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holidaycoro dmx to lor software

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So, I've been sitting on the sidelines reading about everyone's experience with the two companies (LOR and HC).  Look at DevMike's quote....

 

Just for the record, Holiday Coro does not like us and makes general blanket statements like that.  That does not make them true.

 

Come on?  Really?  Of course HC doesn't like you.  And...you don't like him very much either.  You are competitors!  

 

My personal experience with both companies...

 

I have been at this for many years.  Like most of you, It all started with LOR.  I have great respect for this company.   They have excellent customer service and they stand behind their products.  This is undisputed!  I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars with them (just ask my wife).  BUT...last year was probably the last dollar I will spend with them unless they bring their pricing down to realistic levels.  They are way behind the curve.  The industry is moving at a lighting fast rate and they are the lame horse limping down the track struggling to catch up.  

 

Now, HolidayCoro is not perfect by any means.  Yes, their warranty is disgusting, but they are catering to a different market.  They are all about the DIY'er.  If you are up for tackling the more complicated pixel stuff on your own, then HC is fantastic.  The vast amount of documentation and how-to videos are excellent.  This year I spent a boat load of money with HC, jumping into the deep end head first.  Yes, I took some lumps (pretty big learning curve), but I was able to overcome every one of them.  One of the reasons for my success was David at HC.  Now, I did have some pretty ugly moments with HC, but, luckily it worked out in the end.  For example...I built two mega-trees this year (pixels), and I bought nearly 400 bucks worth of clear pixnode strips.  This was a disaster!  After all the work of installing thousands of pixels, splicing the strips together, and installing the trees, the strips literally disintegrated right before my eyes.  They were brittle and almost all of them would break with the slightest gust of wind.  We're talking major disaster.  I thought I was screwed.  I called up David expecting a fight.  I was ready to dispute my CC charge, blast him on social media, etc. Instead, he very quickly acknowledged the problem (by the way...those clear strips are discontinued!), and immediately refunded my money.  I changed them out to the black strips which are much more durable.

 

The last thing I will say is if you are someone who is a DIY'er, HC is not a bad option.  All of the stuff he sells is just off the boat from China.  That's why it's so cheap.  But...where do you think all that LOR stuff is coming from?  Look at this comparison...

 

A 12 CCR mega tree....

 

LOR - $249.95 x 12 = $2,999

HC - $26.95 x 12 = $323.40 (strips)   +   $109.95 (controller)  +   $37.99 x 2 =  $75.98 (power supplies)   Total = $509.33

 

 

Seriously....$2,999  VS  $509.33  ??? 

 

For me, I ended up purchasing over 200 sets of pixel nodes, 10 pixel strips, 5 AlphaPix controllers, 20 power supplies, a box of waterproof extension cords, a pixnode net, and pixnode strips.   My show's been running since Thanksgiving night and my only problem has been those clear Pixnode strips and I had one random pixel staying on.  I cut it out, spliced in a new one, fixed.

 

Remember...you are reading this on an LOR forum.  Know your limitations.  If you want something plug and play, go with LOR.  If you want to feed your kids at night, go with HC!

 

Tim

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Will these lights with with the LOR pixel controller?

Yes, you can order pixels from China or many suppliers that work with LOR pixcon. Just check the specs for the protocols that all work

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The only thing I have thought about getting from HolidayCoro were their Pixnode nets and strips. They look really good.

 

Their pixels are really expensive compared to Ebay and Ray Wu, and LOR's Pixcon16 is only $10 more than their AlphaPix4 and the lights won't randomly flicker.

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Their pixels are really expensive compared to Ebay and Ray Wu, 

 

 

I have to totally disagree with this, their pixels are very competitively priced with other vendors. Their pre-sale has $19 smart pixel ribbons and $15 smart pixel strings which is an excellent price. The main thing I have against HC is their warranty which is only 60 days. If I purchase something in March and don't use it until next November I am screwed if it doesn't work. Also if you want support for a product you have to pay for it.

 

As far as the Alphapix, the v1 was $189 which was pretty good for a 16 port controller but they have now come out with the v2 which is $209, more towards the higher end. I have two of the Alphapix controllers which I purchased last spring before LOR came out with the Pixcon and I have had absolutely zero issues with them. However, now that the Pixcon is out and the prices are similiar I will be going with the Pixcon next time for the better warranty and support.

Edited by Mr. P

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The only thing I have thought about getting from HolidayCoro were their Pixnode nets and strips. They look really good.

 

Their pixels are really expensive compared to Ebay and Ray Wu, and LOR's Pixcon16 is only $10 more than their AlphaPix4 and the lights won't randomly flicker.

With with the current firmware, the Alpahpix products no longer produce the random flicker. So that's a non-issue. Also, see Tim's post above comparing prices. I saved close to $2500 on my 12 strip tree going with HC. I'm not sure what pricing you are comparing.

 

Mike

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As usual, there’s so much good content in these LOR forums, including this thread.  Always some great insight and tips.

 

I’m new to LOR this year, and have only had excellent support from them.  I only had one question about all of their LOR software modules, and that required a personal call from one of their key developers who figured out the answer.   None of their products have broken down (but using the CCRs do require very careful handling).  pyrotech says HC is more about DIYers.   If DIY means assembling the electronic devices on my own, I guess HC is not for me.  It’s much more cost effective for me to purchase pre-built from LOR and CreativeLightingDisplays.com.  I don’t build my own PCs, either, but that’s just me.  I’ve always been a dedicated software guy, and never really a hardware guy.

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I've built 16 strand DIY megatree with HC #700 RBG pixel strips.  Same strips are now in their second season, and will be used for a 3rd.  No waterproofing issues, no cold weather operational issues. Very satisfied with the quality of their pixel strips.  

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I haven't bought anything fri holiday coro poxel wise yet. I have been thinking about it. But I'm leaning towards the pixcon as well. I wish por offered the pixcon with pigtails attached and power supply all connected in a case as an option as well. Along with the extensions etc. But holiday coro looks like they changed warranty to one year according to their presale page now. I'm also planning on a lot of pixels going in this year. But the lag kills me. Last year I struggled to run 9 ccps and 10 regular controllers even split across three networks. Only response I got was too much data through network. So hoping e1.31 and a new computer will fix my issues

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Looks Like HC is giving a one year warranty now!

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I just completed my second season with the HC 16 string smart ribbon and Pixlite 16 controller package with zero problems.  I, too, was a little worried about the DIY side of things, so I opted to buy the fully assembled kit and paid right around the $1000 mark.  Haven't needed any HC support or warranty so cannot speak to that.  I did have some trouble with the Pixlite controller, but it was entirely of my own doing (things just don't work when you plug into the wrong jack on the board...Duh!) and their support (and good humor) were fantastic.  With a comparable setup using LOR equipment coming in at nearly $4000, the LOR stuff is well beyond the "saving a few dollars" that DevMike alludes to.  LOR's customer service is world-class as always and were it just double the price of the HC stuff, I'd own the LOR.  But at 4X, you'll just have to decide for yourself where the value lies.

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It is probably just for this pre-season sale because it is so early in the year and most won't use what they purchase until the end of the year. Check and see if the next pre-season sale which will be in May has a shorter warranty when it comes around. 

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Well it does say it starts when the customer gets the product. The earliest would be late Feburary, which would carry the warranty well past the Christmas lighting season.

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Normally their warranty states 60 days or Jan 1, whichever comes first. So if you received an item on Oct 1 the warranty would expire before the Christmas season. If you received an item on Dec 1 then the warranty would only be 30 days.

 

Maybe they have changed it, we will have to wait and see.

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That's what it looks like. Looks like he may be listening!

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Larryk5, is your show still up and running through New Year's?  Dad winters in Lake Suzy and is looking for shows in the area.

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Larryk5, is your show still up and running through New Year's?  Dad winters in Lake Suzy and is looking for shows in the area.

Sorry, but no. I actually just moved to the area a couple months ago, so I didn't have enough time to get it going this year. Went from a 2 story, with small front yard to a ranch, with a huge front yard. I have a lot to reconfigure!

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No one mentioned SanDevices yet. They also have a pixel controller that I have used for 2 years with only one problem (that I caused myself).

For comparison:

PixCon16: $219.95

AlphaPix 16V2: $209.95

E682 (kit): $109.00

ECG-P12: $175.00(?)

 

Like many here, I'm a DIY'er, so I always go with the kit, because it's fun, I learn more, and I can tell people that I built it myself.

 

Of course, these 3 products all have different features, but their basic functionality is the same: to control pixels. The price difference really isn't that much when you compare it to the rest of the hardware you will have to buy for your display, so do some research before you buy. I bought the E682 before LOR sold the PixCon16, and it works great.

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I have ordered a few small things from holiday coro in the past but nothing major. Tonight though I just ordered for the first time from their pre sale. They have good prices from what I see compared to a lot others. All of my equipment right now is LOR but I have plans on ordering a Falcon f16 v2. This will be my first venture into the DIY stuff. With that said I will always be a customer of LOR. Best customer service around and great products too! 

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Great thread.

It's been fun watching this niche hobby grow.

My first light controller was built over 20 years ago using mechanical relays. My next iteration was using SSR (solid state relay). Both used a microcontroller for the brains. That was about the same time the "internet" was taking off, and the best site for techies to come together was "planet Christmas.com" (which is still a great site). Personally, I had thought at that time there could be a business selling controllers. I had even designed one.I remember my biggest concern was the liability (making sure it was waterproof). I put my business ambition aside as I started growing my family and working for "the man" to pay bills. However I did use my homemade controllers to create a waving snowman, a countdown sign, etc.

After a few job changes, moves, and a few more kids, I looked back into this little hobby to see where it was going. That is when I discovered Light o rama. There were a few other players, but LOR was serious. For me, the electronics and software were perfect. I was impressed with their weather proof designs. And another thing that wowed me was that they were networked. This was the leap from DIY to a real unique business in Christmas light control. I jumped in. My old controllers got retired.

Now, another seismic shift in our Christmas light hobby -- RGB.

I have been slowly amassing RGB controllers and lights from LOR, but really haven't put them to good use. This year I attempted, and had to upgrade my software to get the Pixel Editor to fully function. Then found out I needed an enhanced network, and a few other various changes. Needless to say, RGB didn't come out at my house this year. Although I did do basic macro rgb using the sequence editor.

It seemed to me that the old school LOR and new school RGB were running into each other. I decided to look around, and found holiday coro (as mentioned in this thread) doing similar RGB lights and controllers. Although they are coming from DIY, as many of us have ( including LoR), they are focused on RGB, which is where this "hobby" is heading.

Someone above made the comment about us users being caught in the middle of these two companies. I don't like to be restricted to one company because they own a proprietary piece. After my experience this season trying to get RGB to work with my existing LoR network, I realized that I wanted to control my lights using common protocols. I don't want to be tied to one company for software that enables my hardware controllers to do what I want.

I have followed this hobby for awhile, and we are definitely in for a change. I have looked at the holiday coro sale, very promising. But one thing that kept me from ordering already was my apprehension on if it would work with the LoR software I have already invested (reinvested and invested again) in. Or if in the future LoR could disable their software from working with holiday coro hardware. ( of course lor is not required to be compatible with their competition).

I want to use a system where the protocols are open. I think LoR uses a proprietary protocol. Although the RGB controllers are using standard protocols which will allow others to participate in the adoption of RGB controllers and software.

For us users, we just want to create amazing light shows. Perhaps there is a need now for an independent web site to navigate where this is heading, just as planet Christmas was for us DIYers 20 years ago. Perhaps I'll start something as I investigate the best options for me.

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I use many lor products in my display. But also use DMX dongles and E1-31 controllers from various company's with smart and dumb pixels they are all easily programmed with the light o Rama S4. Pixel editor and superstar .

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It seems the LOR S4 software package is the way to go.  And from my limited research on RGB technologies, I want to stay away from the LOR enhanced network, as that is a proprietary network, and want to gear all my future projects toward E1.31 protocol using Ethernet.

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I just typed a long post, but I accidentally pressed the back button. Very annoying.

This is the main bit of it:

 

You can use an LOR enhanced network as well as DMX E1.31. 

You can use LOR's older controllers, alongside new enhanced network stuff, with E1.31 controllers and RS485 DMX dongles, all at once.

LOR's enhanced network is a proprietary network, but you can use LOR controller in DMX mode as well. Many E1.31 pixel controllers have an RS485 output that can connect to an LOR controller with a special cable (LOR to ESTA cable), but I think it is better to run two network types. One for LOR and one for DMX, simultaneously.

You are never tied down to one company.

 

HolidayCoro don't like LOR for some reason. They often say using other software is better, but what sequencer and show player you use is your choice, and LOR, in my opinion is the best. It can do both pixels and dumb RGB and ordinary single channel lights.

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When I first started with the hobby I was 100% LOR. I found their products simple to use and at least for me.. they simply worked. I Started with 

2 16 channel controllers and the next year bought 2 ccr ribbons. I tweaked things with what I had for a couple years but decided to do a large add on. I added some CCB strings from LOR  but really really wanted to add a 12 ccr tree. Since I live in Canada, the current  exchange rate kills me . $3000 + was too much for me. I checked around and found HC was selling a unit on sale for 900. I did need to upgrade by Showtime but I ordered the tree and everything seemed fine. 

 

What others has said is so true though, HC is for  those with a bit more experience and more of  a DIY aptitude. I had an issue with the Alphapix controller where it would stop working when it got colder than a certain temperature. I tested and gave my results to David and they did find a firmware issue with the card and he sent me an update. Since then the card worked correctly. It did take some time for HC to respond but it works fine and I have had many comments on the tree the new show. Both LOR ans HC have fine products and I would probably order from both in the future, but again.. In my opinion one is pretty much plug and play and the other needs some hands on to get it to work, and if you are like me and have to stay within a budget, sometimes LOR can be a bit pricey. But again.. from my experience LOR works without hassles.

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