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Everything posted by sax

  1. That sfx5 laser looks pretty cool. Do you set it up outside? If so how you water protect it?
  2. 5v pixels are also generally cheaper. That said 12v is all I use to avoid injection. Not that injection is hard but it’s another step. Also, I like bulbs over strips in my bushes and trees. I can add depth to the prop by putting the bulbs in places other than just the front. I use my bulb pixeled trees and bushes to control what color rather than to send a message (texts and images). Strips are on the eaves. No depth needed there.
  3. What laser images are you using? I have the standard firefly motion laser that is red and green and I am much further than 15 ft. These are the landscape type that you can find nowadays at Walmart and other stores for less than 40 bucks I bought mine from holiday Coro 4 years ago when they were harder to find. I have the projection images that are not laser that go 5-10 feet as well. I have moving ghosts for Halloween. I would love love to find some lasers with Halloween images......
  4. I use yellow and black storage bins. I roll each cable and place that cable in a plastic grocery bag. Then, I put that bagged cable in the bin. Cables don’t tangle since they are separated. My RGB cables typically stay with the element. I had help this year for tear down and now they are rolled and in bags. Sigh. Setup gonna take longer next year but the tear down went super fast.
  5. I would be interested in the Sans controllers. PM me when you get ready to sell
  6. sax

    Rgb in SE

    Programming of RGB is possible in SE. All you have to do is add the device...then you will have 50 to 100 RGB lines to sequence. This will create a group of 50 to 100 RGB lines you can expand or compress. Using the colorfade tool you then select a color. You can twinkle or shimmer as well as have a solid color. Leaving the device or all the seperate RGB channels unexpanded will allow you to sequence all the RGB lines of the device as one unit. So, for example, if you want all the channels to fade from off (black) to red, you can do this by sequencing just the one line. Expanding the device gives control to each individual bulb. PE allows you to add effects. Snow falling or fire for example. While this is cool looking in a tree or grid it really does not translate well to a string of lights. Yes, there are other effects but in my humble opinion setup is cumbersome, effects are limited and sequencing can not be edited once completed. Both superstar and pixel editor are add ons. You create your sequence in the add on program and then export back to the sequence editor to run your show. The sequence editor still is the program used for your show. Pixel Editor (PE) exports its sequences in intensity data format only. It will be one program line in the sequence editor that is un editable. And that one line is every element you created in pixel editor. To edit you would have to go back to Pixel Editor then correct or change and export again. Superstar allows you to export in intensity file format or classic which is then editable in sequence editor. In my humble opinion superstar is much better than pixel editor for not only RGB but your entire display. While PE only allows sequencing of RGB elements, superstar is actually a complete sequencer. AC, DC, motors and yes RGB...dumb or pixels. Once you get into RGB you must have advanced version of LOR license. S5 is coming soon so this might be a better option as well. But to answer your original question... Yes you can sequence rgb in SE. Visualizer is very capable, not limited in any way and will be used. Sax
  7. sax

    Planning for 2018

    1. Ccr is 16.9 ft. Pixel tree is 9.5 ft. 2. What to buy depends on what you want to do. My yard is almost all smart rgb..or pixels...with a few static and animated ac things that my LOR ac controllers trigger. Smart pixel is my recommendation to anyone for the last 5 years. Any color on each bulb anytime....strips excluded. (Strips are 3 bulbs each pixel if you get the 12v version). Several choice for controllers if you want to go pixels....LOR, Sans devices or falcon. But, I still use dc and ac LOR controllers . My floods are controlled by LOR dc. 3. My arches are dumb rgb. But this is the last year for that...I will be creating new pixel strip arches this year. The reason I am switching over is the number of cables required for dumb arches. Right now my arches are 5 segments. So with 2 arches I am using 10 cables...each arch is about 50 ft away from the controller. So I am using 500 ft of cable for 2 arches. And this year setup was in a huge downpour of rain. It was a pain in the butt. So with pixels it will be 2 cables. Maybe 50 ft away if I don’t move the controller. But it will be faster setup. I liked the look of my arches but I am hoping the strip pixels will look better. I recommend pixels due to ease of setup and ability to do more with that element. And to get the correct size, yes you can cut and solder. Be aware though that most companies void the warranty once you cut. Being in Phoenix you may not need to worry about water....but every cut needs to be siliconed over to protect the pixels. Water will destroy the strip or string....sometimes by rust between seasons. 4. I am personally looking at the LOR 6ft pixel tree. Looks easy to assemble and store. And in my yard it will be the perfect size. If your yard is small....a 17 ft tree might be too much. Good luck. Keep asking questions. One year passes fast so keep going with your plans....don’t stop or pause and think you have time.... Sax
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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...
  17. Sent PM to OP so that I don't break any LOR forum rules. Others can PM me if you want links. Sax
  18. 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.
  19. +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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
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