Can anyone assist me with this controller and a pixel string that will work with

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by seymourlights, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. seymourlights

    seymourlights New Elf

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    I am wanting to outline my roof line with some sort of rgb solution this season. I have been watching the new LOR cosmic color bulbs with interest, but I am always looking to save a dollar or two if possible.

    I attended a conference last weekend where several solutions were shown using the software package Madrix to output dmx and control pixels in various configurations. It is absolutely wonderful software, but to do what I want would cost me $1300+ just for the software, then I would have to go from my lor idmx to another dongle to madrix out to another dongle to the pixels and I am really looking for a simpler solution and I am willing to sacrifice on the features in order to do so. Plus, my project will have sometimes 20 feet of seperation from where a centrally located controller could reside to some of the strings..

    I want to simply store my patterns on an SD card and trigger the controller via dmx to play those patterns on the pixels. I have found some controllers that seem to do just that and use LedEdit software to store the patterns on the controller media.

    controller.jpg

    You can read more about the controller (along with a package of tubes I am/was considering at this url: http://www.chinesedepartmentstore.com.cn/osc/product_info.php/cPath/452/products_id/8368

    At any rate, has anyone had experience with this controller and could recommend pixel strings that would function well with it? I am looking to price out a solution to see if it would work for my application.
     
  2. OP
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    seymourlights

    seymourlights New Elf

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    I did some digging around in the directory for the LedEdit software that comes with the controller and found a link to this company in a text file for support, so I am thinking that the same company must make the controller.

    http://www.sz-blzl.com/cn/proShow.aspx?id=12

    Before I go to Ray Wu or someone else in China I want to know what I am really looking for in terms of controller and pixels.
     
  3. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    Here is a thread that might get you started.

    I have a controller from Ray that looks exactly the same as the one in your picture (slightly different to the pic on Ray's website) that is stand alone and uses lededit to playback patterns.

    Here's the thing... it is completely stand alone - patterns are selected and speed contolled by the red buttons on the front. No sync to DMX - no sync to music.

    Note Its a $40 controller.... fine for small installations but if i was going to spend $2000 on lights I'd be using a more 'connected' one.... such as a pixad8 from j1sys, e680/681 from sandevices, even some of that top end stellascapes gear if I wanted plug and play. There are others as well.

    The china package is interesting... 100 tubes at say 5xRGB channels per tube so 1500 channels - 3 DMX universes. That suggests that the protocol being used by the tubes is NOT dmx (if its being driven by the controller we're talking about here). Some more investigation required!
     
  4. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    I got one of those controllers to play with, and found it to be pretty crappy. I must admit I haven't experimented with trying to kick off the sequences via DMX, but given the very little documentation available, it's hard to know where to start. The connectors A,B&Gnd at the bottom are meant for DMX, but no idea on the polarity.

    The controller spits out ws2801 SPI data, so anything with a ws2801 chip should be able to be controller with that controller.

    So are you looking for something like LOR's cosmic color bulbs, or more like the RGB Tubes that you posted the link to?

    If you're wanting a bare minimum cost pixel strings (with full control of pixels via dmx, rather than kicking off sequences), then you could go for for something like the following:

    strings: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-469177597/promotion-WS2801-IP68-led-pixel-module-256scale-gray-IP68-4wire-red-white-green-blueDC5V-input-50pcs.html
    controller: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209915969-440556828/Mini-protocol-Decoder-DMX-to-WS2801-512-dmx-address-decoded.html
     
  5. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Just noticed another one of your posts and noticed you're using LOR - I can now understand your rationale behind minimising your DMX channels..

    But maybe that won't be an issue with S3 (if the rumours re: e.131 and/or dmx are true)
     
  6. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    Hi Kane - By convention A is (-) and B is (+)

    on my controller these seem to be outputs, not inputs though...

    It does a variety of protocols (including dmx apparently). You set which one to use in the lededit software.

    But all of this is irrelevant for seymourlights if it cant be triggered... I haven't figured out a way to do that yet.
     
  7. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Aha, I didn't know either way, given the lack of documentation.
    Yeah, my guess is that this controller won't be a good option for him.
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    The controller doesnt seem to have a DMX input, so the reality is you need to get a controller that can accept DMX commands if you want to control what pattern is used on the memory card.
    I would ask the vendor if there is an option to change the controller with one that has a DMX input as well, it may be that simple and only cost you a few more dollars. If that doesnt work then the other option is to look at the manufacturer site and find the controller details that has DMX and then ask Ray if he can get it in or work out what the IC chip is in the tubes and then get an appropriate controller that will have DMX input.
     
  9. OP
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    seymourlights

    seymourlights New Elf

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    Well, my goal is to outline the roof line on the front of my house in something with a fairly fine degree of control so that I can do chases all the way from one side of the house to the other, various patterns, etc.

    house2011v2.jpg


    Now that is the eventual goal and I see that as about three or four rows tall of pixels/tubes/sticks. The reason I was looking at the 100 tube package is that it would give me enough to do that three rows tall across the entire area that I want to cover. Basically, a wide, short matrix.


    Now that's the final goal, if I have to due to cost considerations, I will go a single row tall this year, then add two or three more rows worth next year. My goal was to find something now that I could kick off canned sequences with such as a Madrix solution or something like this controller, but with pixels/tubes/strip that would be dmx controllable later if I wanted to go straight that way next year with S3.


    I am completely comfortable with dmx and I use a lot of dmx equipment, but I am by no means a DIY guy. I buy the board assembled LOR controllers and put the cords on... if that gives you a picture. ;)


    So, if someone can recommend a solution that would work for me, that's what I want to go with. Something someone else can tell me will definitely work without a ton of troubleshooting, etc.


    I may ultimately go with the LOR CCB's... but I wanted to explore my options. I am so appreciative of any advice.
     
  10. OP
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    seymourlights

    seymourlights New Elf

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    In speaking with the vendor (with whom I've had several good transactions over the years on other dmx gear such as lasers, rgb par cans, moving heads, etc.) he tells me that the controller does support dmx, and the description on the site says that it does??

    My problem is that I am not versed enough in the rgb stuff to know what to purchase. I am just looking for a product, would prefer something a bit more diffused like pixels/tubes/ccb's that will work with a controller that I can put canned sequences into and call via a single dmx channel. If I have to do multiple of those controllers due to distance from the controller to the pixels, that's fine.. but I don't want to get into directly controlling multiple universes this year (however, would like that option in the future with the pixels I purchase)
     
  11. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I've seen it both ways. Some IC manufacturers specify A (+) and B (-). Don't you love it!
     
  12. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    No.. I don't love it... but I guess I should expect it :'( . In the last week I've had RGB striplight from china clearly marked R G B wires but G and B reversed... and 2 identical polarised molded waterproof connectors with random pin colour codes!

    Starting to question my sanity....

    From a further websearch I see you are indeed correct..... so now the best advice I have is if it doesn't work... swap the pins!!!

    "The RS485 differential line consists of two pins:
    Code:
     A '-' (TxD-/RxD-) inverting pin which is negative (compared to B) when the line is idle (ie data is 1).
    Code:
     B '+' (TxD+/RxD+) non-inverting pin which is positive (compared to A) when the line is idle (ie data is 1).
    The RS-485 signalling specification states that signal A is the inverting or '-' pin and signal B is the non-inverting or '+' pin. This is in conflict with the A/B naming used by a number of differential transceivers manufacturers, including the Texas Instruments application handbook on RS422/485 communications (A=non-inverting, B=inverting). These manufacturers are incorrect, but their practice is in a widespread use. Therefore, care must be taken when using A/B naming.
    "
     
  13. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Yeah, it's a crappy situation. I've always used the A/B naming, but have started using +/- now so I don't contribute to the confusion. :p
     

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