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2015 Plans - Evans Christmas Lights

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by djgra79, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Hi all & a belated Merry Christmas & thank you to all at ACL for your assistance this year, my first with animated lights.
    We took the kids out a couple of nights prior to Christmas to look at some of the displays around town and I was surprised that my Mrs pointed out some elements that she liked and wouldn't mind seeing in our own display next year. And now I need YOU to help me get them right first time! below are the main new elements I'd like to tackle for 2015:

    * 2D/Flat/Ribbon tree. Rather than going down the traditional 360deg round pixel tree we like the simplicity of the flat tree and have seen some nice patterns & images on them. I have no idea what type of pixel strip is required, what controllers & PSU(s) are needed to drive it either, any feedback is welcomed.
    * Coro stars. I found an old thread about these here which look similar to the ones we saw (might have been Beacy's display?) If there are any updates to design or what lights to use, let me know.
    * Singing Reindeers. Ruprect, this is your fault! Mrs loved these in your display so I might pick your brains about them, but I'm open to other's who have them to share their experiences and issues (if any) creating them.
    * Leaping Arches. I've seen these lights and think they would be nice for arches as they are more traditional looking Christmas light (rather than a single strip along conduit) I feel this will be the easiest element to make but would still like feedback on best sizes, best lights & hardware to run them.
    * Upgrading my roofline from dumb RGB to pixels. Again, just after some guidance on best lights to use. I've been advised 2801 is the way to go for reliability but I'm open to any feedback here. Already have conduit & roof mounting points, so just after the lights (& applicable controller/PSUs to drive them)

    I know it's still 2014 (just) but if I don't start now I'll be caught short like I was this year. Gives me more time to plan, budget & create anyway.
    Thanks in advance for any of your feedback.
    Cheers, Graham
     
  2. sfleck

    sfleck New Elf

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  3. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    Good stuff. You can never start too early
     
  4. greg58

    greg58 Full Time Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    good video
     
  5. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    Hello Graham,

    Depending on your skill level (I started from scratch last year in all aspects) , what you have listed is quite ambitious , because in addition to the construction work , the elements also have to be sequenced.

    May I suggest that you pick say the outline and one other element as must haves to focus and order stuff for that and get going.. then mid year ,depending on how that has gone , pick the next lot . You can also incorporate any exiting lights eg BigW etc as additions with little effort.
     
  6. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    Thanks for the video sfleck, gives a nice overview of their display. I like that all his PSUs & controllers are the same for almost every element, keeps the whole setup nice & simple & adaptable.
    Gerry, I like your thought process, possibly is too much all at once. If I could get most of it running like the above video and have most elements being driven by the same/similar PSUs & controllers that would make things a little easier for setup & mapping in Vixen (not that it's that hard to do.) I hear that singing faces to sequence in Vixen (via nutcracker) is pretty straight forward and not as complex as it might appear.
    The main thing I'd like to get feedback on is the type of lights & hardware to use for these elements.
     
  7. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    I decided to use WS2811 12V pixels wherever possible and not mix 5V and 12v.
    For the house outline , I have 2 J1Sys P2s , one at each end of the house to drive the outlines at that end of the house as it helps with not having to run long power injection cables.

    I also have a Pixlite 16 (for the mega mega tree etc). There is a lot of discussion on whether to use strip (2D trees) or string (3d) trees and whether to use 5V (recommended for string) or 12 v (recommended for strip). I chose 12V string 2811 , again for consistency. I de-scoped the tree in September from this years show to focus on the other stuff.

    For the arches , I used the same 2811 12V strip in tubing via the P2.

    For the coro stars , I used 5050 2811 rectangular pixels (12v)

    For the BigW lights , I used a 27 ch controller which was fed from one of the 4 DMX outputs of the Pixlite controller.
    Need a 27 V PSU for this.

    I understand that the singing faces can be done out of neon rope light (Ruprect / Shell) or 5050 pixels inside Coro(logan - Olaf)

    I bought spare PSUs (12V and 27V) required based on advice on the forum to cater for failures.

    Hope this helps. A lot depends on your house layout.
     
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    Have you had any issues with 2811 pixels Gerry? I've heard they are a little cheaper than 2801 but can be a bit troublesome sometimes.
    Do you have any vids or links to your show and/or how it's built? Sounds like you have similar elements to what I'm looking to go for next year.
     
  9. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    No issues that I could tell :) with the 2811. I think most people starting off in the last couple of years here in OZ use them as the default. As long as you power inject within the guidelines, use a null pixel as required etc , it is fine.

    Folks who started earlier use 2801. Beacy does not like them (2811) , but then his show is monstrous ! There are newer (but I think more complex) ones.


    I posted a link of one of my songs - I also uploaded the others as well.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?topic=6772.0

    If you don't mind the drive to Surrey hills, please drop by and I can show you my set up (it is nothing that special) - PM me for a mutually convenient time .
     
  10. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Re: 2015 Plans

    There are some that really don't seem to like the 2811 but my personal experience is that so far (touch wood) I have had very few problem, particularly the strip which has worked well. The rectangular modules in Olaf and the singing tree are rectangular 2811, again had no problems so far. Bullet shaped leds are 2811 on my mini trees. And the stars on the roof are also 2811.
    The only issue I have had is with the square 2811 leds around the windows where I had to do a bit of pixel replacing during the time the lights were up
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/DC12V-input-WS2811-pixel-node-100pcs-a-string-IP68-rated-with-all-white-wires/784989323.html
     
  11. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    So earlier today in chat I finally got my head around how pixels are grouped with channels & LEDs (3 "lights" = 1 pixel = 3 channels FYI)
    I'm probably going to go with these for my roof outline & also around the garage door: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-led-digital-strip-DC12V-input-WS2811IC-256-scale-10pcs-IC-and-30pcs-5050-SMD-RGB/701799_568458133.html
    I need at least 47 meters of it (plus some extra for spare/repairs) I've figured out that I will have around 470 pixels which is 2.7 (let's call it 3) universes. I own 2x P2's so I could drive the whole lot with just one of these? Next question is how and where do I need to inject power, and how many PSU's would be required to do so? Also, will I need "null" pixels at all?
     
  12. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    You should be able to run your roof line off 1 350w power supply. But if you find that your power injection point is too far you might want to run a second PSU and tie the grounds together at the injection point. Really depends on layout and convenience. Remember that power for your lights comes from the PSU and not the power thru the P2 so make sure you add fuses.
     
  13. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    470 pixels will use about 25A so you will likely need 2 power supplies.
    The need for null pixels depends on the distances between the controller and the 1st pixel and also the distance between intermediate pixels. Depending on how you power things also governs the need for injection. You can get 3m to 10m between "bits" but it depends a lot on the power. If you use light duty cable you will get a greater voltage drop and won't be able to get as far.
    If you really want to you can run the whole lot off 1 output of your P2. It'll do 680 pixels per output.
     
  14. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Perhaps 2 PSUs would be better/safer as I plan on getting Ray's and don't want them burning out too quickly if maxed out.
    So I understand that Ray can actually make up the strip lengths you require, including tails on each end? Splendid! Less soldering stuff ups from me. I guess for ease of storage and setting up I'll get them made to the same lengths as my conduit (no more than 2M each) and I assume that if I butt them together the plugs can hang off the side and the gaps between pixels won't be so obvious??
    So 470 pixels will equal roughly 10 injection points? Every +/- 50 pixels?

     
  15. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I don't think you'll need that many injection points. I have 6m of the same strip powered at one end without a problem. You can back-feed the power from an injection point (so the strip before the injection point is also powered there). This means that you could inject every 12m or 120 pixels if your cable is thick enough and the distance from the power supply isn't too far. I have 9m of 12V dumb strip with 30 LEDs per metre and that has no pink issues either so you may need to inject even less. Bench testing would be a good idea.
     

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