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My desire for beginning this hobby came from Kevin's LAMFO Halloween house. I really want my house traced in RGB ribbons and build from there.

Alright here it goes, I've been very patient considering how overly anxious I've been since ordering all my LOR equipment. So I bought the Showtime Central with 2 controllers and the 8 pack RGB ribbon, 3 RGB 10W floods with CMB24. Basically I'm wanting to replace my roof lights with RGB ribbon. I've searched probably a 1000 threads and 100's of videos to try and figure out what more I need to get going. So let me begin by asking where do I get a 12v power supply for my CMB24 and what else will I need in order to get ribbons and floods working? Next I'm wondering what is the best way to mount ribbon lights? Seems to me that double sided tape stuck to my eves would work, however I'm not sure how well the ribbons will bend on my roof points. Please, if you guys could help get me going it would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure of how many channels I'll need to basically keep all ribbons in sequence and floods on a different sequence. I'm posting a pic of my house so you guys can see my roof LED's that I'm wanting to replace with RGB ribbons. Please go easy on bashing me, seems all the threads I've been searching answer different questions of the 100's that I've really got....

Thanks in advance

post-9789-138890127279_thumb.jpg

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For your DC board, you want an enclosure and power supply...plus other hardware. The ribbons and floods you purchased from LOR should have come with a short open end pigtails. You will use that to connect to the DC board and have the connector ends hanging out if the enclosure. I carry the enclosure and PS and you can see pictures of how my built DC controllers look. The hardware part is nut, bolts, screws, stand-offs, mounting board, ect. Stuff you can get from your local hardware store.

For mounting the ribbons....there are several different ways discussed here. I personal attach mine to 1/2" PVC with either small tie-wraps or Velcro. Careful not to crank down to hard with the ties. Just measure your roof line or wherever you are going to install them and cut the PVC to the length of the ribbons. Use PVC fittings (dry fit) if the runs turns to keep all together. I then mounted "gripper clips" to my roof line (spaced about ever 4'). The clips are like old school broom handle brackets. Once you have all the clips mounted and ribbons attach to the PVC...just snap in. Easier to have 2 people...one on each end being 16' long pieces. If you can walk along your roof line, that will be easier for 1 person.

For making sharp turns (90 degree), you can cut the ribbon at the cut points and solder 4 short wires between or use solderless connectors. Some don't like the solderless connectors. I've used them many times and never had problems, but I live in SoCal and weather is not an issue. Just make sure you protect them with silicone and heat shrink. I carry the solderless connectors too. I would first try without cutting. Have the ribbon gradual bend at the peaks.

One more thing...mount your DC controller so all your ribbons cable reaches the controller. You may need to extend the cables. LOR sells them in 10' lengths. The type I carry will NOT fit LOR cables.

http://store.creativelightingdisplays.com

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Thank you guys for the quick responses!

Kevin thank you for the PVC clip idea! Not to be cheesy, I feel like I'm speaking to the Babe Ruth of Christmas light decorating, in writing sequences for sure!!! Thanks for responding! I work shift work and read a lot last night (slow work night) and ended up ordering a PS off of eBay. Oddly, I googled RGB with PS enclosure last night while at work, clicked on images and unknowing of your website cheated from your images on ordering my PS. I will be purchasing solderless clips from you and I'm sure who knows what else down the road. I'm sure once I get started mounting and having issues as I go along, more questions will appear. The only one can think of at the moment is you say "cut to length" on ribbon, but say I'm a few feet short can I add to a 16' RGB in order to finish say a 20' run using one of my scrap pieces? Also I live in Deep South Louisiana (45 min from Gulf of Mexico) think solderless clips will hold up?

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If your ribbon is IP65 rated,  I would lay it in a bead of low odor silicon,  the back side isn't very weather proof  in Wisconsin.  Solderless connectors don't work here either.  Adding 4' to a ribbon should be ok.  Adding a full second ribbon to the end is going to have issues at the far end from the power.  Best to supply power where two ribbons meet together.  Amazon has power supplies as well, get them faster than Ebay.

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Do y'all think these will work for my bends?post-9789-138897132362_thumb.jpg

Also could I use a 4-Pin 22AWG RGB Extension Cable Wire to get to my control box? Just not sure if 22AWG is big enough or what's a good size for any length to run?

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I went with Dumb RGB Strips this year and I attached them to F-Channel with zip ties.  This slips into the eaves nicely without having to mount clips to the house.  Being under the rain gutters and eaves helps to protect them a little more from the elements.  On the Roof line I used J-Channel and used shingle clips to hold them down. 

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Not sure if this will work, but here you go.  If you want to PM me your email I can send more about the process I used to make them.  I drilled little holes into one side of the F-Channel so I could zip tie it through.

 

 

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Ok I think I've figured out the photo thing.  Here are a couple more. 

Cool, that idea works for me also for a down the road project.  Just for the sake of those reading this, don't make the tie wraps tight,  the vinyl expands/contracts differently than the ribbon and can ruin the ribbon.  I ran into this mounting ribbon on hula hoops and may apply here as well.

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Okay let me pick some brains here. My plan is to mount my CMB24 controller on the back of column 2. My question is can I run an 18 awg 4 conductor wire (extension cord) from RGB #1 to column 2, then a second extension cord from RGB #2 to same controller and so on? Please let me know if my way of thinking will work or should I consider a different alternative? I've got a total of about 15 RGB ribbons that I plan on mounting plus six floods. Will 2 CMB24's handle this or how many do you guys think I'll need?post-9789-138948435897_thumb.jpg

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I would try to mount your controller as close to the strips as possible....middle placement would be best. Now I didn't do this. I mounted mine is the garage and ran RGB extension cables to the strips, but my farthest strip was 45' away from the controller. Distance will play a factor when determining placement due to voltage drop. How far will be your #1 strip be from the controller? Let's say its 80' away to the strip. You could test it by connecting the extension cable to the controller and also to the RGB strip. Turn on the controller and take a voltage measuement at the end of the strip. I don't think you want less than 9 volts. If less, adjust the PS and turn up the voltage. It's has a limit...just a couple volts. If you can't get the minimal limit...it's too far. But remember when adjusting the voltage....it's adjust the whole controller. So if you have a strip 80' away and another on the same controller 10' away...you can't crank up the voltage for the farthest one and be okay for the closest. You'll burn it up. You could compensate by adding slack. That why placement in the middle is best. I've read that some type of amp booster has been use to extend the length. I can't comment....never use one. You should be okay to have a 40'-50' and 10' extension cable on the same controller. No adjustment or very little needed. It's all about testing yourself. My experience may be differ that yours. Manufacture PS, cables, connectors, strips...even the weather may make a difference.

As for the number of strips. You can run 15 on 2 controllers if using 30A PS for each. Each cmb24d are 8 RGB groups and each strip is about 3A...so about 23-24A on each. But you won't have enough channels for your floods. If you don't need each strip to be on its own channel...you can double up, but you will need to add addition PS. If doubling...do not connect the strips back to back and feed power from one end. Connect the power between the 2 strips. The DC board can handle 60A or 30A each side. If you want each strip and flood to be on its own channel....then additional controller is needed.

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My experience this year was all new with the strip lighting.  I went with 16awg wire instead of 18.  I wanted all my controllers to be in the same spot so my furthest run of wire was about 90'.  When I turned them on there was a noticeable difference in brightness compared to others closer to the controller.  So I ended up moving the controller a bit closer with the longest run being about 45'.  Now all the strips have the same brightness to them.  Now you can add an amplifier in the run as well, but that involved more power supplies and cable than I wanted to deal with. In the end it was cheaper and a lot less headache for me to just buy a longer Cat5e cable than everything else. 

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It's worth a try.  I can't tell if they are longer than the part on the channel or not, the best way is try a few things and find what works best for you.  My strips came with the double stick tape on the back that I stuck to the F-Channel and the zip ties just help to keep it from peeling off.  Under the eaves are sticking just fine, but the one's I had laying across the roof in the direct sun have just about all come unstuck.  That's where the zip ties came in handy. Just make sure to place them on the Copper connections along the ribbon. You could damage the lights by placing pressure on the LED's themselves or on the chips.  Even then leave it just a little loose to account for expansion and contraction of the vinyl.

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