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Outdoor Light Box Sign


dkoehler42
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I feel like I asked this a few years ago, but I'm not certain.  I'm looking for an outdoor lighted box sign to display the radio frequency.  Most of what I'm seeing is either wall mounted or a water/sand standing base.  Is there anything that would work well in the yard and not be distracting?

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I built two of these signs in 2016 and used them for several years.  The box is just 3/4 inch plywood, and there were six strips of dumb RGB inside.  One got damaged and I changed to a P10 and a P5 matrix.  The front face was a translucent plastic from here:  https://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_sheets_rolls/led_ligh_panel/598  Then I used stick on vinyl letters for the text.  The plastic is mounted to the back side of a piece of plywood that has a large opening as seen in the photos.   I used (and highly recommend) wood screws rather than nails to hold it all together so that it is fairly easy to open up if a strip or connection fails.

Here are a bunch of photos (I have more).

The light strips inside

Tune_To_3.jpg

The wiring bus - top and bottom end.  Note that the plastic wire anchors are screwed into the wood.  I do NOT trust the foam tape to hold long term onto wood.

Tune_To_wiring_1.jpg

Tune_To_wiring_3.jpg

What it looked like in daylight

Tune_To_in_daylight.jpg

And lit in a couple different colors:

TuneTo_cyan.jpg

TuneTo_magenta.jpg

TuneTo_green.jpg

 

 

 

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Just now, Richard365 said:

 Need something you can change the number. The radio frequency  I used for 4 years. I local radio station took over . I had to change frequency. 

With the light boxex I built, had I needed to change frequencies, I could just peel off the vinyl numbers and put new ones on.

 

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

I built two of these signs in 2016 and used them for several years.  The box is just 3/4 inch plywood, and there were six strips of dumb RGB inside.  One got damaged and I changed to a P10 and a P5 matrix.  The front face was a translucent plastic from here:  https://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_sheets_rolls/led_ligh_panel/598  Then I used stick on vinyl letters for the text.  The plastic is mounted to the back side of a piece of plywood that has a large opening as seen in the photos.   I used (and highly recommend) wood screws rather than nails to hold it all together so that it is fairly easy to open up if a strip or connection fails.

Here are a bunch of photos (I have more).

The light strips inside

Tune_To_3.jpg

The wiring bus - top and bottom end.  Note that the plastic wire anchors are screwed into the wood.  I do NOT trust the foam tape to hold long term onto wood.

Tune_To_wiring_1.jpg

 

I'm concerned about using wood, seems like there's a lot of maintenance involved.  I wonder if there's a metal like aluminum or a plastic option similar to what you built.

Edited by dkoehler42
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1 hour ago, Richard365 said:

 Need something you can change the number. The radio frequency  I used for 4 years. I local radio station took over . I had to change frequency. 

I have a doodle I did for making a 7 segment digit out of smart  RGB Rectangles (and a square for the Point)

21 for 88-99, 23 for 100 up .   Double that for larger digits  ~$25 if you have a nearby Pixie 💡

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2 minutes ago, dkoehler42 said:

I'm concerned about using wood, seems like there's a lot of maintenance involved.  I wonder if there's a metal like aluminum or a plastic option similar to what you built.

Are you planning on leaving it out 365?  Treat the wood with (Cabots) deck stain. Use fence pipe for posts (I jammed a piece into the ground years ago, just a crust of rust where it contact the dirt.

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9 minutes ago, dkoehler42 said:

I'm concerned about using wood, seems like there's a lot of maintenance involved. 

This is southern California, so rain is not THAT much of an issue (most years).  I painted the wood, and that would have lasted for years I suspect since it would normally only be out for about two months per year.  The only issue I really had with the wood was the legs were sitting on the ground and water soaked up into the legs on both sides and the plywood de-laminated.  When I build the enclosure for the matrix panels, I will again build it from wood, but better protected and the legs will be metal to avoid that issue.

 

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59 minutes ago, caniac said:

I've gone the P10 route, allows me to not only change station on a dime but add messages.

Same here.  The most common display is Artist, song title and Tune to information.  Other stuff at times too.

Matrix_panels_hanging_close-up.jpg

 

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Sure.  The upper one is a P10 matrix and the lower one is a P5 matrix.  A P10 panel is 160mm x 320mm or about just over a six inches by just over a foot.  There is an RGB LED (pixel) every 10mm, so there are 16 x 32 pixels or 512 pixels for each panel.  A P5 panel is the same size except there are pixels every 5mm so there are 32 x 64 pixels per panel for a total of 2,048 per panel.  They can be mounted together to create a larger matrix.  In my case, my P10 matrix is 4 wide by 3 high for a total of 128 pixels wide and 48 pixels high for a total of 6,144 pixels or 18,432 channels.  My P5 matrix is 3 wide by 2 high, for a total of 192 pixels wide and 96 pixels high for a total of 12,288 pixels or 36,876 channels.  Each matrix has either a BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi that is running Falcon Player (FPP) software.  Since I run my show from LOR, the FPP instances are operating in Bridge mode which means that it just appears as an E1.31 controller.  My LOR show computer spits out E1.31 commands and the BeagleBone (in my case) converts that into the commands to drive the panels.  The beauty of the P5 and P10 panels is that they are cheap and easy to work with.  Last I bought some, a P10 panels as $11 and a P5 was $18.  That was a couple years ago, so the prices are likely different.  There is no way you get the pixel density of a P5 or P10 panel with individual pixels.

As far as LOR is concerned, each matrix is just a really large E1.31 prop.  I am sequencing them as Motion Effects in S5.

 

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