Newbie questions time :)

spazmanaught

New elf
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
20
Location
Gledswood Hills
Hi everyone,
Just starting off and I've got a few questions to help me plan how I go with the set up this year.

I've started off and got some ESP8266 Nodemcu V3's using Wled. I found these very easy to flash and connect to my network (I've assigned static IP's to all of the nodes). One question in regards to these, I started with the ESP12's (CH340) as a start but wanted to know if it's worth going for the ESP32's for the extra memory etc? I've also decided to go down the 12v path and have just got some WS8215's in 144 pixels p/m IP67 variant. So far they have been looking great and I plan on getting these up everywhere. My main question on this is (for those in Oz and particularly Sydney) I have a colourbond roof facing west and in summer when the temps hit 40c+ I imagine the roof, with radiant heat from the colourbond is getting pretty toasty. How do you mount the pixel strips and protect them from the heat? I'll also be putting the nodes (in cases) and the power supplies in the roof. I'm a little blessed I have a cousin who is a sparkie and he's agreed to do all the wiring for me so that should help.

I've created a couple arches with some clear pipping and PVC pieces and they are working pretty good. I plan on doing a tree which looks to me to be the most technical. I've got an old dumb led tree from this year that I might just use the frame to support the strips. Not sure on this yet. I've also planned a few stars which I'll make with some timber cut outs. I found on a uTube video a few other little ideas I might have a crack at with the left overs.

I've been using xLights with a couple WS2815 12v strips. So far I've found this software pretty easy to use and it talks to the nodes without issue. My question on xLights is how do you set up a few sequences to run back to back. I've imported a few and tweaked them to my layout but can't see how you can run them back to back?

Here's my first test with it all when I got them (just one strip I wanted to see if I could get it going). This got me motivated to go further :)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuzex0Ll3Bc
 

keithsw1111

Senior elf
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
668
Location
Kellyville, NSW
Run them back to back using xSchedule which installs with xLights.

I hope you understand the limitations that come with ESP controllers ... they have there uses but they are few and far between in Christmas light displays. You may want to pin this to the wall and read it again in December.
 

spazmanaught

New elf
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
20
Location
Gledswood Hills
Run them back to back using xSchedule which installs with xLights.

I hope you understand the limitations that come with ESP controllers ... they have there uses but they are few and far between in Christmas light displays. You may want to pin this to the wall and read it again in December.
lol thank you. I didn't even realise that xSchedule had installed with xLights .......... o_O

So far I've found the ESP's pretty good but with what I have planned I may have to change or use them for specific things. Lucky it's January :p
 

keithsw1111

Senior elf
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
668
Location
Kellyville, NSW
They work. They just are very sensitive to environmental conditions that will not be constant. So they can work a lot of the time and then suddenly lag. And you may not see it until mid December. No amount of bench testing or even in place testing proves they will work reliably. And that sucks.
 

SAALTFAM

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
57
WiFi is very finicky and can hate a vehicle driving by or the next doors WiFi or about 100 other thing (power supplies, induction cooking, MW ovens, mobile phones, cordless phone and the list goes on and on) unless you have commercial system and they are still are affected by interference.
Basically anything the has switches or has electricity in it can affect WiFi.
 

spazmanaught

New elf
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
20
Location
Gledswood Hills
WiFi is very finicky and can hate a vehicle driving by or the next doors WiFi or about 100 other thing (power supplies, induction cooking, MW ovens, mobile phones, cordless phone and the list goes on and on) unless you have commercial system and they are still are affected by interference.
Basically anything the has switches or has electricity in it can affect WiFi.
This shouldn't be too much of an issue (fingers crossed). I've already installed 2 directional AP to the front and my house has a mesh network that I have running on a clear channel (my router send me alerts if it detects signals overlapping with mine). I set this up a while ago as my solar wifi was getting interference. Since I've started managing it I've had no issues. I have a fair bit of experience with networks and network design so hopefully I can mitigate the popcorn in the microwave :p

I should have a working set-up ready to go in about a month. If it all looks a bit flakey I'll look at a Falcon as it seems the one most people use.
 

spazmanaught

New elf
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
20
Location
Gledswood Hills
Hey everyone,
Just an update for my set up. I decided to go for a Pixlite 16 MKII long range as the ESP's just became too problematic when using so many (I was up to 48). I set up the Pixlite over the week end with the long range receivers and had it all going pretty good. Geez working out the universes and channels etc was .................... frustrating!!! But I think I've got my head around it now (after following the advise to set up an excel spreadsheet). I'm going to order another Pixlite long range + receivers and start mapping it all out. The zoom presentations recently held were excellent and helped clear up a heap of questions I had.

I have a coupe more questions you guys may be able to help with:

1: I don't really understand the amount of pixels/lights I can put per connection/output? At the moment I have gone pretty much all WS2815's in 144 per metre. I'm a bit confused what the max amount I can daisy chain? My maths says 144 x 3 = 432 per strip. If the pixlite says 1020 per output does this mean only 2.3 strips per output? I also have a couple 5m 60led's per metre which is 300 pixels = 900 per 5m which would mean just over 1 on the output. My roofline is about 9m so I don't get how I will run the required length of 1 output?

2: How do you guys do the sequencing before you have all the channels and universes worked out? I know what I am going to do but when I draw it in xlights I don't know what to allocate it all too as I don't have everything as yet ie the new controller and all the lights and props etc?

3: I found the power calculator spreadsheet someone uploaded before. Would this still be ok to use for the current pixels?

Thanks again if you can help out :)
 

SAALTFAM

Apprentice elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
57
PixLite are 1020 pixels/LEDs per output which is 3060 channels.
But check the manual as you will only make 20fps with that amount of lights.
power (Watts) = volts (12) x amps ( rated white x show %)
Easy way each led amps x number of LEDs x show brightness
 

spazmanaught

New elf
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
20
Location
Gledswood Hills
PixLite are 1020 pixels/LEDs per output which is 3060 channels.
But check the manual as you will only make 20fps with that amount of lights.
power (Watts) = volts (12) x amps ( rated white x show %)
Easy way each led amps x number of LEDs x show brightness
Ok thank you that makes sense :)
 

Andrew Lee

New elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
19
Location
New Norfolk.
May I throw a fly into the ointment, " first year noob"
If say you had Strip @ 30/10 pm.
Xlights see it as 10 node's, will the controller see it as 30 channels.
:unsure:
 
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