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Smart RGB Dumb RGBer

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Last year was my first year with a 16 channel incandescent display.  I want to add at least two RGB arches.  I picked up Smart / Pixel RGB LED Strip / Ribbon 30 LEDs/m 10 Pixels/m Waterproof Tube (16ft-6in/5 meter Roll) - 12v / 2811 on sale earlier this year but am totally confused with what I need to connect this to my display.  I used the LOR Show software and the CTB16PC controller to run last years display. The more I research the more confused I become.  Any help directing me as to what I need, how to set it up, and if I can even connect RGB smart arches to my current set up would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to take advantage of the up coming sale if I can.

Edited by JDS

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1 hour ago, JDS said:

Last year was my first year with a 16 channel incandescent display.  I want to add at least two RGB arches.  I picked up Smart / Pixel RGB LED Strip / Ribbon 30 LEDs/m 10 Pixels/m Waterproof Tube (16ft-6in/5 meter Roll) - 12v / 2811 on sale earlier this year but am totally confused with what I need to connect this to my display.  I used the LOR Show software and the CTB16PC controller to run last years display. The more I research the more confused I become.  Any help directing me as to what I need, how to set it up, and if I can even connect RGB smart arches to my current set up would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to take advantage of the up coming sale if I can.

You need to get a pixel controller for that strip. LOR sells one (PixCon16), and others sell them as well. The LOR one is slightly more expensive, but I believe that you can use their controller in an LOR network. That make integration a little easier. I use an alphapix 16 from holidaycoro which is run on a standard network using the e1.31 protocol. Even on a separate network, the LOR software will run everything. You're diving into the world of pixels at about the right time for his year's display, as the learning curve is pretty steep. Have fun!

 

Mike

Edited by greenie95125

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I can help with that one.  I have lots of WS2811 strips and pixels in use.  You will need an E1.31 controller that will connect to your show computer via an ethernet link (NOT THE RS-485 line that you existing 16 channel controller uses - one exception in a moment).  There are several E.31 controllers available and most any of them will work fine.  Which one to use is largely personal preference.  Personally I am using several different cards from SanDevices (http://sandevices.com/index.html), and will be buying at least one more this year.  LOR now makes the PixCon 16 controller which is the exception I mentioned in that it can connect either via ethernet like other E1.31 controllers OR it can connect via a LOR network.  Note that there are network speed restrictions if using the PixCon 16 via a LOR network (it requires a fast network).  The PixCon 16 is on sale this Friday (over $50 off).  I expect that to sell out REALLY FAST!

You will need to do some reading to come up to speed.  The AusChristmas forum (http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php) has a good writeup on pixels, but in a 10 second search I could not find it.  Also, the SanDevices website (http://sandevices.com/aboutrgbpixels.html) has a good writeup on pixels.  On the last page is a powerpoint - watch it.

After doing a bunch of reading, come ask more questions for the things you don't quite get.

As far as sequencing, you can sequence a couple of arches pretty easily in Sequence Editor.  You can also use SuperStar, but it's not really necessary, and a bit of overkill.  Wait until you have more before adding the cost of SuperStar.  You can also use the Pixel Editor with by itself does not have a cost, BUT you MUST have a Pro level license to play sequences, so there is a cost there.  Also note that to play via E1.31, you must have at least an Advanced level license.  That does give an advantage to the PixCon 16 in that you can use a LOR network to control it - pay attention to the speed limitations with your existing RS-485 adapter, controller, and the PixCon 16.

 

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