Hey , From Perth Aus

Ash Brown

New elf
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
5
Hey all


I'm from Perth, and basically looking at putting something together starting from scratch. I'm an Electrician / Engineer & proficient in Various PLC programming and code.


I am basically looking at doing my single storey front of house fully automated.

Nothing on a gigantic scale, but if looking at videos on the site, something around the size of theDoctor903 videos. With of course room to expand.
I have started to read the 101 manual. I have also been watching some tutorial videos for Light-o-rama. But I am keen on some advice. I need some advice

Software wise I want something that is user friendly & something that is relatively easy to use.

Was looking at light-o-Rama & was wondering if this is a good way to go? Or is this something better that I could be looking at?

Based on the Thedoctors903 videos how many channels would something that size be using roughly?

I have no idea channel wise what I should be looking at, but was looking at buying the ShowTime central package with 2 extra controllers so 48 channels. Is this enough?


Also with features like the half hoops, is that one channel per hoop? Or is that one string of lights running all 4 hoops?


Thanks all for any advice I really appreciate it.


Cheers Ash
 

Jarrad

I find your lack of Pixels Disturbing
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
24
Location
Busselton WA
Hi Ash, Welcome to the fray download a copy of the ACl 101 manual that has a ton of info in it.

have fun
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
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Dec 27, 2010
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Eaglehawk
Hi Ash
Welcome to ACL
Don't go with LOR. It's expensive and doesn't do anything like what Xlights is capable of. Xlights is free and a number of the developers hang out in ACL.
It looks like most of what is in use is 12V pixel strip. You can tell as there's 3 leds per pixel. Each of the Bunnings spiral tomato thingys uses a 5m length of strip and the megatree looks like it uses 12 5m strips. The house outline looks like it's about another 20 5m strip. The leaping arches look like they are probably seeder tube with maybe a 5m length of strip in each 1. The 12V strip is likely to be 10 pixel (30 led) per metre or maybe higher. Assuming that it's 10 pixel/m then there's a little better than 150m of strip in use which is about 1500 pixels or a little over what you can get out of 1 output of lots of controllers. My rPi-28D+ (2 outputs), my HE123 (48 outputs), Falcon F16 (16 outputs), Falcon PiCap (2 outputs), Advatek Pixlite 16 (16 outputs) and many others.There's also some nodes (on tree topper and spinner) and probably modules involved (in the candy canes) so probably getting towards 2000 pixels total.
The leaping arches are (I'm guessing) 5m WS2811 10 pixel per metre strip. Each arch is 50 pixels at 10cm resolution.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi6k0yI4aAo
 

Ash Brown

New elf
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Aug 5, 2019
Messages
5
Ok cool thanks for the info, so that's software sorted, I was looking at Xlights as it does look awesome. Excuse my ignorance but you can use Xlights with LOR right?
So what about hardware LOR still not great? I work away and have young kids so was thinking plug and play was the way to go, if I could get away with it.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
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Dec 27, 2010
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Eaglehawk
Ok cool thanks for the info, so that's software sorted, I was looking at Xlights as it does look awesome. Excuse my ignorance but you can use Xlights with LOR right?
So what about hardware LOR still not great? I work away and have young kids so was thinking plug and play was the way to go, if I could get away with it.
Again. LOR hardware is expensive. Most of what they do is for the 110V US Incand market. They have diversified more into low voltage DC control and now some pixel control. The Aussie dollar is currently horrendous compared to US dollar although not as bad as when I bought my LOR AC stuff many, many years ago.
Xlights will control LOR gear no issues at all (except for maybe some of the Pixie pixel stuff).
 

scamper

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Jan 5, 2014
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collie
I agree with Alan, don't go LOR. That was already ending it's dominance a few years ago when i started looking. I too liked the idea of plug and play, but I liked my money more :D
I went down the route of Vixen and still use it today, but both Xlights and Vixen have come a long way and both are free.
As far as hardware goes, the most popular controllers at the moment are falcon controllers, you can have a look on the https://falconchristmas.com/forum/ and contact darylc on here to see if he has any available for purchase as they are often done as a bulk buy in Aus to keep the costs down.
Or you can talk to Alan (previous post) he also does controllers etc right here in Australia.
Lights are pretty much all Pixels these days, I started with "dumb" strings a few years back because of cost, but now the price is pretty much the same. Have a look on Aliexpress https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32220909659.html?spm=a2g0s.8937460.0.0.c91e2e0eVVlkCn You are only limited by your imagination on what you can do with this stuff.
One note with aliexpress, same as ebay, do the research and factor in postage, as the prices vary incredibly. Also, when buying from overseas keep each purchase under $1000 or you will be hit with extra import duty.
One last thing, while doing your research, have a look in the media centre on this site for https://auschristmaslighting.com/media/categories/mini-youtube-videos.3/ as there is a lot of very good basic tutorials on there. the networking 101 has to be my favourite goto each year as I forget as soon as I have done it :eek:
Welcome and enjoy!
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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Cranbourne West
Welcome to ACL Ash. At the risk of sounding repetitive, what the others said above me :)
Do your research a bit first, but LOR in general is considered very expensive for what it can do here in Aus.
 

thedoctor903

New elf
Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
9
Hi Ash,
Lots of good advice has already been given, Alan's analysis of my display is pretty much spot on ;)

In 2018 I had about 1600 pixels, so 4800 channels roughly.
The pixel strip is all 12v 10 pixel/30 led per metre, with 3.4m per arch.

I also cannot recommend xLights highly enough, it's awesome!
 
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AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
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Eaglehawk
Hi Ash,
Lots of good advice has already been given, Alan's analysis of my display is pretty much spot on ;)

In 2018 I had about 1600 pixels, so 4800 channels roughly.
The pixel strip is all 12v 10 pixel/30 led per metre, with 3.4m per arch.

I also cannot recommend xLights highly enough, it's awesome!
1500 vs 1600 I reckon is a pretty awesome guess. I guessed the arch size wrong as it looked a fair size and using the full 5m strip seemed logical. There wasn't too much to scale from so it was just some edumacated guessing :D
 

Ash Brown

New elf
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
5
Ok awesome thanks guys for all the advice. LOR just seemed good cause it’s all complete. But I’m good with building controllers, But I am more overwhelmed & confused now than before. Hahaha
I need to watch some behind the scenes videos. I thought this was going to be easy. Hahahaha. I’m sure once I get my head around it all I’ll be good.
 

scamper

Dedicated elf
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Jan 5, 2014
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collie
Ok awesome thanks guys for all the advice. LOR just seemed good cause it’s all complete. But I’m good with building controllers, But I am more overwhelmed & confused now than before. Hahaha
I need to watch some behind the scenes videos. I thought this was going to be easy. Hahahaha. I’m sure once I get my head around it all I’ll be good.
Hmmm. Thought it would be easy...:confused: Well it actually is once you get your head around it, but if you notice all the comments on here and on facebook etc, it is a long term hobby. I personally started on the 26th and still only just got ready for xmas the following year.
As long as you have some money and an idea of what you want to do, you will be able to get something done in time, then it is just a matter of adding to it each year.
If you start relatively small you can run the show from a laptop and a controller the first year, then work your way up to wherever you want to end.
First year I did that, then next year bought a raspberry Pi and ran that through a stand alone network, then went to wifi and have run FPP ever since.
Also, just had dumb lights first year with some infill of BigW leds, then went to pixels and have just tweaked year on year.
Biggest piece of advice I can give is, Write everything down! and mark all of your parts, whether it be cables , controllers or light strings. When you pull it down from one year, you won't remember everything the following year, no matter what you tell yourself! :(
 

abundy

Apprentice elf
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
52
Welcome ash. If you are wanting a plug and play solution the guys at advatek lighting do one. They are based in Melbourne and the 2 "Luke's" are fantastic to deal with and super helpful.
I use their controllers and really haven't had an issue in 5 years.
However it ain't cheap. Plug and play is convenient but most of the guys on here prefer to do their own builds.
www.advateklights.com
 

Ash Brown

New elf
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
5
Thanks @abundy yea I have come to the reality of building my own is the way to go. I just have set a more realistic time frame than this year , definitely have something this year but not the what I had hopped I would get together. Lots to learn :D
 

blondesrock

New elf
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
11
Location
Queens Park, PERTH
Hi Ash - welcome.
I'm in Perth too and use all LOR. Yes I've been advised to move away from it but it's all I know - I'm not super technical and I'm a scaredy cat, lol
Anyway, if you wanted to take a look at any of the controllers (I have various types) then give me a yell. Not so that you can buy LOR, but just so you can get your head around what's involved. Sometimes it's just helpful to see stuff for real rather than on the interweb. I might like to pick your electrician brain anyway!
 
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