1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:

Newbie needing advice

Discussion in 'How is your display put together...' started by WalkerBo, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. WalkerBo

    WalkerBo New Elf

    Jul 2, 2012
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    Southern California
    Hello ACL,

    This is my first attempt on a light show. I was looking on youtube for inspirations and stumbled upon this video Christmas Light Show 2011 - Sexy and I Know It.

    I have purchased Light Show Pro software.

    And I would like to make a Christmas theme similar to this. Thru much reading and research I will need about three 12 meter smart RGB LED strips http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/LED-Digital-strip-with-WS6803-IC-30pcs-5050-SMD-per-meter-DC12V-input-with-silicon-tubing/701799_306378431.html along my 3 roof lines.

    Nine RGB strips http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-flexible-LED-Strip-5050-SMD-30LEDs-m-waterproof-by-epoxy-coating-RGB-color-DC12V-input/701799_288949036.html

    12 Floodlights http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DC12V-input-10w-high-power-led-flood-light/701799_441844264.html

    LED rope lights for the animated faces http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/100m-roll-LED-2-wires-round-rope-light-30leds-m-13mm-diameter-DC12V-24V-AC110-220V/701799_329723117.html, Power supplies and wiring.

    I need help with the controllers to run the show. Do I purchase a board such as http://sandevices.com/E681info.html or ECG-PIXAD8 or ECG-P12R or do I just use Ray's controllers such as http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Easy-DMX-LED-controller-dmx-decoder-driver/701799_378111925.html or http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Mini-protocol-Decoder-DMX-to-WS2801-512-dmx-address-decoded/701799_440556828.html for each string?

    I know this is alot, but I am really stuck on what to purchase.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

    Dec 27, 2010
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    Find Me On:
    Welcome to ACL.
    I'm not an expert on pixel control at all but I'm led to believe that the 2801 is better than the 6803 and that the newly arrived 2811 is better as well while being markedly cheaper.
    You will need both a pixel controller and also a dimmer which you put links to. I don't know anything much about the dmx-2801 but if you do use that then obviously you'll have to make sure that you are using 2801 pixels not the 6803 as in the 1st link.
    ShellNZ has been working on getting a face made up for her display this year and the pics that she has posted look good. It's probably worth searching out her posts and having a look.
    Check out the videos from members on the video gallery above. Sooooooooooo many ideas there :)
  3. fasteddy

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

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Albion Park NSW
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    Welcome to ACL, lots of great help here in the forum and the chat room, Ill try to answer your questions below

    You will need a pixel controller to run this strip

    This strip is the 6803 IC which has 32 dimming steps per colour. There is a newer much cheaper option that has 256 dimming steps per colour that is nearly 1/2 the price. The 2811 strip for $36 per 5 metre strip is a great affordable choice.

    Note the 2811 IC support is currently not implemented with the ECG series of controllers, but this is planned to be added soon. The 2811 will work with the 1804 code but will have some flickering, good enough for testing but not good enough for a show. Jim at sandevices has recently added official support for the 2811 IC to the e68x series of controllers.

    You will need to use a DC controller to run this strip

    The money you save from buying the 2811 strip may allow you to buy the 2811 strip for this purpose.

    Im not sure if this floodlight will suit your needs, the flood light is for indoor use and is not RGB, and is mains voltage controlled

    This unit would suit your needs better as it is 12vdc, has inbuilt DMX control and is RGB, yes its more expensive but it will do the job, the other light you linked to is just an indoor white mains voltage supplied flood light.

    Yes that rope light will work, just get the 12vdc rope light as the cuttable sections are more frequent and allows you to control it with the same DC power supply and controller you would use on the dumb strip.

    Depending on where you plan to put your pixel controllers in relation to your digital strip will determine the best approach.

    For a centralized approach where the 1 pixel controller controls all your pixel lights would be the ECG-P12R and if a distributed approach is needed instead then the ECG-P2 controller (soon to be released) would be the best approach.
    I wouldnt buy a pixel controller from Ray as the pixel controllers offered by Sandevices and J1SYS are far superior in features and support.
    You will also need a DC controller to run your DC rope light and dumb strip and Rays 27 channel DMX controller is a very cheap option.

    Download the ACL 101 lighting manual if you havent already done so


    Download the running pixels with the J1SYS ECG-P12R controller which will give you lots of info on controlling pixels with the J1SYS controllers.

    I hope that helps you
  4. angus40

    angus40 Senior Elf

    Dec 23, 2011
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    Welcome to Acl .

    I believe one of the first tools you will need is a drop box referral .

    Some one is slackin ! :)

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