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Thread: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

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    Registered User 5ShepsNC's Avatar
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    Default Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    So, my hubby and I are pretty clueless - we thought we were doing well. Very busy Nov and Dec with the kids so didn't get display up outside until 2 weeks ago, but hey, gotta start somewhere. Everything is up outside, 2 Renard SS24 controllers all hooked up, daisy-chained to each other, each channel labeled and all wired to the strings (all LED), channels all defined in Vixen. So far, so good. Sequenced a song, created a show, hit play -- no blinky blinky. We read later that we need to setup the boards with operational and diagnostic firmware (what is this, how to do??) - hooked up the network cable between board and computer, no clue how to proceed. This is as far as we've gotten, pretty stumped. Full disclosure (in case you haven't figured it out), we are NOT computer experts. I think we've read so much by the time of typing this that the true deer in headlights blank stare is permanently affixed. Honestly, it seems there is a whole chapter missing on the wikis on 'ok, so you have your setup done, now here is how you get the Vixen program to communicate with the controllers so you get lights'.

    Now that everyone else has hopefully had a successful season (we didn't want to bother people with our troubles during peak lighting) - if anyone has the heart and patience to sit down with us (phone call, meet somewhere, whatever works) and explain what in the heck we are missing/not doing, it would be greatly appreciated. I feel like we are so close and we have everything setup. It would be relieving and reassuring to at least just see it work once before we have to take it all down. I am holding out one last hope (because my alternative is to cry) before my husband basically abandons the entire thing.

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    Registered User 5ShepsNC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    Any Renard experts who can weigh in here, pretty please? I'm showing 19 views and have seen several other posts but nothing on my post above yet.....

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    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    sorry i use lor and sandevice hardware
    are you sure we checked every pixel?The Home of North Carolina's Largest tomato cage pixel tree.http://www.thelightsonpurserroad.com

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    Stay-Puft! rcktpwrd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    wish I could be of help but we use Light-O-Rama controllers and software...

    I think @ggusta or @kidcole uses renard?
    Joel


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    Member Chris Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    @5ShepsNC - I can help with the firmware for the boards but I think the problem is not with the boards as much as the connection between the computer and the Renards. Usually when you get the Renard boards they have something on them if you got them from DIYC. You mentioned tonight that you "hooked up the network cable between board and computer". Well the boards don't speak the same protocol that a standard network port communicates. Hopefully the boards were not hurt if you plugged your computer via ethernet port to the Renard's RS485 serial via network cable. Do you have a USB dongle that you use to communicate via a serial port to the Renard?

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    Official Lurker EricR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    Check out this post.
    You need a dongle and the right cable. @Chris Gebhardt do you have something she could borrow? If it doesn't work after you have that, then you probably fried the Renard serial input because the computer ethernet port is too powerful for direct connection. You wouldn't be the first to do this.

    Renard USB to RS485 to Rj45 Dongle
    Likes ggusta liked this post

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    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    eric, that is what i was thinking, 5 sheps, are you just trying to go straight from an rj45 internet jack to the renards, cause if you are, that will not work, you need need that 'dongle' in our case we use a db9 dongle, but think the modern-er solution is to use a usb to rs485 connector (dongle) then plug the ethernet/rj45 jack into the dongle and THEN out to the renard. how exactly are you connecting from the pc to the renard ?
    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: Cannot figure out Vixen-to-controller (SOS - no show this year)

    Since there is now plenty of time to get this working, I'd like to make a couple suggestions. First, it's always a good idea to make sure all your hardware is functional by early summer. Certainly not later than June. Then start on your sequencing and have all your songs finished by September. There will still be plenty of problems in November when you install everything and work to get it all going. Not having to worry about hardware functionality or sequences will save you many hours of heartburn!

    Second, since you are starting out fresh I highly suggest that you buy a proper DMX/Renard E1.31 adapter. This would use your ethernet port instead of USB. The USB solutions are driven by internal serial parts. Not only are those designed in the horse and buggy days, but they use crappy drivers that are prone to fail, corrupt or worse. The modern E1.31 solutions don't use the serial drivers and they are highly reliable.

    I think the best place to post and ask for opinions on the best one to buy for Renard support is through Do It Yourself Christmas All Renard users should be members on this site. It is the mecca for Renard users.
    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,
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