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ace_master
01-30-2012, 11:03 PM
I'm building a 42 x 64 pixel grid this year (4 x e681 boards) and I'm stuck on how to assemble the grid...

I want to ensure the pixels are all evenly spaced and pointing in the same direction (preferable straight out from the grid).

My biggest concern is wind resistance of the finished product... I plan on hanging my grid from a large tree on my property. Winds here reach speeds of about 60km/h (~40mph).
I know curved surfaces like PVC pipes offer the best flow for wind to pass through, but 64 x 10FT PVC pipes seems very expensive, and probably quite heavy too.

Any input or direction would be greatly appreciated.

michaelc
01-30-2012, 11:22 PM
Maybe chicken wire mounted to support anchors.

djulien
01-31-2012, 12:09 AM
I want to ensure the pixels are all evenly spaced and pointing in the same direction (preferable straight out from the grid).

My biggest concern is wind resistance of the finished product... I plan on hanging my grid from a large tree on my property. Winds here reach speeds of about 60km/h (~40mph).

I've used hardware cloth (aka chicken wire), ceiling hangers and fuel hose to make a wind-tolerant structure for incandescent mini-lights. The construction technique might be applicable for your grid, or give you ideas for a better way to do it. Details are in this article:

http://downloads.eshepherdsoflight.com/Howidid-Captions.pdf

don

ace_master
01-31-2012, 12:14 AM
I considered chicken wire, but not sure how I would set the pixels to point directly out from the wire and still keep them spaced evenly.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist (as most of us are) and I think I'd end up seeing a lot of slightly off pixels using chicken wire... I'm certainly not cutting chicken wire off the list of possibilities though.

ace_master
01-31-2012, 12:27 AM
I've used hardware cloth (aka chicken wire), ceiling hangers and fuel hose to make a wind-tolerant structure for incandescent mini-lights. The construction technique might be applicable for your grid, or give you ideas for a better way to do it. Details are in this article:

http://downloads.eshepherdsoflight.com/Howidid-Captions.pdf

don

That's awesome Don... such a great use for fuel hose.
My pixels would require one on the front and one on the back of the wire. The big problem with this is the weight... I'd be looking at about 75 square feet of 1/2" wire, about 5500 pieces of hose, plus the weight of all the pixels and the 4 controllers w/ power supplies.

jrock64
01-31-2012, 01:34 AM
I made my pixel grid out of 1/2in irrigation pipe(thin wall pvc)

I used a forstner bit to drill all the holes without chipping the holes.
The pixels will fit tight but secure.
Wind was one of my major concerns.
Not a lot of wind resistance or stress on the wires with this design.

Each panel holds 4 strings of 42 pixels.
I have 3 panels, 12 strings, but this could expand to any size.
Two lengths of 1/2in rebar per panel hold it up and in place
You are only seeing two panels

Joel

djulien
01-31-2012, 01:41 AM
My pixels would require one on the front and one on the back of the wire. The big problem with this is the weight... I'd be looking at about 75 square feet of 1/2" wire, about 5500 pieces of hose, plus the weight of all the pixels and the 4 controllers w/ power supplies.

That's a fairly large open-air structure. Do you mean that you will have pixels actually pointing frontwards and the backwards, or they would just be mounted there but all facing forward?

You could build a lattice out of rigid material, or even use rigid pixel strips with air space between each row and column. Another idea would be to use fencing material and tape the pixels to it. I've used that technique (for mini-lights) and it works well - very low wind resistance, keeps the bulbs aligned, and is fairly sturdy. If that type of structure might work for you, I can post additional details about it.

don

ace_master
01-31-2012, 02:58 AM
That's exactly what I had in mind for holding my pixels Joel... just without all the cross's. I planned on doing a horizontal tube for each string, and aircraft cable vertically every foot or so connecting each pipe from bottom to top). But it would be far too expensive for me to do this with mine. What I really liked about the design I had was that it could collapse/roll for storage.


The pixels would all be facing forward (one sided). I wouldn't mind seeing the fencing/taping method you speak of Don

bazorka
01-31-2012, 03:21 AM
could you split/cut the pvc pie down the middle long ways..... cut in half the amount of pipe you buy as well as weight?

Barnabybear
01-31-2012, 04:45 AM
I'm looking at somthing like this.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/galvanised-welded-wire-mesh-roll-19g1x1-25x1-2m-hotdip-/270792197311?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Garden_Structures_F encing_CV&hash=item3f0c7904bf
You can get much cheaper from farmers suppliers. It also comes in a 1.6 mm diameter bar at 2" spacings .
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WELDED-WIRE-MESH-48-2-x-2-30mt-SECURITY-DOG-16G-/160558532523?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item256208c7ab
Ok its not cheap. But how much have the pixels you are fixing to it cost?

My idea is to make some 'U' shaped channels from the mesh at the spacing of the pixels (i.e 1" 3" 1" the 1" being the legs of the 'U'). A set of pixel would then be attached to the 1" sides of the 'U' pointing away from the 3" and held all pointing in one direction.
One of these will be required for each 2 strings (or one string in my case as i'm doubling back a set of 50 to make 2 x 25).
The remainder of the mesh will form a frame which the 'U' section will be attached and support the feeds to the strings. This will enable me to remove a string if required for repairs and make for easy storage.
Hope this makes sence. Will post a photo of the prototype when I get chance.

Henedce
01-31-2012, 05:49 AM
I made my pixel grid out of 1/2in irrigation pipe(thin wall pvc)

I used a forstner bit to drill all the holes without chipping the holes.
The pixels will fit tight but secure.
Wind was one of my major concerns.
Not a lot of wind resistance or stress on the wires with this design.

Each panel holds 4 strings of 42 pixels.
I have 3 panels, 12 strings, but this could expand to any size.
Two lengths of 1/2in rebar per panel hold it up and in place
You are only seeing two panels


I love this concept .. Can I adapt it to a mega tree that is the question .. I think yes even aiming at 42 pixels high by 24 wide .. Bring on March when I can actually start buying for 2012

Barnabybear
01-31-2012, 07:22 AM
Photo of prototype.
My matrix will be 52 wide & 25 high hanging from the eves of the house.
I will be making 26 of these with 25 leds on each side (one string of 50 & can then power from both ends). The leds will go inplace of the red stubs of fire cable.
(yes I might make it 2 x 21 leds a string of 42 to make maximum use of the controler).
13106

djulien
01-31-2012, 12:01 PM
The pixels would all be facing forward (one sided). I wouldn't mind seeing the fencing/taping method you speak of Don

Pages 3 - 8 of this article describes it:

http://downloads.eshepherdsoflight.com/Howidid-NativityFigures.pdf

The article describes cylindrical figures, but I've used this technique for flat objects/surfaces also, as well as a "square channel" type object. I was surprised at how rigid the square channel was, and very light weight (until you add a bunch of lights).

This is similar to the galvanised welded wire mesh roll and channel method by Barnabybear.

don

kychristmas
01-31-2012, 12:08 PM
I'm building a 42 x 64 pixel grid this year (4 x e681 boards) and I'm stuck on how to assemble the grid...

I want to ensure the pixels are all evenly spaced and pointing in the same direction (preferable straight out from the grid).

My biggest concern is wind resistance of the finished product... I plan on hanging my grid from a large tree on my property. Winds here reach speeds of about 60km/h (~40mph).
I know curved surfaces like PVC pipes offer the best flow for wind to pass through, but 64 x 10FT PVC pipes seems very expensive, and probably quite heavy too.

Any input or direction would be greatly appreciated.

What spacing are you planning on doing? That will be a huge structure to hang in a tree. Just the Pixels strings without a structure will be significant weight.

I find it interesting that you have $2000 worth of Pixels and controllers, but less $100 of PVC "seems very expensive"? I guess its perspective.

Edit: I would also design it so you are putting the Pixels into Vertical strips/pipes/tubes rather than horizontal. The structure will be much more solid that way.

ace_master
01-31-2012, 12:31 PM
Bazorka - I dont know how well the pixels would stay in place with that method, but I guess I could cut a test piece and check into it.

Barnabybear - I like the method you've chosen... very rigid. I'm starting to rethink the placement of my pixel grid, although I really dont have too much to play with that isn't too close to the road, or visible from a lot of viewing angles.

djulien - I'm impressed by your use of wire material, your work has brought a lot of ideas into my head.

kychristmas - I plan on doing a 2-2.5" spacing for them... and as for the price of PVC... I'm up in Canada, and pipes are like $4-5/pc x 64 + 13% sales tax... I'm looking at about $350 for just the straight pipe without any fittings or cables.


I might have to take a walk around outside and see what other placement options I have for my grid... It's becoming more and more unlikely that I'll be able to do exactly what I had planned. I do very much appreciate everyone's input on this :)

boarder3
02-01-2012, 05:45 PM
question is after you make it whats going to run it? How will you get to add video to or text?

kychristmas
02-01-2012, 05:59 PM
kychristmas - I plan on doing a 2-2.5" spacing for them... and as for the price of PVC... I'm up in Canada, and pipes are like $4-5/pc x 64 + 13% sales tax... I'm looking at about $350 for just the straight pipe without any fittings or cables.


I had no idea the cost was 400% more than US. Not that I didn't trust you, but I confirmed with Aurbo99. Mainly because he does a lot of PVC stuff.

Another option would be Coro. Look at the Caps on either Holiday Coro or DIYLEDExpress.com You could make Channels like that from scratch.

http://www.holidaycoro.com/product-p/9.htm You could probably build your entire framework with one sheet of coro. But you likely would have to run Vertical strips as I said in an earlier post.

ace_master
02-02-2012, 01:29 AM
Boarder3 - I'm using 16 Universes on four e681 boards... planning on using Madrix software to run it.


I had no idea the cost was 400% more than US. Not that I didn't trust you, but I confirmed with Aurbo99. Mainly because he does a lot of PVC stuff.
Another option would be Coro. Look at the Caps on either Holiday Coro or DIYLEDExpress.com You could make Channels like that from scratch.
http://www.holidaycoro.com/product-p/9.htm You could probably build your entire framework with one sheet of coro. But you likely would have to run Vertical strips as I said in an earlier post.

It's crazy how much some products are up here in Canada... and half of the stuff is manufactured locally too, so I dont get it... but I'm not going to get started on that topic, lol...

That's another great idea. I wanted to use coro initially, but it was simply cut out of the picture because of the kite effect it would have in the wind... but this design puts coro back on the drawing board.
I'll have to hit up the hardware store next time I'm in the area (30 min drive) and pick up a sheet to play with.

I sent a message to RayWu asking about the possibility of getting 2801 Digital Strip made with custom spacing... I know it's a long shot, but if I can get my hands on strips, it would make things SO much easier.

Gary Martin
02-02-2012, 03:14 PM
Ace_master, I've seen a lot of commerical options that typically use a type of canvas or interwoven nylon cloth (like a lot of tarp material). You need a base that will not stretch in either direction. Punch it and mount your pixels in it. Then punch large "U" flaps in the spaces between pixels to allow air flow so it doesn't act like a giant sail.

Using that approach, they're making screens that are 20-40 foot tall easily. Support it in a rigid frame pulling it taut and you're good to go.

ace_master
02-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Hey Gary... I was looking into that online... didnt get a chance to go to any fabric store to check out some prices... but I may have found a solution.

I was at the hardware store today and they didn't have any Coro.... but when I explained what I was doing with the coro, he suggested a plastic mesh... so I bought a 5ft section to take home and play with... the stuff works pretty good.
There should be little resistance to the wind using this stuff... my only concern is how weatherproof it is... but I assume it to be pretty resistant, as it appears to be made of the same material they use to mark off sky hills and snowmobile trails.

I figure I can make 16 small 4ft x 2ft sections overlapping and zip tying them together at the seams, and then fix i to a rigid frame of some sort.

See how the pixels set in the mesh... and in the background you can see the back of the screen
13154

I did try using the 'flat base' pixels ray sells, but they didn't seem to want to go in without a fight... 'bulb version' pixels were much easier to work with for this material.

kychristmas
02-03-2012, 06:23 PM
Hey Gary... I was looking into that online... didnt get a chance to go to any fabric store to check out some prices... but I may have found a solution.

I was at the hardware store today and they didn't have any Coro.... but when I explained what I was doing with the coro, he suggested a plastic mesh... so I bought a 5ft section to take home and play with... the stuff works pretty good.
There should be little resistance to the wind using this stuff... my only concern is how weatherproof it is... but I assume it to be pretty resistant, as it appears to be made of the same material they use to mark off sky hills and snowmobile trails.

I figure I can make 16 small 4ft x 2ft sections overlapping and zip tying them together at the seams, and then fix i to a rigid frame of some sort.

See how the pixels set in the mesh... and in the background you can see the back of the screen
13154

I did try using the 'flat base' pixels ray sells, but they didn't seem to want to go in without a fight... 'bulb version' pixels were much easier to work with for this material.

Very Nice Solution. What's the price on that stuff.

ace_master
02-03-2012, 09:57 PM
I believe it was 1.06/ft (its about 27" wide). With tax, the material will be under $100... I'll ask how much comes on a sealed roll, lol. Maybe I can get it for cheaper if I buy a whole roll right out of the stock room. No employee is going to be excited about measuring out 80ft of this stuff in the store.