The Velleman K8062 story

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mcallegari
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The Velleman K8062 story

Post by mcallegari » Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:51 pm

I'm afraid I need to say that this is not a happy ending story... :(

This is the device I'm going to talk about (link to the device page)
K8062.png
After a few feedbacks from users trying to use it with QLC+ (without success), I decided to buy one.
I have always been skeptical that a so old device had a cost ranging around 100-120€ and recently I found it for just 68€. I thought that was a bargain and with my big surprise...I bought a kit !
Basically the box included a naked PCB and separate components, so I literally had to solder them all to assemble the device. Luckily, even with my limited soldering skills, the device worked the first time.

QLC+ always claimed to support the device on Windows, so I started from there...and after a few minutes I realized how many troubles this device brings.
To understand what I am talking about, please read this page from the OLA wiki.

Basically there are 2 revisions of the same kit (K8062) and the first revision was definitely not suitable for a reliable DMX transmission (512 channels @ 44Hz)

Now the troubles:
- first of all there is no way for QLC+ to understand the revision of the Velleman device
- the above is caused by a very bad design of the Windows driver. Basically the K8062 is supposed to be a HID interface, but it's not. It uses two software components to work: a DLL file (K8062D.dll) which is the QLC+ interface, and a binary exe file (K8062e.exe) where Velleman stores all the big secrets to communicate with the hardware.
Unfortunately the exe file is close source and I don't have the sources of the DLL file either. :(
Basically the exe file is a daemon that is started when the DLL requests to communicate with the device. In fact, when you activate the DMX output in QLC+, you will see something flashing on the screen for a fraction of second. That's the exe file starting up and as far as I understood, it implements some DMA transfers, most likely through another DLL called FASTTime32.dll.
- when you plug a K8062 on Windows for the first time, all the above 3 things are automatically installed in your system (2 DLLs and the EXE). Problem is that Windows developers think that the whole world use Microsoft tools to develop, and this is not the QLC+ case (I use MSYS2) so QLC+ is not compatible with the DLL provided by Windows out of the box. That's why if you intend to use a K8062 with QLC+, you need to copy a modified version of K8062D.dll to the main QLC+ folder
- furthermore, starting/stopping the device is very unstable. Sometimes the EXE daemon gets stuck and you might find 2 instances of it running at the same time, which means the device will not work

Conclusions:
- in general, my personal suggestion is: stay away from this device
- if you bought the K8062 many years ago, it's not guaranteed to work with QLC+
- after some tweaks, I restored the support of the adapter in QLC+ 4.10.3 (screenshot below), but I'm not quite happy about it
- Linux/OSX support would be possible, but after seeing how badly the device works, I'm not convinced that the effort it worth it
- for the same price, you can find much better DMX adapters, fully supported by QLC+ and where the manufacturers are more open to the open source world
K8062.png
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boxy
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by boxy » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:07 pm

Wow. Followed the link and that thing really is a piece of overpriced crap. And you have to make it yourself!

gilbertv
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by gilbertv » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:33 pm

Hi,
I just bought a Velleman VM116 (wich is a already assembled K8062). I bought this device because QLC+ documentation had this device listed as fully compatible. Yet I discover that this is not the case after reading this blog. Now you are talking about a modified K8062.dll file that is available but I get a 404 error.
I'm kind of disapointed about spending money on a product that QLC+ says is compatible when it is not !

I have four questions.
1. Is this modified DLL will work properly ?
2. Where can I find this modified DLL ?
3. Why is there still information about this device on QLC+ site if the device is not compatible.
4. Which device do you suggest is fully compatible and not astronomically expensive.

Regards
Gilbert Vaillancourt

gilbertv
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by gilbertv » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:47 pm

I'm using version 4.10.5 of QLC+ and don't see the Velleman device listed in the Output interface of "Inout/Output" page.

Regards
Gilbert Vaillancourt

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mcallegari
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by mcallegari » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:33 pm

Sorry, back in January there's been a website hosting migration, so the ZIP file got lost for some reason.
I've restored it back now.

In general though, before buying a device, one should do a research about how well it is supported.
Among all the possible solutions, you picked the most outdated and less supported by QLC+.

gilbertv
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by gilbertv » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:59 pm

Hi Massimo,

Thanks for your help. I will make some testing and keep you posted on my results.
Meanwhile I have search for a replacement device in case the Vellemenan does not do the job.
I don't want to pay a fortune for this but I have found two models that are not too expensive.
Wich one would be the best buy for me.

A. GUS Electronics USB-VL344
B. ENTEC Open DMX USB

Furthermore I intend to put some presure to get more ouverture from them.
Can you tell me exactly what you need from them in order to solve the problem with Velleman device.

Regards
Gilbert Vaillancourt

gilbertv
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by gilbertv » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:11 am

Hi,

Velleman says that their product is Open Source and supplied me with all the sources.
I don't know if it would be usefull to you. If so let me know.
Furtheremore I did some test using the modified DLL. Unfortunately QLC+ crashes everytime I try to change a fixture control value.

Regards
Gilbert

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mcallegari
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by mcallegari » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:40 pm

Velleman says that their product is Open Source and supplied me with all the sources.
I hardly believe that.
While sources are available for the DLL interface, there is a big black box called K8062e.exe of which they don't provide the source code.
If they do (and this has to be something happened after this blog post, because I've definitely searched for it), please ask them where I can download them.

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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by janosvitok » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:50 pm

http://www.velleman.eu/downloads/files/ ... source.zip contains sources to both the dll and exe file, although it's in pascal...

gilbertv
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Re: The Velleman K8062 story

Post by gilbertv » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:56 pm

Hi Massimo,

I understand that it might take a while before the situation with the Velleman VM116 device is solved,
but right now I some some important gigs coming up soon and I looking for an alternative.

I have found two devices that are not too expensive.
Wich one would you suggest.

A. GUS Electronics USB-VL344
B. ENTEC Open DMX USB

Or any other model that you would recommand so I can go on with my project.

Regards
Gilbert Vaillancourt

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