Newbie Help for first order

Eizziljam

New elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
19
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi all, firstly thank you to everyone who has patiently answered my newbie questions so far, I’ve planned my set up and now I’m ready to get the equipment to start building etc. I’ve done a course so I understand more about the setup, power requirements, sequencing and stuff. The thing I lack most knowledge in is electrical wiring, and what exactly to order.

I’ve got a few questions:
  1. Do you usually order seperate strings of nodes for each element?
  2. What is the recommended wire spacing for nodes if im putting it into coro strip (or really what’s the recommended excess wire because obviously it depends how spaced out I want the lights in the strip)
  3. Same question as above but for ELD coro props... is there a standard spacing that is recommended to order that will work with all of the props?
  4. I’ve seen people talk about connectors, and I know it’s a personal choice but as a newbie starting fresh what is recommended?
  5. Can I ask ray wu for say 1m of pixel nodes and then 3m of cable attached to it so I can bring it back to my power/controller source? Or is this something I should do myself?
  6. Arches - I’ve worked out the measurements of my arches, and want to use strip inside the air seeder hose- is it advisable to order the strip in the lengths I want for each arch rather than cut it myself? So like 6 lots of 3m strip with pigtails at each end to join them together?

    thanks in advance for your advice!​
 

Spudda

New elf
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
4
Great questions and I am sure someone with more knowledge than me (another newbie) will answer, I am keen to understand the answers to

But I would like to know what course that you took ?

Thanks

Andrew
 

Mark_M

Full time elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
319
Location
Auckland, NZ
1. Do you usually order seperate strings of nodes for each element?
Depends if you want spares. Might be best to get a string without any connectors. It'll be the set to cut pixels off and replace dead pixels in another string.
2. What is the recommended wire spacing for nodes if im putting it into coro strip (or really what’s the recommended excess wire because obviously it depends how spaced out I want the lights in the strip)
What props do you intend this to be on? Do you want these to be standard or custom made?
3. Same question as above but for ELD coro props... is there a standard spacing that is recommended to order that will work with all of the props?
Most are standard 4 inch spacing pixels. ELD's website should state if it's not normal spacing.
4. I’ve seen people talk about connectors, and I know it’s a personal choice but as a newbie starting fresh what is recommended?
I use Ray Wu 13.5mm but there seems to be more people liking xConnect.
5. Can I ask ray wu for say 1m of pixel nodes and then 3m of cable attached to it so I can bring it back to my power/controller source? Or is this something I should do myself?
You could do yourself or pay an extra bit for him to do. Although the DIY route means you have a wire to solder and heat shrink, just an extra point of failure.
6. Arches - I’ve worked out the measurements of my arches, and want to use strip inside the air seeder hose- is it advisable to order the strip in the lengths I want for each arch rather than cut it myself? So like 6 lots of 3m strip with pigtails at each end to join them together?
Strip comes in a roll. Every X amount of leds there will be copper pads. You cut between those and solder wires on. Otherwise Ray can custom made strip and have them factory waterproofed.
 

Mark_M

Full time elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
319
Location
Auckland, NZ
But I would like to know what course that you took ?
Course.....?
Yeah, you could pay for some resources, but why when we have this community? We have the ACL manual and members here to help.
Plus many videos are on YouTube and other forum places. And you don't get much better than a Zoom room for live help from someone in the community!

I didn't learn any of this from a course, go free and support each other.
Once you build up knowledge you can help others. You don't have to know everything; just bring something to the table.
 

Adsy

Apprentice elf
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
52
Hi Eizziljam
Firstly there are way more qualified people to answer some of these questions but will try my best to help you out.
1. Dependent on your props. probably yes on smaller ones or mega tree strings but always order a few spares
2. I have some 75mm spacing and 50mm between nodes is acceptable
3.Cant answer that one
4.I use Ray Wu connectors but they are all pretty much the same really
5.I would get Ray to do this for you if your not confident with soldering
6.Personally I did my own, but while your ordering get Ray to do it for you for little extra
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
1,476
Location
Cranbourne West
My 2c for what it's worth:
1) I don't, just order nodes as bundles of 50 and join them as I need. If you're not confident you can get them to length/node count you want, but you'll pay a touch more for someone to do it, plus if you miscount your nodes, you'll still need to change it yourself anyway.
2) I have been using 100mm spacing but this is wire length. You lose some length with the wire encased in the resin so the actual physical length that can be acheived will be less. Make sure you stipulate this when ordering as people have been caught out before.
3) Not really a standard, all depends on the design and how many curnes there are etc.
4) Xconnect, as it is now commonly available across all vendors.
5) Yes to both, depends on if you trust yourself to be able to make these yourself, or you trust that the vendors will anderstand exactly what you are after.
6) I have ordered strip in lengths as needed, only because (personally) find strip harder to repair and tailor to your needs, particularly to keep it waterproof. Let the "pros" do it for you if not confident for first year :)
 

Eizziljam

New elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
19
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Great questions and I am sure someone with more knowledge than me (another newbie) will answer, I am keen to understand the answers to

But I would like to know what course that you took ?

Thanks

Andrew
hey Spudda,

it’s just a bunch of videos... it was only like $14 and I found it really helpful! I had read the manual a couple times before hand and attended the recent online mini but some things still went over my head.
I also watched a YouTube series about basic electronics because I didn’t understand voltage and current etc.
View: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLah6faXAgguOeMUIxS22ZU4w5nDvCl5gs



I’m definitely no expert after these but I have a clearer understanding.... I think it’s also about my learning style too... I need to see stuff rather than just read it.
 

Eizziljam

New elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Messages
19
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Okay so I think I’ll try order what I want with connectors done for me as a first year thing! I might buy a cheap string without connector to play around with and learn the wiring myself!

okay thinking about my arches...
When I order would I say

6 X these lights but 3m and with xconnect connectors at either side

AU $39.41 | 4m 60LEDs/m DC5V WS2813(WS2811 protocol) RGB addressable led pixel strip,waterproof in silicon tube,with 60pixels/M;WHITE PCB;
https://a.aliexpress.com/_dXTUzUt

Ps are these lights okay?
 

Cathelest

Getting there slowly..
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
70
Location
Central Coast
Overall, yes that strip is a great 5v strip,
And yes, Ray can have pigtails attached, just make sure your very specific, eg, how long for each pigtail etc,

Just be careful when ordering and take note of the volts,
That strip you have above is 5v strip, which is fine if your happy with the 5v option,
The other option being 12v, there are plenty of talk about the pros and cons of either, and really boils down to personal choice,

60 leds per meter is great, but could be overkill for plastic tube arches, Generally 30leds a meter is fine as they wash/glow onto the plastic tube, and not be so power hungry,

The strip is the newer ws2813 varient which has a second data line, which is handy if you have a segment (pixel) die,

Dont be afraid to ask questions or pop into zoom on friday nights, always plenty of brains to pick,
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
54
Location
West Central Ohio
And several more opinions:

I would suggest obtaining string/strips in the more common 5 meter lengths. More cost effective than custom built lengths and the hurdle of repairing strings/strips will need to be overcome sooner or later. The beginning is as good of time to learn as any.

Holiday Coro has a small chart of node spacing versus viewing distance. I do not know how accurate it is. Obviously LED size will be a factor too. Regarding 30 versus 60 LEDs per meter, note that some strings will have multiple LEDS controlled by the same IC. ie: a 60/20 strip will have 60 LEDs per meter but only have 20 nodes per meter. Whether 30 or 60 LEDs per meter also depends upon how you want them to be seen, that is you may not want them to be 'blended'.

Connectors: I brought this up in the ACL Chat recently and was politely shoved towards xConnect. But it will essentially be what works best for you (cost/availability, etc.). I and others will suggest using different connectors to avoid connections which will cause damage but this method can become difficult to manage. I suggest labeling the connectors, both sides, both ends and environmentally protecting the label.

As others have mentioned, there is indeed a lively debate of using 5 volt versus 12 volt LEDs. Each has advantages and disadvantages and your choice of what to use where will depend upon how you rate the pros/cons. A 5 or 12 volt decision goes beyong the LEDs, it also effects cables and supplies.

I would suggest prior to purchasing quantities of anything to search ACL's forum and media archives. Also search Youtube and other Christmas site's forums/knowledge-bases.
 
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