1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

Assist - Using Pixel Ribbons on House

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by tbateson, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. tbateson

    tbateson New Elf

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    OK, I'm taking the plunge from LED to smart pixels. Please be patient as I may be asking what may sound like stupid questions, but it's all new to me.

    I am outlining my house with 16 ft/5 m 2811 ribbons with an AlphaPix 16 controller. I know I can't control/power it all centrally as my house is spread out. So please point me in the right direction. I will be using just under 10 16ft/5m ribbons.
     
  2. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    I missed your post the other day but
    [​IMG]
    to ACL
    I will leave the answers to the smarter folks, but I don't think it will to bad at all to do what you want.
     
  3. rvenegas

    rvenegas Apprentice Elf

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    Maybe this is obvious but, did you check the AusChristmasLighting 101 manual ? you can find there all info you need.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Apprentice Elf

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    If you are using the 30/10 pixel strips, you would draw 36 Watts/3 Amps, if all of the strip was on white. Multiply that by 10 strips and you get 360 Watts/ 30 Amps. You could pull this off with a couple of 300 Watt PS.

    If you are worried about voltage drop, being your display is spread out. Just make sure to tie the negatives of the PS's together. Make sure to not tie any positives from different controllers together. Have you checked out the auschristmas 101 manual? Here is a link to it.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?topic=1889.0

    There is some great info. It also has illustrations, for the questions you are after.
     
  5. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Hi tbateson

    It would help to know what voltage strips you plan on using and how many LEDs per metre. For a spread out display with long runs of strip I would recommend 12V ones with 30 LEDs per metre. These are the 30/10 pixel strips that Robert mentioned. They have 30 LEDs per metre controlled in groups of 3. You could run up to a total of 34 metres of these from each output so that particular controller might be overkill. Remember that while the controller will output enough data to do this, you will definitely need power injection to make it possible. The strips can be cut and joined.

    You do have the option of 5V strips which would allow you to control each individual LED but these suffer from voltage drop to a larger extent, requiring more power injection. You're also limited to 1/3 the length on each output compared to 12V strips.

    You will need to learn about null pixels if you want to run a spread-out setup with only one controller. A possible alternative is coax cable but no-one has tested it with that controller.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?topic=7485.msg67331#msg67331
    Null pixels are configured within the controller setup. They are placed between the controller and strips to pass the signal on. The signal can only travel so far without them. You can add them between strips but that particular controller doesn't allow for this in its configuration so it will need to be done in your software if that's possible.

    Power injection is used to supply extra power to the strips usually from a second power source. The negatives can be connected to the strips as normal but the positive line in the strips must be cut between each power source. It's also possible to power the strips at the opposite end to the data input. I believe you could benefit from having more than two sources because voltage drop increases the further the strips are from them. Thick or doubled power injection cables would reduce this issue. Don't double the data cables.

    Good luck with your plans. The best moment is when you get lights blinking for the first time.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    tbateson

    tbateson New Elf

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    The auschristmas 101 manual was a great help.

    How do you use null pixels? Do you just add another channel on that Universe then not program it? Same subject - how far apart do these null pixels need to be every 10 ft / 3 m?

    The strips Ive purchased are: Smart / Pixel RGB LED Strip 30 LEDs/m 10 Pixels/m / 16ft-6in/5 meter Roll - 12v / 2811 / 36w
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Apprentice Elf

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    From what I've read, for ws2811, is about 20'. As for using null pixels, I'm not sure how the alphpix ui is set up. With my J1sys controllers, you can add nulls in the string configuration. So, if I add 2 nulls, the pixel count starts after the first 2 pixels.

    There are also, pixel extenders. Diyledexpress, J1sys, and advatek, offer these up. You can wrong long distances with these.
     
  8. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Hi,

    I don't know much about the AlphaPixlite 16 controller . I do use the Pixlite 16 controller for my megatree and other DMX stuff.

    For spread out layouts , you may wish to consider a controller at each end or somewhere at the left side and somewhere on the right side. These could be smaller ones eg Pixlite4s - and I am sure that there are a number of other ones of smaller capacity eg 4 or 8 universes each.

    Any spare capacity can then be used for other effects later.

    I started off with J1sys P2 controllers for the outline last year.

    I do use null pixels all over the place (at the start and in between strands) . you can define these in the controllers I use (start only) or you can simply define a channel/model with say 1/2/3 pixels and not program those or set them to off.
    eg LeftGarageNull , then Left Garage, then BetweenGarageFirstPoleNull, then FirstPole etc ...

    What software are you going to use ?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    tbateson

    tbateson New Elf

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    Xlights & LOR

    Are there any issues running 100'/30m cat6 cable from my computer out to a split then to each of the controllers? Currently 1 each - J1SYS P12R and AlphaPix 16
    I also run 10 LOR CTB16PC - With the pixels, I may reduce that to 7 or 8 this year.
     
  10. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    hi,

    Please don't "split" network cables to the two controllers, this is standard Ethenet networking.

    Do this
    PC -> 4 port switch -> individual cables -> controllers

    4/8/16 port switches are nearly cheaper than a serve of hot chips
     
  11. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    And buy an 8 port to start of with , as one soon expands - sooner than expected (as I found out) . I am quite sure that my CAT5 cables are quite long ie last year from laptop to the switch and then from each switch to the individual controllers
     

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