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Lor 16 Channel Lighting And Servodog 8 Channel Cntroller


John1959

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I proudly displayed my first light show last year using a 16 channel LOR controller. I also displayed on Halloween my first true animatronic called Little Johnny ( view at youtube.com http://youtu.be/4pJra9WJo2M ) using VSA and a USB propeller board.

I am pleased with the LOR product and looking to add the LOR ServoDog controller into a show to allow for synchronized Animatronics and lighting.

My question to the forum is has anybody used the ServoDog controller? I am looking for people who may have used the ServoDog to operate RC servos and act as a director.

The show will incorporate at least one animatronic, with song and jokes, along with stage style light effects.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

John

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John,

I like what you have created - mad props to you. It is funny you ask about the servodog and animatronics, I just built my 3 axis skull and just completed programming to music for a song that is just over a minute and a half it took me quite a while - couple of hours using LOR servodog.

Since you are familiar with LOR and lights, the servodog is centered completely around a percentage based programming. First you have to go into servodog utility and set stops, then begins the programming through sequence editor. What took me the longest was establishing the setup of the servos and finding the default positions (center). For example 50% would be center for left and right head movements, while 0% will be mouth shut and 100% full open.

Once you know your default you go into sequence editor and program movements to music, as you would a normal light program, it is time consuming.

I have been looking at going your route and programing through trackskull by monkeybasic then someone on the light o rama forums made a program to convert VSA to Lightorama. http://forums.lightorama.com/view_topic.php?id=32729&forum_id=74&highlight=VSA+to+LOR

I think I may give that a shot, but I have to purchase the joystick and at least trackskull. In your opinion (or if anyone has input) would I or should I procure Virtualhaunt since I won't be directly connecting my animitronic to the computer.

I'm thinking I would program via trackskull, export to VSA code, then utilize the program to code into LOR and be able to build a desired end result with a complete light show with the animitronics incorporated.

Regards,

Mike

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I liked VSA and trackskull which worked good but when I ran the Little Johnny routine. I discovered that the WOW was a bit short because of lighting. Of course I am cast, crew, director, grip, etc... but lighting... well it was nonexistent and then I bought LOR after Halloween. The Christmas show was a an experiment for a future animatronics. I did complete the Christmas light show in less than 2 months, and one of the five sequences was written by me, it took about 5 hours to sequence Little Steel Drummer Boy.

Little Johnny took about 3 months to program (in VSA) because of the learning curve and I found working with the LOR editor was fairly easy. SInce this is a hobby scrounging a few hundred dollars is like pulling teeth. So I can only hope the ServoDog works for me.

Virtural Haunt was intended solely for VSA and 3-Axis skulls, like what you can purchase at GraveyardSkulls.com . Which is fine for what I was messing with but I did run across issues with servo direction and stop limits. I built my motion platforms from photos and videos of the 3-Axis skulls and converted the dimensions to fit my needs. I nearly ripped the jaw off the first (prototype) platform because of range of travel and low quality materials. If you plan on using VSA for a 3-Axis skull type motion platform Virtual Haunt will help to limit wear and tear on the servos and other equipment. You can write the routines before construction is completed, just be careful with servo direction and limits.

During all of the research, development, construction, and programming I was also going to work, taking college classes, self learning script writing, audio and video editing and everything I could do to make the show happen. Ironically I did not even know If I would let anybody outside the family see my work.

You comments have help decide to go with ServoDog and now I am looking forward to ordering one (or two) ServoDog controllers.

John

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John,

Great job with your Little Johnny animatronic. Last year I made the switch over to LOR and used a Servo Dog, but only for the mouth movements on both my animatronics, as well as the guitar and DJ arm movements. I've been using a Wizard 3 board from BPE http://www.bpesoluti...ml#anchor366987, triggered by one of my light channels. It's a very tedious process trying to get smooth organic movements when programming in a grid using the SD. The Wizard board allowed me to turn a potentiometer in real time and build upon the head movements. I wanted my characters to have very smooth life like movements.

This year I'm going to try out the Track Skull method so I can unify all of the control into LOR. I'll probably also be adding some new animatronics so I'm running out of channels with the Wizard board. Here's the link to last year's show http://www.lightsond...y.com/2011.html for you to check out.

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Mike

The DJ Jingles character is a very nice touch. I’d love to see inside the mechanics of your characters. What was your inspiration the character designs and mechanics? Checking out your facebook link as write…The dancing elf is cool… I assume you used pneumatics and for his action?

John

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Mike

The DJ Jingles character is a very nice touch. I’d love to see inside the mechanics of your characters. What was your inspiration the character designs and mechanics? Checking out your facebook link as write…The dancing elf is cool… I assume you used pneumatics and for his action?

John

Thanks John. A lot of my build pictures are on my Facebook display page to check out. The dancing elves each use two car lock actuators, they're about $5 each and work well. There's pics of them on FB as well as an early test video.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ordered the Servodog controller and it should arrive tomorrow, May 8, 2012. I will take measurements of the mounting holes and make the mounting plate for the animatronic motion platform. If the initial testing goes as well as I hope, I'll start designing the pneumatic systems for the upper body. I intend on using the CMB16D-QC card for the DC powered pneumatics and I already have the CTB16PC for the AC components.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all,

Servodog worked very well, to a point. All servos tested fine using the ServoDog Utility and seemed to work using the LOR Sequence editor but when the sequence was stopped or ended, the servos went to the Zero position. The head looked up and to the right really FAST and HARD. The servos also started to hum indicating they were trying to go beyond the stops (Software and hard stops).

I used a 12VDC battery (measured 12.5vdc) to power the controller to avoid line noise from an AC to DC converter. I installed a power box from a solar power project that reduces voltage to 5, 6, and 9 volts DC.

After verifying correct power and cabling I ran the test sequence again, using 6.4 VDC, with slightly different results. The servos still went to zero position but then returned to default/neutral position. Checked the ServoDog Utility settings, MULTIPLE times with no changes. Changed the unit ID number to make sure I was able to upload to the ServoDog.

The movement to Zero seems to not exceed the soft limits. This is not desirable but at least it is not trying to rip itself apart and will allow further testing.

Comments on programming ServoDog in LOR- much more difficult than programming in VSA. I hope the converter works for me when I can get back on the project. Sure would be better to have a LOR editor for programming the servos.

Downloaded a EXCEL spreadsheet file to convert VSA routines to LOR format, see ChristmasJim's comments from the Track Skull (VSA) to LOR forums. Having some issues with macros but not willing to disable macros on this computer yet. The Trackskull to LOR file will convert 4 channels to a LOR usable sequence and then I assume I can drag and drop the sequence into LOR editor.

John

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  • 1 year later...

John,

Great job with your Little Johnny animatronic. Last year I made the switch over to LOR and used a Servo Dog, but only for the mouth movements on both my animatronics, as well as the guitar and DJ arm movements. I've been using a Wizard 3 board from BPE http://www.bpesoluti...ml#anchor366987, triggered by one of my light channels. It's a very tedious process trying to get smooth organic movements when programming in a grid using the SD. The Wizard board allowed me to turn a potentiometer in real time and build upon the head movements. I wanted my characters to have very smooth life like movements.

This year I'm going to try out the Track Skull method so I can unify all of the control into LOR. I'll probably also be adding some new animatronics so I'm running out of channels with the Wizard board. Here's the link to last year's show http://www.lightsond...y.com/2011.html for you to check out.

MikeZ,

 

Hate to revive an old thread, but still think its relevant.

 

I missed the Christmas Expo this year, but was able to watch your presentation from a recorded video - I saw that you are able to control frosty via trackskull in puppet mode - are you using an entec pro dongle or just the LOR 486.  I have been unsuccessful using the LOR dongle, but maybe you can clue me in a little.

 

Congrats on the new animatronic venture.

 

Regards,

Mike

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MikeZ,

 

Hate to revive an old thread, but still think its relevant.

 

I missed the Christmas Expo this year, but was able to watch your presentation from a recorded video - I saw that you are able to control frosty via trackskull in puppet mode - are you using an entec pro dongle or just the LOR 486.  I have been unsuccessful using the LOR dongle, but maybe you can clue me in a little.

 

Congrats on the new animatronic venture.

 

Regards,

Mike

Mike,

 

No problem. I never received a notification of your new post, but I saw there was a new Servo Dog comment, and checked it out.

 

For the Expo demo, I was actually using TrackSkull running on the LOR network. I've been working with Monkey Basic, and he's created the new version that will be out very soon. Besides working on the LOR network, it will export the LOR data right into the grid. It works very well, and makes it a bit easier and quicker to use. The jury is still out whether the animatronic will run smoother with DMX commands over LOR, since DMX has a bigger range. I need spend a little time testing both hook-ups.

 

Thank you, it's off to a good start, and I hope to grow it over the years. Let me know if you have any more questions.

 

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mike,

 

No problem. I never received a notification of your new post, but I saw there was a new Servo Dog comment, and checked it out.

 

For the Expo demo, I was actually using TrackSkull running on the LOR network. I've been working with Monkey Basic, and he's created the new version that will be out very soon. Besides working on the LOR network, it will export the LOR data right into the grid. It works very well, and makes it a bit easier and quicker to use. The jury is still out whether the animatronic will run smoother with DMX commands over LOR, since DMX has a bigger range. I need spend a little time testing both hook-ups.

 

Thank you, it's off to a good start, and I hope to grow it over the years. Let me know if you have any more questions.

 

Mike

Just checked monkeybasic and the LOR support release is out, unfortunately I'm traveling and won't be home till this weekend - can't wait to check it out.

 

I'm so excited...

Mike

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  • 5 months later...

 

 

 

 

I missed the Christmas Expo this year, but was able to watch your presentation from a recorded video - I saw that you are able to control frosty via trackskull in puppet mode - are you using an entec pro dongle or just the LOR 486.  I have been unsuccessful using the LOR dongle, but maybe you can clue me in a little.

 

 

I would be interested in watching the Christmas Expo video.  Where would I find the link?

 

Thanks

Tim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be interested in watching the Christmas Expo video.  Where would I find the link?

 

Thanks

Tim

Thanks so much for the video link.  Mike Z is amazing.  Have any of you tried to make his snow man or elves?

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