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Using Light-o-Rama controllers with Artemis

posted May 20, 2013 16:36:23 by RussellAlbrightII
Okay I am really new to Artemis, played a game a few nights ago with a bunch of friends and was hooked (we all were). They then told me to figure out a way so that we can interface lighting for different conditions into the game. Well at the time, I didn't know DMX was already working with Artemis. I have several Light O Rama controllers (CTB16PC - for christmas display) that also apparently function as DMX controllers however I am having trouble getting them to work. They hook up to the computer via a USB-RS486 converter that uses FTD for its communication which then converts the signal to CAT5 cables which go to a controller. I have the first controller setup as controller 1 so that means all devices on it should revert to DMX when a DMX network is present And should be present as channels 1-16. I have 2 lights plugged in to channel 1 and channel 2. I changed the DMXCommands.xml file to reference to channels 0 and 1 for normal operation and red alert only (for the time being).

SO I start the server and then start a client session of Artemis with all screens selected. But for some reason none of the lights turn on. Am I doing something wrong, will the Light O Rama controllers not work with Artemis? Has anyone else ever used light o rama controllers (CTB16PC) with Artemis successfully?
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4 replies
MarkBell said May 20, 2013 18:41:02
Ok, so have you confirmed that your USB-RS485 convertor uses the same FTDI chip as the Enttec Pro? (FTDI 232RQ)

Next step, is it the only USB-Serial device plugged into your computer?

Last step, try setting red alert to set addresses 0, 1, 2, 3 to 255, then set all those addresses to 0, with CHANGE set to 0. This should cover any address mismatching you might encounter and eliminate any problem with non-binary switching behavior.

I've never used the Light O Rama controllers, does the CTB16PC expect binary signals from the DMX? (i.e. only full on or full off?) or can it handle non-binary input? I know the HolidayCoro USB-DMX serial cable can talk to Light O Rama boxes, and that cable is just the FTDI cable linked to above, so it shouldn't be a big problem.
RussellAlbrightII said May 23, 2013 04:34:24

This is the only USB-Serial device plugged in. The device I am using to communicate is this: Do I need something else? I have this on order:

Where can I check to verify this chip? I looked in the Device Manager under the Com/Ports and looked at the properties page. Moved to the details tab I get the following information:
Hardware Ids: FTDIBUS\COMPORT&VID_0403&PID_6001
Service: FTSER2K
Manugacturer: FTDI
Enumerator: FTDIBUS
Device Instance Path: FTDIBUS\VID_0403+PID_6001+A80082VTA\0000
Parent: USB\VID_0403&PID_6001\A80082vt
Driver Node Strong Name: oem63.inf:FtdiHw.NTamd64:FtdiPort.NTamd64:\comport&vid_0403&pid_6001

Here is a copy of what my DMXCommands.xml file looks like:

<!-- ********************************************************************************************* -->
<event type="NORMAL_CONDITION_1" continuous="yes">

<!-- steady soft white light -->
<timeblock mseconds="1000">
<setvalue index="000" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="001" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="002" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="003" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="004" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="005" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="006" value="0" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="007" value="0" change="0"/>


<!-- ********************************************************************************************* -->
<event type="PLAYER_SHIELDS_ON" continuous="yes">

<!-- steady blue light -->
<timeblock mseconds="1000">
<setvalue index="000" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="001" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="002" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="003" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="004" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="005" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="006" value="255" change="0"/>
<setvalue index="007" value="255" change="0"/>

Thank you for your help.
[Last edited May 23, 2013 20:18:06]
MarkBell said May 24, 2013 11:51:20
Setup wise, that should do it. I'm pretty sure the HolidayCoro cable will work right away, I'm not too sure about the light o rama box. It doesn't specify the chip used in the datasheet, doesn't specify the driver or interface... It's hard to tell.
RussellAlbrightII said May 26, 2013 06:04:10
Well I had to convert the data cable slightly to work, and even now it still doesn't work right. Light o rama controllers send their data on pins 4-5, versus pins 1-2 on DMX and HolidayCoro cable. I seem to have hit a brick wall in this configuration, and am now ordering the simple flood light kits from HolidayCoro.
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