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51phiveoh

Pictures of setups

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Here's mine from 5 years ago.  Not to much has changed with the AC Controllers, but I've added quite a few DC since then.  I started making a new video last year, but haven't gotten very far on the editing yet.  I agree with others, a box of Cat5e is a whole lot cheaper than extension cords.  Plus my garage is on the other side of my yard which means all the cords would lay across the walk to the front door.  I try and hide the controllers the best I can in places that are a bit more difficult to get to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5i2F72IyBY

 

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My husband and I have split up the responsibility for our show - I do software (mostly) and he does hardware (mostly).  Therefore, I don't necessarily know all the details of our setup, but I can give you a broad outline.  We have a wide lot (3 "city lots" in our suburban town) with the house in the middle.  Our lot is 180'x100'.  There is a stand alone garage to the West of the house. 

For years, we have run a "regular" AC only show.  All our original controllers are CTB16PC type.  There are 4 under the porch that feed the 4 faces (monsters or xmas trees) and other props near the front of the house and over to the east side.  There are 2 in the garage that handle lights on the garage and the west side. There is 1 in the gazebo behind our house which handles anything near the back of the lot.  

The computer is in the house and talks to the controllers with ELL (Easy Light Linker) so there are no cables between the computer and the controllers.

This year, we are adding pixels.  We have added 2 pixel trees that were up and running for Halloween.  We are using E1.31 for the pixels and AlphaPix controllers rather than LOR.  I'm finding the E1.31 easy to configure.  Pixels cannot really be run wireless - just too much data and WiFi protocols aren't really designed for this type of thing.  We have a small network switch by the computer.  We have Cat5 cables from there to each of the pixel trees.  Since the Pixel trees were a success, my husband has decided he wants to cover the gazebo in pixels also this year.  After days of researching and deliberating, he decided to get more AlphaPix controllers for that. 

The Pixel Trees each use an Alphapix16, but he is going with 3 Alphapix4 controllers for the gazebo.  1 will have a string of C9 bulbs (100 pixels) and 3 sets of snowflakes (108 pixels each).  The other 2 controllers will handle the Pixel Icicles.  There are 8 segments each with 100 pixels, so 4 will be on one controller and the other 4 will be on the other controller.  The switch from the house will connect to a switch in the gazebo.  That switch will connect to the 3 new controllers.  I believe he intends to get this setup this weekend, so we will find out then if it works as planned!

I guess our setup is semi-distributed?  We still run some pretty long extension cords from the controllers, but they are shorter than they would be if we tried to have them all in one place.

Based on our experience, I would suggest starting with a "simple" AC show with regular LED lights.  Once you have that down and are comfortable with it, then move on to pixels.  I would also echo the advise to start with the S5 version of the software - I started really working on our show this past year.  I jumped right into S5 without knowing much about how the earlier versions worked and I found it to be pretty straightforward and easy to learn.  Based on posts here on the boards, it is much more difficult to come from the earlier versions and have to change how you think about things.

PJD

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I built a storage box to hold all my USB-RSB485 adapters and made it so I can put the show laptop on top and plug the USB's into it. Other the 2 controllers visible in the pictures all other controllers are mounted on the props with the network cables all run back to the control box. Pictures in the thread below.

 

Alan...

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1 hour ago, default said:

I built a storage box to hold all my USB-RSB485 adapters and made it so I can put the show laptop on top and plug the USB's into it. Other the 2 controllers visible in the pictures all other controllers are mounted on the props with the network cables all run back to the control box. Pictures in the thread below.

 

Alan...

I remember that thread. Up to 13/14 nw's this year. The more I attempt to consolidate the more stuff I add to the show. Ive had roof lights on every night since HAlloween and didn't even know it. Forgot when I turned off the lightshow power panel that 8 controllers are in the attic on the house main panel.

JR

  • Haha 1

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