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This is my first year.  I would like to have some leaping arches.  I already made a sequence to Wizards in Winter and since I had some problems with the visualizer, I just made the leaping arches into 8 channels and made copies.  My question is this: does each arch take one CTB16PC controller?  That seems a bit excessive.  I'm confused.  The store lists CCR's with a controller.  Any advice would be appreciated (any advice other than "back out now", that is).

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CTB16PC has 16 channels. Two side with 8 channels each. Use the first 8 channels for one arch and the second 8 channels for the second arch. Make sure you assign the channels one the first arch segments 1-8 and the second arch segments 9-16. You're done. I also assume you are using either LED or incond. lights on your arches.

I think that is what you are asking. LOR CCR's do have its own controller.

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I assume your making 2-8 channel arches? If so; each section in your arch would require 1 channel (8 sections=8 channels per arch) so 2 arches would require 16 channels.

 

So to answer your question, one CTB16PC controller would be needed to run 2-8 channel arches (16 channels total) However; I have seen some people run 2 identical arches using only 8 channels but the arches are doing the same thing, in other words there is only 1 arch sequenced but they have 2 extension cords coming off channel 1 to run both arches 2 extension cords coming off on channel #2 etc.

Yes the CCR's have a separate controller,

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Arches and Megatrees are channel eaters, plain and simple. But, they look spectacular too! Any string or group of strings tied together, need a channel to control them. As Indi and Godman both said, each segment of an arch, needs its own channel to operate.

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Very much appreciated.  What I have right now is 8 channels for the arches, so like godman said, the arches all act the same.  I also have 8 channels for 16 mini trees.  Btw, does anyone know if there will be a pre-season sale this year?  

 

Also,  I have seen some "Dream Color" ribbons on eBay.  Any thoughts on those?  If I buy those, (along with the 12v power supply sold separately) then that assembly just connects directly to the extension cord from the LOR controller?  Or is their a separate controller that needs to go in line somewhere ? I only ask because $250 seems a bit excessive for one 16' CCR, especially when you start adding things like mega trees.  For a nice 16 element mega tree, that's $4k just for the ccr's.

 

And to indi, yes I am using all led's.  No incandescents.

 

Again,  thank you all for your advice and for your patience with yet another newbie.

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LOR usually has 2 sales, one in the Spring, great prices but quantities are limited, and one in the summer, not quite as good of pricing as the Spring sales but there is no limit on the product available and usually lasts a week or so.

 

If you can post a link to the product your referring to on eBay it will help everyone understand the product and be able to answer your questions easier. If the product on eBay is 12v power than you will need a controller to control the lights, are they dumb or smart ribbons, that will determine which type of Controller you need.

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If you used 7 channels per arch instead of 8 you'd have lower cost in addition to more numerous and more attractive sequencing options.  Not to mention an extra couple of channels you could use elsewhere.

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"Dream color " usually refers to smart ribbons like the CCR. It could have any number of pixels /led's on the strip. The CCR has 50 pixels with 3 led's per pixel.

And yes you would need a separate controller for these. There are many controllers to choose from.

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Dream color is the name for the smart RGB stuff that has been popping up on Ebay and Amazon over the last two months. It is simply one of those white controllers and a strip of WS2811 or normlaly 

 

They are expensive, and the white boxes die really quickly, but the strips are OK (I have read some reviews. A few complain of them being DOA). Send a link to the page, or find out which IC type they have. You will be able to control them, but need to find out the protocol they use and buy the correct controller.

For a little bit less, you could get the strip alone, and be sure of its protocol and it may be better made. 

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That particular controller isn't capable of connecting to a LOR network, if that's what you're wanting to do. If you're going to use a LOR-compatible controller, why pay for that one on Ebray?

Edited by George Simmons
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Okay.  So just the strip from eBay.  Where is a good place to find the controllers?  My arches will most likely be about 8 feet.  So the strips are made to be cut, I assume.  So I just get the 16' strips.  And then I will need the power adapters for each 8' arch and the connectors.

 

DMX??  I'm like Sgt. Schultz here:  "I know nothink".  But I'm doing research now.

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Thanks, George Simmons.  I haven't bought anything on eBay yet.  Just doing some research (lots and lots of research) at this point.  I will likely have 4 of the LOR controllers (CTB16PC).  If that's what I end up with, I plan to have a 16 channel mega tree (just regular 5mm led strings), 2 sets of 2 leaping arches, 2 sets of 8 mini trees (made of 42" tomato cages) plus various lights on the house (windows, shutters, roof, etc.) and that should leave me some channels to add features/props.

 

By the way, George, I see your name on a lot of these posts and I read every one.  You seem like kind of a ninja where this blinky light stuff is concerned.

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Thanks.  Sounds like I need to swing my ninja sword once more while I still can.

 

A sixteen-channel large tree is what I'd consider just right.  Except I wouldn't do a straight up and down mega tree.  Not when a spiral tree would be somewhere between 10 and 50 times** more interesting for the same price.

 

I'd also recommend using your windows, roof, and etc. for background color and let your arches, mini trees, and any other eye candy do the heavy lifting.  It gets way too flashy in a big hurry if you've got too many parts of the house bouncing around on and off.

 

 

 

** These figures have yet to be scientifically verified.  Actual values could easily be much higher.

Edited by George Simmons
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I was kind of thinking that way on the mega tree.  I actually wanted to place some wire frame elves around it and let them light up the tree as they "run" around it.  Probably lofty thinking for my first year, but I live by the "go big or go home" mindset.

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I was kind of thinking that way on the mega tree.  I actually wanted to place some wire frame elves around it and let them light up the tree as they "run" around it.  Probably lofty thinking for my first year, but I live by the "go big or go home" mindset.

It's only lofty if you don't think you can do it. We started with 144 channels our first year.

I think your wire frame elf idea is great! Lots of interesting and funny things you can do with that.

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I would recommend a 6804 or a 682 pixel controller. Is is very easy to setup and use. You can run up to 2040 pixels off each one. Even if you start small (pixel arches) you will have lots of expansion room for future "go big or go home" projects. http://www.sandevices.com/products.html

I also agree that spiral trees rule. 

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Would something like this work?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-SMD-5050-RGB-Waterproof-LED-Strip-300-LEDs-Light-Flexible-60led-M-/281120447623?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4174159c87

 

Also, it looks like I will probably go with the 682 controller.  It seems to be the best for the money.

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Would something like this work?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-SMD-5050-RGB-Waterproof-LED-Strip-300-LEDs-Light-Flexible-60led-M-/281120447623?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4174159c87

 

Also, it looks like I will probably go with the 682 controller.  It seems to be the best for the money.

 

Those are dumb strips.  The entire strip will be the same color and you would use one of the DC controller cards to drive it.  Those strips are easy to cut.  Those are also 60 LEDs per meter which generally means about 72 watts for the entire strip.  The other very common count is 30 LEDs per meter which is around 36 watts for the strip.  Unless you need the density, the 30/M is usually enough.

 

BIG WARNING about those strips.  The listing says they have a waterproof rating of IP65.  That is not good enough unless they are in a totally weather protected enclosure (such as inside your house showing through windows).  They will not survive outside in rain / show for very long.

 

 

As for E682 vs E6804.  Each has their advantages and disadvantages.  I use both.  For my year-round landscape lighting, I have two E6804s in service.  For Christmas 2014 there were an additional two E682.  For Christmas 2015, I think there will be adding one another E682 and one additional E6804.  One of my year-round E6804s only has 2 strings on it and the smaller size made mounting it far easier.

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Those are dumb strips.  The entire strip will be the same color and you would use one of the DC controller cards to drive it.  Those strips are easy to cut.  Those are also 60 LEDs per meter which generally means about 72 watts for the entire strip.  The other very common count is 30 LEDs per meter which is around 36 watts for the strip.  Unless you need the density, the 30/M is usually enough.

 

BIG WARNING about those strips.  The listing says they have a waterproof rating of IP65.  That is not good enough unless they are in a totally weather protected enclosure (such as inside your house showing through windows).  They will not survive outside in rain / show for very long.

 

 

As for E682 vs E6804.  Each has their advantages and disadvantages.  I use both.  For my year-round landscape lighting, I have two E6804s in service.  For Christmas 2014 there were an additional two E682.  For Christmas 2015, I think there will be adding one another E682 and one additional E6804.  One of my year-round E6804s only has 2 strings on it and the smaller size made mounting it far easier.

Thanks for the tips.  Now another question or two:  1.  I plan to have (4) 8' leaping arches this year, possibly expanding to 8 arches next year.  Would one 682 be enough for that?   2.  What waterproof rating do I need to look for? 

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Regarding the strips/ribbons, DO NOT buy those which are sealed in solid silicone/epoxy unless you're planning on using them indoors and never flexing them. What you want for outdoors and longevity (longevity being a relative term depending on how respectfully you handle the ribbons) are the ones that come surrounded by a silicone tube like LOR's CCR.

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