Firework help - controller

cenote

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So its been done I am sure, have seen lots out there. Want to add some fireworks made from pixels this year. I am stuck in how to control. Reason being, each "leg" does not need to be a separately controlled. All legs I want to be the same. So is there a way yet the copy 8 signals to each leg? I saw David had a 4-way splitter that seemed to be what I was trying to do. Looking at running approximately 15-20 pixels on each.
 

David_AVD

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If the controller is at the centre of the fireworks "hub", you *may* be able to just parallel the strip / string inputs. My gut feeling though is that 2 or 3 in parallel would be ok, but 8 will either not work or be unreliable.

I have thought about a little 8 way buffer PCB for display elements like this. I did make a little 2-way unit, but that would still not be enough I'd say.

If there's interest I'll do up a design (it's very simple) for a board that people can build themselves if they like.
 

aussiexmas

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For 2011, I added an effect similar to fireworks to my pre-existing fireworks stars. I just used the elongated dumb RGB modules and controlled them as 5 RGB channels using LOR DC boards. I used 3 channels as rays - on each ray there were 3,2,2 RGB modules, with each radial group run in parallel. I used a cross at the ends with 2 RGB channels - 1 for the points of the star, and the other for the in-between crosses.

I was happy with the results and they can be seen in my videos. They were quite time consuming to make and added significantly to the weight and wind resistance of my stars to the point that I was concerned for their survival in a storm . Luckily we got no storms while they were up in 2011.

An alternative I canvassed previously was to cut up 1 or more CCRs and run them in parallel from a crentral CCR controller. Eddy has previously indicated that the CCR pixels are dynamically allocated, and John from LOR indicated that ribbons could be run in parallel from a single LOR controller providing additional power was supplied if the system was using more than 1 ribbon. Because of signal loss on longer runs, it would probably be necessary to mount the LOR controller at the centre of the array. see http://forums.lightorama.com/forum89/22970.html and the associated links. (Note I never followed up on this approach, but I still think it would work)

Regards Geoff
 

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David_AVD

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Chuck, here's a PCB design that buffers and distributes the pixel signals. It has the same pixel connectors that Ed and I use on the other pixel boards. Also has a separate DC input and fuse. Designed for 12V strip / strings but can be used with 5V types by omitting (and bypassing) the regulator.



EDIT: Picture updated. Refresh may be required.
 

David_AVD

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Have updated the PCB. Now has 2x 5A fuses (one per 4 outputs) and a single input / power connector.

This should be good for 8 spokes of 20 pixels as that's a little under 10 amps all up (assuming 60mA / pixel).
 

harrisonk

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David, Whats your minium order to make this a viable board. I can take 10 off your hands right now, and it would be awesome if you could make a 5V & 12V board too.


Let me know i really want something like this
 

David_AVD

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I can get some made on the next PCB run - maybe in a couple of weeks. The same board could be made as 12V or 5V. (not mixed on same board though)
 

David_AVD

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harrisonk said:
Do you have an aprox cost?
I haven't really worked it out accurately to be honest. I'd have a pure guess at $45 fully built and tested in small quantities.

The PCB and 4 pin pixel connectors are actually a fair bit of the cost. It would be cheaper with straight terminal blocks instead of pluggable ones. The PCB is nearly $10 by itself as part of a small panel run. That would drop a lot in quantity for sure.

Maybe I need to buy some of the connectors that Ed uses as they're sure to be cheaper than the ones I get locally.
 

cenote

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just a little update, going to try and bread board this thing together in the next month or so. I keep ya all up to date when I get the iron warmed up :) Thanks david for the design.
 
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