The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

ION with a trackball?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Sayen, May 21, 2009.

  1. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Most of the time I like the encoders, but sometimes, especially when live, a trackball is convenient for controlling movers. I've searched the ETC forums but only found threads in January saying trackball functionality was coming - is it implemented? Is there a trick to making it work? We do have the latest update.
     
  2. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    As far as I know a usb trackball will work with the ion because after all the ion is a computer
     
  3. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    It's not implemented yet. When I was at USITT, I asked about that. It was an issue of drivers. There isn't one universal driver for trackballs (some have more buttons than others, some map their encoders differently, etc)

    I was told it was being thought about, but there was no ETA on that.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,616
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Sorry ST and the ETC crew. Not trying to be a Strand sales guy here but...

    Really? You can't use a trackball with an Ion? My understanding is I can plug in any USB pointing device into my Strand console no problem. I've seen a track ball used in a demo, although I've never used one on my own system. That seems like a really simple problem to solve.

    On the flip side when I shut down my Palette I have to go past a Windows menu which is really annoying. Perhaps in order to make everything work, Strand has allowed the Windows to permeate the program deeper than ETC.

    Interesting.
     
  5. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Because Strand uses windows as the underlying OS, you can load windows drivers for the USB devices. I'm not sure what ETC does.
     
  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,267
    Likes Received:
    784
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Ion is based on Windows XP Embedded so drivers can be installed and will likely work there, perhaps not supported by ETC and rightfully so.

    However, the driver is only one part of the problem. If there is no support for pan/tilt control via the mouse, then there won't be any pan/tilt support via a trackball. You could twirl virtual encoders with the trackball, but what's the value in that?
     
  7. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    well, remember that a mouse/trackball is just a ball moving two basic encoding wheels on the x/y axis anyway (even if it's optical, it still sends the data like it was encoding wheels)! Where the main issue comes in is that mice and trackballs have different buttons and different numbers of encoders (i.e. mouse with scroll wheel has a total of 3 encoders) So, how do you handle mapping the encoders and buttons to different functions?
     
  8. avalentino

    avalentino Active Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Bandera, TX
    When 1.5 is released (within a few weeks), it will be possible to use a trackball both as a navigation device and controller for pan/tilt.

    Hope that helps!

    Anne Valentino
    Eos Product Line Manager
    ETC
     
  9. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you, that's awesome!
     
  10. jerekb

    jerekb Member

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Woodland Park/Aurora, CO
    What kind of trackball should I buy? I want one :)
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,616
    Likes Received:
    2,631
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Again not trying to start a brand fight here. I just find it an interesting choice that both Strand and ETC are running Windows XP embedded. Strand has apparently left more access to XP than ETC which of course has both positive and negative results.

    On an Ion do you have access to other XP features like Internet Explorer?

    On my Palette, when I turn on the console it goes straight to the Palette software. However when I turn it off I go to a XP screen first and then select power off (By the way Strand that's annoying!). From this screen you have access to a couple of other support programs for Palette and some Windows things like I.E. and Outlook Express. I guess this is a feature but personally I don't want someone deciding it's a good idea to exit the lighting program to check their e-mail mid-show.

    Has ETC chosen to restrain Windows more so there's less access to the basic program?
     
  12. avalentino

    avalentino Active Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Bandera, TX
    Access to the windows desktop is password protected. So, for the most part, the only access users have is to the application itself, and something we call the "shell", which sits outside of the app and supports device config, maintenance tasks and so forth.

    Hope that helps!

    Anne Valentino
    Eos Product Line Manager
    ETC
     
  13. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    809
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Hey Anne,

    Will the trackball buttons be mappable to different functions?

    David
     
  14. avalentino

    avalentino Active Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Bandera, TX
    Upon this release, the trackball either functions as a mouse for screen navigation, or can be toggled to control pan and tilt. The mouse buttons switch between modes.
    :)
    a
     
  15. jerekb

    jerekb Member

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Woodland Park/Aurora, CO
    I feel like an idiot but would someone please explain what kinda of trackball we are talking about and who makes them. Are you all referring to like a standard usb trackball mouse? Or are there ones made specifically for lights boards?
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,447
    Likes Received:
    2,847
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Although most higher end consoles (gMA, Hog3, Maxxyz) have a trackball built-in for either screen nav or P/T, an external like the Kensington Expert Mouse
    [​IMG] is great for light boards. Having used trackballs forever, and always prefer them as my primary pointing device, the bigger the ball the better.
     
    jerekb and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Just out of curiosity, why not just substitute the mouse? Wouldn't the function be similar?
     
  18. avalentino

    avalentino Active Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Bandera, TX
    You can use any USB trackball - just like you could use any USB mouse. When you use a mouse, it is only for screen navigation. The trackball allows control of pan and tilt as well.

    Hope that helps.
    a
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice