Hardware

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by tweetygirl22, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. tweetygirl22

    tweetygirl22 New Elf

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    Hi Everyone
    We are new to this game and are feeling overwhelmed with starting our first light show for next xmas.
    We are in Australia and from what we read DC is the way to go, however we are not sure what is the best controller to go with for Australian Voltage.
    Would appreciate your views and comments on what models and ID numbers from Light o Rama would be the best for us as beginners ::)
    Thanks and appreciate any help anyone can provide.
     
  2. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    Welcome to ACL Tweety, unfortunately that is a bit of a loaded question. hahaha, There are so many different ways to do things in this hobby, Yes DC is probably the better way now-a-days to go, but there are still plenty of people out there with 240v stuff (which is primarily Light-o-rama (LOR) controlled stuff.

    There is a bit of a compromise you need to make.

    #1. For ease, you can go LOR, this will allow you to plug in unmodified lights you have bought from department stores and similar. Downside for this, LOR equipment is quite expensive for the total amount of lights you can control.

    #2 If you have a bit of knowledge in electronics (or you dont mind reading a little bit) you can move into DC controlled lights. You can in the better part still control those department store lights (with modifications). Downside to this is it is not as simple as buying and plugging in, you need to spend a fair amount of time with it.
    Upside, is it can be, considerably cheaper to control more lights.

    Best bet atm is to read our bible. http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1889.0.html

    pop into chat also, there is always people min there willing to give you guidance.

    again, welcome aboard.
     
  3. Slite

    Slite Full Time Elf

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    As Matt said.

    But, what you REALLY should do as well is to think long and hard about what you want to accomplish with your display.

    That more than AC vs DC is what suggests the type of controllers you want.

    Wanna plug in standard 240 volt string, go LoR (Expensive, but easy)

    Want to use single color LED strings and Strips? Well, you could go LoR DC-range, or for instance use Dave_AVD 24/48 channels controllers.

    If you are not afraid to blow up a few trannies, get one of the Renard DIY range of controllers, like a Simple Renard 32, a Renard 48 LSD that can run Single color LED's OR "dumb" RGB LED's

    Or if you wanna go down the Pixel lane, you will need either j1sys pixel controlers, Sandevice E68x pixel controllers or some commercial version of them.

    So, you see... to say what controller you should pick up is VERY difficult, it's all down to WHAT you want to do with your display, and how much are you willing to spend on it :)
     
  4. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    For what it's worth - this is my first year doing a display, pretty simple and based on light strings from BigW. I have a mix of LOR AC(1) and DC(2) controllers.

    The AC controllers are nearly plug-and-play - but unless you have lights that are already constant-on you will need to do things to the strings to make them constant-on. After that, it's just plug things in, and try to find a neat way to manage 16 plug packs and power cords and keep them safe and dry out in the yard.

    By contrast, the DC controllers don't come with a fancy box or anything, but modifying the light strings takes about 20 seconds with a pair of wire cutters :D *snip*, there are plenty of easy ways to make up good boxes for the DC gear and it's much more forgiving to play with.

    One power supply can handle multiple controllers, so you're already on the way to expanding your display, and the wiring is easier to manage.......

    I'd recommend the DC if you don't mind a moderate bit of DIY......

    If you go for the RGB stuff you're committed to DC, but will also have to go for DMX.......

    Does that muddy the waters sufficiently?

    Cheers!
     
  5. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I agree with penguineer; there's nothing that complicated about using DC controllers and lights. The principles are quote simple and there's plenty of help available here if you need it.

    I have a heap of Big W strings running off a couple of DC controllers and 30V DC power supplies. I find DC systems are more flexible, safer and far better value than AC systems.

    The days of 240V only display items such motifs, etc are quickly coming to an end thanks to LEDs. There are low voltage versions of almost everything now. I bought several 24V AC LED motifs this year and a simple mod to each saw them happily running on my DC controllers.
     
  6. Boardies

    Boardies New Elf

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    I don't mean to hijack someones question but am kind of in the same boat, have decided to go DC but could really do with some help around wiring the DC LOR controllers, LED lights, and the power supplies (have got some power supplies from China already)


    can anyone suggest a link to a tutorial or forum which can help with some actual detailed descriptions/video around wiring of these items?


    not an electronics guru so anything that keeps it simple and easy would be really helpful!


    cheers
     
  7. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    On page 6 of the manual for my mega60 board there's a few connection examples of how to hook up my board in particular but the procedure is common to most DC controllers.
    Link for the manual is down the bottom of http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AAHmega60

    There may be some info in Eddy1 101 manual but I haven't paged through it for a while.
     

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