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JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

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JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby cyaniron » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:53 am

Hi,
I bought the JMS USBDMX device, and it works great, except that it 'locks up' every hour or so. The red LED is on the device, but no DMX signal is being received at the fixtures. Unplugging it, closing freestyler, plugging it back in, restarting freestyler cures this, but this isnt good enough, as I would like to make my lights do something straight away, not 1 minute in the after I decide what to do with them!. I bought a powered USB hub, but this made no difference.

I figured that this interface was cheap, and that I got what I paid for, so I bought an Enntec Pro.....
I can control one ficture at a time fine, but that is all. I have 6 scanners, which could be controlled together (previously with the JMS device), by highlighting more than one scanner, and then control them simultaneously to do the same thing. With the Enntec device, only one of the highlighted scanners respond. Another problem with the Enntec device is that although my chauvet strobe controller has a flashing LED to let me know it is receiveing a signal, it does nothing else. The strobes worked fine with the Entecc device.

The computer I use for lights is a Pentium 500, with USB 1 (although I have tried the JMS unit with a Core 2 duo computer getting the same results).

Can anyone help here?.

Thanks
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby dmxlighting » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:24 pm

Hi and welcome to the FS Forum

Ive never used a JMS dongle but ive seen the on Fleabay.
I understand that they are cheap and not all that good. Having said that I dont see why it would cause FS to crash. Maybe someone else would know why?

As for the Enntec Pro - A very good choice indeed. Most serious FS users have one of these and would swear by it! I do and I would!

Firstly make sure that the Enntec is setup correctly and that you HAVE NOT let windows pick and install a driver for you. If you got a disc with the dongle make sure you use the drivers on it - windows gets it all wrong - search on this forum for more info about that.

Other info needed....

What windows version are u using?
What FS version are u using?
Are u using the power usb hub with the Enntec? If so STOP! It needs to be directly connected!
Are all the fixtures u use address individually ? Are all the cables correctly wired?
What other software (dmx or whatever) have you got intalled that could cause a conflict?
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby dmxlighting » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:54 pm

Ive just noticed that you are running a low spec pc. This could be the cause of the problems.
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby LJ_krede.dk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:11 pm

cyaniron wrote:Are u using the power usb hub with the Enntec? If so STOP! It needs to be directly connected!


could you specify this?
For almost a year i had the ENTTEC USB PRO and BCF 2000 MIDI controller connected to a powered USB hub, without any problems
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby dmxlighting » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:45 pm

Ive never tested this but if my very bad memory serves correct Im sure ive read that its not a good idea to use a usb hub and a dmx dongle.
Did I read it in the enttec manual?? I'll go look later!

But if you have and it works then I guess its OK but perhaps its a resources thing. ie if the spec of the PC is very good.... ????
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby LJ_krede.dk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:49 pm

dmxlighting wrote:Ive never tested this but if my very bad memory serves correct Im sure ive read that its not a good idea to use a usb hub and a dmx dongle.
Did I read it in the enttec manual?? I'll go look later!

But if you have and it works then I guess its OK but perhaps its a resources thing. ie if the spec of the PC is very good.... ????


1 GHz, 512 MB RAM. Windows XP. but i do have problems when i dont have power on the USB hub, then i cant send/recieve MIDI to/from the BCF. the ENTTEC works fine thoug
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby remco_k » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:58 pm

cyaniron wrote:The computer I use for lights is a Pentium 500, with USB 1 (although I have tried the JMS unit with a Core 2 duo computer getting the same results).

It seems to me that a pentium 500 is just to slow.

Furthermore I also use the Enttec pro via an external powered USB hub, most of the time. I see it as an extra safety protection in case something goes wrong on the DMX line, then my hub dies and burn to death, my laptop don't. :mrgreen: Never happened though. I just like to think about it that way.
Never had any problems with it.
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby cyaniron » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:18 pm

Thanks for all the replies :)

I haven't sorted either yet, but you've given me a few things to go on.


>What windows version are u using?
XP Pro
>What FS version are u using?
3.0.1
>Are u using the power usb hub with the Enntec? If so STOP! It needs to be directly connected!
No
>Are all the fixtures u use address individually ?
Yes
>Are all the cables correctly wired?
Hmmmmmmm. Given that the USB2DMX interfaces works, and I can control individual fixtures with the Enttec, this suggests wiring is OK..
I made a 5 pin to 3 pin lead, as the Enttec has 5 pins, but my fixtures have 3. I'm pretty sure that I remember controling individual lights succesfully, but I know that getting the hot and cold lines swapped over makes for some apparantly random things to happen at fixtures. I'll check this cable.
>What other software (dmx or whatever) have you got intalled that could cause a conflict?
I dont think I have any other software installed that would cause a problem, and there certainly isnt any other programs running. It works fine with the USB2DMX except the hanging, so I guess no software conflict.


To DMXlighting. Re: DMX2USB problem. Freestyler doesnt crash. It carries on working fine, just that the fixtures stop receiving any data. I read that there is a known problem with Enttec open that is similar to this (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=332), and I have read elsewhere that Enttec open drivers work with the USB2DmX device. I guess that the DMX2USB device is a condensed version of the Enttec open, I'll try adding the capacitors to see if it helps any.

RE: Low spec computer being a problem. I'd agree if I was complaining that my visualisations looked naff using this computer, but it should keep up with putting out a stream of data on a USB bus!. I have tried the Enttec on my Core 2 duo computer, and get similar results, but I'll do any testing on the Core 2 duo first to be sure. Would USB2 be any advantage?.

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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby remco_k » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:29 pm

cyaniron wrote:To DMXlighting. Re: DMX2USB problem. Freestyler doesnt crash. It carries on working fine, just that the fixtures stop receiving any data. I read that there is a known problem with Enttec open that is similar to this (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=332), and I have read elsewhere that Enttec open drivers work with the USB2DmX device. I guess that the DMX2USB device is a condensed version of the Enttec open, I'll try adding the capacitors to see if it helps any.

Why are you talking about the Enttec open here? Make sure you don't make the mistake that there are big, very big differences between the Enttec Open and Enttec Pro DMX interfaces. Validate and tell us what interface you are using.
If you are using the Enttec Pro, then this fix is not something to do.
You could try the Enttec Open driver on the USB2DMX interface maybe it works.
RE: Low spec computer being a problem. I'd agree if I was complaining that my visualisations looked naff using this computer, but it should keep up with putting out a stream of data on a USB bus!. I have tried the Enttec on my Core 2 duo computer, and get similar results, but I'll do any testing on the Core 2 duo first to be sure. Would USB2 be any advantage?.

DMX transfers data of about 250 kbit/second, on the USB bus it might need some overhead to lets calculate with 500 kbit/second.
If you look at the lowest USB 1.0 speed, it states 1,5 Mbit/second, at full speed it runs 12 Mbit/second.
So even the good old USB 1.0 has way enough 'room' to transfer 1 DMX universe or even 12 universes at the same time.
So the answer is no, USB 2 would not help very much with this problem.
Offcourse this all applies when using the USB exclusively for DMX transfer. When you connect other devices, you should be calculating if it fits. Especially when running USB 1.0.
BUT! This don't apply to the Enttec Pro DMX interface, as that interface has its own processor. If the controlling software (like FreeStyler) works properly only changes are sent out over USB to the interface. When nothing changes, there is hardly no data transfer over USB, while the DMX interface keeps on sending all DMX channels at about 250 kbit/second over the DMX line. It just keeps the last values it received from the computer.

Furthermore, if the visualisations are good or not is not important. What is important is looking at the cpu load (taskmanager) when running FreeStyler and some sequences. See how your CPU is used and post an avarage CPU percent usage back here.
You might want to enable "kernel times" in that window in one of the menus. Then, next to the green CPU line, appears a red line - the kernel usage. Have a look at that also and also post the average usage percent here.

You told that you've created your own 5 to 3 pin converter. Please check that you did'nt crosswire it by accident.
What type of cable did you use creating this converter?
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Re: JMS USB2DMX + Enntec Pro problems

Postby dmxlighting » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:21 pm

remco_k wrote:You told that you've created your own 5 to 3 pin converter. Please check that you did'nt crosswire it by accident.
What type of cable did you use creating this converter?


Very good points!

cyaniron wrote:Are all the cables correctly wired?
Hmmmmmmm. Given that the USB2DMX interfaces works, and I can control individual fixtures with the Enttec, this suggests wiring is OK..


I will say that I use FS to test nightclub systems I have installed. I have on a few occasions used a cheap generic dongle and all seem ok.
Then I have got my lighting desk out (Hardware desk) and discovered that there ARE wiring faults and the DMX chain has wiring errors which did not show up on the PC. Since this happened I have only used the Enttec Pro device. Ive never this problem since. It works properly or does not. Trust the Enttec device!

Take appart all your cables and check that they are all correct.
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