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Stand Alone Controllers?

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by drakky, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. drakky

    drakky Full Time Elf

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    Hi Guys
    I've been away for a while as I have moved , unfortunately where I have moved to is quite large and intelligent lights are out of the question for this year at least as I don't have the time to work on them.
    I do have a problem though as the Mrs wants a particular tree lit up in the grounds , this tree would be about 4.5 metres in diameter at the base and a good 10 metres tall , we are thinking of hiring a cherry picker to put the lights on it .
    There is power near this tree , my problem is I don't want to put cheap strings of lights on it as I want to leave them up rather than going to the expense of hiring the cherry picker each year and the time it would take , so I'm looking to put up some good quality IP68 lights and hope they will last at least say 4 or 5 years?
    All that I am looking for is similar lighting effect to say the big w lights set on twinkle on strings wound around the tree.
    I can't seem to find good quality multi colour strings with built in controller to do the job so I was wondering if anybody knows of such an item or would it be better to buy pixels for example these

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/50nodes-DC12V-WS2811-LED-technicolor-pixel-with-C9-cover-waterproof-RGB-full-color-in-GREEN-color/701799_1655471902.html

    and maybe buy some stand alone controllers with built in effects to drive them?
    something like these?

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/LED-2014-X-14key-RF-LED-pixel-controller-support-W2811-WS2812B-TM1804-INK1003-UCS1903-etc-2048pixels/701799_1866672184.html
    or
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DMX-SPI-200-DMX-SPI-Decoder-with-IR-remote-support-WS2801-WS2811-WS2812-WS2812B-TM1804-TM1809/701799_1620578028.html

    or am I completely off track here? any help/suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated

    thanks :-\
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Depending on what you want the lights to do there's a few options that you can go with. Before we get to the controllers I have to say that you pretty much won't get ANY pixels that will survive 5 years in the weather with the exception may of Stellascapes or Minleon ones and even then I reckon it would be a fair chance that 5 years or even 2 or 3 years might be pushing the friendship. I would just about guarantee that any Aliexpress sourced ones will be exceptionally lucky o survive more than 12 months exposed to weather.
    If you go with plain fairy light type lights then mysolarled make some exceptional quality leds and they may well last that sort of duration. The advantage with fairy lights over pixels is that any 1 led can handle the ingress of water and it won't take out the whole thing. The worst case would be if the led failed would be that you might lose 6 or 7 as part of a group that are series'ed but with pixels any water in any pixel will stop every pixel from there on working.
    I you go with fairy leds you can stick with simple multifunction controllers or you could go down the route of using a Rasberry Pi running FPP which is capable of directly driving 2801 pixels which my 2801DC15 and 2801DC30 boards are. Superman did some tests last night and successfully ran with this method. A $35 Pi is capable of running 10's of 1000's of pixels for a full on display or you can connect directly with some 2801 pixels and a 2801DC board to run dumb elements like fairy lights or rgb strip/nodes etc.
    A bit of info on Supersteve's successful test is at http://falconchristmas.com/forum/index.php?topic=1100.new;topicseen#new
     
  3. OP
    OP
    drakky

    drakky Full Time Elf

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    well fairy type lights is all I want probably, preferably with c9 covers as I'd want them to look bigger , but as far as what I want the lights to do is basically just twinkle same as the big w lights do ,I'd imagine I'd be wanting a fair length of lights to cover this tree or maybe quite a few strings, but I do want them multi colour led strings.
    The rest of the display will be a static display as the building itself is quite large so I'll just run normal lights for it which I'll pull down ,it's just this tree and the expense of hiring a cherry picker to put them up and pull down each year. I am prepared to spend a reasonable amount on the lights for this tree as it will be the centre point of the display.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    drakky

    drakky Full Time Elf

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    The Minleon gear looks very interesting maybe just what I'm looking for
     
  5. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    Both the LOR DC boards have onboard memory to hold downloaded sequences which can be triggered or started at power up. The individual channels on each type of board can handle up to 4 amp/channel at 5 to 30+ volts, although there are total current limits which would prevent all channels running simultaneously at max amps.


    Board specs CMB24D: http://www1.lightorama.com/Documents/CMB24D.pdf
    and CMB16QC: http://www1.lightorama.com/PDF/CMB16D.pdf


    Both boards cost about $100USD.


    Hope this helps if you need a suitable controller for dumb lights.
     
  6. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    String sets with clear insulation on their wires seem to turn brown in the sun. If the LEDs are in sockets (same as most incandescent sets) they will rust out. If you go with store bought (or similar style) lights the globes with 3 wires connected to them are the most important and need to be watertight.
     

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