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I am new to this form, but not that new to elation products. I have been using Design Spot 250s for 3 years or so, and one forms of compu software for about 7 years, starting back on the 02 software. I then used the 04 software for many years, then 06, and now the current Compu Live.

I use a mac book with 2ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4gb ram. I run parallels 3 with windows XP Pro, windows seeing 2gb of ram. I have been running this system for 2-3 years.


1. The problem I run into is with the software and usb sync. I will plug in usb dongle, and then open software. On dongle there will be green light blinking fast telling me it is getting data feed from software once open and running. Normally, not more than 5 minutes later, the green light on the dongle stops blinking, and the lights linked to dongle no longer respond to any new commands. Try to close program, no response, end program task. Restart windows, and start all over again. On a good night I can get 30-40 minutes out of it before loosing this connection, normally the less number of fixtures the longer it will run. Please keep in mind this is happening during parties, productions, and other events. Each time we have to restart we loose around 5 minutes of control during one of these shows and it is causing us problems with our clients. Even when we do switch over to a backup board, you still loose the data that was going to the lights, they all blackout temporally, and then jump to whatever the new board says to do, being very noticeable and undesirable. Please help me understand why the usb dongle is loosing the software command feed?

2. This problem is a new on that I experienced on a major production a couple weeks ago, and since this problem we have not used a laptop based controller on any shows because of the problems caused.

Running software as normal, had it running about 20 minutes, after one restart from problem mentioned above. After getting 4-5 scenes programed, I am running back through the scenes, the entire compu window closes, and I am back to just windows, all lights freeze with last command. I am thinking, ok, quick restart like normal, and everything will be fine...boy was I wrong. I open up controller for the first time, and everything is wrong:
- Opening window of software was sunlite or something like that, no longer the elation window of normal when program boots up.
-No more compression of buttons
-It is in French, with no English option
-I cant change any parameter, adjust anything on the pages
-Compu says every page of fixtures is channels 1-100, not what they really were
- Anything I just programed is not remembered
- Some buttons work, most wont do anything
- Any fixture with channels set above 100 I have now lost control of.

This is 5 minutes before the grand entrance at a major party.

I restart the program, nothing. I restart windows and open the program, still the same crashed french version. I restart the program 8 more times, still always opening as sunlite, not elation, in french. By now, I have missed the cues for grand opening, and first 15 or so minutes of event.

For whatever reason, after the next restart, the program opens as elation, but we are still in french. I still can not adjust page parameters, If I load the show I just saved it does not remember changes, The only thing that is back to normal is the fixture channels are back to where they should be, and I can adjust the lights again. This means programing as nobody notices the the scenes I had lost, during the party as I needed them.

I have included some screen shots of where I got with the last restart, for some reason I did not think to do that during the initial problems, oh thats right, I was trying to make my light show work with a dead controller. I tried to get software to revert back to before this crash and it never did. I finally updated software to your newest release, and now I have English again! And everything seems back to normal for how long? Except for loosing communication with usb as listed above in first problem.

What happened to me, and what will prevent this from happening again? How can I fix first problem listed, a if it can't be improved, I will be selling off our 3-4 elation systems as they are not currently reliable and we are not using them.
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Hey James

Sorry in delay...weekend, and never ending something or other...

I have no idea what the version was, as right before making this post I updated it. I have some crash reports in the 2006 folder on c drive, would that contain info? I would say that it had not been updated 6 month to a year.

Here are usb dongles:

Both Blue usb box
Model: Compu Club 04
S/N: 4805495, 3306479

I also have an older grey dmx box that originally came with 02 software, but can't get that o sync with newer software, so it never gets used.

So at the show Sat night I setup my laptop as backup to the board. I ran all main parts from board, then in between main events I would unplug dmx from board and use laptop. It booted fine with new version, and I did not loose signal between software and usb. One main difference though between this past Saturday and a few weeks ago with all the problems are:

1. I was running 3 pages vs. 10 of separate fixtures.
2. Running 180 dmx channel vs almost 400. I feel this should not matter...

So the controller did run all night without dropping signal, but I did run into a new problem. When trying to restrict the area of movement for some of the moving heads, it would not affect the heads. What I mean is you have the box, and in mouse mode, you hit shift and the light should move to that point, but lights would not move. If I changed size of box, they would not move. Hit ok, close window, and the new box size would effect the lights, but when trying to edit it, it would not. So I had no way to set my limits.

Still scarred to put a bunch of fixture pages and channels on it and see if it wont crash... please also advise about the new encountered problem.
Hey glad to hear back from you. yes end me any crash reports from the sl2006 folder. those help out a great deal to our developers.

I highly suggest you group all like fixtures on one fixture page. Say in stead of 8 ds250 pages one ds250 page with 8 fixtures. This could have been why you were having problems.

Another thing is the more dmx channels you have the higher the resource it takes out of your cpu cycles. so make sure you have plenty of RAM on the machine running compu live.

When restricting pan and tilt you have to do each individual fixture. so how ever many heads you want to limit you have to do it over again per fixture. Make sense? Your issue with this i have never heard of before. I tried to replicate it on my end but no luck.

Let me know if i have helped at all. Also try adding more pages but make sure they are not for individual fixtures unless your fixture count for that fixture is low.
I experienced multiple crashes yesterday while running a show. We use the Compu Live software in a church. Currently we are using it to run color wash LED strips, and elipsoidal Source 4 Juniors.

During our first assembly, the software seemed to lose contact with the dongle (one of the green lights went out), and the only fix was to do a hard reset (unplug/replug) the USB dongle. This resulted in the all the lights going off then coming back up to the whatever scenes were active.

In the second morning assembly the software would crash and we would lose control of the elipsoidal fixtures but not the LED washes, as long as I did not agree to send the crash log right away (which would shut down the program). I am not sure if you got the crash log or not, if not I can send them to you.

I have a few questions:
1. Have you encountered this type of problem before?
2. After we have a show programed, can we transfer the settings to another computer so we can have a back up ready to go?

Thanks for your help!

Marc Kondrup
Golf Course Road Church of Christ
Please email me any crash reports you may have. jamesk At Elation lighting DOT COM.

I personally have not encountered this before but,I'm sure a few other users have. Tell me your computer's specs and the compu software version date please.

Yes after you are donw programming all you simply need to do is put the your show file (.SSh) onto a flash drive or even email it to your self. You know how to save show files correct?
Hello Again,

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you, the little down time I have had the last few weeks has gone to sleep and home...It has been non-stop on my end which has been great. I have some answers to questions you asked, a few new questions, and we will see from there. I have been able to use the compu some more with less problems, but more on that. I will email you crash reports after this post.

For my fixture pages, everything is grouped in like lights, I have my design spot page with 12 design spot 250, martin wizard page with 2 units, led par cans with 2 units. These are my normal pages, little problems with this. Sometimes I will add another page or two for a dimmer, or extra led or color kinetic, ect.

On the night of all the crashing, I had 6 pages each for a dimmer in different locations in a room, page for color kinetics, and one other for something, so something like 9-10 pages.

As for pan/tilt restriction. This is something I have done a lot of over the years, just a new problem, let me try and explain it. I know you have to change the parameters for each light. I have 8 DSP250s I normally use for event shows. I will normally restrict x movement 180 degrees, so lights can only shine in front of their location. For dance floor lighting, no need for heads to be hitting wall behind them in these situations.

Here is the problem I am running into. Normally when in the window to change x/y parameters for area moving head can go to, you start with large square with dot in middle. As you change size of square, this affects where the light can go, with dot being center. Normally, as you change the box the light will react in real time. When I currently change the box, no light reaction. Normally if you are in mouse mode and go to one side of box, moving light will move to that extreme. When I use mouse mode and move dot around bod in window, lights do not move or react. However, if I change the size of the box, and hit ok, and windows close, even though the light does not react while changing, the new box size setting will affect the light, until changed to something new. I don't understand why when I try to change the x/y parameters in the window the light does not react as it show, where I am loosing the data link?

Marc- That sounds like what is happening to me...will work, then use dongle looses green light and communication, have to hard reset,a dn lights all loose info and blackout, or pop.

Hope we can figure this out...
Anthony i also wanted to mention that your mac set up is prob one of the worst for running compu live. There have always been problems with running parallels. It is not supported to run the software on a MAC. But if you do parallels is not the best way to do so at all. something about compu live just doesn't like that set up.
Have you just gotten this set up on your mac, and is that when the problems started? also is your screen saver and power saver disabled?

Marc. how old is your PC? Is it shut off once a day for at least an hour or so? Can you tell me some more specs about your PC? Also are your screen saver and power saver settings disabled?

Please let us know.
Hello...Back for a few minutes...

I have always had screen saver off and monitor power always on. This has not been a problem.

At the show I did Saturday, I was running 4 pages, each with 1-2 fixtures, mostly different led pages for different areas. I lost the signal between controller and usb 4 times through the night. The green light would go out, and I would have to restart the software to regain any control. This would blink or turn off all lights during process...and when you are hooked into the room uplighting leds, and they go off and you have a very dark room, not very good...Need to figure out why this will communicate for 5-40 minutes and anywhere in between, and then signal is lost.

This is after updating to must current software available.
I can try to find a pc to clone everything onto. It wont have near the amount of processing power my mac/pc has. I have used you software this way for so many years, not sure why so many problems now?

Since this wont work on my platform wanna trade compulive dongle for emulator? I can beta test that for you...

I am really trying to get away from a windows machine, but if I have to build another one, I would rather get one of those touch screen all in one units...

So I used my Mac setup over the weekend, and it was horrible, Elation would be up 5 minutes, and crash, or the green light would go out on dongle, and would need complete reset. I ended up just using the backup Magic 260 I had with me. Problem was it did not have enough channels for all the lights, so I could not change color of all LED cans, some were stuck on color when Cumpu Live quit.

Today I tried the setup on a normal Windows Laptop. 1.46ghz 512ram. It isn't the fastest, but it is all I could find at work to take for a test. The elation compu live sept 09 update is installed. The folder 2006 from my main machine is copied and pasted into new windows laptop over 2006 to basically clone my controller onto new machine.

On new machine had controller up and working properly for about 30 minutes, and green light goes out on dongle. I have tried both blue dongles, same results. The green light goes out, software locks up. When you hit X to close software, ask you, are you sure? Yes, nothing happens. Hit X again, nothing happens. After many more tries, and a few minutes, programs out of nowhere will jump close. If try to re open software, it wont open until windows restarts. This is on the new windows machine or my mac into windows. Both using windows XP pro.

So nothing gives, I can't keep this running stably to save my life. I am almost ready to just move onto Jands Vista for good and stop having head ache with this crashing software.
OK, let me jump in.

Issue 1: Emulation. No, not Elation's "Emulation" software, but rather emulating a PC on a Mac. Look, it SUCKS. Well, let me take it a step further: Emulating anything on anything else SUCKS. You know, you have BootCamp with your OS. I know you're not happy with Windows. But, why aren't you using Bootcamp and just having SUCCESS? It's one of those things where if you're going to insist on fighting, you're going to lose. Stop losing, start winning for a change. Take a day to install Bootcamp and XP Pro and be done with the whole issue. You can always boot to a Mac whenever you want to, but you do have to boot as a PC to use Compu Live apparently.

2: What the heck is a "normal" Windows laptop? Sorry, been working on computers for 30 years, and there ain't nothing normal about practically anything. But, we'll take your "normal" to mean an Intel or AMD processor based laptop that is NOT a Mac computer and was intended to run a Microsoft operating system on(despite the fact you can run Linux on it if you wanted to).

What is the status of the laptop? Current updates? What OS? All patches installed? Anti-virus software installed, updated, current and scanning daily?

Did you INSTALL Compu on the laptop or just drag the directory over? Yes, it can make a BIG difference.

Also, 512MB of RAM used to be massive, and now thanks to XP and Vista(and now Windows 7), it's small. Oh, how times have changed.

Look, the PC ain't the end-all, be-all platform. Neither is the Mac. I bought a 17" MacBook Pro and I am running MyDMX, not Compu on it. I run BootCamp and am using XP Home and I'm having no problems. No emulation. Straight up booting to XP Home and rocking and rolling. I hear ya. I bought this computer to handle ProTools, but at the time, it didn't run on Mac due to the OSX release and ProTools not getting along, so I installed bootcamp and XP Home and kept on rolling until Digidesign updated ProTools. Even so, now I run this macbook more as a PC than as a Mac mainly due to the higher amount of software investment I have on the PC side(Office, Sony Vegas Pro 9, PhotoShop CS3 Extended, loads of other goodies). It just works out better for me that way. Trust me, I know. The Mac version of ProTools runs CIRCLES around the PC version. And when you can use the same hardware for Mac and PC OS'es, you are doing an "Apples to Apples" comparison, for lack of a better term.

Please, stop fighting a losing battle. Suck it up and get BootCamp on there, boot as a PC and start having success again.

I don't have the funds for Compu or Emulation. Wish I did, I'd try it and get back to you. I'm willing to bet that your laptop is trashed or at least has something hosed up just due to everyday "user" behavior. Without knowing an excruciating amount of detail that I'm never going to get, I can't really help too much more.

It's not fair to bash a product when I'm willing to bet you're not providing an optimum environment on either platform for it to run on.

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