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Thread: FB3's and USB hub connection problem

  1. #1
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    Default FB3's and USB hub connection problem

    I have StarTech ST4300 MINI USB hub with external power supply. All connected device is work perfectly (external HDD, Mouse, Camera, Printer..etc) but the FB3's dosent.
    When I connect two FB3 through USB Hub the Beyond is say, Bad connection and the software is slowing and forzen.


    Does anyone have an idea why they don't work via the FB3 USB hub?
    Last edited by whiteg; 11-25-2021 at 07:45.

  2. #2
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    Default pangolin is very fussy about usb.

    ive had numerous problems with fb3's and pangolin software. the fb3 is basically ok but the softeware really doesnt handle errores very well.unless you have a GOOD cable and a GOOD port , no corrosion no moisture, no interference NO HUB even if powerred its gonna be a pain. if we try and use a hub we see many many disconnects/reconnects no reason given just stops working. plugged directy into pc port its ok as long as cable is high quality. i dont know why they are so fussy the datas rates not that high neither is the timing . dont even bother complaining as youll just be told your equipment is not up to spec.and quickshiow
    all in all i wish we'd never gone with panglin but got beyond and 2 copies of quick show thats a resonable investment to just bin, but man am i tempted. Oh be wary upgrading fb3 firmware there IS NO WAY TO GO BACK, which i think is dangerous and old software versions will no longer run on the 'updated firmware so youre backups and second machines may be useless.

  3. #3
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    Now I know from other users use is "Startech USB Extender" because the FB3 can work only be expanded with it, But why, I don't know, but this is a reality.
    https://www.laserwebshop.com/en/usb-...030841559.html


    Quote Originally Posted by eboy View Post
    ive had numerous problems with fb3's and pangolin software. the fb3 is basically ok but the softeware really doesnt handle errores very well.unless you have a GOOD cable and a GOOD port , no corrosion no moisture, no interference NO HUB even if powerred its gonna be a pain. if we try and use a hub we see many many disconnects/reconnects no reason given just stops working. plugged directy into pc port its ok as long as cable is high quality. i dont know why they are so fussy the datas rates not that high neither is the timing . dont even bother complaining as youll just be told your equipment is not up to spec.and quickshiow
    all in all i wish we'd never gone with panglin but got beyond and 2 copies of quick show thats a resonable investment to just bin, but man am i tempted. Oh be wary upgrading fb3 firmware there IS NO WAY TO GO BACK, which i think is dangerous and old software versions will no longer run on the 'updated firmware so youre backups and second machines may be useless.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I think a lot of this has to do with safety. I'm pretty sure the software/fb3 connection is constantly monitored at a specific performance level because the last thing you want is to lose data and have a stray beam hit someone. I could be wrong but that is what I would wager. As a rule of thumb, I never operate any show devices from a USB hub. That includes my Midi controller and my Enttec DMX controller along with all laser hardware. Too many things in the chain that can break down. When selecting a motherboard for my show machine, I made sure it had ample USB ports.

    The other problem that I have seen is the proliferation of absolute garbage usb cables on Amazon and other sites. It's hard to find honest reviews and decent quality cables. Most of these are now just "good enough" bulk pack from China.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    I think a lot of this has to do with safety. I'm pretty sure the software/fb3 connection is constantly monitored at a specific performance level because the last thing you want is to lose data and have a stray beam hit someone. I could be wrong but that is what I would wager. As a rule of thumb, I never operate any show devices from a USB hub. That includes my Midi controller and my Enttec DMX controller along with all laser hardware. Too many things in the chain that can break down. When selecting a motherboard for my show machine, I made sure it had ample USB ports.

    The other problem that I have seen is the proliferation of absolute garbage usb cables on Amazon and other sites. It's hard to find honest reviews and decent quality cables. Most of these are now just "good enough" bulk pack from China.
    I use Startech USB cables, but they are basically never, or only rarely, unplugged from the FB3 connector so that it doesn't get damaged. (it was already replaced once at the Pangolin service).
    The startech USB extender is good product, but the price is the same as an additional FB3. There could also be a cheaper supported USB expansion device.
    FB4 is better, but FB3 devices cannot be redeemed, and it may not be worth selling them.
    Yes, a notebook with many USB ports can be a solution, but it is not a solution for those who only have 2-3 USB ports, perhaps if you could use two notebooks in sync with a running Beyond and an additional split screen

  6. #6
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    If you already own multiple FB3 then its still cheaper to buy the Startech extender than it is to replace the FB3 with FB4.
    FB4 are not without their comms issues either, you start to introduce a whole other aspect of networking. Also don't forget the cost of switches for your signal distribution. You're really just swapping one comms protocol for another, but you don't really reduce the number of hardware elements.
    I'm still happily using up to 9 FB3 and Startech extenders and have no plans to change any time soon.
    Frikkin Lasers
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    I think a lot of this has to do with safety. I'm pretty sure the software/fb3 connection is constantly monitored at a specific performance level because the last thing you want is to lose data and have a stray beam hit someone.
    BINGO!

    As Eboy correctly points out, the data rate and timing of the USB signals to the FB3 are not particularly arduous. So why is the hardware so finicky? In a word: SAFETY.

    Or, for the more cynical folks, in two words: PRODUCT LIABILITY. It's just good practice for Pangolin to monitor the connection closely and to halt everything if it detects the slightest deviation from spec.

    But yeah, that sometimes results in false-positives that we have to deal with. (For the record, I have tossed out at least a DOZEN shitty USB cables over the years because they wouldn't hold a constant connection to an FB3, yet when I tested a few of them they would still work just fine with my laser printer...)

    The other problem that I have seen is the proliferation of absolute garbage usb cables on Amazon and other sites. It's hard to find honest reviews and decent quality cables. Most of these are now just "good enough" bulk pack from China.
    It's not just USB cables! Hell, it's not even just cables. Batteries, chargers, portable radios (walkies), flashlights... The list of shitty products you can find on Amazon goes on and on. These days it is increasingly difficult to separate the quality items from the trash.

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteg View Post
    The Startech USB extender is good product, but the price is the same as an additional FB3.
    I agree that the Startech USB extender is a great solution, especially once you have more than a pair of FB3s. I've seen as many as 6 FB3s running off a single USB 2.0 port on the computer, connected via a Startech extender to a powered USB hub on the stage end.

    Yes, a notebook with many USB ports can be a solution, but it is not a solution for those who only have 2-3 USB ports
    If you don't need to extend your USB runs with a Startech unit, you could just purchase a good quality, powered USB hub and connect that to one of the USB ports on your laptop. I have had good luck using the TP-Link UH-720 hub. Gives me 7 USB ports, but it is designed for USB 3.0.

    perhaps if you could use two notebooks in sync with a running Beyond and an additional split screen
    I know you were kidding, but honestly I think Beyond is best when used with two monitors. There's just too many controls to jam everything together on one screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    If you already own multiple FB3 then its still cheaper to buy the Startech extender than it is to replace the FB3 with FB4.
    Completely agree!

    To me, the main advantage to the FB4 (at least when it's built-in to the projector) is that you don't have to deal with any ILDA cable. And I say that as someone who owns nearly 3/4 of a mile of ILDA cable. (Damn fish-hook cables!) I considered building a stage box with a Startech unit and a bunch of FB3s inside for my latest projectors, but in the end I decided to go with integrated FB4s instead. It was more expensive, but I think the ease of setup and teardown will be worth it.

    Adam

  8. #8
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    I am also not a fan of notebooks for gigs. I get that they're convenient because of their size but most budget laptops are not robust and they also suffer the same "barely good enough" build quality. Not saying that anyone is using a cheap notebook but to me, things slowly start to fail over time, even with higher priced notebooks. I don't do professional gigs but all of my equipment; amps, mixer, monitor, and Beyond PC are all mounted in a rack to keep things protected. I used to use a notebook until a USB cable was tripped over the the port on the notebook physically broke. I have found that some laptops can have really picky USB ports/hardware.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  9. #9
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    Rackmount for the win!

    My primary laser computer is an I5-9600K on an Asus Tuff-Gaming motherboard (because I need the standard PCI slots for my QM2000 boards) with an M.2 drive all mounted in a heavy steel 19" 4U rackmount server case. The server case is housed in the bottom 4 slots of an SKB 1SKB-R106, with the upper two slots being taken up by an Advanced ILDA Router and an Echo Layla 24/96 that has been modified for ILDA output. On the slanted top I have a 19" touchscreen monitor mounted flat along the slant, and there is room for a keyboard immediately below the monitor.

    Overkill? Maybe. But it's served me well for a long time, and there's never any concern that bumping the case while transporting it will damage the computer inside. (And holy shit has this thing been bumped over the years!) I absolutely love this case, but I will admit that it's awfully damned heavy.

    The only time I've ever had a problem with this rig was when I was forced to set up less than 6 ft from a large subwoofer stack. The vibrations were terrible, and after an hour or two I started experiencing random crashes and lock-ups with Beyond. A simple reboot would fix the problem, but it kept happening, so I just had to tough it out for the rest of the gig. Fortunately, with the M.2 drive I could restart the system in a flash. (Less than 12 seconds to the windows desktop following a reboot.)

    When I got home, I checked everything out and could not find any problems. My assumption is that the extreme bass was vibrating the ram (either on the QM board, or on the CPU motherboard itself) causing random memory errors that led to the lock-ups. And yeah, it really was that loud. I was wearing ear-plugs and ear-muffs, and it was still uncomfortable. (Like, flutter-the-legs-on-your-pants loud.) So I've made a mental note to refuse to set up that close to a subwoofer ever again.

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    BINGO!

    If you don't need to extend your USB runs with a Startech unit, you could just purchase a good quality, powered USB hub and connect that to one of the USB ports on your laptop. I have had good luck using the TP-Link UH-720 hub. Gives me 7 USB ports, but it is designed for USB 3.0.

    Adam
    You see my first post, I thought that the startech st4300 usb with power supply was good quality, but it still can't work FB3 units. Uncertain what type USB Hub is works and what doesn't with FB3's. Pangolin doesn't recommend using a USB hub with FB3's.

    The FB4 is good choice it if you don't have a USB extender yet, but you want more FB controllers. The combined price of the FB3 plus the Startech extender is more expensive than an one FB4, and then FB4 it can be connected to the notebook's lan connector.

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