Author Topic: xLights  (Read 16720 times)

Offline dowdybrown

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xLights
« on: September 13, 2010, »
xLights has been my programming project for the summer. I just released Windows and Mac versions today. It is an open source project, so the code is available for all to view and everyone is welcome to contribute (e.g. code fixes, testing, documentation).

xLights controls your holiday lighting displays. It currently consists of a testing module and a scheduling module. It can control a variety of lighting networks including LOR, D-Light, DMX, and Renard. And it runs on Windows, Mac OS/X, and Linux.


xLights does not have its own sequencer, but can run shows using a mixture of LOR S2 and Vixen sequences. xLights can play any sequence on any of the networks it supports. Thus, the following combinations are possible:

    * LOR S2 sequence over an LOR/D-Light network. xLights uses the native LOR commands to control your lights, just as if you were playing them using the LOR scheduler.

    * LOR S2 sequence over DMX. The translation from LOR to DMX is done on your computer as the sequence is played - no need for an iDMX device. All you need is a DMX dongle! Any ENTEC USB PRO compatible dongle will do (Lynx and DIYC JMC dongles work great). Because xLights maps a network in your LOR S2 sequence to a DMX universe and because LOR S2 is limited to 4 networks, you will be limited to 4 DMX universes in this configuration (2048 channels).

    * LOR S2 sequence over Renard. The translation from LOR to Renard is done on your computer as the sequence is played. No extra conversion steps are required.

    * Vixen sequence over LOR/D-Light network. Only appropriate for smaller displays (about 128 channels or less) due to bandwidth constraints. But on smaller displays, it works great!

    * Vixen sequence over DMX. xLights supports up to 10 universes in this mode (5120 channels).

    * Vixen sequence over Renard. xLights supports up to 10 networks in this mode.


Windows and Mac downloads are now available on SourceForge. It's marked version "0.1" - only tested by a few folks so far. So if you find issues, please post them in the xLights forum on SourceForge. Documentation is in the xLights wiki on SourceForge (incomplete but growing).

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I will be giving a demo to the folks attending the Lone Star Holidays event in Houston on Saturday!

Matt
Matt Brown
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Offline ponddude

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Re: xLights
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, »
This looks promising!!  Downloading now...thanks!
Greg
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Offline jem5136

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Re: xLights
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, »
This looks like something I would be using in my shows! I do have a quick question thought, I do most of my sequencing in LOR, and I usually sequence and then convert it over to Vixen. So my question is, Can I run Renard, Lynx and LOR/D-Light all at the same time from an LOR sequence?
2011 Plans:
   - Second year for dimmable animation
   - 184 Channels of Blinky Flashy :D
   - 8 RGB Flood Lights
It's gonna be fun!! :D

Offline dowdybrown

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Re: xLights
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, »
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This looks like something I would be using in my shows! I do have a quick question thought, I do most of my sequencing in LOR, and I usually sequence and then convert it over to Vixen. So my question is, Can I run Renard, Lynx and LOR/D-Light all at the same time from an LOR sequence?

Yes, xLights supports that. In your LOR sequence you would assign Renard, Lynx, and LOR/D-Light to separate networks. Doesn't matter what type of controller you assign in the LOR software. As long as they are in separate networks, xLights would be able to drive each one with the appropriate lighting protocol.

Matt
Matt Brown
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Offline budude

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Re: xLights
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, »
Wow - sounds like a neat project - I'll have to give it a try.

Edit - Pretty neat indeed - heck the channel tester alone is well worth the download!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, by budude »

Offline RJ

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Re: xLights
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, »
Sounds like a very neat piece of software will have to take a look at it.

RJ
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Offline rm357

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Re: xLights
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, »
Sounds neat - any thoughts about porting to Ubuntu?
Robert
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Offline dowdybrown

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Re: xLights
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, »
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Sounds neat - any thoughts about porting to Ubuntu?

It has been tested on Ubuntu (Linux Mint actually) and runs great. If you use SVN to download the source code, there are instructions for compiling on Linux. For now, I think I'll leave Linux support at that.

Matt
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Offline packetbob

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Re: xLights
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, »
I'm trying the Windows version and it only lets me select COM ports 1 through 9 for my DMX dongle...
Unfortunately mine is on port 11...

Bob

Offline jem5136

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Re: xLights
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, »
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I'm trying the Windows version and it only lets me select COM ports 1 through 9 for my DMX dongle...
Unfortunately mine is on port 11...

Bob

You can change the port on your computer to whichever port you want, and it will not effect the way it works. If you are running XP, click "Start" and right click "My Computer" and go to the properties. Find the "Hardware" tab, click "Manage Devices" find "USB and Serial Ports" and select your com port(11 in your case) and somewhere in there you can change the com number, I have done it before.

Sorry if the names are not the exact same, I am typing this from memory. I only know how to do it from XP, I would have to search on Win7 and I don't have Vista(I think it sucks :s).

Hope this is helpful. And I hope no one already beat me to posting this while I was typing it lol
2011 Plans:
   - Second year for dimmable animation
   - 184 Channels of Blinky Flashy :D
   - 8 RGB Flood Lights
It's gonna be fun!! :D

Offline dowdybrown

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Re: xLights
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, »
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I'm trying the Windows version and it only lets me select COM ports 1 through 9 for my DMX dongle...
Unfortunately mine is on port 11...

Bob

OK, I'll make sure that gets corrected in the next version.
Matt Brown
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Offline jem5136

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Re: xLights
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, »
Another random question. Are you going to keep this free? I ask because once you get the sequencer up and working, it would be similar to LSP(because it has multiple controller support and video options), and I think it would appeal to more people if it was free and offers things that LSP offers, but cost less then LSP(because its free:D).
2011 Plans:
   - Second year for dimmable animation
   - 184 Channels of Blinky Flashy :D
   - 8 RGB Flood Lights
It's gonna be fun!! :D

Offline dowdybrown

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Re: xLights
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2010, »
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Another random question. Are you going to keep this free? I ask because once you get the sequencer up and working, it would be similar to LSP(because it has multiple controller support and video options), and I think it would appeal to more people if it was free and offers things that LSP offers, but cost less then LSP(because its free:D).

1. It is open source, which means anyone can view, access, and modify the code. This is very beneficial, because many people can contribute their ideas and talents to the project. It also means that if I die tomorrow, the project is not dead. Paul Scala has collaborated with me on this project from the beginning and is a second administrator on SourceForge. I've already had others ask to have contributor access as well.

2. It is licensed under the GPL v3 license. This means that someone could (potentially) take the code, make enhancements, and sell it. However, if they do, they must make their modified source code publicly available too (known as copyleft). This discourages people from selling it, because anyone could access their modified source code and compile it themselves for free. If it became popular enough, someone might offer support contracts with phone help and charge for that service. This is allowed under the license. You can learn more about it here:

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So to answer your question, yes, this should remain free in perpetuity.

Matt
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Offline castortiu

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Re: xLights
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, »

Offline packetbob

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Re: xLights
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, »
Hi,
Thanks for the info as it was very helpful.  I had looked at the device properties but didn't look far enough to see where you could change the port number.

Bob



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You can change the port on your computer to whichever port you want, and it will not effect the way it works. If you are running XP, click "Start" and right click "My Computer" and go to the properties. Find the "Hardware" tab, click "Manage Devices" find "USB and Serial Ports" and select your com port(11 in your case) and somewhere in there you can change the com number, I have done it before.

Sorry if the names are not the exact same, I am typing this from memory. I only know how to do it from XP, I would have to search on Win7 and I don't have Vista(I think it sucks :s).

Hope this is helpful. And I hope no one already beat me to posting this while I was typing it lol