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Assistance with choosing right system

Discussion in 'LOR General Discussion' started by indudio, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. indudio

    indudio Guest

    Hi Everyone!

    This was my first year doing Christmas lights, for which i had a mixture of everything (including some RGB Strips, LED string lights, neon lights, rope motif lights etc). I ran them all , and I actually won the lighting competition for my suburb (I probably had around 3-5,000 Led's lights all up but had to run around every night to make sure each light was on the right program).

    Unfortunately I did buy a few 240 Volt string lights from ebay, but being an ex stage lighting tech, ensured all connections were waterproofed and they all survived the 40 days or so they were up (including aout 8-10 massive storms) with no issues. But would prefer to move to DC Voltage.

    I have read a lot about the LOR system, and I believe that this offers a good solution (ie setup with 240volt controller, dc controller and dmx convertor). But my question lies with the RGB strips I have and how would I connect these to LOR?

    I went to the BIG W boxing day sale and managed to get a full trolley of discounted led string lights (thank god for layby!), but would like to incorporate some more RGB strips into my setup along with some intelligent lighting using DMX. Based on this, is LOR the best option? Or would using lightshow pro with DMX be better? I am on a tight budget, but the thing I like with LOR is its ability to expand in the future.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    Hi indudio,
    Im sorry i cant really help you either. Im having the same dilemma too. LOR or DMX. I can see so many advantages of both. I have numerous LED and fairy strings which i believe would go well with DMX for its DC qualities, But also, half my display consists of ropelight, which from my understanding is 240v and will require LOR. Im leaning to a mixed setup, to control both. I see other ppl do that too, so i'm hoping it would work for me too.
    Congrats on winning the competition last year. Must have looked awesome. I'm hoping to enter the competiton in my area this year too, if i can get myself organised in time :p 10.6 months till lights on :-[
     
  3. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    As I see it you probably have 2 choices spend a heap on LOR stuff which does not offer e.131 "as yet" and may or may not in the future or got DMX which will get you a lot more channels for your dollars and ditch the 240V strings and retrofit your motifs with DC rope light.


    Personally I would go all DMX for safety reasons, no matter how careful you are all it takes is one kids to trip and disloged a wire and zappo
     
  4. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    I like LOR S3 Advanced with SuperStar. All I use is LOR controllers at this point.
    I should mention I only have to deal with 120 volt and I have cold weather for Christmas.

    In your shoes I would not be using any AC outside due to risk. You have a higher risk due to higher voltage and your weather. You have nice weather which means you could have a large amount of foot traffic.

    With that, when you consider DIY DMX or LOR DMX, you can get a lot more channels with DYI.
    LOR will be able to handle e1.31 this year (so LOR says) and that will open up some nice new DMX abilities, but LOR hardware is more geared toward AC lighting (in my opinion).

    Again I like their software a lot and since a large amount of time is spent sequencing that is a large consideration for you to think about.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    It really goes down to your ambitions and the amount of work you are prepared to put in to learn DIY. Most have started with a simple LOR system and then moved on from there to DIY as there confidence grew from year 1. But on saying that if you have big plans for the future and want to get in digital intelligent RGB lighting which take up lots of channels then your best bet would be to concentrate on a DIY system.

    I would wait a bit before purchasing any 240v controllers from LOR as im sure there will be a few on offer from other members this year as some of the members convert over to DC

    To connect a LOR controller to a DMX universe is not that hard and you can get all the info you need by downloading the presentation on connecting LOR to DMX from this thread

    The type of strips you use will also determine what you will use, if its standard 3 channel dumb strip then this can be connected to any DC controller, if it pixel based Intelligent RGB strip then you need a pixel controller that will support that strip. You can get further info on types of RGB lights from here

    LOR will support E1.31 this year some time but with LORs track record it may not come out until just before Christmas. I use LSP and believe it has the most powerful features of all the software packages especially regarding RGB lighting and pixels. If your unsure about what E1.31 is then read this presentation
    In the end you have plenty of time to learn before show time so there is no reason to rush, take your time absorbing all the info and learning what will best suit you and your budget.
     
  6. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    i totaly agree with Eddy you have all year just take your time and look through this amasing site. you do not want to ruch into it and buy the wrong controllers.

    i have 3 LOR Ac 16 channel boards and this year i am looking to add a few Dc boards and a pixel controller into the mix and run in dmx. i also use LOR software so looking forward to them supporting E1.31.
     
  7. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    Not trying to rob this threads topic. Have you tried LOR S3 SuperStar?
     
  8. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    yep have tried it and works well. there is a patch coming out for it so it will accept dmx as at the moment it does not. just need it to work with pixel strip and not just ccr and im away for 2012
     
  9. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I've tried it with the beta patch that's out but not public yet. It does some pretty good things but I'd like it to keep the lights on for longer. At a guesstimate I'd say lights end up being on for only 1 or 2 percent of the time. This can be tuned up some once it's exported to sequencer and maybe if i had a play with it for longer I could work out how to drive it properly. :)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    indudio

    indudio Guest

    Thanks everyone,

    I am starting to lean towards more dmx way. Are there any dmx boards which switch 240V? This is more for the ropelights and some motiffs I have.

    In regards to the 240V strings I had, all my lights pretty much this year were on the actual house. As it is a large 2 story house, it worked really well, and i was able to simulate waterfalls etc and highlighted the colums, which i made look like chimneys, and santa stuck in the top. The ones were people could walk were all 24 volt.

    Also I can't find any information on here about removing the multifunction controllers from the Big W strings. I bought about 20 sets of the starter packs, of which i would like to modify.

    For this years display, I would like to create a spiral Megatree as a feature, but more so use a program like vixen/lightpro to programme the lights. I don't want to do music this year only because our new house is being built this year and I want to have the time to do it properly (probably the following year) and not a rushed job.

    Does Vixen/lightshow have the same features as LOR software? Can you make the lights chase, shimmer fade etc with vixen/lightshow pro?
     
  11. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Yuo can use LOR 240V AC boards with DMX.

    http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/index.php/Bypassing_Multi_Function_Controllers
     
  12. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    With LSP you can do all that plus a lot more, Vixen can also do all the above
     
  13. OP
    OP
    indudio

    indudio Guest

    Can anyone recommend some dmx dc boards? I am happy with either pre made or assembling myself from a kit. Probably would like about 48 - 64 channels dc (ideally 16 or 24 channel units) plus 16 channels of AC for 240v.

    Does anyone know of any dmx controlled boards for AC besides the lor ones? Also with big w string lights is a running voltage of 32 volts a good place to start?

    I was also looking at the areas for making leaping arches and the tutorial for cutting up big w strings in sections. Just in relation to that, it mentions joining the heads of the sections to the power supply, but in regards to the tail do you have to do anything with that?

    Sorry for all the questions! Just getting in my head what I need and start sourcing it.

    Thanks!
     
  14. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    There's 4 main options for pre-built multi channel DC controllers
    1) LOR QMB-16D-QC 16 channels. Pro's. LOR and dmx native support, 2 voltage channels (eg can switch 24V and 12V), onboard fusing Con's. can be hard to source late in the year
    2) Ray Wu 27 channel (Rita HT712) 27 channels. Pro's. cheap, dip switch selectable start channel, inbuilt led test mode. Con's. no fusing, low'ish current, leds remain on if dmx signal is lost, cannon type dmx connectors, only 1 voltage source
    3) DC48. 48 channels. Pro's. Aussie built, great support, possibility of overnight delivery in Aussie, leds fade to zero if dmx signal is lost, high current
    4) DC 24. 24 channels. Same pro's and con's as DC48 but half the channels and only 1 voltage source.
    For a list of available controllers see http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/index.php/Controllers

    As far as AC dmx boards I think that at the moment all there is is either LOR or DIY ones. I believe that there are 1 or 2 under development though.

    If you have access to a variable supply try starting low and then winding up to 32V. I do believe that people are using them at around 32V though.

    With the leaping arches the heads get joined and the tails go back to the controllers to be switched.
     

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