Hi from Darwin NT.

Simba666

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Nov 14, 2019
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8
New member from Palmerston in the Northern Territory.

Last year we did a few lights and had a few people driving past so this year we have stepped it up a little and am just getting into it. I made some cheap arches with a large rope light i had from last year. Also got some trees, made some spheres etc. Still have another 5 strips to put up on the roof and some more motifs.

Looking into controllers now and am wondering what I should be doing regarding the old lights i have and if they can be used or whether i need to go and sell off what i have moving to RGBs?

Most of our lights are LED bubbles and ropes etc with their own little control boxes. But want to step up into a single controller and was looking into the Light O Rama 16 channel controllers. They state that they can control the older style lights so hoping it would be ok to use them. Any advice would be great as my electrical knowledge is minimal but we are enjoying putting on a display for the kids in the area. Posted some pictures of what we have setup so far this year with motifs on the gables still to come along with another run of lights for the second gable and the side fence needs another 6 spheres made and installed.

lights-2
Lights-one
 

OzAz

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Hi and welcome.

@AAH sells boards that will run led strings with controllers (transformers) on them (often nicknamed bigw strings as that's where many people bought them :) ) There's two types 2 wire and 3 wire. Alan can explain what board you'd need for your lights.

If any of your lights are direct 240V AC (no controller/transformer) (some of the rope lights and older strings are) then a LOR AC controller will run them. HOWEVER best to stay clear of LOR AC, 240 V AC is just too dangerous to have cables snaking around the garden.

If you haven't already have a read of the 101 manual.
 
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Simba666

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Nov 14, 2019
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Thanks
Hi and welcome.

@AAH sells boards that will run led strings with controllers (transformers) on them (often nicknamed bigw strings as that's where many people bought them :) ) There's two types 2 wire and 3 wire. Alan can explain what board you'd need for your lights.

If any of your lights are direct 240V AC (no controller/transformer) (some of the rope lights and older strings are) then a LOR AC controller will run them. HOWEVER best to stay clear of LOR AC, 240 V AC is just too dangerous to have cables snaking around the garden.

If you haven't already have a read of the 101 manual.
Thanks, reading through is now as i type this. Looking into the Falcon controllers and might convert over to pixels next year with cut PVC for long straight sections. Will look to replace all the lights i have so that the controller is an easier choice. But getting your head around all of the information is a mission and will require a lot of reading through these threads. Wish i found the page before spending a couple of grand over the last 2 years on string lights. Have enjoyed making the spheres though and will look into proper leaping arches for next year also.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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There's a few issues with LOR AC.
1 it is EXPENSIVE
2 it involves dangerous voltage which aren't really great to work with
3 if you have plugpacks then you really can only control the lights on or off and not dim them
4 for low current devices like led strings the channels will often not turn off as the current isn't enough to turn off the channel
 

nickfrazz

New elf
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
16
Hi and welcome.

@AAH sells boards that will run led strings with controllers (transformers) on them (often nicknamed bigw strings as that's where many people bought them :) ) There's two types 2 wire and 3 wire. Alan can explain what board you'd need for your lights.

If any of your lights are direct 240V AC (no controller/transformer) (some of the rope lights and older strings are) then a LOR AC controller will run them. HOWEVER best to stay clear of LOR AC, 240 V AC is just too dangerous to have cables snaking around the garden.

If you haven't already have a read of the 101 manual.
could you elaborate on the controllers that work with the typical store bought lights? pretty much all my lights have transformers but i would love to put together a show next year.
 

Simba666

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Nov 14, 2019
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hey mate how did u go about making the arches with rope light?
I got some rebar and belted that into the ground and then some 20 or 25mm PVC from bunnings in 3m lengths. Spaced it approximately 1.8m apart from memory and bent the PVC over ten cable tied the rope light to it linking each one. It just flashes what ever the built in controller does. Next year I will build proper ones that can be used with an external controller but just wanted something a little different this year to use the rope light i had.
 

Simba666

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Nov 14, 2019
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8
could you elaborate on the controllers that work with the typical store bought lights? pretty much all my lights have transformers but i would love to put together a show next year.
From what I can see you need an AC controller from Light O Rama albeit expensive. Holiday Coro look like they do an AC controller also. Im in the same boat as you and am looking to just give it away this year and start with a Falcon controller and pixels next year. I want to do under eave lightin that stays up all year and maybe a couple of smaller trees on the controller and then use the older string lights on my spheres i build.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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If the lights in question are low voltage led lights that have a plug pack on them and 2 wires from the controller to the lights then my DMX2-18 will control them. You just need to remove the plugpacks, connect a 31V power supply (typically) to the DMX2-18, a usb dmx dongle to your computer and then you have computer control over the lights. The manual on http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au/product/dmx2-18/ shows connection methods.
An ACL member shot a quick video with a DMX2-18 connected to some lights.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHlPBKrIZJs
 

Simba666

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Nov 14, 2019
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8
One more lot of lights to go up on the roof when I get back to Darwin from Alice Springs. 2000 LED lights onto the roof and its done for this year. Bigger and better next year with controllers and a few more items and proper leaping arches. Cant wait
 

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