Network Preferences

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Light-O-Rama software running on a computer can control several types of hardware controllers.  To do so, most of these types must be hooked up to the computer using a serial port (adapters such as the USB-RS485 are available from Light-O-Rama if your computer does not have a serial port).  The Sequence Editor's Network Preferences dialog, available from the Preferences submenu of the Edit menu, can be used to configure the serial ports on your computer to support different types of hardware controllers.

 

Light-O-Rama controllers can be controlled on up to sixteen different networks, each using a different serial port (referred to as the "regular network" and three auxiliary networks, "Aux A", "Aux B", "Aux C", and so on, up to "Aux O".

 

If you have any Dasher controllers, they must be on their own serial port (referred to as the "Dasher port").  Similarly, X10 controllers must be on their own serial port as well (the "X10 port").

 

Native DMX devices can be controlled on up to sixteen different universes, each using a different DMX adapter (such as an ENTTEC Open DMX USB adapter).

 

Light-O-Rama can control hardware on all of these ports (as well as on Digital IO cards and BSOFT Digital IO cards, which do not use serial ports) simultaneously.

 

For details on how to use the Network Preferences dialog, please refer to the following individual sections:

 

Light-O-Rama Networks
The Serial Ports
Connection Speed
List Networks in Channel Configuration
Compatibility
DMX Universes
Adapter
Protocol
DMX Listener Port
Dasher Port
X10 Port

 

NetworkPreferencesAll

The Network Preferences Dialog

 

Light-O-Rama Networks

 

Up to sixteen different networks for Light-O-Rama controllers can be specified here, each with a different serial port.  The communications speed of each can be set independently.  If you only want to use a single Light-O-Rama network (which is perfectly sufficient for many users' needs), you can choose to simplify the behavior of the Sequence Editor in various ways by turning off "List networks in channel configuration".  Finally, if you own certain old Light-O-Rama controllers, you should use the "Compatibility" section to let Light-O-Rama know so that it can support them correctly.

 

The Serial Ports

 

In the dropdown box for each Light-O-Rama network, choose the serial port that you wish to use for that network.  Make sure that they do not conflict with each other, or with the Dasher port or the X10 port.

 

If you don't want to use all sixteen possible networks, you can simply set some of them to "(None)".  Using only a single Light-O-Rama network is perfectly sufficient for the needs of many users.

 

Connection Speed

 

Light-O-Rama can communicate with Light-O-Rama controllers using various communication speeds.  These speeds can be set independently for each Light-O-Rama network.

 

If you do not have extraordinary needs, "Average (Recommended)" is suggested.

 

If your controllers are hooked to your computer using a very long or poor quality communications cable, you may need to set the speed to "Long Range (Slower)".

 

If you have many circuits with very fast action you may need to set the speed to "Short Range (Faster)".  This setting is not supported if you are using Light-O-Rama Easy Light Linkers for wireless communications.

 

List Networks in Channel Configuration

 

Although Light-O-Rama supports up to sixteen separate networks of Light-O-Rama controllers, the needs of many users will be met adequately with a single network.  If this is the case for you, you may wish to turn off this checkbox.  Doing so will simplify using the Sequence Editor a little, by disabling the dropdown boxes which let you assign a network to a channel (for example, on the Channel Configuration screen or the Channel Settings dialog).  Instead, the "Regular" network will automatically be used.

 

Compatibility

 

If you are using Light-O-Rama MC-P controllers purchased prior to November 15, 2003, then you should enable Old MC-P Compatibility mode by checking its compatibility box.  If you do not check this box, then you will see odd behavior on circuits 9 through 16 of such controllers.

 

Old MC-P Compatibility mode only affects controllers on the regular LOR network.  Controllers on auxiliary networks are unaffected.

 

Enabling Old MC-P Compatibility mode may have a significant effect on communications speed for the regular network.  For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you do not enable it without reason.  Also, if you do enable it, consider moving any other controllers (which do not need Old MC-P Compatibility mode) off of the regular network, and onto one or more auxiliary networks.

 

DMX Universes

 

For a channel to control a DMX device, the device must be assigned to a universe (which can be done, for example, through the Sequence Editor's Channel Configuration Screen).  That universe is a number between 1 and 16.  The Network Preferences dialog can then be used to assign a DMX adapter (such as an ENTTEC Open DMX USB) to that universe, as well as to specify the particular type of DMX protocol that the adapter uses.

 

The Network Preferences dialog can also be used to set the DMX listener port, which is the TCP/IP port that the LOR Comm Listener will listen on for DMX commands.

 

DMX Adapter

 

Each DMX universe to be used must be assigned a DMX adapter, such as an ENTTEC Open DMX USB adapter.  Each adapter can only be assigned to one universe.

 

For each universe, the Network Preferences dialog presents a dropdown list of DMX adapters available on the system.  Note that the Network Preferences dialog cannot detect adapters that are currently in use, and so if (for example) you have an LOR USB485 adapter that is currently assigned to an LOR network, which you want to instead assign to a DMX universe, you may have to first unassign it from the LOR network and then stop/start the Sequence Editor (and possibly the Hardware Utility and the Show Player) before it will appear in the Network Preferences dialog's list of DMX adapters.

 

Also note that there are different types of DMX protocol; the type to use depends upon the type of adapter, and can also be specified via the Network Preferences dialog.

 

DMX Protocol

 

There are different flavors of DMX protocol; for each DMX adapter that you use, you must use the Network Preferences dialog to specify the appropriate DMX protocol to use for that adapter.  The protocol depends upon the type of DMX adapter:

 

Adapter Type

Protocol

ENTTEC DMX USB Pro

ENTTEC DMX USB Pro

ENTTEC Open DMX USB

Raw DMX

LOR USB485

Raw DMX

 

It is possible that other types of USB DMX adapters may work, but they may not, and if they do you may have to experiment to find the appropriate protocol to use.

 

DMX Listener Port

 

The Network Preferences dialog can be used to specifiy the DMX listener port, which is the TCP/IP port that the LOR Comm Listener will listen on for commands to be sent to DMX devices.

 

Setting the DMX listener port to 0 will disable the listener.

 

Dasher Port

 

If you are using any Dasher controllers, they must be hooked to your computer on their own serial port.  Set the serial port used for Dasher controllers here.  Make sure that it does not conflict with any of the ports used for Light-O-Rama networks, or with the X10 port.

 

If you are not going to use any Dasher controllers, simply set the Dasher port to "(None)".

 

X10 Port

 

If you are using any X10 controllers, they must be hooked up to your computer on their own serial port.  Set the serial port used for X10 controllers here.  Make sure that it does not conflict with any of the ports used for Light-O-Rama networks, or with the Dasher port.

 

If you are not going to use any X10 controllers, simply set the X10 port to "(None)".