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Now that I have my 1 controller up and running and have sequenced a few songs of my own I'm already making plans and looking forward to Halloween and especially Christmas. 

Can anyone explain how the pixels operate and how you can do so much more with them as opposed to traditional lights but I'm just not clear on the overall setup.

I've watched some videos and it seems like their is a "DMX" device that is used in place of the USB adapter. 

How much more difficult are they to set up as opposed to "regular" lights?

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At this early stage keep thoughts of pixels easy. The easiest controller to set up and keep in an exclusive LOR network with your one AC controller is a pixie controller.

Get a pro license, a red USB adapter and SuperStar if you can afford.

Build your own pixie controller and save $.

Think if you regular lights but you can make them any color and do a wide variety  of movement.

JR

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pixels are  in concept, a light that is individually controllable to make it any color your want versus a string of lights that are fixed in color. 

There are a few typical uses.  
- Replacing or adding to the string of lights you have.  Imagine being able to change your whole house to Red or Blue or any shade you want.  
- arches or other more complex shapes, allow them to leap or go back and forth, again in various colors
- pixel tree - color switching and movement, adds animation options
- a grid of pixels - basically a simple TV screen that adds even more options for creating scenes
or some combination of the above 

The biggest difference for me going from traditional to adding some pixels this year is the complexity.  As you stated, you have 16 channels to worry about.   You make more or less binary decisions, on or off with some variations for intensity such as fading up and down,

with pixels, even a simple shape has probably 3 times that many and each one has to be considered.  And of course, as i said, you want to apply patterns and movements, but you can't do that easily yourself which is where some of the motion effects come into play or superstar.  they are the tools to help you do it.

since you already have the SE and trial version of superstar, you can do some playing.  Add a pixel tree or arch and see if you like it.   

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TexasLights said:

pixels are  in concept, a light that is individually controllable to make it any color your want versus a string of lights that are fixed in color. 

There are a few typical uses.  
- Replacing or adding to the string of lights you have.  Imagine being able to change your whole house to Red or Blue or any shade you want.  
- arches or other more complex shapes, allow them to leap or go back and forth, again in various colors
- pixel tree - color switching and movement, adds animation options
- a grid of pixels - basically a simple TV screen that adds even more options for creating scenes
or some combination of the above 

The biggest difference for me going from traditional to adding some pixels this year is the complexity.  As you stated, you have 16 channels to worry about.   You make more or less binary decisions, on or off with some variations for intensity such as fading up and down,

with pixels, even a simple shape has probably 3 times that many and each one has to be considered.  And of course, as i said, you want to apply patterns and movements, but you can't do that easily yourself which is where some of the motion effects come into play or superstar.  they are the tools to help you do it.

since you already have the SE and trial version of superstar, you can do some playing.  Add a pixel tree or arch and see if you like it.   

 

 

 

 

Like I said, I've watched some videos on the LOR side of things and even went so far as to watch some "pixel for dummies"(I guess you could call them) videos.

Looking at the setup layouts on the LOR website, they always show the "pixel Xmas tree). Is that something that comes with that individual controller or are they just giving a representation of what can be done with the pixel16 controller.

Speaking of the arches, which I definitely want to add next season, I could do a leaping variety with just one channel of pixels in theory correct?

Judging from the LOR layout pics, I know I would need to add a pixel controller but what is this DMX that people are mentioning? I read an add from someone selling one that stated "does not have DMX adapter". Am I missing something or were they?

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16 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Like I said, I've watched some videos on the LOR side of things and even went so far as to watch some "pixel for dummies"(I guess you could call them) videos.

Looking at the setup layouts on the LOR website, they always show the "pixel Xmas tree). Is that something that comes with that individual controller or are they just giving a representation of what can be done with the pixel16 controller.

Speaking of the arches, which I definitely want to add next season, I could do a leaping variety with just one channel of pixels in theory correct?

Judging from the LOR layout pics, I know I would need to add a pixel controller but what is this DMX that people are mentioning? I read an add from someone selling one that stated "does not have DMX adapter". Am I missing something or were they?

They are kits and include the controller. Careful if you get one to not accidentally over complicate things by buying a pixcon16.

Yes one string  per arch is all that is needed. Perhaps 1 string per 2 arches if they are smaller and closer together.

Dont worry about DMX at this stage or ever. That is another network and adds more complexity than needed in the beginning stages. I am strictly LOR all the way I use the K.I.S.S. Method.

I also would never buy used, we just had a discussion yesterday about the used subject.

 

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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1 minute ago, dibblejr said:

They are kits and include the controller. Careful if you get one to not accidentally over complicate things by buying a pixcon16.

Yes one string  per arch is all that is needed. Perhaps 1 string per 2 arches if they are smaller and closer together.

JR

Why would the pixcon16 overcomplicate things?

I have a corner lot in my neighborhood with a large fence and a big front/side yard so I have plenty of room to add quite a few things but I especially would like to have some singing xmas trees for xmas and maybe some spooky faces for Halloween. 

Would two 8 channel pixel controllers be easier to manage than one 16?

I'm sure as a total Newb to all of this I'll be biting off more than I can chew but as a Marine one of our beliefs is "anything worth doing is worth overdoing"!

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42 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Why would the pixcon16 overcomplicate things?

I have a corner lot in my neighborhood with a large fence and a big front/side yard so I have plenty of room to add quite a few things but I especially would like to have some singing xmas trees for xmas and maybe some spooky faces for Halloween. 

Would two 8 channel pixel controllers be easier to manage than one 16?

I'm sure as a total Newb to all of this I'll be biting off more than I can chew but as a Marine one of our beliefs is "anything worth doing is worth overdoing"!

First off let's clear up CHANNELS when it comes to RGB lights, smart and dumb pixels are all 3 channels per node, so a 50 count strand of pixels = 150 channels {300 channels for 100 strand count of pixels}.

Now, smart pixels each color is INDEPENDENTLY Controlled, that is each bulb can be a completely different color than another on the same strand.  Dumb pixels the entire strand is still 3 channels per bulb, but the entire strand can only be a single color at any given time.

Most pixel controllers, depending on voltage output to the strand will control either a total of 2 strands of 50 RGB nodes for 5VDC, 12VDC you can have 2 strands of 100 RGB Nodes or 4 strands {2 strands on each port of the controller} of 50 bulbs.  Voltage of the nodes to the controller is important, as you can NOT mix 5V and 12V strands together, there are exceptions, but that is lot more complex using multi-voltage controllers like the Pixcon 16.

And getting into pixels, with some controllers WILL REQUIRE a PRO License level to use them, a PRO license is ALWAYS recommended when getting into pixels because they are intensive, so a red high speed USB-RS485 adapter is required as most require 500K speed and an Enhanced Network.

And DMX IS NOT required for all pixel controllers, some folks use that method, others just use the standard LOR protocol, that is up to you.

If anything else needs to be added to this to help simplify it further, I'm sure someone else here will chime in with additional detail.

 

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1 hour ago, Tuke said:

Why would the pixcon16 overcomplicate things?

I have a corner lot in my neighborhood with a large fence and a big front/side yard so I have plenty of room to add quite a few things but I especially would like to have some singing xmas trees for xmas and maybe some spooky faces for Halloween. 

Would two 8 channel pixel controllers be easier to manage than one 16?

I'm sure as a total Newb to all of this I'll be biting off more than I can chew but as a Marine one of our beliefs is "anything worth doing is worth overdoing"!

As stated keep it simple. The pixcon16 in itself is a booger to set up. 

A pixie of any type takes me about 5-10 mins to set up and test.

A pixcon16 took me hours to figure out how, and had it not been for a great guy here Mr.P i would have probably sent it back to its owner non configured. This was a favor I did for another member. I sent him my pixie16 to use and he sent me his pixcon16.

They both do almost the same thing, the pixcon16 has a few more features as well as DMX protocol but why make things complicated until you get a whole lot of pixels to sequence. (I mean a whole lot)

I have tested and reach 120’with my pixies but I have a lot of them for different areas or props.

It’s all your choice, I can give you solid, sound advice and resources. In the end it’s your wallet.

And as my other friend Orville says “a red adapter and pro license as well as SS should be in your future” before you buy the controllers.

JR

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44 minutes ago, Orville said:

First off let's clear up CHANNELS when it comes to RGB lights, smart and dumb pixels are all 3 channels per node, so a 50 count strand of pixels = 150 channels {300 channels for 100 strand count of pixels}.

Now, smart pixels each color is INDEPENDENTLY Controlled, that is each bulb can be a completely different color than another on the same strand.  Dumb pixels the entire strand is still 3 channels per bulb, but the entire strand can only be a single color at any given time.

Most pixel controllers, depending on voltage output to the strand will control either a total of 2 strands of 50 RGB nodes for 5VDC, 12VDC you can have 2 strands of 100 RGB Nodes or 4 strands {2 strands on each port of the controller} of 50 bulbs.  Voltage of the nodes to the controller is important, as you can NOT mix 5V and 12V strands together, there are exceptions, but that is lot more complex using multi-voltage controllers like the Pixcon 16.

And getting into pixels, with some controllers WILL REQUIRE a PRO License level to use them, a PRO license is ALWAYS recommended when getting into pixels because they are intensive, so a red high speed USB-RS485 adapter is required as most require 500K speed and an Enhanced Network.

And DMX IS NOT required for all pixel controllers, some folks use that method, others just use the standard LOR protocol, that is up to you.

If anything else needs to be added to this to help simplify it further, I'm sure someone else here will chime in with additional detail.

 

Thank you. One of the videos explained about the 5 & 12v and not to mix them.

I guess I will need to figure out exactly what I want to do so I have an idea of which size controller I need. 4, 8, or 16.

Would you know what the difference is between the RGB smart pixels they sell on the LOR website and those some people sell on ebay?

Reason I ask, is a friend of mine bought like 500 feet for his daughter's wedding and said I can have them if I wanted. I'm just not sure if I'd be able to use them.

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4 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

As stated keep it simple. The pixcon16 in itself is a booger to set up. 

A pixie of any type takes me about 5-10 mins to set up and test.

A pixcon16 took me hours to figure out how, and had it not been for a great guy here Mr.P i would have probably sent it back to its owner non configured. This was a favor I did for another member. I sent him my pixie16 to use and he sent me his pixcon16.

They both do almost the same thing, the pixcon16 has a few more features as well as DMX protocol but why make things complicated until you get a whole lot of pixels to sequence. (I mean a whole lot)

I have tested and reach 120’with my pixies but I have a lot of them for different areas or props.

It’s all your choice, I can give you solid, sound advice and resources. In the end it’s your wallet.

And as my other friend Orville says “a red adapter and pro license as well as SS should be in your future” before you buy the controllers.

JR

Thanks. Definitely going to upgrade as soon as the season is over so I can start fooling around with the SS sequencer. I guess once I have an idea of exactly what I want I can proceed to buy what I will need to cover it.

I got a line on about 500 foot of RGB lights for free if I want but I'm not certain they'll work with the LOR software. Need to do some more research and see what I can find out. 

It's awesome that people are so willing to help one another. I'd probably never have even gotten my little show going had it not been for "TexasLights" on here. He called me, set up a web sharing session and walked me through step by step to find out what I was doing incorrectly. Certainly makes me feel more comfortable moving forward to bigger set ups!

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8 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Thank you. One of the videos explained about the 5 & 12v and not to mix them.

I guess I will need to figure out exactly what I want to do so I have an idea of which size controller I need. 4, 8, or 16.

Would you know what the difference is between the RGB smart pixels they sell on the LOR website and those some people sell on ebay?

Reason I ask, is a friend of mine bought like 500 feet for his daughter's wedding and said I can have them if I wanted. I'm just not sure if I'd be able to use them.

The main thing you need to know is what type they are, as in what IC Chip controls them and what their voltage rating is, 5V? 12V?  And yes, you could use them, you just have to know what they are, also are they 3 wire or 4 wire?  To my recollection 3 wire DOES NOT have a DATA signal line, but 4 wire do and would require a controller that also has 4 wire outputs of the proper voltage and/or a data line for the RGB lights you want to use.   As for their length, they should be able to be cut down to the appropriate size to work with whichever controller you'd decide on to use with.  But make sure the controller is one you can use with them.

 

Edited by Orville
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5 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Thank you. One of the videos explained about the 5 & 12v and not to mix them.

I guess I will need to figure out exactly what I want to do so I have an idea of which size controller I need. 4, 8, or 16.

Would you know what the difference is between the RGB smart pixels they sell on the LOR website and those some people sell on ebay?

Reason I ask, is a friend of mine bought like 500 feet for his daughter's wedding and said I can have them if I wanted. I'm just not sure if I'd be able to use them.

12V for longer strings without power injection (P=I*E)  since power is about the same. I goes down at 12V. I is what needs fatter wire because of our enemy R

Main consideration for Smart Pixels: Pixies can only do ONE chip set (type).  (advantage of smaller Pixies, you can optimize mode for your strings.

IMHO Put the controller near the use. Less cables (Just the Network and AC for the power supply) length

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4 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

12V for longer strings without power injection (P=I*E)  since power is about the same. I goes down at 12V. I is what needs fatter wire because of our enemy R

Main consideration for Smart Pixels: Pixies can only do ONE chip set (type).  (advantage of smaller Pixies, you can optimize mode for your strings.

IMHO Put the controller near the use. Less cables (Just the Network and AC for the power supply) length

Thank you all for the help and info. I'm sure I will have more questions as I move along.

Are there any discount places people buy their lights and accessories at? I'm waiting to buy a bunch of stuff after the holidays but didn't know if there was a site that everyone uses for things. I heard LOR does a sale after xmas as well but not sure.

I guess if the lights are the 3 wire type I won't be able to use them as I wouldn't be able to control them without the data line. My friend said they were "smart pixels" but I haven't seen them yet.

Thanks again to everyone!

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4 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Thank you all for the help and info. I'm sure I will have more questions as I move along.

Are there any discount places people buy their lights and accessories at? I'm waiting to buy a bunch of stuff after the holidays but didn't know if there was a site that everyone uses for things. I heard LOR does a sale after xmas as well but not sure.

I guess if the lights are the 3 wire type I won't be able to use them as I wouldn't be able to control them without the data line. My friend said they were "smart pixels" but I haven't seen them yet.

Thanks again to everyone!

Pixies can control with or without the Clock line

Dumb are only 4 wire and have neither data or clock.+V, Red, Green, Blue that connect or -V in the combination to make shades  CMB24  (24 channels as 8 RGB ports) is the controller for DUMB

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MOST smart pixels these days are three wire ( V+, V-, and Data ).  There are some that also have a Clock wire.  As the ducks said, all dumb RGB are four wire - and NOT controlled by any pixel controller.

 

Edited by k6ccc
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31 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

MOST smart pixels these days are three wire ( V+, V-, and Data ).  There are some that also have a Clock wire.  As the ducks said, all dumb RGB are four wire - and NOT controlled by any pixel controller.

 

Oh ok. Thank you.

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40 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

MOST smart pixels these days are three wire ( V+, V-, and Data ).  There are some that also have a Clock wire.  As the ducks said, all dumb RGB are four wire - and NOT controlled by any pixel controller.

 

My friend beat me to it, they all have data.

4 wire has clock.

JR

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7 hours ago, Orville said:

The main thing you need to know is what type they are, as in what IC Chip controls them and what their voltage rating is, 5V? 12V?  And yes, you could use them, you just have to know what they are, also are they 3 wire or 4 wire?  To my recollection 3 wire DOES NOT have a DATA signal line, but 4 wire do and would require a controller that also has 4 wire outputs of the proper voltage and/or a data line for the RGB lights you want to use.   As for their length, they should be able to be cut down to the appropriate size to work with whichever controller you'd decide on to use with.  But make sure the controller is one you can use with them.

 

My bad, stated this was from trying to recall, thanks folks for clearing up the error.  DATA should have been CLOCK.  But for the life of me, the word DATA kept popping into my head.   Guess I've been watching too many Star Trek TNG episodes with Lt. Commander Data in them. LOL

 

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14 hours ago, TheDucks said:

12V for longer strings without power injection (P=I*E)  since power is about the same. I goes down at 12V. I is what needs fatter wire because of our enemy R

Main consideration for Smart Pixels: Pixies can only do ONE chip set (type).  (advantage of smaller Pixies, you can optimize mode for your strings.

IMHO Put the controller near the use. Less cables (Just the Network and AC for the power supply) length

What does "1 chip set type" mean? You lost me there.

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I would like to clear things up when it comes to the size of the controller. The Pixie Series of controllers comes in 2, 4, 8 and 16, the larger Pixie16 is good for props where you have many strings/ribbons in a confined space such as a Pixel tree or matrix. other then that you are better off running several smaller controllers which can cover a larger area with shorter extension runs. Shorter extension runs keep the voltage drop to a minimum and you will not have to add Null Pixels to regenerate the data signal which degrades over distance. Keep in mind that when it comes to pixels distance is the enemy.

As far as pixels you can learn more info about types and specs here:

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Different_Styles_of_Pixels

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37 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

I would like to clear things up when it comes to the size of the controller. The Pixie Series of controllers comes in 2, 4, 8 and 16, the larger Pixie16 is good for props where you have many strings/ribbons in a confined space such as a Pixel tree or matrix. other then that you are better off running several smaller controllers which can cover a larger area with shorter extension runs. Shorter extension runs keep the voltage drop to a minimum and you will not have to add Null Pixels to regenerate the data signal which degrades over distance. Keep in mind that when it comes to pixels distance is the enemy.

As far as pixels you can learn more info about types and specs here:

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Different_Styles_of_Pixels

Thank you. You wouldn't happen to have a link for a LOR "Pixel setup" basics video would ya'? I've watched some on YouTube but they're more towards how to use the software as opposed to:

1- What you need - Pixels, Pixel controller, power supply, etc...

2 - How to set up.

Instead, the ones I've seen assume you already have everything you need purchased and set up and just jump in to how to sequence. 

Thanks.

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21 minutes ago, Tuke said:

Thank you. You wouldn't happen to have a link for a LOR "Pixel setup" basics video would ya'? I've watched some on YouTube but they're more towards how to use the software as opposed to:

1- What you need - Pixels, Pixel controller, power supply, etc...

2 - How to set up.

Instead, the ones I've seen assume you already have everything you need purchased and set up and just jump in to how to sequence. 

Thanks.

I think this is one of the reasons LOR and HC sell RTG (ready to go) hardware packages.  IMHO I still think the best way to learn, is to look at various folks builds and find one that FITS you conditions and skill.

There are great assembly vids out there. Take time to do it RIGHT (unless you have money to burn when it smokes)

The Rain belt folk need water resistance. The hot belt user need better cooling. Snow bound folk need Solid everything, because fixing on the fly is a 😮  There is no SINGLE best way (as long as the smoke stays in)

HOMEWORK, then bounce your plans off other lighters. 

HU is how you configure the Pixies for 'chip type' being used. WS2811 is a common one (I think this is what HC sells as 12V). With Pixies there is only a Per/Board setting, so all  connected to that board MUST be the same type.

 

 

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1 - yes.  you need a controller and pixels and power.  
- you can buy the package from LOR, either as a tree (comes with strings and equipment to build the tree) or just a controller and pixels (no mounting) 

- you can buy the piece parts, controller, power supply and pixels, but at list price of $400 for a complete package, controller and 8 X 50 strips, that not much more expensive than buying the parts - but if you on the other hand want to buy piece parts you can.  The different vendors dot no all use the same connectors so you need to be sure to get ones that will work or can be swapped.  Of course, if you are building yourself, you probably also wired the controller for whatever pixels you purchased.   I know others here buy their pixels direct so I will let them comment on options there. 

2 - for setup, its pretty simple as long as you do not want to go large distances, unlike regular lights where you can run a 100 foot cord across your yard, or plug a dozen strings into 1 outlet.  You plug the pixels into the controller and possibly a 2nd into that one. The number of pixels are limited per controller output (100 for the pixie8).  They do sell extensions, their length is limited.   So some things like a tree are easy because the strings are all right together which of course is why they sell that as a package.  Arches as long as not too far apart as also pretty simple.   But if decided you wanted to put pixels all along the perimeter of your house, that becomes more a challenge because the power drop is too much to simply run a single se.   Again, I will defer to others to fill in the blanks there if that is the direction you want to go.

Edited by TexasLights
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22 minutes ago, TexasLights said:

and if you go for the LOR packages or options, they have a spring sale where they have some very good prices on things and a summer sale where the prices are reduced 

I found a video set by a youtuber called "CanispatorChristmas" on nothing but pixels so I'm in the process of watching that at the moment. Pretty informative. 

Before I decided to try the LOR, I had actually planned to do my entire house in RGB but was quickly informed that with the length of lights I would need I would also need like 8-10 power supplies so that nixed that idea.

I just need to figure out exactly what I want to display and then figure what I need to make it happen. I could ask questions all day long but until I know what I'm going to do it's all kind of a moot point.

Thanks again to all!

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