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LightORamaDan

Cosmic Color Ribbon Videos

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Well I certainly am impressed. The smoothness of the whole thing is probably the most impressive part to me. However, I just can't bring myself to pay over 200 bucks for this. I would really have to put some thought into what I would use it for because that price for arches is way to much...at least for me. If I had an unlimited budget, I would probably buy about 10 of these.

One thing I would like to ask. I probably could see myself using these to light down the side of the house. However, I don't know how these would work. Is there a way to possibly see a picture or a video of a flood light type application? As an example, if I placed these on the ground and had the light facing up towards the facade of my house, would these light the whole side with an even amount of light?

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Way cool!

Now if they were the size of my windows I'd buy 10 of them!

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Ponddude wrote:

... However, I just can't bring myself to pay over 200 bucks for this. I would really have to put some thought into what I would use it for because that price for arches is way to much...at least for me.

One thing I would like to ask. I probably could see myself using these to light down the side of the house. However, I don't know how these would work. Is there a way to possibly see a picture or a video of a flood light type application?

I was thinking about the cost as I was making the arch for the video. If I made a 8 channel LED arch, I would need 1/2 a controller ($100) and $90-100 of LEDs. On the plus side this arch would be viewable from all sides, but it would not be as bright, it would have 8 segments instead of 50, it would be one color instead of 2 million. would not have the built in macro programming effects, would take much longer to make (it took less than 30 mins to make it starting with two 10' pvc conduits) and would require lots of cables as opposed to pretty much none.

My intention is to wash the left side of my house with these strips as a permanent part of my lanscape lighting. I plan to mount them under the eaves. Right now I have two halogen spots that do a terrible job. There is simply too much interference from the plantings. These strips are definitely bright enough and the color control should be interesting. The strips have stand-alone eeproms that are twice as large as previous LOR controllers.

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Very Cool but, I'd be interested in seeing the Lightorama sequencing to see how much work it would be to sequence it properly...

Very Nice though!!!

-Evan

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Ponddude wrote:

I would really have to put some thought into what I would use it for because that price for arches is way to much...at least for me. If I had an unlimited budget, I would probably buy about 10 of these.



I was thinking the same. Arches look best in multiples with, in my opinion, three being the minimum. That would be about $750 delivered to add arches to my display.

I guess this year's wow factor won't be in my middle class budget. Sadly, I see this as the trend going forward.

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NWSanta wrote:

Very Cool but, I'd be interested in seeing the Lightorama sequencing to see how much work it would be to sequence it properly...

Very Nice though!!!

-Evan


Just watched the videos...



I just told my wife - "We're in big trouble!"

Get the second mortgage ready. I need several of these.



I, too, would like to see some sample sequence files (or screen shots) to see what's involved. I think I "get" the multiple channels and macros - but I'd like to figure out how many extra LOR channels would be needed to do what I have in mind with say, six CCRs. (I know the answer is "depends on what you have in mind - but if that demo shown in the video is done in LOR sequence editor - I'd love to see that - as it would allow me to answer my questions)



Great Job - keep 'em coming!

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Love the look of the Cosmic Cable, but I really don't understand the channels involved.

Since the cable comes with a 150 channel controller, I'm assuming it can link with the rest of my display and show up as an extra 150 channels in my LOR software - except that would be a total pain (140 channels is hard enough to handle now).

So I guess that's where macro-mode comes in. The confusion seems to be whether the "3 channles" used for, say, a single-color right leap come from the CC controller or my other channels.

So I think what we are not understaning is: are any of our existing channels ever needed to run the CC, or does its controller handle the entire cable.

Other questions:

1) What is the interface between this controller and my existing CTB16PC network? On the spec sheet, I see a plug going to a power supply going to a controller box. Does the controller box have a Cat 5 connector?

2) Looks like there are surface mount ICs on the cable (I think I see one with gull-wing pins). In my experience flex circuit cables don't hold up very well. Sure, the ones that connect your laptop display are great, but they always have the same flex radius and don't have parts attached to them. I have the following concerns :

* UV. Will the flex board become brittle? Will UV cause the clear cover to become discolored or cloudy?

* Moisture. Internal condensation will happen. Has long term testing addreseed this?

* Flexibility. Since the LEDs are mounted on the wide side of the cable, how tight of a radius can you have if you want to, say, outline a window? To keep the LEDs visible, the bend would have the be about the wide part of the cable. I can't imagine a very tight radius in that direction. In my experience, if a flexi circuit cable is ever crimped, it WILL eventually fatigue and tear.

* Repair. When the cable becomes damagaed in, say, the middle, what will the failures look like? Will one half the LEDs simply stop working? Will the whole thing go out? Will LOR have repair services? If not, will LOR sell the cable only (no controller) if mine goes bad?

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tsrail wrote:

NWSanta wrote:
Very Cool but, I'd be interested in seeing the Lightorama sequencing to see how much work it would be to sequence it properly...

Very Nice though!!!

-Evan


Just watched the videos...



I just told my wife - "We're in big trouble!"

Get the second mortgage ready. I need several of these.



I, too, would like to see some sample sequence files (or screen shots) to see what's involved. I think I "get" the multiple channels and macros - but I'd like to figure out how many extra LOR channels would be needed to do what I have in mind with say, six CCRs. (I know the answer is "depends on what you have in mind - but if that demo shown in the video is done in LOR sequence editor - I'd love to see that - as it would allow me to answer my questions)



Great Job - keep 'em coming!

I will see if we can get some screen shots of the sequence. I belive that only 7 channels were used in the demo. I am going to try and explain a bit more in the next post.

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Since the cable comes with a 150 channel controller, I'm assuming it can link with the rest of my display and show up as an extra 150 channels in my LOR software - except that would be a total pain (140 channels is hard enough to handle now). Yes it links into the network like any other controller.

So I guess that's where macro-mode comes in. The confusion seems to be whether the "3 channles" used for, say, a single-color right leap come from the CC controller or my other channels. The first 150 channels in the controller directly address the RGB LEDs on the string. You have complete of each of the 50 pixels. Starting with channel 151 there are 7 effects channels. In the demo videos, only those 7 channels were used (I think!).

So I think what we are not understaning is: are any of our existing channels ever needed to run the CC, or does its controller handle the entire cable. As mentioned above you can address the 150 channels directly or you can use the macro channels so to work at a higher level.

Channel 151 - Sets resolution to 1, 2, 5, 10, 16, 17, 25 or 50 pixels

Channel 152 - Set Macro Effect like "Fill Left to Right", "Fill Right To Left", "Ends to Center", "Center to Ends', ....

Channel 153 - Number of pixels in a group

Channel 154 - Fill position - for example: An intensity of 10% would fill the string 1/10 of the way. When you see those fast jumps , it is just a quick fade on or fade off on channel 154.

Channel 155 - Color effect

Channel 156 Speed of color effect

Channel 157 Intensity of color effect.

1) What is the interface between this controller and my existing CTB16PC network? On the spec sheet, I see a plug going to a power supply going to a controller box. Does the controller box have a Cat 5 connector? Two CAT5 connectors so it can be daisy chained like any other controller.


2) Looks like there are surface mount ICs on the cable (I think I see one with gull-wing pins). In my experience flex circuit cables don't hold up very well. Sure, the ones that connect your laptop display are great, but they always have the same flex radius and don't have parts attached to them. I have the following concerns : {a bunch of issues followed.... }

The ribbon has been tested and it is pretty tough but they should be handled carefully and tied down well so they do not slam around in the wind. On the spec sheet it mentions bending radius and like the bend on an arch it has a 3' bend radius but when wrapped around a pole it has a 3" bend radius.

They come with a 2 year warranty which will cover them against any of the issues you mentioned.

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Ok I'm officially in trouble. I just forwarded the sale/video page to my Wife expecting a full on "No" from her and she said oooo those were pretty cool how many are we getting?

Yup I'm in trouble.


-Evan

Like to see the sequencing screenshot before I commit...

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WOW.....cool stuff, but I can see a nightmare drawing the animation in the editor......

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LightORamaDan wrote:



The ribbon has been tested and it is pretty tough but they should be handled carefully and tied down well so they do not slam around in the wind. On the spec sheet it mentions bending radius and like the bend on an arch it has a 3' bend radius but when wrapped around a pole it has a 3" bend radius.


Dan,

Would it be possible to place one CCR on two pieces of PVC to create two mini arches from one ribbon versus just one arch? The reason I ask is that I have a fairly small yard and I'm not sure If I have room for two 16' arches. I was thinking about two 8' pieces of PVC. Would the ribbon be flexible enough to bend like this?

I'm not sure how the pre-set effects would work in this configuration, but I thought I would ask just the same.


Garrison

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The strips have stand-alone eeproms that are twice as large as previous LOR controllers.



What you eluding to. are the larger eproms providing more light or more likely not to burn up. bigger is better for longevity...??

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NWSanta wrote:

Ok I'm officially in trouble. I just forwarded the sale/video page to my Wife expecting a full on "No" from her and she said oooo those were pretty cool how many are we getting?

Yup I'm in trouble.


-Evan

Like to see the sequencing screenshot before I commit...

LOL.. ok, I just forward the pages to my boss. He looked at it, called me to his office. Tommorrow he is placing the order

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Would it be possible to place one CCR on two pieces of PVC to create two mini arches from one ribbon versus just one arch? The reason I ask is that I have a fairly small yard and I'm not sure If I have room for two 16' arches. I was thinking about two 8' pieces of PVC. Would the ribbon be flexible enough to bend like this? I'm not sure how the pre-set effects would work in this configuration, but I thought I would ask just the same.


I too would like to have smaller arches. Can the cable be cut and extended with four lead wire and resealed? I hear "Void warranty" coming!


Anyone else wondering why 50 was selected instead or 32(96) or 64(192) pixels?


Do two ribbons chasing end to end look like a continuous effect?

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LightORamaDan wrote:


Since the cable comes with a 150 channel controller, I'm assuming it can link with the rest of my display and show up as an extra 150 channels in my LOR software - except that would be a total pain (140 channels is hard enough to handle now). Yes it links into the network like any other controller.

So I guess that's where macro-mode comes in. The confusion seems to be whether the "3 channles" used for, say, a single-color right leap come from the CC controller or my other channels. The first 150 channels in the controller directly address the RGB LEDs on the string. You have complete of each of the 50 pixels. Starting with channel 151 there are 7 effects channels. In the demo videos, only those 7 channels were used (I think!).

So I think what we are not understaning is: are any of our existing channels ever needed to run the CC, or does its controller handle the entire cable. As mentioned above you can address the 150 channels directly or you can use the macro channels so to work at a higher level.






Complete control of the 150 channels? That to me at least sounds like a color picker is not in the works???

Does this mean that if you choose to not use the macro function then we have to program 50 channel red, 50 green and 50 blue?

Please tell me it isnt so! Tell me you have an S2 upgrade where I can view it as one 50 channel controller and choose colors!!!

Just in case:

If that is not the case, will I be able to sequence this with aurora? I have several chases with my firefly that consist of different colors chasing each other, and it doesnt look like the macro effect will be able to address this and doing it for 150 individual channels seems brutal.

(on the 2nd video it looks like some color chases, but hard to tell with the video, can you post the sequence so we can look at it?)

If you tell me you will have a color picker in time for christmas I will wholeheartedly back LOR and replace my 4 firefly arches with 4 of these babies........(but if you dont then I will have to think)

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rickharp wrote:

The strips have stand-alone eeproms that are twice as large as previous LOR controllers.



What you eluding to. are the larger eproms providing more light or more likely not to burn up. bigger is better for longevity...??


EEPROMs are memory devices. In the case of the LOR controller, they hold the firmware that runs the controller; it is analagous to the hard drive on your laptop. For instance, a recent update included routines that enable the external inputs. The firmware can only be as large as the EEPROM that holds it. I don't know how full the EEPROM on the LOR boxes is, but it ultimately limits the numer of new features the box can support.

The CCR has a larger memory. Because the CCR ultimately is a 150 channel device, and must have much more sophisticated firmware, it stands to reason the EEPROM must be larger than the LOR boxes. Hopefully, the EEPROM has a fair amount of unused space for future enhancements.

As to the notion of the EEPROM providing more light, it doesn't work that way. The max lumens of the lights are decided by the external circuitry. In fact, the channels in the CCR are much different and simpler than the channels in your LOR box. Your LOR controller was all about power per channel - and potentially lots of it if you are driving incandescent bulbs. The CCR Controller is a PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) RGB (Red Green Blue) controller. The LEDs are controlled through just a few signals. First, an LED in the series is addressed, then it is told what color and intensity it needs to be. This is done through a series of pulses. Each of the LEDs in the strip is controlled in this fashion, and all 150 are updated in the blink of an eye. Because each channel controls exactly one tri-color LED, the controller is extremely low power (I believe it runs on 12VDC).

RGB LED ribbon is often used by car enthusiasts for lighting the underside of their cars. The strip is only a few feet long and encased in solid plastic. The controller is in the car and is used to change the color.

If you Google "RGB LED Ribbon", you will see that you can buy this by the reel, and controllers are also widely sold. The LOR version is unique in that it is made to work with the LOR controllers. Based on pricing I have seen, the LOR CCR is not a bad deal - especially at the current sale price. I'm still concerned about the long term life, though. Granted, anything installed under a car should be pretty rugged, but we will be flexing them, and subjecting them to pretty extreme weather conditions. I still worry about UV effects.

To see how the controller works, Google "RGB PWM Controller". Atmel has an interesting white paper on the subject.

By the way, in researching the subject, I answered one of my own concerns. It appears that - like Rope Lights - the LED strips are made up of smaller strips that are connected at the ends (usually soldered together). So if your 16ft CCR were to fail due to too tight a radius or someone stepping on it (OUCH!), I think that section would be damaged only. It should be possible to open the plastic and replace the failed portioc of the strip with a replacement section, then re-close the plastic. Everything I have seen points to the idea that most vendors of this LED ribbon follow the same spec, so they should be interchangable.

This defnitely marks the Next Generation for light displays - basically blowing right past LED strings. One (non recession-friendly) application that comes to mind with the CCR is running about 7 or 8 of them in parallel in order to create text displays (basically a long dot-matrix display). Imagine scrolling messages during your show ("Tune To", song titles, lyrics). A 16-foot sign is a little overkill, though.

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LightORamaDan wrote:


So I guess that's where macro-mode comes in. The confusion seems to be whether the "3 channles" used for, say, a single-color right leap come from the CC controller or my other channels. The first 150 channels in the controller directly address the RGB LEDs on the string. You have complete of each of the 50 pixels. Starting with channel 151 there are 7 effects channels. In the demo videos, only those 7 channels were used (I think!).

So I think what we are not understaning is: are any of our existing channels ever needed to run the CC, or does its controller handle the entire cable. As mentioned above you can address the 150 channels directly or you can use the macro channels so to work at a higher level.

Channel 151 - Sets resolution to 1, 2, 5, 10, 16, 17, 25 or 50 pixels

Channel 152 - Set Macro Effect like "Fill Left to Right", "Fill Right To Left", "Ends to Center", "Center to Ends', ....

Channel 153 - Number of pixels in a group

Channel 154 - Fill position - for example: An intensity of 10% would fill the string 1/10 of the way. When you see those fast jumps , it is just a quick fade on or fade off on channel 154.

Channel 155 - Color effect

Channel 156 Speed of color effect

Channel 157 Intensity of color effect.




Piecing together other information, it appears there are 150 'light sources', each of which has 3 color elements in it. So 3 of these 'light sources' make up a 'pixel', correct? And a 'pixel' would be a 'dash' rather than a 'point'?

The macro effects sound very promising, but I notice that it does not appear that there is any specification of which color(s) to use for them in the 7 'macro' channels. It sounds like to add one of these to my display, I would need to allocate 157 channels in the sequencer, correct?

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John Hertig wrote:

LightORamaDan wrote:

Piecing together other information, it appears there are 150 'light sources', each of which has 3 color elements in it. So 3 of these 'light sources' make up a 'pixel', correct? And a 'pixel' would be a 'dash' rather than a 'point'?

Yes, a pixel at its finest resolution looks to be a dash. Guess that menas that multiple CCRs in parallel wouldn't create dot-matrix sign. I can't tell if this is an initial limitation of the sequencing software or the mini-controller on the ribbon segment itself.

By the way, my previous post suggested that this cable was standard and that a damaged section could be replaced by off-the-shelf cable. I take that back. In standard RGB ribbon, the whole length is a pixel. The addition of that rectangular black IC allows each section to be individually addressable. Pretty cool. I do still believe that a damaged section of the CCR can be re-spliced with a replacement section from another.

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Wow. I was trying to figure out how many extra LOR boxes I would need to drive these suckers. Now I get it -- the strip is it's OWN 157+ channel controller?!? So each pixel can show up as a channel in the Sequence editor (if I want to program that granularly)? That is AWESOME.



I think I'd use the macro effects most of the time, but not having to spare any the limited LOR controller channels is great.

I'm thinking that 6 of these strips "bent" in half at the top would make a sweet ~8' high, 12-spoke, mid-sized Mega Tree.

...I guess my 6 month hiatus from working on light-stuff is over.

Thanks, LOR.

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