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Difference between Strobes and normal pixels

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by BundyRoy, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    When I saw the strobes available in the trading area it made wonder. What is the difference between the ACL strobes and just normal pixels. I gather the strobe does random flashes when powered on. Couldn't the same be generated with normal pixels through the sequencing software. Maybe the strobes are different/brighter. I'm not sure what the difference is. Hence the question. I know there must be a difference or people wouldn't go to the effort of making them.


    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    The strobes have some differences, they use a much higher wattage LED (the originals were 3/4 to 1 watt) They also have a little IC that controls the flash so it randomly flashes

    The pixel based lights used as a strobe don't have enough grunt to be effective as a strobe
     
  3. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    Thanks Eddy. So the biggest difference is a normal pixel is say 0.3W and the strobes are 3 times that wattage (give or take a bit).


    Do they still have a pixel type (eg ws2811) so they can do the strobe thing in varying colours or are they run off a dc controller with just power on for random flashing in white only.
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    These are a White only LED so the white is a much better white and these don't require a pixel controller to operate as they have their own mini PIC controller IC on-board that controls the random flashes. So all you need is 5vdc power to make these work
     
  5. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Also, just for a bit of confusion - Ray did build some 2811 based strobe strings a couple of years ago, based on Alan's spec. But Ray changed things around somewhere along the line, resulting in very crappy strings (they had a 1w LED but only drew about a quarter of that), so I'm pretty sure everyone did the same as me and threw them in the bin!


    The original ACL strobes (aka TPR Strobes) were first done as a bulk buy in 2010 I think - and were very DIY (including requiring SMD and pickit programming). There was 4-5 different firmwares to simulate a random pattern.

    The next batch were done in 2012, but much more friendly to us newbies - same as above, but for most people, all surface mount stuff was preloaded, and the pic was preprogrammed by Alan and someone in the US (I can't remember his name sorry!) They just required soldering of the LED and connecting wires, waterproofing it all and then you just hit it with 5v.

    The next attempt was the 2811 based ones mentioned above - but these were not good, and also required custom firmware on certain controllers to work properly.

    The most recent (and easiest) was the group buy done with Ben Brown - completely prebuilt and on strings (a choice of a couple lengths), and just required a 5v supply and all good.
     
  6. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    No you didn't... You off loaded them to me :) For free, and I used them for the first time last year and was somewhat happy with how it worked out.
    I strung them up above my "santas wonderland " area and used them as twinkling stars.
    So yes, not very bright, but were perfect as stars.
    Thanks again Kane :)
     
  7. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Aha, that's right - forgot about that! Would have found it a waste to throw them out, so good they found a home!

    I've actually got some of the strobes from the group buy in 2012 (3 sets I think, which is 135 strobes??) I know I'll never get around to finishing them off, so if you (or someone else) is keen on those and will actually solder them up and put them to use, I'm happy to let you have those as well.

    Just let us know and I'll dig them out.
     
  8. Charl Marais

    Charl Marais For my twins was the excuse I started with.

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    I would actually love to buy those of you if you don't mind shipping them to South Africa.
     
  9. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    More than happy for at least a set, I don't want to be greedy, but my funds for this years display are extremely low, and with the dollar the way it is I am not going to be ordering much. So let me know when you find them and I will be more than happy to drop in when I am up in Perth next.
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    I may actually have 90 of the original strobes with all components including the cover that I may want to sell if anyone is interested. Would require soldering together and programming the pic IC
    Ill have to check to see what I have
     
  11. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Using Pixel Driver Ic's presents a number of challenges.. The most obvsious one is that to get a real "strobe" effect, you need a very very short on time. ( 1-2ms ). DMX frame updates run around 25ms.

    what you get is a "blink" effect, which may be fine, but its visually quite diferent from the likes of a Xeon Strobe.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    Thanks Mulitcast.

    My memory of a strobe is dancing in slow motion at the disco when I was a kid. I know that is a repetitive pattern of very quick on/off not a random pattern. I still reckon it would be a good effect in the front yard though.
     
  13. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    You are correct. Strobe has taken on a new meaning, and not the old "strob-o-scope" which as you describe was used to "freeze" motion.. the most common use was to work out the rotation rate of a spinning boject.
     

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