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Hello from Darwin

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by milamber79, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. milamber79

    milamber79 New Elf

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    Hello there everyone *waves*

    I have been a long time guest lurker on many Christmas light forums and I have now decided to jump in. This year I am determined to have some computer controlled blinking going on. I just hope I don't bite off more than I can chew. As such I have a few questions and if people could point me to the correct places to post them, I will get to plucking the knowledge of others here.

    I am mostly wanting to build things myself (I really like Electronic DIY) and as such I am trying to use things I have to hand. I have done a number of small projects with the Arduino platform and would like to use it as a controller. I don't know if anyone here has any experience with this but if there is an area for such questions could you let me know.

    I am 3/4 of the way through building a complete off board Peggy 2.0 (if anyone knows what that is) that I am planning to use as video matrix.

    Apart from that I have a bunch of lights that I have acquired over time. Is there a guide as to what is usable or how they can be converted for computer use (they mostly have inline function controllers). They are different voltages and a mix of LED and incandescent.

    Any and all help would be gladly accepted.

    Thanks People.
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL, we are glad you have joined in. You will find many members here that are happy to help so just ask away and im sure someone will be able to answer. Chat is always a great place for help as well.
    So it doesnt matter if your new and looking for plug and play or a hard core DIY person as the final outcome is the same and thats lots of blinky fashy. :D
     
  3. Nath_From_NT

    Nath_From_NT Apprentice Elf

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    Hey Milamber,


    Finally another person from the NT! Now we have a grand total of three people, we could almost hold a mini-mini. :D


    But there is a downside, now I'll have more competition for the christmas lights comp on Hot 100! ;)


    I'm new to all this RGB stuff also but I did do a LOR display last year and it went really well aside from the triacs blowing all the time at the most inappropriate times. There are some really smart people on here and they are all happy to help out the less gifted like myself, but you sound like you know what your doing already. It will probably be me asking you questions.


    Enjoy yourself and if you want to swap ideas, drop me a PM.


    Nathan - Darwin.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    milamber79

    milamber79 New Elf

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    Hey Nathan,

    I am not really looking at getting into any of the competitions but I just want to get something up and working this year. I have said that in years previously but this year its going to happen *shakes fist*.

    I would like to stay away from playing with the 240v as much as I can. From what I can tell most of the lights here in Oz are low voltage and I would like to stick with that.

    I do have one question for you though Nathan. How did your display handle the seasonal downpours we get up here during Christmas?

    I am trying to organize my thoughts on what exactly to ask so there will be some questions hitting the boards soon.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  5. Nath_From_NT

    Nath_From_NT Apprentice Elf

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    I actually used 240volt LOR boards last year and it worked quite well, but I was new to all this computer controlled stuff back then I think it was just easier to buy a couple of LOR boards and use my existing stuff rather than go DC and have to mod controllers and lights etc. I'm trying to get away from 240V now, but I'll still be using it a bit this year. I'm attempting to scrape together a half decent RGB display this year but some of the stuff is just way above me. Hopefully I'll be able to throw something together.



    The rain is a bit of a pain in the butt, but so long as you waterproof everything, it should be fine. All my controllers are undercover and in waterproof encloseures. Last year I wrapped connections in thousand mile an hour tape, then a plastic bag, then more tape. Never had a problem.
    Make sure you take a look at dmoore's and fast eddy's posts here http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/board,28.0.html for some great info on all things RGB.


    Nathan
     
  6. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Last year we all got hit really hard with rain so you aren't alone with concerns about the rain, were you can try and keep the controllers and PSU's under cover and just run extra cable, if your aiming at DC it is only speaker wire or data cable which isn't overly expensive, just need to be conscious of how far you run it so you dont get voltage drop
     
  7. fasteddy

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

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    in 2009 i was all 240v and i had some issues with the RCD tripping and some items blowing due to water getting into them (damn cheap chinese motifs) from the rain.
    Lats year i was mainly low voltage RGB lighting and i had no issues whats so ever with RCDs tripping and spark shows from shorting lights.
    In 2009 i wouldnt run my show during the rain as it was just too risky, in 2010 i ran my show regardless of the rain and it ran perfectly. I did have some lights get water into them (bad quality control on my part) but instead of a spark show or tripping RCDs what happened is the light would just stay on for that section that had water in it, a quick clean up with some CO2 contact spray and a reaseal using some silicone fixed the issue.
     

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