Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums
GriswoldStyle

Looking to get into pixels this year. Where do I begin?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Okay so I'm wanting to make the jump to pixels. I want to do my research in advance.

I already have the showtime starter package that included the MP3 mini director and FM transmitter. I have run my shows via the SD card the last 2 years. This year I will be running four controllers of 16 channel normal lights. I will also be adding a cmb24. What I am wanting to do is add a pixie 16 or a pixcon16 for a small mega tree. The mini director is great. This has worked great the last couple years.  I'm just wondering if I have to alter my current setup with the SD card mini director in order to add the pixie 16 controller for pixels. (2801)

 So the ultimate question is do I have to upgrade to a different type of setup or can I incorporate a pixie 16 into my current sd card based show? I have a lot of questions but let's start with a simple one first. What all do I need to add a pixie 16 to my current setup?

Second, how much time do you have to explain the basics to me? Lol...

This would be my first year if I did go with pixels this year. So now probably for the sounding stupid question that most people have asked at one point or another... where do I begin? I always see the pixel displays and posts but have never ventured into that aspect of it. But if there's any chance for this year to do it, I think I need to start researching it now and try to figure this out so any help that you can provide or tutorial links to videos that explain everything would be greatly appreciated. Since I have no experience in this and have never researched it before I don't know what to look for so yes I am a complete Noob to this when it comes to pixels and the lingo language everyone uses.

Sure there's a lot of technical terms I have seen in here but I am baffled as to what they mean. I'm just looking for any help or suggestions that can point me in the right direction to understand everything I need to do in order to get pixels into my show. I honestly have no idea what to look for or where to start.

Any pointers or help will be greatly appreciate it. I figured why not ask the community since there's a lot of you who have moved from standard lights into pixels. I understand a lot of people talk about different software but I am on Lor S4 and have the advanced license. I would like to stick with Lor stuff and just need a little guidance. 

Edited by GriswoldStyle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

First of all since you are wanting to get in to pixels I would highly reccomend that you start looking at a computer or laptop to run your show. The mini director is fine as long as you keep your show small but pixels add hundreds and even thousands of channels and the mini is limited on what it can handle. One pixie added to your show will be fine on the mini but WHEN you get hooked on pixels, and you will, you will need to upgrade.

Second, the Pixcon16 requires you to have a Pro license to run it on a LOR network as it must be run on an Enhanced network which is only available with a Pro license.

Third, LOR's RS485 network is limited in its speed, it is great with distance but is a little on the slower side. you will start to see lag as your show grows. When your show starts to grow you may want to start looking at E1.31 for your pixels. E1.31 is much much faster then RS485 but the distance is shorter. If you decide to stay with a LOR network then be sure to have plenty of usb ports available so as your networks fill up you can start another.

These are just a few tips and everyone will their own opinion. Just keep in mind that you will need to precisely plan everything out, speeds, distances, voltage, amps and so on and so on. It is a balancing act so you can't just throw something together.

Edited by Mr. P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go with the pixie16 I can help you. I can help some if you go with the pixcon.

The mini director will run everything on the SS card so no worries there.

Its easier than it sounds.

You have my cell #, when you get a controller I can help just give me a call. Text first though.

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a G3-MP3 director running a fully loaded Pixcon16, a pixie4, (3) CMB24's and (6) standard 16pt controllers with no issues.

I would suggest whatever pixel controller you decide on, it is located as close as possible to your pixel prop so as you dont need to address any power injection issues.

My Pixcon16 is running a lot of props that are long distances away and I needed to add many power supplies for power injection. However, the Pixcon16 was my only available

LOR pixel controller at the time and now the Pixies are available. The Pixies would have helped reduce the voltage drop issue I had since you can get them in 2,4,8,16.

Happy holiday decorating! If you need assistance, let me know.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uncledan is correct.

One note to consider - the manual will cover “null pixels” to help with the reach of data transmission.

The pixie series controllers will not support null pixels- another “learned the hard way” lesson.

JR

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run e1.31 pixel controlers and have not used any of the pxie series.  But would assume they would be an easy 'plug and play" route for a newibe even if they might have some limiation. 

 

With 6 months to go, you would have to jump on the design/construction of a mega tree.  Tons of past thread if you to a thread title search by "mega tree".  One big initial decsion would b e using strips versus nodes.  Search Youtub e for mega trees and you'll find examples of both styles. 

 

You said small mega tree...exactly what are your plans.  BTW, would not be a cheap display element if considering 16 strips/strings. 

 

My iinitialL thought, might be getting a little late for 2018.  Another job consumer would be sequen ccing but Pixel Editor in Ver4 would help streamline that.   Depending on size of mega, purchasing mega tree sequences would be an option.  If you still try for 2018, go with fewer sequences initially. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm looking at nothing fancy. Just 16 groups of 100 pixels. (Two 50 count strands each) 1600 in a Half circle tree. I was going to go with dumb nodes but after listening to others advice, I decided to look into the smart pixel strings. The tree will be about 16-18 feet tall. So not an extreme tree with 5000+ pixels like some of the others have but something I can add on to as time goes on. That's kind of what I mean by basic.

The controller will be on the tree pole a 3 feet off the ground. So going too far away should not be an issue.

My current tree was 16 strand of standard LED Christmas lights 100 bulbs each color but in a full circle 16 each color. 

Going to download that file as well so I can read over it that @uncledan mentioned.

Sounds like it will explain alot of the tech terms I'm flabbergasted by lol.

I do have Superstar as well so I don't think it'll be too hard of a learning curve I've already completed all my Halloween sequences except for "one" by Metallica so I'm on to Christmas and have already built my basic layout in visualizer so I'm a little bit ahead of where I was last year. I pick up pretty quick once I understand the basics plus I'm not looking to draw anything elaborate for now, just basic simple color changes until I get used to the software and programming aspect. Not trying to do a ton of songs so just some stuff to get me started will work. I understand it's a huge jump, but we all have to start somewhere right? If I don't get it in time this year then there's always next year but at least by then I'll have everything I need.

I'm kind of enjoying this addiction LOL.

Thank you everyone for replying I appreciate the help

Edited by GriswoldStyle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So are you planning 16 strings of 100 nodes and zig zagging them?  In essence 32 strings of 50?  32x50 with 5" spacing on a 360 tree was my first pixel tree.  I tried to keep things simple my first year with RGB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, uncledan said:

So are you planning 16 strings of 100 nodes and zig zagging them?  In essence 32 strings of 50?  32x50 with 5" spacing on a 360 tree was my first pixel tree.  I tried to keep things simple my first year with RGB.

If I recall I believe what you you said zigzagging is just the Strand straight up and down and then you have to set it to zig zag. Essentially what I was thinking of doing is in the following video although his focuses more on the base but I want to do is the  same similar setup with 16 strings up and down like he has in a half moon shape. If that makes sense.  Sorry I'm not familiar with the technical terms how to explain it. Still new to this aspect of everything.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a nice build with the exception of EMT.  I could see that tree snapping in half... Its happened, I've seen pictures.  You should be able to run that off a single 16 port controller if you reduce intensity to 40% or less.  No real need to run higher intensity than that anyways. I say an F16v3, then you have plenty of room to expand in the future 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No option of zigzagging with pixies. No advanced config for these.

Pixcon gives you more control but more learning curve.

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×