Home‎ > ‎How-to‎ > ‎

LOR to XLights Migration

Problem Statement:
In 2015 I had 2,200 WS2811 pixels, and when I did intense effects I noticed lag. I suspect that since I usually don't see/notice the lag that I'm at the cusp of a performance problem with my current configuration.
Initial LOR Help Ticket opened (#184699) opened 12/21/2015

Proposed Solution:
Convert over to xlights. Others have commented that they had the same problem, and this all went away after transitioning to running the show from xlights, originally developed by Matt Brown, with success scalability at 30K pixels.



[Renumbering LOR Controllers]

Running LOR controllers in DMX Mode
Link: Using a Light-O-Rama controller in a DMX universe
[Firmware Requirements]
LOR1600*, CTB16* requires firmware 4.20 or higher
CMB24D I assume requires firmware 1.20 or higher
[Unit and channel numbering]
Using the table found in the LOR documentation assign the Unit that gives you the DMX channels you want for the CTB controller. For example, unitID 0x01 gives channels 1-16, unitID 0x02 gives channels 17-32, unitID 0x03 gives channels 33-48, and so on.



[DMX Interface for LOR Controllers]

Somehow you need to get DMX sequencing information from your computer to your controllers. This can be done in 1 of 3 ways.
Serial dongle - I've heard you can run LOR controllers in DMX mode through the RS485toUSB dongle sold by Light-O-Rama. This usually runs at 57.6K, but depending on the dongle and perfect conditions 115.2K.
USB dongle - Increases the speed to 230K. 

Options:
E1.31 bridge
DMX Dongle (Enttec)
E1.31 Pixel Controller as bridge (SanDevices, AlphaPix, Falcon 16v2)
LOR Smart DMX Interface - iDMX 1000 (no one uses this)
Using the above options requires a special cable (which depends on your topology):
DMX Wiring Cross Reference (article by HolidayCoro.com)
LOR side, Pin 4 (blue) to Pin 1, (orange stripe) on DMX side.
LOR side, Pin 5 (blue stripe)  to Pin 2, (orange) on DMX side.
LOR uses pins 4 & 5, DMX uses pins 1 & 2.
(connect stripes to solids)
IMPORTANT: Cable CANNOT be reversed so if you are making your own be sure to label both ends!!!

See: HolidayCoro Standard RS485 Based DMX to RS485 Based LOR Protocol Cross-over Cable
See: HolidayCoro LOR iDMX1000/DMXKing CAT5 Adapter Cable (3 PIN XLR)
See: SeasonalEntertainment LOR/DMX Adapter
[RS485 Terminator]
The purpose of a RS485 terminator is to soak up any extra signal left over at the end of the daisy chain. This isn't just for DMX and can be used in a regular LOR network. The reflection problem manifests as a channel occasionally getting a bad command at the wrong time.
I use 120 OHM 0.5 W resistors.
Resistor goes between pins 4&5 (blue pair)


[Testing]
Verify LOR in DMX mode
    • PASS- Verify LOR 2 DMX cross over cable with Sperry tester.
    • PASS- Verify LOR v1 in DMX mode - according to LOR and video by Clyde Lindsey, should work.
      • Actually it is working, but instead of starting on channel 17, is starting on channel 257 to 272. 240 channels off.
      • Discovered that number is different with CTB16PC V1 boards. The board automatically takes the UnitID and multiplies by 16.
      • V2 and Gen3 boards do not do this and you have to use the formula above.
    • PASS- Verify LOR v2 in DMX mode
    • PASS- Verify LOR gen3 in DMX mode
    • PASS - Verify CMB24D in DMX mode [How-To Video]
    • Todo - Verify CCP in DMX mode
Verify Bridge Options

[Falcon Pi Player (FPP) Setup]
One of the benefits of Xlights, in addition to better performance, is the system requirements are far less. So my first project was to get FPP up and running on a Raspberry Pi 2.

Links:
FPP Video Tutorials - by Alan Dahl
SD Formatter for Windows Download - needed to format micro SD card
Setting up the FPP on Raspberry Pi2B
Configuring FPP on RaspberryPi2B for Wireless (802.11n)
[Testing]
PASS- Verify FPP can control LOR CTB's in DMX Mode.
todo - Verify FPP can run converted sequence.
PASS- Verify FPP can run wireless for control network, and LAN for E1.31

Falcon Pi Player (FPP) Configuration
Configuring the FPP, testing the lights from FPP, and then adding a simple sequence created by Xlights/Nutcracker123.

[Convert LMS & LAS to fseq]
1 - For existing sequences will need to convert to xlights compatible format
Reference:
Lor to Xlights 4, LOR to Xlights Channel Setup - Youtube (Andy Harrison) <--- This totally worked for me.
Import as effects tutorial - Youtube (Daniel Kulp)
Import LMS as data layer - Youtube (Gil)
Xlights user manual
FSEQ File Format
Rules:
Step 1: Prep LOR configuration
    • Need universe up front for LOR
    • Don't skip channels, all LOR channels must be represented
    • Channels don't have to be in order
    • Cannot skip UnitIDs, must be contiguous (01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, ...)
Step 2: Get xLights setup tab aligned to LOR config
Step 3: Import songs via Data Layer
Notes: (things I had to change in my configuration)
Missing: [2.2], [2.13], [2.15], [3.16], [4.16], [5.16], [6.8-6.16], [7.15], [8.15], [8.16], [9.7],[9.8], [B.7]
Changed 8.10 L Bush Purple
[Modify Sequence Development Flow]
2 - For new sequences TBD. Current thinking is to continue using LOR SE, import Nutcracker effects, then covert to Xlights compatible format until I have more of the display converted over to RGB.
[Testing]
PASS - Verify configuration works after converting LORs to DMX mode.
PASS- Verify visualizer works with LORs in DMX mode.
PASS- Verify ability to import LMS/LAS into Xlights.
PASS- Verify shimmer and twinkle continues to work. - it does
todo - Verify Xlights can run LMS->FSEQ in DMX mode.
todo - Verify FPP can  run LMS->FSEQ in DMX mode.

Comments