Hi from the other side of the world....

PurpleFalcon

New elf
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
2
Location
South Wales, UK
Hi everyone from South Wales in the UK... totally new to all of this, no experience with electrics or anything but am fairly creative and am looking forward to building up displays over the coming years as I ease into earlyish retirement. Thinking that I might start with a megatree next year (fairly confident that I should leave putting anything on the newly developed house until I have some experience!) and trying to understand where to start. Your 101 manual seems as good a place as any, but anyone else who has just been through all of this, please feel free to comment and focus me based on your own pain... I've ordered a Pi4 to force me to avoid procrastinating but don't yet know what I'm going to put with it.

Appreciate your efforts in putting the manual and forum together. Thanks in advance and hope to be able to see some of the displays you guys n gals are currently working on soon.
 

scamper

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
1,049
Location
collie
Welcome. You are at least on the right path. My first year I started researching and planning at xmas the year before and it made for a fun year. Once you have read the 101 manual a few times (yes it takes a bit to digest) you can at least understand all the lingo and understand what everyone is talking about.
It amazes me that I see people on facebook say they are going to start now and build this and that for this xmas and expect to get it done when they don't even know the difference between a pixel and a power supply.
Anyway, when you get to the point of deciding which path to go, get yourself a string (at least) of pixels, a power supply, a controller and download one of the free sequencing program's and get your first lights to flash in time with a song. From there you will be forever more hooked.
remember in this forum the only dumb question, is the one you don't ask.
 

PurpleFalcon

New elf
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
2
Location
South Wales, UK
Thanks... ahead of having had time to read this far, any opinions on the best controllers to consider, rather than wasting money on ones that don't work well or would soon be too small?

I'm expecting getting lights working to music will be the easy bit based on other things I have done, but I know absolutely nothing about the hardware side of things...

What's your reason for preferring Vixen over xlights (I haven't seen the latter yet)?

Cheers
 

scamper

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
1,049
Location
collie
I downloaded both when I first started and vixen just made more sense to me. Xlights has more followers and there are updates almost every other day which I believe mostly are bug fix's at this time of year. You can also share sequences in xlights much easier, however the latest updates to Vixen made that a lot easier to do now.
Once you have as many props as I now do, the task of changing is too daunting to consider, in saying that, I believe vixen is very easy to use and there is a lot of support for it and they are still doing major upgrades each year which keeps it current, so there really is no reason to change unless I got lazy and wanted to buy or share sequences.
As far as controllers, I use falcon controllers. There are other out there, but as the falcon has a lot of support and a local bloke in Aus organised (organises each year) a bulk buy it saved on shipping and the backup is very good also. I now have 2 falcon f16v2's and a f16v3 and 3 receiver boards, after 10 months of not using this stuff, I built a new prop, plugged it in, setup the addressing and bam, it worked. They are easy to use basically. I am not saying the others aren't, as I haven't used them.
In the UK, you may have support for different hardware, like we have a local here that is doing all sorts of controllers, however he didn't have the pixel controllers at the time I jumped into them and I have now stuck with what I know.
 
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