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Hi From Tasmania

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by TassyDevil, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. TassyDevil

    TassyDevil New Elf

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    Hi all I have been researching computer controlled Christmas lights and come across this forum.

    I have looked at the 101 book and it sort of makes sense.

    I am not sure of a couple of things so I thought I would post questions here if that is ok.

    What power supplys does most people use?

    What controller should I get, sounds like the Falcon ones are very popular?

    Thanks
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer Generous Elf

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    Welcome to ACL.
    The choice of power supply is a trade off of price versus quality.
    Chinese 350-400W 5,12,24V power supplies from Ray Wu, ScottLed or Paul Zhang etc (not ebay and not direct from Aliexpress) versus Meanwell supplies purchased in Australia at 2-3 times the price typically. I have used the cheap Chinese ones with no issues for about 6 years exclusively and have had no problems with the dozen or so I have in use.
    The 2 primary choices for pixel controllers are the Falcon F16V3 and the Advatek Pixlite 16. The Falcon is US based and mostly only available via bulk buy. The Pixlite is from Aus (Melbourne). The F16 offers greater flexibility in pixel types.
    If you want to start smaller there is Pi based options or both Falcon and Advatek have smaller than 16 output options.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    TassyDevil

    TassyDevil New Elf

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  4. NTKing(Brad)

    NTKing(Brad) Full Time Elf

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    Welcome to ACL @TassyDevil . You have come to the right place for computer controlled Christmas lights. Now all you have to do is get some lights, and power supplies, and controllers, generate a few sequences (you will get over "Let it go" real fast) then build it and they will come. :D
    Brad
     
  5. MD389

    MD389 New Elf

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    Welcome, Where in Tas are you? @LawrenceDriveLights and myself are NW coast & @Dave_Szoka is down south.

    I'm a newbie too so what i'm about to say is just my opinion :D

    I picked up a used PixLite 16 from a fellow ACL member and I'm quite happy with the board quality, software and support from Advatek but the Falcon's do have more updated features like on-board test patterns (being able to quickly test a string without having to turn on laptop), different IC type per output plus a whole bunch of other options and configurations.

    Alot of the community get their lights, pig-tail cables and panels direct from Ray Wu (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799), I got my first shipment from a random eBay seller that was doing a good deal on bulk 2811 pixels but have ordered from Ray for more supplies.

    The controller you linked looks like a "plug-and-play" style solution which is easier to get started with but does limit some of your options if you wanted something that is unique to your setup. Advatek also sell plug and play setups but you are buying into their "eco-system" so their connectors will more than likely not be compatible with the ones you get from Ray Wu or other online suppliers. Advatek's store: https://www.advateklights.com/shop/6-pixlite-pixel-mapping
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    NTKing(Brad) likes this.
  6. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer Generous Elf

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    The holidaycoro pixel controller is a clone of the Pixlite one and is limited to 1 pixel type per board. About the only differences between the Pixlite and holidaycoro one is that the latter has an lcd and some keys to allow changing some settings without needing to login via a pc.

    Have a look in the ACL101 for pixels. There's lots of choices in types and voltages linked in there. Buying direct from Ray Wu, Scottled etc is cheaper than buying from holidaycoro. You're saving on 1 lot of freight as an absolute minimum.

    Ebay supplies are evil. You may find a supplier who supplies reasonable quality but they are generally going to be the lowest quality supplies available. Ray Wu has the same sort of supplies for about $US17.
     
  7. Derf

    Derf Apprentice Elf Generous Elf

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    Welcome!

    I would highly recommend getting a Falcon if you are new to this hobby. I did for my first year and was not disappointed at all. I did look at other options and it gets very involved trying to configure everything.

    One of the Moderators of this forum organises a bulk buy's every now and then for Falcon gear and if you are wanting one now he has let hint that he has a few spares he is selling. Contact @darylc if you are looking for a falcon or "PixelController.com" product.

    As Alan stated you are better off going direct to a manufacturer in China as companies in the US buy the lights from china get them shipped to the US to be bought by mainly US members. With that the added middle man costs that are involved and its simply not worth it to go from china to the US then to AUS.
    A common seller is Ray Wu take a look at his Ali Express Store Here:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799
    Find what you would like and email him privately as you normally get a little bit of discount.

    Hope this helps!
    Also if you have quick questions come into the chat its probably the best place for speedy help or create a thread on what you would like and which products you are looking for we sure don't mind going over your setup and giving you suggestions!

    Thanks
    Derf | Jack
     
  8. OP
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    TassyDevil

    TassyDevil New Elf

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    Wow, thanks for all the replies.

    Looks like I better do some google research etc.

    Does anybody use Light O rama http://www1.lightorama.com ?
     
  9. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass! Community Project Designer Generous Elf

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    Not many people use LOR in Australia. There are better options out there these days.

    A lot of people use Xlights (free) sequencing software. What controllers you use depends on the lights you have.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    TassyDevil

    TassyDevil New Elf

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    Ok I have downloaded xLights64
    after watching lots of youtube clips (awesome effort to how makes them).

    After looking at some other videos of Christmas lights I may just do a house outline and a couple of other basic things

    Hopefully I can work it all out decided not to go down the Light O Rama path, looks a bit costly.

    Might keep having a play around with the xLights64 program until I work out which direction I want to go

    Thanks again
     
  11. djgra79

    djgra79 My name is Graham & I love flashing lights! Generous Elf

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    Hi TD, welcome to ACL.
    It can be an expensive hobby but really that comes down to how big you want the show. Many of us have built up the display over the years, adding new elements along the way and converting old pieces into pixels. The most expensive initial outlay will be a decent controller (or 2) but that will ensure that it can handle your expanding display in the future.
    Lights and power supplies you can buy over time as they are always available, but controllers like the Falcons are offered to us Aussies usually only once a year through a group buy to save a little on postage fees from the US.
    But definitely start off small as you are looking to do with the outlines and build form there. Who knows, it might all just click for you and before you know it you're buying more boxes of pixels to play with before Christmas!!
    Ask as many questions as you need, you've come to the right place :)
     

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