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Question about length of pixel strings, universes and the E682


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#1 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:17 PM

Hey all!

 

Next year I would like to do a 180 degree pixel tree. For storage reasons I'm probably going to do an 8' one. The strips I'm looking at are 150 LED with 50 nodes per 5M, 5VDC. So all of the RGB LED's are grouped in three's. I plan on cutting 6 5M strips in half so the tree would be 12x25 pixel nodes for a total of 300 pixel nodes (channels). I will be using a sandevices E682.

 

My question is wiring. since the WHOLE TREE is less than one universe, I was curious if I could run 150 pixel nodes (Tree left 6x25) off of one output of the E682, injecting power every 50 pixels and than doing the same on the (Tree right 6x25). In theory I could run the whole tree off of 1 output since it's only 300 channels. I understand there would be more wiring with all the power injection.

 

Seems like such a waste to take up 12 outputs on the e682 when I can do it off just one or two outputs. That would free the other 14-15 outputs for me to add other pixels elsewhere in my display.

If the E682 supports up to 2040 pixel nodes in unicast and I'm using 300 channels for the tree that leaves me 1740 unused channels. If I spread the tree across 12 outputs, that only leaves me 4 outputs on the E682 for the other 1740 channels.

 

So my question is: What is the advantage/disadvantage to running it off one or two outputs as opposed to 25 nodes each on their own individual output?

 

Just want to drive as many pixels as I can off of the E682.

 

Thanks!


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#2 KStatefan

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:23 PM

I think your channel count is off or I do not understand your layout.

 

12 strips X 25 nodes X 3 channels per node = 900 channels


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#3 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:37 PM

Sorry.  

You are correct. Forgot the multiple of three in my original post.

 

It is a 5m strip with 150 physical RGB LEDS. One IC controls 3 RGB LEDS. So 25 pixel nodes on one string is 75 channels. That would make tree side left 450 channels and tree side right 450 channels. Still less than 1 universe for each side.

 

What is the advantage/disadvantage to running it off of 2 outputs on the E682 (other than power injection) as opposed to 12?

 

Thanks!



#4 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

I'm cutting these 5m strips in half, that's the 25 pixel nodes per string (75 channels)

 

Would I be better off using the E682 for my house outline and buying a 6804 for my mini pixel tree?

 

The 6804 would allow me to do 4 groups of three 8" strings. 75 pixel nodes per output.


Damn, can't get brain to work today. 4 groups of three 8 FOOT strings.



#5 ryebred

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:02 PM

I would go with the 6804 for the tree or for a little less money, the Joshua Systems equivalent.

 

http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-p2/

 

I use the ECG-P12X for my pixel tree but I have 1,200 pixels which uses 8 outputs.


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#6 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:10 PM

Hey ryebred

 

I have the E682. Haven't built it into an enclosure with power supply and cables etc. So I haven't even powered it up yet.

What's been your experience with the j1sys stuff. Is there a reason you went with j1sys over sandevices? Just curious.

 

Is your tree configuration 180 degree 8X150? And are you using 150 node individually addressable pixels like the new WS2812's (not groupings of 3 like the CCR's)

 

Thanks!



#7 k6ccc

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:06 PM

Since you have the E682, I would use it - unless you are going to need another one somewhere else and then I would get the E6804 for the tree and use the E682 for your other plans.

Using more outputs does make powering it easier as it eliminates (or reduces) the need to power the strip separately.  For part of my landscape lighting, I have 2 strips that are about 7 meters being fed from an E6804.  I have outputs 1 and 2 feed the two strips, and the +12 and ground only from outputs 3 & 4 feed power to the far end of the two strips.  I may have to change that however because for Christmas 2014 I expect to have two strings of pixel bulbs fed from outputs 3 & 4 (which will also require opposite end power).  But I already know how I will handle that...

 

BTW, I'm wondering about your strips.  I have never seen a 5V strip that had 3 RGB LEDs per IC.  That's VERY common for 12V strips, but I've never seen a 5V strip that way.  Can you post a link?

Also, unless you have a real reason to use 5V, I would use 12V strips to keep the current down.



#8 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:08 PM

Thanks k6ccc. They were indeed 12V strips I was looking at. Everything I kept reading stated that the 5V pixels were brighter, which is why I wanted to go that route and didn't think to look.

 

I think ryebred has the right idea. 6804 or ECG-P2 for the tree. Group the strings in three's. At 12V probably won't have to power inject. Leave the bigger 682 for the house outline. Cue cash register sound....

 

Anyone have any experience between the 5V and 12V pixels. Is the 5V one really that much brighter?

 

Thanks Guys!



#9 funkymzk

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:22 PM

Hey K6ccc. I was curious. If I read right, you were power injecting your strings at the end from the other outputs (+12 and ground) off of the controller?

Why do it this way as opposed to just coming right off the power supply with an inline fuse? Not a slam, just an advantage/disadvantage question.

 

You were a big help, changed around what I was thinking entirely. Easier too!



#10 k6ccc

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:46 PM

Funkymzk,

The short answer was convenience in the short term.  Let me explain the situation a bit.  My E6804 is part of my year-round landscape lighting, and everything is in conduit.  There is a 12V power supply in my bedroom closet.  An output of that goes through about 30 feet of conduit to an 8x8x4 electrical box that originally had a 16 channel DC controller in it.  From that box, there is 28 feet of conduit to a 4x4x4 electrical box where 6 channels of the DC controller split off, and another 25 feet of conduit to a second 4x4x4 box where another 6 channels split off, and anther 22 feet of conduit to a third 4x4x4 box where the last 5 channels come out.  When I converted the 17 roses to RGB instead of the rope light, I pulled out the 16 channel DC controller and most of the wiring, and installed the E6804 in the 2nd 4x4x4 box.  I can tell you that an E6804, LAN cable, and 2 cables for the 2 strings going out DO fit in a 4x4x4 box, but it's REALLY tight!  I suspected that I was going to need to feed power to the end of the two strings before I ever installed them, and after it was all installed, confirmed that it would be helpful.  The easiest way to tap power was to just use outputs 3 & 4.  This box is against a wall between 2 rose bushes so it's really a pain (literally) to get into for most of the year.  When I trim back the roses in a few weeks I am planning on putting a larger box there and I AM going to change how I feed power to the end of the strings.  That will free up the other two outputs for use with the planned pixel bulbs next Christmas.



#11 k6ccc

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:51 PM

Oh BTW, since you have the E682 I would get the E6804 rather than j1sys.  Not that I have anything against the j1sys (I don't) , but having both E1.31 boards the same makes configuration a lot easier.  Beats having to learn two different configurations.  The E682 and E6804 are similar enough that you don't really need to learn 2 systems - I have 2 E682s and 1 E6804.



#12 funkymzk

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:43 AM

Excellent! Thanks Jim. I just got a working model of my tree up in the visualizer and played with some nutcracker exports. So I'll probably get the 6804, stick with 12V strips and start from there.



#13 Daryl Hurd

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

I would concurr with sticking with the San Devices since you already have one... It makes life alot easier and do not forget you should buy a spare just in case of failure... RGB/Pixels are addictive so make sure to keep one out of the display for backup.. You will be tempted to use it...



#14 k6ccc

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

No kidding about RGB / Pixels being addictive.  My Christmas show comes down next weekend, but if I have time the E682 that will be used year round (see my signature) will go in service driving just under 65 feet of 2811 pixels as yet another part of my landscape lighting.  The E6804 went into daily service in October driving 42 feet of 2811 pixels and is really nice to have.  Although currently the landscape lighting is fairly boring mostly white, for Christmas it was in full color and really looked great.  I will likely change up the landscape lighting to make use of the color more in the near future.



#15 funkymzk

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:24 PM

What are you guys using on the software side. I've tried Nutcracker and it does do some cool stuff that I will probably use, but not entirely what I'm looking for. Are you guys using Super Star? I've messed around with Vixen and the LSP demo. Do you need a high count CCR license for Super Star or can you go with the 2 CCR version and export strings out 2 at a time? I'm still not sure where to drop my $$$ as far as programming these things go. On the Sequence Editor and Visualizer I have it up and running, but doing it entirely in the sequence editor looks time consuming, possible, but time consuming. Any input would be appreciated.



#16 ryebred

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

Out of my 16 sequences, 4 were programmed by someone else using Superstar. The rest were programmed by me using a combination of manual programming and Nutcracker effects. I have had CCR's for 4 years now and have some cool effects on them so some of those effects actually translated to the pixel tree quite nicely. I just had to paste the effect on each of the 24 strings. Since each string on the pixel tree is 50 pixels like the CCR, it worked out well.

 

My superstar programmed sequences are by far the best looking so next year I plan to convert more of my sequences to using Superstar. The nice thing is you can try it out for free and program a sequence with it, you just can't export it until you buy the license. You have to think differently than you are used to in order to use Superstar because the concept behind morphs is different than what you use with your normal light show programming. You have a whole year now so the worst is you decide you dont like it and all you wasted was some of your time and you still have plenty of time to try alternatives.


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#17 k6ccc

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:59 PM

All except one of my pixel tree sequences were done with Superstar. The star on top (360 pixels) was done entirely in Sequence Editor. I created 12 separate tracks for the star that allow wipes in just about any direction you can think of. Took quite a while to build the tracks, but it's impressive as all get out what I can do with it. I have tried any other non-LOR sequencing software yet.

#18 nam1956

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:24 AM

Okay you all got me confused here, but with that said I would love to pick Jim's mind. I am in the process of putting together landscape lighting in pipe also but have not yet figured out the lay of the pipe. I plan on using RGB ribbons along the tops of about 200' of retaining wall and Im guessing about 100' to 150' of some kind of lights around two yard ponds, these lights will be mounted on the underside of the rocks surrounding the ponds. These lights could at times get very wet (if the pond floods). I will also be installing lights on a cascading waterfall, basically 10-12 steps with lights mounted on the top of each riser, the water will flow over the lights. In both cases what would be the suggestion for putting pipe in the ground, come up to a box at the end of every ribbon or what. My longest run of lights will be just under 100'. It is important to me to have control of each pixel on both applications


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#19 k6ccc

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:52 AM

As long as you leave me a little bit of my mind, you are welcome to pick away.