Brookshire Software LLC

Below are some of the more commonly asked questions about VSA. If you don't find what you need here, feel free to contact us at TechSupport@BrookshireSoftware.com.

  1. What are the minimum system requirements?
  2. How do I order VSA?
  3. What are the limitations on the evaluation version?
  4. What is the MiniSSC?
  5. How many devices can I control with VSA?
  6. How fast is VSA?
  7. How many events can I have with VSA?
  8. How do I get started with VSA & Demo VSA?
  9. Where can I get updates for VSA?
  10. Can I use a joystick with VSA?
  11. What are the differences between different VSA versions?
  12. What are the Parallax/Propeller, Pololu, PicoPic, and SSC32?
  13. What do I need to control DMX devices?
  14. What is the K108A serial relay controller?
  15. What LPT (parallel port) relay controllers are available?
  16. What other vendor-supported devices are available?
  17. How does the Track Adjustment feature work?
  18. What version of the FTDI driver should I use for the ENTTEC Open or Pro?
  19. How do I create 7.1 audio files?
  20. How can I play multiple routines on a schedule or loop?
  21. How do I create VSA-compatible video?

1.  What are the minimum system requirements?

Visit the System Requirements page for details.

Back to Top

2.  How do I order VSA?

The VSA is just a click away.  Go to our ordering page.  Also, email sales for any information. 

Back to Top

3.  What are the limitations on the evaluation version?

The VSA demo version, available here, is an excellent way to see how VSA can meet your needs.  VSA demo cannot load, save, import, or export files.  Otherwise, the demo version is completely functional.

Back to Top

4.  What is the MiniSSC?

The Mini Serial Servo Controller (MiniSSC) was a PC controlled servo driver board developed and manufactured by Scott Edwards Electronics, Inc.  It is no longer available, but many devices (e.g., the Maestro) support its protocol.

Back to Top

5.  How many devices can I control with VSA?

VSA Hobbyist and Professional can control 128 servos or motors.  These 128 devices do not need to correspond to addresses 0-127, but can be mapped to other addresses. Simiarly, VSA Ultimate can control 256 devices.

Back to Top

6.  How fast is VSA?

VSA uses "frames" as time units.  Each frame has a minimum 33mS duration, so VSA can issue a complete set of servo commands 30 times a second.  This means that you can command servos to new a new position 30 times a second.  The frame rate can be adjusted to be as slow as 5 frames per second.  

Back to Top

7.  How many events can I have with VSA?

The number of events is virtually unlimited with VSA.  VSA has been specifically engineered to execute at the same speed regardless of the number of events or system.

Back to Top

8.  How do I get started with VSA?

Once you have downloaded or purchased VSA, consult this PDF Getting Started Guide.  The version of VSA comes with an integrated help file, as well as technical support.

Back to Top

9.  Where can I get updates for VSA?

Currently, there are no updates available for VSA v1.0, v2.0, v3.X, or v4.X.  If you registered online, you will automatically be notified of updates.  If you purchased VSA through a third-party, please register here. Updates are only included for the version you licensed (for example, VSA v4.0 useres will receive updates to VSA v4.1, but not VSA v5.0).   

Back to Top

10.  Can I use a joystick with VSA?

Yes, servo/motor positions can be entered with a properly configured joystick.  As you move the joystick, the "virtual servo" follows the action.  Click here for more information on how the virtual servo works.

Back to Top

11.  What are the differences between different VSA versions?

VSA v1.0, v2.0, v3.X, and v4.X products are obsolete and no longer available.  Visit the features page for details about version differences of VSA v5.0 and reasons to upgrade.

Back to Top

12.  What are the Parallax/Propeller, Pololu, PicoPic, and SSC32?

Visit our SSC page for details on these servo and relay controllers.

Back to Top


13.  What do I need to control DMX devices?

To control a DMX device from VSA, you will need your DMX device (see our DMX page) as well as a DMX transceiver.  VSA supports the RAPU v5.0, the Velleman VM116/K8062 USB-DMX, the ENTTEC Open DMX USB, and the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro controllers

Back to Top


14.  What is the K108A serial relay controller?

The K108A serial relay controller is an 8 channel relay input/output module.  According to the manufacturer, the K108A can switch loads of 110V at 5A.  The K108A can be used with VSA and the RAPU v5.0 running at 9600bps.

Back to Top


15. What LPT (parallel port) relay controllers are available?

Any board which uses the standard D0-D7 binary outputs of the parallel port will be compatible with VSA (see the VSA help file for more details).  VSA also strobes the nStrobe line during the write output.  The K74 Parallel Port Relay Board is an example of a VSA-compatible parallel port relay card.

Back to Top

16. What other vendor-supported devices are available?

The following devices, though not supported explicitly by Brookshire Software, VSA, or the RAPU, are claimed to operate with VSA:

Back to Top

17. How does the Track Adjustment feature work?

The Track Adjusment applies a linear mapping to all device positions. For example, let's say you want to convert from MiniSSC positions (0-254) to Parallax positions (250-1250). Thus, we want to provide a mapping between the two ranges. Track adjust applies the equation y = m*x + b, where y is the new position, m is the scale, x is the old position, and b is the offset. We must solve for m and b to use track adjust:

  • y0 = m * x0 + b => 250 = m * 0 + b => b = 250
  • y1 = m * x1 + b => 1250 = m * 254 + 250 => m = 3.937

So use scale = 393% and offset = 250 to convert from minissc to parallax. Note, you will need to assign the channel as a "Parallax Servo" first and set "Update Settings" to false.

Back to Top

18. What version of the FTDI driver should I use for the ENTTEC Open or Pro?

Use this version from FTDI.

Back to Top

19. How do I create 7.1 audio files?

There are many audio programs which can be used to create 7.1 audio files. For example, the freely available Windows Media Mono to Multichannel Wave Combiner can be used to create multiple channel audio files. Details on how to obtain and use it be found here. The required binary can be downloaded from the Microsoft website or here.

Back to Top

20. How can I play multiple routines on a schedule or loop?

When used with VSA Console and your own custom software, VSA can be triggered to playback routines on a schedule or from events. MonkeyBasic is a free utility which may also be helpful.

Back to Top

21. How do I create VSA-compatible video?

VSA can playback many video file formats, however some may not contain sufficient timing information to produce the best results. In particular, variable bit rate (VBR) video and audio should be avoided. For the best results, we recommend using either raw RGB or XVid AVIs.

Many software programs can be used to create your video content. Then, an editing program, such as VirtualDub, can be used to re-encode the content.

Back to Top

VSA is a copyright of Brookshire Software, LLC. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.  

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to webber@BrookshireSoftware.com.
Copyright Brookshire Software, LLC. All rights reserved.