Need advice on how to wire leaping arches

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Dec 31, 2015
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Hello to all.


I need some advice on how to wire leaping arches.


I have 6 arches. Each arch is made of 16 WS2811 pixels (48 LED's). I will be running them from Xlights, through the Falcon F16V2-R, using E1.31.


Question: Is it better to wire each arch to a separate port (using a total of 6 ports out of the available 16 ports on the F16V2-R) or to daisy chain all six arches and connect them to one port?


What are the advantages or disadvantages of doing it either way?


Thank you
 

Troy ELD

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using 6 ports is wasting ports TBH. You can wire them all together and only using 48 pixels you shouldnt need to power inject either. Setting it up this way in xlights is quite simple.
 

BundyRoy

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The only reason I wouldn't put them on the one port is if some of them are physically located a distance away from the others. Like has been said before it is easy to set up the channel numbers for individual display items in whatever sequencer you are using. The physical wiring comes back to a couple of things. The physical distance between elements (remember null pixels are likely to be required if they are over say 5m apart) and the efficient use of pixels/output. eg if an output can handle one universe then you want to try and have as close to 170 pixels hooked up to it as possible so no outputs are wasted. Of course the efficient use of outputs is only a concern if you have enough pixels to fill the available controllers.
 
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Would the same thing apply to a mega tree? I will be building a 180 deg. tree, using 12 strings of WS2811 nodes, 100 nodes per string


I will need power injection for this one.
 

BundyRoy

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Same principles apply. I'm not sure how many pixels/output can be handled with the falcon controller but you have 1200 pixels in the mega tree. I'm guessing this is too many pixels for one output. Depending on how things work out and the locations you may be able to run the arches and part of the tree off one output and the remainder of the tree off others.


One other point I forgot to mention is if you are underutilising your controller (ie don't have that many pixels) then it can be a benefit to spread display items over multiple outputs. The benefit occurs when say one arch blows a pixel due to water ingress. If half of your display is connected downstream of this then it all goes out. If only one or two items are connected then only they go out and the rest of your display carries on as normal.
 

BundyRoy

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Just checked the spec. Looks like your controller can handle 680 pixels per output. So this means you are going to have to put the tree on at least two outputs. You also have 96 pixels worth of arches. So if you put 6 strings of the tree on an arch then that leaves 80 pixels available to run other lights on those two outputs.
 

i13

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If you want to have large numbers of pixels on one output, you might want to make up spare sections of pixels with connectors. This is because if a pixel near the controller dies, all pixels after it can stop until you replace the dud one.

With a mega tree, you can adjust the number of pixels per strand to use up the supported number of pixels per output.
 

scamper

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I use the f16 and I run each element off each output. ie all of the arches off output 1, all of the spiral trees off output 2 etc.
The mega tree uses 2 outputs, but I don't put any more elements onto an output (at this stage) simply for ease of wiring and mapping.
The good thing about the f16 is you can map virtual strings on each output and reverse them, change colour map etc so as far as that goes you don't need each item on a different output.
Obviously, the downside is if you have a problem with a pixel or string, then they all go out, but at least it is only one element.
 
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Thank you all for the great advice.

Last year was my first attempt at choreographing lights to music. I used 3 LOR controllers, 16 channels each, with LED lights only. This year will by my first time working with RGB pixels.

In addition to the arches and the tree, I will have other elements in my display (mini trees, house outline, icicles, singing Christmas trees, matrix...) . As far as controllers, I have 3 F16v2-R's each with an expansion board (a total of 96 outputs at 340 pixels per output, if you use the expansion boards), and 3 LOR 16 ch. controllers, so I think I have enough outputs.

I think I will use one output for the arches and 2 outputs for the tree, without mixing anything else on those same outputs.

One great thing about the F16v2-R, is that I can assign a specific number of pixels to each output.

I will start working on my matrix in a couple of weeks, and I think I will be back asking for more advice.
 

Skunberg

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Personally I would waste the ports. If one fails, I can unplug it and bring it inside. Move the other arches so they are together again, and plug to the right ports to leave one end or the other as the missing arch. Same with the megatree and have a spare string to replace a failed one. No cutting and splicing outside. Repair at your leisure is worth a few extra ports.
 
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