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Newb in Colorado


marcmiller04
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Hey all, 

new to this whole animated idea, but want to expand it as we go.  I bought one of the packages, with the 16 channel controller and the mini director, with the pro software package.

I have been buying LED lights and playing with the layout in my head, but now that I am reading deeper into everything am starting to wonder if I under bought, or should have gone straight to the pixels...

I have about 1/4 acre in the front of my house which is where the majority of the lights will go.  we have a few yard decorations, 2 small wood trees and 4 candy canes plus some inflatables and stuff like that.  I want to keep the inflatables on all the time, but everything else is kind of open.

my background is a little bit of networking and info security so I get the idea of being able to do the networking and sequencing...

The hardware and the requirements for lights is where I am most lost at this point.  Someone said that they started with 48 channels and are now at 55k...  Seems crazy ridiculously expensive, but then when I was reading it seems like when using pixels, a small number of them equals 1 channel.  So, that is where I am starting to get confused.  It seems like Pixels is the way to go long term and for flexibility...

Not sure if I got my questions or concerns out, I am pretty exhausted, but yeah, that's where I am at for now.

I've been reading for hours and am starting to get to mush...

Thanks

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Newb in C...

The channel count goes crazy (er) only when you use Smart RGB. Every node becomes a 'channel'

AC controllers lets you use most of the lights you have. Care is needed for any string/display with electronics near the plug (color changing, DC wall wort) or the magic smoke will escape.

DUMB RGB  are almost as easy as AC, just 2 more wires 😜 to each string (R,G,B,+V). And you need to pay closer attention to string (node count) power consumption.

If you go USED, be aware that modern Gen 3 controllers can handle faster '(RS485) network' speeds. This is not to say, the slower models are bad, but just that you will need to run them on a second (NTE 115K), unenhanced mode) network and might not have a couple of newer modes.

I still find even simple Pixel level sequencing daunting (the electrical part is not an issue) . (I have a few chases running along the drip line). I think you did good with that starter kit as it will postpone the daunting part of the learning curve

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As far as I'm aware all Pixels are 3 channels, one for Red, one for Blue and one for Green, Smart each bulb can be a different color, dumb, color remains the same down the entire strand, that is smart you can have various Pixels on of different colors at the same time, such as Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple, Cyan, etc.  But dumb pixels you only have a single color On on the strand, if you have Pink, the entire strand is Pink,

Me I prefer Smart Pixels, you can do so much more with them, especially with multicolored chasing effects.  And once you start sequencing them, you'll find they are really not that difficult to do.  Only took me about 4-5 days{maybe less} to start sequencing mine in my Display after I played around with them for those few days to get the feel of sequencing them in Animation sequences first, then once I figured out how to use them, moved to using them in my Musical Display Sequences.   Turns out it was much easier than I thought, reading makes it sound more confusing and complex than it really is, one you can get your hands on an RGB Controller and a couple strands of RGB lights {again, I prefer smart}, you'll soon realize it's not at all that difficult to sequence. 

  But depending on the controller you go with Setting them up can be a real pain in to get the controller and lights working {Pixie series controllers come to mind}.  The CCD Controllers {CCB-100} version 1 5V output strands or Version 2 12V output strands to me are the easiest to set up and use.  But that's only from my reading of others trying to get their Pixie series controllers configured and running from the forum here as being the most difficult or possibly confusing.

I run only 4 V2 CTB16PC Controllers/64 Channels {Standard LOR , 57.6K Network} and 5 CCB-100 V1 RGB 5V output Controllers/1500 RGB Channels~does not include the extra macro channels which increases each strands channel count by 7, these run on an Advanced, 500K, Aux A Network in my Display.  And I just added RGB this year to my display, again, I found it very easy to set the CCB-100 controllers up and sequence the smart Pixel RGB lights that came with them.

 

Edited by Orville
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Starting smallwith  your intila purchase is a good way to start.  That will give you time to get familiar with the software and basic controller setup.   

 

You can start expanding in the futrue if  you:

1) Really empbrace doing a display.

2) Have the funds to start expanding

3) Have the time to program, build and do setup. 

Here's a simple way to look at channle numbers.

1) 50 count AC led mini string - 1 channle.

2) 50 ct 12v dump rgg string. 3 chanels, 1 each for red, green and blue.

3) 50 ct 12v smart pixles. 150 channles, 1 each  for read, green blue times 50 pixels since you can individually control each pixel, and just not the entire string.  

 

There is a learning curve to smart pixels/controllers and generallly would suggest jumping right into it as anewbie.

 

A displaydoesn't have to be 100 percent flashy.  There's always for for static or less flashy display element. 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/19/2018 at 9:50 AM, mpageler said:

Starting smallwith  your intila purchase is a good way to start.  That will give you time to get familiar with the software and basic controller setup.   

 

You can start expanding in the futrue if  you:

1) Really empbrace doing a display.

2) Have the funds to start expanding

3) Have the time to program, build and do setup. 

Here's a simple way to look at channle numbers.

1) 50 count AC led mini string - 1 channle.

2) 50 ct 12v dump rgg string. 3 chanels, 1 each for red, green and blue.

3) 50 ct 12v smart pixles. 150 channles, 1 each  for read, green blue times 50 pixels since you can individually control each pixel, and just not the entire string.  

 

There is a learning curve to smart pixels/controllers and generallly would suggest jumping right into it as anewbie.

 

A displaydoesn't have to be 100 percent flashy.  There's always for for static or less flashy display element. 

 

 

 

 

Mp,

Thanks for the broken down explanation. Makes much more sense now. 

So, I'm taking it, that a different controller is required for the rgb smart and dumb, than would be required for the led strings. 

 

Thanks to all of you who posted behind me it is appreciated :)

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