Do I have my brains in the right way..


Full time elf
Dec 11, 2012
Ok, I've done tons of reading, tons of reading, oh and tons of reading.


I'm looking at dumb rgb and pixels. Soooooo

I will need...
For the dumbs.
A dongle which seems to go for about 80$
If I read right.
David sells a 24 channel for 129$ or a 48 for 199$, which will run 6 or 12 dumbs.

The renard 64 with dc can also run dumbs is that correct?

I estimate about 270$ to build a full 64 channel renard with all the ssr included. $100 for the main board, and approx 20$ for each ssr. That's without also factoring in time to build the suckers.

I would still need the dongle...

Pixels to me are the no brainer.

The Joshua system, initially looking at a p2, but will look to add either a second, or look at getting the 12 in the future.

I know there is the sandrive which if you build is $109 plus $20 postage, but I would rather look local, Aussie is local.

Is the Joshua system looking at being able to run dumbs? Reason I ask, the cost per channel to run a dumb is phenomenal, especially if you're looking at maybe 50 lights off a number of the channels.

The renard48lsd may be cheaper for short strings but I can't source the boards in Aussie by the looks of it, and again is only 12 dumb channels.

I want to start getting my parts together soonish, I have a fair idea of my display, but some of it is dependant on whether I go just straight pixels, or try and mix the two.

I just can't seem to justify the expense of the dumb system though.

Am I missing something?

The other thing is, renard can run, well renard, or dmx. What is the difference in the running? I know dmx is the industry standard, but how does the ren system differ, and why does it offer the option, especially if the dmx is standard?

If you're using the Joshua system, would you then be advised to run it in dmx?

Sorry there are tons of questions, but these are things I'm stuck on.


I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
If you plan to go pixels with the J1SYS controllers and e1.31 and also use dumb RGB and DC controllers for the DMX dongle then you are better off buying an ECG-D2 which is a E1.31 to DMX converter and costs $72 (from memory) This will give you 2 DMX universes of output and mean that you only require a E1.31 network interface from the computer and a network switch to run both DMX with DC controllers and Pixel control with the ECG-P2, P12R or PixAD8. This is a better way because as far as your software is concerned you are only dealing with E1.31 and not 2 different interfaces (network for E1.31 and USB for DMX)
Also you have the cheap Chinese 27 channel DMX controllers available from Ray Wu at a cost of $44.21 each, I use several of these in my display and have been very happy with their performance


Dave Brown
Feb 15, 2012
Two Wells, SA
Don't discard the Ren48LSD for dumb RGB strip - at $1 per channel, you'll struggle to find anything cheaper. Each output is rated at 400mA, so for 30 led/m strip, it can handle 2 metre lengths. For longer stretches, you can always split them and use multiple channels - depending on your layout, this can still be very economical overall. And it's actually 16 RGB strips - it was designed to run 12 RGBW strips (which makes for an interesting wiring loom for RGB).

The Renard protocol is handy if you have an all-Renard system with only a few hundred channels. You can then run the entire system from a serial port on your computer with no need for a dongle. That won't apply in your case, so you'd flash the Renard boards with DMX firmware. Mixing Renards with true DMX controllers needs a little care, but is no problem if you follow "the rules".

And don't let the fact that it's sourced overseas put you off - I can confidently predict that most of the gear you buy will come from overseas one way or another. The Ren48LSD comes from - the postage bites if you're only buying one of them but gets cheaper if you buy 3 or more (or buy other stuff from them) in same order.

If your layout dictates higher currents and you want to buy truly local, then the AVD DC24 and DC48 and the AAH Mega60 are excellent choices. Personally I use M60s for strips and Renards for KMart and BigW strings.

Ideally, design your display first and then work out what lights you need to achieve the desired effects. Then you'll have a better idea of what type of controllers you need - pixel/dumb - current per channel - total power requirements - different voltages etc.