DMX controller for 6803 strips.

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Plan-B, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Hi all,

    I've done some searching, but have not had any luck finding answers to my questions, so here comes my first noob question.

    I have two 5m sections of 12v eBay Dream Color strip labeled ZJ168. After a little research I'm pretty sure this strip is LPD6803 based. I'm trying to find a DMX controller to run it from my DJ style, 192 channel DMX console. The 192 channels are broken up into 12 groups of 16 and most groups are already in use. This does not leave me near enough channels for individual pixel control.

    What I need is a DMX controller with built in patterns and modes that I can control and change with 16 channels or less. I've found THIS and think it will work for me, but I'd like to confirm. I'm also wondering if there are any other options out there.

    One last question. I'm hoping to cut these strips into sections. I was wondering if I'd have to wire all the strips in series or if I could pigtail multiple strips off the previous strips output?

    Cheers and thanks for any help,
    Chris
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    For the pixels to be addressed individually, the sections do need to have the data + clock signals fed from the output of another section. ie. all in series.

    If you parallel the inputs of several sections, they will all effectively be the same addresses.
     
  3. fasteddy

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

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    This controller seems to be a good cheap choice but be aware that it looks like the channels are fixed so you would have to allocate the first 80 channels to be able to use all the effects.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Hey, thanks a bunch for the replies guys. I really do appreciate the help with my little project.

    Eddy: Thanks for the heads up. The need for 80 channels would be a deal breaker for me, but I don’t think this controller requires that many. I sure hope not because I went ahead a bought one of these before reading your post. This is from the Chinese translated data sheet/manual.

    ----------
    2. When it is controlled by the DMX console, its change controlled by the DMX console. Adopt DMX control, the corresponded channel of DMX address code is mode choice channel, the corresponded channel of address code +1 is speed control channel. For example: The address code is 1, the channel of color choice is CH1,speed control channel is CH2, the greater DMX channel value (from 0 to 255) is ,the faster speed is.

    [ON/OFF button], it can open or close led anytime, when led is in a state of closing, the LED will display p***, *** is the IC number of current setting.

    [Play/pause button], can display or pause led change, in order to see the static effect of led ,set up DMX address code in pause state, LED display “C***”, ***is the DMX address number of current setting.

    [Adding button], to increase the changing speed; can set up HL1606 number in closing state, set up address code in pause state, the most number is 255 (510 groups of RGB), DMX address code in pause state, the maximum value is 999;

    [Reducing button], to decrease the changing speed, there are 100 speed levels in all. Set up HL1606 number, the least number is 16 (32 groups of RGB) set up DMX address code in pause state, the minimum value is 1;
    ----------

    From that, it looks like the controller can be digitally DMX addressed by using the play, plus and minus buttons on the controller. It looks like the channel it’s addressed to will control mode and the proceeding channel will control speed, needing only 2 channels for complete control. It also looks like I can (and need to) set the number of IC chips which brings me to my next question.


    Dave: I’m pretty sure I’m following what you’re saying and kinda figured that’s how they worked. If I run a chase pattern with two sections of strip wired in series the chase would travel from one strip to the next. If I wired sections in parallel, tied into the controlled instead of end to end, both sections would chase at the same time. The latter is what I’d like to do.

    From the data sheet it looks like I need to set the number of IC chips used in my strip length. I’m assuming that would mean the number of chips I have in each individual section and all my section will need to be the same length and a minimum of 16 chips?

    Cheers and thanks again,
    Chris
     
  5. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Hard to say about minimum # of chips. In general, the controllers for strips know nothing about the actual size of the strip connected. They just spit out enough data to ripple the data through all of the chips.
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    " The corresponded channel of DMX address code is mode choice channel, the corresponded channel of address code +1 is speed control channel"

    This tells me that its the dmx channel number that sets the controller mode, Now to control the speed of that mode you would use the +1 channel (the next channel up) with any value between 0 and 255.

    Im only going off what the documentation appears to read to me, it may very well be a 2 channel controller, but the documentation isnt very clear so i look forward to your reply when you recive the controller to confirm how many channels it does need.
     
  7. TimW

    TimW Full Time Elf

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    Chris, how many wires go to the strip?
    If its four, fine... could be lpd6803
    If its 5 coupld be hl1606. I have some of this strip from a couple of years ago. Similar controller (but mine didn't have dmx). Hl1606 is a very different strip - although RGB it isn't controlled the same way most of the other pixels are.
    I agree with your interpretation. You should be able to set the dmx address for the controller and then signal it do run any of its preprogrammed channels...
    Tim
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Hey all,

    Thanks again for the replies and input.

    I think maybe these controllers require you to enter the number of chips in your strip due to the built in programs they run. Some of the programed chases run from the input end of the strip to the output end and back again. I think the controller would need to know how many chips to the end in order turn around and run the chase back from that end point. Other chases start in the middle of the strip and work their way out to the ends and again the controller would need to know the number of chips in the strip to start the chase in the middle. I'm not sure on that at all, but that's my take on it.

    The strip I have has 4 leads and is labeled ZJ168. The IC chips themselves have no label on them. A few sources I've found online claim the ZJ168 strip to be LPD6803 based. I should be able to confirm this and the controller channels required issue when the controller gets here in a couple weeks/months. I'll be sure to post my findings.

    On that note; How's Ray's shipping times? My order was put in on the 21st to be shipped to Canada via UPS express saver. The order has yet to be processed so I don't have a tracking number yet.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Well, the strip controller hit my mailbox today and I can now confirm it works with the ZJ168 labeled strip I have. By hitting the buttons on the strip controller I'm able to change between all the modes available. You do indeed need to set the number of chips in your strip. As far as I can tell, as long as you set the chip number to a greater value then the actual chips in the strip everything works fine. If you set your chip number to less the actual chips on the strip the chase patterns will only run to that point while the rest of the strip freezes a static random color.

    What I can't confirm the the DMX channel setup. I can't seem to get any signal from my DMX console to the strip controller. I'm using an Elation DMX Operator 192 DJ console and the strip controller linked above. I have checked all my wiring three times over and tested with other lights to confirm signal output. I'm really outta ideas as to why it's not working and I'm wondering if anyone here has any thoughts? Is there anyway to test the DMX circuit on the strip controller to see if it's the issue?

    Cheers and thanks for any help,
    Chris
     
  10. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    If it uses a 3 pin XLR for the DMX signal, try swapping pins 2 and 3 on one end.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Hey Dave, thanks for the reply. It is 3 pin and I've tried switching pins already without any luck. I've also tried wiring it into the DMX out thinking that might have been wired backwards at the factory. Again no luck.
     
  12. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I thought I read somewhere that the DMX input doesn't work on some of those controllers despite the connector being there. Or maybe it had to be enabled somehow? There was talk a while ago about these I'm sure.
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    Can we confirm if its the console not sending a signal or if it the controller not precessing the dmx signal, that will go a long way to determining where to focus on. Can you try any of your other DMX fixtures from your desk to confirm you have a signal being sent out
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Plan-B

    Plan-B New Elf

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    Hey again guys, I did confirm another light was getting signal from the console. I've got the strip controller chained to a par can and both set to channel 1 for testing. The par light responds while the strip controller does not. I only have an input XLR end made up so I haven't been able to test if the DMX signal would pass threw the strip controller. I did pop the controller open and all connections to the DMX terminals look fine. I'm at a loss. I'm gonna drop Ray an email but if you guys think of anything else please let me know.

    Thanks a pile for the help fellers,
    Chris
     
  15. ethan7557

    ethan7557 New Elf

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    you can control each 3.9" section by itself so you can make chasing effects and other patterns. 3-LED Cuttable. Don't worry about pigtail multiple strips off the previous strips output. I bought the digital LPD6803 RGB LED strips for 129 bucks.
     

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