Licensing with FB3/SE, Quickshow and Beyond

Discussion in 'FB series of products' started by Koja, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Koja

    Koja Beta Tester

    Hi,

    I am slightly confused with the licensing. When I thought I understood everything, I always hit some posting in some forum that said the opposite.

    Maybe somebody (form Pangolin?) could just clarify a few things in simple words, I try to make it very simple questions.

    The Backgound: I have used the old Quickshow with 6 laser w/ built-in FB3/SE a few years ago. There is a new show (running for a few weeks in each venue) coming up in 3 months and I want to buy Beyond to have the flexibility for the programming and then put everything on the FB3s (looks like 5 FB3s) to trigger it via DMX to keep running the show as simple as possible for the guys at the venues.

    my questions (some related to this project, some are just general)

    - If I rent a few lasers with built-in FB3s, can I just download QS2 and use it or do I need anything like license keys or online activation, are there "old" FB3s that don't work with QS2 or are not licensed to do so? Basically: is there anything to look after or is FB3=FB3=QS2 in all cases?

    - When I buy Beyond with a FB3, will the license be bound to that FB3? So that will be my "dongle"? Or is it bound to the PC and do I need to "reactivate" it when I want to use another PC (i.e. laptop vs. PC in the office)?

    - Once I have a Beyond license, I can use a bunch of FB3s to output to multiple lasers - no matter what software these other FB3s were bought with, correct?

    - when I used FB3s a few years ago, I used a USB-over-Cat5-Extender-Cables with 30 or 40 meters of ethernet cable to use my laptop at FOH to do the programming. That worked perfectly. Do other people use these adapters? Does anybody see problems using 5 of them at a time with 5 FB3s?

    - It looks like at least 2 of the lasers to be used will only have ILDA and no FB3, so I'd just buy 2 FB3s for them. But when I buy the external FB3 boxes, there's no way to run them via DMX (expect I put a laptop with an enttec interface next to it), and the FB3-SE doesn't have a housing? So what would be the way to do it? I saw some company offering external boxes with DMX connectors for the FB3-SE, is that the way to go?

    Thanks.
    Koja
     
  2. Koja

    Koja Beta Tester

    Oh, and I forgot something:
    I've had an extensive presentation of Beyond in Frankfurt 4 weeks ago and I am playing around with the Quickshow demo at the moment: I can't find a way to make a timeline show or target show a series of frames. Is this possible with the full version?
    What I want to do: use Quickshow or Beyond to make my shows using the timeline and, at the very end, make it a real sequence of frames so I can copy it on the FB3 in the laser and trigger it via DMX without the need of a computer?
     
  3. Koja

    Koja Beta Tester

    Can anybody help me with at least some of these questions?
    I'd actually like to order Beyond this week, it's just these few topics I need to know more about before I eventually place my order...
     
  4. Koja

    Koja Beta Tester

    oh, just found that export-function in the File-menu. I always looked for it when right-clicking a cue. sorry.
     
  5. Aaron@Pangolin

    [email protected] Staff Member

    My responses are in SeaGreen... :D

    - If I rent a few lasers with built-in FB3s, can I just download QS2 and use it or do I need anything like license keys or online activation, are there "old" FB3s that don't work with QS2 or are not licensed to do so? Basically: is there anything to look after or is FB3=FB3=QS2 in all cases?


    Old FB3s will work with QuickShow; you should only have to download and install QS to run it with older FB3s. You might have to do a firmware update but that is automated when you open QS the first time or when it sees a FB3 that needs a firmware update.

    - When I buy Beyond with a FB3, will the license be bound to that FB3? So that will be my "dongle"? Or is it bound to the PC and do I need to "reactivate" it when I want to use another PC (i.e. laptop vs. PC in the office)?

    The license is tied to the Controller Hardware, FBG3 or QM2000; if you want to use it on another computer you copy the license file over to the next computer. You will have to run BEYOND with the licensed hardware controller connected to the computer once before you can run it without the hardware controller connected to the computer.

    - Once I have a Beyond license, I can use a bunch of FB3s to output to multiple lasers - no matter what software these other FB3s were bought with, correct?

    This is one I want to look into a bit more as this has not been nailed down 100%. Currently you can run as many FB3sas you want, no matter what software you bought them with, with one FB3 (or QM2000) licensed for BEYOND; there is talk of limiting the number of FB3-QS/SEs that can be used as "slaves" based on the level of BEYOND you have. I am not aware of the details of the discussion... :cool:

    - when I used FB3s a few years ago, I used a USB-over-Cat5-Extender-Cables with 30 or 40 meters of ethernet cable to use my laptop at FOH to do the programming. That worked perfectly. Do other people use these adapters? Does anybody see problems using 5 of them at a time with 5 FB3s?

    This is actually a surprise to me as we have not been able to find a USB/CAT 5 extender that would work nor has anyone provided us with a unit that would work. If you have one that works now, please let me know the model so we can test it some. :D

    - It looks like at least 2 of the lasers to be used will only have ILDA and no FB3, so I'd just buy 2 FB3s for them. But when I buy the external FB3 boxes, there's no way to run them via DMX (expect I put a laptop with an enttec interface next to it), and the FB3-SE doesn't have a housing? So what would be the way to do it? I saw some company offering external boxes with DMX connectors for the FB3-SE, is that the way to go?

    I must be honest and say I am not too famliar with running a show with multiple FB3-SEs over DMX; I prefer to run all the controllers from an application or with preprogrammed shows. It is my understanding that you load laser frames/cues onto the XD card and then access the frames on the cards with DMX signals. To me personally I can't picture how I would make a good show using that set up although I know many professional Laser Show Producers go that route; Lightwave International comes to mind almost immediatly so I know it is a proven route. I just can't picture how I would program a show that way; this is probably because I have not been able to set up a bunch of FB3-SEs with a nice DMX console to play around with. :eek: Having said that, if I were in your position I would get two FB3-SEs and find a way to make, or buy, an enclosure with DMX connectors like you found. The FB3-QSs will need to have an ENTTEC each (I think) and I am not sure you can get them to work the same way you can a FB3-SE because the FB3-QS does not have an SD card... To control a FB3-QS via DMX you have to have QuickShow open and the FB3-QS has to be connected to the computer running QS; I can picture you having to have two computers, one for each FB3-QS, to project different images from each FB3-QS.
     
  6. Koja

    Koja Beta Tester

    Thanks for the information so far, some more remarks from me below in blue:


    How can I get more information on this? And what are the limits that are being talked about (regarding Beyond Andvanced)? This a pretty important information for me when buying that software...


    uh? OK... I'll try to find out where exactly that adapter came from and what type/brand it was. but that might take some time. I remember we just took "some" adapter and it worked without trouble.


    This is a different approach: I Have a show that will run for at least a year in different venues. It will be programmed once and only be adjusted when moving to a new theatre every few weeks. Lighting, video, some audio and lasers will be triggered via the lighting console.
    When programming is done, we want everything to be as simple and stable as possible. And as there are many artists and a stage hand around the stage and just one guy at FOH controlling the stuff at the end, I need to get rid of everything that could cause trouble. So not a bunch of Laptops with DMX interfaces around the stage and such. I just want all lasers on separate power with an emergency button next to the lighting console and on the side of the stage where the stage hand usually is and everything else via DMX. I've had very good experience with the FB3-SE. Once the show programming is done I just want to export the parts of the show for each single laser as an LDS-File, load it in LiveQuick and copy it onto the lasers. Always the same location, so all lasers have "their" part of the show at the same spot. Trigger the first Cue on all lasers and they all do their part of the show. The lengths of these parts differ, between a few seconds and some minutes.

    Does it really sound weird to you? I think thats the logical approach to do it under such circumstances?!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  7. Aaron@Pangolin

    [email protected] Staff Member

     
  8. carlettodj

    carlettodj Active Member

  9. Aaron@Pangolin

    [email protected] Staff Member

    Yea, Rob makes some of the best "ILDA" toys; unfortunatly this is a ILDA to CAT5 adapter, not a USB to CAT5 adapter which is what Koja what speaking of. Technically this could work inplace of the USB to CAT5 adapter if you are not using a FB3-SE that is installed inside your laser projector.
     

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