Light-O-Rama MP3 Directors
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The LOR MP3 tab of the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility can be used to download musical sequences to a Light-O-Rama MP3 director (such as an "LOR1602W with Show Director and MP3 Player"), and schedule when those sequences should be played.
Up to nine separate shows can be downloaded to an MP3 director.
For details, please refer to the following sections:
The LOR MP3 tab of the Hardware Utility
This section allows you to select various options about the show:
If your MP3 unit has the original firmware (Version 1.0) then you must check this box. To determine if the unit has this old version of firmware, watch the LEDs when you apply power. Newer versions of firmware will chase the LEDs briefly when power is first applied. The Old version of firmware will not perform the chasing of the LEDs.
New versions of firmware will provide you with many new scheduling features. It is recommended that if you update your firmware if you want these additional features.
This section gives three main options for when the show will play: "plays anytime powered", "plays during scheduled time", and "plays when triggered". Additionally, you can specify that the show cannot be interrupted by input triggers, even if other shows are set up to start on those triggers.
Selecting "plays anytime powered" will cause the show to run whenever the MP3 director is powered on.
Selecting "plays during scheduled time" allows you to specify a time or times when the show should play. Up to nine shows can be downloaded to a controller, and each will be assigned a number between 1 and 9. If two shows are scheduled for the same time, the lower numbered show will be played.
Selecting "plays when triggered" will cause the show to start whenever some external trigger happens (such as a circuit being closed or a motion detector being tripped). If you choose this option, you will be prompted to select the trigger's switch number (up to six switches are supported), and whether the switch is normally open or normally closed.
A normally open switch has its contacts open until you activate it, at which point they close; a normally closed switch has its contacts closed until you activate it, at which point they open. Most switches are normally open; motion detectors, however, are typically normally closed. This is because they are often used in security systems, where it is important to notice that a wire has been cut.
In this section, you can choose whether the show should loop continuously (that is, when it finishes playing the last sequence in its list, it will start over at the first), or only one time, or every so often (every hour, half hour, fifteen minutes or ten minutes).
If you choose to play the show every so often, you will also be prompted for what the lights should do in between. You can choose to have all your lights on, or off, or else use an animation sequence as a "filler" that will play continuously during the time in between.
You can add musical sequences to the show by clicking the "Add Sequence" button. To remove one, click on it to highlight it, and then click the "Remove Sequence" button.
The sequences will be played in the order listed. You can change the order by clicking on a sequence to highlight it, and then clicking "Move Up" or "Move Down".
Sequences with subsequences cannot be added to the showlist.
Optionally, you can also specify a "start sequence", which will be played once and only once every time the show starts up, before the other sequences. This is most useful if you selected that the show should loop continuously. For example, a show with a start sequence and three sequences in the showlist will, when "loop continuously" is turned on, first play the start sequence, then the first sequence of the showlist, then the second, then the third, and then back to the first in the showlist - not back to the start sequence.
Both musical sequences and animation sequences can be used as start sequences.
When you have selected the show's options and the sequences to be played, you can download the show to an SD card (which can later be placed into the MP3 director). Make sure that you have your SD card reader/writer hooked up to your PC, and click on the "Create Show" button. This brings up a final options screen:
The final options for downloading a show to the SD card
On this screen, first select the show number that you want to use for this show. Each show on a card must have a unique number assigned. If multiple shows are scheduled at the same time, the lowest numbered show will take priority.
If you have a very large display, selecting "lock step" may help the different controllers used in the display react with a higher degree of synchronization. This is not supported on all controller types, and the level of firmware in the controllers must be 3.0 or higher.
If you wish to add a file to the SD card to set the MP3 director's internal clock, check the box that says so. Note that there are also other ways to set the director's clock.
Select the communications speed that will be used to broadcast lighting commands. The recommended setting (57.6) will suffice for many users' displays. If you have many controllers that are far distances apart, a slower speed may help; if your sequences use many rapid lighting commands, a faster speed may help.
Next, select the drive that contains your SD card, and click "Place Show on the SD Card". After this completes, you can move the SD card to your MP3 director.
If any of your shows are set up to run on schedules, it is important to set the MP3 director's clock appropriately. There are several ways to do this:
First, you can directly hook your MP3 director up to your PC, and click on the "Set to PC's time" button (in the lower right-hand corner of the LOR MP3 tab).
If you cannot (or do not wish to) hook the MP3 director up to your PC, you can instead create a "time file" to be placed on an SD card. The first time that SD card is placed in the MP3 director, the director's clock will be set to the time specified in the time file (which you can choose, so that you have enough time to move the card from your PC to your MP3 director).
There are two ways to build a time file: First, you can click on the "Only place SET TIME file on the SD card"; this will create a time file and download it, without downloading a show as well. Second, when you create a show, during the final options dialog, you can request that a time file be created and downloaded along with the show.
Finally, you can manually set the time on an MP3 director. See the director's user's guide for details.