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Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #1 

So I've been working on a tool to enable things like:

  • real-time logging of Artemis DMX events to a file for debugging or other analysis,
  • easily editing the DMXcommands file for use with 4-channel and 3-channel DMX lights,
  • connecting wireless lights such as such as Philips Hue or LIFX lights with Artemis SBS, etc.  (Eventually I plan to add things like the ability to connect other types of IoT-style smart objects, such as a SmartThings SmartPower Outlet, into which you can plug *any* device.)

 

I now have an early version with enough functionality that I'd like to get one or more people who are willing to beta test and send feedback, find bugs, etc.  I've created a page at

http://www.armidalesoftware.com/Artemis/DMXTools.htm with more info.   (Please send bug reports and feedback via email as mentioned on the bottom of that page.)

davisn456

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Posts: 294
Reply with quote  #2 
I'd love to give this a try! I have a few sequences I've been trying to get working for a while that this would really help with. I also have a couple of occasional flickers in my lights that I'm trying to figure out if it's the controller or Artemis itself that's triggering it. This should be very useful!
Panki

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Seems to work perfectly, thanks!
Although i can get my LED strip/Arduino setup to react to this, the game itself does nothing. I don't know why, any help is appreciated!
Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panki
Seems to work perfectly, thanks!
Although i can get my LED strip/Arduino setup to react to this, the game itself does nothing. I don't know why, any help is appreciated!


What do you mean by "the game itself does nothing"?  You can't get it to send any signals to your lights?   Do you get the same behavior with Artemis DMX Tools installed vs uninstalled?  If you haven't already, I'd try logging Artemis events (see "How to enable logging of DMX events to a file" at the web site linked above) and see what the log contains after running the game itself.
MallocArray

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #5 
I really like the emulator for testing changes.

Two things:

1) Why do you list the values backwards compared to the stock DMXcommands.xml file? You list Blue, Green, Red where the stock file is Red, Green, Blue

2) When I used your editor to add a new command, timeblock (5000), device, and the assign colors using the picker, I was trying to do
Initial R:128, G:0, B:128
Change R:25, G:0, B:25
Final R:255, G:0, B:255

I entered the initial and final and let it calculate the change.  When I click OK after setting the color and then go back to it, the value for the Red change has been moved to the Green change box and Red change the Green change (0 in this case)

So I think that is a bug.
Malnical

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #6 
Just got my DMX up and going and using your software. So far I like it. I will report any errors I find. 

thank you!


Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MallocArray
I really like the emulator for testing changes.


Thanks for the feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MallocArray
So I think that is a bug.


Yep, both things you reported were bugs, thanks.  I've now fixed both of them and will have an update posted within 24 hours.  Stay tuned, I'll reply again here when it's posted.
Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #8 
Version 1.2 of Artemis DMX Tools is now available at http://www.armidalesoftware.com/Artemis/DMXTools.htm

Changes since v1.0 include, among other fixes:
  • Added support for the Enttec DMX PRO controller (still needs verification by someone with an Enttec Pro)
  • Added support for single-channel DMX devices
  • Added support for naming devices with readable labels, for ease of display
  • Auto-detect types of DMX devices based on your existing DMXcommands configuration
  • Added support for multiple DMX device configuration profiles and ability to switch between them for a given DMXcommands profile
  • Added support for converting DMXcommands configurations between 3-channel and 4-channel lights, e.g., to easily convert the stock 3-channel DMXcommands file to a 4-channel lamp
  • Fixed bugs in DMX command editor reported by MallocArray
  • Expanded setvalue comments saved in DMXcommands
MallocArray

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks.  I'll give it another look.  A few other things to mention:

1) I don't see any new program icons appearing in Windows 8.1 after installing the previous version.  Is that intentional that I have to go into Program Files>blah blah to get to the executable?

2) Are you really married to the AppData folder idea?  I know you are trying to manage all of the profiles through the application and just make a change there an it just happens for Artemis, but I know at least one cue I want to cycle through the same pattern of lights 4 times since it is not continuous, but it is much easier to just go fine the XML file and copy and paste the pattern a couple of time, but I really had to dig to find it

3) There are so many instances of DMXcommands.xml throughout this.  Artemis folder has one, the Program Files (x86)\Artemis DMX Tools folder has one, Appdata\Local\DMXTools\Artemis has one, and appdata\local\dmxtools\artemis\profiles has another.  This may be specific to only my situation, but I had a separate DMX file in my Dropbox I was going to edit with your program and I had to copy it 3 times to each of the folders above before I could finally see it, since it wasn't in the main Artemis folder at time of install. 

4) Again, this could very easily just be my situation and nobody else would encounter it, but my manual DMX file had an error in it where I had two <!-- blocks but only one close.  I'm pretty sure Artemis was running ok with it, but your program showed that I had nothing defined in the file.  I copied it event by event until I found the one that caused the problem and then found my error, but maybe some handling for unexpected things and a prompt of what/where they are would be helpful.  Or I could just not have errors in my file to begin with. [frown]

5) In the batch file that runs upon install to copy the DLL and XML files into the Artemis folder, I noticed there are two slashes after Artemis DMX Tools. Didn't seem to cause an error, just FYI.
Copying C:\Program Files (x86)\Artemis DMX Tools\\DMXcommands.xml to C:\Program
Files (x86)\Artemis\dat\DMXcommands.xml

6) Could you expound on the Test functionality?  In a few instances, I wanted to test my "Lightning_hits_player" cue, so I check it and hit Apply and I see via the emulator what this looks like for a single cycle, but I wanted to see it a few times, but could not find a way to invoke it again without exiting out and trying it again.  Is that how you expect it to work?

7) There is one other bug I'm encountering regarding the test.  If I check the Lightning cue and Apply it, click Stop Testing, and then to back to "Test Active" it plays the Lightning cue repeatedly for several cycles.

Thanks again. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining, just offering feedback on my experience.

Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MallocArray
1) I don't see any new program icons appearing in Windows 8.1 after installing the previous version.  Is that intentional that I have to go into Program Files>blah blah to get to the executable?


Currently yes, but will add one for next release.  For now you can create a shortcut yourself.

Quote:
2) Are you really married to the AppData folder idea?  I know you are trying to manage all of the profiles through the application and just make a change there an it just happens for Artemis, but I know at least one cue I want to cycle through the same pattern of lights 4 times since it is not continuous, but it is much easier to just go fine the XML file and copy and paste the pattern a couple of time, but I really had to dig to find it


Yes I want to stay with AppData since it does not require elevation to edit, and it's cleaned up on uninstall.  However, to improve discoverability I will add something like an "Open File Location" option to make it really easy to find and edit in your favorite text editor.

Quote:
3) There are so many instances of DMXcommands.xml throughout this.  Artemis folder has one, the Program Files (x86)\Artemis DMX Tools folder has one, Appdata\Local\DMXTools\Artemis has one, and appdata\local\dmxtools\artemis\profiles has another.  This may be specific to only my situation, but I had a separate DMX file in my Dropbox I was going to edit with your program and I had to copy it 3 times to each of the folders above before I could finally see it, since it wasn't in the main Artemis folder at time of install.


Good feedback.   The "Technical Details" section of the website explains the current layout.   As explained there, the "real" one is the one in Appdata\Local\DmxTools\Artemis as you undoubtedly found.  The file in the Artemis DMX Tools folder is the one that gets installed into the main Artemis directory, and these two shouldn't be changed.  To reduce confusion, I could rename the one in the Artemis DMX Tools folder, and I could also combine the "real" one and its backup in the Profiles folder so get rid of an extra copy.

Quote:
4) Again, this could very easily just be my situation and nobody else would encounter it, but my manual DMX file had an error in it where I had two <!-- blocks but only one close.  I'm pretty sure Artemis was running ok with it, but your program showed that I had nothing defined in the file.  I copied it event by event until I found the one that caused the problem and then found my error, but maybe some handling for unexpected things and a prompt of what/where they are would be helpful.  Or I could just not have errors in my file to begin with. [frown]


I just use msxml6.dll for parsing.  Not sure offhand if it allows more liberal parsing.  I'll look into it.

Quote:
5) In the batch file that runs upon install to copy the DLL and XML files into the Artemis folder, I noticed there are two slashes after Artemis DMX Tools. Didn't seem to cause an error, just FYI.
Copying C:\Program Files (x86)\Artemis DMX Tools\\DMXcommands.xml to C:\Program
Files (x86)\Artemis\dat\DMXcommands.xml


Yep, known issue.  It wasn't high priority since it still worked.

Quote:
6) Could you expound on the Test functionality?  In a few instances, I wanted to test my "Lightning_hits_player" cue, so I check it and hit Apply and I see via the emulator what this looks like for a single cycle, but I wanted to see it a few times, but could not find a way to invoke it again without exiting out and trying it again.  Is that how you expect it to work?


You just clear the checkbox and click Apply.  That will reset the trigger so when you set the checkbox and click Apply, it will fire again.  You don't need to Stop Testing.

Quote:
7) There is one other bug I'm encountering regarding the test.  If I check the Lightning cue and Apply it, click Stop Testing, and then to back to "Test Active" it plays the Lightning cue repeatedly for several cycles.


Ok, will look into it.   Thanks for the great feedback, just what I was looking for!


Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #11 
Version 1.3 is now ready for testing:
  • Added File→Open File Location to make it easier to find files to edit by hand if desired
  • Added desktop shortcut and Start menu item for Artemis DMX Editor
  • Preserve all command profiles (not just the active one) on uninstall
  • Fixed more bugs in DMX command editor reported by MallocArray

Currently at the top of my list of TODO items is trying to add DMX cues for incoming comms transmissions of various priorities, as suggested by eurobusker et al. in the recent thread here.
Malnical

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #12 
So I was working on my DMX stuff... using a USB to Cat5 converter 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008BZBJ92?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00
connected to 
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/30-channel-27channel-Easy-DMX-LED-controller-dmx-decoder-driver-rgb-led-controller/2015743918.html
that is connected to LED RGB light strips

While working with my laptop (Windows 8.1) I had no problems at all however when I took all the same stuff and hooked it to my main computer system for my bridge (Windows 7 x64) it won't light. I made sure that it was using the same driver. I can see the light on the connection  flashing on the DMX controller when I go into test however it doesn't work but I can take it back over to my laptop and it works with no issue.
 
Would anyone have any idea what would cause this? 
MallocArray

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #13 
I had the exact same issue last weekend in almost the same scenario. I was using this tool to edit on my main computer and then copied the file to my main screen and nothing lit up. I copied a backup from before I had used this tool and it didn't work as well.  I even tried copying the contents of DMXCommands-old and pasting it into the DMXCommands and noticed that the file size was almost double and still didn't work.

I ended up going to a client computer and copying a fresh, untouched DMXCommands and putting it back on the server and it worked. I then copied my custom contents into this file and everything was fine.

A friend thought maybe the file had been changed to Unicode and caused the file size difference.  Either way it was 45 minutes of pure frustration, less than an hour before I had people coming over to play.
Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MallocArray
A friend thought maybe the file had been changed to Unicode and caused the file size difference.


Yes Artemis DMX Tools saves the file in utf-16 (which Artemis is fine on everything I've tried) so that's the size doubling compared to utf-8 (terminology point: both utf-8 and utf-16 use "Unicode", and some docs confuse "Unicode" with utf-16 in particular so in lay speak, "Unicode" on Windows implies utf-16).  Not sure why you had a problem on Windows 7 though, I'll look into this and see if I can see any issues there.
Dave Thaler

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Posts: 414
Reply with quote  #15 
The next version of Artemis DMX Tools will save as UTF-8.  Look for it tomorrow probably once I complete more testing.   It will also add some more DMX cues that were requested.
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