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New guy needs RGB shopping list

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by sgtsrice, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. sgtsrice

    sgtsrice New Elf

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    I need help. I purchased a LOR CTB16PC controller with S4.8* Pro sequencing software in November 2015. I was able to put together a few sequences, buy 1 sequence and copy some from others that were gracious enough to share theirs. I replaced most of my incandescent lights with LEDs. My Christmas display worked great. I received another CTB16PC as a Christmas present, bringing me to 32 channels total. Now I that I am addicted, I need some help. I would like to change some items in my display to RGB lights. I am open to smart or dumb, but I don’t have a big budget to work with (think under $1,000 US total). I need some help developing a list of the parts that I need to purchase that are compatible with the LOR controllers I have. I like their products so far, but think they are a little more expensive to get me going on RGB or I just don’t know anything about what I am talking about or need.
    I currently have:
    1 ea Laptop
    1 ea LOR S4.8* Pro
    2 ea LOR CTB16PC controllers
    5 ea 4 foot spiral trees(w/ incans) that I want to convert to RGB
    1 ea USB485 adapter

    What else do I need? Will a DMX controller work? How many DC power supplies and what voltage? Anything else?

    Thank You,
    Stephen.
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    You can run the existing controllers that you have in DMX mode. All you will need to do is use a ESTA-LOR crossover cable/adaptor. You then need to change your sequence to use dmx channels which only takes a few minutes. Once you are using dmx then you can use dmx dc dimmer boards which are way cheaper than AC and you will also have access to pixel control via E1.31. With a $1000 budget you can do a lot providing you don't buy LOR controllers/pixels. These will gobble up your dollars much faster than buying goodies that are shown in the 101. Popping into chat for chat and advice can save you massive amounts of dollars and grief.

     
  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    If you're wanting to use pixels (smart) then grab yourself a F16v2 controller before the group buy closes. The American portion of the buy is likely to be at www.falconchristmas.com and you really can't beat its total capacity and value for money without getting something more difficult to set up. In my opinion smart pixels are the way to go. The price difference is small and you can do so much more with them.

    A DC DMX controller will only work with dumb RGB.

    I don't think it's a good idea to ask other forum members to write you a shopping list because it won't take your specific requirements and preferences into account. Voltage choice is a good example where only you can decide which you prefer. Other very relevant questions when choosing voltage are whether you'd prefer RGB strings vs strips and smart vs dumb.

    How far apart are your trees? Voltage drop will be more of a problem if they're sharing a supply and they're further apart.

    Try constructing and posting a rough shopping list and briefly stating why you chose each item. You can then get feedback on what will be suitable. Ask if there's anything missing from the list too.
     
  4. EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    Are you looking at dumb RGB or smart RGB or both?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    sgtsrice

    sgtsrice New Elf

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    smart preferably, but I am not opposed to dumb if I need to baby step my way through the process.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    sgtsrice

    sgtsrice New Elf

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  7. OP
    OP
    sgtsrice

    sgtsrice New Elf

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  8. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    No an AC controller can't run smart pixels either. You need an E1.31 controller for pixels. These can't run dumb RGB directly but some can take E1.31 data in and send DMX data to dumb controllers.

    A single power supply could run multiple trees that size at that distance as long as your power cables are thick enough and you don't exceed the current capacity of the power supply which is unlikely. Being that distance apart you could also quite easily have them share a controller output if you use pixels. Just run the data line (and clock line for WS2801) from one tree to the next. If you use dumb RGB then each tree will need to be wired back to the controller or you won't be able to control each tree separately.

    E1.31 is divided into universes which can be thought of as groups of up to 512 channels. With pixels 510 is considered the limit because 512 is not divisible by 3. Each pixel uses 3 channels - one for the red, green and blue component within it. Controllers usually support 1, 2 or 4 universes per output which means 170, 340 or 680 pixels per output. In practice you'll need power injection to avoid voltage drop and have large numbers of pixels per output but this is not difficult to do. The E1.31 signal is sent directly from your computer's (or whatever is running the show) ethernet port. It then generally passes through a network switch and goes to your controllers.
     
  9. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL, as you can see there is lots of great help and advice here, but just make sure that what someone has suggested will fit your needs because what may work well for someone may not be the best choice for you. So take the time to understand your options
     

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