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Thread: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    Here are some pictures of an upgrade to my "Data2" box. It contains an 8 port gigabit switch, 4 port E1.31 -> DMX Bridge, and a wireless access point that has been configured to bridge this to my main network via a wireless link. I'll have to do some testing on it to see how many universes I can transmit to it, but I suspect quite a bit!

    -win_20140312_215558.jpg

    -win_20140312_215606.jpg
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    I like this. I really had a bunch of Cat-5 wires running from the garage last year and would like to clean that up .. I would like to see more details, such as what A/P brand is that .. cost .. and configuration. I am very green when it comes to defining network connections !

    One of my concerns about going wireless is keeping the visibility away from public access. I use local addressing of 10.10.10.10 for my first E1.31 controller, with different last numbers for each additional E.31 controller. Can I still use that addressing with a wireless system ? I have a few linksys wireless routers laying around. And I assume I could use one for my "home" router.

    Will I need to use another switch at my laptop so I can run some direct wiring from that location along with the wireless portions ? Or should I use several APs to get into the three main zones of my house (left front yard, right side yard and roof) .. ?
    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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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    Denny -

    IP addressing and wireless transport are totally different issues.

    "keeping the visibility away from public access" - this is called encryption. WEP is one of the easiest to implement and one of the easiest to crack. WPA/WPA2 are other methods. Basically the best thing to do is use the highest level of encryption the hardware will support.

    You can keep the same IP mapping scheme no matter what transport you use - copper wire Ethernet, ARCnet, token ring, wireless, light, ultrasonics, etc. - as long as they have compatible transceivers/adapters/dongles/what-have-you. Generally Ethernet and wireless are the ones available to residential users. Light (fiber optic) tends to be a bit pricey, and ARCnet and token ring are Oh So 1990's and older.

    As far as a switch/AP/etc. to break your network into zones - front yard, roof, etc. - that's up to you. I would use a different network for the show than for home Internet activity. This would mean either keeping the show computer off the Internet, having multiple network cards, or running VLANs. The number of APs is an individual case issue. It depends on what might be blocking the signal from transmitting device (computer) to end-user receiving device (pixel string controller, channel controller, etc.) You need a reliable connection between the devices. If the wireless transport isn't reliable, you may need more APs to make it reliable. Your neighbors' wifi, wireless phone handsets (not cell phone!), microwave ovens, etc. may interfere.....anything working on the 2.4 ghz unlicensed band.

    Something like wifi-stumbler or inssider may help you answer that question. Keep in mind the test results may vary from day to day.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    Denny -

    IP addressing and wireless transport are totally different issues.

    "keeping the visibility away from public access" - this is called encryption. WEP is one of the easiest to implement and one of the easiest to crack. WPA/WPA2 are other methods. Basically the best thing to do is use the highest level of encryption the hardware will support.

    You can keep the same IP mapping scheme no matter what transport you use - copper wire Ethernet, ARCnet, token ring, wireless, light, ultrasonics, etc. - as long as they have compatible transceivers/adapters/dongles/what-have-you. Generally Ethernet and wireless are the ones available to residential users. Light (fiber optic) tends to be a bit pricey, and ARCnet and token ring are Oh So 1990's and older.

    As far as a switch/AP/etc. to break your network into zones - front yard, roof, etc. - that's up to you. I would use a different network for the show than for home Internet activity. This would mean either keeping the show computer off the Internet, having multiple network cards, or running VLANs. The number of APs is an individual case issue. It depends on what might be blocking the signal from transmitting device (computer) to end-user receiving device (pixel string controller, channel controller, etc.) You need a reliable connection between the devices. If the wireless transport isn't reliable, you may need more APs to make it reliable. Your neighbors' wifi, wireless phone handsets (not cell phone!), microwave ovens, etc. may interfere.....anything working on the 2.4 ghz unlicensed band.

    Something like wifi-stumbler or inssider may help you answer that question. Keep in mind the test results may vary from day to day.
    Thanks Jack ! We'll have to chat some more about this. Another idea is to figure out how I can run some of the wiring inside the house, to the roof and to the far right side yard.
    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

  5. #5
    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    I like this. I really had a bunch of Cat-5 wires running from the garage last year and would like to clean that up .. I would like to see more details, such as what A/P brand is that .. cost .. and configuration. I am very green when it comes to defining network connections !

    One of my concerns about going wireless is keeping the visibility away from public access. I use local addressing of 10.10.10.10 for my first E1.31 controller, with different last numbers for each additional E.31 controller. Can I still use that addressing with a wireless system ? I have a few linksys wireless routers laying around. And I assume I could use one for my "home" router.

    Will I need to use another switch at my laptop so I can run some direct wiring from that location along with the wireless portions ? Or should I use several APs to get into the three main zones of my house (left front yard, right side yard and roof) .. ?
    I believe Cat5 is still the way to go for the most part. I've never been a fan of wireless unless there is an obsticle such as a road that you can't really string a cable across. The reliablilty just isn't as good.

    As for cost, I don't want to publish anything publically, but I will note that everything you see there is chepaer than an ELL from LOR. For exact cost, I can discuss this at a TASL meeting in the future or through PM/email.

    It may be time to have a topic on networking at a future TASL meet in order to help everyone get a better understanding of how to build a show network. I recomend what Jack said about having a seperate show network. You will be surprised how much bandwidth is used in a modern day home with all the streaming video and file sharing between computers. Having a seperate network is also good in the event that you want to add devices such as IP based cameras for security. They are getting very cheap these days, down to ~$50 for outdoor fixed models. Running a seperate network would be good to add in items such as this, as it can eat up your bandwidth quickly. If you want wireless, you need only one main AP, and you can get away with smaller cheaper devices where you want to transmit to (They don't need to be in pairs like the ELLs).
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    I'm with Sam on this as well. I prefer to stick with wired connections, if possible, for the reliability and dependability. I tried wireless (pre-ELL) one year and had some challenges.

    However, I did purchase some of the NRF 2.4 GHz small radios to try out. These are usually attached directly to a controller, and handle a single controller or two. These could be useful for across the driveway or street type setup where only power is available, and running a wire would take some doing.

    As for networks, anyone who has heard me talk about networking has heard about keeping things separate from your home network. Having the show network be on the "other side" of your show PC - i.e. not connected to your home network at all is my recommendation. Now, it's entirely possible to have another wireless router in your house for the show network and have another AP out in the yard. This allows you to keep the "show" wireless" totally separate from your "house" wireless network.

    but again, I've seen really weird stuff happen with wireless networks, so don't have your whole display go crazy because of wireless...
    Mark

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

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    I appreciate the info guys. I will just stay wired until something reliable comes along. It's funny .. if you read the Komby stuff, they make it sound like going all wireless is just perfect all the time ..
    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

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrade to one of my Data boxes

    Wireless is great... until you overload the spectrum and there is too much interference and dropped packets. The box pictured in the first post is meant to connect everything over a wired network except for a single wireless backbone across the street/driveway. What this does is allow me to run only one frequency and just put ALL the data on the backbone and then split it on the other side through the switch to E1.31 controllers, or to DMX/Renard units using the bridge. My AP could use a unidirectional antenna pointed at the box, allowing the data to get there without fail. On the flip-side, I don't need good data transmission back to the AP as the only information coming back would be web page data when accessing the controllers. That data is TCP, so it will re-generate dropped packets. The show transmission is UDP, so if you miss a packet it's gone. The box I have is like having a 10 lane highway in one direction and a dirt road the other way. Just make sure your show data is on the highway.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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