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NewbieDave

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I'm wanting to develop a show for 2015. I have tons of lights but am considering purchasing new LEDS and make custom length strands. I want to include some arches and was curious if I have 3 arches do they all need separate 8channel controllers or can I use 1 controller on all 3?

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There should be no reason that you can't put all three arches on one controller providing that your amperage draw remains below the limit for your controller, but you would have many more options available for programming if they all had separate controllers.  If trying to minimize cost, you could do the arches all on one controller for a year or two before expanding to separate controllers for each arch.

Edited by GRG

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I would suggest using RGB for arches. I have 2 color 8 segmented arches (2 of them) that totals 32 outputs and eats up 2 full controllers, plus the cost of 32 LED stands.

 

Use CCR's with controller for each arch. 

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All depends on your buget, and how you want the finished product to look, Would start programming now, figure three arches all on a single controller using 8 channels total, and if by the summer sale you have money to spend, then its really easy to expand them in your sequences from a single 8 channels to a seperated 3 arches at 8/ channels each ( 24 total ) or you can go CCR or RGB, but thats a lot more channels to deal with, and may be more than you want to tackle your first year out. Sit down with pencil and a picture of the area you want to decorate ( usually your home ) and start drawing in the features and areas you want to light, and break that down to channels, then go from there.  Welcome to the madness and you will get a lot of help out of these forums and especially the tutorials.

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Thank you all so much. What do you all suggest as a starter kit? I think I will go with 2 or 3 controllers for my set up. Ive got the ideas of how I want to decorate. I'm no electrician so trying to figure out and understand channels is what's new to me.

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What do you mean by customs length? Led strings are made to be certain number of LED for electronic reasons.You can however get them I'm four different lengthshttp://www.holiday-light-express.com/FWR-LED-Holiday-Lights.php

In rare cases you can get them with different LED spacing, but LED count is going to be set by manufacturer

Download the software now and start playing with it. Its free to demo it just won't control any devices

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Thank You crazydave.. I honestly thought you could custom cut the lengths of the LEDS. I will download the program and toy woth it.

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I would recommend an odd number for your arches. This has been discussed in various boards ad nauseam. Google.

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i deff recomend odd number of channels i have 7ch arches and 9ch light poles 

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I would recommend an odd number for your arches. This has been discussed in various boards ad nauseam. Google.

Just curious, what's the advantage to an odd number on the arches? Just curious, mine are 8 segments per arch so I can get 2 arches per controller but next year I'll be building a few fire sticks.

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Just curious, what's the advantage to an odd number on the arches? Just curious, mine are 8 segments per arch so I can get 2 arches per controller but next year I'll be building a few fire sticks.

 

 

I prefer odd numbers, that way I have a center or middle channel, makes the arches/marty fans/ trees, etc just look better and act better in my humble opinion. And with the spare channel or two you can send those over to another feature or incorporate a new look on your existing features. Example, 2 ea. 7 channel arches in white ( 14 channels ) can add additional color, say green or blue or red to the entire arch on channels 15 & 16

 

 

 

 

Thank you all so much. What do you all suggest as a starter kit? I think I will go with 2 or 3 controllers for my set up. Ive got the ideas of how I want to decorate. I'm no electrician so trying to figure out and understand channels is what's new to me.

Caution, basic license only covers 2 controllers, so upgrade now if you can to cover that third controller.

Okay, easy way to figure out your channels,......

1st) Take a picture or a good sketch ( Digital picture is best as you can use it later in your programming )of the area you plan on decorating, for most people it is the front yard and face of their house.

2nd) Print out the picture and draw on it in pencil ( as you will undoubtedly want to make changes later )where you plan on placing your lights ( Icicle Lights, windows and doors, railings, fences, bushes, trees, etc.....)

3rd) Now once everything is draw in, start separating the areas into 16's ( 16 for one controller, 32 for two, 48 for 3, and so on ), example your eaves are one channel, entry door and windows could be one channel or broken up into one channel each, shrubberies and/or trees can be a few channels, lawn ornaments maybe another channel or two. The choice is yours

4th) consider where your power is, and where you are going to place your controllers so everything is as centralized as possible, thusly eliminating as many extension cords.

5th) Once you have it the way you want it, open up your Sequencer, and the Visualizer programs, import a copy photo you used earlier and begin drawing out the lights in the program, now when you do your sequencing you can play it back on the computer and have a decent representation of how things will look prior to putting up your show next year. 

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I agree with everyone you can choose to put all 3 arches on one controller if you wish keep in mind the amperage load. I like most here am a newbie just finishing my first year. Halloween was a success with few draw backs rain being the biggest issue. I am currently running 48 channels. I managed to pull off 2 led arches with 6 channels each which can be converted to 12 each for better flow. I have these plugged in additionally with green and red candy canes with elongated cords looks cool while optimizing yard space.

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Is RBG CCR to complex for a beginner?Is RBG CCR to complex for a beginner?

If you're planning a pixel tree, maybe. They are no different than programming regular lights. Mind you, about 9 controllers worth of lights, but each one can literally do millions of colors. I'm kind of biased, considering my entire show is RGB. I love them though.

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I'm not planning a pixel tree just around rooflines and windows and so on. Im scared I'm taking on too much

Edited by NewbieDave

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