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Making a 16 Channel Controller Into a 30 Channel??


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Hey …

Had a thought…

I am by no means an electrical or computer wizard (as you guys can probably tell by some of my posts - LOL) but was wondering if the following could be done?

Would it be possible to use a Controller (see diagram below) to switch a relay (or whatever would be needed) so that it “switches” from “A” outlets over to the “B” outlets (and hence a different set of lights)? I was thinking like at the end of a song (or it could even do it anywhere during a song) it would switch so you could use more/different lights for your next sequence.

I know some (if not most) of you are saying “just buy another controller!!”…but I am cheap (in a weird way. Just spent $3000 on lights but don’t want to spend $300 on another controller…go figure).

This way a controller could go from a 16 Channel to 30 Channel Controller. I would think one channel (or two) would be used to send a signal to the “relay” to make the switch (The Red Line in the diagram). And then you could use very specific lighting for any given song…instead of using all the same lights most of the time.

Make sense? Am I crazy?
Or is this done by some other means?
Just thinking “outside of the box”…so tell me if I need to get back into my box or not!! :)

Attached files 179659=10214-Controller.bmp

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Anthony in Houston wrote:

Yes it could be done.

Yes it would be cheaper to buy another controller.

Yes it would be very hard to sequence.


Jim -

I agree with Anthony. It can be done, but why in the world would you want to? By the time you bought all the parts, assembled them, mounted everything in water proof cases, and figured out the programming, you'd probably pay more than just buying a new controller. In addition, the programming will be more complicated and the visualizer will not be able to depict what's happening.

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Hey Clueless...

thanks for those links. I figured if I was thinking it, SOMEONE else surely must have done it...

And I would have to disagree that the programming would be more difficult...first step, switch from "A" to "B"...then the programming would be the same (wouldn't it?).

As for the visual...just make a new visual with what lights you would be using. I use Holiday Lights , so it would be very easy. Just save as a different file and add or delete the lights you use or don't use.

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For my Mega tree, I actually power 4- 4 output SSRs with 4 LOR channels

I control the ramp/fade/shimmer from LOR and the on/off from my DIO card.

I have 4 red, 4 green , 4 blue and 4 gold "segments" of my tree.
one red "main" controls the intensity of the reds, while the DIO controls the on/off.
same for the other colors.

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Excuse my ignorance...but I don't know anything about DIO's either.

Would that be easier than hooking up relays?

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Basically, DIO is a Digital Input/Output card.
Being a remote control hobbyist, I "collect" these off of ebay when there is a great deal on them.
LOR will control DIO cards from Measurement computing(or one that runs on an ISA bus) to send 5Vdc signals. Connect these to Solid State Relays (like these popular in the DIY community) to control the relays.
The REAL bottom line is- unless you alreadyhave the DIO card and relays laying around, you're not saving any money vs a PC card kit for $99.99
As a matter of fact, I have bought 4 more PC cards for this year, and am going almost all LOR controlled channels, except I'm going to make multiple arches with the spare DIO channels

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