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Help Me make my son's Bar Mitzvah Party Surprise work


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#1
Obgynie

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Hello fellow fathers and electronic lovers!
I am planning a surprise for my son's Bar Mitzvah party in June. I am going to sneek into the dance hall 3 large screen tv's and want to network 3 or more xbox 360's together so that my son and his 12 friends can have a halo reach and black ops tournament.

I have a wireless router with 4 extra ports available or I can get a 5 or 8 port switch for this project. I dont necessarily want to have any live internet for these xbox's to use. Each guest who will play in the tournament will bring with them their gamer tag loaded on a USB card and I will load it into each of the xbox counsoles. I had hoped that just using some eternet cables and the router or switch would be all I need to do so that the boys can play a tournament at the party. But, my son confused me last week when he asked to borrow my laptop to take with him to his boy scout troop slumber party where he linked 3 xboxes together on the particular owner of the house's wireless network and then he connected between the routher and laptop a "lagless port device" he configured on the laptop's network card. he called it a "dmx" configuration to stop all lag in their game. Of course, when he returned my laptop, my network card had to be reconfigured to run at my home and he errased his programing.

Now, my question is, do I really need my laptop at my son's surprise party? I can't ask him to remake this DMX port thing without spoiling the surprise. Do i need access to xbox live at the party at all? THe restaraunt/dance hall owner does not have a dsl line near the party room for me to use, so wiring to his internet access will be hard. What would you do? I do have a verizon mifi card to use at the party for the wireless xbox adapters in each console, but that might be too slow? Feel free to answer my post here or at my email, removed email. I would really appreciate any advice. I do not want to be wrestling with wires and problems during the party. I wanna have fun too.

Sincerely,

Andrew

Edited by Artellos, 16 May 2011 - 12:33 AM.
Removed Email

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#2
stettybet0

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If you just want a simple LAN (no Internet connection), then just connecting all Xbox 360s together using (an) ethernet switch(es) will do the job. A more thorough explanation is available here.

Note, though, that for Call of Duty: Black Ops, only two players can play on one console/TV. So if you want all 13 kids playing at once, you will need to have seven Xbox 360s, seven copies of the game, and seven TVs.
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#3
Obgynie

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Hello Stettybeto,

thank you for your post to my question. So, your advice would be to just connect a simple switch box to all 3 or 4 consoles. Will there be a difference in performance or set up if one uses a router with 4 ports? Did you have an idea what my son did with my laptop to create some sort of "adhoc network" to prevent any lagging in the game? Does one even need to be connect online with xbox live for this LAN set up to work? Do I need to have a cross over cable connected to any of the consoles. Do I need to define a host console or does it matter. THank you for warning me about Black Ops player limits. I will probably switch to Gears of war 2 or Mortal Kombat instead. Thanks again for the advice.

Sincerely,

ANdrew
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#4
stettybet0

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To answer your questions in the order they appear:

Yes, an ethernet switch would work to connect 3-4 Xbox 360s.

Using a wireless router with 4 ethernet ports would also work just fine.

As for what your son did, an adhoc network is a decentralized network which doesn't rely on external infrastructure like routers. So, it would kind of make sense that your son brought your laptop over to his friend's house to create an adhoc network if his friend didn't have a router. However, I believe you said in your first post that he was using the laptop as an intermediary between the Xbox 360s and the router... in which case, by definition, the terminology "adhoc network" wouldn't apply. You also say in your first post that your son claimed to have made a "DMX configuration." I'd never heard of such a thing, so I researched it. It turns out DMX is a communications protocol most commonly used to control stage lighting. It requires special hardware and wiring; it is not a technology your laptop could use, not that such a technology is in any way applicable to reducing lag in Xbox 360 games. In conclusion, it seems that if you are quoting your son correctly, he doesn't seem to know the meaning of the terms he's throwing around.

In any case, you shouldn't need to worry about "lag." Latency between the systems will be virtually nonexistent, considering how the Xbox 360s will probably be within a few feet of each other and the data will be traveling at nearly the speed of light. Latency comes into play when you are playing over the Internet and the data must be rerouted several times before finally ending up at a destination possibly on the other side of the Earth.

You do not need to be connected to Xbox Live or the Internet for this LAN setup to work.

You do not need to, and cannot, use a cross-over ethernet cable to connect the Xbox 360s to your router. A normal ethernet patch cable is all you need. The exception to this is if one of the ports on your router is the "uplink port," in which case a cross-over ethernet cable is required.

I don't believe a "host console" needs to be defined, though the actual match in each game probably needs to be setup from one console and then have players on the other consoles join that match.
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#5
Obgynie

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Thank you again for your prompt replay, Stettybet0. As you are wondering, and I am wondering what my son did with my laptop also. Looking at my network center on it, there is an adhoc network he made at his friends house with it, although, he erased alot of the settings so it does not work now. Oh, well, after his party, I will ask him to recreate it and see if it is just an adhoc array.

Last question I think on this project, I was going to get all his friends to download their gamer tags onto a usb drive the day before the party. ?If 12 kids will be playing during the tournament, then THe gamer tags need to be loaded in groups of 4 on each of the 3 consoles, right? The player who owns his gamer tag has to use the console that has his tag on it, right. They cant move around the room on different consoles without moving the tag to the current console used. I guess this wont matter since we are all going to be in the same room.

Any other suggestions? Are there any rules or protocols for running a halo tournament posted or "officiated".

Thanks again,

ANdrew
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