Light-O-Rama Wiki 2.0

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Hardware Utility

The Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility program is used to manage the hardware that you use to control your lights. This Hardware can be Light-O-Rama light controllers, Digital IO card and/or X10 CM11A controller.

When you start the Hardware Utility it brings you to the Light-O-Rama Controller screen. You can select one or the other hardware types by clicking on the corresponding tab.

Selecting a Comm Port PDF Print
The Setup Comm Port section of the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility is used to set which of the RS-232 comm ports is used for Light-O-Rama Light Controllers. The Comm Port can also be set in the Sequence Editor .

If you know the Comm port that will be used to control Light-O-Rama controllers then just select it from the Drop Down List. You will be prompted if you want this to be the port you want to use to control Light-O-Rama controllers. Answer Yes if you want the Show Player and the Sequence Editor to use this port.

If you do not know the Comm port that will be used to control Light-O-Rama controllers then follow these steps:

Last Updated ( Monday, 24 March 2008 20:46 )
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Setting Unit IDs PDF Print
Light-O-Rama Light Controllers (Units) must have a unique ID assigned to them. The reason that they have this unique ID is simple. The Units in the network can see every message that is set in the network. Every message contains a Unit ID. The Units examine the Unit ID in each of the messages and ignore any message that does not have their ID.

A Unit Id is a two-character field. Each character can have the values 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E and F. The IDs can therefore have the values of “00” to “FF” however some values are not allowed. “00” and “F1” thru “FF” are not valid Unit IDs.

Some Units have selector switches that all allow you to directly set their Unit ID. In that case simply use a small screw driver and click the dial to the desired

Other Units such as the CTB08 do not have selector switches so you must use the Hardware Utility to set their Unit Numbers.

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Configuring Units PDF Print
Some units such as the MC-Px and the CTBxxD units have special options that can be configured.

Connect The Unit to the PC

The first step is to connect the new Unit to the PC. Connect it using an SC485 adaptor and cable. Make sure that selector switches are set for the type of cable used. Units are shipped ready to use data cable. Plug the Unit into an AC outlet and turn the unit on.

Select the Comm Port

Using the Light-O-Rama Control Panel start the Hardware Utility. When the Hardware Utility starts it automatically connects to the default Light-O-Rama Network Port. If you have not previously set the Comm Port do it now ( see Setting Comm Port)

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Testing Units PDF Print

Once you have properly configured and connected Light-O-Rama units to the PC, you can test the Unit’s operation with the Hardware Utility.

Select the Comm Port

Using the Light-O-Rama Control Panel start the Hardware Utility. When the Hardware Utility starts it automatically connects to the default Light-O-Rama Network Port. If you have not previously set the Comm Port do it now ( see Setting Comm Port )

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Downloading Sequences PDF Print
The Sequence Download section of the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility is used to send Animation Sequences to a controller. The Download of a Animation Sequence allows a Unit to operate independently or “Standalone”. When Units run in standalone mode, they run through the Animation Sequence locally. Commands that have the Standalone Unit’s, Unit ID are acted on by the Standalone Unit or (Director Unit). If a command is located that is for another Unit, the Standalone Unit will transmit that command via the communications cable to the other Unit. Note: The CTB08 controller does not have transmit capability in Standalone Mode.

In the normal case the Unit will execute the Standalone Sequence anytime it is powered on. Some controllers have clocks that allow the Standalone Sequence to be scheduled to run during a particular timeframe.

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Firmware Update PDF Print
The Firmware Updater section of the Light-O-Rama Hardware Utility is used to send new Firmware to a controller. The controller’s firmware is like the operating system on your PC. Your PC has Windows 98 or Windows XP. That Operating System is used to run other programs that you load on the computer. The firmware on Light-O-Rama controller executes the command to control the lights and runs standalone sequences.

From time to time new versions of firmware will become available. In general, unless a new version of firmware has a new feature that you need to use, you should not update the firmware.

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Digital IO Boards PDF Print
The Digital IO Hardware Utility is used to determine if Light-O-Rama can properly communicate with Digital IO cards installed on the PC. Light-O-Rama uses the Universal Library to communicate with digital IO cards. You must have that software installed on your machine. The DIO cards must be visible using the InstaCal program.

To get a list of boards that Light-O-Rama can find on the PC click the Refresh List button. Once a list of boards appears you can select a board to test. Once a board is selected you can test individual pins or Chase through all pins using the appropriate functions.

If you cannot control the board using the Hardware Utility then you will not be able to control the board using the Light-O-Rama Light Control Software.

 
X10 CM11A PDF Print
Light-O-Rama can control industry standard X-10 modules using a CM11A X10 controller. The CM11A controller can be purchased at a variety of online stores. Currently Light-O-Rama only allows 0% and 100% intensity.

X10 is a very slow control mechanism. Commands take on the average 1 full second to complete. When build a sequence that controls X10 you should not send commands to X10 devices more frequently than one second. Remember turning one light off and another light on is TWO commands. The Light-O-Rama software will queue up to 50 commands that are being sent to X10 controllers. If that number is exceeded then commands will be lost.

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