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Setting up for unicast transmission

Discussion in 'DMX, E1.31 & Networking' started by BundyRoy, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    My pixlite 16 has the IP address 192.168.0.60. I saw in the configuration window there is an option for type of IP. Currently it is set DHCP but there is an option for static. I thought it would be better to transmit to my controller (only have 1) using unicast. Should I use the DHCP or static option. What is the difference.

    I gather when I set up the universes for unicast on the network options in the sequencer I use the ip address 192.168.0.60.
     
  2. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    Leave it has DHCP. And just use multicast. With multi cast you do not need to care what the IP is. When you get more controls use a different universe-channel range. For a simple setup all devices and the transmitter of E131 need to be on the same network and same IP address range. If you are using DHCP for everything this should be the case.
     
  3. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    I am not an expert on this but I would use a static IP. Using DHCP, IP addresses are allocated dynamically, that means they could change depending on different items being present on your network.

    I use static IPs so that I can ensure that there are no conflicts in IP address, that the IP address on the device matches the scheduler / sequencer setup (I use vixen), and that any firewall or router settings will work for that IP address. I have 3-5 PCs on my network, plus printers and NAS drives and some of them may not be turned on for weeks/months. This could screw with my show devices if a PC is turned on an automatically receives the IP address of a show controller! I once had a second router on my network with a conflicting IP address with the primary router - boy did that cause some headaches until I figured out the problem!

    I allocated blocks of IP addresses for different devices. PCs have a block, printers have a block, and show controllers have a block. Eg I use static IPs of 192.168.1.1 - .99 for show devices. If I see an IP address of say 192.168.1.50 I instantly know it's a show controller.
    I also allocate the IP address as the start universe for a block of universes. For example universes 50-59 are allocated to an E1.31 device with IP address 192.168.1.50. It only has 8 universes so I do not use universe 58 and 59.
     
  4. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    You will get into trouble if you mix Static with DHCP. If you want a fixed IP. Tell you router which does the dhcp to allocate the same IP every time to the same ethernet address. The benifit of multi casting is less packets. Especially if you have lots of small controlers sharing the same universe (different dmz channels)
     
  5. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    As long as your static IPs are out of the range of DHCP addresses offered there is no issue. Lots of people use mixed system like this all the time. :)
     
  6. SmartAlecLights

    SmartAlecLights Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    using multicast an DHCP on the avg home ADSL router will kill it.. (kill meaning lock up, loose data, slow internet)

    going unicast might be a pain to setup, but is easyer in the long run in my book
     
  7. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    Thanks All. So, I've decided to go unicast. I have changed the controller IP to static as I figure it's one less thing to worry about.

    Not when I go into the LOR network settings I choose 1.31 for each universe. Then when I give it a specific IP address there is also an option to put a port number in. The default value seems to be 5568 regardless of whether I've specified unicast or multicast. Is this important or is it used for something else. Is the 5568 for the local option
     
  8. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    Well just set it all up and gave it a burl. All systems are go. So many firsts in the one day. Makes you feel good when something goes to plan first time. So need for any responses unless there is something blatantly wrong that is going to cause me grief later on when the system gets more complex.

    Thanks for all your help.
     
  9. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Using Multicast and DHCP is by far the best way of going forward. It reduces setup time and errors, and it is extremely flexible and easy to change things going forward. In many ways using unicast is really just one of a set of 'hacks' if you have not taken the time to set your network up well in the first place.


    (1) Firstly, Don't use IP address's to reference anything. They are evil. Refer to everything by its hostname, and let your DHCP / DNS do the handwork. "fence-1" is much easer to remember than 10.10.45.17 as well? Any reasonable controller will pass its hostname up to its DHCP server, so you can connect to it that way.


    (2) if you really want to use Unicast, set up your DHCP server to do "static" assignments. That is to say, every time your device gets on the network, it will get the same address. Even in very large scale enterprise networks, this is common place for servers.. There are a couple of exceptions, ( your router, your DNS server should always be statically set up )


    (3) Proper multicast support is increasingly available on even low enGMPd low cost switches and devices. The words you want to see are "IGMP Snooping". You can buy switches for < $50 that do the job nicely.


    (4) Don't multi home your ACN / E1.31 server. One NIC, for everything is much much easier, then you don't have to worry about which interface what is going over.


    (5) It is sensible and easy to run just one network to carry your home network, and your blinky lights. There are times when separate networks are appropriate, but you really don't have to.


    Its worth investing a little time to learn the basics of how IP networks work, and how ethernet packets are switched. It saves you days of time. And this scales to massive.
     
  10. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    In deed they do. And funny enough, they have to. You have to statically assign your DHCP server at a minimum.
     
  11. OP
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    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    I was thinking this myself. Does anybody know of an online resource where I can find/learn this info.
     
  12. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    Unicast is more load on your network. ADSL routers that are switch based are fine. Besides most adsl routers would not have enough ports and would be used to allocate an IP only. Or be a wireless bridge so you can check your outside network.

    If you want to be able to plug you controler into different networks and just test your show dhcp is a no brainer. If your using Avetek Light controlers the admin software scan the network for all controlers. Moden routers/DHCP add DNS entries for devices. The best of both worlds is to use DHCP wih fixed IPs.

    It bad idea to use the same universe-channel (not saying any one is). The E.131 protcol is design not to care about what IP address a controler is. It is designed to be multicast. It design for the switches to learn where to send the data, by using switch with IGMP support.

    If you have 5 candy canes. Each one with its own control using e.131 say 10 pixels, 30 channels each. All canes on same universe (no dmx channels the same). As mutilcast its one packet to control all the canes. As unicast its 5 packets.

    It all comes down to how you design your network.


    An E1.31 packet is 637 bytes (assuming full 512 byte + start code DMX stream) - this equates to a bit over 200Kbps per universe (give or take) - so every 5 universe is roughly 1Mbps and even 100 universe would be around 20ish Mbps so don't let the unicast vs multicast confuse you. - pinched from another forum.

    If you want to keep the load down on your E131 player/schedule then use multicast.
     
  13. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Yes no and Maybe. If you have the situation where more than one receiving device is receiving the same universe then this is true. your controller ( the thing sending the data ) only has to send one packet of data per universe. If you had three devices all receiving universe 7, you'd save sending two packets when compared to unicast ( which would mean, the controller sending the same data in three packets ).


    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]In smaller set ups, you'll probably get away with any old switch. My general advice here is anything less than 16 universes and you'll probably be ok.[/font]

    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]For larger setups, what ever is doing the switching in a multicast environment, needs to be able to make "forwarding" decision for the multicast packets. The feature you are looking for is called "IGMP Snooping". Switches that are not multicast aware, will simply forward any multicast packet to every port on the switch. What that means is that if you had say 100 Universes ( and therefore 100 packets ), every device on every port would see every universe. Your switch may well handle that, but many of the devices that are in common use in blinky world simply don't have the ability to cope with this. Effectively they would be spending most of their time, discarding packets that they did'tn need.[/font]
     
  14. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I think I did find that multicast E1.31 did cause issues for an iPad on my home network last year.

    My controllers are all on the wired network as is the PC sending the E1.31 data.

    Maybe I need a better switch so the multicast data doesn't end up going out though the wireless AP ?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    I'm getting mixed responses (which is good and normal) so I figured it is time to get some specifics. I have put an extra network card in my computer already to separate the ADSL from the lights. The lights don't run through a switch or router. I only have one controller so it is hooked up direct. I guess I should plan for a switch in the future as things expand.I currently only have around 7 universes in play.

    From what I can workout it all hinges on whether I can reasonably expect to be able to use the computer for other stuff whilst it is being used for controlling the lights. If it is possible to use it then I don't really want multicast to be killing the use of the internet and the kids wifi for their ipods.

    If using the computer whilst it is controlling lights is likely to cause problems with the lights then I guess that makes the decision simpler. Go back to multicast and tell the kids to keep their ipods off. Leaving the ipods off won't stress me at all.
     

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