Some networking help please!!

DrEadDrEad Registered User
Hi,
We have 7 clubs in our complex, with 2 iPC and 5 dedicated Hog3PC systems running the lights. I keep all Hog3 systems software up to date. I do not use any DP2000 or DP8000's. All system dmx are connected via widgets or super widgets. I also have 15 PC's running video, lasers, music and some stage mechanics. I have an AV server which we regularly backup the shows on. All the clubs PC's are connected to a fibre linked gigabit network, and have fixed IP addresses, and have access to internet. There are about 100 PC's across the network. The iPC's weren't connected due to issues I had with Hog3 V2.0.x. but I would like to connect them to the network at some point.
I run XP Professional SP3 on Dual Core systems with 2gig ram, Nvidia Quadro video cards & ELO Touch screens. I have Windows firewall off and run norton internet security 2003 & 2009 on the AV PC's.

Previously I had Hog3PC configured to run off the loopback adaptor, and ignore the network connection, so that network going down etc wouldn't affect running of the shows.
I didn't worry about port and net numbers, apart from each Hog3PC having a different port number. They are all running different shows.

I updated our iPC's with full install of v8.3 image, and updated iPC config and hog3pc v3.0.1.
I updated 1 of Hog3PC system to v3.0.0, and then v3.0.1 when it came out. After a couple of weeks of it running smoothly and we are happpy with it I proceeded to upgrade all systems to v3.0.1 b2425.

Instant headache!! Not 1 system would work!! Even the system which had been running for a couple of weeks now would not work!!
The show server would not load. If I said 'ok' to waiting it would try again but would not start. If I said 'no' it would log off to config screen. If I tell it to launch show it would ask me to unlock, then I would have an "fps: " exception and have to restart the software. No change after restart.
I'm sorry that I did not have time to note down the error messages and steps I took to try and remedy it but with the clubs open or opening soon time was not on my side!
I guessed it was due to the new way of dealing with network in v3.0.x so removed all the network connections from all the systems and got all systems to work! PHEW!!!! I haven't reconnected the systems to the network yet.

So... my question is...
How should I setup the Hog3PC networking in this type of system?
What network settings should I use for the iPC's?
I need to used fixed IP's as I stream music and media to other PC's on the network and cannot have an IP conflict.

Regards,
Craig Burridge.
:hogsign: makes us look better!:hogsign:

Comments

  • ryanwilkinsonryanwilkinson Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I believe if you change all of the consoles to have different port numbers as the show servers it should work. But I have heard on here it can still conflict. I suppose you could manually create a loopback driver and if you go to the network panel in the config and select that from the drop down it will just use that opposed to your network adapter.

    Setting ip addresses manually or DHCP isn't going to have any effect on the system. Its just because all of the consoles are trying to create their own servers and it is really confusing the programs since they see a bunch of show servers on the same network.

    Ryan
  • DrEadDrEad Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Hog3PC V3.0.1
    Windows XP Pro SP3
    Norton AV 2009
    2 Gig Ram, NVidia Quaddro
    3 x ELO 15" touch screen
    2 x playback wing, 1 x programing wing, 1 x super widget

    Hi,
    A further update to this problem... I tried to recreate a couple of network problem scenarios which are most likely to happen.

    1. I reconnected 1 of the Hog3PC systems to the network. I set the fixed IP adress in Network Connections properties. I then connected a laptop and gave it the same IP, to create an IP conflict on the network.
    The Hog3PC software crashed. I used task manager to shut down all the processes. When I restarted the software, the super widget and playback wings were not working, and device manager said they were 'loading'.
    I rebooted the PC. The wings worked ok. The super widget had to be power cycled to come online.

    2. I removed the network cable from the PC while the show was running.
    The desktop process 'not responding', but I can restart it. The super widget stopped working. 1 playback wing not working.
    I had to reboot PC and power cycle the widget to get the system running again. The super widget does not come alive without unplugging the power to it.

    Regards,
    Craig Burridge
  • ryanwilkinsonryanwilkinson Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Both points you had are correct. If you have 2 computers on the same ip address, they will not function properly. Both machines are now confused with each-other and it is just destroying the data between them. Basically when you use either a console or 3pc, the software uses the actual connection to communicate from the software interface to the output interface. So Even if you are using USB widgets, it is using the network to go between the front panel to a virtual DP8000 which communicates via USB to a widget. If you disconnect that link, it no longer has a way of talking between the front panel software and that virtual DP8000. This is why they had to have the loopback driver in the earlier days of Hog PC. Now the software will auto configure itself upon start up. But if you are using a network interface, it will rely on that.

    If you have someone who is changing IP addresses on you, then you should have a talk with them. If you map out your entire network and have each device with its own network IP, then you should be fine.

    As far as someone disconnecting the cable, I would recommend you manually install a loopback driver and just lock it onto that so it won't try and connect via the network card.

    Ryan
  • DrEadDrEad Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Hi Ryan,
    I do have the loopback adaptor installed as this is how I previously had the systems running properly. But I still can't work out how to get hog3pc v3.0.x to look at it. Our network has at least 150 devices and has additional access points which people can use so I'm not able to ensure that someone won't logon somewhere with a conflicting IP...
    Someone pulling a cable or a switch going down is not an acceptible reason for the club lighting to stop working!

    This is why I need to solve potential problems before they occur at a crucial time...

    Regards,
    Craig
  • ryanwilkinsonryanwilkinson Registered User
    edited February 2009
    If you go into the control panel and the networking tab, if you select that adapter in the drop-down hit apply it should use that.

    In this situation I think you need to start thinking about using VLANs with managed switches. Put all your other computers on another VLAN so there is not a way for any of this to conflict. Are the same machines that you use to run Hog 3pc needing to get media stuff? I would not recommend this. I would use a dedicated computer for only the lighting console itself and use another for whatever else you needed.

    I understand this is not how the previous version works as they had to re-do a lot of stuff for the version 3. I personally find it to be much better.

    And for the record, if someone disconnects or a switch fails, you can use the pig+open+backspace to re-start the show server. It will only take seconds to get it back up and communicating.

    Ryan
  • DrEadDrEad Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Hi Ryan,
    The Hog3PC's are dedicated for lighting console...
    I hadn't needed to look into changing network infrastructure before as the system was working properly and did everything I needed... I only use the network for updating windows, hog3pc and antivirus software and show backup on my server.

    The big issue with the network going down, for whatever reason, is that it stops the super widget from working and only a hog3PC software shutdown, widget power cycling and restart of the software gets it working again. pig-open-backspace only shows desktop not responding, which I can restart but it does not get the widget working... I am going to investigate a bit more today if there is other solutions.

    I also think v3.0 is better!
    I am hoping I can configure it to use the loopback adaptor again, because that is a good work around for our systems!

    Craig
  • ryanwilkinsonryanwilkinson Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I am able to change it on my tablet just fine. Make sure on your loopback driver you have some IP address assigned something other then what your network scheme and the default 127.0.0.1 so do like 10.10.0.1 or something. This doesn't require the loopback to attempt to get a dhcp address and keeps it visibly different from the other adapters so you can see what it is. Now when you open 3pc, don't load your show yet. In the Wholehog start window, click control panel near the bottom of the window and go to the network tab. Select the loopback adapter in the Hognet Adapter drop down and select apply and then ok at the bottom. You should notice in the IP address changed in the WholeHog window (says wholehog control system, version and the bottom will say the ip/mac address). It should now display the ip address of the loopback adapter.

    I am doing this with version 3.0.1.
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