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

DIY control box

Discussion in 'Advatek Lights' started by firey01, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. firey01

    firey01 New Elf

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    hi all,
    im looking into building my own control box with 8 channels for 8 lights to be pluged in. my question is i have done HEAPS of homework and i think i can build one from scratch with my eyes closed if i live in America learning with the HOT, NEUTRAL and COMMON wires, but unfortunatly i live in australia and have no cluse on what these wires are over here. im guessing hot = positive, neutral = negitive and common = i have no damn clue. so if some one can help me that would be great and maybe some pics of the aussie boxes with names of what their + and - wires are PLEASE.


    Thank you for you help everyone
     
  2. danv

    danv Full Time Elf

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    Here is AUS we have active, neutral and earth. Which is commonly red, black and green with yellow. Some European flex is around here too which uses brown, blue and green with yellow.


    I have made the assumption you are referring to 230V AC Low Voltage colours here.


    I have to strongly advise against playing with Low Voltage wiring yourself, unless you are trained, competent and licensed to do so.
     
  3. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    red and black are used for permanent house wiring. Brown and blue are used for plug in cables. Then you have white as a neutral or return in lighting, so like you say, if you don't know what you are doing, either keep clear or be very careful.
    not sure about in the US but in OZ it is illegal to play with 240v ac wiring.
    (yes I know everyone does it, but it is still not legal)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    firey01

    firey01 New Elf

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    hi all
    im just interested in making a control box for my christmas lights to make them go to music as it will be my sisters last christmas before the cancer wins around halloween. im just curious in america they use:
    HOT
    Neutral
    Common
    and was wondering what they converted to over here in australia. as i would like to give her a chrismas she would be proud of, if it makes her happy i dont care if it illigal or wrong i will have help with the wiring so i dont get zapped of burn nothing down but i just wanted to know for my own knowlege.


    thank you again
     
  5. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Don't get too fixated on what the USA calls their mains voltage wires. It's really of no relevance to what you'll want to do here in Australia.

    Almost all Christmas lights over here are low voltage. Yes they plug into the mains via a plugpack, but the lights themselves are low voltage.

    Now, to computer control them you'll be throwing away the plugpacks and chopping off the MFC (multi function controller) boxes anyway. A larger power supply and DC controller(s) will take their place.

    Have a look for the ACL 101 manual. It's got a lot of great info in there about how this all works. :)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    firey01

    firey01 New Elf

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    thank you for your help. next question is what software people us to sync music to the lights? i have seen a lot of videos with arduino mega (what i have) and vixen. is that a good combo or is there better and easier?
     
  7. keithsw1111

    keithsw1111 Full Time Elf

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    Vixen or xLights are both free and can control lights using commonly available arduino sketches.
     
  8. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    Many of us now use xLights to program. You can run the lights direct from your computer, but again many of us use a Raspberry Pi and Falcon Pi Player to run the show to avoid using a PC
     
  9. Binkles

    Binkles Full Time Elf

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    Totally biased, I have found the falcon pi player to be amazing, and being able to control it from my ipad out the front of the house was amazing. If someone wanted a song, I could start it up right there and then.


    Xlights is also well supported with Falcon, so a no brainer for me would be a falcon.


    Xlights or vixen with the software, it seems most people on here are running xlights, and apparently (I've not made it to one yet) there are training sessions every friday on the www.


    Just my newbie 2c
     

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