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Using LOR software and controllers

Discussion in 'LOR General Discussion' started by David_AVD, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I have questions for the LOR software users. I'm trying to understand the LOR method and ideology a little better.

    Do you use LOR controllers, or (other brand) DMX controllers via a LOR-DMX interface?

    If LOR controllers, why? Maybe you like having the one brand covering the software and hardware? Do you use the twinkle, etc effects that the LOR controllers provide? Are those functions not possible via the LOR software?
     
  2. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

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    I run all of my LOR controllers using the proprietary LOR protocol - without the use of an iDMX hardware adapter which is required to create a DMX universe using LOR software.

    Why? Well I personally found it to yeild smoother effects due to the effect being applied at the controller and not computer. I should add that my comparison is between using LOR hardware with LOR software and LOR protocol vs LOR hardware using Vixen software and DMX (i.e. no LOR iDMX).

    I do use twinkle, shimmer/strobe, intensity and fading up/downs - it should be noted that all of these are 'effects' of the LOR protocol with the first two (twinkle and shimmer/strobe) being proprietary. The proprietary effects will be converted at the iDMX (the reason for its high cost) to constant DMX intensities according to the iDMX manual.

    Whilst Vixen can produce similar effects the twinkle and shimmer is done at software and hence requires sending much more data down the cable and more processing needs to be done at the computer.
     
  3. pokietech34331

    pokietech34331 New Elf

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    Hey David
    I use LOR mainly because it was the first thing i saw after a lot of searching on the internet. Over time i have found it easy to set up and program to control my lights.I have had a couple of controllers damages due to storms and they were replace under warranty without questions.I have not used dmx although i am looking into it currently.I also use LOR software as i have videos playing with my shows and LOR can display them very easily from my pc. I also find it is easy to set them up as all i need to run is a cat5 cable to them in a daisy chain and power. Saves me a lot of headaches.I do find that purchasing the modules can be a little expensive when the AU$ is low but now its good!!! :D
    sorry I cannot be much more help
    Cheers
    David
    Kingaroy QLD
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Until a couple of ACL users get their respective dmx projects done I'm entirely LOR software and LOR controls. i'm using PC control rather than storing the sequences onboard or using a show controller. LOR was the control I found when googling after falling in love with wizards in winter. I haven't really anything bad to say about anything to do with LOR other than the high cost from when the Aussie dollar was only about 60c against the US dollar. I had a bug with the software cause some problems when running a schedule in 2009 but no problems since. I use all the twinkles, fades and pretty well everything that the software gives me an option of using.
    It wasn't until I joined ACL that I was even aware of DMX or the fact the Vixen and Light Show Pro could do what LOR does. It wasn't until the Melbourne mini that I even saw either of these softwares running. Other than some transition effects on LSP I don't see a whole lot of difference between LOR and LSP.
    Because of the documentation and simplicity of using LOR and LOR pretty well any noob can be up and sequencing real quick and doing some nice work.
     
  5. davidt

    davidt New Elf

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    Hi David,

    I use a mix of both AC and DC LOR controllers as well as the LOR DMX interface which manages around 15 - 20 DMX fixtures. At showtime I like to run my without a PC so I use the LOR MP3 Show Director, so I keep everything in a native LOR format.

    The twinkle and shimmer features, within the LOR Sequence Editor, don't do much for me so I tend to generate these effects manually. I do use the ramp up / down effect quite a lot and have recently started using the RGB colour blending effects, but more often than not I am still blending manually.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Thanks for your replies gents. I agree that LOR seem to provide a great way for people to get into animated lights. I also can certainly see why some of the "less DIY" guys love it. :)
     
  7. dmoore

    dmoore Senior Elf

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    I used to own a iDMX-1000 and can say that it contains what I'd guess is $50 worth of parts inside. I'd say that there is more cost in the extrude aluminum case with it's caps than the board it holds. There has to be some serious margin in that converter. The least they could have done is put a PIC that allows enough hourse power to have 512 intelligent channels.

    While you are correct that the LOR protocol is more like a client-server vs terminal-server solution, since DMX is always running at 250k, it doesn't matter if all the channels are on or not - about 44 times a second, each effect is sent down the 485 line again. The effort needed to do this is off-loaded to some degree in the "Pro" series dongles but any reasonable PC today can easily keep up with the "load".

    Also, since the shimmer and twinkle is controller side, that means you can't adjust them. So if you want a fast shimmer vs a slow shimmer in a different part of the song it's not possible with the LOR protocol - the same applies to the twinkles.

    The other issue with the LOR protocol is - you never really know when you've "topped out" and used up your bandwidth (LOR runs slower than DMX), hence why you see posts every year in December saying "why are my channels sticking?"

    My opinion is that the LOR protcol is excellent at what it was designed for - really poor wiring conditions (it was designed to work with telephone cable) and small (under 500) channel counts (depending on the type of commands.)

    Most of this information is from:
    http://www.holidaycoro.com/2010LSHWorkshop/DMX%20and%20LOR%20Protocols.pdf
     
  8. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    I bought a 3 LOR DC controllers right after xmas 2010, as a way to get into animated lights in 2011. (I also bought the S2 software and a dongle)

    To be honest, before I purchased these, I did have a look through the ACL forums, and thought that it was just going to be too hard to go the DIY route.

    After spending more and more time researching and chatting to members here, I've figured that I would be best off moving over to the DMX route, to get much better value for money, have more control over things, and also to learn a lot more about it all (getting back into the electronics side of things which I hadn't done in years)

    I'm only even bothering using my 3 LOR DC controllers as I figured I'd spent the money on them, so may as well use them. Because I haven't actually done a display yet, I'm just pretending I've never heard of the built-in twinkle and shimmer effects.

    Cheers
     
  9. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    The great thing with the LOR boards is that they can be easily migrated into your DMX setup as LOR baords also speak DMX, all thats required is an adaptor cable which is easy enough to make by just cutting the cable and rejoining it to the approprate coloured wires
     
  10. OP
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    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Well, I purchased LOR S2 "Basic Starter Package" last night. It's the software + USB485 dongle + cable.

    I did find the LOR web site has some contradictory wording as to whether you need to buy a controller with that package. Two pages say "buy this if you already have a controller" (which I do) but the last (order) page says "software must be ordered with a controller or kit".

    To this end, I contacted LOR, but after no response (for a week - not sure why) I ordered that starter package by itself. The checkout didn't stop me ordering without a controller, so I thought it must be ok. Only after going almost all the way through the checkout did I find that the freight would be extra. I hoped that is would be minimal to send a CAT5E cable and the tiny dongle by mail anyway.

    This morning I got an email from Mary at LOR, saying that I should have ordered a controller as it's part of the starter package deal. It seems if you don't, you're up for the normal dongle price ($28) + postage ($18 - $43 depending on method). This would make the dongle $46 - $71, so I opted to just leave it as I have something here I can use.

    Please note that this is not a shot at LOR in any way, just a short tale of my first experience with them. I'm happy with the price of the software I bought. I did reply to Mary explaining how I arrived at my conclusions from the web site, so maybe they will clarify it in due course. Hopefully this post may help someone else arriving at the same conclusion I had. :)
     
  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Always good to clarify any potential confusion for impending first time LOR users as others could come to the same conclusion as you and not actually order the dongle.
     
  12. taybrynn

    taybrynn Apprentice Elf

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    Historically, LOR used to let you buy just the software bundle (without a controller) ... and you could email them that you would be buying the controller(s) at the summer sale ... so they would give you the combined pkg discount, but you would just email them that your controllers would be bought later. I think they could give you the software, but would ship the free adapter when you ordered the controllers.

    I've used LOR for my first three years and have been very happy with it. On the plus side, the software is solid, reliable and fairly easy to learn and use. The best thing about the S2 software is that it'll run on a really old PC just fine, so basically even a netbook or and old laptop can run it just fine.

    Overall, I love using LOR S2 software ... but it won't meet my needs in 2011, because of lack of support for things like Pixelnet.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Just an update. Mary from LOR contacted me again and offered to send me the USB485 for just the postage price. (to make up for the confusion) That was a nice gesture on their part and I have taken them up on it. Looking forward to receiving it now. :)
     

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