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sax

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Everything posted by sax

  1. I use bullets for my non ccr 2811 pixel strips. Ccr cannot handle a null pixel as far as I know. Ccr 2 might.... Sax
  2. Dumb RGB Lights

    It can get expensive. I purchase my LOR products during the mad grab sale in March / April. You are signed up to receive LOR emails aren't you? Huge savings. And even tthough some people don't participate in the mad grab sale and just buy from the summer sale I have only missed out on one item....CCRs 5 years ago. I joined the sale 15 minutes after it started and they were gone. But the 8 pack flood kit...the servo dog....AC controllers....spt cable...yeah, I get those almost every year. Eyeballing the pixel tree kit for next year..if only for the tree hardware and pixels. Summer sale is good too. But the mad grab has the best deals and I usually get my hands on the new stuff in plenty of time to play with them before Halloween.....my primary holiday.
  3. Pixel Question

    Pixels are known by the controller by how the go out....so I can have any distance between the pixels on the strand and it will just continue counting. Example....controller-5' cable- first pixel (pixel 1) - 12" cable - second pixel (pixel 2) - 10' cable - third pixel (pixel 3). The only limiting factor is pixels lose their data signal after some distance. The pixel refreshes this signal. But if you loose the signal between pixels then you just get random flashing lights. How far before the signal is lost? That depends on the voltage used and the controller. The data signal is actually 5v pulses. Typical controller chips can read the data signal as long as it is >3.5v. So....if you are starting out with 5v pixels your distance will be much less. The 12v pixels I can typically get 20' easily. I have not tested this on the pixie 8. I do have a pixie 8 but I only tested short distances. So, you should be good for 20' for 12v pixels but honestly I would test first. Put a 5' extension between controller and first pixel and test. Then add 5' increments until it no longer is controllable. I typically test with a strand of 50 bullet nodes. Once I hit failure I back off an extra 5'. This distance can be between whatever amount of pixels you choose. You can have a string of 10 pixels, then 10' cable (or up to whatever safe value you came up with in the above test) and then another string of 10 pixels. But there will come a point when you no longer have the led voltage. Usually this causes the lights at the end of the string to be dimmer than the beginning....for 12v it is the number of pixels that typically cause this. For me I can get to about 75 without any issue. Again, you should test this. This is where power injection is used. Power injection will no correct for loss data signal. Only loss of led voltage. Hope this helps... Sax
  4. My Halloween Animations

    Your music selection is always on point. The setup makes me feel like I'm entering the living room and I just want to hang out with the skeletons and crew. Great job again this year.
  5. Changing my show next year to RGB

    The Sans devices controller does not run on the LOR network. You will have to have another new network that goes from your pc network card to the Sans controller. This is known as e 1.31. And setup is super easy...you connect it just like another computer to your network. Example... I have a seperate show pc. I connect my LOR network using the USB hub purchased from LOR. I then daisy chain using cat 5 cables all my LOR controllers together...6AC controllers...2DC controllers...3CCR controllers. I have an entec pro USB device that I use for my dumb rgb. It uses another USB port. I have 4 DC DMX controllers and 2 DMX RGB floods on this network (purchased before LOR had the 10w floods of today). These are daisy chained using cat 5 cable as well. Then I have my pixel network which is e1.31. I take my Ethernet connection on the back of the pc and put it in a cheap network switch. I then connect 2 cat 5 cables to this switch that go from the switch out to...one to one controller on one side of the house. Another to another cheap switch on the other side of the house. I then connect 3 controllers to this switch. My cards are configured unicast ...which means I specify the ip addresses of each card. As I add more pixel controllers I just plug into the switch. It sounds confusing but it's not. Basically plug the Sans into your home network....plug your pixels in and away you go. I use switches to limit the cables from the pc to each device. I put cheap switches close to the controllers and that's how I limit the number of cables. One caution here. All of these networks....LOR....DMX.....e1.31.....all must remain seperate. All use cat5 cables. But if you connect them to the wrong network damage will occur. So they must always remain seperate. Yes...LOR software works. It works great. I use superstar and find that program my choice of programs to sequence with. It does cost more. And in the end you export from superstar back into the sequence editor to run the show. So you don't have to have superstar....but it's my recommended sequencer. To get these to work you must have advanced software version (required for dmx and e1.31 use). And you must go into network settings in the LOR software suite and configure it per your card. Again, super easy but it's a step you must not forget. And you will not be able to do this without running it on a pc. Pixels really require pc.
  6. Show plays but no lights?! Help!

    Control panel on. Hardware utility off. Sequence editor off if running a schedule...schedule off if running from the sequence editor. You can left click the LOR light bulb icon in the tray and it will bring up a box that shows what is happening. For example....I sequence on a seperate computer than my show uses. On my sequence pc I use drive D. On my show pc I use drive C. When I start the show it says it starts but nothing plays. Opening the box using the LOR light bulb icon I can see that nothing started due to failure to find the files...it was looking for them on the D drive. If I try to play the sequence in sequence editor...control panel on and hardware utility off...it gives me an error for the missing files. So I always test with sequence editor first. But you must have control panel on. Hardware utility off. Schedule disabled. The bottom right of the sequence editor has a communications icon. It will either be red or blue. Blue means it is communicating. So, make sure that is blue. Sax
  7. Changing my show next year to RGB

    How do I connect my pigtails? Which color cable goes where? I used this guide....since I use Sans devices for my controller I adapted to the scheme created here so I could purchase pre soldered pigtail pixels. Plus the 4 pin fits into my scheme of sharing extensions with dumb rgb. I reversed the pigtails on the dumb so I can not plug a pixel strip into a dumb controller by accident. Instant death to pixel one of that string if you do....so it is bad. https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/2-5m-DC12V-60leds-m-20pcs-ws2811-ic-meter-20pixels-led-digital-strip-in-silicon-tube/701799_32310654697.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.39b87be4Fif0vj Ray has a whole section of Sans Devices pre-made pixels so you don't have to solder. Just be sure to use this wiring convention.
  8. Extensions are what I use. Ray offers 5', 10', and 25' extensions. Make sure you get extra pigtails in your order...I always seem to need more. Be sure to look at the qty per order...I believe it is 10 per order......I found 50 5' one year for $15-20 in the clearance section. Point is be careful not to order too much...not that it is possible because any extra extension cable is eventually an extension cable in use. Fill your cart and contact Ray for shipping costs.
  9. "Lights On" in two weeks!!!

    Changing faces this weekend. Pixels up from Halloween so I know they are ready. Will change the AC props thanksgiving weekend for early December start. The rains have started which makes me not want to go into the swamp / yard. Show was ready a few days ago but decided to add one more song (something just like this by the chainsmokers and Coldplay) and completed it in a couple days. Love superstar...sequenced yard in about 6 hours. Did faces in 1 hour. Did the yard one day and the faces the next. No hurry. Thinking of adding one more...
  10. Changing my show next year to RGB

    Sent PM to OP so that I don't break any LOR forum rules. Others can PM me if you want links. Sax
  11. Changing my show next year to RGB

    Nobody beats LOR for floods. Easy to install...setup...2 year warranty. The only downside is distance to controller....finding extensions is an issue outside of what LOR sells. Do not buy dumb rgb for your roofline. Be smart and get the pixels. Ray has them for $15 each. I would be sure to have 2 spare. If you don't want to sequence them.....fine. You can create a channel of 50 pixels for each strip and just make it one color. It is easy. You don't always have to make razzle dazzle and my strips typically are just one solid color. But it doesn't have to be. And one day soon you will want to do something else other than solid. Guaranteed. And to prepare now is the best advice you will ever get. Because you will save money down the road. Do yourself a favor and use the premade extensions you can get. It saves time. They last longer and are easily replaced. I wasted time and money creating my own the first year. Never again. Get extra power supplies. I used meanwell type supplies and tucked them in cg 1500 boxes ($11-$20 each) for years. I am starting to replace them with outdoor rated supplies but be sure to get at least one extra in case one dies. Amazon seems to have the best deal on these if your a prime member....due to free shipping. Otherwise they seem to be the same price. For your pixel controller I would recommend Sans devices. But look at Falcon, LOR and Sans. LOR is a no for me because I want my pixels on a seperate network than LOR. But full disclosure: I have 3 LOR CCRs 5 of Ray's strips on my roofline. 16 LOR floods and 2 from Ray. 200 strawberry pixels from HC. 750 bullet pixels from Ray. 500+ dumb nodes...square, rectangle, bullet...from Ray. My pixel controllers are all Sans Devices. 1 682 and 3 6804. My dumb rgb controllers are 2 LOR and 4 from Ray. I am speaking from experience when I say don't do dumb rgb I did and have several spare dumb components. I was afraid of the leap but found it way easier than i thought it would be. The key is to sequence each strip as if it was just one strip....like you would if it was a dumb strip. Groups allow this in the sequence editor. Just create the group...leave it collapsed and it is easy to sequence. Test it out before you buy...go into sequence editor and confirm this. Connecting the controllers is easy too. So don't let that hold you back either...but you could use LOR and not deal with it at all. The pixie 8 is a nice controller...I have one for testing...but you might need more than one LOR network to handle the amount of data.
  12. Christmas-Leds.com feedback

    +1. Best place on the web for led ropelight. And Doug is my wireframe supplier. Add those two together and you have my faces suppliers.
  13. Singing Face Basics

    You found my work in another thread. Personally I use wireframes and led ropelight for my faces. Any questions about sequencing don't hesitate to PM me. Sax
  14. Pixels flickering

    For 100' I would guess you will need 3 null pixels...one every 25'. And then you would not program pixels 1-3. Or, you could just change the address in sequence editor where pixel one is address 10,11,12, pixel 2 is 13,14, 15 etc. and never have the true 1-3 pixels in the sequence editor at all. This is done easily in the sequence editor by adding a device....dmx....correct universe....starting address 10....number of pixels 50. Instantly have your 50 pixels starting at address 10 and your 3 null pixels in place but not in the sequence editor.
  15. Pixels flickering

    Brilliant bulbs from HC are 12v pixels. Move away from 5v pixels to save a lot of money on cable. Only use 5v for props that are close to the controller. Pixel trees. Matrix props. These are good 5v candidates. But imho you don't gain anything going 5v. Injecting is painful tedious work. The 5v bulbs look the same as 12v bulbs. Strips do go from 3 leds on the 12v variety to 1 led on the 5v but I can go to 12v ink to overcome this limitation if I really need to. Cost of 10 AWG cable though....ouch. Plus weight for storing...cumbersome to move around...etc etc.
  16. Pixels flickering

    In the world of RGB we go from AC to DC power. AC power can go long distances on short wires. For D.C. You need larger cables to accomplish the same thing. There are several reasons but I'll just focus on a phenomenon known as skin effect. This is where all the electrons move to the edges of the wire. So, with DC power you are best to use stranded wire. That way the electrons move to the edges of each stranded wire. The more strands the more electrons. Yes, with AC you use solid core wire that is cheaper. You still have to worry about each strand breaking due to excessive current. So even though your typical cat5 cable works due to its strands it is a poor choice due to being small strands of wire. You could go crazy and get larger stranded wire...AWG 12 and larger...but the price for this wire goes up drastically very quickly. I have always tried to make my display cheap and functional with commercially available components. Now I could spend hours creating my cables that will allow the voltage to travel great distances but that will cost time and money. Using premade extension cords not only saves me time but is also cheaper than purchasing cable, pigtails, solder, heat shrink etc. I have max runs of 100'. I started my display with standard dumb RGB. This type of light just needs DC electricity to turn on one of the three colors. During my testing I can easily go 200' without issue using the standard extensions. Later I added pixels. Pixels use 3 wires typically which is the electricity for the chips and the data signal. Each pixel is a unique address that the data goes to and it pulls whatever electricity it needs to produce its color. Unlike dumb RGB this data signal needs to be read by each pixels control chip. So as the data signal comes down the wire it loses its electricity. The data is just pulses and when they hit below a certain voltage the data is unreadable. The good news is that when the data hits a pixel chip the signal is refreshed to full voltage. So to keep this data stream moving along your pixels you just need to make sure it hits a pixel every now and then. The distance needed is dependent on several factors including voltage, cable thickness and pixel chipset. 12volt pixels can use a larger distance than 5v pixels. Once voltage for the data hits below 3.5 volts the pixel chip can no longer decipher it. Obviously it will take longer for 12v to dissipate below 3.5 than 5v. So when planning your display keep this in mind. The bad news is as each pixel is energized it takes voltage from the cable. So even though each pixels data signal is refreshed as a pixel is energized the overall amount of voltage available is reduced. This is where power injection is needed. So, a null pixel is really just a normal pixel needed to boost the data signal. Ray sells null pixels without an actual bulb so it won't use any voltage...but the software still sees it as an addressed light. Once you install null pixels you can ignore those pixels in your sequencing or you can "turn them off" in your pixel controller. If you use your controller then it is as if these pixels never existed. But be careful, because if you say you have 5 null pixels and you only have 3, then the first 2 real pixels will be skipped. If you run out of voltage on your cable what happens? Well, once the overall voltage falls below 5 volts you will start to notice the color white beginning to look wrong. Once the overall voltage dips below 3.5 volts you get more flashing on the whole string. Power injection can help boost the power on the cable. This typically is needed after about 150 bulbs in my testing with 12v. So I try to keep each output of my controller less than 126 bulbs. I would rather buy new controllers than deal with injection. Hopefully this is helpful theory. The best thing you can do is test before putting your display up. That way you can correct more easily than when you might need a ladder. Sax
  17. You cannot have a schedule enabled. If you get the com error then you will not be able to see your lights in visualizer... Make sure the schedule is not enabled. Start control panel. Start sequence. You should see your lights in the visualizer.
  18. Pixels flickering

    I can only speak about my controller....Sans 682....but the principle is the same. You don't need power injection to go 100' to your lights from your controller. Null pixels is the answer. The question is how far apart you can have them. I have two different Sans cards. The 682 and the 6804. With the 6804 I am able to go 25' then add a null pixel....25'.....null pixel...etc up to my lights. 682 I can only go 20'. Now the proper thing to do is test before you add it to the yard. But test using a sequence and not just the tests that the controller has preprogrammed. My controller preprogrammed tests worked and the sequence failed...flashing pixels. Bringing the null pixel closer fixed it. I use the standard extender cables you can get anywhere....I personally use Ray's 4 pin extensions in 25' 10' and 5' lengths. I want my display to be made using easily accessible components that are inexpensive. And since I still have dumb rgb in the yard it makes more sense to just keep using the 4 core cables. I purchased much better cable as I had a similar issue you are having but found that the null pixels corrected it....and changing the resistor packs on the 682 allowed 25' distances. I posted all my testing and findings in another thread in these forums but the bottom line is try 25' then a null pixel then 25' etc. If it still has issues try 20'. The loss of the data signal is the cause so you just need to refresh that with these null pixels....
  19. Are you using a plugin? I saw this once when I tried to use xlights. Haven't used it since. I have had to fix my audio files before. But never had this in all my face sequencing. That is the only time I use SE is sequencing my faces....
  20. Being original.

    100% original. I don't use anything to assist me in sequencing either....plugins and such. No papagayo. No xlights. Sequencing is the the fun part for me. I hate putting the show up and taking it down. It is messy. My sequence computer is nice and clean. Taking a sequence and adapting it takes a lot of work. Since I don't have pixel trees or a matrix I don't see the point.
  21. running your light show poll

    Ransomeware locked all my files a few years ago. Local and Dropbox. So now my show computer is an island that is not connected to my home network. It is another backup drive in case I get hit by ransomware again. Please backup all your files to an area that is not a network drive. The ransomware will use your credentials to make the changes to all drives and encrypt your files. I use a thumb drive and at the end of the year burn the files to a DVD. The show computer drive was used to restore my encrypted files last time. I thought drop box would protect me so I didn't have any other backup. It didn't.
  22. I don't understand "sticking". Does the sequence just stop? I would look at things like how the sequence play button is set up....is it set to full sequence...screen...beginning to here....here to end.....etc. I have a lot of channels and controllers connected to an old pentium computer using xp and 4gig memory and the visualizer has no issues playing any of my sequences. So I doubt it is the computer or USB device. It is setup.
  23. Start control panel. It is needed for dmx to be controlled by LOR sw
  24. need help with SS instant export to SE

    The control panel must be started for visualizer to work. If network settings are correct then start control panel. Then start the sequence making sure control lights is on.
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