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Daryl

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Everything posted by Daryl

  1. I just looked in my Pixie user manual, and LOR has the UCS1903 listed as the same as the WS2811 chip, provided I'm reading the chart correctly. Daryl
  2. This is pretty long winded, but I'm all about making putting lights up the easiest way possible. All of my lights are attached to the house or lay on the roof. For my A/C LED lights, I made a jig from a 16ft 2x4 with one 4in long bolt on one end and a 4in long bolt at various distances down the length of the 2x4. I measured how long I needed a particular string of lights. and put a bolt in the 2x4 at that length. I secured the plug of the light string to the end bolt and wrapped the light string around the other bolt at the distance I needed and continued wrapping to the end of string which was normally about three times around and tucked the end plug in the wires of the string. BTW, I use red, white, blue, and green in my display. Then I took the next color light string and wrapped it right on top of the first one. No cutting of the individual light strings which destroys the string (A/C LEDs). I did this for all 4 colors. Then I took velcro one-wrap and wrapped all four colors of lights together in a bundle at the ends at the bolts and every 18-24 inches in between. All of my AC LED strings I use 50, 70, or 100 bulb strings. The length of string depends on the actual length I needed for a particular section. To hang the lights, I use different sizes of coffee cup hooks screwed into the wooden soffets along the roof lines and grab the bundle of lights that already has all four colors bundled together for that section and hook the light strings to the cup holders. Cup hooks stay up all year long. Run the extension (zip cord) cords to the light strings (for each color) which are also custom lengths from the controller to the light strings and bundled together using velcro and held up in place by, you guessed it, more cup hooks. All extension cords and light string bundles are labeled where they go and what they're plugged into. The hooks are even labeled so I know which extension cord bundle go to which cup hook Every year I pull out a bundle of light strings with all four colors, plug the lights into an extension cord make sure they work and go hang four strings of lights at one time. Makes it nice when your up on an extension ladder at the 2nd story roof line. If one string, needs replaced, I pull out the 2x4 board, undo the velcro, take out the bad string, rewrap the lights around the bolts, put the velcro back on and done. No cutting and replacing zip ties and the velcro allows for some movement among the light strings if needed. I've been using the same velcro pieces for nine years, with exception of one or two pieces lost. I use this same concept to hang lights in a tree. Instead of using cup hooks, I use longer pieces of velcro when bundling that will go around a tree branch or trunk. Lay lights in position, wrap velcro around branch and done. Stays secured all season and easy removal with no damage to tree. I use the big Christmas tree storage bins from Walmart to store the lights and extension cords. I lay them in and use pieces of cardboard in between the layers of lights and extension cords. No untangling of lights or cords, and since everything is labeled I know exactly where a string or lights go and which bundle of cords to use, no guessing if an extension cord is long enough or too long. No guessing which cord to plug into which controller, everything is labeled. Diagrams and spreadsheets are a life saver for trouble shooting. If a light string isn't working, my spreadsheet will tell me what circuit it is, which extension cord it is suppose to be plugged into and which controller is controlling that string of lights. If a A/C light string doesn't work, check the fuses in the plug. I have found with heat/cold contractions that the fuses can move or get knocked out of position in the plug and lose contact. This has worked for me and I like the look of lots of lights without physically having lots of lights and the lights don't have to be pointed a certain direction. Some may not like this look, but everyone has their likes and dislikes Obviously this doesn't work so well with RGB lights. I am planning in using the plastic pixel light strips hooked to the cup hooks on my roof line when I start using RGB pixels but haven't got that far into the pixels yet to know how well it will work. Bottom line, plan, plan ,plan and document, document, document. No one way is better than another. If it works for you, do it. You might use a hybrid of several ideas or find a better way after you designed or built something, keep an open mind. Daryl
  3. To piggyback on what everyone already mentioned, A good thing to to start with is planning and drawing out your display setup. Document everything in every element of your display. 1. From where each light string will be placed in your display (including its bulb count and/or string length and it's start and end points). How are you hanging the lights and what materials do you need? 2. Where will each extension cord for each light string run from the controller to the light string (determines the length required for each extension cord for each light string. Use a tape measure.). 3. Where will each controller be positioned in the display which determines the extension cord length to power each controller and the length and number of data cables between controllers in addition to #2 above. 4. How are you going to label light strings, extension cords, controllers? i.e. colored zip ties, permanent markers, custom labels, different colored data cables (for multiple networks, DMX universes)? 5. Add a little more extra to everything you think you need, especially time. It always takes more time than you thought it would. Extra extension cords, spare light strings, data cable, and a spare controller if you can afford it. You know you will eventually want grow your display or will have hardware failures, so the extras won't go to waste. When you have a written plan/diagram, its easier to reference later when troubleshooting or expanding your display. 6. Getting the PRO license is a good decision, especially if you want to eventually get into pixels. If you buy sequences, buy the editable ones. You will likely have a little different setup in your display compared to what the sequence was originally created for. This doesn't directly help with your original question in what you need from LOR necessarily, but does help in overall planning and the required items you will need. Better to know what you need first, then order/buy the equipment. This is an expensive hobby, how much more will it cost have another controller, data cable, or extension cord shipped separately because you forgot something? How many of us has bought materials without a accurate drawing or written plan then find out we needed more extension cords, wire, controllers, or data cable because we under-estimated the distance between the controller and light string or between different controllers? I started out with a 128 channel A/C controller package and spent nearly two years planning and building props before my first show went live. I'm a little meticulous and methodical when creating/designing new things. Call me weird, but it works for me and the only thing that matters is that you are happy with your display and how you created and made it work. Daryl
  4. I'm in the same boat Jim, gotta figure which classes to go to. I know I'm doing the RGB workshop with Drew on Monday. Went to his in 2018, but haven't ventured into it yet plus it sounds like he has some new material with all the new updates/upgrades since then. Daryl In Hot as Hell Las Vegas, NV
  5. Well let's see.... I live in Las Vegas and I have already paid for it. Guess I better stay healthy and go. Daryl
  6. I have used the EDM (without RDS) transmitter for 7 seasons. Works very well although one year I had a lot of interference and had to find a different frequency to use. Only problem I have had is I cracked the power supply case near one of the prongs that go into the outlet and had to epoxy it back together. Daryl
  7. Would velcro work? The kind the has the hook on one side and the loop on the other, can't think what it called now. I have use it to hold lights on window frames and lights in a tree. I love it because its adjustable, flexible, reusable and I cut it to the length I need. I have been using the same velcro strips to hold bundles of lights together and to objects for 8 years now. Some of them are getting brittle from the dry heat here in the desert, but at least its easy to replace. Just my two cents
  8. USB "key" also known as a dongle. As TheDucks said, some business (usually small business) software allows the software to be installed on multiple computers but must have the dongle plugged in on the computer in order to open the software on that computer. Supposedly helps prevent license piracy. I have some embroidery software that uses it. Having an internal USB on my computer would free up an external USB port.
  9. Don't confuse yourself....pixels and RGB's refer to the same thing. I think you meant to say RGB pixels for chasing effects and LED's with a residential AC controller to perform basic on/off and fade effects. But yes, a blended setup is absolutely possible. I believe that is how most are gradually converted to RGB's. You just need to make sure your configurations are correct.
  10. The residential controller you are referring to is for LED/incandescent lights only. RGB lights, aka CCR's and bullet/bulb pixels, do require in entirely different controller and are not interchangeable. Software will be necessary for programming and editing. Strongly suggest upgrading to the PRO version with either of the S4 or S5 LOR software. If you want to use speakers, that's OK, outdoor speakers are best for the weather that you live in. Consider getting FM transmitter to broadcast to car radios. Helps keep neighbors happy if you are playing music outside too loud. Cabling, includes lots of extension cords in addition to CAT5 cables. Extension cords to power controllers and extension cords from controller to actual light strings is needed if more than a couple of feet from the controller which is almost always the case. Suggest SPT wire (zip cord) and vampire plugs for extension cords between controller and light strings. Lights... many use big box store lights just avoid Martha Stewart brand lights. They're not rated as dimmable and have been reported to catch fire if they are dimmed. LED's are better than incans. There are numerous vendors that sell reputable LED's. Bulbs versus bullet style lights is all personal preference. Although maybe a bit more expensive, I got all of mine from Creative Displays. Best time to buy from them is after the holidays during their big sale. If you go RGB lights and controllers, there are several vendors selling them too, LOR is one of them with excellent customer service and quality products. Avoid mixing where you get RGB lights from as not all manufactures wire the light strings the same and can cause issues.. Arches and light chasing IS possible with regular AC controllers and lights. You just break up the arches into sections (channels) to create the chase when sequencing. You can even do chases on roof lines and other such areas if you them break up into multiple sections. The more sections you have the smoother the chase looks but I have done some using just three sections. I was going to attach a video but its too large for uploading. I can refer you to my youtube channel if you wish, I just haven't been to it in awhile so I dont know if it's still there
  11. I have 13 AC controllers running all LED lights and I use two 20amp GFI circuits which I know is more than needed but I wanted to make sure I had room to grow in the future.
  12. Info on the Christmas Expo is at ChristmasExpo.com If you're asking if I'm the Daryl that owns Christmaslightshow.com....no that's not me. I think they're out of Tennessee. I'm just another crazy one that got bit by the computerized light show bug and tries to find enough time/money to make it happen each year.
  13. I'm not in AZ but just up the highway in Vegas. There are a few of us here. It won't help you this year but the Christmas Expo will be in Vegas next July. If you haven't been to one, I think you could benefit to go if you can.
  14. How tall are your trees? I'm thinking of using RGB netting to wrap around my one tree and use Velcro or zip ties to hold it in place. Once the pixels are pushed into the netting, its just a matter of wrapping around the trees and plugging them in. May have to use more than one section of netting depending on the height your of trees. Daryl
  15. Did they take out the "Play Range" under the Play tab in the S5 sequencer editor? I'm still using S4, and I use the play range of "Visible Screen" a lot
  16. I'm not using RGB's at the moment so I can't be for certain, but I heard there is a way to lower the brightness of the lights in the sequence editor without affecting the actual RGB color. I'm sure someone else with knowledge can advise better.
  17. Getting in here late, but what kind of controllers are you using, pixel or AC controllers? If using AC controller to control incan or LED light strings, get a pair of Easy Linker wireless modules. Put in inside the house connected to your LOR 485 converter and hook the other to a controller on outside of house and done, no wires running through the wall or window. Also protects computer from lightning and power surges since no physical connection. If you are running lots of pixels and RGB's, this likely won't work but or bandwidth limitations. Daryl
  18. I get my SPT plugs from Creative Displays during their pre order sale at the beginning of the year. I see ChristmasLightShow.com has the female inline SPT-1 plugs for $6.00 pkg/10. I prefer the ones from Creative Displays but they are more expensive. Daryl
  19. Extension cords for light strings or for powering controllers? I use SPT1 for light strings and buy in 1000 ft spools Daryl
  20. I use Christmas tree storage bins from Walmart. They are kind of pricey but they have wheels on one end so I can wheel them around and they can be stacked. I put all of my lights and extension cords (SPT2) in 5 or 6 bins. Also when I put the lights in, I coil them up and put cardboard in between the layers so they don't tangle as much.
  21. Yes they are the GE ones? Sounds like these will work just fine Thanks for the responses
  22. No, they don't say that they are. I don't want twinkles but hope they are dimmable.
  23. Has anyone used the 6inch spheres with 50 LED lights in their display? I just bought eight of them and wondered if there would be an issue with them fading up/down using an AC controller. I couldn't find anything in the safety documents if they are dimmable or not and only that the bulbs are non-shunted type.
  24. I currently have 208 DIY custom length cords. My setup is different from others here as I keep all my controllers in two custom made plywood boxes that I put on the garage roof (for security and vandalism purposes as I have two schoolbus stops in front of my house). Then I run the extension cords out from one central location. I have bundled the cords together based on location of props (beginning of light strings) and the controller that they come from. Each bundle is numbered and I have marked the bundle number the underside of the eaves the near the cuphooks that hold the bundles along the path the cords will hang. Each bundle is held together with Velcro onewraps about every two-three feet. This allows me to easily replace cords (which I have not had to do), reuse the Velcro, and the cords can slide as needed to connect to controllers/lights and make turns/bends. Number of cords per bundle is 8-16. Each cord is labeled on each plug end using a label maker and metallic label tape. The male plug ends have the controller ID (1-1, 1-12, 10-4, etc) on it, and the female end has a light string code (Left RE-R, Left RE-Grn, LW-Blue, etc) so I can easily locate, run and plug in each bundle of cords quickly. All of my lights are bundled similarly. Each color of light strings around a particular prop, say a window, are bundled together with their plugs labeled the same as the female ext cord bundles (Left RE-R, Left RE-Grn, LW-Blue, etc). Just match the plugs together and connect them. I can have my entire display up by myself in about 4-5 days depending on how energetic I am for that day. I store everything all bundled up as well. When I pull the display out for the season, I know where each light string bundle and ext cord bundle goes and hang them as a group and not individual strings or cords. Diagrams, spreadsheets and pictures are all helpful. As my display is very compact on a two story house and not spread out over a large area, this system works for me.
  25. I keep my controllers (13) in two plywood boxes I made that I put on the roof. Keeps controllers mostly centralized, out of the weather, and off the yard reducing chances of vandalism and theft. Show computer is in a spare bedroom and wirelessly connected to controllers. I use an FM transmitter to get the audio to cars outside (no outside speakers). I can email you pics if requested.
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