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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/28/2018 in all areas

  1. TheDucks

    New guy

    LOR controllers need a 'potato chip warning': Warning: You can not only use just ONE.
  2. OK, here's some explanation on the FM broadcast band (at least in the USA). The FM broadcast band covers the spectrum from 88.0 MHz to 108.0 MHz. Below the FM band is TV channel 6 (82 - 88 MHz) and above the FM band is the VHF Aircraft band (108 - 118 for navigation and 118 - 137 for voice). Within the FM band, channels are assigned 200 KHz (or 0.2 MHz) apart on the odd 100 KHz frequencies. In other words, 88.1, 88.3, 88.5, 88.7, 88.9, 89.1, etc. 200 KHz adjacent frequencies are referred to a 1st adjacent, 400 KHz apart is 2nd adjacent, 600 KHz apart is 3rd adjacent, etc. Within a given area, two stations are never assigned 200 KHz apart - or on 1st adjacent channels. This is done to prevent poor quality receivers from being interfered with by the adjacent transmitter. Therefore, for example here in the Los Angeles area, there are stations on 88.1, 88.5, 88.9, 89.3, etc. If neither station is close, you MAY get away with using a frequency that has a 1st adjacent on both sides. Note I said: MAY. It's going to depend on how strong either 1st adjacent signal is. Better to find a frequency that only has 2nd adjacent stations - IF POSSIBLE. Here is the Los Angeles area, every available channel is used from top to bottom with only one (sort of) exception. 101.5 has a full power station in San Diego that puts enough signal into the Los Angeles area that they can't put a large coverage FM station in the Los Angeles area. There are a scattering of Low Power (VERY local) stations around the LA basin. Most of those are college or church stations that are expected to have VERY short range. As it turns out, I am able to use 101.5 just fine. Another LOR person a mile or so west of me also uses 101.5 MHz. Also because the Los Angeles area is so large (it's about 120 miles across), there are a few 1st and 2nd adjacent stations that are spaced far enough apart that it works. Therefore, there are a few odd spaced channels in a list. That means that if you do a search for FM stations in Los Angeles, it may appear that there are some vacancies. There really aren't. Most of those odd spaced channels are fairly low power local stations near the bottom of the band. The best we can do here is find a frequency that is not to strong at the location were you will operate. A special note about 87.9. As I said earlier, that frequency is outside the FM broadcast band. It is right at the top of TV channel 6. However, there is an exception: *** Use of Channel 200 pr 87.9 MHz is restricted to existing displaced full service Class D noncommercial educational stations. See 47 CFR 73.501. Channel 200 is not available for use by other station classes and services.*** There are exactly two of those exceptions in the USA: KSFH in Mountain View, Calif (transmit power 10 watts ERP) and K200AA in Sun Valley, Nevada (transmit power 28 watts ERP). That frequency is however NOT available for Part 15 (what we use) operation. Note that some other countries using different channels or spacing. One more thing. The FCC has far more important things to do than drive around looking for part 15 stations. They really are only going to go looking for a station if there are complaints - from the licensed broadcasters. Usually what happens is somebody likes to listen to some distant station and maybe even puts op a really good antenna so they can receive it. Someone wanting to broadcast with a part 15 stations scans around and finds this "unused" station (because they can't hear the distant station). So they put up their part 15 transmitter. Now that person who put up the great receive antenna so they can listen to their favorite distant station, can no longer hear it. They complain - to the station. The complaint usually goes something like this: "I used to listen to you and now I'm hearing some other signal on your frequency". The station MAY follow up on it and investigate the problem. First they check their transmitting equipment. If that's fine they MAY drive out to the area to see what the reporting person is hearing. Low and behold, there is another station on THEIR frequency (and they are VERY possessive about THEIR frequency). If they deem that it is enough of a problem (generally that means it is interfering with an area that they do consider their signal to be usable), they complain to the FCC. When they have times and depending on the nature of the interference, the FCC will go out and find the interfering station. At that point, you may get the knock on the door. For the most part, if you are operating at least fairly close to the power limits for part 15 operation, most likely all you will get is a request to shut down. If your response is Gee, I'm sorry, let me kill that right now, that will likely be the end of it. On the other hand, if you fail the attitude test, and tell them to F-Off, life will get worse.
  3. I have nearly 80k of walmarts lights in my show, in 5 years not one string has failed. Now I also do not have cold weather and snow to deal with down in Houston, but I usually clear out 2 or 3 stores the day after christmas clearance sales. I have spent the money on sealed full wave lights in 2 places... My singing trees, and my C9 bulbs I line my roof, roof peaks, yard and flower beds with. Other then that all my stuff is walmart. Warm white, red, green and working on collecting blue. I have no issues with flickers and any of the dimming curves that are used.
  4. No problems whatsoever. Read my post above. I am a big fan of them. But for color options I buy from some of the vendors here. I have never had a problem with the minis. I actually have more brand new boxes in my garage than my Walmart currently has in the store. I do have an occasional problem with my c7 and c9 however I contribute that to the 50' dead fall they take from my roof every year. But even with that I don't have many problems. Wont hurt the controllers a bit, unless it falls with the lights. LOL JR
  5. dibblejr

    New guy

    If you can afford it and since you want to dive in to pixels go Pro and you never have to worry about not having all of the current functions. Your license level dictates what you can and cant use as software and controllers. You do not have to renew your license every year. It will be good for a specified number of versions (upgrades) IMO- the preassembled is the way to go. The kits are easy to put together but time consuming. When I jumped into pixels and purchased the pixie16- easiest of the LOR pixel controllers, they did not offer assembled. They do now and it is 1/2 the cost as my build however I tend to use the best parts I can get. OCD Pixels is entirely different animal than LED's and the Incandescent lights. For normal lights and sequencing think of each grid as a light. Everyone starts off with "1" controller. It will be eaten up quick and you will say to yourself "should have purchased more". Sequencing is a little more time consuming than you might think. You can spend 4 or more hours on 15 seconds of a song depending on the song. Pixels will add more time and work. I use SuperStar for my pixel props. That is a cost separate from the LOR packages. Price is based on the number of pixel strings/ ribbons you plan on using. http://www1.lightorama.com/sequencing-suite-levels/ You can compare the license levels above Welcome to the addiction and Happy Lighting JR
  6. Looks to me you could possibly use 92.3, 92.5, or 92.7. Since all 3 of these fall between 91.9 and 92.9. I think as long as you're at least 50 miles from any other station using the same frequency you should be good. I check 15 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles when I check the frequency to see how many other stations are within those boundaries using that same frequency. Most times I sometimes find as little as 3 or possibly and usually not more than about 15 stations depending on the distance. If the audio you receive is very broken, staticy and unclear on your car radio or even a home stereo with a good antenna, you should be okay to use the frequency. Because if you can't make heads or tails out of the reception where you are {from a channel 15-50-100 miles away}, very unlikely anyone else will either.
  7. I did it a number of years ago but I don't remember which donlge I used. I know it will do it though. I now use a mix of LOR and xLights. There is a conversion process and that can be a pain also with high channel counts. Plenty of others out there smarter that I am. I would check out the DIY light sights.
  8. Yes, others are correct Basic Plus WILL NOT allow you to go past Unit ID# 04. Anything higher than that and the software WILL NOT recognize it. Even if you had them numbered 41, 42, 43, and 44 as unit ID #'s, Basic Plus will ignore any number higher than 04. Basic Plus is what I originally started with and within a month moved to Advanced{added a 5th controller} so I could add or use however many controllers I wanted and not worry about limits on ID #'s to label my controllers with. Now at Pro level so I can try and use all the features of the software, but at this time I'm still "limited", mainly due to my system is antiquated and needs to be upgraded with a new video card, if I can get one that will work in it and let me get the OpenGL 1.5 the software needs for some things to work{mainly the Pixel Editor}.
  9. Your idea is correct: Pulled from the sequencing page: *** Basic supports Unit IDs 01 and 02. Basic Plus supports Unit IDs 01 thru 04. Standard supports Unit IDs 01 thru 08.
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