Greetings, from Los Angeles!

Jinxx

New elf
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
4
Hey everyone!

Longtime Christmas nerd here. Started learning electronics and how to program Arduino and Raspberry Pi earlier this year, and figured Christmas was the perfect occasion to beef up my skill set and merge these two nerdy passions.

Goal:
At least an 8 channel display (ideally 24 channels if all goes according to plan) featuring 90% AC lights thrown about the yard and on the front of a two story house, all synced to music via xlights. Initially, I putzed around with Lightshowpi, but it left a lot to be desired as far as the music sequencing was concerned - xlights to the rescue! Love the software, and have a trial run planned for Halloween with 8 channels synced to music synced already.

Show will play via Falcon Player on the Raspberry Pi Zero W, and an 8 channel, 5v, mechanical SainSmart relay board, wired to some gang boxes with dual receptacles (fuses and all that) to plug in the AC/incandescent light strings, controlled by an Arduino Uno that is connected to the network via ethernet module. My programming skills are definitely not at this level so I am relying on the many contributions from people like you on this forum - Thank you!

Excluding the actual physical set-up of lights outside, I'd say I'm about 50% done with everything to make the trial run happen on Halloween. Cutting it close! If I have time, I have a PIR sensor (3.3v logic) that I'd like to use to make the Halloween light show motion sensor triggered - no lights or sound until someone walks by which triggers a 10 second light and sound sequence clip playing through speakers set up outside to scare the kiddies on Halloween night! From what I've read Falcon Player has event triggers built in to allow this very thing. What can I say - I'm ambitious.

This forum has been immensely helpful so far, any and all input is welcome.
Thank you all and cheers!

- Liz
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
1,331
Location
Cranbourne West
Welcome to ACL!
AC light displays are declining in recent years as people switch over to pixels, but there are some great looking AC displays still around that you can get ideas from.
 

Jinxx

New elf
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
4
Welcome to ACL!
AC light displays are declining in recent years as people switch over to pixels, but there are some great looking AC displays still around that you can get ideas from.
That is very true, and it has definitely made it more difficult to find relevant information. That said, I felt it would be a good idea to hold off on spending gratuitous amounts of money on new lights this first year in an effort not overwhelm myself with the complexities introduced when using pixels. Thus also allowing me to focus on the other technical aspects involved, such as interfacing all the controllers, software, and hardware without being bogged down with intricate sequencing and effects.

Thanks for the welcome!
 
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