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Super Newb Needs Suggestions


martsycart
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Please bear in mind, I am VERY new to LOR so I apologize if any of my questions come off as extra dumb.

First, a little about me and my "vision"

- I am an IT professional, so I don't feel the LOR system is past my comprehension. 

- I formerly installed home theater systems, so I am familiar with wire runs, terminating ends and networking.

- The knowledge I feel I lack is based around the electrical component. I know the basics, such as not mixing different voltage equipment.

- I am wanting to place smart pixels in a j-channel to permanently install around my roof line (180').

- I will only be using LOR on the roof line this year. Don't want to get in over my head.

 

Here are my questions:

I am considering purchasing the 16x50 Square Pixel Package with Pixie16 Controller.

- The site doesn't really say how long a 50-count strand is. Would this package be enough to cover a 180' roof line?

- How (if possible) does one go about extending the strand from the controller to the start of the strand location? I assume there are extensions available, but do they connect into each other, or do they need to be manually coupled?

- What is the benefit of using a 12v system vs. a 5v system?

- What is the max distance the computer can be from the controller?

- What other items should I anticipate needing to purchase outside of the Pixel Package (other than more strands)?

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1 hour ago, martsycart said:

- What is the benefit of using a 12v system vs. a 5v system?

When using pixels, the biggest advantage of 12V is the ability to go longer distance and a larger number of pixels without having to inject power.  Biggest advantage of 5V is reduced overall power consumption.

1 hour ago, martsycart said:

What is the max distance the computer can be from the controller?

LOR networking uses RS-485 for the communication.  The RS-485 spec allows 4,000 feet and 32 devices on the network.

1 hour ago, martsycart said:

How (if possible) does one go about extending the strand from the controller to the start of the strand location? I assume there are extensions available, but do they connect into each other, or do they need to be manually coupled?

That's actually going to be your biggest issue.  The distance limits from the controller to the first pixel is fairly short.  Although the technology has improved that quite a bit (used to be about 10 feet), it is still somewhat short.  To be honest, I don't know what the current limit is.  You may need to look at a larger number of smaller controllers, as opposed to one large one.

 

1 hour ago, martsycart said:

The site doesn't really say how long a 50-count strand is. Would this package be enough to cover a 180' roof line?

You're right, the web site does not list it.  Most likely 4 to 6 inches between pixels (I would lean towards 4).  That means that there is enough total length in 16 strings for your 180 foot roof line.  See my above about cable lengths.

 

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Mart

I use HC smart bullets. Their 50ct string is about 16'. I think 12V is the simpler way to go (less injection worries)

Draw your roof line TO SCALE, then lay down 100ct strings (2 @ of 50 , make them erasable). now draw 10' radius (to the middle of the area) from each end to see where the most meet in the middle. That is a good controller location. As Jim said, you are a candidate for multiple controllers.  I started with 10" radius. This allows a fudge factor when a few more feet of cable is needed.

Also, you might cut off the far (away from the feed) for those place roof geometry does not permit use of a full 50. Play with the paper

Got Windows over the edge (and within range)? save a spare port or 3 for next season 😛

And keep track of your power (load). 3A per 50ct is what my 12V strings run

 

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Here's the layout of my roof line. I'd probably have the controller mounted inside by the second story window. I was really hoping that would be a central enough location to be able to run 1 controller. 

 

1 other question, any idea if the LOR store runs Black Friday sales?

 

LOR Plan.png

Edited by martsycart
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Another vote for Jim who said     "You may need to look at a larger number of smaller controllers, as opposed to one large one."

For a house outline..   The C9 style look very good from any viewing angle.  The square will need a mounting which points them the right direction. 

I used the 16x50 5v last year and this year the 16x100 12v for my mega tree.   All the strand ends are close together with no extensions.   I also have four pixie 2 outlining my house and Its not an issue for me to run power and network cable to it.   The pixie 2 have a non-grounded plug so you can use SPT if you want. 

Edited by ItsMeBobO
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I also like the look of the C9 lights, I was only leaning toward the square lights so I could permanently affix them to the roof line in a J-channel. I would love to not have to climb on my roof every year 😁

 

If I were to go with the smaller controllers, what all extra do I need to look at buying? I assume a housing for the controller and a power supply, but is there anything else I need to be aware of? 

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You MAY be able to get away with one controller with your layout.  Using the upstairs window, the only one likely to be a possible issue is the orange one on the left.  If it is, a single null pixel should take care of it.

On 11/11/2018 at 7:56 AM, martsycart said:

1 other question, any idea if the LOR store runs Black Friday sales?

Nope.  LOR runs two sales every year.  The spring sale is a limited quantities "mad grab" event with the best discounts.  The summer sale is unlimited quantities, but not quite a deep of discounts.  You can sign up on the LOR website to receive notifications of the sales, and there is always quite a bit of posting about the sales here on the forums.

 

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Awesome. Thanks to everyone for the input. I think I’ve decided to just go with an AC controller and use my existing lights so I can learn how to use the software to design sequences. I don’t want to get overwhelmed with it being so close to the start of the Christmas season. I definitely will upgrade next year to pixel lights!

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