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Thinking of converting away from incans


Donl1150
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As the season will be coming to close soon, I have begun thinking about next year already.  I currently have 4 - CTB16PC controllers but am only using 3 this year.  I currently run S4.4.4 Standard Edition and after looking at S5, have no desire to go there.  My entire display uses incandescents but I want to begin converting to LED’s.  I currently use 2 - ELL’s to get my signal to the yard.

I have watched videos for the RGB products & Singing Trees and quite honestly I don’t know what to buy or even what will work on my ELL network.  Some guidance would be appreciated and in particular, what would be the least costly step to begin my transition away from incans.  And if I need to upgrade either my hardware or my license as well.


Thanks!

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ELLs are limited to 115K speed which the old rule of thumb for that speed was about 900 channels.  As for converting to LEDs, do you mean replacing your incan strings with similar LED strings, or are you talking about going to RGB - either dumb RGB or smart pixels.  If you go with dumb RGB, it is quite possible to stay withing the channel limit of your ELLs.  For example non-pixel based singing face trees normally use around eight channels per tree.  If you go with smart pixels it is REAL EASY to go past the capabilities of the ELLs - both in terms of channel count and network speed / capabilities.  For all practical purposes, going to Pixie series controllers requires 500K or 1000K speed Enhanced LOR networking - neither of which can be done via ELLs.

So your first question is: what do you really want to change, and to what?

 

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31 minutes ago, Donl1150 said:

As the season will be coming to close soon, I have begun thinking about next year already.  I currently have 4 - CTB16PC controllers but am only using 3 this year.  I currently run S4.4.4 Standard Edition and after looking at S5, have no desire to go there.  My entire display uses incandescents but I want to begin converting to LED’s.  I currently use 2 - ELL’s to get my signal to the yard.

I have watched videos for the RGB products & Singing Trees and quite honestly I don’t know what to buy or even what will work on my ELL network.  Some guidance would be appreciated and in particular, what would be the least costly step to begin my transition away from incans.  And if I need to upgrade either my hardware or my license as well.


Thanks!

I converted my 9 strand (some had 2 colors of strings) AC (5mm) LED Tree to mostly Dumb RGB bullets (12 strands. the topper and a couple of white/strobe strands are still AC).

As  K6CCC says,my 2@ CMB24's are quite happy on the old network, along wit the CTB16PCg2

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Well....that gives me a little insight.  I guess I am not married to ELL's.  I could easily switch to a complete hardwired network.  What I like though is the smooth transition of color capabilities such as the pixel trees.  I assume that means my CTB controllers won't cut it and I would also need the high speed USB adapters.  Would I need to upgrade my license as well to a higher level to be able to do the necessary sequencing? 

If I do smart pixels, if I am understanding it correctly, you need 3 channels for one bulb in order to get all color combinations?  So one 16 channel controller could handle 5 bulbs?  Wow....does it really cost a fortune in equipment to have a show with 100,000 lights?  How can anybody afford this hobby?

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7 minutes ago, Donl1150 said:

Well....that gives me a little insight.  I guess I am not married to ELL's.  I could easily switch to a complete hardwired network.  What I like though is the smooth transition of color capabilities such as the pixel trees.  I assume that means my CTB controllers won't cut it and I would also need the high speed USB adapters.  Would I need to upgrade my license as well to a higher level to be able to do the necessary sequencing? 

If I do smart pixels, if I am understanding it correctly, you need 3 channels for one bulb in order to get all color combinations?  So one 16 channel controller could handle 5 bulbs?  Wow....does it really cost a fortune in equipment to have a show with 100,000 lights?  How can anybody afford this hobby?

16 channel controllers are not used for pixels, totally different system. Pixels will use their own type of controller primarily the Pixie Series controllers which can handle thousands of channels.

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10 minutes ago, Donl1150 said:

Well....that gives me a little insight.  I guess I am not married to ELL's.  I could easily switch to a complete hardwired network.  What I like though is the smooth transition of color capabilities such as the pixel trees.  I assume that means my CTB controllers won't cut it and I would also need the high speed USB adapters.  Would I need to upgrade my license as well to a higher level to be able to do the necessary sequencing? 

If I do smart pixels, if I am understanding it correctly, you need 3 channels for one bulb in order to get all color combinations?  So one 16 channel controller could handle 5 bulbs?  Wow....does it really cost a fortune in equipment to have a show with 100,000 lights?  How can anybody afford this hobby?

Color = confusion :D

Dumb: allows color change, just the whole string.  Each controller is the Channel, just like the AC one. They have Ports, just like the AC one, you use these in 3's for RGB, but you can use single color strings on some.

Smart: Eats channels(fast) , as each ADDRESSABLE NODE is 3 channels (R,G,B) . The controller has ports, but that is more for the sequence logic (where do I send this sequences line)

Edited by TheDucks
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1 hour ago, Donl1150 said:

As the season will be coming to close soon

WHAT?!?!?! I JUST got the last of my stuff up!

I'd start simple so you get the feel of it. I started with 2 AC controllers (and all incans) and last year updated to LEDs,  a Pixie 2 and smart RGB for arches and a horizontal fire stick. This year I upgraded to S5 and added another AC controller and a second Pixie 2. That's about all I could handle at a time.

Well, and I made 10 lampposts and a vinyl cutout this year, too.

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Sorry about the coming to a close.  It is for me, as we are going to venture out of 85 degree FL and head to 0 degree MN for about 2 weeks.  I am going to leave my show running and monitor it from afar to make sure all goes well.  When we get back it will be time to dismantle.  :(  thus Coming to a close.  

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1 hour ago, tlogan said:

WHAT?!?!?! I JUST got the last of my stuff up!

I'd start simple so you get the feel of it. I started with 2 AC controllers (and all incans) and last year updated to LEDs,  a Pixie 2 and smart RGB for arches and a horizontal fire stick. This year I upgraded to S5 and added another AC controller and a second Pixie 2. That's about all I could handle at a time.

Well, and I made 10 lampposts and a vinyl cutout this year, too.

So help me with the hardware I would need to do what you did.  2 AC controllers....isn’t that what I have now?   A Pixie 2 controller....is that one of the CCR controller packs that come with some RGB strings?   Oh, and will my ELL network work with this?

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I hear you. We go to Wisconsin every other year and I put less out since I won't be there to enjoy it. A couple of years ago we pulled into the Green Bay Costco at noon and it was -4.

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5 minutes ago, Donl1150 said:

So help me with the hardware I would need to do what you did.  2 AC controllers....isn’t that what I have now?   A Pixie 2 controller....is that one of the CCR controller packs that come with some RGB strings?   Oh, and will my ELL network work with this?

Your ELL will NOT work on the network that gets the Pixies. Those need faster than 115K. That only means, you need a RED adapter with wire to the Pixies. the other stuff can stay as it is.

Don't let Multiple networks needs scare you.  You just need a enough USB ports to attach however many you end up with (you list says 2 for now 😛 ). You can use a USB Hub (powere advised, but not required for just LOR )

When you sequence, you need to make 1 additional selection when adding the controller (where you will attach it) : Regular or NetworkA

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12 minutes ago, Donl1150 said:

So help me with the hardware I would need to do what you did.  2 AC controllers....isn’t that what I have now?   A Pixie 2 controller....is that one of the CCR controller packs that come with some RGB strings?   Oh, and will my ELL network work with this?

Yes, I got the Pixie 2 package that comes with the smart RGB lights. Last year I got it with ribbons to create arches and a horizontal firestick. This year I added a third AC controller and another Pixie2 but with the bulbs to line the top of my garage and around my front door. I assume you are running incandescent lights on the AC controllers. You can just swap those out for LED strings of equal count and what ever color you want. The Walmart brand (in the blue and white boxes) are quite popular and work and dim fine and are just about as cheap as you can find in any store. You can probably find cheaper online if you want to wait. I like having the ability to run to the store and pick up matching/additional sets if I need them in hurry. 

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