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Strand 550i Control of PowerPoiint


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Hello all


I am hoping someone from the forum can help me out with my problem/situation.


I am exploring the idea of having a power point slide show running on mac os x be triggered from a strand 550i via midi.


Here is what I have


550i outputting (don't have the exact note/velocity etc...but it is confirmed to be outputting) midi to usb/midi 1x1 by m-audio to mac os x bome midi translator software mapped to emulate a (Spacebar push) to trigger the powerpoint slide(s) in the show.


I have confirmed the note outputted via the console in this case submaster 1 bump button press and release. Lets say for arguments sake because I don't have it in front of me the midi output is (B0 10 01 B0 10 06). The Bome software does indeed work and trigger the powerpoint when the bump button is pressed.


My problem is to make this happen in a cue stack I would have to trigger bump button 1 via internal commands in the cue stack of the lighting console. This internal cue stack is not recognized or outputted via the midi code, the code that actually outputs is the code related to pressing the x1 fader GO button. The same code is exported from the lighting console for the cue stack no matter what the internal cue commands or process is.


I made a macro in the lighting console to emulate the pressing of the #1 submaster bump button and had put into the cue to execute the macro and everything execute properly in the lighting console, but the midi output only sends the note for the x1 fader GO.


I am seeing that the MIDI output is correlated to the physical push of a button of the lighting desk and not so much the internal routine or result of the button.


My question is does anyone know of a remedy for this. I mostly deal with MSC and not straight midi commands/strings. To further the situation the 550i only allows msc output/input to be associated with x1 fader.


I was hoping to output a msc FIRE command but and not having any luck doing so.


I am thinking this is more of a question for Strand personal but this list always seems to help people out.



Dennis Moore

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Have you thought about using 'ASCII Remote Control Output' instead of MIDI- you would be able to tailor the output string to whatever you wanted, all you would need is a USB to serial adapter for the Mac (or a PC/laptop with serial port), and a bit of software to listen on the computer and send a command to powerpoint. (Which I could probably help you with!)



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I have been tinkering with this all day on a 300 series the ascii command output and can't get the mac to see any of it.


ACSII Remote Control output set to com1 (9pin serial) to usb/serial converter and serial monitor software and nothing pops into the window on the mac serial monitor to acknowledge the 300 is outputting the ascii commands.


I am curios to know if the com1 port on the back of the 300 (pc box) is not the correct port. Should I be using the 6pin XLR aux port as the rs232 output?


In the console setup window there is a statement at the end of the line that states aux2 is the rs232 port. I am curios to know if I must make a turn around cable that would go from the aux (6pin XLR) output to the usb/serial interface (9pin d-sub) and if this is the case where to find the pin outs so that I may make the cable.


Thats what I was hoping with the usb/serial output, to write an applescript that listens for the acii command then riggers the powerpoint.





Have you thought about using 'ASCII Remote Control Output' instead of MIDI- you would be able to tailor the output string to whatever you wanted, all you would need is a USB to serial adapter for the Mac (or a PC/laptop with serial port), and a bit of software to listen on the computer and send a command to powerpoint. (Which I could probably help you with!)



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I'm just having a play myself Dennis, and something funny seems to be going on...


You are correct to be using the COM1 port for your purposes, the bit of text saying:





is, AFAIK, just a reminder that if you want to get RS232 out of an AUX port (for example, AUX 1), you would set a port to 2AUX1, whereas if you wanted to get RS485 out of aux1, you would set it to 4AUX1


I've just set up a console to Mac here, and seem to be having the same problem of not getting any ASCII through, but when I swap the null-modem cable (you are using a null-modem cable?) from the console into a PC I do get something through on the mac.


A null-modem cable for these purposes should be wired as follows:

Pin 2-Pin 3

Pin 3-Pin 2

Pin 5-Pin 5


I'll let you know if I find out what the problem is!




A concurrent post has been merged:


Right- Turns out I was making a silly mistake on the console end. I've got ASCII coming through to my mac.


What are you using to listen for incoming commands on the Mac?


The settings I have on the console are as follows:


Macro Trigger Output: ON

Net Node: Local

Port: COM1

Baud: 9K6

Config: 8-N-1

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Ok so my home made null modem cable had a bad solder connection, I guess sitting on the shelf for some time ruined it. Anyway this is what I got.


Using the ACSII Remote Go Out >$1A (x1 Fader Go for Cue 1)


using the macro !ascii out... worked.


I used Serial Tools (http://homepage.mac.com/chen/w7ay/Serial%20Tools/index.html) to monitor the info and am hoping to create an applescript using some of these plugins from Serial Port X (http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenuoqe/MacSoft.html) to accomplish the Go (space bar push) in a power point slide show to advance the slides.



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Glad to hear you're sorted Dennis.


I think this sounds like a useful thing to be able to do, so when I get a chance I may whizz up an application that can sit between the port and PowerPoint, and map commands accordingly. Let me know if you have any problems with your current plan and I'll see if I can do something sooner rather than later!



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  • 4 weeks later...

Just to update this topic a little, I ended up writing a piece of software for Dennis that could accept ASCII commands in, and trigger PowerPoint in a variety of different ways. I've called the program 'TriggerPoint'.


I have now gone a step further and added the ability to control it via Telnet, so programs such as QLab can now control it (via applescript). I'll soon be adding a 'remote control' node as well.


There's a free version, and a pro version available from my website.

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Update on TriggerPoint


So the show is closing this week and thanks to Ian's triggerpoint software it went 100 times easier during the second half run of the show.


Ian's software was a blessing. After getting accustomed to running multi tasked shows lately utilizing QLab, going back to the dinosaur days of pressing two different "Go" buttons to trigger the lighting cue stack and the powerpoint slides was getting to me.


After a brief but unsuccessful run at accomplishing this task via midi, the limitations of the Strand 300 series software pointed the project in the serial control direction. After posting on this forum I received an almost immediate response from the group and Ian.


He whipped up a beta version overnight, emailed it to me and away we went.


This week the show is closing and we are approaching the 40th performance utilizing the software without a glitch, crash or missed powerpoint slide. This little but powerful piece of software is a must have in my opinion. Well worth the $$. Besides how can you beat the customer service/product support for this application, Ian whipped it up overnight and emailed it to the next morning.


Thanks again.


Dennis Moore Jr.

Asst. Production Electrician

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Philadelphia, PA 19102

IATSE Local 8 (Philadelphia, PA)

ETCP Entertainment Electrician (#488)

ETCP Arena Rigger (#1137)

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