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Where to start with Cosmic Color on a budget?


Klayfish
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Sorry for bombing the board with threads, but I'm trying to nail down my 2014 display before I really get cranking on sequencing, building, etc...  Had 2 regualr 16 channel controllers in 2013.  Initial plan was to add a 3rd controller for this year, giving me 48 total channels.  I'm nowhere near a master at programming regular channels, so maybe cosmic color may not be a great place to go right now, but I really like them. 

 

However, I need to keep it on a budget.  I can't go out and buy 6 CCRs at once.  I was planning on spending the roughly $250 on my new 16 channel controller.  If I put that money towards something in cosmic colors, where would you start?  I could probably spend up to about $400 but really wouldn't want to go much beyond that.  What would you buy with that money?  I would think I couldn't do a lot with a single CCR, so I was thinking a CCP or dumb strip package??  Can I do much with just a single of those?  Or am I better off just buying another 16 channel controller and saving my money to make a jump into cosmic color another time?

Edited by Klayfish
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I myself liked the ccr's easy to set up and so on but pretty expensive if you want a 12 ccr tree or even a matrix  so for my next project of the house I bought individual 2811 strips and a sandevice 682  much ,much cheaper than the 12 ccr but takes a little more knowledge and DIY to get it right but in the long run much easier as you learn, there are plenty of forums on this. But be advised the more you add the bigger the license which adds more cost  hope this helps regards JOHN

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Thanks.  I love the idea of doing it for less $$, it's just the DIY and knowledge part that concern me. :huh:  B)    I'm afraid of getting in over my head.  I don't have a ton of free time, so it needs to be fairly user friendly.  The Sandvice and 2811 strips look really cool, but I haven't a clue how they work or what to do with them.  I know you mentioned they take a bit more DIY, but can you elaborate on that?

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Another place you can economize is the AC controller. If you buy the CTB16 board only (either spring or summer sale) and then add dongles and an enclosure on your own you should be right around 150 - not $250.

I'd advise either CCBs or CCPs rather than the CCRs. The Cosmic Color Pixels are the best buy of the 3, IMHO, of course.

Edited by George Simmons
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I'm going to do more reading today to see if I can make more sense of it all.   I was reading through information on the Sandevices website linked above.  I read through their pages about RGB pixels, which I understood some of.  Then I tried to read the Powerpoint presentation at the end, and it might as well have been written in Latin. :huh:   I was completely and totally lost.  Or is it more detail than I really need to understand?  Even trying to read through the threads on this forum, such as the sticky at the top introducing the CCBs, have my head totally spinning.  Is there somewhere good that I can learn the very elemental basics?  I saw this on the Sandevices website, is it what you're recommend buying?  http://www.sandevices.com/PixelSystem1.html  Seems like it may be user friendly, but adding all the strips in would put it out of my budget.

 

That's the balance I'm trying to find.  The LOR products are very novice user friendly which is perfect for me, but they're more expensive.  That's the attraction of getting another regular 16 channel controller instead.  It's super user friendly...plug my light strings in and go.  Plus, while I still probably only know a fraction of what sequence editor can do, it's a lot like Excel so I can at least navigate the basics. 

Edited by Klayfish
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Plus, while I still probably only know a fraction of what sequence editor can do, it's a lot like Excel so I can at least navigate the basics.

 

 

It may be like Excel...but when you go from 32 channels in the sequence editor to several hundred (if not even thousands), it can be a little overwhelming...

You may want to fool around with some RGB channels in the sequence editor and get a feel for the large channel counts you will be seeing.

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Yes, that's another thing I've been trying to figure out...how to program cosmic color in sequence editor.  So I'll definitely be practicing there.

 

Two more things I had wanted to ask with the post above is if the DIY in using Sandevice and the strips involves and soldering?  If so, I'll have to pass as I don't know how to and already have enough on my plate to try to digest.  Also, is there a tutorial about how to use SE to control an RGB device?  I've been playing around with it and figured out how to use the color fade tool, but how do you do fade up, fade down, etc...or does everyone just use superstar?

Edited by Klayfish
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Unfortunatly thats the way its is,

DIY = lower cost more effort

LOR = Higher cost less effort

 

So you must put a value on your time to see which would be the best way to go.

Edited by edvas69
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Yep, no doubt.  I'm just trying to figure out the level of DIY required, so I can make that judgement on which way to go.  I want to go DIY, but I also don't want to get started only to find out it was more than I could have handled.  I signed up on auschristmaslighting yesterday and plan to start asking questions and doing as much reading as I can. ;)

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I had arches in my display last year.  I was planning on turning them into fire sticks this year.  If I buy LOR RGB, I was thinking maybe I'd buy CCPs and make a couple of "stars".  Make them in the * pattern, very much like what George Simmons has in his videos (on the left side of the videos).

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A question to through out on the Sandivices pixel one system with elor using the WS2811 strips from ray.

What is the fastest network speed, is the 500k obtainable. If so, what steps?

I have had trouble with some of the colors remaining on after the effect and goes away when another effect in the sequence starts.

What i've done to fix that for example, I changed red to magenta, changed green to a lighter green and so on.  

It would be nice to use the main colors, which I wonder if the speed of data has anything to do with that?

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I can say from this being my first year, that the thing to do is sit down and plan the display out. I used paper,and Visio, but now have a giant Whiteboard. If I would have planned this better, I would have saved some money!

I bought the M5 netlights (don't look like the old fashioned INCAN style) at walmart for around 13.00 a box... 14 boxes... They are white and look great on the deck. However, (here's the downfall)  Walmart only carries those in white and warm white. To find those, I had to hit the online vendors... and there is a Price difference in the wrong direction... almost 25.00-30.00 a set for a string in all red or all blue or all green with Green wire.

for year one, I started with 1 LOR Controller and a DMX Controller with 6 channels used. Small setup but was cool. This year, expensive changes, but with a plan in mind and drawn out on the whiteboard....including wiring diagrams and controllers. Now, I am becoming more open to areas that I want the pixels versus a dumb RGB Strip- Rooflines in smart RGB are really cool on the blinky flashy factor. :)

 

 

If you are really interested in the RGB Pixel stuff, Take a look at Ray Wu's store: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799

It has a lot of the LED stuff. Also, There are other forums (DIYLIGHTANIMATION.COM) that are for the pixels as well that can walk you through some of the DIY. DMX is definitely something to read up on as it has its part in this equation.

 

I don't mean to overwhelm you, and all I am saying is that there are a lot of options out there. LOR has great service and does stand behind the hardware 100%. On the DIY side, I learn something more about this hobby each day.  When I started this hobby, I was thinking LOR Controller crazy... Now, I am more inclined for 50% Lor and 50% DMX. I know that shortly I will be getting into the pixels:

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-DC12V-INK1003-led-pixel-srip-IP68-60pcs-1002led-5050-RGB-with-bulit-in-INK1003-IC/701799_1546163504.html

 

These are pretty cool, and from what I understand, they speak WS2811. :)

Edited by kiplorenzo
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Good afternoon KlayFish!!

 

I was/am in a similar situation as you are sir.  Last year at the end of October I was running my show on 32 Channels on standard controllers.  So i decided to jump in to RGB pixels...actually kind of late.  I found a good deal on some GE Color Effects pixels and grabbed me a Sandevices controller and off to the races I went.  The learning curve on the Sandevices controller was not that bad.  It worked just like I had read from so many users here and other Christmas forums.  I am hooked.  I found one of the hardest parts was that I had to draw my pixels one at a time in the Visualizer...but it is worth the trouble when you start sequencing.  I sequenced a couple of songs manually to the tune of a few days to get it done...Then I found Superstar.  Like John mentions above, watch out for the additional license cost there if you use that.  You can sequence it for free but if you use it you have to pay.  Nice ploy by LOR, because once I did one using the superstar software, I had to spend the money.  It also cut my sequencing time down huge.  Superstar just isn't for CCR trees.  So my display was simple (261 pixels/783 channels), but it kicked butt...I had people emailing me, knocking on the door, asking questions, etc...it was awesome.

 

So now I want a CCR MegaTree but cannot afford CCRs (Even at summer pricing).  I obviously would rather have CCRs, but oh well.  LOR is going to get some of my money anyway!!  I LOVE LOR!!

 

So I am getting another SANDEVICES controller and 14 Ray Wu strips at some point this first quarter.  I am in research mode as well...

 

I planned on purchasing another SANDEVICES controller a 350W power supply (12v) and 14 Strips (2 back ups) for a 12 strip Mega Tree.  Now,  I am hearing that CCR users are told that they should split their trees on two networks because of LAG issues.  I am not sure if that is the case with the tree I am building.  Can I put 12 strips on an E682?  If I find that answer out, I will let you know.

 

I want to be able to purchase a couple of CCR sequences that are out there and then maybe try one song of my own.

 

So hope that helps at least encourage you.  I will let you know what I find out about the LED strips and splitting...or maybe someone on here knows and will add their .02.

 

Thanks

 

Kevin

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I want to be able to purchase a couple of CCR sequences that are out there and then maybe try one song of my own.

 

 

I'm in exactly the same position, building a pixel node tree instead of a CCR tree.  I'd like to incorporate purchased CCR sequences into my existing sequences.

 

Can I do that without superstar? 

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I've been doing as much reading and learning as I can over the past week.  Reading a lot of threads here and at AusChristmas.  There's a ton of information, but the basics are starting to sink in.  I think I'm going to go with a SanDevice 682 and some 2811 strips.  Now I just have to figure out how I want to sequence them.  I'm still reading, but from what I see SuperStar is great at doing individual pixel control, but it's not so good at doing instant effects.  Nutcracker software is the exact opposite, it can do instant effects but no so good at individual control.  More reading to do...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in exactly the same position, building a pixel node tree instead of a CCR tree.  I'd like to incorporate purchased CCR sequences into my existing sequences.

 

Can I do that without superstar? 

I'm actually not all that crazy about Superstar.  I'm running over 2500 RGB channels this year and am sequencing the old fashioned way.  IMO, it just looks better but takes  more time.   Just be prepared to use the chase tool like crazy.

Edited by marsh28
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I'm in exactly the same position, building a pixel node tree instead of a CCR tree.  I'd like to incorporate purchased CCR sequences into my existing sequences.

 

Can I do that without superstar? 

 

Since you would need a license to export Superstar to the Sequence Editor, you could ask the person you purchase a CCR sequence from if they would export it to a regular sequence for you.

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