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Here's my idea... can someone help me please!

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by Prendy, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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    [​IMG] Hi everyone,

    For years I've had a static display, but have decided it's time to move up and get some Blinky flashy to music. I'm starting small with the outlines on the front as well as maybe 6 mini trees along the front lawn. As you can see, I'm also wanting to put in a mega tree on the right. I've put it there because you'll lose it behind the letterbox and shrubs.

    I was hoping to go with pixels, either nodes or strips, whichever you guys think will work best. I'm just not sure of controllers and how to go about setting it all up.

    I have done so much reading that I've managed to confuse myself. Here's the basics of what I think I'll need....

    Controller - possibly Falcon
    Window frame - each has perimeter of 9 metres, so will need nodes or strips
    Mini trees - maybe only a foot to two feet tall, can wrap strip around plant trainer type thing for these.
    Mega tree - looking to go around 10 feet tall with probably 12 strips in a not quite 180 degree layout.

    My questions are as follows:
    Will the one controller handle this?
    What sort of power will I be looking at?
    Any other suggestions?
    Would it be easily run from a windows pc?

    Obviously I know I'll need extension leads, clips etc so that's the easy part.

    Thanks for your help, please place links in replies so I can start a shopping list.
     

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  2. keithsw1111

    keithsw1111 Full Time Elf

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    Plenty of people here to help. Start by putting your location in your profile ... there is probably someone nearby you can meet who can walk you through the basics. Grab yourself a copy of xLights (http://xlights.org/) and join the 7pm Sydney time zoom call (https://zoom.us/j/175801909) on a Friday night and ask away. We have screen sharing the works and there are several there that can answer all your questions and show you the ropes.
     
  3. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Hi @Prendy

    Mini Trees - Bunnings have plant trainers, there's 2 different types, I've only been able to find this one https://www.bunnings.com.au/whites-120cm-black-cone-plant-trainer_p3321109 but there's a better one some people got that has a spiral rather than 4 rings. A 5m pixel strip fits on these nicely.
    Mega Tree - consider at least 16 strips / lengths of nodes; most of the sequences around have 16 strips and you'll get better resolution for graphics.

    1 Falcon controller would probably handle all that, but you'll need power injection.

    Power is relatively easy to work out, you just need to know current or wattage draw of pixels or strips you buy. See attached simple power calculator with some sample pixels and strings.

    Whole show can be run from a PC thanks to @keithsw1111 's xSchedule program (part of the xLights program)

    other suggestion (maybe for next year) - boscoyo modular matrix hung vertically on your columns https://www.boscoyostudio.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_30&products_id=42

    my usual disclaimer: I'm a noob who knows nothing
     

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  4. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    Hi and welcome.
    Yes if you can get hold of a falcon controller, go nuts :)
    I have 2 of them and they run pretty much my whole show, I have a few dumb controllers that I started with and still use today, but they are still run through the f16.
    There are also a number of relatively simple props you can make very quickly that give a lot of wow factor for very little money and effort.
    Go to your local tint shop (tintacar etc) and ask if you can have any of the tubes that the tint film comes on, tint tube is what we all refer to it as.
    They usually throw it away and are more than happy to save it for you and give it to you.
    Then you can put pixels inside, I used pixel modules which works out pretty cheap at about 10 to 15 modules per tube. You just stand them up or whatever you can think of. I made "fire sticks, bollards and lolly pops" but have thought of step edges lawn edges and various other things.
    A small basic computer will run your show to start with, I used a cheap laptop in the beginning, but as the show grows it does tend to start bogging down, so look into a raspberry pi in the future, again they are fairly cheap, but to start with your computer should do.
    The power side, will add up pretty quick also when you start getting more and more lights, so when you buy a power supply, make sure you get something that is more power than you need. For example a 50 string of say 5v pixels can draw up to around 3amps so theoretically you could run a max of 20 strings off a 300w power supply.
    2 things to note here are, 1. you generally don't ever run all your lights at full white 100% brightness so you shouldn't ever draw the max current. but 2. you should never allow a supply to be tested to the limit anyway, work on around 80% capacity and you should be ok.
    These figures are a general rule of thumb, so double check what you are ordering for ratings.
    I use 5v nodes from Ray Wu, other people use 12v.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Pro...5.html?spm=a2g0s.13010208.99999999.264.vP10lT
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/pro...W/920999809.html?spm=a2g0s.8937460.0.0.CJA2az
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5m-.../1590021437.html?spm=a2g0s.8937460.0.0.zHQ6bf
    These are some of the products I use. They are not what everyone uses and it is a personal thing. Just keep in mind if you do what I do, you will need 12v and 5v power supplies.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AC-110-2...var=451343063872&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
    I get them through ebay as they tend to work out cheaper and appear to be pretty much all the same.
    also, when you order from Ray Wu, if you are ordering more than 1 item, email him and ask for a discount on the shipping as he will normally do it a bit cheaper.
    You can get cheaper pixels, but from experience, it is better to get them from Ray as the quality outways the tiny bit extra you may pay.
     

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  5. MacArthur St Light Fusion

    MacArthur St Light Fusion Apprentice Elf

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    I have started with pixels this year... And this site has been the only way this will be able to happen for me... Get onto the chat, ask questions, and keep an open mind. There are hundreds of ways to do anything you want to do...
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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    Thanks so much for the tips, I've started the hunt for a falcon and looking to get ordering next week.

    Will post updates as I progress through my build.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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    Bought a pixlite 16 MkII, should be here by the end of the week. Next on the list is power supplies, then lights, then misc. gear.

    On the move now.
     
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  8. OP
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    Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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  9. Boof63

    Boof63 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Yep, both ws2811 and also 12 volt , so can run from just one side of the pix16, lots of room for expansion. Have 2 pix16's and was able to run around 8m from controller to lights, way further than ECG-P2 they replaced, so you should be good.
    The bullet types have heard you can get some water ingress in thru base of the bullet, but that was several years ago. I have used all strip or modules, works fine
    Cheers Boof63
     
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  10. OP
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    Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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    Controller arrived today. Have emailed Ray for a price on combined purchase for my lights and have sourced frames for trees. Going to use my daughter's netball hoop for mega tree and anchor with weights. Have one 400w psu, need to get a few more and then I'm ready to rock. Will keep asking for help I'm sure, but there's no turning back now. Hopefully paying for my gear is the hardest part.
     
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  11. Boof63

    Boof63 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    if you get stuck, head to the online chat forum, normally somebody online who can troubleshoot your problem in realtime
    Cheers Boof63
    PS and good luck
     
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