few question about ws2801 silcone strip and controlling hardware/software

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by xyamom, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. xyamom

    xyamom New Elf

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    ok well i think im going to make the jump to 2801 lighting this year i just have a few questions

    i was kinda leaning to this http://goo.gl/rPCyU. from the looks of it its a pixel every apx 32mm?

    im planing on makeing a 72x64 or 72x128 pixel array.

    im kinda confused on how to control them from what i grathered from this site i would need some kinda art net ws2801 controllers. ??? im guessing 4 or 8 ecg-pixad8's ?

    also is there any software the would take a video or camera feed from a pc and convert it real time to the pixel array? i have a copy of lsp and it looks like madrix would do it but its a little over priced,

    also if you guys got and tutorials of arrays you made would like to check them out :)

    thank a bunch, AJ
    ledxmass.com
    suburbiahell.com
     
  2. BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    Hi AJ --

    You probably want this strip instead (http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209843764-465132154/5m-led-digital-strip-DC5V-input-WS2801IC-256-scale-32pcs-IC-and-32pcs-5050-SMD-RGB.html
    ). It doesn't have a controller. These are the ones I'll be buying a matrix for this year. I'll basically be splitting strips in 1/2 for a resolution of 80x50. These strips are 5V so you need to watch voltage drop, but for a matrix that shouldn't be a huge concern provided the power and controllers are close. You can always inject power if necessary.

    You're correct, you'll need a controller compatible with WS2801 pixels and power supplies. You could use the ECG-PIXAD8, however using ECG-P12R's is probably a better bet. You'll have some money, not to mention the P12R can run 12 full universes, whereas the PIXAD8 can only run 8 (without grouping).

    Madrix could take a live video feed and display on your matrix. I'm not sure about LSP or some of the other options. I personally have Madrix Professional and can say it's worth the investment. I'll also be buying LSP this year since LSP and Madrix do very different things.

    Just one note. Running live video on a 72x64 or 72x128 matrix would be VERY pixilated. I'd recommend you take a picture then reduce down to 72x128 to see what the output looks like :)
     
  3. fasteddy

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

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    If you havent already downloaded the ACL lighting 101 manual then this will help you fill in some gaps
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1889.0.html

    LSP can import a video into a matrix but for large matrices this can be very CPU intensive depending on frame rates and the type of video action taking place.

    I have used a 16 x 12 matrix with LSP for the last couple of years and the video of it in action can be seen here

    Fasteddys 2011 Colour Christmas Light Show on Vimeo

    And here is the thread on how it was built
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,148.msg712.html#msg712
     
  4. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    AJ

    Just in response only to the live video feed, LightFactory Personal certainly has the ability to use either a video file or a Live Video feed from an attached webcam and output in real time to the matrix.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,2148.0.html it will do it at 24/25/30 fps as well.

    As Bill said the resulting output may be quite pixelated but still an interesting exercise.

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  5. BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    One final note I forgot to include :) A matrix of 72x128 or 72/64 would be fairly wasteful from a universe perspective. Controllers and software are typically limited by universes. A universe comprised of 512 channels (512/3 colors per pixel = 170 pixels max per universe). Each of those strings are 32 pixles * 5 meter = 160 controllable pixels (160x3 colors = 480 channels PER strip). That's nearly a full universe and the reason I decided to cut them in 1/2 and go 80 pixels x 50. 80x45 would be a standard 16x9 configuration (like a low-res tv).

    Whatever your solution you should try to maximize universes otherwise you're going to spend more money building and controlling any solution.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    xyamom

    xyamom New Elf

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    Ok thanks for all the info. really helped me out : ) the reason i want to do 72 pixels high. Is to keep it under 8ft so i could use it indoors after the season is over. but is the strand 32 pixels per meter. (160 pixels per 5 meters) ? apx. 32mm node spacing? .. im thinking about trying a 72x62 (16x9) but skiping a space on wight to keep my cost down for the 2012 season. Depending on how much a pain it would be to stretch or distort the image. i might just bite the bullet and rack up my charge card and do the 72x 128 display : )

    i have a 350a @ 5v pecision power supply from i row and collom "matrix" i was goin to make in 2005 with idc cable woven into a net and rgb leds jamed in to 8 pin idc headers. Gave up on the project becose it took over a week to just crimp to togather a 4X8ft panel and had my doughts of how it would hold up to the weather.

    Dose Ray Wu offer a bulk discount if i would order 32-64 rolls?
     
  7. OP
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    xyamom

    xyamom New Elf

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    Here is a crud, not to scale drawing of what im tryin to do. i forgot to email my dwg and. Google sketch up files last night. but planning on welding alum frames to hold the lights with water prof connectors at the top of the apx 7.5ft panel to add 2801 all the way to the peak of my roof so not all them pixles are wasted.

    Too bad there not a ecg-p16 because that would fit my setup perfect : ). It looks like i will need 5.33 ecg-p12r thoe
     

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  8. BillInSoFL

    BillInSoFL Apprentice Elf

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    For my matrix I was thinking about gluing the strips to 10mm translucent coro. I've painstakingly experimented with plywood drilled then insert the pixels from behind. I'd like something that would look nice setting anywhere so I can reuse for parties and stuff. I thought about aluminum u-channel, but it's sooo costly.

    You'll most likely need a couple power supplies :) You don't want to go beyond 80% at peak load.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    xyamom

    xyamom New Elf

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    I lucked out my metal working school was tossing out a bunch of 1x1"x48" 1/8 box alum. im hopping these strips are pretty rigid so i don't need a substrate but if i do i might use some kinda banding. but it was pretty much free too me. but that what i want to do in the off season is trying to rent this screen out for weddings bands ect. and try to make some of the 6,000$ back = ] that's why im making pointy parts removable so i have a nice 16x9 screen. to toss on some truss.
     
  10. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Bill, the 170 Pixel per Universe is fixed, that i agree however the 170 Pixels per output on any pixel controller is an artificial limit applied for any number of reasons,
    Some controllers such as the E68x series lack the memory to buffer the outputs, the ECG-P12R has the processing horsepower and memory and i have seen testing with over 200 pixels per output but requires the refresh rate to be increased.
    However the new J1SYS ECG-P2 blows this limitation out of the water, it is expected to provide up to 4 universes per output port so on the two port device has the potential to support up to 1360 Pixels or 8 full universes.
    Now there may still be some limitations to be documented yet but even if it was halved this is a great advance forward.

    ------------

    Extra Note: i'm going to be using u-channel Alu on the megatree this year, but 6.5M lengths of 18mm x 12mm (WxH) actually is quite bendy and i'm not yet convinced it's a good idea once i add the weight of the pixels

    ------------

    If you plan to hire this out then a "flexible curtain" type construction would seem to be the way to go with simple plug and play for all the hardware.

    Phil
     
  11. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    As per comments above the J1SYS ECG-P2 may even be a better solution though who knows, wishes do come true at times and a P16 may very well appear.

    Cheers
    Phil
     

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