1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
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Time to dive into this...help me pick my first RGB

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Klayfish, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Klayfish

    Klayfish New Elf

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    Thanks to everyone who responded to my post in the Introduction forum. I've been reading as much as I can. I read through the 101 manual twice yesterday...at least the parts I could understand. Time to dive in to this, as I want to get the details for my 2014 display nailed down so I can start building and sequencing.

    Quick summary of my background again. Only 2 years experience using LOR. Have 2 of their 16 channel controllers, controlling all incan lights. My computer and electrical skills are very minimal. I can figure out the basics of computer and know how to make my own extension cords, but that's about it. I don't know how to solder. Having said all that, I'm willing to learn. Reality is I don't have time to learn to be an expert at it, because I have very limited free time but would like to learn the basics.

    So here is my goal and my thoughts. I want to keep it simple this year, as I've got a lot to learn. I want to keep my budget on RGB to $400 or less. What I'd like to build with RGB are two stars on a pole. The stars will be shaped like this: * As I've been reading, these are the products I'm looking at, based on suggestions from a lot of folks:
    SanDevice 682
    ws2811 pixel strip
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5m-led-digital-strip-DC12V-input-WS2811IC-256-scale-10pcs-IC-and-30pcs-5050-SMD-RGB/568458133.html
    12 vdc power supply http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FreeShipping-350W-LED-Display-Power-Supply-Output-12V-29-2A-Switch-Power-Supply/590985012.html

    I already have an LOR S3 sequence license, but I think it needs to be upgraded to allow me to use RGB. I have a basic understanding of what the components I listed above are, but still have some questions. Forgive me if they're stupid questions.

    1. Can someone walk me through the physical layout of how this works? If I understand right, my computer would have a cable going to the power supply, which is connected to the controller via cable, which is connected to the lights? My computer already has a cable now which goes to the RS485 (?) which then goes to my LOR controller. How would the RGB stuff hook into that?

    2. I assume the power supply needs to be kept inside, as it doesn't look weatherproof.

    3. With my LOR controllers, I run short extension cords from the dongles to the light strings. How does it work with RGB? How do I bridge the gap from where the controller is to where I want the RGB strips? In a related note, how many RGB strips can be put in a series? Does each RGB strip get connected individually to the controller?

    4. Someone suggested I try Nutrcracker to sequence RGB. Would you agree? How do I make all of it work with my existing LOR sequences, so it all works together? I already have several songs that I sequenced (not very well...but I try... :D ) in S3 and was planning on just "adding" the sequencing for the RGB into it. I would think the best way to do that is run the existing sequence and add to it so everything is choreographed.

    I'm sure I'll think of more questions, but this will at least point me the right way. Thanks for reading through my ramble and any advice you can offer. Oh, one last thing...do I need to solder with any of this?
     
  2. Mcas4380

    Mcas4380 Apprentice Elf

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    http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,3657.msg46524.html#new
    here are some video's Andy did i know they are for the ECG-P2 but you will find them very helpful in the layout and connection of things. also look for video on the adding your channels in LOR. you will be best off to run a seperate cable from your computer to this controlers and if you have the advanced liscence with LOR you will be able to control both networks at the same time with the same sequance. I'm sure someone way smarter then me will chim in soon.
     
  3. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    You have a lot of reading and experimenting ahead of you. The first thing you will need is a nic (network interface card) for your computer. It may already have one in it, it's the rj45 connector usually on the back of the pc. You will need to set the nic up so you can talk to the 682. You will run an rj45 cable from your nic output to the 682. Read, read and reread the owners manual on the 682 for instructions on how to set up the card and wire your pixels up to it. If you get stuck, either post your question on the forum, or visit chat and ask questions. Take it one step at a time and things will begin to clear up and you will start to understand what's going on. You should be able to just renew your license on S3 advanced so that's not going to cost much.
    John
     
  4. Nodent

    Nodent Apprentice Elf

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    I received my first SanDevices E6804 like 3 weeks ago and a set of 100 RGB lights. I was really easy to setup.

    There's a lot of knowledge here, and the live chat is ideal.
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    You now need to let things absorb as there is a lot of info and its very hard to take in and understand, there are no real short cuts here, but what does happen is the pieces all start to fall in place over time.

    1:If you want to understand the physical layout then refer to the back of the ACL 101 manual as that will show you a layout diagram. but in a nutshell using E1.31 , computer - network cable - network switch - network cable - controller/power supply - lights

    2:Refer to the beginning of the ACL 101 manual for IP ratings, most power supplies are not designed to be exposed to the elements

    3: There are a lot a variations but the general rule is each strip/string needs its own power cable and if connecting more together you then need to inject this power. So the data can transfer between strips to as far as that controller will support the number of channels/strips/strings you are hooking up

    4: Sequencing software varies, but for you doing only a small amount of RGB then i wonder what the merits would be to change software. If you do plan to change then take a look at the different offerings

    So lots of info for you to absorb, so dont rush it or you will become more confused
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Klayfish

    Klayfish New Elf

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    There definitely is a lot of information to absorb. I've read through the 101 a few times, but need to do it more. I've been trying to watch all the videos that are in the Learning Center too, as I'm much more of a visual learner. Some of it is starting to sink in, so that's good. I still also need to leave time to finish designing the layout of my display and build other things. I don't have a megatree, so that's on this years build list, plus my wife wants some of those life size plywood cutouts (reindeer, etc..). I also want to get a start on sequencing.

    If my goal is to make two * shapes, what is the best method to accomplish this? My thought is to have each spoke of the star be about 5 feet in length. I was reading that the 2811 strips don't like to be bent a lot, so I'd guess that the best thing to do would be to cut them into 5 foot lengths? How many strips can be connected to one SanDevice 682? If I have two of the star shapes, I wanted to put them 50 feet apart from each other.
     
  7. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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  8. bluzervic

    bluzervic 65,768 Channels, 185 Universes

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    Welcome to ACL


    The Forums is a great place to start and you can find a number of us in Chat.
    Do some research and ask questions. This is the best place to learn


    -Vic
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Klayfish

    Klayfish New Elf

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    Thanks very much John!! That's fantastic and exactly what I was looking for. The layout is extremely helpful, and I'm happy to say I was on the right track in thinking how I'd lay it out.
     

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