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Favorite Decorating Holiday?

  1. I often see folks wanting to try their hand at RGB, but they're not sure how to install them. The RGB strips are fragile and need support or they'll quickly fail. Unfortunately, that would dictate lots of work, but we wanted a fast, cheap and easy way to mount our RGB strips without punching holes in the siding and we came up with this idea which may or may not help give you some ideas on your installation. Three years ago, we took inexpensive 1"x2" lumber (about $1 ea), ripped them in half to give us 8' sections of 1"x1". We painted, trimmed to length and prepared to wire tie the RGB strips onto the lumber. For the vertical sections mounted on Vinyl siding, we attached paint stir sticks with glue and staples so that we'd have a secure lip. The lip slides under the vertical trim and stays put even in high winds with no damage or holes to the siding. The installation takes seconds and comes down just as easy. (photo). The strips that go around our garage door were nearly as easy. The top has a metal support for the brick which is perfect for our magnets. We countersunk holes about 2' apart, glued in magnets and installed. Again, fast and easy. (Photos). The garage door sides didn't take much either, but did require small holes in the mortar and an outdoor masonry screw (Photo). Storage is easy too. We used waterproof disconnects, gently stack the sticks, bungee cord them together and store them in the basement rafters with the RGB still attached. The roof eaves were a little different. We installed them permanently, leaving the roof eaves installed year round and after 3y, they're still going strong with no issues. For those, we bought a number of 1/8"x1/2"x10' long strips of aluminum from a local metal supply company and drilled small holes every 2'. I hired a tree trimming company to bring in a bucket truck to do the installation because I couldn't easily get to some of our eaves due to our house design and I wasn't about to put ladders on inclined first floor roofs - it's NOT worth risking injury. I handed the bucket truck guy the aluminum strips, some nylon washers to use as a backer, and small screws which went into the facia. The gap from the nylon washers was enough to fasten the RGB strip with wire ties to the aluminum. Our homeowners association hires a management company to do drive through inspections for covenants compliance, and the RGB has never been a problem. It blends in so well, its nearly invisible under the gutters and no one notices. Hope this helps. Safe installations to everyone!
  2. In need of help! I'm trying to control 5v dc motors with LOR. This shouldn't be too complicated. I don't need speed control. Just on and off. I have been told that I need to use relays with motors and can't connect directly to LOR. I have a CMB16D controller, or a Servodog controller that I can use. I also have a 5v relay (sad-05vdc-so-c), as well as a DPDT relay... So I believe I have the right components. I have been playing around trying to wire this up but have had no luck. I'm in over my head! Haha. If anyone has some guidance or instructions you could help me with, I would be so great full. Even if just some generic answers. Thank you!! Dennis
  3. I would like to add a twinkling effect to my light shows his year. Some magic to my Disney sequence. I currently have qty 10 C9 xenon strobes lights that. I purchased from Wow Lights. I love these, but they are so darn expensive. Does anyone have a more cost effective way to do this. I was hoping to find some twinkling LEDs or something like that to work? Thanks! Dennis
  4. Greetings fellow light fanatics! I'm new to the LOR family, having just made the plunge last month. I bought the ShowTime Central package, which gives me access to the basic-plus version with SuperStar Demo, thinking that this gives me everything I need to get started. I also splurged and bought the Plug-N-Show pre-programmed SD card, in case I ran out of time and didn't get to build my own sequences. I shouldn't have worried... In less than two weeks, I've got three sequences completed that will provide an awesome 10 minute show using just the dumb LED light strings that I've been collecting over the past several years. I'm now considering buying an input pup, so that I can have the entire house lit until someone drives up to start the show (I live on a cul-de-sac that gets some drive-by traffic during the holidays, but I don't want to give any of my neighbors an epileptic fit with lights flashing all night long during December). So here's my question: How do I program an SD card with my show to use in my ShowTime Central controller? I've read through what I found online that looked like applicable documentation, and watched several helpful videos about setting up and checking hardware. I've launched the schedule editor on my PC, set-up a schedule to display the sequences, and it runs just fine... on my PC. The step I'm missing in all this is actually programming the SD memory. Does the show scheduler need to see it plugged into the PC to figure out it needs to update the SD memory? Or is there a secret command hidden somewhere that I'm missing? Or, is it as simple as just copying the sequences to the SD card and building the show from there? A little about me... I'm an EE/CS engineer that has been building, and programming, everything from single-board computers to artificial intelligence applications on distributed computing environments, so even if this were rocket science - which it's clearly not - I could probably figure it out. Actually, I'd probably figure it out on my own if I just continue to tinker with it, but it occurs to me that if I'm having problems with this, there's probably at least a couple of other newbies that will benefit from my having asked the question. Thanks in advance for any help or insight anyone has to offer...
  5. I recently converted a snowflake to dumb RGB. Was purchased from a retail Target store. Short video at:
  6. OK - I was truly tempted to title this something like "Getting It UP - there" but I refrained... Three years ago with the building of our Munkhouse Jump Pole for our Mega tree, we did a good job building the pole and placing it in the receiver in the front yard where we attached 32 bands of 25 pixels. Then we tried to raise it up. I appreciated the help from my friends, but the circus clowns have nothing on our Saturday show. Not wanting to see that happen again, I set out to build a lifter that was quick and simple. Harbor Freight provided the 12VDC power winch, The steel shop provided all the necessary materials I needed to weld it together. What we ended up with is a 1 inch steel tube that is guided up between two pieces of angle iron welded to a piece of flat bar about 10 feet long, and this tube is lifted by the help of that winch and cable, and the whole thing is held to the jump pole with two square "U" bolts hugging the pole. The tube pushes under the top plate of the jump pole and up and down it goes, pretty slick. Attached is a picture of the unit on my hand truck (easy to move around), and a video link of it in action. If you have questions I do have other pictures. https://vimeo.com/138952425 Blessings.. Papa
  7. This year i wanted to livestream my display on youtube so that famly members and friends could see the display form other countries, Has anyone on this forum livestreamed their display? I was thinking of using an old CCTV camera and running the wires to an easy cap (RCA to usb converter) and having that run into youtubes livestream feature.
  8. Drew (holidaytechnologies.com) converted my AL controllers to work with the Light o Rama software. He was fast, efficient, and his customer service is incredible. My controllers now work properly with my Light o Rama software and I couldn't be happier in the LOR world. I would highly recommend him for this service if you have AL controllers to convert to LOR. Thanks Drew for all your help.
  9. Hey all, I'm looking at purchasing the CMB24D Controller + 8 RGB single pixel ribbon. The idea is to create a smaller mega-tree with 8 rows, or if it doesn't look dense enough, add to my existing megatree (link below). According to the store info, it requires an external power supply and enclosure. I really have no idea what I'm looking for there. It looks like there's a PSU available on the website here: http://store.lightorama.com/1260waposu.html, is that any good? What enclosures would you recommend? How hard is it for a noob to cable this up? Is soldering required? Is this really the best solution for a "dumb" single-pixel mega tree, or are there better solutions out there (specifically all-in-one, assembled kits, for lazy people like me.) Last-Year's Megatree:
  10. Here's one network that involves most of the current control devices including Guest song voting control from their iPads/smartphones. Thanks BobO ! I drew this to help a friend out the other day and thought I'd share it to help others. The diagram shows how a combination wired and wireless network can overcome most any display obstacle. This design uses the show computer as a bridge allowing the show computer to sit on the home network, but also keeps the display traffic off the home network - which any family will highly appreciate. Some more fortunate folks use two computers - an older one as a show computer and a more powerful one to do their sequencing. This network design allows those folks to remote control their show computer from their programming computer. Use small switches in waterproof enclosures for the E1.31 network in a trunking fashion branching out as needed just prior to the display props in order to minimize the number of CAT-5 Cables. just remember that for good reliable network planning, it isn't recommended to put more than 3 switches in a single line between the display and the computer, but you can probably push it to 4 if you really had to. YRMV (5-4-3 rule). It looks complicated, but it's really not that difficult to put together. However, I wouldn't recommend the DD-WRT wireless client bridge for anyone without significant network knowledge, but it does give you ELL like capabilities on your E1.31 network. Dont forget or neglect your firewalls ! I hope this is helpful to you. What does your network look like?
  11. I want to incorporate some linear actuators into my Halloween show. I have some frightprops controllers, but was hoping to use LOR because the 3 axis skull I have, is using the Servo board. I wanted the linear actuators to open the lid of my column slowly, and then raise the platform of the skull up. One the sequence was finished, I then wanted to lower the platform, and close the lid. So, how should I wire the linear actuators so they can function with LOR, or how can I wire LOR and the frightprops controller together, so at least LOR could trigger the frightprops controller? Thanks in advance for your help.
  12. hi first go at dmx using lor software problem is i made up a test sequence in lor running it though a separate com port (5) though a holiday dongle version 2 into cat5 and into a ray wu 27 channel dmx unit . but the lights are not going on as programmed into lor ,( they are going on all over the 27 channels) but seem to be in a consistant pattern) ) the lor listener is working fine i am getting dmx signal at the dongle (green flashing light) on the controller the red light is flashing has any one had this problem or can solve it for me ? thanks in advance
  13. Good Morning, I have a 64 channel set up. I had no plan or idea when I started. After 4 years I am to the point of starting over with the whole rewiring with extension cords. I have used 3, 6 and 15 foot extension cords. I now know what my basic layout is and will stay. I would like to splice together the different extension cords to meet the length that I will need to get to that part of my layout. Next time I will buy a 1000 foot roll but for right now I need to use what I have. For example I am using 10 15' cords to reach my longest point. I see no problem with splicing the existing cords but thought best to ask. I was also thinking of using the original male and female plugs. Any problem with this idea? Thanks for your suggestion and direction. Later in Life, Mark
  14. I have attached a picture of my display (2014). It was my best display to date (11K, 100% LED, $10 for Electricity ). I have moved away from AirBlown inflatables and Yard Reindeers for a more modernist look. The actual white strands of the house occupied all channels of my Light O rama, whilst the rest was static. Im my personal opinion it looked contemporary, substantial, but not overdone (If thats even possible). However, I keep getting the feeling it was not "just right". Some essence was missing. This year I have purchased a few hundred boxes of Multi LEDs, as I feel the house was too bland with all the white. I have also purchased two 9' trees to go on either side of the 12' tree in the center, around which I will add large presents, and a Merry Christmas Sign so people may take pictures; but what else? I would love your suggestions as to how you would improve this display. I really want it to turn heads. Thanks!
  15. Well, I thought I posted this a few days ago but I think I may have forgot to click submit. Obviously I'm new here, new to LOR as well. I did decorate may home with about 5000 LED lights last year using a Gemmy 6 outlet "controller." It was fun, but I wanted more individual control. So far I have been playing with the LOR software, the only hardware I have is the USB adapter and a CMB24 controller. I'm anxiously awaiting the spring sale so I can get a few AC controllers! As my first project / experiment in this realm I plan to re wire some old solar landscaping lights with 12v rectangular RGB modules (from holiday coro) and control them with the CMB24 (in standalone mode). I have also ordered a 12v/33amp/400watt power supply from holiday coro to power the RGB lights. My question is can the RGB modules be wired in series or do they have to be parallel. For the wiring I have 7 conductor 18 gauge direct burial sprinkler wire - I plan to use one conductor each for RGB and 3 conductors for the common positive (not sure if this is overkill). The total length of this wire would be about 50 feet. It seems to me the most practical way to do this for ease of repair, etc is to splice the male end 4 conductor connectors (also from holiday coro) to the areas in the main wire where I would like to place the lights and attach the other end of the connector to the RGB module / fixture. So this would be wiring the RGB lights in parallel rather than series. Is there any concern about reduced resistance and overloading the modules when wiring in parallel? I only had a few physics classes in college but I believe wiring in parallel actually reduces resistance (although maybe this only applies to actual resistors). It seems the advantage to wiring in parallel vs series would be less resistance and therefore all of the lights should be evenly bright even the one at the end of the line although I know the length of the wire may cause some resistance and some decrease in voltage 50 ft down the line. Anyway It is late and I'm rambling, any advise would be helpful. Thanks. One more thing, does anyone have any experience with the holiday coro "rain proof" power supply I mentioned above? Is it reliable and does it provide consistent voltage?
  16. I'm new here and new to the hobby (although I did use a gemmy "controller" with about 5000 LED lights last year). I have been playing with the software but the only hardware but all I own so far is the CMB24 which I got from the synchronized Christmas spring sale. I'm anxiously awaiting the LOR spring sale so I can get a few AC controllers! I have ordered some dumb RGB lights and rectangular modules from holidaycoro, waiting for those to come. I also have a 12 v, 400w (33 amp) power supply on order. For my first project / experiment I plan to use the RGB modules for landscape lighting - I plan to mount these modules in existing landscape light housing (currently solar and not very good, or colorful!). I have purchased 18 gauge 7 conductor direct burial sprinkler wire. I plan to use one conductor each for RGB and 3 conductors for the common positive. The total length will be about 50 feet. With all that said, my actual question is can these be wired in parallel or do they have to be wired in series? My plan is to use 4 conductor waterproof connectors spliced into the main wire so the at the lights could be easily removed for repairs. It seems that wiring in series would be more difficult as I would have to have a wire in and out of each fixture. Now I vaguely remember from my limited number of college physics classes that wiring in parallel actually decreases resistance, which is a good thing for a longer run of wire (ie the light at the end should still be bright) but will the decreased resistance lead to an overload of the modules? Am I over-thinking this? Also, and maybe this is a question for holidaycoro, do these modules have resistors that prevent overload as long as an appropriate power supply is used? Additional information - I plan to use about 12 modules for this and run it from a single RGB channel on the CMB24. Since the max per channel is 4 amps and it is stated on the holidaycoro website (and I know I need to test it) that 20 modules use only 1 amp with all colors on, using one channel should be no problem. Any suggestions or clarification would be helpful. Thanks Ed
  17. I have an E1.31 network already running and can control it from software. How do I figured out the DMX addresses so I can control it from a DMX controller?
  18. Currently (v3.12.0) to create DMX RGB pixels in the Visualizer you must create them one pixel at a time using the "Single Bulb" tool. This can be difficult if you have a large number of pixels, and since each bulb counts as a fixture in the Visualizer you are limited to 1000 pixels because the Visualizer only allows 1000 fixtures. In the next release of S3 the Visualizer will have a DMX Pixel tool that will make it easier to create DMX pixel strings and since each string counts as a fixture, your only limit will be having 1000 strings instead of 1000 pixels. Until the next release, there is a "back door" method of defining DMX strings using key words in the comment line of a Prop that holds one or more CCR strings. The visualizer will still think it is a CCR, but when imported into SuperStar, SuperStar will treat the CCR as a string of DMX pixels and export them as DMX pixels. The dmx keyword feature in in v3.10.14 and above. If you have an older version then download the latest version by going to the lightorama main page, click on "Support" then click on "S3 Download" then click on the "Download Now" button. There is a new keyword that you can put in the comment line of a Prop that tells superstar that the prop is to be treated as DMX lights. NOTE THE KEYWORD WILL ONLY WORK IN THE COMMENT LINE OF A PROP, IT WILL NOT WORK IN THE COMMENT LINE OF A FIXTURE. If you have a visualization with CCR fixtures you must use the "Add new Prop" tool which is the rightmost button on the Visualizer toolbar. Create a new Prop, add the CCR fixture and then you put the dmx keyword in the comment line of the Prop. The following is an example of how to use this new feature do the following: 1) Launch the Visualizer 2) Click on the "CCR Draw Wizard" tool, this is the one that has a multi-colored circle with a 2 segment line on top of it. (do NOT use the "Draw Cosmic Color Ribbon" tool) 3) Do a click and drag to draw a single line, double click to terminate the line. 4) A dialog box titled "Number of Pixels" will appear, Type in a name for the "Prop (CCR) Name" and then change the number to the total number of pixels in your DMX string. This number can be any number from 2 to 500. In other words, don't worry about having it be more than the number of pixels in a CCR which is 50. In most of my testing I used 60 as the number of pixels in a string. 5) After clicking on OK, a dialog box will appear titled "New/Existing fixture". Use the default which is "Create as many new Fixtures as required (Recommended)" 6) After clicking on OK, the visualizer will create a string that will have one or more CCRs in it, enough to create as many pixels as you specified. Don't worry about defining the Unit IDs for the CCRs, you can leave them undefined because SuperStar will ignore them. 7) On the right side of the visualizer are two buttons labeled "Fixtures" and "Props". Click on the "Props" button and then double click on the prop that you just created. 8) In the comment line of the prop, add the text "superstar dmx=<universe>,<channel>" (do not enter the double quotes into the comment line, just the text inside the double quotes) <universe> is the universe to use for the first pixel of the prop and <channel> is the channel to use for the first pixel of the prop. For example, if you had 6 strings with 60 pixels each, you would add 6 props and you could add the following in the comment line of the props: superstar dmx=1,1 superstar dmx=1,181 superstar dmx=1,361 superstar dmx=2,31 superstar dmx=2,231 superstar dmx=2,410 In the above example, the third string starts with universe=1 and channel=361. SuperStar will automatically bump up to the next universe when it runs out of channels for the current universe. So the last 10 pixels in the third string will use universe 2. Also, as noted earlier, when SuperStar sees the keywords "superstar dmx=" then it ignores the unit id settings in the CCRs that are in the prop and uses the universe, channel settings that you specify. Note that because SuperStar is using the comment line to supporting dmx, you cannot play the exported sequence back to the visualization because the Visualizer doesn't recognize the dmx settings that you placed in the comment line. Also, when superstar exports the dmx strings they may appear to be in random order. This is a bug in superstar. In the Sequence Editor you can reorder the rows by right clicking on them and selecting move up or move down, but you don't have to, it will play to your lights just fine regardless of the order of the rows in the Sequence Editor. Also, this approach was designed for a matrix of DMX RGB pixels. If you use it for a string of DMX RGB pixels that is a part of a larger visualization, it will work, but superstar may place the DMX RGB pixels onto a sequencing row that is out of order in relation to your other lights. As you can tell, when I created this feature I made sure it would basically work but I did not test it well for all situations.
  19. What is the device called that has a 390K resistor in it and plugs into the end of a stand of leds for dimming purposes?
  20. Alright...newb-ish question... I'm going to be using the CMB-24D to power and control the 8-pack of RGB ribbons that LOR sells, (here) but I'm placing this controller further away from my other two controllers that will more than likely control other features of the house. The reason I'm putting this controller further away is so that the wire that comes from each RGB strip will be less than 50 ft away from the controller and will actually light up. My concerns are two-fold: Cat5 over long distance - the cat5 needs to be at least 75-80 ft in order to be daisy chained to the other controllers. Will this be a problem with the data it is sending? Or will it be just fine? Which cat5 should I buy, if it is a problem? [i know I can use the Easy Light Linkers too, but why waste $250 on 8 channels? It's only at most $10 to do Cat5 if I use the correct one.] This CMB-24D is going to be outdoors in frigid California winter temperature. Will this affect the cat5? Is cat5 suitable to be outdoors? It will also be around water/on my roof so... should this be a major concern?Any and all advice, even as simple as it may seem, will definitely help. Thanks a bunch!
  21. Hi, I have a LOR board that does not natively accept DMX. I was planning on using the iDMX1000 as an interface between a DMX control board and my LOR. Would this work the way i want? or does the iDMX1000 ONLY convert LOR protocol to DMX, and not DMX to LOR? Thanks.
  22. Is it possible to wirelessly control LED costumes? I've done it using an arduino microcontroller and xbee transceivers, but it would be much easier with the sequencing editor instead of writing code. Also, has anyone used the sequencing editor with arduino?
  23. I have 4 windows with a perimeter of ~18.3 feet each. Rough dimensions are Height = ~76" and width = ~34". A CCR Pixel segment is 4". Since I could not extend a CCR and address any additional pixels I think my only solution if I wanted to use CCR's on my windows would be to shorten CCR's and utilize 2 per window. But what about using RGB Ribbons? Knowing that a RGB ribbon does not control each pixel individually (dumb pixel), therefore does not need to address a known number of pixels and with adequate power injection if necessary to extend a RGB Ribbon, would it be possible to take pixels (LED Segments) from one RGB Ribbon and add them to the end of another? (I have CCR's, but I do not have any RGB ribbons to examine) Q1: Does an RGB Ribbon have a pixel segment like a CCR that it can be separated at? Q2: If so, What is the length of a segment on the RGB Ribbon? Q3: If adequate power is supplied to the ribbon would it be possible to add pixels to the end of a RGB ribbon to make up the additional 2.3 feed that I need? Q4: Has anyone already extended an RGB Ribbon? Q5: What would be the additional power requirements to extend the additional LED's 2.3 feet? Thanks, Howard
  24. After having an incredibly fun time as newbie last season, I began thinking about how to expand my display and what avenues I could explore next. I'll admit, I've got Christmas fever and I just don't care. Anyways... I was thinking of a way to make my show more...interactive. I thought about taking my old Rock Band Xbox 360 drum set and somehow integrating it into the show. Has anyone done anything similar? Is this a feasible task? [Or, more likely, am I biting off more than I can chew?] Are there other ideas that I should look into first? LightingNewb XMAS 2015 will be my second year doing an LOR show, just an FYI...
  25. our 2014 addition to our animated xmas display www.youtu.beOF2ZWDsxSxA
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