Which lights to use for my RGB MegaTree this year

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by joeengler, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. joeengler

    joeengler Apprentice Elf

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    After using some DMX/RGB stuff last year, I'm ready to convert the MegaTree over to RGB. The big question of the day is which lights are working best for other people?

    I saw these on the Ray Wu Store and I'm looking for comments and guidence.
    Item 1

    Item 2

    or would strips be better?
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    Item 1 has been used by a few guys here with great sucess in 2011. Item 2 is a newer design and i dont know of anyone using these for 2011.

    It really depends on the effect you are looking for,

    Item 1 is more like you traditional mega tree but with intelligent RGB lighting instead, this is where the lights dont have any real orientation to them.

    Item 2 is more of a intelligent RGB LED that can be easily orientated to give that much cleaner look to the tree, but viewing these from behind may not be as good as Item 1

    Strips will give a different effect again, this is the way i hope to go in 2012 if my budget allows as I prefer 12vdc and I will only need the tree to be viewed from one side so the strips make a good choice for me. The strips are good for a 2 dimension tree (Ray tree) compared with the items listed above which tend to be good for a 3 dimensional tree

    I know phil used similar to item 1 last year and the year before but is planning on using item 2 this year.

    Im sure others will pipe in here
     
  3. richardd

    richardd Full Time Elf

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    Re: Which lights to use for my RGB MegaTree this year achieve

    Thank joeengler for posting the same question I was going to post. I would like to use item 2 with my mega tree. 50 in a string is 5m so the length is good. I'm not to concern as to how they will look in the back as in the back is to the house and if someone is looking from that angle I better make a quick call to my security company.

    Would 16 set of light achieve a good effect and work well with the nutcracker project?

    The big question I have, Which controller do I get. I already have 2 16 channel LOR AC controllers and 4 CCR's no going to use these for the mega tree just saying say what Technology I have
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    the ECG PIXAD8 (8 outputs, 8 universes, 1360 pixels) or the ECG PR12 (12 outputs, 12 universes, 2040 pixels) is a good choice, there is also the E681 (16 outputs, 4 universes, 680 pixels)
     
  5. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Joe


    I used Item1 customised with plastic leaves for 2010 and 2011.


    2012 will see one of my megatrees converted to Item2 will be 32 strands of 50 count, they will be data wired as 100 count string but powered from the base as 50 count strings.


    The Item2 that i have got in have a 11cm spacing between LED centres and that works near perfect for me. I am currently looking at how to best keep them orientated


    Richard
    I think that just about any combination will be workable with nutcracker soon.
    for 16 strings i would buy a PixAd8 and wire the 16 strings as 100 count for the data stream, this will use all 8 outputs neatly on the PixAD8


    This assumes your chosen sequencer outputs E131, hopefully LOR will before to long :)


    Cheers
    Phil
     
  6. OP
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    joeengler

    joeengler Apprentice Elf

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  7. OP
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    joeengler

    joeengler Apprentice Elf

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    Phil,

    2012 will see one of my megatrees converted to Item2 will be 32 strands of 50 count, they will be data wired as 100 count string but powered from the base as 50 count strings.

    You mention having your strings as 100 count for data and 50 count for power. Why not just make it 50 & 50, I might not be thinking outside of the box on this one.
     
  8. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Joe

    Let's see if I can explain without pictures.

    Think we already agree on the need to inject Power at least every 50 Pixels so the power side is clear I hope.

    Now let's cover Data.
    At this point in time the various Pixel Controllers we use will control up to 170 Pixels on a single output, for best output utilisation the goal is to always drive the maximum number of pixels on any one output to ensure best use of hardware.
    Now for a megatree the practical cabling takes a string of Pixels up to the top and then back down, if you run this as Bottom - 50 Pix - Top - 50 Pix - Bottom then you have data cabling for 100 pixels.
    Ok so first Questions is why not run back to the top again for 150 Pixels of data.... simple answer is the next string would then start at the top, the 5M+ run from controller to Pixel1 in this case exceeds the max distance normally allowed.
    The next option would be up-down-up-down for 200 count, oops this exceeds the current limit on number of pixels.

    So taking into account all the current limitations wiring 100 count for data makes the best sense, it also will allow a simple conversion to 200/300/400 etc if the max pixels per port is changed.

    Hope this makes some sense

    Cheers
    Phil
     
  9. WayneKremer

    WayneKremer New Elf

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    AussiePhil, bringing up this topic again as I plan to use the same pixels as you, but have a couple of questions that I hope everyone can answer.
    My Megatree string lengths will be approximately 5.5 meters. Can these pixels be extended easily to make the full length? How are they terminated? If inside the silicone, then do you chip away at it? Also, I would rather not have to do any power injection mid-string to save time and money. Think these pixels at 5.5 meters could handle that? Have you had a chance to play with these yet? Thx!
    I've seen different ideas of attaching it to something solid, however PVC is really flexible and strapping will flap back and forth in the wind (and we do have some nasty winds during the Winter here). I was thinking of using metal conduit, but unsure of attaching to tree topper as well as bending. I would like to see examples of what more people are using.
     
  10. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

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    Wayne, see answers in Bold Below

    AussiePhil, bringing up this topic again as I plan to use the same pixels as you, but have a couple of questions that I hope everyone can answer.

    My Megatree string lengths will be approximately 5.5 meters. Can these pixels be extended easily to make the full length?
    Whilst the length is very relevant so is the number of Pixels being used as this gives the overall current draw. How many Pixels?

    How are they terminated? If inside the silicone, then do you chip away at it?
    Pixels do not have termination, and waterproofing can be a pain as is please don't chip away at the silicon.

    Also, I would rather not have to do any power injection mid-string to save time and money. Think these pixels at 5.5 meters could handle that?
    Again see answer above, need a lot more detail yet on how you are going to expect to wire them up and the number of pixels per string.

    Have you had a chance to play with these yet? Thx!
    Certainly played with some of the ones i got, definately order IP68 version in the future and i recommend that the IP68 version be peoples default order.

    I've seen different ideas of attaching it to something solid, however PVC is really flexible and strapping will flap back and forth in the wind (and we do have some nasty winds during the Winter here). I was thinking of using metal conduit, but unsure of attaching to tree topper as well as bending. I would like to see examples of what more people are using.
    In previous years i have just zip tied the strings to plastic coated metal wire, this provides strain relief. I don't mind the pixels moving around in the breeze

    Phil
     
  11. WayneKremer

    WayneKremer New Elf

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    AussiePhil,
    Good questions. :) The plan is to have 24 strands of 50 pixels and wired one per output...which means I'll need two of the ECG PR12's powering them. I just realized that the 50 pixels for item #2 do not state their overall length, but see they are around 11mm in-between each, so I'm guess they are around 5.89 meters? If so, I'm set. I figured I would have them around 10cm in-between each accounting for the wire to be strapped down to the solid surface.
    I used the wrong terminology on termination. :) Actually, I was wondering how the last pixel is wired. Does it only have wires coming in to it and none coming out? If I need to extend and the solder pads are covered in silicone, what to do? Again, if the overall length is more than 5.5 meters, I should be good.
    As for the IP68 version of these pixels...are you using
    IP66 pixels: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-521371851/RGB-full-LED-pixel-module-WS-2801-IC-DC5V-input-50pcs-a-string.html
    IP68 pixels: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-529753184/led-pixel-module-WS2801-DC5V-input-IP68-50pcs-a-string-IP68.html
    For strapping them down, did they hold up well using the plastic coated metal wire or did they shift all over the place? Thx!
     
  12. cwbotner

    cwbotner New Elf

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    Hi All
    I am new to animation, and RGB.. and a mega tree is my priority this year.
    Fast Eddy;
    What kind of strip did you deside on for your Mega tree?

    All;
    alot of people are talking about 50 pixels up, then 50 down for their trees, but that is only 5 meters in lenght.
    1) Doesn't that limit the height of your mega tree?
    2) Is there a reason why you couldn't cut 1 string in half, and do 1.5 strings up, and 1.5 strings down? that will be 150 pixels per controller port.
    3) If I inject power per string, then how many 75 pixel strings can I go off 1 Pwr suppy.. ( What would be a recomendation for Power supplies?)
    4) is the 2811 chip supported yet?
    5) I am looking at 32 strings for a 1/2 tree. (180-200 degree view.) total of 48 strings if I do the 75 pixel.
    That would mean 2 ECG PR12 correct?
    Will that make a respectable mega tree? It will be my 1st, and want to do it right.

    Please add any other advise I may need.
    Thank you.
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    For my 12 strip tree i have used 2811 strip for $36, just cant go past that cheap price. The quality seems good as well. My mega tree is not a 3 dimensional tree, My tree design is simlar to this thread
    With the star on top the tree will be nearly 6 metres tall, which is more than tall enough to make an impact. Plus its easy to build this way as it is using complete strips.

    Now with strings you can get the strings orderd with different spacing and this will determine the length of a string. many have ordered custom strings from Ray in the past, the cost per pixel is usually no different or slightly more, the delivery time is longer due to having to get these made up.

    There is nothing stopping you from ordering strings of greater distance or 12vdc strings that can have 100 pixels in a string. You just need to manage any voltage drop issues

    Nothing stopping you, again voltage drop will have to be managed


    5vdc RGB LED strings will use 0.3 watts per pixel when all 3 colours are on producing white.

    If using a cheap Ray Wu power supply then you dont want to exceed 80-85% of the total power supply rating.

    80% of 350 watt 5vdc PSU = 280 watts

    So you can then run approximatly 280watts / 0.3watts = 900 (933) pixels per power supply


    The 2811 is not currently officially supported by the J1SYS ECG controllers, but an update is due soon which is an easy process to update. The J1SYS ECG controllers do unofficially support the 2811 in that you use the 1804 output code. I have tested my 12 strip tree with 2811 strip set to 2400 data speed using 5 metre extensions from the controller and the strip worked perfectly. I also experienced flickering when i was testing on the bench, so at very least the 2811 can be used with the J1SYS ECG controllers for testing purposes until the official support is released.

    The 2811 is officially supported by the E68x controllers by using a modified 1804 output code.

    So a max of 170 pixels per universe

    so 75 pixels x 32 strings = 2400 pixels

    The P12R will do 12 universes, each universe is 510 usable channels, so 510 x 12 = 6120 channels

    6120 channels / 3 channels = 2040 pixels

    So based on that yes you would require 2 x P12R, or 2 x ECG-PIXAD8 which are 8 universe output controller

    I think that will look great expecially considering its 32 strings over 180 degrees only.
     
  14. cwbotner

    cwbotner New Elf

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    Your the best FastEddy!! Your info is priceless for a newbie like myself!!!
    Many thanks!!
     
  15. OP
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    joeengler

    joeengler Apprentice Elf

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