Leroy Thompson

Need pre-packaged RGB stuff

11 posts in this topic

Friends:  I posted this in some of the Facebook user groups but they were insulted by my request.  I have been doing LOR for about 5 years.  My time is very limited and all I can do is put up my display, hook it up, and watch the lights.  I don't program sequences, I don't create stuff, I don't really build anything.  I'm a plug and play guy, I guess.  Is there an LOR  plug and play package I can buy for RGB displays that has the hardware and the sequences and simple instructions?  I realize I may be showing how very naive I am so I apologize in advance.  If you think I'm crazy in asking, please just ignore.  Thanks.

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Once again, we extend our apologies for some of the people in that Facebook group.  We are not affiliated with them, and because they are un-moderated things can get 'salty'.  If you ever see anyone up there getting the same treatment as you, point them down here.

Is there an all-in-one package?  No, not really at this time.  However you can piece it together yourself. 

For hardware, take a look at some of our packages.  For dumb RGB, we have CMB24 packages that include ribbons (currently sold out), floods, and the needed power supplies as well as enclosures.  For Pixel products, take a look at things like our Pixel Tree Kit.

RGB Flood: http://store.lightorama.com/10wrgbflplpa.html
(The RGB Dumb Ribbon package when in stock is the same but instead of 8 floods you get 8 ribbons.  Price may be different)
Complete Pixel Tree:  http://store.lightorama.com/copitrkit.html
Complete Pixel Packages (no tree hardware): http://store.lightorama.com/plpipade.html

For sequencing, you have a couple of options right now.  If you are only adding dumb RGB, then sequences from our sequence store are programmed to work with them.  We have hundreds:  http://sequences.lightorama.com/

For Pixel sequences, we recommend our own Brian B's creations at SuperStarLights:  http://www.superstarlights.com/

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Dev Mike:  Thank you for your concern but you don't need to apologize for others.  It's part of the game, I guess.  A couple of further  questions that will demonstrate my total ignorance of RGB.  Do these controllers hook into a standard LOR network along with other regular 16-channel networks?  Is a particular level of software required? If so, what?   I guess I should not try to do this given my lack of knowledge and no one in the area to ask?  Is there a manual I can read to get up to speed?  Thanks, Leroy

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2 hours ago, Leroy Thompson said:

Dev Mike:  Thank you for your concern but you don't need to apologize for others.  It's part of the game, I guess.  A couple of further  questions that will demonstrate my total ignorance of RGB.  Do these controllers hook into a standard LOR network along with other regular 16-channel networks?  Is a particular level of software required? If so, what?   I guess I should not try to do this given my lack of knowledge and no one in the area to ask?  Is there a manual I can read to get up to speed?  Thanks, Leroy

The pixie16 Plug and Play comes with 16 strands of RGB. You can find it on the LOR store site. It is P&P into the LOR network. You can buy sequences from LOR and various vendors here or online that sell them. You can then post a request on the "Shared Sequences" section of the forums and there are many of us that share what we have. You can then copy and paste it into your SE and get up and running eeverything together.

Hope this helps. I have the Pixie16's (DIY) cars only, I wish I purchased the P&P version. But I didn't and am just about finished building 2 of them.

Best of luck

JR

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2 hours ago, DevMike said:

Once again, we extend our apologies for some of the people in that Facebook group.  We are not affiliated with them, and because they are un-moderated things can get 'salty'.  If you ever see anyone up there getting the same treatment as you, point them down here.

Is there an all-in-one package?  No, not really at this time.  However you can piece it together yourself. 

For hardware, take a look at some of our packages.  For dumb RGB, we have CMB24 packages that include ribbons (currently sold out), floods, and the needed power supplies as well as enclosures.  For Pixel products, take a look at things like our Pixel Tree Kit.

RGB Flood: http://store.lightorama.com/10wrgbflplpa.html
(The RGB Dumb Ribbon package when in stock is the same but instead of 8 floods you get 8 ribbons.  Price may be different)
Complete Pixel Tree:  http://store.lightorama.com/copitrkit.html
Complete Pixel Packages (no tree hardware): http://store.lightorama.com/plpipade.html

For sequencing, you have a couple of options right now.  If you are only adding dumb RGB, then sequences from our sequence store are programmed to work with them.  We have hundreds:  http://sequences.lightorama.com/

For Pixel sequences, we recommend our own Brian B's creations at SuperStarLights:  http://www.superstarlights.com/

Mike- Can you tell me what the voltage is on the Pixie16 P&P setup (the one with the 16 strands of RGB's)? Its not listed on the store page. 5 or 12v?

Thank you

JR

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They are 5V

http://store.lightorama.com/50sqpi5vbl.html

http://store.lightorama.com/50sqpi5vwh.html

2 hours ago, Leroy Thompson said:

Do these controllers hook into a standard LOR network along with other regular 16-channel networks?  Is a particular level of software required? If so, what?   I guess I should not try to do this given my lack of knowledge and no one in the area to ask?  Is there a manual I can read to get up to speed?

Pixie controllers connect to a regular LOR network and are just as easy to configure.  The PixCon controller can be connected to a LOR network, but it really is best run in E1.31 mode.  The problem with E1.31 is that you have to just about be a network engineer to configure it (it requires some in-depth knowledge of TCP/IP).  Remember there is an upper limit on the number of channels an LOR network can support.  Usine ELOR and 500K, you should be able to run around 2000 pixels on a single LOR network.  You can have up to 16 networks.

Just remember:  Pixie = Very Easy, PixCon = Very Hard.  (This is not to say the PixCon is a bad board.  It's a great controller - probably the best one we sell - but all that flexibility and power comes at a price)

You will want PRO for the software, even if you are not going to program the pixels yourself.  Pro include the pixel editor for writing your own sequences, BUT it also includes other features that improve pixel performance (like the ELOR protocol).  

You can always find all of our documentation/etc on our website.  Product manuals are here:  http://www1.lightorama.com/documentation/.  There are also entire sections devoted to RGB/etc.

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Leroy,

First of all, it's not completely plug and play.  There will some systems integration that you will either need to do or hire out.  Warning, this will end up long...  I'm likely going to give you far more information than you asked.

There are dumb RGB and smart RGB lights.  I have used both for years both for Christmas ans also for my year round landscape lighting.  Let me explain the difference, and how I'm using them.  then I'll get into how to control them.  Dumb lights will have an entire string or strip the same color at any given time.  They can be any color that you want, but the entire string or strip will be the same color.  An example of where I use dumb strips is my front porch steps.  On the underside of the bull-nose brick on each step is a dumb strip.  The strip lights up the step below.  I originally installed the strips because my Dad who is about 90% blind could not see the steps in the dark.  Inside the 8x8x4 electrical box at the far right edge of the photo is a LOR CMB16D controller.  As there are three steps, and each step takes three channels (one each for Red, Green, and Blue), I am using a total of nine channels for the steps.

Steps_front.jpg

Another example of using dumb strips is my column lights.  These each have three meters of RGB dumb strip wrapped around a piece of two inch ABS plastic pipe inside the light fixture.  Again, each fixture uses three channels.  The address sign has several strips of RGB dumb strips to evenly illuminate the sign.

Columns_lit.jpg

An inside view of the column lights showing the strip wrapped around the pipe.

Column_light_top-2.jpg

Dumb RGBs are almost universally controlled (in the LOR world) by a CMB16D or CMB24D controller.  The difference between the two is that the older CMB16D has a total of 16 channels, whereas the CMB24D has 24 channels and the wiring strips are organized with RGB lights in mind.  In both cases, the card is connected to a LOR network just like your existing AC light controllers. 

Smart pixels can be either strings of lights or strips, but the big difference is that each RGB LED (or group of three of them - more on that later) can be individually controlled.  Each pixel has a integrated circuit (commonly called a "chip") that has the smarts that controls that individual pixel.  Now for that difference of one vs three RGB LEDs.  Because of the native voltages of LEDs, they are often put in a series circuit and driven with a higher voltage.  I'm not going to get into the technical behind that, but for strips that operate at 5 volts, almost always there is one chip per RGB LED, but for strips that operate at 12 volts, most (but not all) strips have three RGB LEDs per chip.  The three RGB LEDs will light up the same.  The photo below is an example of a 12 volt WS2811 smart strip.  You can see the little black square every four inches (look where the strip crosses the mortar between bricks).  That's the chip.  Each chip drives a group of three RGB LEDs (one to the left and two to the right of the chip (in this photo)).  The RGB LEDs are the white squares.

Planter_strip_backfeed.jpg

One of the very common uses for smart pixels are pixel trees.  In my case the tree is 12 strips of 50 pixels each for a total of 600 pixels (plus 360 more in my pixel star).

2014_Pixel_Tree.jpg

These are individual 5 volt WS2811 pixels mounted into split 3/4 inch PVC pipe, and then diffused with clear one inch split loom tubing.  Shown both with and without the split loom in place, and then a side view.

2014_Top_of_strips_with_PEX_removed.jpg

2014_Bottom_of_strip-mounting_detail_1.j

Last example are my LOR Cosmic Color Pixel based arches.  They are each 50 CCPs in PEX tubing.

2014_2_arches.jpg

 

2014_Arches_crossing.jpg

There are MANY other ways to integrate RGB (both dumb and smart).  I am only showing you part of what I'm doing.  More details if you go to my website:  http://newburghlights.org/index.html

As for driving smart pixels, there are several ways to do so.  I will start with the CCP arches.  Cosmic Color Pixels are driven from a controller that connects to a standard LOR network.  Each controller drives one or two strings of lights.  In the first arch photo, the controller is under the black trash bag between the two arches.  The rest of my smart pixels are being driven by SanDevices E1.31 controller cards.  These run over an ethernet LAN in a protocol called E1.31.  The LOR software will control E1.31 with an Advanced or Pro level license.  One word of caution when mixing LOR networking and E1.31 networking.  Although both use Cat-5 cables, they are NOT compatible and potentially plugging a device into the wrong type of network could damage equipment - and it certainly wont work.  In my case to help avoid that issue, I use different color Cat-5 cables - Purple for LOR networks and Green for E1.31.  At the time I built most of my smart pixel based items, LOR did not sell much smart pixel hardware except the Cosmic Color Ribbon - which cost too much for me to spend.  It's really good quality, but would have cost me about six times as much to build my pixel tree. 

A couple years ago LOR introduced the Pixcon16 controller.  This is a high end controller that will control 16 strips or strings of several different technology types.  The Pixcon16 can be controlled either with almost standard LOR networking or E1.31 which gives it a LOT of flexability.  The reason I state "almost standard LOR networking" is because using a Pixcon16 controller over a LOR network REQUIRES that the network run at one of the two highest network speeds (either 500Kbps or 1000Kbps) AND as an enhanced network.  Although most of the newer controllers will operate on a LOR enhanced network at 500K speed, almost none of them will operate at 1000K speed.  Older controllers will not operate on either an enhanced network nor 500K or 100K speed.  This means that you would likely need to use two LOR networks to use your existing controllers and a Pixcon16.  This page lists what works on what speeds of LOR network:  http://www1.lightorama.com/network-speeds/

Last year, LOR introduced the Pixie series of controllers.  These are a much simpler pixel controller that only operates on LOR networks.  Like the Pixcon16, the Pixie controllers only operate at 500K or 1000K speeds, but do not require an enhanced LOR network.

If I were starting today with RGB, I would be looking much more at the Pixcon16 or Pixie controllers.

As far as more leaning, there are quite a few people here who will help both on the forum and phone.  There might be people somewhat local to you but since your profile does not state your location, we don't know.  That's a hint - update your profile to include your location.  There is a lot of reading you can do here, and the Ausie forum has a lighting 101 that is also a good place to do a lot of reading:  https://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting_101

Another source for starter pixel information is on the SanDevices website at:  http://sandevices.com/aboutrgbpixels.html  At the end of that is a link to a PowerPoint that explains more.

I see there have been a couple other posts since I started this novel, that answered some of what I just said...

 

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Jim, but as advertised the All in One Pixie16 setup (with 16 strands of nodes) are plug and play, at least with those nodes. I know I would have to do some soldiering for my nodes but as "sold" by LOR it is sup to be, power up the unit, plug in the strands and connect the data cable to the existing network (in a nutshell). I am assuming one would still have to originally assign the controller a unit ID in HU.

I just need to know the voltage of said All in One unit.

JR

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4 minutes ago, DevMike said:

 

 

Thank you for that info. I am assuming though that the pixie16 included will still control both 5 and 12v. Any plans on selling the AIO without the pixels?

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Posted (edited)

You're in the right place, LOR is as close as you can get to Plug and Play stuff. Making this easy for beginners is what they excel at. Put your location in your profile so maybe you can get together with somebody in your area to give you some help ( like k6ccc suggested). If you're wanting to get into RGB and you're short on time I think you're going to need a little help with planning. 

Edited by Ebuechner

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