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Hello-

I am interested in doing a computer controlled music synchronized display next year. I would probably use Light O Rama because it seems that what everyone on here uses. I have a couple of questions though. Which one of the controllers is a good one to start with, i would most likely want it outside? I already have a dedicated 40 amps of power. I dont want an out of control display, just one that would get peoples attention. Does every controller work with the music program, and do you have to buy that software seperetley? I would want it to hook up on my laptop if that makes a difference. What is a static display? Can you not power your display if it is raining out?

Thanks for the help...:D


-Ben

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Ben,

First, welcome to PC!

As for your question... I would suggest that you dig through the archives with the search function to find some of the answers to your questions. You're not the only one asking these questions. Take a look at what others have said, then ask any specific questions you can't find answers to.

J.

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To echo what Jeremy said, there is some great information out there.

Try the LOR Support Site, or the LOR Wiki ... both of which have more than enough information to answer your questions.

Static, btw, referrs to a display that is not controlled by computer.

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I agree with looking at other questions on here, but also I'd say start with 16 or 32 channels. I started out with 16 this year and am going up to 32 for next year. One thing I want to say though, is think how much "stuff" you have to put out next year (ie. lights, blowups, cutouts, etc) and think how much of that you want to animate. for me, it was easy, I had to build EVERYTHING this year so I started with 16 channels. You may ask is 16 enough? for me, yes, for others no, but you need to start out with what you are comfortable with. Obviously, the more channels you get, the more you can do, HOWEVER, the more channels you have, the more time it will take to program everything and set it up.

I would personally purchase the SHOWTIME controllers from LOR, at least for the first time so you can see what they look like inside then if you want to build yourself you know what your looking at. These are all built for you so it's basically plug and play. The hobby boards and DIY, you have to add the extension cords and enclosure yourself and the DIY is literally that, you get the parts and you build it. For me, it was easier getting a controller already built and the showtime controllers work just fine outside. Also, if you do decide to buy LOR, then the first order, order a "package" from their website, it includes controller(s), software, ethernet cable, and a connector. I upgraded to the USB connector myself, but use whatever you want.

"Does every controller work with the music program, and do you have to buy that software seperetley?"

I'm not sure what you are saying by this. If you mean, if you purchase a controller and the software and then you want to add another controller will it work fine, then yes. You just set it to the next ID (unit 1 is 01 next unit is 02, etc) and it will work fine.

As far as powering in the rain, I did all the time this past year. I never had a problem with it. If you have GFCI outlets, you might have problems, but mine was just plugged into a normal plug and, like I said, I never had a problem with the lights even though we got plenty of rain in Ohio this past lighting season (that sounds really weird, Ohio and Rain in December...)

Oh yea, welcome to PC, I love it here and love all the help everyone gives.

Rob

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Welcome!

I believe all of your questions can be answered with a little legwork, and perusing these forums, the LOR website, and the LOR Wiki mentioned above.

Good luck!

-Tim

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Pastaboy62 wrote:

Hello-

Which one of the controllers is a good one to start with, i would most likely want it outside?I already have a dedicated 40 amps of power. I dont want an out of control display, just one that would get peoples attention. Does every controller work with the music program, and do you have to buy that software seperetley? I would want it to hook up on my laptop if that makes a difference. What is a static display? Can you not power your display if it is raining out?

Thanks for the help...;)


-Ben



Which one of the controllers is a good one to start with, i would most likely want it outside? - If you can assemble your own, the 1602W with heat shields is a good on to have.



I dont want an out of control display, just one that would get peoples attention. This is controlled by the programmer of the sequence.

Does every controller work with the music program, and do you have to buy that software separately? You have to have a program to sequence and operate the controllers. If you use the MP3 player, you use the Hardware Utility to program the MP3 card.



I would want it to hook up on my laptop if that makes a difference? No, as long as the PC has the capacity to run the program. If you have the MP3 Directors card, you would not need a PC to run the shows.

What is a static display? A static display is one that is "always on". You can either use the LOR to operate the static portion of the display, or use other means (timers) to operate them (or leave them on 24/7).



Can you not power your display if it is raining out? If you wire your display properly, there should be no danger or risk of operating it in wet or rainy conditions. A Ground Circuit Fault Interupter (GCFI) (if used) will protect your equipment and you from risk of electrocution in the event you are grounded in a puddle and playing with bad wiring.



Good Luck - hope this answers your questions.
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