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Possible DMX setup?

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by johnson8ryley, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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  2. fasteddy

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

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    What you have listed would work to give you DMX to run with LOR S3.

    But depending on your level of hands on your prepared to do then DMX may not bet the best or cheapest option if going to pixels

    LOR S3 Advanced now supports E1.31 and when going to pixels it is better to use E1.31 as all it takes is 3 of the strips you linked to to make up a universe. That may be OK for this year but next year you will most probably want to add to that. So it may be best to go to E1.31 instead off the bat.

    So this would be my suggestion

    ECG-P2 - E1.31 to 2 output with up to 8 universe of lighting pixel lighting control - $64 (order via email to J1SYS)

    2811 Pixel strip - This strip has 8bit colour compared to the 6803 you linked to which is only 5 bit colour and the 2811 is very cheap at $36 for 5 metres.

    The power supply looks OK if its a weatherproof power supply you require but it will only run 1 strip, so a larger power supply may be a more cost effective options so you can use more strip in the future.

    Then you use standard CAT5 cable to connect your controller to your computer directly

    If you wanted to output to DMX controllers and/or run your LOR controllers in DMX then you can use this. Otherwise you will not need this

    ECG-D2 - E1.31 to 2 x DMX universe output - $64

    You will need to purchase a cheap network switch if using more than 1 E1.31 device/controller

    So as you can see there is some money to be saved by taking this option which will allow you future expansion. But then only you know what will make you feel comfortable, this is only a suggestion if your willing to do a little learning and do some hands on.

    If you havent already viewed the ACL 101 lighting manual then I suggest you also take a look at that which will give some layout examples.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    Wow thanks for all the helpful info! I havent really researched much about E1.31 so all the info you gave me is currently gibberish but I will try and do my best. I am aware of the limiting capabilities due to DMX. The only thing I have in mind for the future would be RGB floods which would only require 9 channels (3 floods) from my 512 dmx universe and possible dummy strips along my windows for a total of 9 channels (3 windows). I should have room for all that in my enntec open universe. Also, in the PDF attached to ECG-P2 and ECG-D2, it says "The 2811 IC support is currently in development and will be released with a future revision firmware" I'm not sure where to look for the firmware for these devices but I'm just wondering if 2811 support has been added.

    That being said, the option you list does seem to save a lot of money but as stated, with the LOR Summer Sale going on, I only have a few more days to make up my mind. But after looking at the layout provided in the ACL101 lighting manual, it seems easier then I first though.

    If I were to buy the ECG-P2, how would my strips hook up to it? Would it be identical to hooking up to the controller included with the 6803 strip linked above? I plan to buy a total of 3 smart strips and turn them into arches. I have no plans on mimicking the same programming across all 3 strips so they would all need to receive there own signal if that makes sense. Also, if I were to expand in the future with my floods and dummy window strips, would a single E1.31 network work? I'm sorta confused exactly what the ECG-P2 is. The strip I listed comes with a controller. Is the ECG-P2 the controller for the strip and would I need 3, one for each strip? If the ECG-P2 IS the controller, then I would assume I would run the power into the ECG-P2 directly. Hopefully my assumptions are correct and sorry for asking a lot of questions.

    *EDIT* This is probably a typical question but with the 2811 strip being even more similiar to a CCR then a 6803 is, would programming be identical?
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    What many will do is use the ECG-D2 which is a E1.31 to DMX universe bridge. It converts the data from E1.31 to DMX and will give you 2 x 512 channel DMX outputs for roughly the same price ($64) as 1 x entec DMX dongle you linked to. Then use the cheap 27 channel DMX DC controller for $44 to then run your dumb strip and floods, this is similar to how i do it.

    The 2811 support should be due within the next month, but on saying that updating the firmware is an easy process with the J1SYS controllers if you dont want to wait for the updated release. The 2811 still works with the ECG-P2 for testing purposes using the 1804 pixel output but the 2811 will have a slight flicker. The 2811 strip is nearly 1/2 the price of all the other digital strip and is a relative new comer to the pixel world. I have 18 of these strips and have been very happy with the quality and price, when comparing them to a CCR there is no real difference.

    LOR will give you a much more plug and play experience with great support and warranty than the DIY methods ive listed but even with the LOR sale the DIY path is far cheaper, the support is also great within the forum to help you with these DIY options.

    The strip would actually connect similar to the Chinese controller. the difference being you can have multiples of strips connected in series together with teh ECG-D2. You could only use the 1 output for your arches and save the second output for additions for next year. I would inject power at the start of each arch/strip and have the data line and ground connected through to each strip (there is an example of power injection in the ACAl 101 manual)
    One output is capable of sending out enough channel data to run upto 12 strips connected in series per output

    The ECG-P2 is a E1.31 to Pixel controller, so this is the controller that runs your pixels

    The ECG-D2 is a E1.31 to DMX protocol conveter, so this allows you to run native DMX devices from a E1.31 network like DC controllers. I even run my LOR controllers in DMX mode this way.

    By using a simple network switch you can then add and distribute to additional E1.31 controllers.

    You also may want to download the E1.31 presentation to help you further understand E1.31 network

    Dont be sorry, thats what the forums are for and thats how you learn. There is also a great chat room here where you can come in and also ask questions to the members who are online.
     
  5. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    These PDF's you keep attaching are unbelievable simple and easy to understand and I appreciate it. Loved the E1.31 PDF especially.


    This year I think I would stick with E1.31 pixel controllers instead of DMX bridges. Most likely I'll get the ECG-P2. So I would only get one ECG-P2 and wire one strip to the controller and wire the other two strips in parallel to the other? I thought each strip needed its own controller. I'll look at the injecting power PDF later. If I were to use the ECG-P2 and not the D2, how would my setup look? Thanks
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    One of the ECG-P2 controllers can control up to 12 strips per output so a total of upto 24 strips (refesh rates may need to be taken into account)

    The strips are connected in series, not parrallel so below is a rough diagram

    1: Computer RJ45 network output

    2: Cat 5 cable

    3: ECG-P2 pixel controller

    4: Output 1 - Strip 1 - Strip 2 - Strip 3

    There are better layout diagrams. The ECG-P2 is slightly different to the examples of the ECG-P12R, but the setup and layout are very similar. The ECG-P2 is a new release and is only recently started shipping, But you can also download the running pixels with the ECG-P12R controller manual which will halp you get a better idea how the pixel controllers work.

    There is lot of info here on setting up and running these controllers. looks like I may have opened up your eyes to a whole new way of achieving blinky on a budget, so take your time in learning and understanding the technology, it seems like you have the know how and ability to take on the DIY path
     
  7. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    Yeah that setup you listed is how I was thinking it would work but I believe I will be going with a DIY solution this year. When I saw your house and the Sexy and I Know it house, I knew there was no way someone could afford that many cosmic color ribbons lol. One last clarification: how do the strips wire to one another? I get that red goes to red, green to green and so on but do the strips actually have to wire to one another or is there a rgb extender of some sort like this:


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-PIN-RGB-Extension-Wire-Cable-Cord-for-3528-5050-RGB-LED-Strip-1m-5m-10m-50m-/180940376628?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&var=&hash=item2a20e30a34


    I realize it says for dumb strips but is there something for 2811 strips? I just can't see me being able to wire the strips one after another in a row.


    Also, someone said that programming a DIY strip isn't the same as a cosmic color ribbon and that I can't control macro channels? Could I get a clarification on the programming and what exactly macro channels are? I haven't looked into programming yet.


    You've saved me a lot of money and time. My only worry is that I'm going to run into problems when Christmas rolls around but we'll see.
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    I started with 8 CCRs then realized i wanted a cheaper way to do this and so i went onto the DIY path of discovery. You will have to put in more time than just using LOR but I find it more rewarding and it allows me to have a bigger bang for my buck.

    One of the skills required for DIY is soldering, this is very easy to do and if anything just a little practice will have you doing it easily. I use these plugs on all my strip so its quick and easy to connect and disconnect. I would also connect a 2 core plug so you can also inject power between each strip. I then seal the end up with some clear heat shrink with some silicone inside. this gives a very good seal.

    Macros in LSP are commands that the hardware controller will understand, so with LOR things like shimmer and twinkle are driven by a single command that then tells the controller to do either of those effects. The CCR also has additional macros for chases and some other effects. These can all be done through the software anyway and are not really needed as you can still achieve these effects through the sequencer without having to use macros.

    Theer is still time to get yourself up and running if your prepared to put in the effort, take small steps this year and it looks ike you will be doing just that.

    DIY will take a bit more time and playing around but i find it rewarding and you get to make your money go a lot further which means more lights for your money.
    So in a nut shell
    LOR = More money, less effort
    DIY = less money, more effort

    So one must choose what is worth more to them, time or money.
     
  9. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    So THAT'S what those plugs are for. I've been seeing a lot of those lately but never took the time to learn about them. Looks to be very convenient and that would solve my problem. Little confused about the 2 prong power injection though. I noticed there are 2 cables/prongs which makes sense because I've seen pictures of people using computer power supplies and the chords have 2 colored wires in the laptop chord itself but don't rgb strips only have one wire for power? Does the power wire from one strip get carried on to the next strip or does it simply get new power from the power supply? I realize that no matter what, each strip will receive injected power other then the strip connected to the controller but does that one cable get brought along as well along with the fresh power? Maybe I should go check the forums for some help on power plugs and injecting.


    As long as I get power figured out, I should be good to go. I have yet to start programming due to the fact that I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to go the DIY route and I wanted to dedicate my time to researching. Like you said, there is tremendous help here in the forums so I think once I get everything settled and bought, I'll have a mini test and wire everything up and see if my computer/lor s3 software can recognize and work how I hope. If not, it's off to the forums I go!




    *EDIT* I was a little confused on the rgb wiring but I got things sorted out in the chat. I also learned that 2811 strips do not require clock to be transferred. At first this seemed very strange to me but It would look something like this: pixel controller>3 prong male to 3 prong female<2811 strip>3 prong male to 3 prong female along with 2 prong power wired on top of the + and - from the 3 prong....correct? Just seemed kind of weird to have a 3 prong and a 2 prong on the same wire but i believe I've sorted things out.
     
  10. Kaden

    Kaden Pixels! I need more pixels!

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    I assume your confusion is over 2811 wiring. I too was confused and talked it out in this thread http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php?topic=2400

    Basically the data and ground wire goes from one set of pixels to the next.

    The positive is injected anywhere (start, middle and/or end).

    Finally all ground wires (even if using multiple power supplies) are connected together.
     
  11. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    And Ive been thrown a curve ball! Haha I haven't heard of a ground wire, just clock, data, + and -. I plan on injecting the positive in between each strip so each strip has sufficient power. Maybe the ground is the - but in confused because you say the ground goes from one pixel to the next but it's also connected together? I think I'll have to give your thread a read
     
  12. DougieB

    DougieB Full Time Elf

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    The ground wire is the - wire ;)
     
  13. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    Oh ok I understand. Kaden in the linked post someone links a pixel controller pdf that has a bunch of different wiring options and possibilities you can do with the ground wire. I like option 3 on page 11 but my burning question is, does the ECG-P2 have a separate positive and ground like in the picture? Also, my controller needs to be by my first arch so how would I be able to reach from my first arch to between my 2nd and 3rd arch? Also if I were to go with your awesome drawing in paint, how do I get ground wire that extends like will allow to run it that far and have 3 solder points? Looks like I'm almost to the tip of the iceberg on learning about power setups
     
  14. fasteddy

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

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    Here is a premade cable that can be used for your purpose, its 3 core but im sure Ray Wu can get you the 2 core instead to use for power injection
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/3core-T-type-waterproof-splitter-white-color-the-male-connect-s-diameter-13-5mm/701799_601823340.html

    Also if you want extension cables you can also get varing lengths of those from Ray Wu.

    Personally i just make all mine up, but this way saves you the time and effort if you want

    The ECG-P2 has a E1.31 in and power in then the outputs a ground, data and clock (the 2811 only uses the ground and data) Now you connect the ground, and data to the strip. then connect up your + to the strip from your power suplly and then ensure the ground on both the strip and the controller are connected together to ensure both the strip and the controller have the same ground reference.

    Now remember with E1.31 controllers that there is some setup configuration needed to get these running, but this isnt that hard, one step at a time.
     
  15. OP
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    johnson8ryley

    johnson8ryley My idol is ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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    Woh brilliant! Sorry to ask this but my wiring knowledge isn't that extensive but is that all a extension chord is made of? 2 wires, one being a positive and the other being a ground? If so, am i able to just run some extra power cables and use only use the ground to make sure they all have the same reference?


    Also, I can't give power from the controller to the first strip? I have to wire power to the controller and the first strip? Just seems odd that the controller couldn't output power as well but that's fine.


    Where exactly would I use this 3 prong t exactly? You mention getting a 2 prong for injection but if that means the t on the 3 prong isn't for power injection, what's it used for exactly? I think I get what you mean but I could use some more clarification.


    Sorry eddy but it's easy for me to become overwhelmed with me being only 15. Hopefully I'm not breaking any forum rules and hopefully my age doesn't change your perception of me but I'm the man behind our show. My dad just buys the lights and helps set everything up haha. I've been programming and setting up our show ever since I was 12 or 13 I believe. I'm not sure my dad would understand any of this if I tried to explain this to him. I love to learn about this sort of thing though because I plan on pursing my electrical engineering degree once I graduate college so this is right up my alley. I think with me being only 15 though it's harder for me to comprehend this sort of thing right away but like I said, I'm not sure my dad would catch on quickly either.




    *edit* ok I was getting the impression I would use the T for data and ground as well but that doesn't quiet make sense since I don't need a t for data and ground, i can just use those plugs you linked earlier but you linked me 2 core and if I'm transferring only data and ground (along with the exception of a t for power injection), do I need a 3 prong or can't I just use a 2 prong to connect the cables? I think sometime this week I'm going to photoshop together some pictures of how I believe this will all work out. Thanks for the tremendous support everyone.
     

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