How to export effects to SD Card? – ADVANCED – Multiple Controllers

Whenever the project you are working on exceeds 4096 pixels, or the layout of your strips is not suitable for a single pixel cotroller, you will need to use multiple controllers. When this happens, you need to prepare, better in advance, a clear plan and layout of the strips and controllers. This short article should give you a few tips on how to plan this and most importantly the correct procedure on how to export the effects properly.

What will we cover? #

Single device is easy, as you can read yourself in this article.  The real fun begins when you need more than 4K pixels. You need to be able to determine what controllers you are going to use, how to place them in relation to your installation and the networking/cabling infrastructure, what limits you have in terms of length of cables and network capabilities of your gear. But the single most important thing is to be able to export proper files to correct controllers.

Typical use case scenario for multiple controllers #

You want to have control over each segment separately, not just by outputs. Your piece is assembled from different pixels, shapes, segments and overall, you cannot simply copy/paste the settings. Each output on each device has a different number of pixels connected to it and you have to map everything precisely in order to get the best possible result. And, most importantly, you are not using the PC to trigger the effects. Rather than that, you want to use your favorite DMX or Art-net consoles, maybe you have a Network device that can send out HTTP commands or you just want to set autoplay and leave everything on its own.

What device can I use? #

You can combine LED Ethernet Controller 3, SPI Matrix and REACTIVO controllers and as a pure Slave device also SPI LED Controller. Since you have the option to not only use the DMX to sync multiple units, but at the same time use DMX as trigger, you can only use this with the network capable device. Hence the small din-rail mounted device can serve only as a Slave unit and not a synchronization unit. With the Ethernet synchronization you can not use SPI LED Controller at all.

Difference between SPI Matrix & LEC3 #

The main difference is the process of exporting the effects for Art-Net converters ( SPI Matrix, REACTIVO) and controllers using our custom SPI protocol (LEC3, SPI LED Controller). Read this article for more detailed information. In general, it always requires a few additional steps, because you have to utilize something called a “Dummy Device” in order to be able to export the effects.

How to export effects for multiple controllers? #

If we follow the typical use case scenario outlined further up in this article, it is very important to follow the clear naming structure that you set at the start of mapping. All effects are exported with the same name, so you can’t simply tell the device name or IP from the name of the file. Good practice is to also create folders and create a structure so that you will be able to export the files to your PC and won’t get lost in the clutter.

Number in brackets is the fake IP of my Dummy device in mapping

You either export the effects one-by-one or you can export the whole bank at once. The software will always ask you for which Ethernet IP you want to export the effects for. You will select the IP or the controller and follow up with setting up the index of your first animation in the export.

It is important to always keep in mind that if you use the real IP address of the SPI Matrix that you have in the project, it will not work. You always need to use the Art-Net section in the mapping to be able to live control and preview the content on the pixels connected to it. For the export, however, you need to use the “Dummy device

How to upload exported effects? #

Options for upload include manual copy/paste onto your SD Card or by network using the Webconfig tool. You never import the folders, always just the files!

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