1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
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I'm slowly getting this but better check with you all.

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by Ray Sticko, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Ray Sticko

    Ray Sticko New Elf

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    G'day. I've been reading and trying to get my head around it all.
    I was going to use the RPi but I think I'll stick with using the laptop and a.sequencing program and running it all from there. I'll keep my Pi for another project or use it to do my P10 tune in sign.

    I think I want to go with pixels instead of just dumb RGB and single colour led now. I have a few DMX spot lights and some single colour led strips as well as a few rolls of dumb RGB. I am yet to purchase pixels.
    Was looking at getting my controllers etc from Hanson electrics being Aussie and all.
    I am out at work so I haven't downloaded the sequencer yet but I will have a play with both X lights and Vixen and see what I prefer.

    Now I need help with what controllers to get to allow me to run the DMX spot lights, single colour led strips, dumb RGB strips I already have and pixels too when I purchase them.

    Next is what pixels to.purchase, and I would like to keep all 12v if I can.

    I hope this isn't too much trouble for you all.

    Cheers
    Sticko.
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Hi Ray
    in my opinion you can't go wrong with Xlights. It is out in front with features and is being developed very fast with feature and bug fixes released typically at least once a week.
    5V vs 12V pixels is an old argument. The argument really is as simple as can you justify using more than twice the amount of power to get the same amount of light. 5V require more power injection due to being less tolerant to voltage drop but 12V ones drop the additional 7V in heat. As well as the heat going into every pixel you need twice as many power supplies for a given number of pixels. 12V for modules or strip is okay. 12V for nodes is simply giving up and saying that you'd rather spend twice as much rather than putting in a bit of extra effort and some additional copper.
    There's a fair range of controllers on my site. The easy option for controlling all the dumb elements is a DMX controller. If you want to put in extra effort and save money then the 2811DC controllers work out a fair bit cheaper but have distance between prop limitations (unless using null pixel buffers). DMX allows you to go 100's ofmetres between controllers, 2811 is limited to 3-10 metres though this can be extended to 30m plus via the buffers.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Ray Sticko

    Ray Sticko New Elf

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    Cheers mate.

    I'll have to take a photo of my place and draw on it where I'd like to start this year. I was thinking 12v strips for outlines etc of the house, roof, Windows etc.( the ones that have 3 leds in a segment instead of one).
    Dumb RGB for a singing face And maybe few other things to use them up.
    I'll see how I go but I'd like to either do a pixel matrix or P10 for display of some animations but if I font get to it this year no biggy.

    Next year I'll have an attempt of maybe arches, and a big animated tree.

    I do have a.number of 12v power supplies sitting around that I have surplus from when I done some signs up for my parents businesses(large alloy signs plasma cutter letters with an acrylic with sing colour LED strip to illuminate at night). From memory they range from 20amp to 35amp. Same as I think I've seen on your site Alan.

    Once I've got my.layout and lengths etc sorted do you mind helping me with the controllers needed for the layout with expansion options. I'd like to support your Australia made controllers.

    After reading a lot last night (on night shift and too wet to do anything) I am leaning towards X-lights.

    Cheers
    Sticko
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I don't know if it's still the same but a while back when I priced some dumb RGB nodes it was actually cheaper using 2811 nodes. If this is still the case then as well as the pixels being cheaper to buy it's cheaper to control as well as you're not needing 7 or 8 channels of a DC dimmer. With pixel nodes you can do the same as the RGB ones but you can do stuff like having a rainbow effect going through the outline.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Ray Sticko

    Ray Sticko New Elf

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    I wasn't planning on using any of the dumb RGB on the outlines etc. I have about 8 5m rolls from another job. I will use them for simple accents around the place. Even if I don't use them all.
    All outlines I'd like to do chasing colours etc.
     
  6. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I must have had my head under a rock Alan. I didn't even realise you were doing pixel controllers.
    Do your 4 ch diff transmitters work with the f16v3? Also how many channels can they output?

    And Ray. For your first year there is nothing wrong with using your laptop for the display. I, as did a lot of us I suspect, did the same. It is only when you get into the thousands of channels that your computer will start to struggle (unless it is like a gaming one or something) You can go to a Pi at any time and there is next to no change in how it all works.
    As far as controllers goes, you will need to confirm with Alan, but they look the goods. I personally bought a few of Alan's dumb controllers a few years ago and still use them today, but bought a couple of Falcon f16's when I went to pixels and they now control all my pixels and output dmx to the dumb controllers.
    Also, don't sweat over 5v vs 12v. I use both depending on the prop. 5v pixels and 12v strips mostly. The way I get around it without any real dramas is supply all my power via "injection" meaning, I don't use the power from the board, only the data. That way I am not limited to a set port on a board or a concern over it's total load. At the end of the day, you just get enough power supplies for the job at hand.
    good luck, and don't leave it too late or you will end up running out of time.
     
  7. OP
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    Ray Sticko

    Ray Sticko New Elf

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    Cheers.
    I'm starting now. Once I work out my controllers and plan I start sequencing as that seems to be the time consuming part then get all the lights organised and wired.
     
  8. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    The number of channels is FPP dependent. I think all the 2811 stuff is limited to around 1000 pixels per channel (on rPi-28D and HE123) as that's the limit that you can get for 20fps. I haven't had the chance to see if my differential stuff is compatible with the Falcon boards. There's no actual limited on the number of channels that can be sent differentially. It's down to the controller sending it. There's manuels (sic) on all my boards on my site with specs. I'm gradually updating the manuals and need to pull my finger out as a lot of the details in them pertained to FPP1.x and things changed a fair bit with FPP2.x.
     
  9. djgra79

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

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    Nothing stopping you creating the models and start sequencing now. You can always adjust channels and controller setup later once you know what controllers you have/will buy.
     
    NTKing(Brad) likes this.
  10. OP
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    Ray Sticko

    Ray Sticko New Elf

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    That's the plan. Was going to use the RasPi but i think I'll run it all off my laptop this year.
     

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