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OK Newbie with Qustions that I hope can finally be answered

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by bdeditch, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    First off Happy New Years!!

    Ok I am a Newbie when it comes to RGB Light Strips. I have some questions that either I am missing the answer or I just can’t find it anywhere I look. I am running 6 LOR controllers the first 4 are the LOR LOR1602W and the last 2, units 5 & 6 , are the CTB16PC. I am using LOR S3 for my software. I really want to get into the RGB Strips. I have purchased a sample package from HolidayCoro to try out after my light show is over for the season, just in case something happens. I have purchased as well a couple of sample RGB strips from China with a power supply. This is what I have purchased from China:
    1 - LED 5050 RGB Strips,36W, 150 LED,5m/roll, DC 12V,yellow FPC,silicone tube waterproof IP65

    1- LED 5050 RGB Strips,72W, 300 LED,5m/roll, DC 12V,yellow FPC,dripping adhesive waterproof IP65

    1 -Waterproof Power Supply 120W, Input Voltage 110V/220V AC,output DC 12V,10A,


    I also have on hand an Enttec Pro, not open, since I know that it is supported by LOR. I have one $6 DMX Module that came with the sample pack from Dave Moore at HolidayCoro, with channel 1 set.

    OK here are my questions that I hoped cane be answered


    1) How far from the DMX Module can I transfer the signal to the Light Strip? E.G. if I have the module mounted inside a building, how far can I run Cat5E cabled to the before I start losing the signal to the strip. Also is there a minimum from the computer to the DMX Module that a Cat5E cable can be run?
    2) Using the HolidayCoro USB to Cat5E cable, from Computer, has lines 1 & 2 used to try his sample pack, LOR uses 4 & 5. I have the instructions to make the X/O to change the lines, but would I be better off making or buying a proper one so I don’t need the X/O . What I mean is buying another RJ45 Serial Adapter and not use the cable from HolidayCoro?
    3) Is a terminator required and the end on the run. If I am daisy chaining about 10 strips, should I terminate at the end of the last strip? I seen instructions for making one using a 5 pin plug, is there another way if I am just using Cat5E plugs?
    4) Is there an advantage to having the $6 DMX Module already being assigned channel 1? Is this going to cause problems if I am running about 10 of these?
    5) Can you use phone line to transfer the signal from the DMX Module to the Light Strip?
    6) Would I be better off just getting rid of the Enttec, buying the LOR CMB16D-QC? Am I limited to how many strips I can run off the LOR CMB16D-QC compared to the Enttec? Also does the CMB16D-QC just plug into the last controller like setting up the other controllers?
    7) How do you figure out the Max watts a light strip will use, does white use the highest wattage?

    I know there is a lot of questions, but I want to be sure I am doing things right, and not having a lot of problems later.
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    It appears from reading the questions below that you may be confused. The DMX enttec dongle is not a controller but is instead a protocol bridge which converts the signal from the computer to the DMX signal for the controllers to understand. Its the DC controllers themselves that connect to the strip not the enttec pro dongle.


    the standard says aprrox 4000 feet, so this shouldnt be a concern for you.

    Its easy to make an adaptor by cutting the cable and rejoining it but i wonder why you need DMX if you are planning on using LOR controllers and S3 software

    I think this is where you get confused, using cat 5 for your power cables will allow for approx 1 amp per core max and isnt the best choice. I prefer to use 4 core security cable to drive my dumb strip from my controller as its rating is 4 amps.
    Terminating is for the DMX signal and not for the strips, and with LOR controllers you dont have to terminate the DMX signal.

    if you run 10 of these set for channel 1 and in the same DMX universe then they will all do the same thing as they are all the same start address.

    Again this comment doesnt make sense as it implies that you use the enttec as a controller output for the strips. For this you need a DC controller. The enttec pro only converts the data to DMX. You could use phone wire from the controller to your strip but you would only be able to draw 1 amp total from the cable which equates to approx 1 metre of strip

    The LOR CMB16D-QC is a DC controller and a DC controller is required to run the dumb strip. You connect the DC controller to the enttec pro dongle and can run the LOR controller in DMX mode.
    The question is that to run RGB lights you can just use the LOR dongle, S3 software and a CMB16D-QC to run the dumb strip. The enttec pro is really only needed for DMX controllers, so why do you require a enttec pro dongle, do you have DMX controllers you want to use instead of LOR controllers.

    The 30 LED/M 12vdc strip draws approx 0.2 amps per metre per colour, this equates to 1 amp per colour or 3 amps total for a 5 metre strip when showing white.

    White draws the most current as this is made up of red, green and blue LEDS being on at 100%. Most other colours are made up of a combination of just 2 colours.



    I know there is a lot of questions, but I want to be sure I am doing things right, and not having a lot of problems later.



    It appears that you may be a bit confused about how it goes together so I wouldnt rush out and get anything or else risk getting something you cant use. Read and ask questions to understand.
    You may want to refer to this thread http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1211.0.html
     
  3. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    See this is the problem, every video I have seen shows using the doggle and DMX Modules. OK let me clarify this a bit. I want to be able to control each RGB strip individually not have them all do the same thing at the same time.
     
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    You can use one DMX dongle to feed multiple DMX DC controllers.

    Each DC controller can feed it's own DC strip for independent control.

    Code:
                        |--[DMX DC Controller]---[RGB Strip]
                        |
    [PC]--[DMX Dongle]--+--[DMX DC Controller]---[RGB Strip]
                        |
                        |--[DMX DC Controller]---[RGB Strip]
    
     
  5. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    EXACTLY what I want to do
     
  6. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Each DMX DC controller will need to have a different "start address" so they act independently. Controller 1 would be set to 1, controller 2 set to 4, controller 3 set to 7, etc. (add 3 each time for a 3 channel controller)

    There are also considerations on how to run the DMX wiring. It should actually daisy chain via each controller module. (not all run from the DMX dongle like wheel spokes)
     
  7. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    OK what is the easiest way to address those $6 DMX Modules?
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I believe David Moore sells the required USB adapter (~ $20 ?) and has the free configuration software tool. :)
     
  9. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    Good I have that already.
     
  10. mschell

    mschell Full Time Elf

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    If you have an LOR USB adapter, it will work as well to program the controllers. The program can't read back the address after it sets it on the $6 controllers, but it will write to it.


    Also, you asked about how far away can the DMX DC controller be from the RGB strip? I would try to put the DC controller inside the fixture or near the strips. The voltage drop can cause a dimmer strip if the distance is too far.

    Now, how far away can the DMX DC controller be from the Enttec Pro dongle? Easily several hundred feet if necessary.

    You may want to purchase a second DC power supply if the strips are going to be all over the yard or house...
     
  11. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    I was thinking about getting a couple of Power units. Now what do you mean it can't read back to the address? Is this something that can or has caused problems?
     
  12. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    All he meant was that that you can set the start address of those cheap DMX modules, but you can't read out what it currently is. So not really a big issue as long as you mark what it is after you set it.
     
  13. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    I heard about that before, but thanks for giving me a better term for it. I guess a good marker will be required.
     
  14. mschell

    mschell Full Time Elf

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    The issue with using something other than the dongle that dmoore tested with is that the program will error out with the LOR dongle. I think it's just a matter of checking the status code, and possibly modifying the code a bit to handle the slightly different timing or behavior of the LOR dongle.

    I tried to communicate with the guy that he had writing the program, but he never responded. He was going to send me the code with some diagnostics turned on to debug this issue, but never did. So I just deal with the issue of being able to write but not read back the address.
     
  15. OP
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    bdeditch

    bdeditch Full Time Elf

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    I have the Enttec Pro for a dongle. as far as the DMX Module I am up in the air with the $6 ones or the 9 channel one that Ray sells as well, can't get to much info besides a video and a couple of posts about the 9 channel one. I was thinking of getting 2 of them and splitting the strings between both on them. This way I shouldn't (hopefully) max out the 15 on it.
     

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