Newby - two questions

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by Eastwood16G, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Eastwood16G

    Eastwood16G Full Time Elf

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    Hi,

    Have spent a couple of days exploring posts from various folks - there's some complex systems. Speechless.

    Many years ago I gained an electrical and electronics degree so I'm familiar with ohms law and handy with a soldering iron. I've got two situations I'd like some help with.

    Problem No 1. my home - existing system is several BigW icicle strings (2channel) along the eaves, a custom made 'Happy Christmas' and a DMX twinkle laser (in standalone-mode). Have been running this for about three years and need to step up.

    I'm not very interested in big slabs of flashing light or living with my legacy units.

    Have purchased some 12v 2811 RGB pixel strings, WS2811 LED pixel light controller, 12V/350W PSU from Ray Wu. I have dreams of 'grand designs'. I like the concept of Vixen 3 and have a spare PC. Would love some advice about what I need to get my new toys working (am still trying to 'get' the E1.31 vs DMX etc).

    Problem No 2. wife's friend's husband (WFH) has about 18k leds in strings, icicles, ropes, nets, plus inflatable Santas, Snowmen and Reindeers. Neighbour (WFN) has similar but will be on a different phase. As far as I can tell no 240 AC, mostly 20VDC and 30VDC from BigW/Bunnings. And I have no idea how many channels but we have some time to get out the soldering iron (but let's walk first). WFH and WFN have committed to a combined charity function next year and want me to help get the sound and lights happening. This is very different from my own problem because I think they will not wish to trash their substantial investment. I'd love your advice about the best approach. They have lots of time but I'd guess $1000 would be pushing the budget.

    Obviously engineers enjoy the satisfaction of nuttin' out these problems from first principles, but I'd be so grateful if you could help me short cut some of the 'learning experiences' (i.e. not have WFH/WFN waste big bucks).

    R
     
  2. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL


    A good place to start and this should also answer any questions you may have.


    Have a sqiz Here....
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Eastwood16G

    Eastwood16G Full Time Elf

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    Tah. No disrespect but - I did read the manual (which is of the nature of a 'body of knowledge' and tremendous) and I've looked at many of the spectacular videos. I'm looking for some pointers from the wise elders to the naïve newbie.

    R
     
  4. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Greetings and good luck! The next 11 months should be interesting :D In a good way.

    Which pixel controller did you get from Ray? There's a variety of ones ranging from simple canned effects, ones that run simple sequences stored on an SD card and then more spohisticated stuff.

    Haven't started on pixels yet, but my simplified understanding is that e1.31 is really just DMX encapsulated in an IP network - so from the computer to the controller it's IP networking and on the lights side of the controller it is DMX. This allows you to control units further than would be possible over serial links, use commodity network components, base your controllers close to the action and have a few more DMX universes than possible with serial ports. Think of it as a bus that DMX uses to get to the party. (I'm sure one of the pixel experts will correct me on this).

    As for the WFH and WFN - do they want to control all their lights or maybe leave most static and have a few controlled feature elements?

    When you say "no 240V" - are they running the lights off PSUs already or using the included plug packs?

    There are a number of smaller DMX units(27ch, 32ch, 60ch) that can be used to run light strings or dumb RGB lights with appropriate power supplies.

    Possibly more questions than answers at the moment, but hope that helps somewhat!

    Cheers!
     
  5. dale82

    dale82 Senior Elf

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    welcome to ACL. Trust me when I say this, Read and read again and ask lots of questions. We are all here to help where possible.
     
  6. greg58

    greg58 Full Time Elf

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    Welcome to ACL
     
  7. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    Sounds like you have a good start. The following is what I would do and by no means the best (there is no best) way to go. Download Vixen 3 and start getting used to the way it works for sequencing (another great free sequencer is HLS) Next, order a js1sys controller board either the P2 or P12 (another great board is the SanDevices e682 or the 6804). The js1sys board web site is a little confusing, but you can get a lot of help on this forum, or stop by chat and ask a lot of questions. Anyway, start small and play with the systems until you get the hang of the hardware and software, then you will be off and running. Be prepared to get frustrated at times, but you will pick it up faster than you think. Good Luck and Welcome to ACL.
    John
     
  8. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL Clint... 8)
     
  9. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL, you already have a good head start than most due to you background.
    You can easily incorporate all the lighting currently used into a synchronised show.

    Now as far as your friend and the large investment in lighting they have then their best choice may actually be to start of with some LOR AC controllers so all they have to do is just plug in their existing lighting. But there are some limitations to this because most lighting in Australia is powered through a transformer/power supply and quick switching or dimming may cause these power supplies to fail. So if taking this approach then I would just keep it to simple on/offs.
    The other option is to work out the optimal voltages for the various strings and invest in an AHH MEGA60 DC board and run the lights directly from a DC power source, but this would mean cutting the wires/and controllers off.
     
  10. OP
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    Eastwood16G

    Eastwood16G Full Time Elf

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    Thanks mate. And thanks for the 101 guide. I've read it several times now and it's becoming clear, is this the first symptom of C.L.A.P?
     
  11. Habbosrus

    Habbosrus New house (again) 2017

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    It is! It is! You're hooked now.
     
  12. OP
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    Eastwood16G

    Eastwood16G Full Time Elf

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    I think I confused you. I purchased some great LED strings from HK a few months ago ("Durable and waterproof for indoor and outdoor decoration') - I wanted 240Va.c rather than 110Va.c. When they arrived I was surprised there was no plug pack. They were simple bridge rectified in the controller and pushing out 240Vd.c into two or three channels (i.e. 25-33 LEDS in series depending on the colour) with only the line driver (and current limiting resistors) protecting the lamp side of the circuit. And no protection on the supply side of the controller. All wired in bell-wire grade insulation. I don't consider them safe for use indoors let alone outside. (Needless to say these will be chopped up and used in low voltage strings, IF at all). I have a similar set bought from Bunnings but that has compliant insulation and is marked for indoor use only.
     

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  13. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Ah - those ones.......yes.....if you find a suitable low voltage to run them at they should be fine, but errrmmm .... 240V .... no .....

    Cheers!
     
  14. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    but they look soooooooo legit.... surly we can run those underwater also.


    i mean they are waterproof right?
     
  15. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    [​IMG]
    to ACL R
    Sounds like you have fun times ahead. :D
     

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