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What would be the best way to set out my arches?

Discussion in 'Leaping Arches, Driveway Arches & RGB Arches' started by justinj, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. justinj

    justinj Apprentice Elf

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    I plan on adding some arches to my display this year, and am wondering the best way to do it. I've seen lots of arches that only leap, and none like what I was doing so I was wondering it people have tried what I was thinking of doing and thought it wasn't good and instead went to a higher sectioned arch. Anyway my 2 options I was contemplating:

    1. 2 ch sections x 5 = 10 channels per arch. Could do leaping in 5 sections by controlling 2 channels each section, or could light up completely and then flash by alternating every second channel.
    To try and explain better it would look like this:
    1|2 3|4 5|6 7|8 9|10
    So to leap it would use Ch 1|2 then 3|4 then 5|6 etc.
    To flash it would use channels 1|3|5|7|9 and then 2|4|6|8|10 for the next interval.

    2. Just do a 9 channel arch instead for more fluid leaping. Would use a few less channels than option 1, would provide more fluid leaping but wouldn't be able to flash at all.

    So in short, has anyone tried option 1 and liked/hated it and why did you like/hate it?
    The LEDs I have have every 2nd LED linked together for it's section (Before I hack them up) so I can either merge the 2 negs to get 1 channel, or keep them separate for flashies.
     
  2. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    justin,
    There's pleanty of ways to do an arch some people are trying pixels,
    others are cutting up rgb strip,
    others make only one colour,
    others go crazy an use 3 colours wrapped like me Arch RGB test - using cut up Big-W leds
    hope that helps
     
  3. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    Hadn't considered that option if it doesnt work if I uderstand it corrently ity wouldnt matter as you could just reconnect ch 1 &2 3 & 4 etc
     
  4. OP
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    justinj

    justinj Apprentice Elf

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    I know there's no set way, but seeing as how I hadn't seen any vids around like that I thought maybe people had tried and it looked crap.

    Beacy, it's not just a matter of connecting them up again as that would still leave me with 5 channels. If I wasn't going to do flashies I'd up to 7 or 9 channels for more fluidness.

    Maybe I'll make one with flashies and see how it looks first.
     
  5. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    Hi Justin
    I've done the 2 channel flashing/chasing thing with my mega tree and other structures, but to reduce the channel count, I have wired these to relays. To explain further:
    My mega tree has 12 slices with each slice being a 2 channel string. I thought it would be a good effect to flash the 2 channels for the whole tree to give a twinkling effect, but still wanted to be able to chase the 12 slices individually around the tree. This would require 24 channels for each colour which seemed excessive. I consequently used 12 cross-over relays and wired them so that in the power off condition, the 2 channels for each slice were connected to 1 controller channel. However, when the relays were activated, they switched one channel on each of 2 adjacent slices to the adjacent controller channels. Thus when controller channel 1 was on, it illuminated the A channel of slice 1 and the B channel of slice 2, while controller channel 2 activated the B channel of slice 1 and the A channel of slice 2. and so on around the tree. Thus instead of requiring 24 control channels to achieve the effect, I used only 13, 12 for the slices + 1 to activate the 12 relays.

    The effect works very well on the megatree and also on several areas where I use 2 channel strings. I think it would be well worth trying on arches as well as you can get an effect which cannot be achieved without a 2 channel string. I typically flash my alternate channels at about 0.1 s on/off. The effect is better when seen live than in the videos. I would strongly recommend trying it and by using relays, you could still keep 8 or 10 channels on the arches. (My arches are 10 segment - single colour).
     
  6. OP
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    justinj

    justinj Apprentice Elf

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    I was thinking of something like that aussiexmas, but wasn't sure how easy it would be to do.
    It'd start to add up in relay costs for me though - If each arch was 9 channels, that's 18 relays you need on top of the 9 channels of the controller per arch. Seeing as how I am using fairly cheap Ren48LSD controllers it may work out cheaper to just double the controller/channel count.
    I'll still have to make a decision this year though - If I have 10 channel/5 segment flashy arches, or if I have 11 channel regular arches and then next year I could add the extra controller and channels to turn them flashy...
    Would be good if I saw some arches that were like what I was planning :-\
     
  7. fasteddy

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

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    Im making a couple of arches this year but as usual im looking for the biggest bang for my dollar. I have chosen to use some 6803 strip ($68) and use a simple 6803 controller from ray ($16 for 512 channels of 6803 output). This way i get a great effect with the ability to change colours and each section is 100mm so that allows a good level of control. The only setbacks are that it can only be viewed from one side and is not as filled out as a taditional arch. But its a lot cheaper and a lot less work
     
  8. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    Hi Justin
    The setup is really quite easy and requires only 1 relay/arch segment. The relays I have used (and are continuing to use) are only about 80c each including shipping. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/50-pcs-PCB-type-Mini-Power-Relay-12V-DC-coil-SRD-S-112D-/370412395846?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563e4c9d46

    If you want more info, I can put together a sketch showing the connections.
    Note also that using the relays, there are only half the channels to program when it comes to sequencing than would apply if you dedicate 2 channels to each arch segment.

    Regards Geoff
     
  9. OP
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    justinj

    justinj Apprentice Elf

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    How do you only need 1 relay per segment? If you have 1 I know you could easily toggle between which part of that segment is lit, but what about when you want both parts of that segment lit at the same time?
    Also $0.80 is close to the cost of an LSD channel (Any other controller and it would make it much cheaper) so I might put that down as an improvement for next years, and settle for 11 segments per arch this year.
    I already purchased my lights post xmas last year so I got enough lights for 4 arches for about $70 :)
     
  10. aussiexmas

    aussiexmas Sinnamon Lights

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    Justin
    I connect the relays as per the attached sketch.
    I put a 2 pin plug on the 2 negative wires from the string, then wire the 2 pin socket to the relays and control channel as a permanent connection. All the +ves are commoned and connected to any LOR board +ve connection. In the relay unpowered state, both channels of each string connect straight through to the corresponding LOR channel. When powered, Alternate switching of channels 1&2 at say 0.1s on/off gives a great twinkling effect.

    I use one 12V channel to switch all the relays. I do include a reverse bias diode to kill any induced voltage from the relay coils when the relays are switched off.

    I have been using this setup now for 2 years with no problems.

    Regards Geoff
     

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