NUB want to make a mega tree

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by fisherman888, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. fisherman888

    fisherman888 New Elf

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    Hello all,




    OK I am very new and trying to figure out dmx. I have read lots of posts and am getting more confused by the minute.


    I have existing lor software and controllers. I'm not sure what i need for a tree. I am planning on buying rgb intelligent led strips. But i get lost on the controllers. I don't understand? Do i need a channel per pixel or what? Like i said i have been looking around and maybe just haven't found the right post. Any help would be great.

    Thanks
     
  2. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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  3. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    [​IMG]
    to ACL fisherman

    First the disclaimer
    Joining these forums and entering the chat room can give you CLAP!!! :D
    Christmas Lighting Addiction Problem

    Like already stated, even with some of the links a little dated, if you haven't found it yet, the AusChristmasLighting 101 manual is a great resource for all things RGB and more.
    You may need to read it a couple of times before it starts to click, and if it don't start to click, feel free to post questions in the forums or sometimes its better to have a conversation in the chat room.

    Either way there are always lots of very friendly folks here, most were in your shoes at the beginning, and they will be glad to help you out.
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    As already mentioned the ACL 101 manual is a great resource and also the guys here a extremely helpful.
    So welcome to ACL
     
  5. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL... 8)
     
  6. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    Welcome to ACL don't worry if it all seems a bit much now. All of a sudden it will just click and make sense. You just have to take the time and read the manual. If you have any specific questions here is a great place to ask them. Like your question do you need a channel per pixel. NO you actually need 3. 1 for R 1 for G and 1 for B. That's why a DMX universe of 512 can only run 170 pixels. 512/3 = 170 plus 2 spare channels.
     
  7. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Welcome to ACL fisherman.

    Saw you said that you had LOR controllers already , so I cant assist as i dont know anything about that.
    After going through the options in the manual, look into the section of the forum covering Mega and Pixel trees.

    The ECG P12 or Pixlite16 are among controllers (non LOR) that a some have used for Mega trees.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    fisherman888

    fisherman888 New Elf

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    thank you all i will go through the manual and repost if i am still lost.
     
  9. fasteddy

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

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    Im sure you will have more questions but they will be more specific after reading the manual
     
  10. OP
    OP
    fisherman888

    fisherman888 New Elf

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    Ok so i did some reading. Now i need some direction. i dont want to waste money. Can you guys give me a good idea on what pixel controller to use. also should i use the open dmx dongle and will that interface with my lor software?
     
  11. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    The top 2 controllers that I'd recommend is the j1sys p2 which has 8 universes. With 2 outputs. It isn't fused though. The other is the pixlite 16 which has 32 universes from 16 outputs and they are fused. These are my 2 personal favs and value for money but it's like asking what's the best car to buy. A lot is opinion.
     
  12. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The open DMX-512 dongle will not be a good option for a mega tree. It is only one universe meaning only up to 170 pixels and most pixel controllers don't have a DMX-512 input, they have E1.31 input. The dongle is for controllers that are DMX compatible and these generally control non-pixel sets (also known as dumb light sets); these controllers may include your existing LOR ones.

    Work out how many pixels you want and divide this number by 170 to give you the bare minimum number of universes you need. In practice you may use more universes if you don't completely fill them. This might happen if your tree doesn't divide nicely into sections of 170 pixels and/or the number that the controller supports per output.

    The number of outputs is less critical than the number of universes but if a pixel dies it will sometimes stop passing data on to any pixels after it. The number of pixels affected by this can be anywhere up to the number of pixels you have on one output. If you can solder, individual pixels that have failed are easy to replace; remember to order spares so that you can do this. Controllers with more universes (and therefore more pixles) per output are a good idea if you want to have long runs of pixels such as a roof outline but you could still use them for a tree. A dud pixel will need replacing regardless of how many stop after it.

    Another question is how to wire it all up. Some pixel trees are wired with the pixel strings/strips going up and back down and it will be worth checking that this is possible with your hardware/software.

    If you are using pixel strips, remember to check the different types of pixel strips too.

    Are you planning on making a flat tree, 180 degree or 360 degree tree and what height?
     
  13. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    The 2 I would strongly recommend are the j1sys P12s OR the pixlite 16, Wouldn't go down the track of a j1sys P2 for a megatree.

    Bit of a nightmare for anyone new to configure the setup and power. Great option for arches and roof lines.

    As long as you have an advanced version of LOR you can use these e131 controllers in a very easy setup.
    I would also recommend you find out how to do a tree in LOR and find out what your restrictions if any you will have in your design plan with your current software.
     
  14. dariansdad

    dariansdad New Elf

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    [SIZE=small]I don't want to be a killjoy or anything, that's definitely not my intention, but I have to say a thing or two here. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=small]First, this can be done, but your sequencing should be almost done or better yet, complete. At this time of the year, unless you have ample amount of time, you'll most likely struggle to get one up and running for 2014. [/SIZE]

    These pixel trees, be it 2D, 180° or 360°, are very time consuming just on the sequencing front. That's not including building the structure, attaching the pixels to whatever you plan on using and then, getting everything lined up properly. Power injection is something else to consider. that depends on how many pixels you have on 1 string or strip, the power you decide to use, be it 5v or 12v. Both can be finicky if you don't have your head wrapped around the information available.

    [SIZE=small]Second, RGB is not hard to get up and running, but you need to have a good handle on the knowledge base. It can be very overwhelming at times, and you don't want to release the secret smoke from your controllers by wiring something wrong. At some point, it will click and you'll be off and running. [/SIZE]

    There are several different controllers out there and J1SYS and PixLite have already been mentioned. Sandevices is another one of the E1.31 controllers to use. Another option would be to use an E1.31 to DMX Bridge and use several small, single universe, DMX Pixel controllers.

    Again, I'm not trying to dissuade you from doing one by any means (I personally think everybody should have one), I just know how much time it takes to get it up and running. Time, unfortunately, is something all of us are running tight on at this point and time of the year.

    If you have the time to spend on it, by all means, do it. If you have a day job and work on this stuff during the evenings and weekends, well............maybe do one next year.

    My pixel tree last year was a headache. Only half of it worked when it was first set up, actually only half of the entire display. Trouble shooting took about a week and a half to finally narrow it down to bad pigtails. Some had the ground and data wire switched. All used the same wire colors, but may have been from different lots. Either way, it was partially my fault since I did not do a continuity check on the pigtails.

    Just thought I'd offer some friendly advice so you won't be pulling your hair out over the next couple of months.

    So good luck in your endeavor, and above all, Have Fun. After all, that's what a hobby is supposed to be, right?
    [SIZE=small]Ron [/SIZE]
     
  15. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    Last year I struggled with my mega tree and get the wrong supply of lights, but it is amazing how much you can achieve in one night with half a dozen mates and some pizza. What's a few sleepless nights to get the display finished.

    If you want a mega tree you can have a mega tree as long as you want to put in the effort. So get cracking.
     

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