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Starting afresh with LOR and having the 240v debate

Discussion in 'LOR 240V AC' started by dropbear_luke, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    Hi,
    I've been doing christmas light displays for a few years now, and want to upgrade to include the LOR musical lighted sequences. However, I'm having an internal debate about 240v vs DC. I want things to be easy enough for my first year, but not ridiculously expensive. I am planning on a 16 channel display, and want to know what is the best way to go about this. I Know I need to but a board which can come either fully put together or as a kit. Is the kit easy to assemble?
    Also, i was reading previous posts and understand the cordests are expensive to ship, so i have a feeling i will be not getting these and buying some cheapies here and changing them over.
    I am unsure however on the power input cable and the "?jumper"
    My father is an electrician, and i grew up doing lots of electrical stuff, so i understand some things, and my father is going to help where i need it. Any help would be appreciated still though. Also, is there any cheap housing units in australia, or what do other ppl use?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Welcome to ACL Luke
    Before you commit to anything what sort of lights are you controlling or planning on controlling. If the lights are 240V and don't use plugpacks (ropelights and my-t-brite led strings are virtually all that are natively 240V) then 240VAC is an option.
    The kit isn't that hard to build if you have reasonable soldering experience.
    If you go with 240V the cordsets are probably going to cost you $3 to $5 to make up per lead.
    If you go with DC it is possible to get non LOR DC boards $60 for 27 channels, $200 for $48 channels and good quality led strings especially designed for DC direct from China from under $10 (in reasonable quantity) landed in Aussie.
    Popping into chat and having a talk over what lights you've got, what you want etc can save you a lot of trawling.
     
  3. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Hi Luke,
    If you want to go with 240V, LOR boards are your best bet. These are good for 240V motifs, etc that don't have readily available low voltage DC equivalents yet. Over here (Oz), LED strings however tend to be low voltage AC with a transformer. These don't lend themselves to animation via 240V controllers. The 240V strings from eBay etc are often unsafe and illegally sold without approvals.

    If you want to go the low voltage DC way, you can use a DC power supply and DC controller with modified strings like the Big W ones many people here use. The strings are easy to modify (basically chop the multi-function controller off) and connect to the DC controller. The only 240V part in this setup is the mains lead going into the power supply and your dad will be able to assist you there. Overall it's a much safer solution.

    You can use a combination of 240V (LOR usually) and low voltage DC controllers in your display of course, as many ACL members do. You can also get into pixels lights and controllers down the track if you want. There's plenty of help available here in the ACL forum or chat room, so don't think you'll be on your own.
     
  4. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Luke welcome,
    I am 100% DC for safety reasons, given the inclement weather that we have I want to be able to turn the lights on without fear of someone getting zapped. As far as boards go I originally considered LOR but due to the price per channel and shipping it wasn't worth it when I could get a 48 channel DC board assembled & tested and ready to go for about $200 here in Australia from David AVD.


    As far as plug & play as I understand it with LOR there is little difference in the work you need to do to set up their DC boards in Comparison to David's boards. I also look at the 27ch China boards but as they are the key to the display if it goes and you dont have the experience or parts to fix it thats the end of the show and 12 months worth of work. The AVD 48 boards fit into a housing that can be purchased from Jaycar.


    Given it is January and you say that you only want 16 channels I would be extremely surprised if by christmas that hasn't increased significantly.


    Drop into chat there are plenty here to help.




    A please read this [SIZE=78%]http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1672.0.html[/SIZE] Dont rush into buying hardwrae just yet
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL Luke.

    There are many directions you can take but for the first year the best bet is to try and use the lighting you already have and source the controllers that will control them, so you turn 2011 static display into a show for 2012. This will help keep the initial expenditure down without commiting to much on new lights and will allow you to gain knowledge to then make more informed decisions on what direction you would like to take for 2013.
    Many people here started with LOR 240v including myself and this is not a bad way to start with your existing gear as long as you take safety precautions when dealing with 240v. Slowly phase out your 240v gear over the seasons as they fail and move towards using low voltage DC, If you dont have a need for your AC boards in the future then they can be easily sold to other members through this forum. You have lots of time to read, ask questions and learn before 2012 Christmas so take your time before committing to anything.

    Wish you well in your quest
     
  6. Robbo

    Robbo Full Time Elf

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    if one does decide they need a 240V AC board from LOR feel free to ask around first, there are always boards readily available 2nd hand maybe but still an option as compared to shipping in and putting together from the US, I have a couple boards that I will be preparing for sale in the coming weeks as I upgrade my show to allow for DC, but keeping 1 board for the 240V stuff in my show that I have, it has taken me 3 years to finally convince myself of going DC after starting with 240V
     
  7. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    The other option for 240 vac is a Renard 64 with AC SSRs.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    Hi again everyone,
    thanks for all your great input. im starting to think of it all now so i have heaps of time to research the best options and how to achieve these.
    To answer some things, thr lights i currently have are 12 of the big w connectable lights, about 15 different ropelights, and 10 strands of fairy lights. i also have a few silhoutte lights made from ropelights, and a 2x3m waterfall made from leds.
    im still trying to decide on which way to go. how much does it cost to set up a dc board? i found the avd website with tue 24ch dmx controller, and this looks good. what else woyld i need to buy woth this, im guessing a dongle/converter from the usb to cat5 cable, is there anything else?
    how much work is there involved in chopping lights to install them on the board?
     

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