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CTB16PC 16 or iDMX-1000 to control RGB lighting


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For several years I have led a Christmas boat parade through our waterfront community. I have a fairly elaborate display using the CTB16PC 16 channel controller to drive the 16 channels and more than 500’ of LED rope lighting. The problem is although I can turn on, off, fade up, down, shimmer, and twinkle each circuit in a very impressive arrangement to musical sequences, I want to upgrade to a lighting system where I can change the rope light color and add chasing effects as well. Because the display will be viewed from all angles, it needs to project light out in a 360° pattern. I would like to know what lighting and hardware is available to accomplish this and how would I utilize that with my current CTB16PC 16 channel controller along with a iDMX-1000 converter if needed. I have yet to find a RGB smart or dump pixel rope light that works without its own proprietary controller to use on the LOR network.  Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

sail@seduisant.org

017A1675-7FBA-4ED9-BA77-CC666F80B1F0.jpeg

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Any Pixel string is going to require a pixel controller.  An iDMX is not likely the direction that you will need to go.  More likely one of more Pixie controllers.  There are a couple ways that you can get the 360 degree viewing.  Pixel strips are normally one sided, but you could put two strips back to back to get at least close to 360 degree viewing.  Bullet pixels can if oriented right, will give a 360 degree view.  Your CTB16 has no ability to control pixels. 

What are you using to control the show - a PC or a Director?

 

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I think you want Dumb RGB (just the ability to change the string color). Correct.  Your AC controller wont do that (control). A CMB24 will run 8 RGB strings (I use 2 for these or my tree)

Your idmx should be able to run this controller (it will process DMX). What I see, is your strings are longer than 12.5' (bullets 4" spacing) or 16.5' (standard Ribbon). A port can supply 4Amps (fuse) and (a bit confused here: a channel claims 4A without heat sinks (A port has 3 channels for RGB). Power injection will be needed for any longer strings @12V

IMHO ribbons are out because they face 1 way. Bullets in a tube (homemade Rope) could, but brightness will be limited.

If the ROPE has 4 wires, then you can ditch their controller and wire direct to the CMB24 IF the rope uses 12V Positive , and each R,G or B is the negative The chip used should be the tell

 

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8 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Any Pixel string is going to require a pixel controller.  An iDMX is not likely the direction that you will need to go.  More likely one of more Pixie controllers.  There are a couple ways that you can get the 360 degree viewing.  Pixel strips are normally one sided, but you could put two strips back to back to get at least close to 360 degree viewing.  Bullet pixels can if oriented right, will give a 360 degree view.  Your CTB16 has no ability to control pixels. 

What are you using to control the show - a PC or a Director?

 

I use both. I have the whole system connected the a 110 volt circuit that comes on automaticity with my landscape lighting when the boat is at home. It uses a SD card in a director to control everything and to provide audio to my fm transmitter. During the parade I use my pc to control everything so that I have the flexibility to select certain sequences in the fly. 

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2 hours ago, TheDucks said:

I think you want Dumb RGB (just the ability to change the string color). Correct.  Your AC controller wont do that (control). A CMB24 will run 8 RGB strings (I use 2 for these or my tree)

Your idmx should be able to run this controller (it will process DMX). What I see, is your strings are longer than 12.5' (bullets 4" spacing) or 16.5' (standard Ribbon). A port can supply 4Amps (fuse) and (a bit confused here: a channel claims 4A without heat sinks (A port has 3 channels for RGB). Power injection will be needed for any longer strings @12V

IMHO ribbons are out because they face 1 way. Bullets in a tube (homemade Rope) could, but brightness will be limited.

If the ROPE has 4 wires, then you can ditch their controller and wire direct to the CMB24 IF the rope uses 12V Positive , and each R,G or B is the negative The chip used should be the tell

 

Yea it’s a tough decision. What I have now is 110 volt and very bright. I wouldn’t mind using dumb rgb because I could at least have more color combinations. This year with Mardi Gras being cancelled there is talk of possibility doing a night parade through the neighborhood. It would be great to switch from the red, green, and with Christmas theme to purple, green, and gold. Is there any way to combine the 110 volt AC controller along with a color changing controller to make things work?

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They all play together. The slight exception is when Pixies (smart RGB) are in the mix All the controllers need to do 500K or you just need more than 1 network.

In 2017 I took my previous 9 strands of Walgreens LEDS (AC) and interleaved 8 strands of DUMB RGB (12V) for a total of 17 strands. It worked 🥴, but I was not pleased. So next year I switched the old AC for 8 more strands of RGB  . What I am thinking is I want some JAZZ. I have 4 strands of 5mm strobes that I may double up with a couple of those strands (those will use the AC controller with the ports set to On/Off )

We will see what happens in 2021 (and what LOR has in the grab bag sale😛 )

 

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What if I were to retrofit this product? Separate the

RGB LED Strip Light, IEKOV AC 110-120V Flexible/Waterpro... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0784ZL8C5/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_glc_fabc_cjG8Fb4AW0PRJ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

do you think it could be done?

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Since your first post said you wanted to be able to chase lights on strings (as opposed to the entire string being the same), I assumed you would need smart pixels - not dumb.  In either case, since you are controlling either from a PC or a Director, there is zero need for an iDMX for either smart of dumb RGB pixels..

3 minutes ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

Off hand, I would recommend against that.  Couple reasons.  First as I mentioned in my first post, strips on one sided, so you would have to run two strips back to back in order to get close to 360 degree viewing.  Second is that ribbons are fragile.  When used on a boat, they are almost certainly going to get flexed which will likely result in an early death.  I would go with bullet nodes instead.  Third, is there is no point in buying their controller and then cutting it off and not using it - so you can control it from LOR.  Lastly, they don't specify what the pixel chip technology is, so you don't have any way of knowing if it is something that a Pixie can control.

 

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2 minutes ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

The bottom line is I need to hoist the light rope 50’ in the air. What I have now works perfectly with the exception of being limited to the factory color. 

If you are going to hoist it up, you absolutely do not want to use any type of ribbon.

 

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I agree. It definitely needs to be rope lighting. The way I have it now is each rope is connected loosely to a length of Dacron line. The line are stretched tight from the mast head down to the boom (sorry sailboat terms). This way the rope light follow the straight line without having to be stretched very tightly themselves. It works good but I want to change colors. Chasing via smart pixels would be nice but not mandatory. 

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2 hours ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

I agree. It definitely needs to be rope lighting. The way I have it now is each rope is connected loosely to a length of Dacron line. The line are stretched tight from the mast head down to the boom (sorry sailboat terms). This way the rope light follow the straight line without having to be stretched very tightly themselves. It works good but I want to change colors. Chasing via smart pixels would be nice but not mandatory. 

My friend JR needs to jump in here, there is a product, but I can't recall the name or who sells it, but it holds the LOR RGB Bullet Nodes perfectly and I believe it would work very well for use on your boat.  They seem to be very sturdy, JR sent me some and they are very strong, I think wind wouldn't be too much of a factor on them under your guise of use.

But he'd have to jump in here and give the url where to buy these strips.  You'd probably have to tie several together for the length you'd need, but I'm pretty certain these RGB Bullet Node bulb holder strips would work very well for your use.

 

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8 minutes ago, PhilMassey said:

just in case JR misses it, I think this is what Orv means.

https://boscoyostudio.com/product-category/mounting-strips/pixel-rgb-mounting-strips-rolls/

They will take a lot of load in tension. fairly high wind profile though.

Thanks Phil!  Yes, that is EXACTLY the product I was talking about!

I'm hoping to use some of those in 2021 to try and build a mini RGB Bullet Node Mega Tree {won't quite be a "Mega", since I don't have the yard space in a manufactured home park lot to build a very large one.}

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If I am to go this route, what pixels would you purchase and what would you consider to be the minimum spacing you would want from pixel to pixel?  Perhaps I should add these to the rope light system I already have, just to give a little pop to my display as apposed to starting from scratch.  

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Stock pixels ws2811, 12v are typically about 4inch spacing.

The strips above are available with mounting holes every inch, so you can experiment from 1 to 4 inches.

You will need a pixel controller, 12v power supply, case and connectors. Figure on no more than 100 pixels per controller port, at least until you get the hang of it.

Pixels typically consume about 60W per 100 string. At 12V the amps climb pretty quick. That is a starting point, you will want to look at specs for what you buy and probably should measure actual Amps.

 

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1 hour ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

If I am to go this route, what pixels would you purchase and what would you consider to be the minimum spacing you would want from pixel to pixel?  Perhaps I should add these to the rope light system I already have, just to give a little pop to my display as apposed to starting from scratch.  

4" space and you get 25' for a 100 Pix run @12V . Any longer and you need to do PI. You could try 6" spacing, which would be closer to your length. You might need to center feed if you need 50' (25' down,25'Up and it would use 2 Pixie ports up)

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The problem with the pixel strips is that it holds the pixel pointing horizontally.  That kills his 360 degree viewing angle.  Instead need a a clip or zip tie that holds the pixel in line with the support rope so that he gets almost 360 degree view.

BTW, if you do go with the Boscoyo pixel strips, he can make those with any spacing that you want.  I had 40 something of the strips made a couple years ago with 1.33 inch spacing.  No extra charge.  Also note that those strips are 8 feet long.  It's easy to splice them, but you do need to do so for a longer run.

 

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6 minutes ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

Would it be possible to modify this 4 wire rope light to work on the LOR network?

https://www.birddogdistributing.com/content/pdf/Brilliant-Spec-Sheet-RGB-SMD-LED-Rope-Light.pdf

We are the last to ask. The whole thing is unknown as to Strip voltage (the length leads me to believe 24 or 48V).  You need to talk to the Vendor about using them without their controller.

A CMB 24 can be run on/at 24VDC (per bank can be independent)  You have a challenging project (and I suspect it will not be as cheap as shorter runs ).

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29 minutes ago, Séduisant_Lights said:

Would it be possible to modify this 4 wire rope light to work on the LOR network?

https://www.birddogdistributing.com/content/pdf/Brilliant-Spec-Sheet-RGB-SMD-LED-Rope-Light.pdf

Again, that is a strip, so it will be on sided.  No where near 360 degree view.

 

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