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We realize that we have a few customers who bought one of our controllers with the intention of learning how to program it and now find themselves staring at a looming Halloween season and are beginning to get nervous; well, we have something that may help.

We have found Vixen (www.vixenlights.com) to be a really cool controller for lights, servos, etc., and now we've worked with its creator, KC Oaks, to create a Vixen add-in for Prop-1 and Prop-2 programming.

Now... the kind of programming one can do via Vixen is limited to simple sequences; six channels on the Prop-1 and 14 on the Prop-2. The program that gets generated (that you can look at and, perhaps learn from) assumes that the sequence will be triggered (you set the activation level) and there is one pin available for starting audio if you want that. For the time being, any audio starting happens immediately after triggering. The add-in lets you select our AP-8, a contact-closure type device (e.g., Cowlacious audio boards), or no audio device at all.

The add-in panel lets you name the program and even launch it right into the Parallax BASIC Stamp editor (the tool used for programming the Prop-1 and Prop-2). From that point you simply connect your controller and click on the run button.

The length of your sequence is determined by its complexity; the way we store events uses a simple [RLE] compression scheme to squeeze as much program into the prop controller as possible; sequences that have lots of column-to-column changes will take more space.

We don't present this as the answer to everything, but think that it will help with many projects -- if nothing else, just to get you going with your Prop-1 or Prop-2 before the September panic sets in.

Details about getting started can be found at this link:

http://www.efx-tek.com/php/smf/index.php?topic=140.0
 
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