1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

Where to start....

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by NewtoLightz, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. NewtoLightz

    NewtoLightz New Elf

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    Hello,

    I am all the way new to this I wantg to start with a small display. I don't have a close on what's the best controller for a beginner would be or where to began. I read the whole 81pg guide I understand but not sure what would be rite for me can someone point this newbie in the rite direction
     
  2. cdbrown

    cdbrown New Elf

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    You need to think about what it is you want to do and display before people can start offering advice on controllers.

    Are you looking at getting store bought lights and controlling them, single colour, multi colour? or full controlled RGD leds. The more lights to control, the more outputs a controller needs, or more controllers. Take a look through the forum for peoples displays, how they do them and what controllers they use.
     
  3. the grinch

    the grinch I guess I could use a little social interaction

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    Hi newto and welcome to acl thats a great start by reading the 101 manual as we would have recommended that first . Secondly any questions are quickly answered on chat so jump in and say hello ! Thirdly I always recommend starting with a small project weather it be mini tree or trees leaping arches etc etc . By doing and accomplishing will give you a much better understanding of how things work ! And then there's no stopping you !
    Goodluck mate !
     
  4. OP
    OP
    NewtoLightz

    NewtoLightz New Elf

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    Thank you I was wondering would I build my mini trees myself or is there a place to purchase them and if not available for purchase would I use the RGB dumb nodes
     
  5. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    @NewtoLightz As with anything in this hobby, there's always at least 3 ways to build something and 3 different opinions on which is best. here's my opinion :)

    If starting from fresh, go smart RGB nodes/pixels, you can always treat them as dumb nodes and have them just 1 colour, but you have the option to have them as many colours and colour combinations as you like.

    Some mini trees options, with examples of hardware in links:
    1. Plant trainer frames open (tie the tops together) or closed (either, with or without chicken wire covering), then pixels wrapped in spiral around them
    2. Coro trees eg Mini Trees from Boscoyo
    3. Mini "megatree", frame of your choice, pixel nodes or strips in vertical configuration
    As for controllers, check my post here where I discuss some options. The falcon board is currently one of the most popular controller boards. As with most of the vendors you can buy just the board, add power supplies, cabling and build enclosures yourself, or buy ready made units. Up to your wallet, abilities or the joy of building something from scratch.
     
    Knight light likes this.
  6. Prendy

    Prendy New Elf

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    HI Mate, Welcome.
    If you want to get up and running this year, you'll need to move fast and get all Oz gear. I use a Pixlite 16 MkII from http://www.advateklights.com/ however if you just want to start with some mini trees, start off with a Pixlite 4.

    I used WS2811 LED strips, jump on ebay and search ws2811, there's plenty around.

    As OzAz said, use tree trainers. I got the open top ones from Bunnings, around $10 each. Wrap the string in a spiral and ziptie it on.

    You'll need a power supply. Again, ebay search for 12v 600w power supply.

    There's a calculator that tells you how much power you need, but for half a dozen mini trees, 600w will be plenty.

    I run mine from an old pc and just hook the controller up to that via Ethernet.

    I use Cat6 cable to send data and power to the trees, and decent gauge speaker wire to inject power.

    Make sure you have a think about connectors and waterproofing as well...

    Jump in chat and zoom as well, heaps of help around. I reckon we'll get you going in no time.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    NewtoLightz

    NewtoLightz New Elf

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    Thanks everyone I'm gonna read some more and figure out a plan I have xlights program I took a pic of my house so gonna play with that get a idea and see what happens
     
  8. keithsw1111

    keithsw1111 Full Time Elf

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    Don't buy strips ... there be dragons on that path ... unless you really know what you are getting into. Love how they look but they are a pain.
     
    jaredo and QldKing(Brad) like this.

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