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Thread: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

  1. #16
    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by ggusta View Post
    To the wikipedia, Robin! ....utterly clueless newbie.... smh...



    OK, think I am off the ledge for now.

    rant alert.....As a person who has been through literally, about 5 careers, and that's a very conservative estimate, I have worked since I was 12, and has trained an awful lot of people, I can tell you I have been the ignorant one and worked with the ignorant ones (we're all ignorant at one level or another) and there's just no substitute for showing someone something, letting them do it, showing them again, watching them again. The vast VAST majority of us are very visual, hands-on learners. What's amazing to me is that with a little bit of hands on, how far people can go without any hands on afterwards. It's all so scary when you are ignorant, someone shows you how to rewire a connector or solder a board and it's like, duh, who can't do this? Same thing with the megatree.
    @kidcole Hey, Denny.....remember when I said we need a January Starbuck's meeting? This is why. That Starbuck's that @Al in Raleigh picked out is about as mutually inconvenient to everyone who has responded to this thread within the last few days. We can do a bit of show-and-tell there as an appeteaser to the February meeting.

    Greg -

    No big deal just leaving your computer in the garage all the time, as long as it's dry. You'd probably experience more issues carrying it in and out. The temperature changes from house to garage - and more garage to house - tend to cause condensation buildup inside. Running constantly in a cool or cold garage won't hurt it; the inside-th-case temperature won't vary much and the cool environment is actually better for it than a 65-75 degree house.

    Most of us have cable making tools; what are you looking for? DB-9 to RJ45?

    Can you make it to Starbuck's on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh some weekday night?

  2. #17
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    It looks like you guys are having some good conversation today.

    Greg, we went to Sam's house in North Raleigh and saw his show with entirely Renard .. I suggest that you go see his setup and then you'll see how he runs from the compter out to the the Renards with Cat-5 cable. If you duplicate his setup then you'll get easy help if there are any issues. Sam also added some pixels this year, with an E1.31 controller called the E682 by San Devices. You can ignore that part for now. But Sam's setup is a good showcase for the <affordable> Renards mixed with newer technology. We were all quite impressed.

    I pulled my Renards and I'm going to debug them to see what gave me so much trouble. But it does appear that the flickering was something in my laptop rather than the Renards. I may sell the Renards later but not before I figure out why I had so much trouble. Others are running Renards just fine .. so there's a mystery hiding out there for me to discover (before I consider passing them on) ...

    I have concluded that there's no point in mixing LOR and Renard in a large installation. I think both are great, but it's just simpler to have all my AC controllers on one LOR network. Then the rest will be all E1.31 based (pixels and DMX DC controllers)...
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  3. #18
    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    It looks like you guys are having some good conversation today.

    Greg, we went to Sam's house in North Raleigh and saw his show with entirely Renard .. I suggest that you go see his setup and then you'll see how he runs from the compter out to the the Renards with Cat-5 cable. If you duplicate his setup then you'll get easy help if there are any issues. Sam also added some pixels this year, with an E1.31 controller called the E682 by San Devices. You can ignore that part for now. But Sam's setup is a good showcase for the <affordable> Renards mixed with newer technology. We were all quite impressed.

    I pulled my Renards and I'm going to debug them to see what gave me so much trouble. But it does appear that the flickering was something in my laptop rather than the Renards. I may sell the Renards later but not before I figure out why I had so much trouble. Others are running Renards just fine .. so there's a mystery hiding out there for me to discover (before I consider passing them on) ...

    I have concluded that there's no point in mixing LOR and Renard in a large installation. I think both are great, but it's just simpler to have all my AC controllers on one LOR network. Then the rest will be all E1.31 based (pixels and DMX DC controllers)...
    Yes, I know from what you described when we met last week (and by his profile/sig.) that he is the same fellow that has the all-renard setup and have been meaning to ask to meet up before he takes it all down but of course I also have to deal with the demands of my own stuff like we all do. But yes, he would be the ideal person to meet. ...so i take it that if I have a general thumbnail sketch in head of what e682 is then I generally know what e1.31 is ....? Good. Neither of which at this point have any relevance to me today for 2013 but yes I can envision a lot of things heading that way soon enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    @kidcole Hey, Denny.....remember when I said we need a January Starbuck's meeting? This is why. That Starbuck's that @Al in Raleigh picked out is about as mutually inconvenient to everyone who has responded to this thread within the last few days. We can do a bit of show-and-tell there as an appeteaser to the February meeting.

    Greg -

    No big deal just leaving your computer in the garage all the time, as long as it's dry. You'd probably experience more issues carrying it in and out. The temperature changes from house to garage - and more garage to house - tend to cause condensation buildup inside. Running constantly in a cool or cold garage won't hurt it; the inside-th-case temperature won't vary much and the cool environment is actually better for it than a 65-75 degree house.
    yes, i understand how the condensation could be disastrous. point made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    Most of us have cable making tools; what are you looking for? DB-9 to RJ45?

    Can you make it to Starbuck's on Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh some weekday night?
    I think it's pretty imperative that I get together with y'all so I can allay this anxiety (which I really think is much ado about nothing in the grand scheme of things) and start to concentrate on bigger things. So, Yes. sbux on lbt is fine with me.

    I am busy this Wednesday and Thursday 1/2 and 1/3. Beyond that, name the time and I will try my best to work it in or at the least let you know.

    took a while for me to respond, I wasn't sure of how big an idiot I was so I had to wait for my wife to get home.
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas

  4. #19
    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by ggusta View Post
    I think it's pretty imperative that I get together with y'all so I can allay this anxiety (which I really think is much ado about nothing in the grand scheme of things) and start to concentrate on bigger things. So, Yes. sbux on lbt is fine with me.

    I am busy this Wednesday and Thursday 1/2 and 1/3. Beyond that, name the time and I will try my best to work it in or at the least let you know.

    took a while for me to respond, I wasn't sure of how big an idiot I was so I had to wait for my wife to get home.
    A while to respond, huh? 30 minutes on a forum where 2 days is not considered to be a long time, and you call that "a while to respond."

    This isn't a phone call or a chat session. Do you suffer from anxiety attacks often?

    My comment to @kidcole about "we need an what-we-did-wrong" Starbucks meeting during the TASL Tour was meant for mid January; give time for out-of-town family to go home and get the households back into some semblance of order first. We were discussing "newbies" and what we needed to NOT overlook, being "old experts" now. I wasn't thinking you specifically but you do appear to fall into that group.

    By the way, there is a chat function on this Forum. It looks like it's been changed a bit, though, ad it also looks like I'm no longer logged into it semi-permanently. Will have to look into that later; time for me to get to bed.

  5. #20
    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    A while to respond, huh? 30 minutes on a forum where 2 days is not considered to be a long time, and you call that "a while to respond."

    This isn't a phone call or a chat session. Do you suffer from anxiety attacks often?
    Define "Often"


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    My comment to @kidcole about "we need an what-we-did-wrong" Starbucks meeting during the TASL Tour was meant for mid January; give time for out-of-town family to go home and get the households back into some semblance of order first. We were discussing "newbies" and what we needed to NOT overlook, being "old experts" now. I wasn't thinking you specifically
    Well what a relief, I don't want to get a complex, that could lead to added anxiety!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    but you do appear to fall into that group......
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    OK, again in 30 minutes. Notice for me, next morning, and that's only because I'm waiting for the family that's in for the weekend to cycle through the bathrooms.

    "Often", huh.....subjective frequency, I guess. I had a few before Christmas with my light show; it never did get to where I wanted it, but I had to figuratively take a step back and let it go as is. Feeling a bit of that today, since I need to update my "Auld Lang Syne" sequence to match my current channel map so I can play it at midnight GMT (7 PM locally) and midnight EST tomorrow. But they weren't much in the way of full-blown attacks; more along the line of "why and I doing this, since I can never seem to finish it? I should just give up!" type attacks. Then I work my way through it and go on.

    Your "often" may be more frequently than that.

    @Samj435 - You're the closest person using Renard protocol; I use the Renard boards in DMX mode. What's your schedule like in the middle of January? Care to show up at Starbucks one weeknight? Or since you're working down near where US 64 meets up with US 1 on the South and West side of Raliegh/Cary, maybe a dinner in the back room of Perkins? - On use 64 before you get to Apex (either place needs at least a days notice) Greg, do you have a suggested meeting place? Starbucks on Lake Boone Trail is sort of centrally located for where Sam and you live; Perkins has a bigger "back room" but requires buying a meal. Food is good, though. "show and tell" might be better done at your display, however.

  7. #22
    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    often hummm i don t have a dog in the renard thing but sometimes i would wish folks would respond a little quicker
    guess its a mid state thing LOL
    are you sure we checked every pixel?The Home of North Carolina's Largest tomato cage pixel tree.http://www.thelightsonpurserroad.com

  8. #23
    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by mpurser View Post
    often hummm i don t have a dog in the renard thing but sometimes i would wish folks would respond a little quicker
    guess its a mid state thing LOL
    I get about 200 email a day from about 100 different people who generally are asking 'can i get a status update?' so if I let it go for 2 days I lose the entire train of thought on that particular file and then when I get back to it in 2 days I have to reconstruct the entire history in my 8 remaining brain cells so I can respond accordingly and try to move the matter forward for all parties.

    So if I respond to files in a few minutes there is no need to do this lengthy stop, reconstruct, respond, wait 2 days and do it all over which is just painfully wasteful of my limited time. It was much more fun when we had unlimited overtime and the man had to pay for making me work in his godawful system at time and a half.

    Now I have had an entire night's sleep and I have no idea....lights ? .... blinking?? ...wtf ?... who's bernard???
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers


    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  10. #25
    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post

    Sorry.

    Let me know when you propose getting together at starbucks. I will get on with acquiring the needed cabling.
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    @Jack Stevens - I have an annual dinner function on the 9th, and I have some robotics stuff pretty much every day other than that. Considering that it's every day, I can skip a few without problem. So essentially any night other than the 9th at this point.

    If it's after the 12th or so I can bring my boards to the meet-up for demonstration.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0
    Likes ggusta liked this post

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    An in-person meeting always makes it easier and quicker for folks to put 2 and 2 together, but here's a short analogy for you to think about.

    There are two spigots or faucets on a building. For sake of easy reference, let's call one the Red spigot and one a Green Spigot.

    Most folks would think that both spigots put out water, but they would be wrong. The Red one does have water coming out, but the Green one is actually connected to an oil supply. Once you know that, you probably wouldn't be expected to want to water your lawn with a hose connected to the green spigot. However, both spigots look similar.

    It's the same way with the ports on the back of your computer and on the Renard controllers. Both have RJ45 connectors, but the computer one is the Ethernet port, and talks Ethernet. The RJ45 jack on the Renard talks serial and uses RS-485, which is very different from Ethernet.

    So in order for your computer to communicate with the Renard, it needs a convertor that talks RS-485. The simplest way to get one of these is to buy a USB-RS485 serial convertor. This will plug into the USB ports (looks very flat, and is usually where you hook your keyboard, mouse, iPad, or other things). The USB-RS485 may have a RJ45 connector or some bare wires or screw terminal. It may even have a DE-9 connector, which is a squashed oval connector with 9 pins on it. The Renard may also have a DE-9 socket on it, but that's another discussion. Since the pins on the RJ45 that the USB-RS485 convertor use to talk and listen are sometimes different, it's necessary to make up a cable that connects the right pins from the convertor to the Renard.

    Not to confuse you more, but if you have read about an E681 or E682 controller, it uses Ethernet (oil, not water). E1.31 refers to the mechanism of sending a DMX packet over Ethernet, which is the language that the computer uses to talk to an E682.

    Hopefully that helps a little more and gets you ready to talk with Sam or someone else soon to see it in action.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

  13. #28
    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Renard SS series of DIY controllers

    Quote Originally Posted by mschell View Post
    An in-person meeting always makes it easier and quicker for folks to put 2 and 2 together, but here's a short analogy for you to think about.

    There are two spigots or faucets on a building. For sake of easy reference, let's call one the Red spigot and one a Green Spigot.

    Most folks would think that both spigots put out water, but they would be wrong. The Red one does have water coming out, but the Green one is actually connected to an oil supply. Once you know that, you probably wouldn't be expected to want to water your lawn with a hose connected to the green spigot. However, both spigots look similar.

    It's the same way with the ports on the back of your computer and on the Renard controllers. Both have RJ45 connectors, but the computer one is the Ethernet port, and talks Ethernet. The RJ45 jack on the Renard talks serial and uses RS-485, which is very different from Ethernet.

    So in order for your computer to communicate with the Renard, it needs a convertor that talks RS-485. The simplest way to get one of these is to buy a USB-RS485 serial convertor. This will plug into the USB ports (looks very flat, and is usually where you hook your keyboard, mouse, iPad, or other things). The USB-RS485 may have a RJ45 connector or some bare wires or screw terminal. It may even have a DE-9 connector, which is a squashed oval connector with 9 pins on it. The Renard may also have a DE-9 socket on it, but that's another discussion. Since the pins on the RJ45 that the USB-RS485 convertor use to talk and listen are sometimes different, it's necessary to make up a cable that connects the right pins from the convertor to the Renard.

    Not to confuse you more, but if you have read about an E681 or E682 controller, it uses Ethernet (oil, not water). E1.31 refers to the mechanism of sending a DMX packet over Ethernet, which is the language that the computer uses to talk to an E682.

    Hopefully that helps a little more and gets you ready to talk with Sam or someone else soon to see it in action.
    Thank you. That helps! No smart comments from me. It's Monday.
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas

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