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CMB 24d controller


Steelers95
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Thinking about buying this controller to control rgb lights but I have a couple of questions that I was hoping someone would be able to answer.

1) how many seperate strings can you add(how many channels are possible)

2)how many rgb lights/pixels can one individual channel run

3) how many rgb lights can the entire controller handle

if anyone could answer some of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated

--Thanks

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I controlled 2 dumb strips on 1 channel last Christmas. They control dumb strips not individual smart pixels.

Edited by djr
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I use this controller to control various 12vdc items. Including rgb spotlights, LEDs I put in the bushes for eyes and my cauldron creep motors. At Christmas the same controller is used for my RGB arch.

So it is versatile and can be used on many types of lights. From LEDs and motors which use only 1 channel to RGB lights that use 3.

Which light to use depends on what you want to do. For floods I would look at LOR floods. For the RGB lights I used on my arch, I bought those from China. My LEDs I bought from Mouser electronics. My motor is from monster guts.

I also have square, rectangle and other RGB lights this controller could of been used on that I bought from China.

This controller is used on dumb lights, meaning you control the whole string. The most I ever tested was 200 RGB lights on 3 channels and I had that on 6 of the available 24 channels, meaning I had 2 sets of 200 on those 6 channels. The other channels had lights too but not as many. So I would say in my test I had a minimum of 800 individual bulbs on the entire controller. It worked flawlessly.

My cable lengths are maximum of 80 feet.

If you don't want to deal with China, which is actually pretty easy, all the lights I have can be purchased from holiday coro. But even after China's shipping costs are included, you pay a lot more.

When dealing with china always ship all components DHL. 3 days to get to Oregon from China for a very few bucks more.

For strip lights I have LOR CCRs.

But a dumb strip is the same as any other RGB light. 3 channels. Buy from china or holiday coro or LOR. LOR has best warranty. Holiday coro and china have many products to choose from with either 5v or 12v devices. So it gets a little more complicated. I personally use only 12vdc devices.

Also, be aware that you have to have a power supply. The controller does not come with one. I personally use a 350watt version I bought from China. This one power supply works for everything I attach to the card....motor, LEDs, RGB lights....all of it.

Hope that helps....

Edit:

The way I used this to control my arch was to have 8 sets of RGB lights attached to my arch. Each set of RGB lights was actually just 5 bulbs. So I had 40 bulbs on my arch that was controlled by this device. Hope that makes sense.

Honestly, I just had extra bulbs laying around and the controller was not being used and I thought it would be a nice touch. It was and now it is permanent. I even added a second arch.

Pixels and or CCR might be better for arch but this was cheap and it looks ok.

Edited by sax
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 At Christmas the same controller is used for my RGB arch.......... the way I used this to control my arch was to have 8 sets of RGB lights attached to my arch. Each set of RGB lights was actually just 5 bulbs. So I had 40 bulbs on my arch that was controlled by this device. Hope that makes sense.

Honestly, I just had extra bulbs laying around and the controller was not being used and I thought it would be a nice touch. It was and now it is permanent. I even added a second arch.

Pixels and or CCR might be better for arch but this was cheap and it looks ok.

Could you please provide any pictures of your arch set up & how you attached everything. Also which lights did you get from China? This could be an option for me, or I could go the ccp or the ccb route.

Edited by lightzilla
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I am a newbie to RGB, but am going full force into it this year because it is just so darn cool. I have done a lot of researching and here is my understanding of the difference between 12v and 5v DC RGB.

 

12v Pros: - voltage drop on your strings due to resistance in the wiring is not as big of an issue (dropping 1v over your string is

                    only 1v/12v = 8% vs 1v/5v = 20% for 5v), thus you can power longer strings without requiring power injection. Voltage

                    drop will cause pixels towards the end of the strong to misbehave if it drops low enough.

 

12v Cons: - all pixels are 5v devices, so the extra voltage is bled off as heat at the pixel. This is not very energy efficient.

 

5v Pros :    - most energy efficient as the power is exactly what the pixels need

 

5v Cons:   - requires power injection for longer strings.

 

How long of a string can you power without power injection? I have read so many different opinions, and as i said I am a newbie. If I remember correctly, I believe you can go up to 50 pixels with 5v, 100-150 with 12v. But anyone with more knowledge, please correct me if I am wrong.

 

I considered going with dumb pixels because they are so much easier to program, but knew I would eventually move to Intelligent pixels, so why waste the money on dumb ones if I would just replace them later.

 

Personally, I decided I was pushing my limits going RGB in my second year with lighting, so I wanted to minimize my troubles, at least at first. Given that, I am also on a budget and the plug-and-play solutions from LOR (CCx pixels) are too rich for my blood. I aslo wanted to make sure that what I bought would continue to be of use to me if I decided to go eevn further.

 

I made a compromise and bought the E682 pixel kit from Seasonal Entertainment. 16 strings of 50 pixels, E682, power supply, and enclosure all for around $800. The strings and E682 already have the connectors attached so it is pretty much plug and play for the hardware. All of the pixels are 12v and I will plug each string into a separate connector on the E682, so I don't have to worry about power injection (at the cost of more electricity to run them). This package is more expensive than if I bought them direct from China (but not much), but I like having the backing of a US company if I run into problems with my first foray into this technology.

 

The complications will come in the software configuration and sequencing. 2400 channels is quite a bit more than the 16 I had last year and I know it will take more time to get the software correct. There are several tools available through this forum that have made the job a lot easier. Vegomatic from BobO made setting up the S3 channel config so much easier and Nutcracker is giving me some pretty cool effects to import into S3 without the hassle of having to manually program 2400 channels. I am just starting, but have the channel config done, Visualizer setup done for my pixel tree, a test sequence that will run all of the strings and test the pixels, and one song sequenced using S3 and Nutcracker. I also figure using Nutcracker will give me a leg up on the upcoming S3 enhancements being made to support RGB. They bought the source for Nutcracker to incorporate into S3 so learning Nutcracker now should give me a running start when the new S3 comes out.

 

I spent 3 months reading this forum and the great presentations at AusChristmas lighting to get a start in this technology. 1 month learning the tools and getting my first channel configs and sequence done. Setting up the Visualizer for the pixels took the most time, but I know it will be worth it later on. Now I'm just waiting for my pixels to arrive so I can setup the commmunications config and see if this all works.

 

Sorry if I took this topic deeper than the original question, but you sound just like me 6 months ago when I first started learning about RGB, You will quickly realize all of the possibilities and want to go deeper.

 

Good luck..and welcome to the addiction.

 

-Paul

Edited by Paul R
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Thanks paul, this is also my second year and I too want to get into rgb's. I appreciate the feed back and it really did actually clear up a few of my questions. I do have another question that maybe you can answer for me. If I were to get the cmb 24d controller and want to connect rgb strings to it but dont want to connect the strings directly to the controller is there any type of "extension cords" that I would be able to use.

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There are pigtail cords made and sold by many vendors if you are just looking for quick disconnects. You just wire one of the pigtails to the board, and one to your string. Look for 4 wire waterproof pigtails.

 

-Paul

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Here is a post with lights info as well as cables and more. Look through this post to find my setup info.

http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/28666-what-do-i-need-for-rgb/

I mounted lights to grey PVC electrical conduit in groups of 5 with Velcro for my arches. They are in storage right now so I can't show you a picture. But I just velcroed them on the pipe, lined them up perfectly straight and spaced and that was my arches. I used the bullet type RGB bulbs from china.

As far as distance and such for dumb lights there is no degradation. I have tested 150 ft extension (18 awg and 20 awg wire) with 200 lights on them and no difference was seen from bulb 1 to bulb 200. The degradation only occurs when you have pixels. That test is coming as soon as my lights arrive in the next few days.

RGB is not as diificult as everyone makes it out to be. I jumped to RGB first year. SE can group your pixels and allow it to be used just as a dumb strip so you don't have to work to program it. 90 pixels as 1 entry is easy enough.

Nutcracker looks to be good for mega trees but I don't see it useful for my single strand pixels on the roof or for my trees or bushes. I personally used only SE for my Halloween show and jumped into SuperStar for Christmas. I now use superstar for all my sequencing including non-RGB. Super fast and easy.

Some say it is too pricey. But for what you spent "extra" at seasonal entertainment you could have 4 CCR license for superstar. That will cover most yards that are starting out since each license is 150 circuits.

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Thanks for adding your experiences Sax. i will agree with you on Nutcracker...I am using it because I am building a megatree with my pixels. It is great for that or for matrices, but would not be of much use for single strands.

 

I am debating spending the money to get a SS license. This issue is that I would need the 24 CCR license because I got 16 strings of 50 pixels with my bundle purchase, and it is pricey.

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I used 10 strings of their dumb c9 pixel strings on my house last year don't know if their the cheapest but the quality seems to be good no problems at all I am also using their dmx dongle and a few smart pixel strings with their rainbow pixel controllers

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I cut all my strings to length the dumb and the smart.If you cut between the pixels you have enough wire left to add a plug on the wire if you want the same plug that's on the lights I bought them from RAY WU (from CHINA )

Edited by Dennis Laff
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Holiday coro is cheaper than seasonal entertainment. China is cheapest.

Holiday coro has sale going right now so you should at least go peek.

Good luck,

Sax

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