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Ponddude

Rainbow Floods...ASSEMBLED!!

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Very well said, Greg. That is really the only true way to figure out what you want. Not everybody wants the same thing out of these RGB floods. I might want a wide color wash on my house, where someone else may want a more spot light effect to up-light trees. Like Greg said, you might want to attend your local mini to see some comparisons of the different ones, and there are still RGB floods that haven't been released yet, so stay tuned. I've been buying as many different RGB floods as I can, just for my own comparison, but I have also been taking them to some mini's to show comparisons. Not that I have any hidden interests in any of these floods, I don't even know the people that are offering them, but it's just my little way of giving back to the community. Like I said before, when I actually decide which flood I'm going with, I will have a lot of others for sale at really good prices. (some already built) As far as I know at this point, I have 3 more to look at and that is the V-flood, the Aether, and hopefully the LOR Xmas Flood. There is also the Chauvet 200B, but not sure if I can afford it, I'm hoping somebody will have one at ICE, or Chicago, so I can compare what I have so far with it. If nothing else, educate yourself on all of these before you buy. Some use DMX, some don't, some can use either, some have constant current resistors, some use current limiting resistors, some have spread caps for the leds, some leds have wider angles than others, some have white lights, some you have to mix rgb to get white, some have more powerful leds, and the list goes on and on. It's hard to compare them by looking at a video or a picture, it's kind of like looking at a paint chip to paint a whole wall, sometimes it just looks different when it's all done. Well, that is just my 2 cents, have fun.

Bill

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RJ clarified his statments on a post he made on PC. He said that he should have said "cheap eBay LED's", since virtually all LED's are indeed made in China. He said he was responding to folks looking for the absolute cheapest LED's to build mighty mini boards with, then complaining they had problems with them (like reversed polarity, etc).

I get the idea he's just very passionate about his design (as we've seen with other folks), and just truly believes it's the best option. It will be interesting to see it compared to the other options out there... Certainly, it has the downside of only being available at one point this year, which almost automatically writes it off for me (I want to be able to order one, try it out, and then decide if I want more).


Back to on-topic: still waiting for a chance to field-test my Rainbow Flood. Between the rain and my schedule, it's been impossible to get done!

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Sorry, Greg R., I was getting a little off the topic of the thread.

Bill

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Bill Hoffman wrote:

Sorry, Greg R., I was getting a little off the topic of the thread.

Bill
 


No need to apologize. This is an excellent topic with a lot of opinions. It isn't a nasty argument with hatred towards everyone. Education is the best way to spread the word.

I will say this though...I offer stuff to the community that I want or have a desire to have within my display. I, in no way, think that my stuff is the "best" out there, but rather something that I had a need for in my display. For instance, I loved the snow fall tubes and just didn't like the ones that were commercially available. I invested the money for something I found useful, hence the Blizzard. Same goes with the Rainbow products. I had a need and a want to to have some bright and cheap RGB lighting to use in my display. That is where the wall runners and floods came in and soon to be the spotlight. I also fell in love with the DMX world and when I could come up with a cheap and efficient RGB controller, the Brain was born. There is a lot of other things I want or need for my display that I will hopefully get around too at some point as well. I am not the only person in this hobby and I am not the only nut that loves to build things and see my display take shape. That is why I offer the stuff to the rest of the community. For me, this is fun and I am glad other people can have fun with it as well.

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Greg, I am just SOOOOO thankful that there are guys like you out there, to help guys like me with my display. ;)

Like I stress in my DMX Primer, it's all about "Options". Thankfully there is a lot of those this year wrt RGB Floods in 2010.

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Denny wrote:


Question for you about the Rainbow Brain. I decided to use the Rainbow Brains with the Rainbow Floods, mainly, because it's more economical to get three rainbow brains than three DC boards for fifteen floods.



Just so I'm clear on this....the Rainbow Brain can control 5 RGB floods or a total of 15 channels and the LOR DC Board can control 16 channels or 5 RGB + 1 extra channel. Basically the same except for that extra channel...and the price??

I would like to control 10 Rainbow Floods so are my options 2 Rainbow Brains at @ $67ea or 2 LOR DC boards @ $120ea?? Is this correct?? Just want to verify before I start buying.

Also, is controlling the Rainbow brain plug & play with LOR? Add it just like I would a standard control box?

I believe I read you could double up per jack, so which 12V DC power unit would be recommend to use for 10 double floods?

Sorry for the many questions. Thanks in advance.

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Cracker wrote:

Denny wrote:

Question for you about the Rainbow Brain. I decided to use the Rainbow Brains with the Rainbow Floods, mainly, because it's more economical to get three rainbow brains than three DC boards for fifteen floods.



Just so I'm clear on this....the Rainbow Brain can control 5 RGB floods or a total of 15 channels and the LOR DC Board can control 16 channels or 5 RGB + 1 extra channel. Basically the same except for that extra channel...and the price??

I would like to control 10 Rainbow Floods so are my options 2 Rainbow Brains at @ $67ea or 2 LOR DC boards @ $120ea?? Is this correct?? Just want to verify before I start buying.

Also, is controlling the Rainbow brain plug & play with LOR? Add it just like I would a standard control box?

I believe I read you could double up per jack, so which 12V DC power unit would be recommend to use for 10 double floods?

Sorry for the many questions. Thanks in advance.



Your still going to need the lor dc board. One channel per color, making 3 channels. Your rainbow flood plugs into the brain. That tells it what color to do. But the LOR dc board tells the brain, what to do.

I think? I'm still trying to get it. I DO NOT HAVE DMX and Choose NOT to. So I need to do mine without DMX in the question.

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Cracker wrote:

Denny wrote:

Question for you about the Rainbow Brain. I decided to use the Rainbow Brains with the Rainbow Floods, mainly, because it's more economical to get three rainbow brains than three DC boards for fifteen floods.



Just so I'm clear on this....the Rainbow Brain can control 5 RGB floods or a total of 15 channels and the LOR DC Board can control 16 channels or 5 RGB + 1 extra channel. Basically the same except for that extra channel...and the price??

I would like to control 10 Rainbow Floods so are my options 2 Rainbow Brains at @ $67ea or 2 LOR DC boards @ $120ea?? Is this correct?? Just want to verify before I start buying.

Also, is controlling the Rainbow brain plug & play with LOR? Add it just like I would a standard control box?

I believe I read you could double up per jack, so which 12V DC power unit would be recommend to use for 10 double floods?

Sorry for the many questions. Thanks in advance.

The Rainbow Brain uses the DMX protocol, so you would still need the iDMX1000. You would not need the DC board if you are using the Rainbow Brain.

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Ok, now I'm confused..

My understanding was I could use the LOR DC board, break out the three color channels and drive it direct...no rainbow brain needed. Rainbow Brian is only needed if you want to go DMX.

Emails I've exchanged with Greg seem to indicate that, and if you refer to the user manual it mentions using a DC control board, or the Rainbow Brain, no need for the RB unless you are using DMX.

I emailed Greg to confirm, will share his response...

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Here's the way I hooked mine up, but there are different ways to do it, as previously noted. I decided not to use dmx, simply because I didn't have it at the time I put together my first Rainbow Flood.

I didn't use the RF connectors that came with the Rainbow, I took a 25' cat-5 cable and cut one end off it. I wired the bare wires into the Rainbow Flood where the orange wire controlled red, the green wire controlled green, and the blue wire controlled blue, I didn't use the brown wire (but you could to control something else if you wanted). Then I took a short piece of cat-5 and wired one bare end to my LORDC controller using 3 channels, and the other end I went to Lowes and bought a 5 pack of RJ45 females and wired one of them on this end. I put the LORDC controller and the 12v power source in a plastic enclosure, and now all I have to do is connect the 2 and I can control the Rainbow with LOR. Basically that leaves me with 13 empty channels in my LORDC, so I could technically hook up 4 more Rainbows, or 8 more Rainbows if I piggy back them. You would just have to watch the total amps of you 12v power source. Here's a pic.



Bill




Attached files 204767=11396-closeup of rj45 connected-2

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Here's another pic.
As you can see by the pics, it's really not that complicated once you see it, it just sounds like it when you try to explain it. I think Greg will agree, he came up with the brain idea just to make things simpler for everyone. I have an IDMX now, but I still think I will stick to my original way of controlling the Rainbow Floods with LORDC.


Bill





Attached files 204768=11398-Controller with rj45 connec

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That's the approach I'm thinking about...yours is just much more refined..thanks for the great idea!

I'm thinking 3-4 rainbows at most..depends on what I see with the first one I build (which hopefully ships my mid week..)..so one DC controller dedicated to the rainbows will likely do it.

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This is such a versatile product, and can be built in so many different ways, since I built my first 3 or 4, I decided to eliminate the rj45 female and go with waterproof rj45 connectors. My reasoning is that with the 25' cat5, if I wanted to go 50', I would have to use a coupler and would have to waterproof the connection. With the waterproof rj45 I can' connect any length of cat5 and it will be waterproofed on both ends already. I decided to go this method after I saw John Bullards' pics of his fixtures.

Bill




Attached files 204771=11400-HPIM3888.jpg

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What's the best price/best source on the waterproof RJ45's?

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OK, let me set everyone straight.

The Rainbow Brain works on the DMX protocol, ONLY. What does this mean? Well it can not be plugged directly into an LOR network. LOR controllers have the ability of working on the DMX protocol, however, you need to add the iDMX to your setup. I have produced a sheet that has been on my site under the Rainbow Brain product page here:

http://www.christmasonmanor.com/rainbowbrain/rainbowbrain.htm

Here is the PDF of the setup:

http://www.christmasonmanor.com/pdf/DMX%20Setup.pdf

This explains how the Rainbow Brain fits into an LOR network WITH DMX.

Now, in the event you do not have or want to add the iDMX to your display, your only other option is to use a DC controller to control the lights. (The LOR CMB-16D or the d-Light DCx16 will work). With this controller, you will need 3 channels to control the lights. 1 channel for red, 1 channel for green and 1 channel for blue. This is the setup Bill showed everyone and what everyone that used these lights last year used. By varying the intensities of the channels you will get the 16 million different colors.

I should clarify that the Rainbow Brain does not need the CMB-16D to function. They can both be in your setup, but one does not rely on the other. The CMB-16D also does not send any type of data information to the Brain.

Why did we choose to make the Rainbow Brain run on the DMX protocol? Simple, LOR's "language" is proprietary and if I were Dan I would give it out either. DMX is an industry standard and allows you to control the Brain with any DMX controller or module.

I hope that clears some things up for everyone.

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Tim Fischer wrote:

What's the best price/best source on the waterproof RJ45's?



Tim,

This is where I buy mine

http://www.sparcotech.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=RJ45-ECS

Another source is

http://www.bizsyscon.com/product/PACIFIC+WIRELESS__RJ45-ECS__1448.html

About 6 months ago someone on ebay was selling used ones for $3 and something each. Don't have a link anymore but they might still have some.

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JBullard wrote:

This is where I buy mine

Thanks. Does a standard Cat-5 cord just slip into these and then you tighten it up?

-Tim

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Bill Hoffman wrote:

Here's another pic.
As you can see by the pics, it's really not that complicated once you see it, it just sounds like it when you try to explain it. I think Greg will agree, he came up with the brain idea just to make things simpler for everyone. I have an IDMX now, but I still think I will stick to my original way of controlling the Rainbow Floods with LORDC.

Bill, that's a nice controller/enclosure. I did mine similarly, but I used an old ATX PC power supply. You have to cut off the ATX plug and jumper a couple of wires together to make it come on, but you can often get these for free with an old junked PC, and even a crappy PC will give you plenty of wattage for many LED fixtures.

The only downside was the size made it hard to find a decent enclosure. Short of spending $50-100 for a real NEMA enclosure, I couldn't find any 'legit' enclosure so I finally resorted to using a plastic storage container. Pics/more info about mine are here: http://www.plymouthlights.com/mr16howto2.htm Note that those pics show my original usage of DB9 connectors, but last year I redid it to use RJ45s using the Rainbow Wall Runner/Rainbow Flood wiring spec.

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Ponddude wrote:

OK, let me set everyone straight.

The Rainbow Brain works on the DMX protocol, ONLY. What does this mean? Well it can not be plugged directly into an LOR network. LOR controllers have the ability of working on the DMX protocol, however, you need to add the iDMX to your setup. I have produced a sheet that has been on my site under the Rainbow Brain product page here:

http://www.christmasonmanor.com/rainbowbrain/rainbowbrain.htm

Here is the PDF of the setup:

http://www.christmasonmanor.com/pdf/DMX%20Setup.pdf

This explains how the Rainbow Brain fits into an LOR network WITH DMX.

Now, in the event you do not have or want to add the iDMX to your display, your only other option is to use a DC controller to control the lights. (The LOR CMB-16D or the d-Light DCx16 will work). With this controller, you will need 3 channels to control the lights. 1 channel for red, 1 channel for green and 1 channel for blue. This is the setup Bill showed everyone and what everyone that used these lights last year used. By varying the intensities of the channels you will get the 16 million different colors.

I should clarify that the Rainbow Brain does not need the CMB-16D to function. They can both be in your setup, but one does not rely on the other. The CMB-16D also does not send any type of data information to the Brain.

Why did we choose to make the Rainbow Brain run on the DMX protocol? Simple, LOR's "language" is proprietary and if I were Dan I would give it out either. DMX is an industry standard and allows you to control the Brain with any DMX controller or module.

I hope that clears some things up for everyone.




This absolutely clears up any questions. Thanks for clarifying.

Can some post a link for a good and reliable power source for the LORDC board. Something that will have plenty of power to run 15-20 boards, but small enough to mount inside the enclosure with the LORDC. Thanks

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Cracker wrote:

This absolutely clears up any questions. Thanks for clarifying.

Can some post a link for a good and reliable power source for the LORDC board. Something that will have plenty of power to run 15-20 boards, but small enough to mount inside the enclosure with the LORDC. Thanks



This is the one I use for 10 Rainbows. Doubt it would handle 20 of them though.

http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=16020+PS



I have a couple of these in 20 and 30 amp versions

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/johnbullard/RS20M.jpg

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Tim Fischer wrote:

JBullard wrote:
This is where I buy mine

Thanks. Does a standard Cat-5 cord just slip into these and then you tighten it up?

-Tim



Yes, maybe this picture will help. (I'm having trouble with img code tonight)

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/johnbullard/IM000303.jpg

Rubber gaskets and fittings slip over the cat5 cable. Plug in the cable, then hand tighten. No need to even open the contoller case. Very weather resistant. These are used for remote locations, outdoors, in the cell tower industry and other outdoor comunications installations.

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I used the same power supply as John mentioned. I bought a couple of them 2 years ago at $20 each, as I was playing around with mr-16's at the time. They have gone up in price, but actually a couple of weeks ago I read a thread that had a link you could buy them for $18. For the life of me I cannot find that thread again, maybe I dreamed it. lol :-) Anyway, like John said, not 20 but at 12.5 amps each I would say at least 10 of them.

Bill

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Tim Fischer wrote:

Bill Hoffman wrote:
Here's another pic.
As you can see by the pics, it's really not that complicated once you see it, it just sounds like it when you try to explain it. I think Greg will agree, he came up with the brain idea just to make things simpler for everyone. I have an IDMX now, but I still think I will stick to my original way of controlling the Rainbow Floods with LORDC.

Bill, that's a nice controller/enclosure. I did mine similarly, but I used an old ATX PC power supply. You have to cut off the ATX plug and jumper a couple of wires together to make it come on, but you can often get these for free with an old junked PC, and even a crappy PC will give you plenty of wattage for many LED fixtures.

The only downside was the size made it hard to find a decent enclosure. Short of spending $50-100 for a real NEMA enclosure, I couldn't find any 'legit' enclosure so I finally resorted to using a plastic storage container. Pics/more info about mine are here: http://www.plymouthlights.com/mr16howto2.htm Note that those pics show my original usage of DB9 connectors, but last year I redid it to use RJ45s using the Rainbow Wall Runner/Rainbow Flood wiring spec.



Tim,

I've seen you use that enclosure before, and it seems like it works great. I bought at bunch of the PrimeStar plastic enclosures a couple of years ago when that warehouse was selling them for like $4 each. I've been using them ever since, but my supply is getting low. lol I saw some enclosures like yours at kroger the other day for $1 each, so I might end up with some of them. Anyway, it really boils down to whatever works, and the cheaper the better.

Bill

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Bill Hoffman wrote:

I actually a couple of weeks ago I read a thread that had a link you could buy them for $18. For the life of me I cannot find that thread again, maybe I dreamed it. lol :-) Anyway, like John said, not 20 but at 12.5 amps each I would say at least 10 of them.

I remember seeing that too. I think it was in the V-Flood thread on PC, but it might have even been the "Sorry" thread...

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Tim Fischer wrote:

Bill Hoffman wrote:
I actually a couple of weeks ago I read a thread that had a link you could buy them for $18. For the life of me I cannot find that thread again, maybe I dreamed it. lol :-) Anyway, like John said, not 20 but at 12.5 amps each I would say at least 10 of them.

I remember seeing that too. I think it was in the V-Flood thread on PC, but it might have even been the "Sorry" thread...

Possibly this:
http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php/41294-Introducing-VDRIVE-and-VFLOOD!?p=489585&highlight=enclosure#post489585

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