1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

just getting my head around the setup, and need some help

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by outshinethatstar, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. outshinethatstar

    outshinethatstar New Elf

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    Hi people.

    OK am I right in thinking that each 5m dumb strip (or any length) needs a controller?

    And if a universe is 512 can I put 170 strips on it? Thus 1 controller can have 170 strips?

    Or have I got my self really confused

    Thanks guys

    Nick
     
  2. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    Yep thats about right, but what may cause issues is the current draw on the strips. Most controllers have an upper current limitation that means you cant run a 5m strip from every output and keep within the limitation when on white.

    Ideally you could have 170 individual RGB strips per universe though, same as 170 Pixels per universe.
     
  3. fasteddy

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

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    Theoretically yes, but you wouldnt be able to get a single controller to run that many strips

    For example the LOR DC controller is only 16 channels, each strip would use 3 channels so 16/3 = 5.3, so effectively you could use 5 strips with that controller

    Now you then have the cheap chinese DC controller, it is 27 channels, so 27/3 = 9 strips. BUT now you have to look at total current load.
    Each 30 LED/M strip will draw 1 amp per colour/channel per 5 metre strip, if we connect 9 x 5 metre strips then we will have a total current draw of 27 amps which is much higher than the rated 15 amps total load for that controller.

    So treat each RGB strip as 3 channels, so you are correct that it would be 170 RGB dumb channels that you could use in a DMX universe.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    outshinethatstar

    outshinethatstar New Elf

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    OK got good thanks

    So why does the sandevices E680 have only 16 outputs but only 4 univeres

    Ta
    Nick
     
  5. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    Thats because it's a pixel controller, not a plain RGB Controller. Most other pixel controllers out there support eithor 1/2 or a full universe per output, some actually support more than 1 universe per output. It comes down to the decisions made by the designer, and any firmware issues they face supporting the higher numbers of pixels
     
  6. OP
    OP
    outshinethatstar

    outshinethatstar New Elf

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    Also what is a pixel in relation to rgb LEDs

    Ta nick
     
  7. fasteddy

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

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    It may be easier to refer you to read pages 21 and 22 and pages 51, and 54 to 56 of the ACL 101 Lighting manual

    Those pages will show you the differences between intelligent pixels and controllers compared to DC controllers and dumb RGB lights

    But in a nut shell you are talking about dumb RGB lights that work with a DC controller compared to RGB intelligent lights which use a pixel controller, 2 different things
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    Page 8 of the manual will give you some word definitions as well
     
  9. OP
    OP
    outshinethatstar

    outshinethatstar New Elf

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    Good idea

    I think I need more reading to get my head around this universe and things.

    I'm going to be using dumb rgbs for my first show with LSP as the software, what hardware would you recomed? I'm pretty good with a soildering iron

    Thanks

    Nick
     
  10. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    For dumb strip thre are a few good choices, but the main 2 used my a number of members are the 27 channel controllers from China, and the AVD 24 or 48 Channel controllers from David_AVD in Queensland.

    Both are DMX items (So you will need a DMX dongle of some sort), and it depends if you want to spend more to get a better product with local support, or 1/2 the cost and get an unsupported, slightly inferior product from China... I run about 16 of the 27 channel controllers (with a couple more to go soon) here and have only had 1 failure, and that was of a screw terminal, not the board.

    In the end it's a personal choice as to which controller you use, and there are a lot of others available out there which other people use and like
     
  11. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    Nick, if you plan on using a lot of dumb RGB and want to build your own controllers, you should probably look at the Renard series controllers.

    Check the DIYC Wiki at http://doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page ==> Electronic Hardware ==> 2.2.2 Renard. There are then links to general information and to specific information on available board designs.

    There are lots of discussion threads in the DIYC forums http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/forum.php

    There are a couple of Renard kits available at http://www.diyledexpress.com/ with costing at about $1 per channel - pretty damn cheap - but note the current limit of each channel is only around half an amp, so you'd need at least 6 channels for a typical 5 metre RGB strip - fine if your display requires you to cut shorter sections anyway.

    Another possibilty at http://wlcventures.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2 is the Renard 64 board with external DC Solid State Relays. This gives you much more current per channel but costs significantly more.

    The downside of the Renard route is that you're probably a bit out of step with most Aussies (there are a few of us though), but if you're keen on do-it-yourself, there's a lot to be said.

    But, that being said, the world does seem to be heading towards the pixel route, which requires a totally different type of controller. Personally, I'll have a mix of Renard and Pixel this year.

    Dave
     
  12. angus40

    angus40 Senior Elf

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    Nick

    I would highly recommend you get your dumb strip controller here >>>>


    https://www.audiovisualdevices.com.au/products.php?catid=16&grpid=1695


    This vendor is an ACL member and local for you .

    Being that you are in a learning state it is best to have a quality controller with support that is close to your area.

    with shipping costs and etc , you won't be disappointed .

    There is a sharp learning curve to this hobby and Acl is the best place to be ( IMHO ) .


    Richard
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    Unfortunatly for us Aussies, when you take in consideration of the shipping costs, the value factor changes compared to those in the US. I think thats part of the reason Renard has not had a strong following over this way in recent years as there are other alternatives which can give us better value like the 27 channel DC controller from Ray Wu for $44. But in the US the Renard range offers some great value if you are wanting to build your own boards. So depending on where one lives may determine what is the most cost effective option.
    Pixels are now starting to come down in price and when you look at the value you get per channel for intelligent pixels compared to using dumb RGB lights, its now becoming better value to use intelligent RGB lighting when you take in the overall costs.
     
  14. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    Actually, even with freight, the low current DC Renards are still significantly cheaper than the Ray Wu controller, especially if you order everything you want in one hit. My last order for a Ren48LSD and 4 x Simple Renard 32RGB+W boards (for 176 channels) worked out to be about $1.15 per channel freight included. 6 Ray Wu boards (for 162 channels) would cost about $1.80 per channel freight included.

    The channel current rating on the Ray Wu boards is about double that of the DC Renards, but the board rating is 15A max. so on average, they're around the same. You certainly wouldn't be able to run 9 x 5m RGB dumb strips on a Ray Wu board without risking smoke!

    But the Ray Wu boards are ready to run and time is marching on if you're planning on soldering!

    Totally agree with Eddy on the pixel issue - if I were starting from scratch, without an existing inventory of dumb led strings, I'd be tempted to go all out with pixels.

    But like you, I don't mind firing up a soldering iron, and it all boils down to what you want to achieve - horses for courses - and "getting your head around" all the options is probably the hardest part.

    Dave
     
  15. fasteddy

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

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    You may know something i dont know about the parts and shipping. If i was to buy the parts from mouser or digikey then because the order isnt big enough then ill be hit with shipping charges for the parts in the area of $30, then add the shipping cost of the PCB and it becomes expensive.
    But then buying these through a group buy may not be good value really depending on how many you want as you have to pay $20 to be a supporting member at DIYC to be involved in any group buy.
    Maybe you might have some insight on reducing the cost of shipping as you have already been involved in obtaining the renard controllers.

    Now as far as the renard DC boards, do they follow the same caviets as the older Renard boards as far as connecting up in DMX, because from what im led to believe is that the renard boards with the DMX code are not actually the full DMX standard as the channels need to go through each controller in order. Please correct me if i am wrong.


    EDIT: I can see by buying the kit direct from DIY LED Express that this makes this option much more attractive to those wanting to build a kit downunder
     

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