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  1. sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    So I'm a BRAND new user on this forum - been a member over at planetchristmas for a while. Loved the crazy amounts of info on RGB lighting on this site. Thank you so much for the information provided. The video series have been amazing.

    I have a question on the use of some of these:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209843764-329544925/5m-one-roll-5050-SMD-30LEDs-m-led-strip-waterproof-by-silicon-tubing-and-coating-RGB.html

    and controlling with:
    http://store.lightorama.com/cmdedcca2.html

    (Not sure on the 12V power supply yet - any suggestions?)

    along with LOR S2. I saw some references to the fact that the colors of the RGB needed to be wired in a particular order as LOR doesn't allow for customizing RGB vs GRB vs RGB, etc.. Does that apply to non-pixel based rgb strips? I can see how it might or might not apply. The simple minded-me (which comes out at night after a long day of work) says I run the non-pixel based strips similar to the AC based LOR channel controllers I have in my setup now. I essentially would use a DC controller with LOR.

    1.) Is there anyone on this site using LOR and RGB? I see lots of LSP and Vixen, but not much talk of LOR.
    2.) Are any other hardware components necessary to interface with LOR and not pull my hair out?
    3.) Will I have the color mixing options available as LOR as provided with the CCR (meaning I can see the composite intensity track in LOR with the option to expand the individual RGB intensity channels if necessary?
    4.) Given the cost of the TigerDMX, is it absolutely crazy to use the LOR board above? Is the TigerDMX really $125 for 120 channels? If so, is this compatible with LOR? I know the crazy expensive iDMX dongle is available now, but I believe a much cheaper DMX solution is in the works...

    I apologize if this has been answered before - Like I said, I did a quick search after lots of learning last weekend, and If this has been posted, just point me in the direction and I'll do some more reading!

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    The strip you show and the controller you show are exactly what you would need for what your wanting to achieive. The strip is a 3 channel strip so it has 4 wires, 1 for red, 1 for green, 1 for blue and 1 for common. So this connects up like your AC controller would have but instead its DC and it uses 3 channels instead of 1 channel.
    The LOR software now has the ability to create RGB channels so its now a matter of selecting a colour in the software to map to those channels.
    The 12vdc power supplies you can also get from the same vendor, this is what I have used http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209855560-289599951/350W-Dual-Output-Switching-Power-Supply-88-264VAC-input-12V-350W-output-CE-and-ROHS-approved.html

    In the end it doesnt matter if its LOR DC controller or another type of DC controller, it all similar in the way it works, the software may differ but as you already have mentioned the CCR, you are then aware you can just use 3 channels in RGB and program like a CCR as far as colour control goes.
     
  3. OP
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    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    Very good info -

    After looking around, obviously there's the 48 channel TigerDMX. If I understand what I've been reading, I get approximately 3x the channel count on a TigerDMX vs. the LOR. I believe I could run LOR in DMX mode with one of the DMX adapters in this discussion:
    http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,642.15.html

    I guess I'm not 100% stuck on LOR for software control, but I have been happy with their product to date. When I last tried to use LSP, it was very hardware intensive and fairly unstable. Perhaps I should give it another look...
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    Yes thats correct, i myself used LOR controllers and CCRs in DMX mode using LSP. So all your LOR gear is very useful if you go down this path.
    LSP V2 should hopefully be out in the next couple of months which will improve performance dramatically
     
  5. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    I used those RGB strips last year they are great, but I was last year 100% tiger T48 boards never used LOR for the pure reason that your pointed out more channels at a lower cost using Tiger boards. I used LSP last year and although it had a few issues we worked around them and can't wait for LSP 2 as most of the issues that caused the problems last year have been identified and are the basis of the V2 release.
     
  6. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    Hi
    I'm a dedicated LOR user - too deeply into LOR to start mixing in other technologies and protocols.
    I have recently purchased the last stock of some 50 RGB LED strips (24 LEDs on a rigid waterproofed channel each 500mm long) see http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160554382017&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

    I plan to drive these using the LOR DC boards as spinners. (multiple arms arranged as spokes in a wheel with individual control of each arm). My plans will require 72 channels for control of these and some RGB LEDs yet to be purchased for the centres of each spinner.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    Good stuff guys - the more I learn, the more questions I have...

    Ok - I also found FastEddy's super fantastic RGB for Idiot's post here: http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,634.0.html
    Big Fan, Fast Eddy!

    1.) LSP is on sale now for $79 (at least on the web site it is still showing the 2010 sale)... Does anyone know what the upgrade costs will be to go to 2.0? Will it be cheaper than $50? If not, I'll probably wait until LSP 2.0 is released. If it's the same cost, I'd be tempted to go ahead and purchase to start learning the software.
    2.) From what I've read, the general consensus is that the 5V RGB strips are brighter than the 12V strips. The 12V strips can be used in longer runs. I'd like to line the roof of my home with either pixel based strips or basic non-pixel based strips (trying to decide). What is the maximum recommended length of 12V pixel strips? Could I run additional leads to downstream RGB strips? Sort of like a bus down the length of each RGB strip going all the way back to the controller (like the Tiger48)... Is it possible to mix 12V and 5V or is the difference in brightness too obvious? I assume it probably makes sense to standardize on one voltage or the other (for sanity at least)?
    3.) I've provided links in this post to products linked previously in these forums. Are there similarly recommended products for pixel-based RGB strips?
    4.) Is the fading smoother with basic RGB strips vs. pixel based? I'm a BIG user of slow fades, so I'm thinking if RGB strips are smoother, I'd be happier deploying those in a similar method to traditional lights. I would then use pixel strips for the "special effects".
    Again, I truly appreciate all of the knowledge you've provided me to this point. I really value your input as I try to understand Christmas Lights 3.0!
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    If you buy LSP 1.8 now this will entitle you to a free upgrade to V2 within the next 12 months. So buying LSP now covers you for any minor or major upgrades for the next 12 months.

    You may be confusing a strip with a string here
    Strips are 1 direction lights that are mounted to a 'strip' that are good for outlining and give little wash back
    Strings are more similar to the traditional lights and are viewable from both sides
    Each has their strength and weaknesses.

    As far as the digital pixel strings (6803, 2801, 1804) their are 2 main variants, there are the 5vdc strings which is the main design type and uses constant current (6803, 2801) so all the lights on the string should be at the same or close to the same intensity, then there is the contant voltage which is the 12vdc variant and uses the 1804 IC, this allows for longer runs but is less efficient than the 5vdc type and can vary the colour slightly from one end of the string to the other


    The 5v strip shouldn't be any brighter than the 12vdc strip as they use the exact same type of 5050 RGB LED. with the 5vdc type strip you have control over 1 or 2 LEDs per pixel as apposed to the 12vdc strip which is 3 LEDs per pixel.
    The digital pixel strip can have approx 3 strips together to give a total of 450 channels so that will fit within 1x 512 channel DMX universe nicely. I would inject power at 2 places for the strip if using 3 strips so it would be between strip 1&2 and between strip 2&3 and supply the data signal to the beginning of strip 1

    For digital pixel strip you cant use the tiger 48 that is used for standard 3 channel RGB strip. For digital pixel strip with a 6803 or 2801 IC then you would use a pixel controller that supports the correct IC like a TP3244
    It is possible to mix the voltages if needed but not reccommended as long as you use the same IC like a 2801 or 6803 IC.
    Take a look at this PDF (unless you already have) which shows you what controller works with what light http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=634.0;attach=629

    There are many many types of lights available in different configurations, voltages and from different vendors so it would be very hard to point you in that direction, all you could do is do the research yourself and then if you find something of interest then ask if this is a good choice.

    When it comes to dimming with digital pixel based lights its the number of bits the IC can control that is important to fading, the 6803 is 5 bit, the 2801 is 8 bit so the 8 bit is better at fading and allows for more dimming steps and colour changes.
    As far as standard DC controllers go the same could be said, but firmware could also play a part




    I used the digital strip to outline the gutter of my house and then used the standard 3 channel strip for the roofline. I then also used flood lights back onto the house so I could then control the wash back on to the house as the strips are directional and wont give much light wash back onto the house.

    Here is a low quality video of what i did using a combination of digital strip and standard 3 channel strip with some floods. What i used is in the link shown above. But this should give you a good example of how using both digital strips and standard 3 channel strips you can then create the illusion of the whole house being digital pixel strip

    12 Days of Christmas
     
  9. OP
    OP
    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    You mention a possible color shift with the 12V pixel strips. For the 12V analog RGB strips (non-pixel), will I see the same color shift, or are the analog strips less prone to color shift? You mentioned that the dimming of the analog strips would be impacted by the IC of the dimmer - how does the Tiger 48 perform in regards to dimming the analog strips? Does anyone here use the RGB analog strips with long, slow fades? If so, do you have any video you could share? My programming style is similar to Holdmans - I like using color to paint the backdrop, then white lights on top to highlight a specific element. Typically the background will be constantly changing in terms of intensity.

    Thanks again for the input - I'd be tempted to order several pieces, but at $19 shipping from Hong Kong, I'd rather get a little more info and place a slightly larger order for several items I'm pretty confident will work.

    dmoore mentioned a lot of new products coming down the pike, and I read his post with many links to those products. I guess with the rapidly changing landscape of the RGB arena, it would make the most sense to continue reading and learning. In 2 - 3 months, hopefully the new products will be available where I can get a hands on with the new options.
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    With the standard 3 channel strip and strings you may see a slight difference in colour output as the analog are just voltage controlled, This really isnt a big issue, it only becomes an issue when trying to connect more than 1 string or strip as the voltage drop will then effect the output.
    The constant voltage strings like the 1804 again will not show too much difference over 1 strings length but a 128 node length may show slighty more difference. Again i believe this is not a major issue as you would have to be closely looking at these to see the differences.
    As far as the tiger 48 dimming, I cant give you a definate answer on that, what i do know is it dimmed well for me but as far as if it is equivalent to 8bit dimming then maybe Tabor or Phil could chime in on that.

    If you havent already seen the video from D.Moore regarding dimming then take a look http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,775.0.html
     
  11. OP
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    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    Thanks! I watched the video on dimming last night - very similar to both the audio world as well as video. The bit depth is simply the granularity with which you can control a particular element. In this case, the bit depth is related to intensity of each element (R, G, or B).

    I see that the RGB Strip (non-pixel) can be purchased in lengths of 5 meters. 2 questions on this:
    1.) A 5 meter section attached to coroplast or other material is fairly difficult to work with. I've seen D.Moore's gutter boards which appear to be 3' possibly? In his example, he's using pixel strips to link multiple units together, presumably injecting power every section of board. I'm leaning towards RGB non-pixel strips. I believe I could just put some of these to link my 4 conductor sections together (common, R, G, B):

    4 pin plug: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/210128048-323485322/100-pairs-4-Core-White-Waterproof-Line-15cm-long-each-male-and-female.html

    2.) Is it possible to connect longer than 5 meter strips together that act as 1 unit? Some of these DMX controllers allow for 2 - 4 amps, which we're not close to reaching in a 5 meter strip. Would I just split the signal off the controller (similar to using a 3-way on a traditional AC type setup) and run power to my second RGB strip?

    Thanks again! BTW - that link for the pigtails is FANTASTIC! Right now I'm trying to decide CAT5 (I'm an IT business owner by profession) or the pigtails referenced in this discussion: http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/topic,757.15.html

    D. Moore is a big CAT5 guy, based on the video series!
     
  12. fasteddy

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

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    The 3 channel standard RGB strip at 30 leds per metre will draw 0.2 amps per metre so that would mean a 5 metre strip would draw 1 amp per colour and when at full white the common active wire would carry 3 amps. So it is very feasable to connect up multiple strips from the same channels as a 4 amp output would allow approx 4 strips, but i would ensure that i would inject the power between 1&2 and 3&4 so you only have to run 2 sets of wires to not get the voltage drop. Remember that CAT 5 does has it limitations with current draw, I personally use 4 core security cable because its cheap and can handle around 4 amps per core.

    You may have not watched the whole video series from D.Moore so if you havent then i would view the series . The first 6 posts in this thread should help you a lot further in understanding how it all works and goes together, thread 5 & 6 have some PDFs that will also help you understand some more. http://forums.auschristmaslighting.com/index.php/board,28.0.html

    There is also some great info in the ACL WIKI
     
  13. OP
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    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    I've seen all the videos and downloaded the PDFs - I'm a little confused as to what I would run the power to. You mentioned injecting power between 1 and 2, and 3 and 4... Something like:

    ------------1----------power----------2---------- and ------3------power---------4--------

    ? This would let me power 4 strips with minimal "apparent" voltage drop as I'm only running 1 5M strip in total distance from each "supply" point?
     
  14. OP
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    sielbear

    sielbear New Elf

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    At full tilt (white) this would draw 3 amps per 5 meter strip on the common leg. Would I not need to worry about overloading the common in this scenario?
     
  15. fasteddy

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

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    This is correct
     

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