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Pinhighn2

“Folded” pixel string??

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I’m trying to learn all things pixels for my show.  I see folks comment on pixel tree setup that they have a string “folded one time”.  What does this mean?  Every pixel tree setup I’ve seen shows the pixel string connected to bottom and going straight up & connected to a tree topper.  

Also, for those that have trees, does each light strip connect to one port on the pixel controllers or do you connect multiple strings to one port/connection since you program each pixel in PE or Superstar?

thanks...this is a very confusing to learn compared to running my current show on all LOR AC controllers!! 

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The Term Folding is to fold the strand in half basically.  You take a strand of 50 pixels and "fold it one time" means it goes up 25 pixels and comes down 25 pixels with one strand.  Fold 2 times means you go up, down, then back up (3 rows) etc.  Each pixel has an in and an out so it is important to note which direction the strand is going.  You can connect multiple strands in series to one output, you just have to start dealing with power injections depending on how long the strand is and what type of pixels you are using. 

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2 hours ago, Pinhighn2 said:

I’m trying to learn all things pixels for my show.  I see folks comment on pixel tree setup that they have a string “folded one time”.  What does this mean?  Every pixel tree setup I’ve seen shows the pixel string connected to bottom and going straight up & connected to a tree topper.  

OK, let me explain it.  A pixel sting can be in a single straight line, or it can be folded on or more times.  I'm going to use a horizontal matrix for my example as it should be easier to visualize.  Let's say you want to build a matrix that is 25 pixels wide and 20 pixels high, and you want to run the strings horizontally.  And let's say you are using 100 pixel strings.  With 100 pixels and 25 pixels per row, each string can handle 4 rows of the matrix.  For the example, the first pixel is on the bottom left.  Therefore, pixel 1 is in the lower left corner.  The pixels continue to the right until pixel 25 is on the right end of the bottom row.  The next pixel would be the far right on the 2nd row, and pixel 50 would be back on the left end of row 2.  This would continue with pixel 51 on the left end of row 3, pixel 75 on the right end of row 3 and pixel 76 on the right end of row 4, and ending with pixel 100 at the left end of row 4.  Hopefully that all made sense.  In this example, the string was folded every 25 pixels.  Now if you were to set up the Visualization to import the string into SuperStar or build the Preview in Pixel Editor with all the strings starting at the left edge, each even row would come out backwards.  There are two solutions to this.  First is to build the visualization or preview to match the reality of the strings going back and forth.  The problem is that the simulation may not handle the folds.  The other is to tell the pixel controller that the strings were folded every 25 pixels.  In that way as far as everything is concerned, the rows really do all have the first pixel on the left.  The pixel controller does magic translation for you.  So even though the strings physically zig zag, as far as your visualization or preview is concerned, the rows are all in the same order.

BTW, my pixel tree has the controller at the top of the tree so pixel 1 for me is at the top of the tree.

2 hours ago, Pinhighn2 said:

Also, for those that have trees, does each light strip connect to one port on the pixel controllers or do you connect multiple strings to one port/connection since you program each pixel in PE or Superstar?

In my case (and many others), each string of the tree is connected to one output from the controller, but it does not have to.  That is certainly the simple way, but there several factors that might change your mind.  For example if you have a 16 string tree that also has 270 pixels in the star on top and you have a 16 output controller.  If you used one output for each string of the tree, you would not have any outputs left to drive the star.  Oops.  The solution might be to have 8 outputs that each drive two strings (with a fold at the top or bottom depending on where you feed the string), and then use somewhere between 3 and 6 outputs for the star.  Now when you make long strings like that you may introduce another problem and that is excessive voltage drop at the end of the pixel strings.  That's when power injection comes into play.

I see Little_b just gave a short version of all this...

 

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Thanks Jim... experts like you guys are going to help me get this pixel thing up & running.  Now I will ask the stupid question.  Using your matrix example...when you “fold” to start pixel 26 on row 2, do you literally fold the strip somehow or is the “fold” a cut of the strip so second row will lay flat?  If you do fold w/o cut how do you avoid it trying to bend out of shape?  Thanks for patience with a uneducated pixel beginner!

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You’re right, strips don’t fold well.  If it’s strips, you would need to cut and put a little wire jumper in between the sections.  Strings fold just fine.

 

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