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Thread: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Now that I have your attention let me explain. I had a few songs I did when I picked up my first LOR controller and software at the beginning of the year sale. Once I saw how hard (and expensive) pixels were going to be in LOR (superstar sequencer add ons for 12+ strips) I jumped ship to Vixen 3. I tried a few others as well along the way. Well, It's the 11th hour time for setup now and this pixel tree and star are kicking my butt. I had everything together but once I started building this thing it immediately got complex. I've probably redesigned this thing a dozen times since I started going from paper to a real tree/star last week. To make a long story short I really didn't want to dedicate my laptop to a show PC and my son has taken to using my spare laptop for school in the last few months.

    To the meat and potatoes. So I thought why don't I just export from Vixen 3 to Falcon Pi Player? I tried it and it was super easy. I set up my Raspberry Pi to run wired to the controllers and wireless (on a separate network) to my home network for updates. That worked well too. So, I thought why can't I use some of those sequences I had in LOR? I booted up LOR for the first time in 6 months, hooked up my controllers and some lights, and to my surprise everything was working with just a little tweak. So I went over to XLights and tried the Nutcracker tab. Everything was working there too. I went to the convert tab, picked a LOR sequence, and converted it to Falcon Player format - a bunch of errors. Uploaded it to the Pi and nothing! I changed some of the channel ordering in the Setup tab and tried again. This time no errors. Uploaded it to FPP and we have blinky flashy!

    Now that I have a channel export in LOR for my yard, pixel tree, and star and have XLights working I have the best of both worlds. I can run LOR and Vixen 3! All through my Raspberry Pi running the Falcon Player. So the whole thing took about 2-3 hrs of playing with but I consider that time well spent.

    I have this cute little 2 year old next door that wanted "Let It Go" as a request. Well I just don't have time to add that my first year so I went to holidaysequences.com and bought it for $35 as a conversion test. Now I prefer to make all my sequences but this guy is not $100 like most others and they are well done. I loaded it into LOR and re-organized the channels to my system. Having a channel import ready to go helped a ton. I used XLights to convert the modified LOR file to a fseq file, paid my $1.29 for the song, and uploaded both to the Falcon Player. It worked first time.

    I gotta say I love the flexibility of running my show from a $35 Raspberry Pi. For one I don't have to run a network cable back into my house. Just power is all I need. I can pop out the thumb drive and update it when I have changes or new sequences. Or, I can remote in via web browser and update the files there. These guys have done an outstanding job over at FalconChristmas.com. Thanks for reading, hope it was informative and I'm happy to share any more details if needed. Pictures of the pixel tree and star build will be coming soon as well.

    Joe

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    OK, so I may have jumped the gun on stating that I won't have a network line coming out of the house. The Pi Player will feed audio to my EDM transmitter and I don't want that outside. Therefore I will have to put both just inside and have one network line come out.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    This is a great review Joe. I look forward to seeing all this. We all will if you join this year's TASL tour ..

    It might also make for a good presentation at the first TASL meeting next year ..
    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 JediKnight2's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    I used a FPP this year as well ..its AWESOME. Running 2 ss24s , 2 LORs, around 1500 pixels and 5 DMX floods

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    I'm having some MAJOR issues getting Vixen 3 to run my show this year. It simply doesn't like 30,000 channels. I see that I can export my sequences into various formats. Would it be possible to import any of these into xlights to run the show?

    Can xLights trigger raw serial commands like vixen can?
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    I don't know about XLights and raw serial, sorry. I've got an extra Ras Pi if you want to try running it as a .fseq file.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    I don't know about XLights and raw serial, sorry. I've got an extra Ras Pi if you want to try running it as a .fseq file.
    Thanks for the offer, but I'm pretty much just through with it all this year. It's the 15th and I have yet to see any lights dance. This is the 2nd year I've been burned by Vixen 3 and I will need to re-assess everything over the next year.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Sorry to hear that Sam. I was looking forward to seeing your display. Let me know if you need anything.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    Sorry to hear that Sam. I was looking forward to seeing your display. Let me know if you need anything.
    Well, I may have A (1) song by the TASL tour. The issue I have is that the Vixen 3 development schedule is off by 6 months of where it should be. They release all the new features in NOVEMBER, when it should be released in June/July for final preparations. I want a good stable show but it cannot do nearly what Vixen 2.1 could do. Don't get me wrong, it's fancy with the sequencer, but the playback and related items is dismal.

    It simply cannot effectively run my display. I also require some features that other sequencers just don't have (raw serial commands, I'm starting to love that option). My hardware is together and running and top-notch. I can't complain with any of that. It's all software that is killing me at the moment. At no time should it take 5 hours just to turn on your display.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    I don't know about XLights and raw serial, sorry. I've got an extra Ras Pi if you want to try running it as a .fseq file.
    I may need to re-think your offer. My show machine was just CRUSHED under the weight of my show. With the way that Vixen 3 pre-renders, I need to export it to something. The issue now however is how easy that will be. I thought about running it in Vixen 2.1 however I would have to configure a Vixen 2.1 for 35000 channels? HAHAHA, not going to happen!!

    At this point I'm out of options.
    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: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    I may need to re-think your offer. My show machine was just CRUSHED under the weight of my show. With the way that Vixen 3 pre-renders, I need to export it to something. The issue now however is how easy that will be. I thought about running it in Vixen 2.1 however I would have to configure a Vixen 2.1 for 35000 channels? HAHAHA, not going to happen!!

    At this point I'm out of options.
    Peter was doing well last year with 30K channels on HLS. But of course this is a bit late to be making that kind of switch. You can post your Xlights question on their facebook page. They seem to be pretty fast there with replies. Unless there are features I am not aware of with Xlights, it is painful to sequence all the single channel non-pixel stuff. There might be a translator from Vixen to HLS .. or maybe through Nutcracker (import Vixen and Export HLS) .. You could also check that on the Nutcracker Facebook site. Here's their support site on fb...

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/628061113896314/
    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 Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Sam, I really want to help. If you want to try the Pi export give me a shout - I think my phone no was on the contact list that someone sent out but if not I can send it to you via message. I'm amazed at how this stupid little credit card computer handles all the lights that people are saying it does. Granted mine isn't that many but I see the posts from users running huge displays.

    Side note of things to try - have you pinged the team over at DIY about your problems with Vixen? Those Vixen programmers are quick to help and have even added a ton of bug fixes and improvements even right up to a week ago. Version 3.1U2 came out a few days ago and contained a bunch of fixes. Also, I did some reading on DIY in the Vixen forum and for large displays they recommend either running the output to lights or the preview but not both. Try going into Setup and un-checking the Preview. There are lots of other suggestions in the thread over there. The developer Jon at the end of the thread even offered the guy send him his sequence files to look over personally. DIY Christmas - System Lagging - Preview unusable

    Another thread with info on this here - DIY Christmas - Outputs freezing and serious lag

    You may want to make sure you aren't sending any data you don't have to. I had originally set up every output in vixen that my Sandevices had available even thought I was only using 3 universes. Well it turns out that vixen will send all that data if it is set up so I disabled them in Vixen by unchecking those universes in the Setup Display section.

    If you want me to look over anything I'd be happy to.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Thank you for the suggestions. I don't have a lot of time to go into many details, but here it goes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    Sam, I really want to help. If you want to try the Pi export give me a shout - I think my phone no was on the contact list that someone sent out but if not I can send it to you via message. I'm amazed at how this stupid little credit card computer handles all the lights that people are saying it does. Granted mine isn't that many but I see the posts from users running huge displays.
    I have seen these threads as well. This is what I don't understand. If the Pi player can run these large shows, why can't a moderately sized computer? I understand the inner workings, but in the end it still just doesn't add up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    Side note of things to try - have you pinged the team over at DIY about your problems with Vixen? Those Vixen programmers are quick to help and have even added a ton of bug fixes and improvements even right up to a week ago. Version 3.1U2 came out a few days ago and contained a bunch of fixes. Also, I did some reading on DIY in the Vixen forum and for large displays they recommend either running the output to lights or the preview but not both. Try going into Setup and un-checking the Preview. There are lots of other suggestions in the thread over there. The developer Jon at the end of the thread even offered the guy send him his sequence files to look over personally. DIY Christmas - System Lagging - Preview unusable

    Another thread with info on this here - DIY Christmas - Outputs freezing and serious lag
    I have upgraded to 3.1u2 and am currently using it for both sequencing and running the show. Still many issues. I do not have the preview enabled while running my outputs. This is true with any sequencer (even good ole vixen 2.1!). I have turned down the process update interval past 100, no changes there. Anything past 100 I feel puts the show into too much jittering and is unacceptable anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    You may want to make sure you aren't sending any data you don't have to. I had originally set up every output in vixen that my Sandevices had available even thought I was only using 3 universes. Well it turns out that vixen will send all that data if it is set up so I disabled them in Vixen by unchecking those universes in the Setup Display section.
    The issue with my show is that I am maxing out the E682's. All 12+ of them. There is just short of 28,000 in use channels broadcasting on 60 universes.

    The biggest issue for me right now is exporting the sequences. I tried to export them and I got halfway through before the computer locked up and ran out of memory. This is on a 4th generation i5 (the unlocked top-of-the-line one) with 16GB of RAM. I didn't know that was possible. During the part of the sequence that it did export, it took 7 seconds to render every single second of sequence.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Wow. 60 universes. I have no words.

    The reason FPP (or XLights or LOR) is able to run something that Vixen cannot has to do with the way they render and save data. Vixen does it on the fly while playing back where as the other ones are done at the save. Hence huge files for LOR and others vs small file sizes for Vixen.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm running both LOR and Vixen 3 in my first year show!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    Wow. 60 universes. I have no words.
    I don't believe anyone else does either. It's pretty amazing seeing it all come together. I want to say it's the largest in North Raleigh. 75,000 lights, 27,898 output channels. Even if a show isn't running, it's still an impressive display you don't want to miss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplett View Post
    The reason FPP (or XLights or LOR) is able to run something that Vixen cannot has to do with the way they render and save data. Vixen does it on the fly while playing back where as the other ones are done at the save. Hence huge files for LOR and others vs small file sizes for Vixen.
    THIS. This is the most important thing to know. What Vixen 3 really needs is a way to render and STORE the information in larger files. Tonight I did get a full sequence exported to a Vixen 2.1 profile and fired up the old software. After some configuration I did output sequences to my pixel matrix and they were much more fluid than running on anything to date. At this time, I'm hesitant to say this, but we may have a one-song show this year!
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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