
    Simple answer Yes.

    The day I got the second Experience light board in, I got hit with the flu which put me in bed for a couple of days and finally got around to do a little testing using the 4 Output Long Range Pixel Genius Receiver and toying with virtual strings.

    The 4 Output Long Range Pixel Genius Receiver is slightly larger than other receivers I have used. It still fits nicely in a TA-200, consuming about 90-95% of the space. One note, the screw holes do not align with the mounts in the TA-200, so if you use one, you must drill hole to properly secure the receiver.

    I opted to use a CG-500 and mounted it with a Model S-60-12 power supply (12V 5A) I got online. As is the case with the TA-200, the mounting holes do not align with the mounts in the CG-500.

    In my opinion, the power LED is blindingly bright. Brightness can be reduced by 75% and it would still be effective. The board also has a heartbeat light, which flashes when attached to the controller board.

    The spring-loaded terminals seem to work pretty well. The wire seats deep enough that you do not have to worry about a stray cable strand. Combine that with polyfuses and on board test modes. Both the 8-bit shift register (SN74ACHT594N) and the array resistor (B 330G) are socketed for easy replacement.

    One last item to note, this board seems to give off more heat than other receiver boards I have used. Although not shown on the website, U5 and U6 are covered by a seven-finned heatsink to dissipate the heat. Although the sink does not get hot enough to burn, it does get uncomfortable to the touch after about ten seconds. I don?t see this being a problem in my area of the country, but it is something to consider if keeping controllers cool is a challenge in your area of the country.

    I was able to set up virtual strings without issue. The process is as simple as a mouse click, then identifying the channels you want to use.
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


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