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Newbie Pixel Questions


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I live down in FL and want to decorate my boat for our annual holiday boat parade.  Last year I used Lights and Sounds of Christmas and while it worked it wasn't that great.  The flashing was mediocre and it wasn't nearly loud enough.  This year I want to really step it up.  I used the August sale to buy one of the plug and show deals with 16X100 strings of smart RGB lights and the Pixie16 controller.

I have figured out the layout of the lights on my boat.  I am going to use the pixel strips and wire loom to make the lights have a consistent spacing.  The controller will be on the t-top of my boat.  Going to put 400 lights on the hull, 2X100 on the outriggers, 100 on the t-top, 10 firesticks of 25 pixels using the rod holders on my t-top and a 24X25 pixel tree on the top of my t-top.  That should all work.

I have been getting started with the software while I wait for the lights.  I figured I should just use S5 because it is built for pixels and why learn S4 only to have to switch and learn S5 later.  Is this a mistake?  So far S5 seems pretty intuitive but there isn't a lot of documentation.

Setting up the preview was pretty straight forward.  I created a basic sequence to make sure that the lights were working left to right and up and down the way I wanted them to.  This was all pretty easy.

Now I am on to doing sequences.  In S5 doing a basic sequence is pretty easy.  That said, as you can imagine, my don't look all that great.  I need at least one really good sequence for when the boat goes by the judges stand.  (Yes I am a dweeb).  I figured I would just buy one but I can't seem to find the right thing.  Do I buy a 24X25 tree sequence and use the same sequence for the rest of the lights?  Do I try to sequence the rest to go with the 24X25 myself?  Do I buy another sequence that has a tree but maybe a 16 line tree with other programming?  If that is the answer what is the best source?  There seem to be a bunch but I am not sure what I am going to get works for me.  Do I need a custom sequence (very pricey).  Are there any free sequences out there I can experiment on?  I am lost here.

Then I need a bunch of other sequences.  The people on my boat will go nuts listening to one song.  That being said, it isn't for the judges so the rest of the songs doing have to be perfect.  I guess I could buy some more sequences but that could get pricey.  I thought I might just use the SuperStar Sequencer.  But my tree has 600 pixels on it so the version I would have to buy is $200.  That seems like a lot.  Is it worth it?  For $100 I would just do it.

My guess is other newbies are having similar problems so any help would be great!

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