Multiple Consoles

Questions on Palette and Light Palette operation and features
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bnortin
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Multiple Consoles

Post by bnortin » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:59 pm

I'm interested in hearing what other users are doing in venues that run multiple Palette/Light Palette consoles. I've been trying to find a work around since there's no multiple user access at this point. For most shows we have a LP VL backstage that we program on during the day, and any park groups or channels that are parked on for the performance stay on this console. For the show, we move to FOH and run everything from our LP Live. The idea is that at the end of the night I can shut down FOH and still have control backstage for house lights, works, warmers, etc. We don't have any DMX run to the consoles, everything is controlled via network. As far as I know the only 2 options I have are:

1. LP VL Main/LP Live logged in as remote: This works in most applications, but I've noticed a little bit of a lag if I start typing too quickly on the remote console. Also, submasters 25-48 on the LP Live do not function since those subs are not present on the LP VL. I understand the reason why those subs aren't functional, but I was hoping the use of virtual subs would allow the looks to be accessed on the remote even though the main does not have the physical submaster.

2. LP VL & LP Live both as main; LP VL in Netslot 1, LP Live in Netslot 10,001: This has been my preferred method. Both consoles have independent control, and everything is HTP. The downside is it uses 2 different show files, and you can't output data from both consoles to moving lights, so I have to unpatch the movers from the LP VL when I want to take over on the LP Live. I also have a few N21 nodes set to hold data if they lose the network signal, and I've run into a problem when one console shuts down. The nodes seem to want to hold the data they were receiving from the console that was shut down and the console that is still on cannot regain control. Most of these issues only happen when using movers.

Any other ideas? Thanks!
Bryan Nortin
Electrician - Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX
ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician #1619
Light Palette VL 10.8.8
Light Palette Live 10.8.8

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RobertBell
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by RobertBell » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:53 pm

I've done this with a network share using one show file. After loading the show I would disable the moving patch route rather than unpatching the fixtures. There are macros to automate this.
Robert Bell - Product Manager - Horizon Control Inc.

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TaineGilliam
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by TaineGilliam » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:32 pm

Typically I would prefer option #1. I to think it would be nice is the hardware of the remote could drive the virtual subs. I am also disappointed to hear you have a lag on the remote with a 100-BaseT network.

Robert suggestion of a network share for the common show file is good. It does require a third device to host the share as we can't create a network share on the console (or can we, Robert?) The use of macro with Patch rules can do lots of nice tricks when there are multiple consoles involved.

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bnortin
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by bnortin » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:17 pm

Good to know. I do have a PC on the network that I use for archiving show data, but I haven't tried using it to host a show file that's still being used. Should I copy the file to the console and then open it or can I just open it from the PC? And I haven't played around with macros on the LP yet, is it possible to write a macro that will change the Shownet patch route netslot when the OS starts up? Thanks.
Bryan Nortin
Electrician - Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX
ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician #1619
Light Palette VL 10.8.8
Light Palette Live 10.8.8

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RobertBell
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by RobertBell » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:58 am

TaineGilliam wrote:Robert suggestion of a network share for the common show file is good. It does require a third device to host the share as we can't create a network share on the console.
Correct Taine - you can't share d:\ - you must use a 3rd device. You can permanently map a drive on your desk to a 3rd device. i.e. Drive S:\ can be a share on a network PC.

If you want to do specific things on one desk at startup, have a cue list with an empty cue which has the cue list property to AutoRun. Attach this macro script to the cue.

Code: Select all

function exists(filename)
  local file = io.open(filename)
  if file then
   io.close(file)
   return true
  else
   return false
  end
end

if exists("d:\\mycookie.txt") then
  HC.OutputRouteEnable(1)
 else
  HC.OutputRouteDisable(1)
end
Make an empty text file on d:\ of just one of the desks called mycookie.txt. You can then use one show file and enable or disable routes on startup. You can obviously put any other code in the IF THEN ELSE too.
Robert Bell - Product Manager - Horizon Control Inc.

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gooze
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by gooze » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:53 pm

I would like to move this topic in a slightly different direction (now that the problem appears to be solved)

What are the most common tasks in a multiple desk setup?
and
How do we want the desk to behave in a multiple desk setup?

I think one of the most common tasks is: plotting on one desk, bringing on dimmers and channels and patching on the other
or moving lights on one, conventionals on the other
or touring desk and house desk
or main desk in control booth, remote desk onstage during setup and while making moving light corrections.


I think the last case has been covered here, but it's not ideal. Better to have a remote desk with no lag at all.

And what about logging in as different users? What about one operator bringing in a channel and the other storing a cue without that channel (independent htp) in one case or with that channel in the other? Is it desirable if the "main" operator can get rid of channels on one hand, e.g. by bringing a submaster down? (three subs for three slave desks?)
Should we go back to channel partitioning where it is determined which channels a logged-in user can control?

You see, there are many questions. Which direction are we going?
Last edited by gooze on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Floriaan Ganzevoort - Lighting designer
THEATERMACHINE design. production. operations.

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bnortin
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by bnortin » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:39 pm

Some of the lag issues I'm experiencing with the main/remote setup may be because of my network runs. Our FOH network runs are about 315 feet from switch to switch, and I know CAT5 generally wants to be shorter than 300 feet. Has anyone else tried to run a remote console and had lag issues with shorter cable runs?
Bryan Nortin
Electrician - Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX
ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician #1619
Light Palette VL 10.8.8
Light Palette Live 10.8.8

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gooze
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by gooze » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Lag issues may also be created by hubs or switches that buffer your signal.
Floriaan Ganzevoort - Lighting designer
THEATERMACHINE design. production. operations.

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bnortin
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by bnortin » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:15 pm

Between consoles I have a NetGear ProSafe PoE switch that supplies power to my N21 nodes, and I have an HP ProCurve switch FOH. I could bypass the switches between consoles but the cable length between them would be 350 or 400 feet, would that be better than routing it through the switches?
Bryan Nortin
Electrician - Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX
ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician #1619
Light Palette VL 10.8.8
Light Palette Live 10.8.8

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amoyer
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Re: Multiple Consoles

Post by amoyer » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:02 am

bnortin wrote:Some of the lag issues I'm experiencing with the main/remote setup may be because of my network runs. Our FOH network runs are about 315 feet from switch to switch, and I know CAT5 generally wants to be shorter than 300 feet. Has anyone else tried to run a remote console and had lag issues with shorter cable runs?
The maximum distance for CAT5 (or 5e) is actually 100 metres or 328 feet.
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