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Tony Shepherd

How many segments in a leaping arch?

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Hi, I’m in the UK and new to Light O Rama having just completed my first years show with 32 channels. (See You Tube link).

I am looking to expand and would like to build myself some leaping arches for next Christmas. Can anyone give me some advice on the best number of segments for each arch? I wasn’t sure if 4 would work or I would need 8. I built one in the LOR visualizer tool but the programme suggested 7 or 9 and I couldn’t find an option to have 8. Any advice would be very welcome.

Many thanks

Tony

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Odd numbers allow a segment in the center top of the arch where as even numbes split the middle of the arch into two sections. Beyond that number of segments tends to be a personal thing (half full or half empty). 

My archs are 8 becase I also have fan segments on each arch and am using RGB strips.  I wanted to keep each fan/arch down to 54 channels each (8 arch segments and 9 arch segment and include a 3 channel flood) to keep them on two 27 channel dmx controllers each (making each fan/arch self contained).

My previous encondecent arch's were 9 segments each.

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I use an odd amount of segments per what jerrymac said above...to allow a segment in the center top of the arch...and I use 100ct light strings, which cover approximately 18" of a 3/4" diameter PVC

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Thanks guys I appreciate your advice. I will go for an odd number. I buy my lights in the USA and to keep the power down bought lots of 50 warm led strings this year which I intend to use I think fans and 54 channels will be a few years down the road yet! Thanks once again. Tony

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I would use 8 just because it cleanly uses 1 controller for 2 arches. But have you looked at CCRs? I use CCRs because once u buy a controller ($200) and lights for (2) arches ($25 per arch with incandescent) and then SPT wire you are well over/or equal to a CCR cost. And a CCR you can get (2) nice 7' arches from them. I'm actually selling my CCRs that I use for my arches. They are cut in the center (so two 8' pcs) and have 6" pigtails as to not twist the CCR where the PVC arches meet. Going full DIY RGB this season....

Forgot to add, conventional arch 1 color...CCR arch limitless colors. Just my 2 cents

Edited by LightsinMaine

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I love the colors you can get with RGB or CCR arches.. but... I like the wrapped string look much better.....   I have 6 CCRs that I have had for two seasons now and have yet to put them to use.  Thought I would do the CCR arches, but I just don't like the look as much.  Personal taste for sure.

 

I use 8 segment arches. 

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7 sleeves cause that what the "Godfather" of LOR said to do.

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I had 3 small arches with 4 segments each, for the size of the arches 4 segments was ok. This year I am upgrading the arches in size and also converting them to rgb I am planning on using 33 pixels each. 

 

It normally depends on what size arch you are using. The more segments you have the smother the effects are. I agree that you would want an odd number of segments to create a top section on the arches I would have done it myself if I had extra channels.

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Another vote for 7. You can always use the extra channels somewhere else. I like the effect of starting from the top then cascade down both sides. Similarly, you can start from the bottom and 'clap' at the top.

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I use 4.  Yes to the trained eye you can tell a difference but to the average Joe coming to see the show they would never notice the difference.

I have 1 controller and 4, 4 channel arches and it will stay that way.

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I used 8. I like the idea of the middle channel though so I will be making all of mine 9 channels this year. 

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 I agree 4 looks fine and it saves a ton of channels

 

 

don't know how it "saves" channels...

 

guess it must be like going to a sale where everything is 50% off...

 

you don't SAVE any money because you had to SPEND money to get it...  :P

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don't know how it "saves" channels...

 

guess it must be like going to a sale where everything is 50% off...

 

you don't SAVE any money because you had to SPEND money to get it...  :P

then I suppose you like to buy all your stuff at 100% so double :P  :P

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A popular way to use that "extra" channel, left when using 7 segment arches, is to add splashes at the ends.

Theres a new term for me, what is a splash? never heard of it or at least I don't remember hearing it.

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Thanks once again to everyone who has replied. Now comes the next question. I like the idea of a 7 segment arch. However if I want my arches to run from one 16 channel controller would the display look best with four 4 segment arches or two 7 segment ones?

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Theres a new term for me, what is a splash? never heard of it or at least I don't remember hearing it.

Pete,

        I have seen the splashes done two ways. One is 3 short like sticks straight up in the air where the arches meet the ground.

The other was a small coil of lights at the same place, where the arches meet the ground. You sequence the arches as you would do normally and just add the splash to it.

The three sticks are wrapped with lights also. It is a cool effect. Hope this helps you out.

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With a limited number of channels, it becomes more of a challenge to do arches. I had 16 channels last year, going for 32 year. Already have mini-trees, which take up 8 channels. Also want to do some lawn lighting, etc... Considering making a number of arches and just having them be one channel each. I'd have the arches "blink" one at a time, or in sequence, etc... Have to play around with the visualizer (once I learn how) to see how this may look.

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You can also put three arches with 7 channels on one controller and made it look good, so three arches all on the same 7 channels.

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You can also put three arches with 7 channels on one controller and made it look good, so three arches all on the same 7 channels.

 

Agreed, 7 one-channel arches are not nearly as interesting as 7 seven-channel arches that work in unison. Both are just 7-channels, but the latter is animated and the former is just blinky!

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