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NTJP

Pixie 8, Pixie 16, and PixCon 16

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This being my first year, it went great.  Did not want to dive in too deep first year.  Bought the Showtime Central and two 32 controllers to start plus a  CMB24D .  After the wife watched the opening of the show she was sold on LOR and now she wants a Mega Tree.  :)  So, been doing A LOT of reading and research.  Think looking at a 210 vs 360, 10 to 12 foot tree.  Think a 180 will look a little flat.  So, now to the question.  Looking at maybe going to XLights but learning both that and SuperStar to see what is best for me.  Not knowing much about either my project for now is trying to decide if I will use a Pixie 8, Pixie 16, or PicCon 16.  I am really learning here....  Think I will run 16 strings... not sure if it will be 16 - 50 strand or 8 - 100 strand doubled over.  But if I understand right the Pixie 8 would be able to run either set up.  So for just a little more I get the Pixie 16 and this would open me up to maybe some arches,, spiral trees or some other pixel setup close to the tree.  Currently have a CMB24D have not used and dumb strips to go with it. Will use it to light the star and maybe some other items.  The PicCon 16 will run a lot more nodes but do I really need that.  Would 2 Pixie 16 give me more flexibility as far as room goes vs the cost?  If I understand from reading you can not get too far from a controller with the nodes???  So the short questions are XLights vs Superstar on a Pixi 8 or Pixie 16 vs the cost of the PixCon 16????  This is a Facebook page with video if it helps on my setup to answer the questions. https://www.facebook.com/Hales-Christmas-Show-1973207026255556/

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You cannot beat SS and the assistance Brian will give if/ when it is needed. Remember "you get what you pay for". Personally I tried for a very very long time to get into Nutcracker/ Xlights. I wanted to figure out how to create singing faces. At the time the mood on the LOR forums was .... well not what it is today. I tried the free stuff, couldn't even figure out how to set it up. Gave up and just purchased stuff.

Jan 2016 decided I really needed to use my props and equipment so I joined the LOR forums. Didn't take long to get where I am at now. 

Anyway

I can help you with the pixie stuff.

The 180 tree though looks flat in the day time, at night they come a live and really no one can tell it is a flat tree. Most viewers cannot get past the awe of what can be sequenced on the tree. 

If you make a 16 string tree get a pixie16 for ease of sequencing.

If you plan on making the 8X100 use a pixie 8. Above you are contemplating using a pixie16 for the 8X100 and using the extra units to control arches or other props. Unless those props are going to be very close to the tree , reconsider.

Use a 16 for the tree and then if you want other props try using a 4 ( I will be changing from 16's to 4's in several props after the holidays). My matrix uses a pixie16 snd a pixie 8. My circles use a 16 (for now). My tree uses a 16 and I have a 16 on other props (its been a long day). I will be zoning my house outline with pixie4's this spring for next year. I now have 6 pixie16's 4 pixie4's a pixie 8 and a cmb24. I am a pixie fan, they have been very reliable and 1 has been running almost non stop since April 15 2017 (until Christmas show, it now gets late nights off with the others). No failures, no problems with the controllers.

Also keep in mind- when dealing with RGB controllers you are no longer talking channels, you are talking unit ID's. This seems to be a big stumbling block for people as they purchase the pixies and other controllers. Unit assignment is crucial.

Also LOR now offers the pre built pixie 16. Worth every penny. I didn't make mine for less than what they are selling, for various reasons. A lot of trial and error while sourcing stuff. Their pre assembled pixie16 is an affordable way to get into the pixels and stay as pretty close to plug and play as you can get. 

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I will be on here more as soon as New Years is over.

JR

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Thanks for your response. Read a lot of your post when I was first looking at getting into this over a year ago.  Greatly respect everything you say.  The cost is not an issue as I bought the program when first started, knowing I'd be going to pixels.   Waiting to see if there is a sale this spring and will buy a prebuilt.  Strongly looking at the pixie 16. As you say it cost about the same. Plus getting everything LOR makes me feel better.  This pixel thing has started out confusing but the more I read they more I understand. And the easier it is getting.  Will start working on learning SS. Will make my life a lot easier not trying to learn both.  Happ New Year.  When first bought (on sale) this year it was over $1,200.  And yea wife had a melt down on me...  But, it is great having her on board now and bragging to friends....  Just wait until you see what WE have next year....

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You are welcome.

After the holidays shoot me a PM and I can show you tricks with SS (not tricks but how I was taught). Works for me. Pixels have turned out to be a blast and more reliable than the old LED/ Incans. I had no failures, though some of the other bulbs failed due to 1- my bad luck 2- mother nature (8" snow here that wiped out my 6400 light mega tree) and 3- bad luck

When you receive your stuff I can call and get you set up and running in very little time. Most time is spent bsing.

Happy New Year

JR

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54 minutes ago, Dennis Laff said:

 JR do you have any idea how you would add the singing tree sequences in S5 

Sorry, I haven't and do not plan on switching to S5 anytime in my for see able future. 

Is it that much of a difference? Or are you talking about just the SE animation?

I haven't even looked at an S5 screen. Now you are poking my interest and I may take one of my extra desktops and install after 5/6- Jan tear down. 

I do know that when the Beta first came out the sequence file extensions that were shared with me by a few members to test their sequences on my matrix, were not useable. I am hoping that has been resolved.

Let me know if you discover anything, I was assuming the working grid screen was the same and if that's the case it would be the same as now. 

One more day of sequencing, one more face sequence to do for the New Years show. Mostly re producing the papagayo created sequences but I dug an old one out from way back, Eagles ~ Funky New Year

Happy New Year

JR

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So, like I said I am new to all this and learning.  Just figured out that I did not buy SS but it is a demo version. I have S5 and will be good on updates until April 2018.   Will need to do buy SS before I can go live.  Guess the good thing is I can figure out how many CCR's I am going to need.  Do they put the SS on sale in the spring or does the price always stay the same?

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17 minutes ago, NTJP said:

Do they put the SS on sale in the spring or does the price always stay the same?

Unfortunately software never goes on sale.

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Thinking about using 24 50 node strings. Would this be good with the pixie 16?

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On 1/5/2018 at 12:05 PM, NTJP said:

Thinking about using 24 50 node strings. Would this be good with the pixie 16?

That's a good question cause I always have that as well.  I don't see how you can get 100 pixels (2 strings) per port using 12V as one string pulls close to the 4 amp the fuse is rated for on each port.  Maybe someone with more information can clear things up.  To me, 24 seems like an odd number unless your going to run 2 strings for 8 channels and then 1 string for the other 8.  See how easily I get confused. haha!

I wish I knew more about how power works.

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First you will need a pixie 16 or two or a pixie16 and pixie 8.

You can get 100 pixels per port. My next ccr tree will be a 32x100 controlled by 2 pixie16’s

I have a 24x50 Matrix as well as other props all controlled by pixie series controllers

As far as PSU’s my matrix is powered by a meanwell 750 in wich you can purchase fo Under $30

I only have pixie series controllers 8- 16’s, 2- 8’s and 4- 4’s

You are lucky because when I purchased LOR did not sell pixie16’s That were fully assembled. The price is reasonable considering the parts I had to purchase along with the time of build.

i currently and have been testing 4 strings of 100 pixels without failure.

JR

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I have not figured this out yet and the setup I was looking at was 24 50 node string.  Would run 2 50 nodes together as 100 nodes and that would give 12.  Maybe run another 50 node string for the star.  Was planning on a 180 tree.  Having the 24 stirrings would give a wider tree.  Maybe that would not look good.  Don't know...  Going to build the tree in the backyard this spring/summer and test how it works.  It is going to be a LARGE learning experience.  Also have thought of placing the strings on PVC pipe and using them to make a matrix for Halloween then taking it apart to make the tree.  But, then did my taxes and that may put a big dip in doing LOR for Halloween or even having the money for the Mega Tree.....  Oh, and everything I have read says go with 12 volt....

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31 minutes ago, NTJP said:

I have not figured this out yet and the setup I was looking at was 24 50 node string.  Would run 2 50 nodes together as 100 nodes and that would give 12.  Maybe run another 50 node string for the star.  Was planning on a 180 tree.  Having the 24 stirrings would give a wider tree.  Maybe that would not look good.  Don't know...  Going to build the tree in the backyard this spring/summer and test how it works.  It is going to be a LARGE learning experience.  Also have thought of placing the strings on PVC pipe and using them to make a matrix for Halloween then taking it apart to make the tree.  But, then did my taxes and that may put a big dip in doing LOR for Halloween or even having the money for the Mega Tree.....  Oh, and everything I have read says go with 12 volt....

See my writup on building an easy tree for testing and the upgraded version.

Used my tree for Halloween and l ft it up for Christmas

As far as folding or zigzagging as you mention above it depends on th controller.

24 string could make a wider tree however you could skip the width and put the strings closer together giving you an even better affect quality.

JR

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so maybe it's just my stupid understanding of power but how do you get past the amp limitation on each port to support 100 pixels?  My 12 volt pixels pull max 2.3 amps all on full white.  So, wouldn't two strands pull double that (4.6 amps) and put itself over the 4 amp rating of each port?  That's really where I'm confused.

 

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That’s what Power Injection is all about.

 

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I haven’t used PI nor does my pixies allow adjustment in HU to set intensity.

the max output is gonna be during all white which is a very small fraction of time (at least for me)

i have not popped any fuses due to lights. I did accidentally ground one of the extra wires during testing once but that was cut and silicones later. I just forgot the one wire.

Beit I am only testing 4 strings but they have not blown any fuses and the white looks bright. They have been on the tree frame since May/ June when I purchased it. 

I have seen people complain about pixel string changing colors (brown) within months of opening them yet mine have been outside and are still as clear as the day I got them.

JR

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On 2/21/2018 at 9:39 AM, k6ccc said:

That’s what Power Injection is all about.

 

Good!  That's the direction I took so at least I'm somewhere along the right trail.

I have two 350Watt power supplies.  One power supply for 8 channels.  8 channels takes max 216 watts.  I was looking to add another 16 strands so my idea was to add another two power supplies to the newly added 16 strands and use power injection for those while keeping the data coming from the single Pixcon 16.  Sounds like I'm on the right track.

 

Thanks!

 

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