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Changing to RGB


service call
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This is only my 2nd year so I dont have a lot of sequences, but I am wanting to go the LED route and wanted to know the easiest way to redo my channel config for LED with out having to redo each sequence.

 

I've upgraded to Advanced level, and ordered a CMB 24 and some dumb ribbons to start experimenting with.

 

I read in another post about not changing the original channel settings, but I can't find it to double check.

 

Also on a side note, is there a connector that is used to "plug" an RGB light into the wiring from the controller. I was thinking of using a standard 4 conductor trailer wiring connector, but I'm not sure. I believe I'm going to use cat 5 from the controller to the lights.

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How you not have to redo your sequences when going to RGB from a single color device? Or another way of saying this, is, why bother to go to RGB if your not going to take advantage of the multi color device?

 

Well the CMB 24 will be a new controller that has its own channels that you will need to add to your sequence. So try to do that with out making changes to your sequence. Most of use are getting water proof connectors from Ray Wu is one example. I think you need to read up some. Your going to find that distance is an enemy to D.C. like lights. Most use either 12V or 5V voltage. Distance on small wire will drop down that voltage quickly. This is not 120VAC where length of a power lead is not as important (can but usually not a problem with say 50' leads). I would warn you away from CAT 5 cable (22awg) and look more towards either 18 or 16 AWG. In some cases you can daisy chain two strips. But if it was my display I would inject  at the front end of each strip. If you dont, more than likely you will notice that the end might be dim or color shifted.

 

Edit: I went back and reread your post. The sequence does not know what you have plugged into your controller channels. So, say controller 1 channel 1 is red icans today. And tomorrow if you buy a bunch of green LED and plug them into C1 C1 it was still light them up when you had it sequenced in the past. Its only the RGB channels that are set-up and programmed differently.

Edited by Max-Paul
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Yea, I guess that was a silly thought. I'll just add the channels and work from there. So is there a 4 conductor cable that is used? I thought that I could just parallel each pair of a cat 5 to make up for a larger conductor. I'll have to look for the connectors. Thanks.

Edited by service call
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Service call,

 

Try here http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/13-5mm-series-white-waterproof-pigtails/701799_250410969.html%C2'> This is Ray Wu's store. This URL takes you right to the pig tail connectors that you might want to use. Chinese call them nCore, where as the n is a number like 3 or 4. We here in America call if connectors or conductors or contacts, but not core.

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Thanks. After you told me I got on the computer and found it. I've looked at his store before but you gave me the terms I needed to find what I wanted.

Another question. What kind of cable do you use from the controllers to the lights. LED wise.

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Thanks. After you told me I got on the computer and found it. I've looked at his store before but you gave me the terms I needed to find what I wanted.

Another question. What kind of cable do you use from the controllers to the lights. LED wise.

Essentially the same thing, just a longer extension of that...if I read the question right...like this,  http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/100-pairs-3-Core-White-Waterproof-Line-15cm-long-each-male-and-female-3core/701799_331631241.html or you can always make your own as well.  Ray will make custom ones for you as well as far as lengths go if your aren't into soldering...but if you do get them from Ray, make sure you check continuity on each prong to each prong...I've had the wires crossed on a couple that I got from him...and of course, the first year, I didn' double check, now...I always double check

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Essentially the same thing, just a longer extension of that...if I read the question right...like this,  http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/100-pairs-3-Core-White-Waterproof-Line-15cm-long-each-male-and-female-3core/701799_331631241.html or you can always make your own as well.  Ray will make custom ones for you as well as far as lengths go if your aren't into soldering...but if you do get them from Ray, make sure you check continuity on each prong to each prong...I've had the wires crossed on a couple that I got from him...and of course, the first year, I didn' double check, now...I always double check

Thanks for the heads up. ill make my own ends.

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The biggest problem that newbies will get themselves into when working with 5 or 12V lights is the length of the cable. There is a thing called I*R drop. This is where the resistance of the wire and the amount of current being drawn, decreases the voltage at the end of the cable. This is worse with lower voltage like 5 volts. So using a larger wire (lower gauge number like 16 versus 18 gauge) lowers the resistance of the wire, thus lower the lost voltage.

 

So, your question does not have an easy answer. Let me ask you a few questions. What is the voltage that your LED needs? How long are the wires need to be? What kind of current will your lights draw?  Note on RGB strings, even dumb strings. Each color needs x.x amount of current. But the common lead has to carry the total amount of current. So even though lets say 22 ga wire will be ok for each color. The common will need to be more like 18 ga. But if your going to need more than say 25' of 18 ga wire I would then move up to say 16 ga for 25 - 50 feet.  So as you can see, there are several factors involved to make this aspect of the hobby to work properly.

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Thanks for the info Max Paul. I do know about voltage drop thru circuits. My power runs are not long at all. I was curious as to standard wiring practices from controller to light. I ordered some channeling to put the 12mm LED into and they have space for a flat 4 conductor cable to run in it to feed thru. Couldn't find that cable on holiday coro's website or LOR. It looks like trailer wiring but uses different coloring. Good thing I'm not wanting to have this installed this year eh? I'm setting it up for next year.

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The biggest problem that newbies will get themselves into when working with 5 or 12V lights is the length of the cable. There is a thing called I*R drop. This is where the resistance of the wire and the amount of current being drawn, decreases the voltage at the end of the cable. This is worse with lower voltage like 5 volts. So using a larger wire (lower gauge number like 16 versus 18 gauge) lowers the resistance of the wire, thus lower the lost voltage.

 

So, your question does not have an easy answer. Let me ask you a few questions. What is the voltage that your LED needs? How long are the wires need to be? What kind of current will your lights draw?  Note on RGB strings, even dumb strings. Each color needs x.x amount of current. But the common lead has to carry the total amount of current. So even though lets say 22 ga wire will be ok for each color. The common will need to be more like 18 ga. But if your going to need more than say 25' of 18 ga wire I would then move up to say 16 ga for 25 - 50 feet.  So as you can see, there are several factors involved to make this aspect of the hobby to work properly.

Hey Max...question, so lets say you have a run of over 35 feet, the connectors themselves have smaller gauge wires, if you were to use a heavier gauge wire soldered in between the connectors, that would suffice...without losing much in way of voltage from each of the smaller wired connectors...I guess what I'm not able to type eloquently...how much impact is there going from small gauge, to larger gauge back to smaller gauge?

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viking,

 

I fully understand what your saying. As long as you dont exceed the current rating of the smaller wire. Sure it will have an impact but what I am looking at is the overall resistance of the cable. A short section of smaller wire with higher resistance will not impact the overall resistance, as much as if the whole length of cable is a smaller gauge wire.  Lets just say that 100 feet of 18ga wire has a 1 ohm of resistance (thats actually 50' round trip) And lets say that 100 feet of 16 gauge wire is .5 ohms. If you where to replace 2 feet of  16 ga wire with 2 feet of 18 ga wire. How much did it change the overall resistance? But again remember if the 18 ga wire can only carry 5 amps. Dont try pushing 6 amps through it. Might of fact I suggest that you keep it below 4 amps.

 

NOW I GOT TO SAY ALL NUMBERS ARE OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD AND ONLY TO ILLUSTRATE.

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This is only my 2nd year so I dont have a lot of sequences, but I am wanting to go the LED route and wanted to know the easiest way to redo my channel config for LED with out having to redo each sequence.

You can set up tracks and/or groups and copy/paste from your original sequence. For example, if you had a bunch of sequences for an 8-channel arch, and you converted that arch to an 8-pixel (24-channel) arch, you could make a  channel group in which you put the channels in the order 1-R, 2-R, 3-R, ... 8-R, ... 1-B, 2-B, 3-B, ... 8-B. Then if you wanted to keep your arch sequence the same, but make it red, you could copy and paste into the red segment. If you wanted it white, you would paste into all 3 segments.

 

After you were done converting all your sequences, you could delete that group, because it's not that useful for new sequences.

 

If you didn't have multi-channel arches, mega-trees, fans, etc, then you don't need to do that, but just copy the channels that you want.

 

I read in another post about not changing the original channel settings, but I can't find it to double check.

What usually works best is to have track #1 be your "master" track, with the raw channels, that you will only append new controllers, but not move channels. Then you will make copies of these channels into your working tracks. If you completely change your layout, then it may be better just to start from scratch and copy/paste from last year's sequences.

 

Also on a side note, is there a connector that is used to "plug" an RGB light into the wiring from the controller. I was thinking of using a standard 4 conductor trailer wiring connector, but I'm not sure. I believe I'm going to use cat 5 from the controller to the lights.

I bought a bunch of 4-conductor "DIN" plugs and sockets. They were cheap from a surplus store. They aren't waterproof, but after 3 seasons out in the rain, they never failed.

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I emailed holidaycoro and they sent the link for the 4 conductor flat cable. It fits into the track to feed next track or as an injector. I do need to learn about groups and tracks tho to make life easier. I guess it's time to watch some videos.

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What are you feeding 70 feet away? I have seen power injected at the lights and 80 feet of cable running data while the j1sys controlled them. This was with 5v rgb's and he allowed me to have his cable so when I got home I tried my j1sys on 12v and did not work. I will be packing it all up for the Tenn. Mini in a few weeks so they can show me whats going on.

 

Jeff

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Ok, I remember hearing something about pixel controllers and smart pixels. There is a distance limitation between the controller and the pixels. It has to do with the data degrading. And if the distance is to great, you have to use what is called a null node. It does not light up. Its whole purpose in life is to boost the data signal. Might find yourself having to use one or more at 70'. Suggest you read up about the use of "null nodes".

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