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PixLite 16 with Media Server/Road Hog 4 lighting control console

Discussion in 'Advatek Lights' started by DSlodki, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. DSlodki

    DSlodki New Elf

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    Hey all,
    Rather than get into it with the no doubt busy tech support I wanted to put this out to the hive mind. I am programming a large number of pixels with the PixLite 16 controllers. What I have is a series of panels made up of 2812 pixel strings and they will all be controlled by an ArKaos Media Master Pro media server and that will be driven by a Road Hog 4 lighting control console. So that's the hardware setup.


    What I have is a need to bridge the gap between the very smart way the PixLite controllers work (automatically filling the gap between two DMX universes- 512 is not evenly divisible by 3, so one ends up with two channels "left over") so that the strings can run consecutively for 340 pixels.


    (Hmm, I guess technically a single PixLite 16 output can run 341 pixels in a string...But I digress.


    The trouble starts when one gets into standardized control gear for DMX control...they don't know how to do anything so fancy. The ArKaos LED Mapper (used for making the pixel map for Media Master Pro) won't make an individual pixel map larger than 512 channels total. One can make, say, two pixel panels (Panel 1 and Panel 2) of 170 pixels each and patch each of them into a separate universe (U1 and U2, say) but without a way to insert some kind of interstitial channel offset (those two pesky channels, 511 and 512) between the two of them the Pixlite will start the first pixel of the Panel 2 at channel 511. And then all the colors will be offset on second panel because the only piece of gear smart enough to 'join' two universes together is the PixLite 16.


    The plot thickens further....so what I've just described above is one long string, the two channel gap between the two universes creates a color offset.


    NOW, just because there's no way anyone found that a brain teaser and everyone likes a challenge, let's talk about this: What if one has 150 pixels on Panel 1 and 150 pixels on Panel 2. So, two 450 channel panels. Ok, so we patch Panel 1 at Universe 1/Channel 1. (or U1:1) We can't patch Panel 2 at U1:451, we'll get a color offset as it crosses over to Universe 2. And if we patch it at 453 there will be a discolored/dead pixel at the beginning of the string. AND if we patch it at U2:1 there are 20 dead pixels at the beginning of the string as PixLite is dutifully following its consecutive pixel count and leaving the pixels between U1:451 and U1:512 at 0. It hits U2:1 and everything is golden.


    Anyone have any ideas about how to insert null pixels in the middle of a string, maybe, or patch into a specific address of the second universe of the two universe outputs on the PixLite? Something to bear in mind, though- I have 15,258 pixels on almost 100 different panels of varying sizes. So simpler solutions are the better ones...I'm already swamped in the morass of addressing, what, 70+ universes.


    Yours,
    Dave
     
  2. ltay13

    ltay13 Full Time Elf Community Project Designer

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    [SIZE=small]Hi Dave,

    "(those two pesky channels, 511 and 512) between the two of them the Pixlite will start the first pixel of the Panel 2 at channel 511".[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=small]Close, but what actually happens to deal with the extra 2 channels is the PixLite refuses to use them, ever. The reason being: splitting a pixel across 2 universes (red and green on U1:511-512 and blue on U2:1 for instance) is bad practice. This is because different universe packets come in at slightly different times so you could get a flickering pixel if data changes aren't received at identical times.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=small]So what that means for you is just that you've been looking at it slightly back-to-front. Just think of 511 and 512 as unusable channels. Only patch a maximum of 170 pixels into a universe, then start your next range of pixels using the next universe. In that way, you're leaving channels 511 and 512 unused in all universes.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=small]To answer your example problem:[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=small]What if one has 150 pixels on Panel 1 and 150 pixels on Panel 2. So, two 450 channel panels. Ok, so we patch Panel 1 at Universe 1/Channel 1. (or U1:1). [/SIZE]
    Now patch Panel 2 at U1:451, but only pixels 1-20. Then patch Panel 2 pixels 21 onwards at U2:1.

    By patching it like that, you'll stop pixel 21 on panel 2 from being split across multiple universes which is both good design practice and also the only way the PixLite will accept a pixel.

    [SIZE=small]P.S. If you get stuck more and want some examples, you could download the demo of Madrix. That is one piece of software I know that follows those rules with pixels as well and the auto patch in Madrix will always work the same way as the PixLite. So you could go into the patch it generates and look at how it patches each of its pixels for some examples.[/SIZE]
     
  3. OP
    OP
    DSlodki

    DSlodki New Elf

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    Thanks for the great info!


    I think the only downside is that when I cross universes if it's in the middle of a panel I have to break it up into two different "panels" in the pixel map. However, Madrix sounds like the perfect way to calculate what and where to break things up so that's a huge win.


    The real remaining question is who gets the feature request....ArKaos for the request to handle pixel counts/LED arrays that cross over one universe to another or Advatek for the ability to patch fixtures at whatever place in a universe that one wants....hmmm, who shall it be, the Belgians or the Aussies???




    Dave
     
  4. Klanook

    Klanook New Elf

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    Wow..
    hell of a setup there DSlodki with the hog4 and ArKaos,
    im assuming this is for a commercial/theatrical display?
    (love the hog4 btw)
    +1 vote for madrix here.
     

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