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My new toy

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Thomas Leong
My new toy
on Apr 19, 2010 at 6:12:54 pm

Genovation Control Pad 681, a 35-key programmable pad with RS-232 output. Shipping via UPS costs almost 3/4 of the unit's purchase price!! Hope it all works ok.

An alternative was to use my Contour Shuttle Pro which I've tried successfully, but thought I'd splash on a proper-looking 'Control Panel'. (I'll never be a rich man!)

Intend to use it as a push-button remote control panel to send RS-232 command strings to trigger off various timelines (one a time) that will feed 3 projectors from AvStumpfl's Wings Platinum Multi-display version...making it work like a manually triggered cue-list even though Wings Platinum is essentially a time-line based software. I've got this project from a live-theatre company to trigger a 3-screen projection as backdrop for their musical play. 35 shows over a month+, so thought it would be safer to push physical buttons than mouse-clicking during showtime in their darkened theatre.

ThomasLeong



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Andy Stinton
Re: My new toy
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:49:46 pm

Let us know how it works out.

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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Thomas Leong
Re: My new toy
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:31:30 pm

Works as advertised!

Initially had some programming problems getting the correct RS-232 command string out of the Genovation 681 Controlpad. Thought it was my Wings Platinum software, but it was me all along. After a simple email for help from Mike at Genovation and following his basic analysis of what I intended to achieve, the RS-232 signal was fine and Wings accepted the signal as valid and executed the commands.

Example:
Basically, I had a hex command string such as -
0xFF 0x03 0x05 0xFE
to program into a Controlpad key, where the '0x' signifies hexcode, much like 'h' after a hexcode.
Apparently, I had to drop it/leave it out and just type in the hex code -
FF[Enter]03[Enter]05[Enter]FE[Enter]
without the spaces to get the string right.
The Genovation Controlpad assumes the '0x' is present, and so does my application Wings Platinum. But the Help files and examples in Wings do not say so!

Seems so basic, but I suppose it is one thing to put onto paper/help files, and another to explain in idiot-proof detail (such as "ignore the spaces"). That took 10 hours of my time to 'get it right'.

But all's well, so now I can program 30 timelines (each representing a scene change) into Wings Platinum, and call each up on cue with a key/trigger, and have 5 keys left for housekeeping such as 'Black-out all 3 screens', 'Black-out Centre only', 'Black-out L+R only', 'Over-ride Black-out'.

Looking at the Genovation 681 Controlpad, it seems a very simple plastic device for US$159 (with shipping costs almost as much, therefore a bit expensive!). But I suppose to get a device to output user programmable RS-232 with a key-press, one has to pay extra. I previously bought a factory-programmed RS-232 motion sensor for 60Euros, so being user programmable I hope this device gets me more theatre projects without purchasing again. And that would make it worth the price.



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Walter Soyka
Re: My new toy
on Apr 29, 2010 at 5:41:41 pm

Thomas, this sounds great. Thanks for posting back with the details!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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