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New PixLite 16 Long Range Controller

Discussion in 'Advatek Lights' started by ltay13, May 19, 2015.

  1. ltay13

    ltay13 Full Time Elf Community Project Designer

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    Hi All,


    Advatek is pleased to announce the new PixLite 16 Long Range Controller!


    Background:


    Feedback from our customers over the last couple of years has indicated a few common issues with conventional pixel controllers and the existing PixLite 16 controllers that we aim to solve using this new controller.


    1. Placing pixels at even modest distances from the controller can cause many problems to occur. These problems arise from the way the signal is sent to the pixels, it's not designed to travel far. Often null pixels are added to try and overcome these issues but they are cumbersome. Other problems with noise and crosstalk between cables can create many difficulties with flickering and are not easily overcome.


    2. Due to the fact it's hard to run far between the controller and pixels, it's often difficult to make use of the full 340 pixels per output that the PixLite has to offer, reducing the value for money you would otherwise see with something like a matrix element. The PixLite 16 can control 340 pixels per output for a total of 5,440 pixels per controller, but many display elements don't use this many pixels all in the one location. As pixel controllers grow in output capability it's clear that this isn't going to be particularly useful unless we can easily control pixels that are spread out in a display.


    3. With high power systems such as strip lighting, often the total power is too much to run through the controller and needs to have external fusing and power distribution. With the PixLite Long Range system each receiver can control 2 x 7.5A loads directly.


    Features:


    The PixLite 16 Long Range Controller is designed to overcome distance problems and help you make the most of the output capability of the controller. The Long Range system sends differential pixel signals directly out of the controller which can be transmitted easily using any standard network cable at distances of 300m+.


    The signal is decoded at the other end using small receiver boards which convert the signal back to the normal pixel signals that your string or strips understand.


    The controller can operate in 2 modes:


    Mode 1: Normal - Each receiver drives 2 pixel outputs of any supported pixel type. The controller uses all 8 output jacks.


    Mode 2: Condensed - Each receiver drives 4 pixel outputs of any DATA ONLY pixel type. I.E. If the pixels only have a data line and no clock (like the WS2811 protocol), the receivers can drive 4 sets of pixels at the same time. The controller uses only the first 4 output jacks to send all 16 output channels.


    All other operating specifications are the same as the current PixLite 16 controllers. The PixLite 16 Long Range still has 16 outputs and can drive 340 pixels per output.


    Price and Ordering:


    While solutions already exist to do what the PixLite Long Range does, they are expensive. The aim of the PixLite Long Range is to make this much more affordable. The controllers are the same price as the PixLite 16, currently at $199.95 and the fully assembled receiver are $8.95 each.


    *Presale on these controllers has just opened with a 10% discount on both the control board and receivers*


    **To keep things as cheap as possible for the real enthusiasts, receiver board PCBs will be sold for just $1 each without parts ( in panels of 8 ). You can load them with connectors or solder wires directly in to save cost, loading the 5v regulator parts is optional as well if you already are using 5v lights.**


    Presale on these controllers can be found on our shop: http://www.advateklights.com/shop/


    Shipping within the USA or Australia is local and free like the other PixLite controllers.
     
  2. AussieDoug

    AussieDoug Full Time Elf

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    Wow, this a great controller to hit the market. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these bad boys.

    Well done Lukes
     
  3. Devo

    Devo Apprentice Elf Community Project Designer

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    Here's some (prototype) pics:


    Controller:

    [​IMG]

    Receiver:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. fmt1962

    fmt1962 New Elf

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    @%$^!..... just order 2 x Pixelite 16's on the weekend, I expect they are sitting at home when I get back from work tonight.... :( Wish I knew about these new boards on the weekend....

    They sound good.
     
  5. Devo

    Devo Apprentice Elf Community Project Designer

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    Hi Daryl,


    Give us a call and we will sort something out for you if you want to return your PixLite 16's and wait for the long range version to come into stock.


    Cheers
     
  6. fmt1962

    fmt1962 New Elf

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    Thanks Devo,
    You guys are the best, I will call you as this will fit the bill perfectly for one of my projects.....

    I expect these will be very popular.
     
  7. nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Great news. I just bought another Pixlite 4 with the idea of getting another one later,, it was another controller or the Mini at the time, because of the spread limitations of going to a 16. Now you have solved that problem. Well done.
     
  8. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Sorry if this is a silly question but are there any concerns regarding having different power supplies for the main board and the receivers? i.e do they have to have a common ground or is that not and issue with this type of setup.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    ltay13

    ltay13 Full Time Elf Community Project Designer

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    Nope that's a fair question as it will be page 1 in the manual. The PSUs that run the lights/receivers and the controller need to have the same ground if there are more than one. It's the same principle as using multiple PSUs with any other pixel controller except because the controller and receivers will be spread out it needs to be noted clearly.


    In many/most cases it would actually be fine without it because of the way it works but it will be recommended to always ground the PSUs together regardless. In some cases this may require a long single core wire just to ground power supplies if they are spread far apart within the one controller/receivers group.
     
  10. Greg.Ca

    Greg.Ca Apprentice Elf

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    Can you explain in more detail the current limitation of 7.5 Amps. I currently use the pixlite 16 and each output drives almost two full universes of 5V current. I believe worse case scenario for full white for 336 pixels was calculated at .060 X 336=20 amps per output at worse case scenario. I do have 20 amp fuses protecting each of the 336 pixel loads on each output. Everything for my 56 X 96 matrix is working perfectly using just one pixlite16 with NO pixel current flowing back to the Pixlite 16.
    Each of my 16 outputs drives 336 pixels HOWEVER, this current is NOT flowing through the pixlite board. Only the data and the common ground (negative) is connected from the board to the pixel loads. The 5V positive for the pixels goes directly back to the positive on the power supply and by-passes the Pixlite 16. Therefore the pixlite 16 is technically NOT supplying any current to the pixel loads themselves.
    It should be noted that the 5V power supplies are providing power to the board itself (50-100 ma)? but the 5Vpositive for the pixel loads is NOT going back to the Pixlite 16. Remember, I only connected two wires from the pixlite 16 to the pixels on each output. (data and negative)
    Can your long distance device do the same whereas the pixel current flows back to the power supply and NOT to the pixel driver? I only need data and a common ground reference from the driving card. Greg--
     
  11. OP
    OP
    ltay13

    ltay13 Full Time Elf Community Project Designer

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    Hi Greg,


    Yes you can do the exact same thing with the long range system as a normal PixLite in that regard (power the lights through your power supply directly instead of the onboard fusing).


    However the higher amount of current per output on the long range receivers should mean that in more cases (not yours where it's 20A) a strip can be completely powered through the onboard fuse which makes life easier than running your own external fusing system.
     
  12. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    Is the manual available for this yet?
     
  13. Devo

    Devo Apprentice Elf Community Project Designer

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    No not yet but it will be soon.
     
  14. damona

    damona Full Time Elf

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    Have you add support for different pixel types per string/output?
     
  15. Devo

    Devo Apprentice Elf Community Project Designer

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    The pixel output specifications on the long range controller are identical to those on the current PixLite 16 controller. Multiple pixel types per output is not something that can/will be added as it is a limitation of the hardware.
     

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