New member in SE Melbourne

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by DavidJ247, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    I’m a new member in south-eastern Melbourne. I’ve had a Christmas display for many years with store bought lights, inflatables, cut-outs, ropelights, silhouettes and numerous other decorative pieces. I have always had a keen interest in sequencing the lights to music and toyed with the idea of building an LOR system a few years ago (though this was out of my price range at the time). The rise of smart pixels in recent years has again sparked my interest and I have decided to take the plunge into programmable lighting. I’m planning to start small with the basics, software, pi player (for stand alone operation) and one controller (thinking of E682), I’ll cut my teeth learning these through the year and hopefully add some nice effects to my 2016 display starting with a few pixel stars or snowflakes and perhaps a roof outline if all goes well.
    It was while researching controllers online that I came across AusChristmasLighting, there is an amazing amount of information here and the 101 manual is very useful. What a great community, looking forward to being a part of it!
    David.
     
  2. kel

    kel Dedicated Elf

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. bjpc2716

    bjpc2716 need more lights to light up the world

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    welcome aboard good to see other vic
     
  4. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    Welcome aboard David! I'm just down the road in Cranbourne West, and another member Becay is in Beaconsfield if you ever want to see up close what we do.
    Plenty of friendly folks here to learn from, so feel free to ask as many questions as you need!
     
  5. dale82

    dale82 Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL David
     
  6. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL

    It was a very good move to post here before ordering any hardware. 240V controllers can struggle with low voltage lights and DC controllers are cheaper from sources other than LOR. If you have light sets with 8 function controllers then there needs to be at least 3 wires going to the lights. Watch out for this when buying lights because they're getting a bit uncommon.

    There are many choices of pixel controllers too. The existing lights you have can't share a controller with the pixels but most of them probably can be controlled in a setup with multiple controllers.
     
  7. Jamie

    Jamie Lighting up the night.

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    Welcome to ACL :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    DavidJ247

    DavidJ247 Full Time Elf

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    Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome!


    Djgra79, I drove by your display yesterday and it is excellent, the videos don't do it justice! Only found your message when I got home, thanks for the kind offer, it would be great to see up close how it all comes together, when's a good time to catch up?


    i13, thanks for the advice, yes one of the reasons I went off the LOR idea originally was that I had many different voltage light sets and the thought of switching or dimming through transformers seemed troublesome. Also the cost at the time, it was big $ to get started with LOR and relatively low number of chanels for the money. I'm keen to start with a pixel controller, some pixels and software and get my head around that first. Next step would then be to integrate some of my existing low voltage lights, any suggestions on dc controllers? I do have some AC only lights in my display, ropelights, effects lights etc so down the track I may look at adding an AC controller but I have plenty to do before that!


    A question out of left field, let me know if this is covered somewhere else in the forums. Interactivity with the light show, any body have experience with this? For example, a button to press to start a show or perhaps a sensor or button to trigger a particular sequence of lights or sound during a show? What sort of hardware would be required to make this possible? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself with this, just thinking out aloud.
     
  9. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Coincidentally I think that Graham had some interactivity with his 2014 show. He had some buttons to run things different colours if I remember right.
    Brad from BradsXmasLights.com has interactivity through being able to log in via wifi and put your name on his matrix.
     
  10. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    My memory failed me. It was actually Tom82 in Kew who had the colour changing display.
     
  11. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

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    Thanks for the kind words. Must have been late as we got home late and I noticed the roof was mostly not working due to a dodgy connection.
    I don't think I'll be out tomorrow night so feel free to swing by around 8 so you can see the gear while there's still a bit of daylight left. Otherwise, just send me a PM to arrange another time.
    Cheers, Graham (djgra79)
     
  12. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The choice of DC controller depends on what other hardware you have. If your pixel controller has a DMX output then this would be the controller I'd recommend.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/HD712
    It lacks features such as fuses, termination and higher current capacity but it is quite easy to modify or add to it to get all three of these features. I have a few of these and they've NEVER missed a beat. They can handle up to 35V too. Don't adjust the screws while it is powered because it is too easy to bump and accidentally short out the mosfets through the screwdriver.

    You'll find it is a bit of a job getting your DC light sets working with DC control because they will all want different voltages. You need to test them and add diodes, change their resistors and/or remove some of the LEDs to get them working at the same voltage and this will be higher than 24V. It was worth the effort for me here.

    Note that the LED strings will always work with DC control unless there's an 8 function controller AND only two wires going to the lights. It doesn't matter if their original plugpack was AC or DC.
     
  13. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    to ACL David

    Keep in mind, there is NEVER a dumb question in these forums or in chat.
     
  14. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Welcome aboard, you live round the corner from where I use to live (Sabre Crt)
    I never had blinky at that house though, only static displays.
     
  15. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Welcome david !
     

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