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Thread: Question Re: computer workflow...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Default Question Re: computer workflow...

    Hi All,

    Been playing around with Xlights and some of my house outline and currently the workflow is a pain. Any advice would be appreciated.

    For now I have my Falcon F48 in the garage hooked up to a spare wifi router.

    I do my sequencing on my desktop PC since the bigger monitor makes it easier. Then I copy the sequencing files to a network storage drive. Power up laptop, connect to home network and grab all of the sequencing files to laptop.
    Then switch laptop over to the Christmas lights network to launch xscheduler and run the show.

    That is an awful lot of steps, especially when I want to just make quick changes, push them to the lights and see the results in real time.

    Are there any easier ways to do this that are possible?

    I am thinking maybe a FPP would help in this regard, but not sure if that can connect both to my home network so I can push the files to it while simultaneously being connected to the Christmas light controller?

    Thanks!
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    I use a falcon pi player to run my show, it is connected to a separate show router. To upload from my computer all I do is disconnect from my home wifi to the show wifi, then upload.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    You could add a wifi to your desktop, so you could upload to that other network.

    Many people will also use a FPP (Raspberry Pi) to sit on both networks, and then proxy to the devices on the other network. it is on Page 57 of: https://falconchristmas.github.io/FPP_Manual(4.3).pdf
    https://RudolphSearch.com - Making it easier to find info across the Christmas Light forums!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Blaine, MN
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    You could add a wifi to your desktop, so you could upload to that other network.

    Many people will also use a FPP (Raspberry Pi) to sit on both networks, and then proxy to the devices on the other network. it is on Page 57 of: https://falconchristmas.github.io/FPP_Manual(4.3).pdf
    FPP with the Ethernet connection going to the controllers/light show network. Wifi going to home wifi.

    Then on your sequencing computer go to the FPP web page using it's wifi IP address. From there you upload your sequences.

    Once set up initially, there is no more changing networks or computers to upload sequences. And it still accomplishes the goal of keeping your show data off the home network as FPP only sends it over Ethernet.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    FPP can simplify your life. My setup:

    Home network —> wifi extender in bridge mode —> show router —> network switch —> multiple FPPs, controllers, etc.

    Then I have a static route configured on the home network router, so any device on the home network can reach any device on the show network.

    The wifi extender is a TPlink wa701nd, but it can be swapped with a network cable if you can run cable from the home router (I’m too lazy to cut into walls and ceilings to fish the cable). The network switch can be eliminated if you only have a couple devices to attach and use the Ethernet ports in the show router. The FPP manual has an example of this kind of setup starting around page 96 under advanced options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Chambersburg, PA
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    Like others my FPP is ethernet to my Show network and wireless to my Home network. There is a great video from Keith Westley explaining exactly how to accomplish this, it is getting to be a few years old, but I rewatch it almost every year to be sure I am set up properly.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Ashburn, VA
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    If I understand correctly....

    You have a router for your HomeNetwork.
    Your sequencing computer has a big screen and is on your HomeNetwork.

    You have a spare wifi router for your ChristmasLights network.
    Your ChristmasLights network has a Falcon F48 controller.
    You use a laptop running xSchedule as your "Show Controller".

    You do not state whether your ChristmasLights network router WAN port is connected anywhere or not. I assume it is not.
    I assume you are running Windows on your ShowController laptop and your sequencing computer.

    Solution:
    Connect the ShowController laptop to your ChristmasLights network and assign it a fixed IP address in the ChristmasLights network. Enable RDP on the laptop.
    Connect the WAN port of your ChristmasLights network router to any LAN port in your HomeNetwork.
    In the ChristmasLights network router configuration:
    - Assign a fixed IP to the WAN side that is within your HomeNetwork IP range but not in the DHCP range.
    - Use port forwarding to forward TCP & UDP ports 3389 to the IP of your ShowController laptop.
    -- As an alternate to port forwading, assign your ShowController laptop to the DMZ

    Then you can sit at your sequencing computer, use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to connect to your ShowController laptop, and copy/paste sequences direct from your sequencing machine to your ShowController laptop. You have full use of the laptop for anything else you need to do as well. You get to use your current setup and everything you are familiar with and you don't have to buy a Pi or learn FPP unless you want to.

    My show controller is a laptop in my garage with the lid closed and power option set to always on. I RDP into it and run Chrome to connect my controllers for config and status. I can even surf back to the internet from there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    Wow so many great responses.

    Thanks all for the info. Sounds like your plan would work great for now Jerry-Rigs, since it doesnt require anything new.

    I do think I'll switch over to the FPP at some point just so the laptop doesn't have to live in the garage during the show season, but for now that's just one more thing to learn... ha.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Ashburn, VA
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    Default Re: Question Re: computer workflow...

    You can also treat you laptop the way others are treating their Pi's and avoid the DMZ and Port Forwarding stuff.
    Connect your laptop to the show network via ethernet cable and connect the laptop to your home network via wifi with a fixed IP address.
    You can still RDP to the laptop and it is a simpler network configuration.

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