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Is it too late to go to RGB this year?

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by DanJ, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. DanJ

    DanJ Full Time Elf

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    I am considering installing four RGB-based sidewalk arches in this year's Christmas display. This year will be my first year to synchronize. I was ready to go last year but a job came up for which I had to travel so I did not get to do anything last year. I was planning to use one LOR CTB16PC to run 16 AC channels this year then start migration to RGB next year. However, as my wife & I are thinking about this year's display, we are thinking 16 channels might not be quite enough even for a "first display and that we should go ahead & do sidewalk arches this year. So, I am thinking perhaps I should ahead & make the jump into RGB this year instead of spending more $$ on AC-based technology, but I am concerned I might be biting off more than I can chew. Is it "too late" to get into this and have the display up & running by Thanksgiving night? My gut is that if I go this route this year I should probably stick with the LOR software since I am at least somewhat familiar with it. Your thoughts/advice/experience would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks very much in advance.
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Hi Dan
    The jump to RGB is pretty painless really and can be accomplished in no time at all. Changing from dumb elements to pixels is a bit more of a dramatic change but is still possible at this time of year. If you're only using using 16 channels at the moment I'm guessing that you have LOR S3 basic which only allows 2 controllers :(
    To go with RGB you can start gobbling up channels 3 times as fast so you should probably look at LOR S3 Advanced which will let you go with lots of controllers and also allows you to go with dmx and E1.31 control. There's a comparison table for controllers on the wiki link below (it's a bit out of date and doesn't show some other ones including LOR 24 channel board). Ray Wu has a great range of dumb (non pixel) rgb lights. I always tell everyone not to buy lights via ebay as they tend to be rubbish. They may look good initially but they tend to be the lowest quality lights available on the planet.

    http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/Controllers
    http://store.lightorama.com/software1.html
     
  3. dariansdad

    dariansdad New Elf

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    If you're doing a couple or 4 arches and only that, yep, IMHO, its possible. Anything more than that and I think you may be a little late in the game. Just an opinion
     
  4. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    the only suggestion I will make IRT arches is, to get the leaping effect, you will require probably 7 or 8 seperate segments per arch, which obviously equates to 7 or 8 x 3 channels on your LOR controller for each arch. This also equates to 7 or 8 x 3 different cable runs to the arch from the controller = larger quantities of cables running on ground + increased costs.

    Obviously, for me I would suggest pixels to achieve this, you can then have 1 arch with 1 cable running to it, achieving a jumping effect which is controllable every 5 - 10 cm.

    Now, there is obviously some initial costs to go with this, but can be achieved fairly cheaply, and the dive into RGB (pixels) will actually be quite painless.

    you would require a pixel controller, ie
    a ECG-P2 from j1sys
    Pixel strip (5v or 12v)
    cable
    connectors
    power supply (5v or 12v)

    on saying all this, each ECG-P2 can accomodate 2 outputs of 4 universes = 8 x 512 channels (4097 channels)
    depending on the type of pixels (pixls per meter) and the size of your arches, you could easily control around 11 arches per ECG-P2

    with this you will also have a greater expanse into the effects you can apply to them and IMO a better looking arch in general.

    Are you too late to get this ready for christmas. No. For each arch, you would only require a small amount of solfering, ther addition of plugs and some cable ties. to make 4 arches, this could easily be achieved (depending on your skill level) in an hour or two. The delivery of the stuff is the biggest delay. with 98 days until Christmas, you would want to give yourself sufficient time to sequence them. (also as AAH mentioned) you will need to upgrade LOR to S3 advanced to utilise the ECG-P2
    Food for thought
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    I think this year may be a good opportunity for you to just dip your toes into the RGB pixel world,
    I would look at ot this way, If you go ahead and make the arches but then decide that you dont have enough time to add them to the show then at least you have started learning and working with RGB pixels so the learning curve for next year will be less.
    But I reakon if its just the arches and you continue to use LOR S3 then I think there still is plenty of time for you.

    If you havent already, then download the ACL 101 lighting manual which should help you understand some of the basic theory and arm you with higher level questions.
     
  6. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    The way I figure it. If the vendors can deliver the supplies, then you can have as many sleepless nights as you want to get it done. Realistically if you want it done, you will get it done. I reckon jump in and give it a go. You still have months.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    DanJ

    DanJ Full Time Elf

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    Thanks so much for all of your replies. I REALLY appreciate your comments, thoughts, and opinions. RGB pixels here I come I guess!!!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    DanJ

    DanJ Full Time Elf

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    Oh by the way I bought LOR S3 advanced last year because I knew I would, over the years, go up 16 or 32 channels each year as I got further & further and into this.
     
  9. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    I reckon go for it. You are already familiar with LOR so you have a head start. I started last year about early July , had never used LOR or any sequencing software and went straight to RGB. Musical part of my display was relatively small ( 4 RGB candy canes, two RGB stars, two RGB bells, four RGB strip lights and twelve mini trees {8 white and 4 RGB } ). It was a great way to learn without getting in over my head. Glad I didn't over commit to a lot of dumb RGB as I've moved to pixels this year. If its just some arches you are doing then you could jump straight to pixels as pixels seems like a much easier way to achieve leaping arches with one strip and one cable as Matt said. Starting small like that would be a great intro to pixels and then next year you could go crazy :)
     

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