DIY Novis Help with Strips & Strings.

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by BillInSoFL, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    First of all I'd like to thank everyone for providing so much information. I've learned a TON and absolutely can't wait to get my 2012 project started :)

    Last year I dove into RGB with 16 Stella-green strings, a E16-ii for control and Madrix Professional or a 15' mega-tree. That was topped with a 3d star with 300 Red, 300 Green and 300 White LEDs. The people in my neighborhood were absolutely captivated and I plan something even better this year. Although I'd like to be as budget friendly as possible so I can really grow my show this year.

    I want to use E1.31 for every if possible since I've already made the investment. I have approx. 200' of eve that I'd like to wrap with LED strips. Ideally I'd like to do smooth fades and chases, etc. I figure that's about 12 - 5 meter strips. Would these http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209843764-329544925/5m-one-roll-5050-SMD-30LEDs-m-led-strip-waterproof-by-silicon-tubing-and-coating-RGB.html do the trick?? I was thinking of using a single ecg-p12r (http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-p12r/) to drive the strings. If I centrally placed the controller and power supply (http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209855560-289599951/350W-Dual-Output-Switching-Power-Supply-88-264VAC-input-12V-350W-output-CE-and-ROHS-approved.html) could it drive all 12 strings or would I need to break them up into multiple controllers and power? If so I might consider the PIXAD8. I'm not electrically inclined so whatever solution should be fairly easy to understand. I know computers, networking and software so I don't have a problem there.

    Lastly I'm thinking of revamping my mini-trees this year and going all RGB. I'd like to use 2 - ecg-p12r each would drive 12 mini-trees, containing 100 WS201's. Since I know you need to inject power ever 50 pixels would I simply wire 2 - 50 pixel strings together in series then inject power mid-way or do you think that's required? I was thinking of matching each of the mini-tree controllers (ecg-p12r) with one of these http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209855560-289599937/350W-Dual-Output-Switching-Power-Supply-88-264VAC-input-5V-350W-output-CE-and-ROHS-approved.html.

    Any help of advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!!!!

    For those interested you can see some videos of my mega-tree and a 8 string stella video wall at www.youtube.com/billinsofl.
     
  2. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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  3. OP
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    BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    I did actually. It's still a little difficult to graple without some confirmation :) Especially considering I saw another PDF where Eddy stated he's using the dumb 5050 strips.

    I don't want to drop $2000 on gear and flush it all down the toilet with something I'm not going to be happy with. I'm really just looking for some help with wiring and compatibility. Like can I run a power/data cable from my controller 20' then connect to a 5meter string without issues? Is so then I'm probably 90% of the way there. Just need to make sure I'm buying intelligent strings.
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    The strips you linked to are dumb strip and run from a standard DC controller.

    The PR12 controls intelligent strip. This is what i plan to use this year http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209843764-519162566/5m-led-digital-strip-DC12V-input-WS2801IC-256-scale-12pcs-IC-and-36pcs-5050-SMD-RGB.html

    So you now must decide if you want individual pixel control or not and this will determine what controller will be most suitable.

    Now you talk about strings but have linked to strip, so assume its 12vdc strip you are looking for as it is a 12vdc power supply you linked to.

    To work out the load of the 12vdc Strips that i linked to above would go like this

    Strip = 10 watts per metre
    5 metre strip = 50 watts
    12 x 5 metre strips = 600 watts total
    600 watts / 2 power supplies = 300watts
    Now we dont want to exceed 85% of the full load of the power supply. So with the load you have you will be maxed out on these power supplies with an 85.7% load when all lights are white. you should get away with the extra 0.7% but dont load anything else onto these power supplies.

    So i would use a the ECG-PIXA8

    Connect up 2 x 350 watt 12vdc power supplies that you linked to, one for each bank

    Then you can connect up 2 strips to each output of the PIXAD8 and inject power between the 2 strips. This will leave you 1 free output per bank. i wouldnt use these spare outputs as you would overload your power supply.


    Now with the mini trees the PR12 is the right choice. the power supply is good as well but again we need to work out the load

    Watts per light = 0.3 watts
    0.3 watts x 100 lights per tree = 30 watts
    12 trees x 30 watts = 360 watts.

    So the PR 12 has 2 banks for power, i would split this up and use a seperate power supply for each bank, so that would mean that a 350 watt 5vdc power supply would be sufficient for each bank

    Now remember you are limited by how far away the controller can be away from the first pixel light, or else you must eaither add a dummy pixel to regenerate the signal or use the ECG-PPX from J1sys to extend the data range http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-ppx/

    I hope that helps you
     
  5. hdracer

    hdracer There is no rehab for the CLAP

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    Hey FE, which to use?
    waterproof by silicon coating or silicon tube?
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    I prefer to use solid silicone coating as it gives better light dispersion, has a higher IP rating and is much stronger than the tube, but the tube is easier to work with and repair.
     
  7. hdracer

    hdracer There is no rehab for the CLAP

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    So which do you reccommend a novice to use? I do like to tinker.. If need be.
    Thanks for the reply!
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    Thats very subjective so hard to answer. I dont think the solid silicone is that much harder to work with. it really goes down to what the user prefers. It may be worth trying one of each to see what you prefer
     
  9. OP
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    BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    Many thanx for the replies. It's greatly appreciated!! I'm going to place a sample order in April for a bunch of different WS2801 gear, power supplies and controllers before going crazy.

    With regard to controllers if I'm running E1.31 everywhere. Could I connect dumb DMX controllers into the outputs of a PIXAD8 or would that just be silly? I'm trying to figure out good ways to minimize cost and/or maximize run distances. Would be nice to see a sample map of someone's layout and what types of controllers, lights and cabling they are using along with approximate distances from display items.

    Is it your recommendation to run power and control over a single cable (4 or 5 pin waterproof) or do you run power and control separately?
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    No you cant use a pixel controller on dumb strip, it doesnt work that way. Take a look at page 18 and 19 in the ACL dummies manual to show you the difference between intelligent and dumb RGB lighting.

    If you want to run DC controllers for use with dumb strip and lighting then you require a ECG-DR4 which is a E1.31 to DMX converter bridge. This will then allow you to run any DMX type controllers. The DC boards only come in DMX form and not in E1.31 due to the cost of the E1.31 interface and the low bandwidth requrements due to the low channel use of a DC controller
    Take a look here http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-dr4/

    For a layout diagram download this PDF http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1211.0;attach=1200

    I hope that helps you understand the differences
     
  11. OP
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    BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    Perfect! Yeah, I saw that your .PDF a couple of days back and again today. I think it's all finally starting to click with me now :) I'm clearly going to have to plunk down some money and buy a strip, a couple strings of various styles, controllers and power supplies to experiment with. Now that I'm slightly more educated I think that's the best option and hopefully I'll be able to get in on a group purchase or two in the not too distant future.

    For this season I'd like to get 20 - WS2801IC strips, then maybe 100 x 50' WS2801 strings. I need to figure out if the flatter or longer IP68 pixels make more sense. I like the flat because I feel like they would look better on mega and mini trees although I'm certainly up to suggestion.

    I'll use 48 of the new strings for my mega-tree (an upgrade of 16 strings) and re-use my existing 16 Stella-greens for a 42x32 matrix with plenty of some strings left over for other fun.
     

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