Tip Of The Day #061
Tip Of The Day #061
While we offer several ways to specify start channels and they all work just fine in my view a combination of the #universe:startchannel, >priormodelname:1 and output:startchannel methods are the most resilient in the face of change.
So at the risk of starting a flame war here are the principles I use for start channel numbering and the prerequisite rules for setup tab population.
1. Every e1.31 output is given a unique universe number … there are 64,000 of them … you don’t need to reuse them.
2. I start each controllers first universe on a nice round number like 100, 200, 300 … but I only create the number of universes I actually need for the models on that controller. Following this method you can easily add or remove them later.
3. I always place outputs which don’t support universe number at the top of the list … USB outputs, DDP outputs, and NULL outputs
4. For models which are on one of the outputs that don’t use universe numbers I use the output:startchannel and >priormodelname:1 start channel formats. The latter I use when a model is electrically chained to the end of a prior model.
5. For models which are on controllers that support universe numbers and are the first model on a controller port I use the #universe:1 start channel format. The first model is always on channel 1 of a universe and because the universe numbers are unique I never select the ip address. This may waste a small amount of space on the prior universe but generally this is not a big deal.
6. For models which are electrically chained to the end of models covered by item 5 I use the >priormodelname:1 start channel format which guarantees the model always follows the previous model.
This approach makes it as simple as possible to do things like add universes later, move models between controllers, add pixels to the end of an existing model … without forcing you to make cascading changes to all your subsequent models.
Now I know there are workarounds like leaving space etc etc and if that works for you, great … but for a new user this approach will see you right in the vast majority of situations.
There are however a few situations where this can break down. The most common is on some lower end controllers which have limitations on the universes that can be received which forces you to pixel pack your models into as few universes as possible. If this is you … well it sucks to be you … but don’t use this as an excuse to pixel pack everywhere when you don’t need to.