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sax last won the day on March 25 2015

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About sax

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    Hillsboro Oregon
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    Electronics Engineer

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  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
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  1. Anyone hear any news on this? Would love to get my hands on the new superstar layering feature which will be in this beta..., Sax
  2. Plan on being there this year My wife will be coming too but only I will be attending CLAP. Sax
  3. I have tried xlights and pe. Both are similar....Matt used to work on xlights. Xlights lets you export as an LMS file which then you work with in LOR SE. These programs allow you to create an effect and put it on your RGB elements. For me, getting the correct timings is difficult. A lot of guessing. Learning curve was huge for me. I could not understand that AC controllers were not controllable. You also have to create each element using number boxes trying to line them up on a grid. PE does not allow you to sequence in the device in both SE and PE. Bottom line is to sequence with either of these I was forced to double sequence....RGB with PE or xlights...AC with SE. Who has time for that. Enter superstar. It sequences everything. Timings are adjustable live and on the fly. AC. DC. LOR. DMX. Everything...with the exception of singing faces. Don't get me could do that but IMHO SE is better for that. SuperStar lets you export as legacy or intensity. I use only legacy because once exported you can still edit in SE. Your visualizer file is used to import your elements. Most people already use that and have it set no extra work. Learning curve depends on how long you have used SE. It took me 3 songs to get the hang of it. I had used SE for 2 years. SS is the choice for me because of the ability to sequence my entire display in one run. Timings are easily adjusted. Elements easily made. Sequencing is fast and easy with the ability to add or remove elements to a given effect on the fly. Disadvantages are cost. No effects created for you....other than teaching ones put in the clipboard. Sax
  4. Yes. Go to servocity. Get a servo....any servo if you don't have a project....but I would recommend the HS 425BB. Then plug it needs no special plug or modification. Just plug it in. The board shows which side is signal and which side is ground....If it is reversed it won't damage the board or servo since power is middle. But once plugged in correct, you can use the HW utility to play with it. I am using mine to make skulls talk. Modifying a skull is the challenge here...but once modified and with the servo in I was able to find my limits. Too much motion and the linkage fails or breaks. Too little and it doesn't look like a talking skull. I programed those limits using the HW utility and then I was set...full on in LOR SW is open is closed. Program the sequence....tada.....talking skull. My use is not complicated. Just a mouth opening and closing. But I can see how easy it would be to make eyes or neck move. Servocity sells all kinds of components to help...from mounting channels and hardware up to pan and tilt kits. You can really start getting some pricey elements but overall I calculated buying the premade kits to be a worthy investment compared to me trying to put something together from scratch. Linkages, channels and all the hardware is easily ordered right their from servocity. It is sometimes buried in their page but keyword searches help. One thing to keep in mind....when getting your servo look at extension cables. Save some shipping costs and get them now. You will need them. Sax
  5. Strange that I didn't have a need for ac or DC controllers this year. Strange. But I have all that I need and my spares. I did pickup a servodog. ....woof. My only owned one is part of my test board. So now it can stay there. BTW...getting servos to work is so much easier than I ever thought it would be. Anyone on the fence should jump in. Explaining and understanding how it works is much harder than actually seeing and doing it. Sax
  6. I can't say enough about christmasleds rope light. See my post above for a link to their rope.
  7. I only use the rope on my singing faces. I tiewrap them in the correct orientation....facing the audience. I create custom plugs using the technique shown on christmasleds website. Basically solder the ends of your wire...shove them in the conductor channels...silicone and heatshrink it up and off you go. 4 years and no problems. For my faces I chose rope over bulbs for one looks better IMHO.
  8. 120v led rope is my choice. I get my rope from christmasleds because they are the only ones who sell 19-20" cuttable led rope. I have 8 faces using yellow, orange, green and pure white. 4+ years old and still going strong.
  9. Correct Jerry. I use only horizontal and I do not import as a pair...only my superstar made visualization. In that visualization I put the props close to their actual location but I make sure there is room around each. I do this so I can use the visualization instead of the grid to do Morphs and such. Another head scratcher is when to apply the superstar command to the prop or the fixture??? I apply to prop. Test. If it doesn't work then I apply to fixture.
  10. Hey zman. It is end of February, any update to topics this year? I am trying my best to make it up this year... Thanks, Sax
  11. Monsterguts skulls not in stock. Triaxialskulllabs has not been selling for over 3 years. Most sites that had kits no longer offer them. The kit has been tough to find. The lindberg skull is super hard to find. Ebay has them but most are around 80-100 bucks. I wonder if this is why they are not available at monsterguts. has a 4th quality Mr Thrifty 2 piece skull for 9 bucks. skeletonsandmore has a life sized two piece harvey, aged for 25 bucks. Thinking about getting a couple of the $9 heads to play with and see if i can finally put my servodog to use. Been sitting on this for over 2 years. Yes, this thread has motivated me to get in gear. I am just looking at animating some mouths for now.
  12. Your singing skeletons look awesome. I love it. The "lamp" face was fantastic. Great work. You mention what servos you used for the arms and legs...but what did you use for the mouth, head and eyes. I assume you only put the skeletons out on Halloween. Here in the NW we get a lot of rain. So I am always trying to find water proof components. It would be a shame to create and program and then have it rain on Halloween..... Sax
  13. I too have my elements sorted in superstar to fit where I want it much like Ron has shown above. When I add an element I am able to Fit it in the holes I have intentionally left in my grid knowing I plan to upgrade sometime in the future. i love using instant sequence to create some special effects quickly so that I don't have to manually add them. One of my favorite items is the sunburst 5 colors to the beat. It creates a beautiful effect on my eaves and gutters. On a 50 pixel string, every 10 will be the center for this burst. The problem is is when I manually place elements on the grid the instant sequence just won't work. Well, it works but not how I want it to. The instant sequence expects items on a grid line to be continuous. So it will place the effect even on empty grid boxes. I prefer to manually create my sequences but this effect in particular is a favorite of mine. So, I have come up with a workaround for this and once created proper I save it to the clipboard and now it is a simple cut and paste. Creation was simple, create a new visualization of only the elements I want the effect on laid out on continuous grid lines...create the effect....copy to clipboard. Done. If you are not familiar with superstar clipboard it is a lot different than the clipboard in sequence editor. You can add notes and comments....which will allow you to know what it is much easier. Point is, instant sequence not so instant. But that is an effect that is easier to create through instant sequence. Superstar has come a long way. Originally created for CCRs we are now able to use it for all kinds of things...but instant sequence is still geared towards that type of CCR grid layout. We have to overcome those rules..... So, if you are set on only using instant sequence....try to keep your grid tight and no higher than 10 rows. Width matters too. My 100 pixel element does not get sequenced in instant sequence. So you will have to do some trial and error to see how wide you can go. My bet is 50. Goid luck. Learn superstar and you will be surprised how fast you can create original works. Then you will join the majority who rarely use instant.... Good luck, Sax
  14. This is an older thread but wanted to give my 2 cents. I love superstar. Sequence my yard and all its elements. D.C. Motors, my lasers AC and DC lights and of course my and dumb. i started my light show because I loved how the faces of other peoples displays looked on you tube. Had to have it. And slowly worked in other elements. Even so, the center of my show has always been the faces. I use the sequence editor to program them. I won't say you can't do it in superstar especially now with floating windows, but sequence editor is just faster to me. I have tried papagayo and found the learning curve to be long....and then you still have to program the words for each seemed time consuming. Nothing against the SW author bob-o or the several forum readers who use papagayo but it just wasn't for me. Yes, my first face sequence took a long time. So did any sequencing I did at first. Now, it is easy. Copy and paste the chorus. Second verse may be almost the same as the first verse...copy and paste if you can. Even if you don't copy and paste it gets easier and faster. And better. I program at 1/2 speed. Just run through the song. And some songs program faster....but none of it takes too long. Once complete I merge the superstar yard with the sequence editor faces....tada. Good luck on whichever you decide. Sax
  15. DMX controller needs a DMX dongle. Several are available. You can also use a LOR dongle but crossover cables are needed. The pixie does have a DMX universe output that you could use as well. More info about how to connect DMX devices can be found on hc website...I personally use the hc entec pro dongle for my DMX universe for all my dumb lights. If this was my setup I would try to use the pixie to create my DMX universe. E1.31 comes straight out of computer port or as you have setup already a switch. This is several universes. Unlike the DMX channel above, this card creates its universes. LOR uses the LOR dongle....hi speed or low speed. Again, keep them separated.