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When I make the first purchase


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Ok, I know that I will be purchasing my first batch of LOR controllers in January. But what I would like is some help maybe on what people think I should get. I will be using the hobbiest products. But what I am not totally sure on is, 1, all the units work together correct (can mix ctb8 , 16 and the MC's) with no problem right? Do alot of you use only the 8 channel ones that way your not to limited on where you can put the units and less extension cords that way? Is there any latency if you have a long span between units? Would you recomend always getting it with the heatsink, or should I save a little money if not needed? And I guess these lasst two are for Dan, why can you only buy heatsinks for the 8 channel controllers? And if I purchase the software before the new version comes out next season, does it upgrade for free, or will I have to purchase the new version?

Pondering, JR V.

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The various units can be intermixed without problems. I run 9-16 channel units, 4-8 channel, and 3 MC-P driving SSRs and low voltage units. If at sometime you are coming to the coast and want to see a LOR system in action let me know. I am current running 290 channels of LOR, DIO and X-10.

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As previously mentioned, you can mix all the controller types. However, I liked standardizing on 16-channel units (could as easily have been 8-channel units) - that way my controllers are interchangeable. I have a "spare" and I can substitute it anywhere if need be - which is not as easy if you have a mix.

Tim has (I believe) all 8-channel units and it certainly minimized his need for extension cords. All of my display pieces are home-built and when I created them I included extra-long leads on each of the light stings which will reach my LOR units without need for extension cords. Again, just personal preference.

No latency issues depending on distance.

I would get the heatsinks to begin with. Can't hurt to have them, and then you needn't worry about overloading later or having to be more cautious about power loading.

Dan has stated elsewhere that the coming software upgrade will be free to existing users.

Have fun ... it's a great project / hobby which can be shared with so many others.

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JR,

As mentioned before I highly recommend getting the full card with heatsink. I think Dan may have mentioned before that he was going to discontinue selling the cards without the heatsinks. Think of the heatsink as a life insurance policy for your LOR cards!

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Jeff_Womack wrote:

JR,

As mentioned before I highly recommend getting the full card with heatsink. I think Dan may have mentioned before that he was going to discontinue selling the cards without the heatsinks. Think of the heatsink as a life insurance policy for your LOR cards!

K,

I just wasn't too sure about getting all of them with heatsinks. I have a few areas (like perimeter of my house which is 9 strands of C9's) where I was thinking of have each on its own channel that way I could have a chasing effect if I wanted too. Since those are only 1.5 amp per strand that would put me under the requirements. But on the other hand I dont know if I really want to have that many extension cords running the perimeter of my home. I also have 22 spiral trees that I was thinking of putting each on there own channel, those too would be under the req. But, I also look at it like it a lot of you do to (well what is $10.)

I have been using 3 of the Noma Digital Light Controllers for the last 3 or 4 years now and have been use to the ristriction of 3 amps per channel. But I have also hated that restriction too.

Thanks for all the input, and please dont stop. With this being my first time I want to get started on the right foot. With the fact that my display is still growing from day to day and many ideas and thoughts in my head, I just want to make sure I fully understand everything. I hope that someday I can be an asset on PC as many of you have become.

Thanks JR
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Oh another question is I know a while back I saw somewhere on the internet a way to make a LOR look-a-like controller. Has anyone tampered with that and whats there opinions? I guess is it really worth it, from what it sounds like Dan is extremelly great with customer service. Also can you even get the same amps with it?

JR

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Sure, you can make a controller that works like LOR, but it would be worth it to save the headache of engineering the thing.

The part of making the various switching circuits would be relatively easy. You just need to find AC voltage rectifiers that allow for a variable output.

The hard part is engineering the microprocessor portion of the board. I'm guessing they use something similar to a Motorola 68HC11, a common generic kit microprocessor. Once you have that, you need to get some RAM chips, and a ROM chip, then you have to write a program in assembly language, then you have to get the processor, RAM, and ROM to work together in perfect peace and harmony.

Oh, and you'll also have to design the circuit card and get a company to make some for you.

Not to mention the fact that you'd also have to engineer computer softwrae to interface with the device.

I could probably do it, but I'd prefer to save the time, headaches, and up-front expense and just purchase a finished unit.

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