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Matt R

Transitioning from traditional to Cosmic Smart RGB...

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I've been using LightORama controllers for about 4 years now, starting with the "TSO ShowTime Central Starter Package" (which includes a mini-director w/ SD card, FM transmitter, and CTB16PC controller) plus 3 more LOR1602Wg3 30 amp, 16 channel controllers daisy chained together via easy light linkers to create a 64 channel LOR network that just uses standard LED light strands. Up until about 10 days ago, I have never used the sequencing software. I am currently running 5.4.2 Pro version of S5.

For this upcoming season, I have purchased a new Black Pixel Tree (16 strips of 25 smart pixels) to add to my existing LOR network. This is my first integration of RGB strands of any kind, smart or dumb. On my current 64 channel LOR network, 4 controller setup, i have about ~15 pre-made sequences that cannot be edited. 

Some questions, as I embark on my RGB journey:

  • Will any of my previous pre-made "locked" sequences do anything with my RGB pixel tree, or will it just stay "off" once I daisy chain it to the other controllers?
  • I've seen some pretty awesome "pixel matrix" structures / pixel boards, whatever you call them, in people's windows. Are these all DIY hardware items, or are there pre-made setups for this anywhere that can be purchased and just plugged into an existing show (with all the appropriate sequence programming in the software)?? If pre-made hardware setups exist, please provide some links :)
  • What should my UID be for my Pixie8D controller, given the other 4 controllers that I already have? Is it simply 5, or is it more complicated than that? I heard I should use 40, but don't understand the math behind that recommendation.
  • I've got 450 linear feet of roof line that currently has traditional icicle lights on it, that I can daisy chain in one big plug to plug setup of 54 light strands. What's the best way to do this with Cosmic Color bulbs or ribbons? Do I need multiple controller setups of X strands a piece, or some other setup?
  • Thoughts on the pros/cons of the 10w RGB floods vs. the 50w RGB floods? If i'm spacing out a setup of 8, 10w RGB floods, each with 16 foot power cords, can I add extensions to these?  I'd want to space these floods out along the 75' side width of my house.  Photos of the house are attached.

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts / comments!

 

 

Christmas house outline 2020_v4.pdf

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Posted (edited)

Read this , watch the video and if you need help PM me

Also you do not need S5 for pixels and it may be a little late in the year to learn it

Your pixie 8 can be the next available unit Id

Id you have units 1-5 (example) your pixie can be 8 but remember it will use 8 unit ID’s

The tutorial and the video explains it all

Matrix Screens are affordable $75 or so for 24x50

Of course then you have to get pixels and controllers

I can answer all of your questions but would take forever in forums.

jR

 

Edited by dibblejr

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Now that you are getting into pixels you may want to think about upgrading that mini director. Your new pixel tree will need higher speeds and since the mini director only supports one network you won't be able to put the pixel tree and your ELL's on the same network as the ELL's can't do high speed.

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Since you have never played with the software, you might as well learn S5 rather than learning S4 and then having to upgrade.

3 hours ago, Matt R said:

Will any of my previous pre-made "locked" sequences do anything with my RGB pixel tree, or will it just stay "off" once I daisy chain it to the other controllers?

Your existing locked sequences, as I understand it (never used any), can not be edited in any way.  That means you can't add your additional channels to it, nor can you copy and paste that sequencing data into a new sequence.  One of the huge limitations of the locked sequences - no future changes.  My normal recommendations is to always buy sequences that you can edit - although that does not help you now...

3 hours ago, Matt R said:

I've seen some pretty awesome "pixel matrix" structures / pixel boards, whatever you call them, in people's windows. Are these all DIY hardware items, or are there pre-made setups for this anywhere that can be purchased and just plugged into an existing show (with all the appropriate sequence programming in the software)?? If pre-made hardware setups exist, please provide some links

Pixel matrix structures exist in several forms.  Most are using a grid that pixels are plugged into.  This is just one example:

http://www.holidaycoro.com/PixNode-Net-RGB-Pixel-Node-Mounting-Net-p/775.htm

3 hours ago, Matt R said:

I've got 450 linear feet of roof line that currently has traditional icicle lights on it, that I can daisy chain in one big plug to plug setup of 54 light strands. What's the best way to do this with Cosmic Color bulbs or ribbons? Do I need multiple controller setups of X strands a piece, or some other setup?

Looking at your picture, that does not look like 450 feet, but I'll take your word for it.  Replacing that with pixels would be A LOT of pixels, but it is certainly doable.  You can get icicle light pixel strings, or you can do more traditional bulbs, or you can do ribbons (AKA strips).  Personally I generally recommend against ribbons because they are far more fragile and MUCH harder to repair WHEN (not if) a pixel fails.

You would likely end up with multiple controllers, but a lot of that depends on really what you end up doing.  I would not plan on changing your icicle lights this year.  With having to essentially rebuild all your existing sequences in order to add your pixel tree, you have a lot of work to do.  And on top of that having to learn the software.   Unless you have a huge amount of time on your hands, you will run out of time.  Only 5 months (give or take a little) till show opening.

You can purchase sequences for the pixel tree, which will save you a huge amount of time.  The other advantage of that is you can look and see how the "experts" do the sequencing and learn from their examples.

Dinner call - gotta run.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

Since you have never played with the software, you might as well learn S5 rather than learning S4 and then having to upgrade.

Your existing locked sequences, as I understand it (never used any), can not be edited in any way.  That means you can't add your additional channels to it, nor can you copy and paste that sequencing data into a new sequence.  One of the huge limitations of the locked sequences - no future changes.  My normal recommendations is to always buy sequences that you can edit - although that does not help you now...

Pixel matrix structures exist in several forms.  Most are using a grid that pixels are plugged into.  This is just one example:

http://www.holidaycoro.com/PixNode-Net-RGB-Pixel-Node-Mounting-Net-p/775.htm

Looking at your picture, that does not look like 450 feet, but I'll take your word for it.  Replacing that with pixels would be A LOT of pixels, but it is certainly doable.  You can get icicle light pixel strings, or you can do more traditional bulbs, or you can do ribbons (AKA strips).  Personally I generally recommend against ribbons because they are far more fragile and MUCH harder to repair WHEN (not if) a pixel fails.

You would likely end up with multiple controllers, but a lot of that depends on really what you end up doing.  I would not plan on changing your icicle lights this year.  With having to essentially rebuild all your existing sequences in order to add your pixel tree, you have a lot of work to do.  And on top of that having to learn the software.   Unless you have a huge amount of time on your hands, you will run out of time.  Only 5 months (give or take a little) till show opening.

You can purchase sequences for the pixel tree, which will save you a huge amount of time.  The other advantage of that is you can look and see how the "experts" do the sequencing and learn from their examples.

Dinner call - gotta run.

 

 

NM, I missed the first go round. I saw he said he used LOR controllers.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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Locked sequences won't do anything for your RGB spiral tree unless they were incorporated into the original locked sequence{s} you purchased. 

Otherwise you will need to purchase the Fully Customizable/Editable versions of those same sequences you purchased as locked.   Then you would be able to edit and add your spiral RGB tree to them.  

As it stands, if the locked sequences don't have any RGB items in them, like the spiral tree, the tree will not function but just be a dark, inoperative prop in your display.

And I'd strongly suggest investing in the N4-G3 MP3 Director unit, you're going to need it when you start mixing ELL's, and/or older CTB16PC Controllers, and the various RGB Controllers available.  As the ELL's are not going to work or play well with your RGB items that require 500K, Enhanced Networks, as the ELL's as far as I've read can not use these settings.

 

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OK, so I have the full week off work, and as such, have been spending 8+ hrs a day this week learning how to incorporate my 16X25 RGB tree into my show with my traditional lights / controllers. I watched almost every single video tutorial and read all the PDFs, and was able to successfully generate my own sequences with my traditional lights and combine them with sequences for the 16X25 RGB tree.

 

  • I verified that all qty 4 of my 16 channel traditional controllers (qty 1 CTB16PC, qty 3 LOR1602Wg3) work with last year's "locked" purchased sequences / show for my traditional LED lights.
  • I then wiped the SD card, took my 7 new sequences that I made, using 16X25 LOR tree sequences from superstarlights.com, and created a show using the LOR Hub, per the online tutorial / instructions. I adjusted my daisy chain controller setup per the text at the bottom of this post, to include the RGB pixel tree.
  • When I plug my new show / SD card into my Gen 3 mini director with MP3 player, the music plays but nothing happens with the lights.

My question - to get this working (lights and music), do I need to purchase the N2-G4-MP3 director and replace the Gen 3 mini director w/ MP3 player? Do I need to run the traditional lights on a separate network from the RGB? Anything else I need to be aware of? 

 

My current setup: mini director / FM transmitter connected via Cat 5 cable ------>16 channel Controller UID 1 connected to 16 channel Controller UID 2 via Cat 5 cable -----> 16 channel Controller UID 3 via easy light linker (ELL) ---> 16 channel Controller UID 4 via ELL -----> Pixie 8D controller (UID=40) & 16X25 RGB tree via Cat 5 cable.  All connections / controllers are on the same "Regular" network. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matt R said:

OK, so I have the full week off work, and as such, have been spending 8+ hrs a day this week learning how to incorporate my 16X25 RGB tree into my show with my traditional lights / controllers. I watched almost every single video tutorial and read all the PDFs, and was able to successfully generate my own sequences with my traditional lights and combine them with sequences for the 16X25 RGB tree.

 

  • I verified that all qty 4 of my 16 channel traditional controllers (qty 1 CTB16PC, qty 3 LOR1602Wg3) work with last year's "locked" purchased sequences / show for my traditional LED lights.
  • I then wiped the SD card, took my 7 new sequences that I made, using 16X25 LOR tree sequences from superstarlights.com, and created a show using the LOR Hub, per the online tutorial / instructions. I adjusted my daisy chain controller setup per the text at the bottom of this post, to include the RGB pixel tree.
  • When I plug my new show / SD card into my Gen 3 mini director with MP3 player, the music plays but nothing happens with the lights.

My question - to get this working (lights and music), do I need to purchase the N2-G4-MP3 director and replace the Gen 3 mini director w/ MP3 player? Do I need to run the traditional lights on a separate network from the RGB? Anything else I need to be aware of? 

 

My current setup: mini director / FM transmitter connected via Cat 5 cable ------>16 channel Controller UID 1 connected to 16 channel Controller UID 2 via Cat 5 cable -----> 16 channel Controller UID 3 via easy light linker (ELL) ---> 16 channel Controller UID 4 via ELL -----> Pixie 8D controller (UID=40) & 16X25 RGB tree via Cat 5 cable.  All connections / controllers are on the same "Regular" network. 

 

The mini director only has one Network 

You will also need to ensure "control lights" is checked in S5. Depending on which you have first will depend on which controller may respond as long as your initial network is set up correctly.

You will need 2 networks or  3 networks depending.

1- CTB16 Will not play well if at all with Gen 3 controllers

2- Gen3 and ELL's Will play together but an ELL will not run pixel controllers 

3- Gen3 and or 500K ELOR (your pixel tree) Your Pixie will use 8 Unit ID's You will also need the red HS adapter for the pixie. If you can afford at least one spare and at some point switching all to red is a plus. The red adapters are backwards compataible.

Feel free to PM if you would like some additional help with setting things up.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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