How big is big? Matrix size that is...

Discussion in 'The Family Room' started by djgra79, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    So I posed a question in chat yesterday and was greeted with surprising results: bigger isn't always better!


    I'm looking to build a matrix, most likely of P10 panels, for my side fence. The total space I have to use is 1.5m high x 5m+ wide. I thought of having a matrix of 8 panels high x 10 panels wide (in landscape position) which would be 1.28m x 3.2m but apparently this is too big?!


    Upon further reading here: http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,7628.msg68618.html#msg68618 it seems the BBB can only handle 64 panels so I guess I'm limited by this anyway.


    Yet reading another thread on matrixes: http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,7355.msg66248.html#msg66248 someone was going to build a 3m x 6m matrix, and not one comment says this is too big?!


    I'm a little confused and looking for some direction here. Also, what ratio (high x wide) would be best?
     
  2. lytnin

    lytnin Apprentice Elf

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    The matrix you linked to was a pixel matrix not a P10 Matrix.

    The spacing of that one was 100mm so the total resolution was 60 x 30 pixels. A total of 1800 using 5400 channels, so around 11-12 universes depending how it is wired.

    Using P10's your total resolution would be 320 x 128. A total of 40960 pixels or 122880 channels. (240+ universes)

    So by comparison, the other area may be larger, but yours has a much higher pixel/channel count.

    Dave
     
  3. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    The brightness of 80 panels would be phenomenal as well. Think 80 10W RGB floodlights or the equivalent light output of 80 150W security lights.
     
  4. Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    You say that like it's a bad thing 8) :D
     
  5. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    big is not always better. it really comes down to how your going to us them in your display really
     
  6. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    Looking to use it as a screen really as I don't see that I'll have a mega tree anytime soon (maybe flat 2D one day.)
    Hence why I'm looking to get close to Tv ratio.


    Alan, surely within FPP or xlights there's an option to reduce brightness of panels?
     
  7. mararunr

    mararunr Here to learn! (and share)

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    Yes you can reduce brightness and yes you can go more than 64 P10 panels in one matrix (just need a second BBB but in xLights you set it all up as one matrix). You're only limited by physical space, budget and weight. Just always keep in mind - how will you weather proof it? Once you get larger than 7 x 7 the price for a piece of Lexan large enough to cover the front will go up dramatically.
     
  8. smeighan

    smeighan Dedicated Elf

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    Djgra79; use dimming curves in xlights to reduce brightness or change color curves for any model
     
  9. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Following this with interest, I'm looking at doing a matrix this year as well Graham, I'm planning 4H x 8W panels (32 P10's).
     
  10. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I love how everyone has differing views on matrix's.
    So I will add my own.
    I don't personally like the idea of huge p10 panels as I like the idea of xmas lights being just that.
    I am going to make a matrix, but with larger spacing, therefor less definition, so it looks like you have done something amazing with lights.
    If you have huge p10 panels, with the cost and work involved, why not just get a projector?
    I have even seen people put them inside their windows, when with the price of lcd TV's these days would be cheaper.
    Like I say, it is only my personal opinion/preference.
     
  11. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Also consider using a smaller Pitched Panel, such as P6, or P4.5. They all work the same, and you can just plug them into the octoscroller then same. They are based around a protocol called Hub75. The "P" in P10 just means pitch.

    P6 means you can build something physically smaller and have better resolution, and the panels are actually $/pixel cheaper.
     
  12. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    Thanks for the feedback all.
    Scamper I felt the same about strip originally as it wasn't "traditional" Christmas lights, but after seeing the stuff that can be done with pixels and now panels, the technology geek in me said yes!


    My windows and rooms aren't setup for projectors and such (but I would love to get virtual Santa one day) so P10s (or 4.5 or 6) are my next best solution.


    Rup, where you thinking of putting your matrix?
     
  13. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Graham, not sure yet, either on the front gable in place of the star or I may even look at putting it in place of my faces as with a matrix I can do better faces anyway. (There may be some faces up for sale shortly!) ;)
     
  14. OP
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    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    So I think I've settled on a P10 matrix size of 5 high x 6 wide = 30 panels (15,360 pixels/46,080 channels)
    This will measure 80cm high x 1.9m wide. Is that too wide as far as aspect ratio?

    This will still give a big impact on the side fence showing off some of the effects of xLights as well as some video clips to accompany the music sequences. Might even place some strip around the outside for a sequenceable (is that a word?!) border.


    Next questions surround location of PSU(s) and BBB. Is it best practice to have these devices next to the matrix, or is it possible to run cables from PSU/BBB to matrix from X meters away?
    This would also help determine waterproofing solutions...
     
  15. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    My opinion is that being 5vdc and drawing a decent amount of current then I would have the power supplies located as close as possible to minimise any voltage drop
    The fact that you are planning on using this outdoors will mean you will need to do some form of weatherproofing for the panels themselves as they are not waterproof on the back side of the panels so you may as well invest in some weatherproof power supplies as well

    As far as the size then there are no firm rules here and you should do what you think will look best in your application
     

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