leaping arches - first time building anything!!!

Discussion in 'Leaping Arches, Driveway Arches & RGB Arches' started by heathwithnoteeth, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    hi,
    I am about to embark on the journey of the wonders of christmas lighting...
    i would like to have two pixel trees and four leaping arches.
    i have 100 feet of 2" hdpe tubing coming from china.
    1 raspberry pi 2 coming from RS, with enclosure, NOOBS and p/s
    what shall i look into next?
     
  2. lizardking

    lizardking IT IS STILL ALL BENS FAULT

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    Find Me On:
    cable bt-online.com.au
    heat shrink
    soldering iron
    fuse blocks
    connectors
    boxes for controllers and PSU
    and i am sure others will add to the list
     
  3. OP
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    i have a soldering iron (dick smith soldering station) already...
     
  4. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Hi heathwithnoteeth and a big welcome to ACL from another South Australian member.

    What size do you want your display items to be and where in your yard? The forums will be able to give more specific advice once we know more specific details about your plans. There are many options to choose from.

    These are some things I can think of:
    • Pixels - many types to choose from
    • Spare pixels because they occasionally die
    • Power supplies
    • Fan and flyscreen for the power supply enclosure
    • Controllers - many options again
    • A network switch
    • Cable ties
    • Multimeter
    • Sequencing software
    If you're ordering from bt-online then an option for the South Australians is to pick it up from their physical address in Kurralta Park and pay zero shipping. Remember that cables have to include CAT5 cables; some ACL members prefer to make their own.

    Having a good soldering station will make a big difference.

    It's going to be a big challenge if you want to get it running in time for this year but I wouldn't quite judge it as impossible.
     
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    cheers... i have a multimeter too.
    picked up two frames tonight from bunnings that will do nicely for two pixel trees.
    im looking at getting two lots of these pixels for the trees
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/100pcs-DC12V-input-IP68-WS2811-LED-pixel-light-RGB-wire-input-end-with-2m-long-4core/1645484747.html
    two lots of these to split in halt for the leaping arches.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5m-DC12V-60leds-m-20pcs-ws2811-ic-meter-20pixels-led-digital-strip-IP68-waterproof-in-silicon/1921783413.html
    maybe two of these to power everything (im clueless, so any input is appreciated)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/12V-350W-switch-mode-power-supply-LED-power-driver-AC90-260V-input-DC12V-350W-output-constant/1948832565.html


    any advice on controller/s?


    im thinking of using vixen for sequencing software.


    lighting will be in front yard. away from garage, but i can feed power from the ensuite easily.
     
  6. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    It sounds as though you're right on track if you understand the ups and downs of 5V versus 12V with strings and strip (12V strip is wired differently to 12V strings)

    The only real reasons you'd need more than one supply for that setup is if the items are far apart or for backup purposes (good to have a spare because the show won't work if it dies). Another option is DC-DC converters for items further away from the power supply.

    I had assumed you were going to build trees with multiple vertical strings in a cone arrangement in time for this season. Spiral trees are a much more achievable project.

    There is a big range of controllers available. What's more important to you; ease of setup or price/expandability? I'm leaning toward suggesting a BeagleBone Black with a PixelBone from smartalec if you want the ability to cheaply control large numbers of 2811/2812 pixels in future seasons. I wouldn't normally suggest something this advanced as a first controller but in your case it would work because you're already installing Falcon Player on the Raspberry Pi and you can solder.

    If you're wanting something easy to use then a PixLite (from Advatek), P2 or P12S (from user BensChristmasLights) would be the go depending on what features you want. You have just missed out on a F16V2 group buy unfortunately.
     
  7. OP
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    how do i go about getting the controller from Ben?
     
  8. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    He's in chat right now
     
  9. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    This is his site
    http://clap-supplies.com/

    Advatek's controllers are different to those sold by BensChristmaslights.
    https://www.advateklights.com/shop/6-mantis-pixel-mapping

    I would suggest finding out about the differences before ordering and deciding which type suits you the best.
    The number of universes per output is a big thing to take into consideration. Each universe is 170 pixels so, for example, if a controller has 2 universes per output then it can have 340 pixels per output. Remember that for (and only for) 12V strip each pixel is 3 RGB LEDs. The P12S controller is capable of 2 universes per output if you update the firmware.
    2811 and 2801 are different pixel types. Ben's J1sys controllers and I think the F16v2 are able to simultaneously control these alongside each other on different outputs.

    You might be able to get the F16v2 here but I don't know if they ship to Australia
    http://falconchristmas.com/shop/
     
  10. OP
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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  11. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Do you understand the difference between 12V vs 5V string and 12V vs 5V strip? They have different sets of advantages/disadvantages.

    If you're ordering 12V string then I suggest asking Ray for strings that run at 10mA per colour which is 30mA per RGB LED. They appear slightly less bright but use less power and you can have longer strings without power injection. If he sends you ones with higher current then you may as well get 5V instead. You can ask for custom light spacing with your strings but it might take a bit longer before he ships them. You'd need to specify that it's a centre-to-centre measurement or they'll be too long.

    I'm not sure why the string listing says 4 core plugs in the title. 2811 is 3 core.

    These are a couple of good additions to any order:
    What is your reason for choosing the JST plug and socket? They're not waterproof.

    Always buy a small amount of extra pixels because you'll get the occasional dud one and need to solder a new one in its place. You can ask Ray for a shorter section of string and strip for this purpose. Null pixels are another reason to order a few extra.

    Get a spare power supply too. It'll come in handy because low voltage can only travel so far before you need thicker wires. It's good to have a spare for backup purposes especially if you order one that cheap.

    There's nothing wrong with your strip at all. I just want to point out that it is only controllable every three LEDs; this means more LEDs per controller if you inject power but you sacrifice the individual control.
    I've also found that the strips with only 30 LEDs per metre are brighter than I want them to be. The PixLite controllers have a feature allowing you to lower the brightness of your pixels.

    The PixLite 4 should be able to control everything you listed and more. The only disadvantage I haven't yet mentioned is that (as far as I know) it only supports one RGB order per output. This means that if (for example) your strips are BRG and your strings are RGB, you'll have to configure this in your sequencing software if you want to run them end-to-end on a single controller output. Not sure what happens there if you're using a Raspberry Pi. In reality every controller has disadvantages and that's one that can be worked around. Advatek are very helpful too and the PixLites have a good reputation.

    You may want to limit the number of pixels per controller output; if one pixel dies, you sometimes have to replace it before all the pixels after it will work again.
     
  12. OP
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    not sure why i ordered those JSTs... Ray has now removed them from the order. must have been a drunked doosie...
     
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    2" HDPE tubing is about to be sent from china... problem is they cut it into 1m lengths, as they didnt want to pay the excess DHL fees... now i have to either weld it or find some epoxy that will work.


    got some 1" HDPE coming from the states as well, found a seller on evil bay selling a 100ft roll.
     
  14. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    That was the problem I had with the 3m acrylic tube was I couldn't get anyone to take the MOQ at 3m so I had to sea freight it. The freight tax and customs was about 65% of the total cost and was such a headache.
     
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    heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    geez... $120 for 3 days to hire a HDPE butt welder... might try the old teflon coated frypan on the bbq first.
     

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