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Pixel Tree - Beginner


MikeyG505
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Hello,

I am new to all of this and just starting out, I have zero experience. I purchased the 16×25 pixel tree during the spring sale and I am trying to play a sequence to at least get something to work. Here are the steps I've taken:

1. I've put the tree together and made all the connections.

2. I can open the hardware utility and use the test sections and the lights are working.

3. I downloaded the free pixel tree sequence and audio and put them in the appropriate folders and saved the sequence.

4. I've added the sequence to the show editor and created a schedule.

5. I can run the show and hear the music on the computer but no lights.

 

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction to get the sequence to work. Right now I don't have any controllers but I plan on getting the showtime starter package on the next sale.

Thank you in advance, any help would be much appreciated!

 

Mike

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I imagine you set the unit ID in the Hardware Utility but left the dip switch in the controller “on”.

if so turn the dip switch off and set the unit ID manually in the HU and not the controller

What unit ID are you trying to use and how many controllers are ahead of it in your setup?

JR

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Posted (edited)

Make sure that the channel info in the preview matches the actual channel configuration in use. 

Regular channel 1 and AuxA channel 1 are different and can cause this during playback but HW utility doesn't care.

network preference can show how you are actually configured. 

 

Edited by TexasLights
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SUCCESS!!! Excellent information here, thank you!! 

 

I changed the unit ID to 40 and and configured the network according to the instructions given by dibblejr and wa la.

 

Next question: How do I get the CL comm. listener to stop throwing an error after I disconnected the USB from the unit? I try to "x" it out but it comes right back up again.

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look for the LOR icon in the system tray (the ^ in the lower right of the screen) and then right click it and say Unload light-o-rama.  When ready to use it again, run the control panel  

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Thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions, the pixel tree is working with the free sequence downloaded from the LOR sight and I was able to stop the com error by unloading the LOR suite.

 

Moving forward I have a few questions about the best way to build a show to have it ready and in the can for Christmas, I may need to start a new thread for this. Currently all I have is the pixel tree and my regular incandescent and LED lights I put in my yard. I'm thinking about two scenarios, 1 to just build a show for my pixel tree only or 2 buy the showtime central starter kit and include all my static lights in the show.

 

For the tree only scenario:

1. I'm thinking about just making 4 or 5 copies of the sequence I have and just changing up the effects for each one, then putting them together in a show. Hopefully I can get 20 min or so before it starts over again, the rest of the yard would be static. Anything I should know or be aware of about this option?

2. Option 2 is to purchase sequences from the LOR website.

 

The question is for option 2, will this work with the tree only? Will I just be able to load the sequences and the tree will work even though there is nothing else? Would I have to change my unit ID to match the pixel tree ID in the sequence?

 

Any help or ideas for creating a show with just the tree would be much appreciated!!

 

I'll save the showtime central questions for later.

 

Thank you!!

 

-Mike

 

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you are going to want to get the pro license.   If you do your LEDs and  the tree, that would at least 9 channels.. If you just had the tree, you can get by with one of the others BUT motion effects will make your life a lot easier when you program the tree.    Whether to buy or build is really up to you but motion effects do a lot of the work for you with just a little creativity.    Reading between the lines, you didn't mention audio?  So buying a sequence set to music might not have the same effect if you are including it. 

 

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Yes, I purchased the pro license so I should be good there. I think if I purchased the the show time central starter kit I would definitely buy the sequences and music from LOR, I have no idea how to sequence a whole show lol. I was just thinking about what would be the best way to sequence just the tee only, if I waited until next year to expand. 

Is there a way to do some sort of auto program for the pixel tree in the LOR software, where it would do random effects on its own?

-M

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Posted (edited)

the easiest thing to do is try some motion effects, what they do is endless 

In your sequence, click on the motion effect row for your tree.   You should have at least one or more (if not, you can add them).   Then select the whole row by hitting the R key.  Then shift A or select motion effect from the tool bar and just start stepping through them to see what they do.,    Then try switching up some of the settings, bars starting at left or top for example.    Then you can decide how long you want to use one before switching to another.    The preview window does a pretty good job of showing what it will look like but the first year I did a tree, I set it up so I could see it and program it at the same time before moving it to its final place in the yard.    

Edited by TexasLights
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  • 1 month later...

New Question: 

If I were to purchase RGB bulbs from another vendor and use with LOR controllers, is there a certain kind of connector I should look for?

Where do you all purchase bulbs and strings from?

 

-Mike

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Personally I buy strings without connectors and add my own. There are so many different sizes and types that they usually won't interchange. LOR connectors will not fit HolidayCoro connectors and so on. My suggestion is find a popular source for connectors and stick with them so everything matches up.

Edited by Mr. P
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+1 for Mr P's advice

Connectors are great BUT you are getting in bed with a supplier, so take that with fore knowledge.

A couple of vendors offer product with   'xyz Style' connections.

(It took the Pandemic to ram home that even LOR is having supply issues: the 20' extension for the 10W floods, and the floods are not available for quite a while. )

My caution is to NOT use the same fit for different Voltages (or color order) just to keep the smoke 😲 in and the hair on your head. 😛 (experience 😭 )

Stay FAR away from those push in (circuit layer) Ribbon fittings. Solder to Ribbon is the only sure , reliable connection. (if you don't have a good temperature controlled Soldering tool. Go pre wired)

I went with HC becaues they offered a wide range of lengths and accessories for their 'easy fit' series without the larger purchase qty or shipping expense form overseas. YMMV

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Thank you both for this information. 
 

Sorry if this question seems silly but If buy a string of RGB bullet lights that come with a pig tail, can I just connect the pigtail to the LOR controller? Would the pigtail need to be soldered on the controller board? 
 

What I’m looking for here is to use LOR controllers but use a third party vendor for the lights in hopes of getting cheaper lights. 
 

Thank you,

 

-M

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If you are talking pigtail as in bare wires, yes you can. However, if using bare wires I would recommend using a ferrule. A ferrule will make installation easier plus it keeps those stray strands from wandering. All it takes is one strand of wire to touch something it isn't suppose to and you will burn something up.

Edited by Mr. P
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If you purchased the Controller package from LOR - then you will want to add LOR Ends to your Third Party Strings.... Or you can change all the current connectors to a Third Party Brand...

Simply put - But a few LOR extensions - cut them in two - you will end up with LOR Connector Ends for your Pixel Strings....

If you buy Third Party Strings with Connectors attached - then you will need a matching Controller End (Dangle)

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21 hours ago, MikeyG505 said:

Thank you both for this information. 
 

Sorry if this question seems silly but If buy a string of RGB bullet lights that come with a pig tail, can I just connect the pigtail to the LOR controller? Would the pigtail need to be soldered on the controller board? 
 

What I’m looking for here is to use LOR controllers but use a third party vendor for the lights in hopes of getting cheaper lights. 
 

Thank you,

 

-M

If you use buy strings/ ribbons with xconnect fittings you can buy an adapter from HC that will allow you to use those connectors with your LOR connectors.

All plug in play no cutting or soldering.

These just came out a bit before Covid and I have used them for some of my LOR strands.

When I switched to xconnect I stopped soldering my own ends since more vendors starting selling the strings with xconnect ends. 
 

in the beginning I was soldering my own using xconnect pigtails.

Pigtails get screwed in to the green terminal lugs on the controller. Then the lights just screw in to them. No soldering to the pcb.

I think a lot of people make this hobby much more difficult than it is. While new users over think things.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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If you are planning on doing DIY controllers or props, you might consider a Ferrel Kit (under $30 at Amazon) You will use a LOT of the smaller sizes, but the larger ones are great for supplying power to the controllers (14-10Ga)

Otherwise, learn to 'tin' the ends (many come pre tinned) LOR also sells spare mating (pixie) plugs  that is handy if you want to do a fast swap for different seasonal props (that use different cords)

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I agree with JR in that folk make complications where they really aren't (and by ignoring the ones that matter).

You are doing a step (I rank as #2). #1 is just read a whole lot of posts here an see what the choices get)  I believe should be done: Ask BEFORE you go down a wrong path.

Good workmanship and best (electronics) practices will save time, equipment and hair.  Trying to cover too much area with one controller is a common issue. Only the AC series tolerate LONG leads, and then, you might end up spending the $ saved on long extension cords. KISS

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