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

Newbie Question/s - Will this work?

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by mitlrpro, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. mitlrpro

    mitlrpro New Elf

    Nov 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I'm looking to build a few "intelligent" displays without going completely computer controlled.
    Specifically at the moment I am looking at building a version of Habbosrus' Coro Presents:

    See them in this thread

    View: https://youtu.be/WqwFJ3VViA0

    Would this work?

    Buy these pixels:

    With this controller:

    Add a 5V power supply +

    What else will I need?
    Computer programs? - Or is there like a 'demo' mode where they will do their own thing?

    Your assistance is appreciated.
  2. bpj1980 / Boot

    bpj1980 / Boot Full Time Elf

    Jan 6, 2014
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    Hey Mitlrpro,

    You might want to browse through the 101 guide if you haven't already,
    here is the link: https://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1889.0.html

    This will give you so much guidance and help, sometimes your questions can be found here,

    The 2 devices listed appear they would work but I think you would need something else, sorry I am not into too much DMX yet but feel it would be easier with a specific Pixel Controller, these can be found in great detail in the 101 guide, so many great choices, and maybe more info can be found on this one, sorry :-\

    In regards to computer programs it all comes down to personal preference, most people use Xlights or Vixen 3 both these are free and offer more than enough to get you started if you decide on going the computer side, otherwise there are a few other options with "Demo" modes as you say, sorry I am not sure on that one as I have never used these,

    I myself use Vixen but have been swayed to looking into Xlights and I must say its a great piece of software, but with the little things I find useful in Vixen I cant do this in Xlights, seems like most people start off with or end up landing on Xlights.

    Don't forget the little things when doing these projects, like Cable, Cable Ties, Heat Shrink, Solder, Connectors, Power Supplies, etc. etc.

    Chat is usually a great place to get the help you need, but for now I hope this kind of helps.

  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Jul 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    The APC718 takes in a DMX512 signal. I would not usually recommend the DMX512 route if you want a setup that includes pixels. A DMX universe can only support 170 pixels and the APC718 is limited to 25 pixels each. It is ok if you only ever want a small number of pixels but there isn't much room for expansion.

    It can be a bit more to learn in the first place but E1.31 signal is the way to have a setup with more pixels. It's also a more reliable way to have DMX512 versus using a USB dongle because the E1.31 signal is more efficient for the computer to send out and some pixel controllers can convert the E1.31 signal to DMX512. The APC718 would also be useful in a situation where you have a controller that sends out DMX512 but doesn't support WS2801 pixels if you particularly wanted to use them.

    It really comes down to the question of how many pixels you ever want to have. If it is more than 170 then go with E1.31

    The WS2801 is not the cheapest option and they're a relatively old pixel type but they certainly work if your controller still supports them. They have a reputation for being reliable. That said, I would recommend using modules instead of nodes because they have three RGB LEDs per pixel instead of one. This is a good thing when you want enough light output to shine through the corflute. This is a WS2811 example https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/LED-digital-module-WS2811IC-5050-3LEDS-DC12V-input-waterproof-20pcs-a-string-256-gray-scale/701799_564861370.html

    If you want a last resort demo mode then one of the US $2.50 units might be useful because it will get your pixels to light up if all else fails. I use these for testing purposes so they're well worth having anyway https://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799/search?origin=y&SearchText=smart+pixel+controller

    Remember to contact Ray directly because Aliexpress's automatic shipping calculator can overcharge you if you order more than one type of item.

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