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ShawnT

What should I get?

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OK - I have read up on all the available options and would like to have some other ideas on what I should get.

I have my plan made and will need 128 channels. Each of my controllers will be located in my garage (I know more extension cord lengths - just don't know about leaving that much money sitting in the yard). So I won't need the enclosures, but I do not want to do any soldering (haven't done any soldering before and don't want to learn on these). I have no problems connecting the power cords or dongles. I am used to building computers so that shouldn't be a problem.

What unit should I buy, the 128 Channel Starter Package or go with the PC-CTB16PC and add the High Power Heatsink, 30 amp supply cord set and the 16 cord dongle set? What are the Pros and Cons of each?

Any help and ideas will be greatly appreciated. The wife says I am out of my mind with 128 channels, but she is the one who said that we would have to add the side and back of the house to the display.

Thanks,

Shawn


Attached files 149952=8757-House PP 5.jpg

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The pros for the starter package would include cases (that you might decide you would like later) and assembly time (only you know what your time is worth).

The pros for the PC option would be about $800 in savings. Without the boxes, you will need to design some sort of strain relief for the cords.

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First off, if you are not getting enclosures then you will need to build something that encloses the cards. There are too many exposed points on the card to be safe if they are not covered.

The ShowTime LOR1602W series of controllers are heavy duty, UL508 approved, industrial quality controllers. They are built tough. The PC series is a good controller but it does take a little more time to set them up. Both will give you the same lighting effects.

Just a word to the wise before you buy... You will see that the retail prices on the PC controllers is going to be reduced within the next 14 days. We have made some good deals with our suppliers and rather than keep it all for ourselves we will be sharing our reduced costs with the customers.

On top of that, we are going to have an end of tax year, inventory clearance on a selection of controllers. This is not the regular annual sale but a special sale to clear out our shelves before the end of our business year. Only a portion of our inventory will be allocated to the sale so this sale will have limited quantities. The prices will be LOWER than our regular annual sale prices. This sale is a quick, while supplies, no rain checks sale.

Our regular annual sale will be held in June. It will have all controllers and most accessories on sale.

We will have more information about the sales shortly.

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LightORamaDan wrote:

Just a word to the wise before you buy... You will see that the retail prices on the PC controllers is going to be reduced within the next 14 days. We have made some good deals with our suppliers and rather than keep it all for ourselves we will be sharing our reduced costs with the customers.

On top of that, we are going to have an end of tax year, inventory clearance on a selection of controllers. This is not the regular annual sale but a special sale to clear out our shelves before the end of our business year. Only a portion of our inventory will be allocated to the sale so this sale will have limited quantities. The prices will be LOWER than our regular annual sale prices. This sale is a quick, while supplies, no rain checks sale.

Our regular annual sale will be held in June. It will have all controllers and most accessories on sale.

We will have more information about the sales shortly.


Sweet!! On all counts!!!

- Kevin

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Guest wbottomley

LightORamaDan wrote:

First off, if you are not getting enclosures then you will need to build something that encloses the cards. There are too many exposed points on the card to be safe if they are not covered.

The ShowTime LOR1602W series of controllers are heavy duty, UL508 approved, industrial quality controllers. They are built tough. The PC series is a good controller but it does take a little more time to set them up. Both will give you the same lighting effects.

Just a word to the wise before you buy... You will see that the retail prices on the PC controllers is going to be reduced within the next 14 days. We have made some good deals with our suppliers and rather than keep it all for ourselves we will be sharing our reduced costs with the customers.

On top of that, we are going to have an end of tax year, inventory clearance on a selection of controllers. This is not the regular annual sale but a special sale to clear out our shelves before the end of our business year. Only a portion of our inventory will be allocated to the sale so this sale will have limited quantities. The prices will be LOWER than our regular annual sale prices. This sale is a quick, while supplies, no rain checks sale.

Our regular annual sale will be held in June. It will have all controllers and most accessories on sale.

We will have more information about the sales shortly.


Dan... could you make this a sticky and place it in important announcements? I didn't see this until I read it the PC forum.

And by the way... this is great news!

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Mountainwxman wrote:

[sNIP]

Dan... could you make this a sticky and place it in important announcements? I didn't see this until I read it the PC forum.

And by the way... this is great news!

Good idea, I will do so this weekend in plenty of time for people to know.

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OK ... now that my thread has been totally hijacked with the announcement from Dan :( - but it is GREAT NEWS especially for the budget.

Now I still don't know what I should get even with the lower prices :P.

Any suggestions would be great prior to the price drop so that I can buy them.

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My suggestion, based on what you stated in the original post, would be to go with the PC version and high heat sinks. Why go to the added expense of the cabinets if you are certain that you will not use them? If this will be a permanent installation in the garage, I would not use the 16 cord dongles either, but wire standard household outlets to the channels and plug your extension cords into them. It makes for a much neater permanent installation plus you don't have 128 dongles hanging down to snag things on, etc. when you are not using the controllers. I would wait until Dan announces the pricing changes on the PC in the next two weeks to make a decision as to which way you want to go.

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To me, it depends on how you feel about the cheaper plastic enclosure in the PC series vs. having a more commercial quality metal enclosure.

Do you find yourself being a person who only settle for the best most of the time? I've heard from some here that they don't really care for the PC controllers ... but my impression is that its just not 'the best' so that bugged them. If you really must have the best, then spend the extra money and get it. These things seem to hold their value rather well ... one of the better investments in that sense.

I think your biting off a lot with 128 channels ... but I think it can be done. If you not a total over-achiever type, I would maybe scale back in year #1 possibly. If you go crazy sith projects, then you could probably pull this off. I think richardH did his house on the first year ... and look what he accomplished !!!

I think your going to spend a fortune on extension cords ... but if you a good supply of them, then no worries. It seems like you have done a great deal of planning and your visual plan is excellent.

It also depends how strapped for money you are. If you can afford to go all out, then why not?


I agree with others ... It seems like if your 100% certain about going in the garage, then just doing PC boards in the garage would be a lot cheaper. If your worried about maybe moving gear outside in the future, maybe the cases would be nice to have.

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taybrynn wrote:

To me, it depends on how you feel about the cheaper plastic enclosure in the PC series vs. having a more commercial quality metal enclosure. Do you find yourself being a person who only settle for the best most of the time? I've heard from some here that they don't really care for the PC controllers ... but my impression is that its just not 'the best' so that bugged them.

Last year I purchased four PC CTB16PC controllers, used them outdoors, and they performed flawlessly. The alternative was to purchase the comparable LOR1602W with the metal box. To me the plastic enclosure was a non-issue since it is rated to be used outdoors. Now I did have to attached the CTB16PC board to the enclosure, hookup the power cords and power pigtails, which took 45-60 minutes each, while the LOR1602W is a complete package, but I saved 33% buying the CTB16PC over the LOR1602W. I was so pleased with the CTB16PC that I'm buying four more this year. With the money saved between the two controllers, I can purchase three CTB16PCs for the price of two LOR1602W controllers at today's posted prices. 48 channels vs. 32 channels for the same price. Plastic vs. metal. $220 vs. $330. Just a personal decision. I'm just glad that LOR provides so many options to benefit a wider customer base.

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Jeff Millard wrote:

My .5¢ (75% off, after Christmas sale price) (This is toungue-in-cheek folks)

If anyone asks me what I think they should buy, I'm going to tell you to purchase the most expensive things and get as many channels as you can! Deluxe everything! Get some Easy Light Linkers, a couple USB to RS485 adapters so you can power the ELL's and have more than one 485 network going at a time. Get an iDMX1000 and whatever LOR starts selling in their new DMX line. Buy, buy, buy...

That way you'll help to make the best small business in the country even better and stronger, and they'll make new stuff for me!

But, most of all...

I won't feel so guilty about all the stuff I bought (and intend to buy) knowing others are doing it too! (even if it was my suggestion that caused you to do it...:cool:)

J
You mean you tell that to EVERYBODY???

and I went and spent all that money??????:shock:

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I built 3 kits and they all worked flawlessly when I powered 'em up and ran some sequences on them. However, with this news, I think I'll quit building kits and wait for the sale on the PC's. I need 11 more 16 channel controllers. I have 5 now. I think I'll work on building a "display simulator" to use for sequencing over the summer. Going from 32 to 256 channels is going to be a challange. Christmas '08 is going to be ............. WOW!

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LightORamaDan wrote:

First off, if you are not getting enclosures then you will need to build something that encloses the cards. There are too many exposed points on the card to be safe if they are not covered.

The ShowTime LOR1602W series of controllers are heavy duty, UL508 approved, industrial quality controllers. They are built tough. The PC series is a good controller but it does take a little more time to set them up. Both will give you the same lighting effects.

Just a word to the wise before you buy... You will see that the retail prices on the PC controllers is going to be reduced within the next 14 days. We have made some good deals with our suppliers and rather than keep it all for ourselves we will be sharing our reduced costs with the customers.

On top of that, we are going to have an end of tax year, inventory clearance on a selection of controllers. This is not the regular annual sale but a special sale to clear out our shelves before the end of our business year. Only a portion of our inventory will be allocated to the sale so this sale will have limited quantities. The prices will be LOWER than our regular annual sale prices. This sale is a quick, while supplies, no rain checks sale.

Our regular annual sale will be held in June. It will have all controllers and most accessories on sale.

We will have more information about the sales shortly.



WOW! I can't wait to see this sale!

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Duke wrote:

... I think I'll work on building a "display simulator" to use for sequencing over the summer. Going from 32 to 256 channels is going to be a challange. Christmas '08 is going to be ............. WOW!

I thought it would be interesting to build a simulator, then I read about Holiday Lights Designer 4. HLD should save a lot of time. Now, it'll be a few years before I approach 256 channels, (shooting for 64 after the sales,) but I figure a lot of fine tuning can be done before setup in November.

Have a blast with those 256 channels! I'm sure it will be WOW!

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Guest wbottomley

Duke wrote:

I built 3 kits and they all worked flawlessly when I powered 'em up and ran some sequences on them. However, with this news, I think I'll quit building kits and wait for the sale on the PC's. I need 11 more 16 channel controllers. I have 5 now. I think I'll work on building a "display simulator" to use for sequencing over the summer. Going from 32 to 256 channels is going to be a challange. Christmas '08 is going to be ............. WOW!


Jumping that much will definitely make your hair turn gray.;)

I'm going from 176 to 240 channels then adding dmx on top of that. Will end up with nearly 300 channels for 08'.

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I'm jumping in feet first with lead boots on.

In '07 I had 0 channels, so far my plans in '08 call for 192 channels but I think I will surpass that and need another 32 to 48 channels. :shock:

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Going from 0 to 192+ channels is impressive. I could never do that. My first year I had 48 channels and my second year I had 72 channels. My first year was not difficult but the programming of the songs was very time consuming. Of course I was using the v1.5 software so all of the new tools/imrovements were not there yet and I have no musical talent whatsoever.

tom.

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Mountainwxman wrote:

Jumping that much will definitely make your hair turn gray.:P

I'm going from 176 to 240 channels then adding dmx on top of that. Will end up with nearly 300 channels for 08'.


The gray part happened before LOR! :shock: (Prematurely of course!)

I can't do much more damage there!

My biggest challenge is that my front yard is not very big and I have a landscaped berm in the middle taking up half of it. I may need to tear out the shrubbery and eliminate the berm to gain more Christmas display real estate. I'm adding items to the roof for '08 and using multiple colors on window trim, arches, shrubs and minis to create effects within limited space. I'll need more property or start erecting lots of radio towers to add things vertically.


Attached files 150172=8769-House2-XMAS-07.jpg

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Not sure what you have planned for your display but from the picture I can envision you putting different color lights on the shrubs and outlining the berm with lights. Just my 2 cents...

tom.

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