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VSA and DMX using a BoC. Need help ASAP and that's no LOL!

2076 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Scary Jerry
I have finally bought everything I need to migrate away from the SSC-32 board for my Skeleton Quartet and switch over to DMX using VSA to program it all.

I thought I had it all ready to go. I bought all the BoC boards (5 of them), I downloaded the configuration software and configured each card for the specific DMX addresses for each device listed in my VSA program.

Each BoC board worked fine using the configuration software and I committed the configuration for each card to each BoC's flash memory.

Then I tried to run the cards using events defined in VSA. That's where it all falls apart. I was getting results from one card, but nothing from the other 4. I renumbered everything after noticing that some cards had overlapping addresses, even though they were on devices which weren't being used on one of the cards. I got rid of all those potential conflicts and re-addressed all the affected lined in my VSA program. I tried again.

This time, none of the cards did anything. No movement on any of the servos.

I did test each card, back when one of the cards was working, I flashed each card with that configuration and ran my program. Each card did work that way, so I know the cards are not faulty. It must be some setting or something in the way I have programmed them, but I just spent 5 hours troubleshooting and came up with dust.

If anyone out there has practical experience using BoC cards with VSA, Please chime in. I will be happy to fill you in on all the details and share the routine and configuration files so that some solution can be found. I am, of course, running out of time fast!

I am using VSA Hobbyist version.
I am using the EnTec Open interface.
I am using official DMX cabling.
My ports, addresses and device types are correct as best as I can tell.

Please help me if you can!

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I have experience with most of those components but not the BoC. I was using DMXorcist instead. So, I may not be all that helpful but hopefully you will get an answer from some of the other members that use that BoC card.

This is just basics here and you probably have it but do you have a DMX terminator at the end of the DMX chain?

Are you aware that some DMX devices are one address off of VSA thinks they should be? For some stupid reason, with some devices, you have to change the address one down. For example, for my DMX relay, the address on it is 1 but on VSA, had to use address 0. So, if your DMX device isn't working, try lowering the address you gave it on VSA by one. Had to do the same for a fog adapter address (its address is 50 but on VSA it is 49). Chauvet lights, on the other hand, is right on the money: address 32 on the dip switch and address 32 on the VSA program. Go figure!

Is the USB port on your computer powerful enough to drive anything you have plugged into it? Had a weak USB in the front of the computer and it got much better after plugging it in the back. You could also get a powered USB port.

Not sure if you saw this but here's a tut I made that goes A to Z about what I used. Perhaps it may trigger other trouble-shooting thoughts: http://www.halloweenforum.com/blogs/terra/834-integrated-haunt-control-using-dmx-vsa-tutorial.html
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Thanks. Yes I do know about the 1 address difference in VSA and I took that into account. I am using a DMX terminator as well. So far, I have only been trying one BoC card at a time, and the cards are all independently powered. Even though I am only using one card to test VSA, I still have the terminator hooked upThey do not get power from the USB. The only thing the USB powers is the EnTec Open interface. I know this is not a problem because it all works fine while I am using the BoC configuration software. Same EnTec interface, same cards, same power supply, same servos, same hookups. Turn off the Configuration software and run VSA and I get nothing.
I have attached a zip file containing the Configuration files for each of my 5 BoC Boards as well as my VSA routine so that you can see if I have made any errors which might cause the problems I am having. So far, I have not daisy-chained all of the 5 BoC boards together. Instead I am trying to get any one of them to work from the VSA routine before trying them all together.

I am using VSA Hobbyist. Should I be using a different version?

Any ideas?



I'm away from the computer that has my VSA program tonight. I'll try to look at it in the morning. In the meantime - hope someone with BoC experience will chime in. Perhaps do a search here on who has used it and PM them?
I spent another few hours on it today and spoke on the phone and through email with Jerry Jewel (A member here and owner of Skulltronix). He got me sorted out.

The trick is that I needed to add a track to VSA to turn on the PWM pulses on the BoC. By default, they are not passed to the servos unless you turn them on so that your servos aren't constantly engaged when they don't have to be. There's no real manual for this board, so that was something I never would have found on my own.

I got them all working by this afternoon.

Thank you Terra for giving it a go.
Double, nay... TRiple yay! Good news and yeah - I never, ever would have guessed that was the problem. Don't even understand half of what Jerry said ;)
Care to share that information, since I will be using the same board very soon?
I am happy to share that info. Time is short, right now, but I will do a tutorial for the whole thing as soon as I have the time.

In the meantime, I have most of it worked out, so if there's any specific questions you have for me, feel free to post them here or PM me.

Good to hear that you will do a tutorial. I am not going to use it for a bit, so I'll wait for your tutorial. If I have a need sooner, I'll ask via this thread. Thanks.
I am starting the tutorial.

Here it is:


I will be updating it regularly and answering questions there. Hope it helps someone.

I just found this post..... please call me directly for boc support. Best regards
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