Load to all servers via CMA

Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
edited February 2007 in DL.3/DL.2
It would save LOADS of time we could have the ability to load custom content files and folders to ALL units on the network instead of one at a time via CMA. Also we need the ability to autoset the DMX for the files and folders in this manner as well.

I have had mixed results with Cloning content.:( If there is a lot of custom content used this becomes impractical when adding just a few files or folders because the system wants to overwrite all the existing custom content while cloning This can take quite a long time with many fixtures on the network combined with a large ammount of custom content.:aiwebs_007:


  • cormacjackcormacjack Registered User, DL Beta
    edited February 2007
    Hi Marty,
    when you say "mixed results with cloning content" can you explain.
    I've been testing the CMA with axon and it's really hit and miss for me if axon finds the CMA from my laptop,a mixture of switching off the the network connection,making sure the laptop is connected when axon boot's and really trial and error until it connects.
    just my thoughts
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited February 2007
    that seems wierd, marty.

    For any of my uploading, i make one fixture my master fixture, then when i upload via CMA, i always look for that fixture. when i clone, you can see what files it copies over. i usually only see the recently added files. when doing this.
  • schiefelsschiefels Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited February 2007

    Both of the things you mentioned have been discussed and already logged into our database here at High End. The ability to load multiple fixtures at the same time is logged as request #5915 and the global setting of DMX addresses is logged as #6701.

    As far as your issues with cloning, when you are adding additional files and so forth before the clone, are you adding things on to the end of your content, or inserting files into folders that are already there? I need to do some double checking, but I believe if you are adding things onto the end, it should leave the content that is already there and just add the additional ones. Inserting files into the middle will cause the wipe and re-clone.
  • nathanfoytnathanfoyt Registered User, HES Staff
    edited February 2007
    Marty, can you elaborate a bit? The intent with cloning content was to copy all content from fixture A to fixture B. Files on fixture B which are named the same as files on fixture A will not be copied from fixture A to fixture B. The idea is that you can deploy some content to fixture A then clone content from fixture A to fixture B. Now fixture B should have the same content as fixture A. If you then add more content to fixture A then clone content from fixture A to fixture B only the files you added to fixture A will be cloned to fixture B. This is only true if you are adding content to fixture A if you move content around or rename it on fixture A it will be deleted from fixture B and copied to fixture B again. It sounds like you may have found a bug where content is unecessarily getting deleted from fixture B? I understand your frustration the cloning feature is far from fast.

    Cormac, can you elaborate a bit on your network setup as well? Are you using a router, or a switch, or a crossover cable? Do you have a DHCP server in your network or are you using Auto-IP? What is the network setup like on your laptop? Does it have wireless and a wired connection? Which version CMA/Axon are you using? Hopefully for both the stand alone CMA and the Axon. The CMA discovers fixtures not the other way around. In order for the CMA to discover fixtures the CMA must be on the same IP network as the fixtures. A good test is if you can ping the Axon from your laptop the CMA should be able to discover the Axon.
  • daraagdaraag Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Hi there
    Yesterday I was having the exact same results as Cormac except I had 2 dl2's. the only way I could get them to connect was for them to go directly to the Macbook via ethernet cable one at a time and in order for them to connect I had to restart the dl2's connect the network then disconnect and reconnect for them to talk to each other. I also switched my airport off. The cma seems a bit flimsy, when I did get them to communicate it worked a treat though.
  • cormacjackcormacjack Registered User, DL Beta
    edited February 2007
    Hi Nathan,
    thanks for the quick reply.
    I don't have a network so to speak,i've just been testing axon and an IPC for a while So i have an axon most current software build and the same for CMA(i already had the different software build problem).
    Axon,connected devices KVM Monitor/keyboard/mouse.
    If i directly connect my laptop to the axon using CMA without a router i guess it's 50/50 if it finds the axon.
    All Norton/firewall/anti-virus/Wireless disabled.
    As Dara said once it's up and connected it is good.

    if you have HogIII pc application running on the same machine i've had issues and i'm sure that's something to do with the loopback adaptor.

    Not sure if it's logged may,but the fact that the external screen resolution on axon won't hold or dosen't apply after startup.

    Cheers and thanks
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited February 2007
    On my cloning issues. I've had problems where the network will lock up when doing large clones, as well as "incomplete" clones. "Error communicating with server" will pop up after a while, but sometimes it locks my PC up entirely and I have to restart windows before CMA will behave properly again.

    Also (I know this is known to you guys already, but...) Creating Content Archives never work correctly with large ammounts of custom content. I haven't been able to nail down the exact size where it starts creating probelms, but it seems to be somewhere between 1.5 and 2 GB total (sum of all files in custom folders)

    I mention this only because deploying a content archive seems to work a bit faster than cloning when I can get it to work.

    Hey Cormac....just a thought, but are you using a cross-over Cat5 cable to connect your PC to the Axon. A straight cable shouldn't work without a switch or hub in place.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Glad you have this logged already for improvement BTW!!

    Keep up all the awesome work!:headbang:
  • nathanfoytnathanfoyt Registered User, HES Staff
    edited February 2007
    We may want to start a new thread for connection issues I didn't mean to hijack Marty's content enhancement thread.

    The IP networking cases involved with the Axon/DL.2 is actually pretty complicated I will explain it as best I can. If you boot a fixture without a network cable plugged in the network adapter will be in a limbo state. It is basically waiting for a network cable to be plugged in. In this case on an Axon if you launch the CMA on the Axon you should see the “Client IP” in the lower right corner showing On the DL.2 this is located on the Info->Version tab under the IP Address field. Pretty soon after booting the fixture will obtain an IP address in the range 169.254.X.X. This address range is what is known as Auto IP. This is a networking scheme that most operating systems can put themselves into if they are setup to receive DHCP addresses but cannot contact a DHCP server. Without a network cable plugged in the Auto IP address is assigned fairly quickly usually within a few seconds you may not be able to catch it in the state. If you plug in a crossover cable and a laptop when the fixture is in this state you need to be sure that your laptop’s network adapter get’s an IP address in this same address range. On a laptop running Windows you can open a command prompt (CMD) “start->run” then type cmd and run the Windows command “ipconfig”. If you have multiple Ethernet adapters listed in the output you will need to disable one in Windows->Control Panel->Network Connections (I’ll discuss multiple adapters later). If the ipconfig command shows you an IP address that is not in the Auto IP range try to release and then renew the network adapter using “ipconfig /release” followed by “ipconfig /renew” then run “ipconfig” again. When you run “ipconfig” the last time the network adapter’s IP address should be in the Auto IP range (169.254.X.X). If you don’t do all of this on the laptop it will figure out that it is plugged into an Auto IP network but it may take quite a while to assign itself an IP address in the Auto IP range. 1 or 2 minutes is not uncommon. You may find that you are causing yourself more pain than necessary by shutting down and starting up the fixture a lot. Once you have verified that the laptop and fixture have an acceptable IP address you should be able to start the CMA and have the CMA discover the fixture your laptop is connected to. This won’t be instantaneous. It may take 20 or 30 seconds for the fixture to show up in the all servers list in the CMA. It is usually pretty fast but don’t be surprised if the fixtures don’t show up as soon as you launch the CMA. If it takes longer than 30 seconds something else is probably wrong. If you are connecting a laptop directly to a fixture make sure to use a crossover cable. Some newer PCs have Ethernet adapters that can auto sense and correct for not having a crossover cable but it is not something to count on.

    If your fixtures are connected to an Ethernet switch when you boot them they go through logic similar to what I described above except it may take longer. In this case you may actually be able to see the fixtures in the state. The reason for this is due to the fixtures attempting to make sure they don’t assign themselves the same IP address in the Auto IP range as another fixture connected to the switch. The CMA will not discover fixtures when they are in the state. Just like I described above make sure the fixtures have an IP address in the 169.254.X.X range. If you then plug your laptop into a port on the switch you will need to go through the method I described above to ensure that the laptop has a valid IP address in the Auto IP range. With that said there is nothing wrong with just plugging your laptop into the switch and firing up the CMA it just may take a lot longer than you expect for the CMA to discover the fixtures. If you are using a switch it is important to understand that not all Ethernet switches are created equally. A CMA will discover an Axon or DL.2 by seeing certain multicast packets sent by the fixture. If the multicast packets don’t reach the CMA the fixture will never show up in the CMA. Some switches have trouble with the concept of aggregating these multicast packets across its physical network ports (usually known as IGMP snooping). I’ve used the normal switches available at retail electronics stores from manufactures like Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, etc. without a problem. But keep in mind that if you are having an impossible time getting things to work it could be the switch. It could also easily be poor network cabling.

    If a router is used instead of a switch and the router is configured to hand out DHCP addresses the issues with IP addresses from the above two cases will be simplified. Routers however are not trivial to configure.

    On laptops with multiple network adapters it is currently necessary to disable the network adapters which are not being used to connect to fixtures in order for the CMA to discover the fixtures. If for example a laptop has a wireless network adapter and a wired network adapter and the wired adapter is connected to the fixture it is necessary to disable the wireless adapter in Windows Control Panel. In this scenario the CMA can incorrectly use the wireless adapter and never look for the multicast traffic from the fixtures on the wired adapter. This will be fixed soon but for the time being it is necessary to disable the other adapters. The adapters should be disabled before the CMA is launched. Some laptops come with blue tooth and fire wire adapters that may need to be disabled as well. If it shows up in “Network Connections” in Windows Control Panel and it is not the adapter used to connect to the fixture it probably needs to be disabled. You should probably enable it once you are done with the CMA. As Cormac mentioned he had an issue with the loopback adapter that is necessary for Hog 3PC.

    It is no doubt frustrating to have these connection issues but we try to make the best trade offs for flexibility and usability that we can and as always we are improving usability with each release.
  • cormacjackcormacjack Registered User, DL Beta
    edited February 2007
    Hi Nathan,
    thanks for your detailed reply.
    Can we add this information to the axon manual as i think it would be very helpful from the outset for users to have a little more of the information that you've just posted? just a thought.

    thanks C
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