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JasonKing

Wife drops a bombshell

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I get home from work this morning and the wife and son are watching Xmas light videos. She looks up at me and says " We want the house to look like this next year". Showing me a video of a house with ALL smart pixels. ( I  try to give her the same look she gave me when I told her I wanted to add fire to our Halloween display), any way. Where do I start in the controller department? I have been looking into going with the smart pixels since last year. The pixcon , e682 , alpha pix , falcon16 ? I'm lost. I have never used DMX nor do I have a clue what e131 is. I just upgraded from standard to pro and have been playing with the pixel editor, and I don't really care for it, my pc is old running Vista pro and nutcracker won't work nor will Vixen, I have not tried to download older versions. To see if they will work. Any and all info to point me in the right direction will be most great full. Thank you in advance

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you could look at upgrading your PC, sometimes if you are patient you can find a gem or two.  Replaced my show computer with a W7 system for $68 on NewEgg.com.  They are refurb's but so far I haven't had an issue with one.  I think the price included free shipping but shipping from these folks has never been much more than $10-20.

Edited by caniac

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Bombshell...at least it wasn't pack your bags and get out.

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1 hour ago, mpageler said:

Bombshell...at least it wasn't pack your bags and get out.

LOL...that's what I thought when I read the title!!

 

Jason-

sounds like a computer upgrade will be in your future. There is lots of info out there and on these forums to help confuse you and help you. I recommend Superstar, you should have a free demo to play with.

 

 

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To be honest unless you are using the pixel editor to program your most likely going to have a hard time programming smart pixels on that computer. I did a pixel tree last year using s3 on an old Dell with 2 gb of ram and I struggled at times. This year I plan to buy a new computer when I get my taxes done but I upgraded to S4 and using pixel editor the old computer is running much better 

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If you are looking to a large rgb display the I have a comparison web page showing the different controllers. http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/rgb_controllers/

u can get a e682 kit for around $110. Assembled $180.

Alphapix, pixlite, pixcon, falcon f16v2 all are around $200.

In capacity:

E682 12 universes unicast, universes Multicast

alphapix 32 universes unicast

pixlit,pixcon  32 universe unicast, 32 universes multicast

falcon16 v2 64 universes unicast, 64 universes multicast.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, mpageler said:

Bombshell...at least it wasn't pack your bags and get out.

or your only half as good as your brother!

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I guess for most people it's not a "bombshell", my wife is frugal and for her to suggest this is shocking to me. Thank you to those who replied to the questions I had.

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She may want the house to look like that but do yourself a favor and let her know of the cost before you get too far in. Lest you wish you packed your bags and got out.

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Bugger the wife knowing the budget, make her order the stuff!

If I was starting from scratch for pixels.. oh wait I did that 4 years ago and ran 2 shows and got the wind knocked out of last years..

Falcon V2 hands down, spend the extra and be glad you did. More flexible long term.  How is your soldering skills?  That makes a big deal on getting pixels and such up and going and whether you buy pre-made extensions or save some money and make your own (and you have to decide WHO's you are going to use because they don't swap between vendors).

Since you have an AC show you know cords are a BIG part of the budget.

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Thank you for the comparison link it helps out. I do not hide my hobby expenses from my wife, doing a Halloween and xmas light show is cheaper then racing by far.  Besides that I have leverage, I'm re-restoring HER 1930 Ford model A hot rod that her father and I did 12 years ago.  Thanks again for the help.  

 

 

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Just my two cents on what I did to get ready for 2016: 

About two weeks ago, I purchased a refurbished HP desktop from Fry’s for $169, and I use it solely for sequencing, configuring E1.31 controllers, and operating my lights.  I don’t have to convert sequencing files to another format, nor get these converted files loaded into any other device.

The operating system is Windows 7 (Service Pack 1), and the PC has an Intel i5 chip (3.10GHz), 4 MB of RAM, and a 250 GB hard drive.  It has no WiFi (which is great, b/c it won’t interfere with my home network).  I assigned this PC a static IP address, and one that my home network can’t see.  Even if I do plug this PC into my router, my home network still can’t see it. 

This HP desktop is a large and very fast device for its only chores:  configuring light controllers, developing sequences, and running LOR software to control LOR and E1.31 controllers.   Of course, the PC was easy to set up:  Plug in, turn on, and click Ok a few times:  the familiar Windows 7 was up and running. 

I connected the PC one-time to my home router (using a Cat5e cable from the desktop’s Ethernet port to an open port on my router) so I could download my second copy of LOR software.   I also downloaded and installed Norton anti-virus software, which I already subscribe to for two other PCs/laptops.   Every now and then, I’ll connect to my router when I want to back up sequencing and other files to Google Drive (in the cloud, and no charge).

I keep the Cat5e cable plugged into a network switch (mine happens to be a NetGear model FS105).  From this switch runs Cat5e cables to communicate with individual E1.31 controllers (for now, one AlphaPix 4 and one SanDevices E682, which have both worked flawlessly).  I don’t need a router on this show-only PC (routers are used to connect to other networks, and my show PC does not need to connect to other networks).

I have one of my LOR controllers plugged into an LOR USB 485B adapter, and that adapter is plugged into a USB port on my desktop.  So, I have two “networks” to run lights:  (1) LOR’s though a USB port to their adapter to their controllers, and (2) DMX over Ethernet (E1.31) through the Ethernet port to the network switch to the E1.31 controllers.

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Thank you Ed K and the rest of you. Looks like I'm going PC shopping. I got the OK from the wife for a show only PC. My wife is AWSOME!!! She said " what ever it takes that's what we'll do".  I'm still undecided on the controllers, it's a toss up between the Pixcon and the Falcon V2 F16.  I would like to stick with LOR but more bang for my wife's cheap buck with the Falcon.  Thanks again to everyone for your help....... Jason

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