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Am I on the Right Track?

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by ShayneT, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. ShayneT

    ShayneT New Elf

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    I am new to RGB and E1.31... From all the various threads and tutotials out there I think I have an idea of how to jump into RGB.

    I am thinking of....

    • Outline (yellow), each run 5M in 2811 I68 strips. The controller mounted next to the right strip. If what i read is correct the signal should be OK to the left half which is 20 feet away. The sides of the house will also each have a 5M strip.
    • The hanging mega tree (green), of sorts, will be 2811 pixels of dumb RGB - maybe jump to strip next year.
    • The lower roof under the tree (blue) will also be 2811 dumb pixels
    • The windows and door (orange) will be 2811 dumb pixels
    • The controller for the dumb pixels can be mounted above the front door.
    Other than cabling, power supplies, and supporting stuff - does this setup sound like something that would work?

    Thanks to everyone who has taken so much of their time to develop the tutorials and how to guides...
     

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  2. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Looks like a great starting point.

    20 Feet would be borderline, you'd have to test it out to make sure that it works. That being said, why not have the two strips run off one output (so you in effect have one 10m strip) Then, you don't need to worry about the data signal - you'd just need to be sure that you inject power (perhaps at the joint between the two strips, and also the end of the second strip.

    You might be getting a bit confused here - anything with a chip in it (eg 2811) that allows you to control individual LEDs is considered "smart". Anything where you control the whole strip as one is dumb.. I would do the sums on going straight to smart pixels, rather than spending money on lights and controllers that you may discard next year.

    Remember that dumb strip would be connected to a DC controller (each strip that you want to control would use 3 channels - one for R, G & B). If this is your first year, then this would require purchasing a DC Controller, as well as a DMX interface (whether that be a USB interface or an e1.31 to DMX bridge like a DR4)

    If you go straight to pixels, you wouldn't need the above - and would just get pixel controllers.

    Does that help at all?
     
  3. OP
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    ShayneT

    ShayneT New Elf

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    That helped a lot. Not sure why I typed 2811 in with the dumb RGB description, I surely meant simply dumb pixels.
    The reason why I am thinking of two 5m strips versus 10m is I don't have a way to get to the roof peak so I created a way to hoist up from the sides kind of like a flag pole at a 45 degree angle.
    But if I make the tree 2811 smart I could put the controller under the tree therefore cutting the wire length to the sides in half.
    Shayne
     
  4. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    An alternative option to the hoisting approach could be to assemble a frame on the ground, and then lift it up and fix it to the house, You could get two lengths of 5m conduit, join them at the top, and attach the strip. This would have the added benefit of ensuring that the strip faces the street (which is best for strips)

    Yes, that would certainly help. But as mentioned, make sure you test it out beforehand (perhaps with a slightly longer lead-in cable than you expect to use, to give you a bit of room for error).. Nothing worse than getting everything installed and it not working! I myself have had different mileage with different controllers and chips - seem to get a minimum of 5m with 2801 gear, but for 1804 stuff I was only getting 2m at most.

    So assuming you're looking at strip for the whole lot, you're looking at around 8x5m strips for everything but the tree. And depending on the lengths for the tree, you could either ask Ray about custom lengths, or do a bit of modification work yourself - but it looks like you'd need around 30m (or 6 strips). So a total of 14x 5m strips, which is around $550 delivered, plus $180 for the P12R delivered.

    So not pocket change, but to do in dumb strip might save you a bit in strip costs, but then increased controller costs as you'll need a dc controller ($100-$200) and dmx gateway ($100-$200).
     
  5. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    I'm tending to think that this may well be similar cost between 2811 and dumb rgb by the time you add in all the controller costings.

    The benefit in doing it in intelligent pixels/strip is that you will conitnue to use it rather than be looking to replace.

    To cut down on sequencing you can always "group" the pixels in the controller and treat the 2811 strip/string as having less channels.

    Phil
     

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