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Rope Light and LOR


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Hi everyone. I started with LOR this year and it is awesome! Next Year I'll be moving and am going to buy some 3,4, and/or 5 wire rope.(i have 150 feet of 5 wire on my roof right now)I want to be able to animate it with LOR like the videos on the animatedlighting.com website. Does anyone know how to do this? any help is appreciated:cool:

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You should have one neutral and multiple hots (4 with 5 wire ropelight). You should be able to just attach those to any LOR board as 4 separate channels.

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dschwab9 wrote:

You should have one neutral and multiple hots (4 with 5 wire ropelight). You should be able to just attach those to any LOR board as 4 separate channels.

If you have a 16 channel card that is wired with two input power lines then make sure that you put all of the channels for the rope light the same side of the card.
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Also be sure to keep neutrals and hots straight. The neutral always goes on the wide pin of a polarized plug. You must keep this straight (and use polarized plugs) or you can destroy channels on your LOR controller.

-Tim

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...4 wire...5 wire...16 channel...I'm confused? Where does a newbie go to learn all this lingo, and start setting up my first Music syncronized Christmas light display?

I'm talking "Music syncronized Christmas light display basics 101"

I'm an Engineer with no Electrical background, but I'm really handy and computer literate.

Thanks,

Doug K

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  • 3 weeks later...

would it be better to wire a rope light plug onto a hobbyist board or attach 4 plugs to the rope itself? which pin on 5 wire(action lighting) is the neutral?

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scubadoo2 wrote:

...4 wire...5 wire...16 channel...I'm confused? Where does a newbie go to learn all this lingo, and start setting up my first Music syncronized Christmas light display?

I'm talking "Music syncronized Christmas light display basics 101"


We will be adding a Step-By-Step set of instructions on the LOR website early next year that will make this all much easier to understand.

But in this particular thread, folks started to get into some fancy stuf that many/most folks never ever do. With LOR controllers you generally just plug the lights into them just like you would plug them into an extension cord. Nothing more fancy than that. Each cord coming out of a LOR controller has an independent electronic swich that you can control with the software. We call those independent circuits channels....

Now in this thread there was talk about some non-standard rope light that has multiple circuits inside of it. For example lets say that there were 2 circuits in the rope light.. The bulbs in the rope light went red,clear,red,clear,red,clear.... forever. Now lets say the end of the rope light has to plugs on it. If you plugged in one of those plugs all the red lights come one. If you plugged in the other plug all the clear lights came on ... If you plugged in both plugs then of course all the lights (all read and clear) would come on.

You would consider that a two channel rope light. However two channel rope light does NOT have two power cords coming out of it. It has only 3 wires coming out. One of those wires is shared by both colors and we call that wire the common wire. So the real question is/was ... If I have three wires coming out how to I hook it up so I can make this work... The answer is:

First identify the common wire. ( how is TBD )

Then connect two wires to the common wire and attach those two wires to the Neutral side of a two prong plug (neutral is the wide blade)... Then attach the two reaming wires, one each to the hot side of the two plugs. Now you could plug those two plugs into two channels on a LOR controller... However here are this issues:

If you make a mistake and connect the wires to the wrong sides of the plugs then when you turn them on with the control you will have created a dead short and will blow a fuse and/or breaker and/or destroy that channel on the card.

You also have to have both of those plugs plugged into either a single 8 channel card OR plugged into the same side of a 16 channel card(if two power feeds are used)....

So wow this seems very complicated. The good news is that if you just go to Wal-mart, Target, Kmart, Homedepot, Lowes, Menards, Any Christmas store in the United States or Canada and purchase an electric Christmas Light thing then you can plug it into a LOR controller and not worry about any of this.
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The good news is that if you just go to Wal-mart, Target, Kmart, Homedepot, Lowes, Menards, Any Christmas store in the United States or Canada and purchase an electric Christmas Light thing then you can plug it into a LOR controller and not worry about any of this.

Perxactly, My dancing man is animated with rope lights and it works perfectly. I used four sets of standard rope lights, fastened them to a piece of fence wire with zip ties (cable ties) and I plug each strand of rope lingt into a channel and when the computer turns the rope lights on and off He appears to dance in step with the music.



I didn't alter the rope lights in any fashion. I understand what this thread is discussing, but my theory is leave that to people that know more than me. I like it simple.
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I have made such things using fence and ropelight. (Non-welders wireframe!)... I used that green plastic mesh fence from home depot. I think it had about 1 inch spacing on the holes. I made a wooden frame and then stapled the fence to the wood frame and then put my ropelight in whatever pattern I wanted.

I like the idea of animating by making may copies of the ropelight (each is like a frame in a movie) and you turn them on one at to time to get things to move.

One of the reasons that I started computerizing my display was (Chuck Smith like many folks and PlanetChristmas' Mark O, Joe F, Drew H, and many others ... But a guy that got me hooked on the idea of going digital was Joe Fazel... http://www.faszl.com His growing flowers, and Dancing Snowman and the Steam train and other animations got me really excited! My train is a bit of a rip off on his and I never did get the dancing Frosty but I plan to! ... Why did I digress Well many of the things Joe did can be done using the "multi frame" rope light stuff that we were just talking about.

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