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Future LOR Hardware Plans


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I have been using LOR since 2007. I still have several of the old deluxe blue boards that have performed well. I just ordered 3 new green board kits because I am expanding the display. My question may seem weird, but I am wondering what the future holds for LOR and the green board controllers. I am asking because this year will be year 16 for my display. I am not sure how many more years I will be doing the display because at 58 years old it is getting gradually harder to set up. I am thinking maybe go to 20 years and call it a day. My plan at that point would be to sell most or all of the controllers, cords, lights etc. I would still keep some lights and maybe a couple to do an animation or something, but not sure. However, if the controllers are going to be more or less obsolete by then, it would be hard to find a buyer. Any plans on major changes that would impact my ability to sell my stuff in the next 4-6 years?

If you would rather email a response, I would understand. 

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I hate to break this to you but the Blue boards and the Green board kits are pretty much obsolete now. Those boards do not work with the higher speeds that LOR is geared towards now and unless you are a brand spanking new lighter just starting out with limited funds most don't use the lower speed boards anymore. Most people are looking for the Gen 3 boards so they can use the faster speeds with today's networks. I am not saying nobody out there uses them anymore but compared to just five years ago there are way fewer people interested in them.

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22 hours ago, NeilM said:

I have been using LOR since 2007. I still have several of the old deluxe blue boards that have performed well. I just ordered 3 new green board kits because I am expanding the display. My question may seem weird, but I am wondering what the future holds for LOR and the green board controllers. I am asking because this year will be year 16 for my display. I am not sure how many more years I will be doing the display because at 58 years old it is getting gradually harder to set up. I am thinking maybe go to 20 years and call it a day. My plan at that point would be to sell most or all of the controllers, cords, lights etc. I would still keep some lights and maybe a couple to do an animation or something, but not sure. However, if the controllers are going to be more or less obsolete by then, it would be hard to find a buyer. Any plans on major changes that would impact my ability to sell my stuff in the next 4-6 years?

If you would rather email a response, I would understand. 

58, I'm there with you but compared to a lot of people I have helped over the years we are "spring chickens". I often speak to people in their 70 and 80's. Due to health I was forced to take a break from setting up any of my displays last season and although it felt great not dealing with setting up and tearing down, I did miss it. God willing I will have a display this year.

JR

 

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Whipper-snappers :P  I started LOR at Gen-3 at 70 (and, yes, last seasons setup got to me. Up on the roof has been a no-no for the last 3 years.)

IMHO as long as you are clear as to what generation, LOR equipment has uses. Mostly older stuff just needs to be on a slow, non-enhanced network (typ. the Black dongle)

Older AC controllers don't play as well with LEDs, but there are work-arounds in many cases.

BTW (as I understand)  the Kits (where you solder the components)  are not as capable as the Assembled boards that you do the FINAL assembly  (case and wires) Look at the firmware list

 

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You old farts, I am still zipping up ladders three stories, climbing trees and jumping bushes. But then again I am only 55.  😁

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Quote
March 12 at 9:00 PM
2022 is the 20th anniversary of Light-O-Rama's incorporation as a company!
To celebrate, we're going to be releasing multiple new products and software features this season.
The first big reveal of the year will be announced and demoed in person at the Florida Mega Mini on Saturday, April 2.

 

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Now that you kids have had your say I will turn 78 this year and still going, I did get out of this one year at MY HOUSE but helped a guy do it at his house, but then got back into the hobby the next year. The only difference I down sized to the point that I could manage the display with a little help from friends. It gets in your blood and it's hard to walk away from.

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I'd say there are still people interested in the non-high speed LOR controllers (like myself).

I run all my LOR stuff in DMX and the rest of my show is all E1.31 based so I don't use any HS networks. I'd say as long as your stuff can run on DMX as well as LOR there are still plenty of use cases for it, and a large enough group of people who still may want to buy it, as a cheaper alternative to the Gen 3+ controllers.

 

As for what @TheDucks said about older boards not working well with LED's... An easy fix would be to add snubber networks of some sort.

The simplest solution that should work in most cases, is just to put some incandescent night lights on the channels with LED's. The incandescent bulbs will eat up any residual current, that way you won't have any LED's glowing dimly even if the channel is off. 

Edited by canadianchristmas
clarification.
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There are still folks out there that would buy your controllers. When I down sized I sold Gen 1 for $75, & Gen 2 for $125. I still have a gen 1 16 channel AC controller & 2 gen 1 8 channel AC controllers (folks had had time time Leds with them but my Costco Leds with thick wire & resisters on them dimmed nicely. However I have a few Gen 3 AC controllers too along with some smart pixels. Last year I didn't need any high speed to run my show. It ran just fine at 57.6 speed. (including the smart pixels). Like you I started doing a musical show in 2007. However in the last 6 years or so I have been setting up by myself. A number of times in snow & cold weather because in the Edmonton AB area it can snow at anytime. I want to stop doing a show too. Nevertheless even when I want to stop doing a show for the next year you come home & you have been crowned Best Lights 2020, so you go another year, then you were crowned Best Lights 2021, then to top it off folks say my grandchildren, or my children just love looking at your house. So here I am again in a nondrying what to do for 2022. On a side note even if I stop doing a musical show I would consider simply lighting up the house. Way easier to setup. By the way I am 65.

Anyhow I believe new comers would buy up your stuff if.... the price is right.

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On 3/17/2022 at 12:46 PM, Jimehc said:

 

Is anyone guessing about the new products?     I have a wish which is past its day.       

LOR never made a low amp version of its AC controller.    Each channel can support many incan strings which no one uses anymore.  The cords are big and heavy.     

wish - >  A lighter AC controller made for just a few LED strings per channel and many more channels would have been nice for me.   Drop the double input cords. 

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2 hours ago, ItsMeBobO said:

Is anyone guessing about the new products?     I have a wish which is past its day.       

LOR never made a low amp version of its AC controller.    Each channel can support many incan strings which no one uses anymore.  The cords are big and heavy.     

wish - >  A lighter AC controller made for just a few LED strings per channel and many more channels would have been nice for me.   Drop the double input cords. 

IIRC no heatsink is the low Amp version.  That only saves a tiny bit of space.

I did convert ALL my AC controllers to single power input. There are notes in the Assembly guide https://www1.lightorama.com/PDF/CTB16PCg3_MechAssemManV2 Post-080815web.pdf . Basically 2 @ 16Ga jumpers with 1/4" Fastons. You can also make your own 2 wire output cables (I do not recommend Vampire sockets for these) as other than PAR style Floods, I do not have anything with 3 prongs in my AC lighting

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Yes I recall the days of high and low heatsinks but the rest was the same wasn't it? On the factory assembled.  Same AWG in and out and same fuses.   I have never wanted to do a build but yes I have seen them made for low draw channels. 

Mine too.  All of my AC controllers have been mod to have one power cord in and one un switched power cord out so I can daisy chain power without extension cords or power splitters.   This year I plan 28 AC controllers.  I dont want to have just pixels.   For me its not old school.   My phrase is "retro lights".

Edited by ItsMeBobO
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38 minutes ago, ItsMeBobO said:

Yes I recall the days of high and low heatsinks but the rest was the same wasn't it? On the factory assembled.  Same AWG in and out and same fuses.   I have never wanted to do a build but yes I have seen them made for low draw channels. 

Mine too.  All of my AC controllers have been mod to have one power cord in and one un switched power cord out so I can daisy chain power without extension cords or power splitters.   This year I plan 28 AC controllers.  I dont want to have just pixels.   For me its not old school.   My phrase is "retro lights".

Great Idea cascading Power input. (I am going to steal that :P for my mega tree location). I cut up molded power cords , so I have leftover outlet ends.

For newbies. LOR sells kits (you solder components to the boards) and packages, where you just do the final steps, mostly attach wires. This is great as I make other changes while doing this (I add 2 LOR CAT5 dongles: to the case on all my controller boxes, AC or DC .

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This is great as I make other changes while doing this (I add 2 LOR CAT5 dongles: to the case on all my controller boxes, AC or DC .

Here is a link to photo of what I did https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qvsqcSCvZ4j05208BLlbFwV-JWT2Qrod/view?usp=sharing

Thanks Bob, I already upgraded that one. (Wish I had used a 3/4 romex conn, that one was tight with another cord) LOR sell a 4 pk of the Output cords get short (wires) if you do not have all the crimp terminals

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On 3/20/2022 at 2:04 PM, TheDucks said:

This is great as I make other changes while doing this (I add 2 LOR CAT5 dongles: to the case on all my controller boxes, AC or DC .

Here is a link to photo of what I did https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qvsqcSCvZ4j05208BLlbFwV-JWT2Qrod/view?usp=sharing

Thanks Bob, I already upgraded that one. (Wish I had used a 3/4 romex conn, that one was tight with another cord) LOR sell a 4 pk of the Output cords get short (wires) if you do not have all the crimp terminals

Ive been building mine like that ever since I could purchase the adapters. Never have to open a box.

Looks great 

JR

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Pigtails make it so much easier.  Especially for the original CCP controllers that have eight screws to take out to get to the connectors.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/20/2022 at 12:52 PM, ItsMeBobO said:

All of my AC controllers have been mod to have one power cord in and one un switched power cord out so I can daisy chain power without extension cords or power splitters.   This year I plan 28 AC controllers.  I dont want to have just pixels.   For me its not old school.   My phrase is "retro lights".

Edited March 20 by ItsMeBobO

ItsMeBobO, Wondering how you make the connections in the box, I like this idea. Before I come up with a method I figured I would ask how you do it. I also use lots of AC and I should have thought of this myself. 🤣

 

 

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4 hours ago, prevue12 said:

Wondering how you make the connections in the box

Look at the manual for your controller.  It's two jumpers.

 

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Look at the manual for your controller.  It's two jumpers.

 

I know all about the jumper, I wasn't clear in my inquiry, I can see why you responded that way. Let me be more specific....  Did he add any extra fuses or rely on the first fuse in what would be the daisy chain that is installed.   I haven't taken a meter to test how the fuse is laid out in the circuit. 

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You are not daisy chaining a fuse.  You are simply supplying power to the hot side of both banks of fuses from a single cable rather than two cables that each supply power to one bank of fuses.

 

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2 hours ago, k6ccc said:

You are not daisy chaining a fuse.  You are simply supplying power to the hot side of both banks of fuses from a single cable rather than two cables that each supply power to one bank of fuses.

 

Still missing my point and question.  😏   There are two fuses normally one for each male power input.  Is the installed 15 amp fuse in line with male plug end supplying the power, to prevent overloading  when using the jumper.  Specifically, is the fuse  before and in series with the jumper connection. I don't have a schematic and have not had time to go take meter readings (and hope there are no parallel paths to make it hard to get definitive readings).  This is all based if I fail at my math for keeping amps under  limit.

 

Other option is to experiment,  I might have to go grab two controllers and mod one with the extra female end, and then pull the fuse.  I have already modified my controllers years ago to remove one plug, and use the jumper. 

 

Thanks for caring to answer, it's very possible we are both missing the point the other is trying to make, 😁

 

 

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Brain dead (this is not one of my better days - other stuff).  I've been thinking pixel controllers too damn much.  Scratch all of what I said before...

Right out of the CTB16PC manual:

Quote

Note that in this arrangement both fuses are in use,
but the right fuse carries the current for both the left
and right banks of channels. The picture on the next
page is just to illustrate the connections for a single
power feed, do not connect the wires or mount the
bracket yet

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/17/2022 at 11:46 AM, Jimehc said:
March 12 at 9:00 PM
2022 is the 20th anniversary of Light-O-Rama's incorporation as a company!
To celebrate, we're going to be releasing multiple new products and software features this season.
The first big reveal of the year will be announced and demoed in person at the Florida Mega Mini on Saturday, April 2.

I started seeing this pop up this year and didn't realize how young the company was when I started.  I bought my first equipment and did my first show in 2013.  The plan at the time was to start small and learn, so I planned on 1 controller and basic software.  By the time the lights started in Nov. I was up to 4 controllers (and needing a 5th) and the Advanced version at the time.  It's been a fun ride, esp. with the introduction of Pixels. 

I haven't had a chance to dig into the new stuff yet, but I've heard rumors of being able to control with your phone.  This would be a game changer for me, mostly for my Landscape lighting.  We redid the backyard last summer and put in a Gazebo and water feature and added quite a few lights, many rewired fixtures upgraded to RGB Pixels.  If I'm able to control them with my phone easier than how I'm doing now, that would be awesome.

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