View Full Version : RenT to RenC to Grinch

01-04-2008, 11:08 AM
After reviewing the post about The Grinch and RenC, I have been doing a little thinking about how the three fininshed components will be set up.

Does anyone use this set up and could you post some pictures or direct me to some pictures of what this trio looks like after being plugged into one another?


01-04-2008, 01:00 PM
If I want to add a Ren-C to a Grinch to get dimming, will I need a Ren-C for each Grinch or will a Ren-C do more than one Grinch?


Hi Rickey,

I designed the RENC PCB and Phil did the code.

THE RENC is powered from the GRINCH (5VDC) and you need one RENC per GRINCH.

The RENC needs serial data (232 or 485) and a source of ZC.

the general guidance for RENT to REN64 is two boards, with the RENC, as it is not powered by the RENT, you can go higher, up to the maximum of the Comms port/ Data rate/ Channel rate you are using..

Number of Channels Refresh Interval
Baud Rate 100 ms 50 ms 25 ms
115200 575 287 143
57600 287 143 71
38400 191 95 47
19200 95 47 23


Also, the RENC is a PWM dimming, while the REN64/24/16 can be std or PWM code.


I guess this is the post that has me scratchin my head about a few things. I watched Xmus' videos on how he is hooking up his boards through Serial and USB ports and how he is powering his boards through his computer. So if I am going to ultimately run these three together 1) What is the best way to supply the neccessary power, and 2) What is the best way to plug to Serial/USB.

I know I saw a how-to post on how to convert a serial cable to a CAT5, can someone put a finger on that link? Is it in the WIKI, I can't find it?


01-04-2008, 01:39 PM

I don't use the Grinch but I use the 595's and the configuration is the same.

I have a converted computer power supply (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=96&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=benchtop) that I use for suppying the power to the 595 boards.

I use the Ren-T in the RS232-485 conversion mode so that I can locate the boards outside and minimize my Cat5 runs to the SSR's. The Ren-T is located near my Computer and the Computer power supply. Here is a link to my hardware display (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1327&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=).

For the Ren-C boards: They receive the rs485 signal and ZC from the Ren-T on the blue cable to the controller on the left. The Red cable is an interconnect between Ren-C. The Ren-C's receive their power from the individual 595 boards.

The conversion from Serial to Cat5 is quite easy. You purchase a DB9 or DB25 to RJ45 connector this is the tan connector that is plugged into my Ren-T. They have a standard pin out that is easy to follow.

I hope all of this helps.


01-04-2008, 02:57 PM
Thanks teberle,

That is kind of what I am thinkin, just wasn't sure if I was going to limit myself/create more work by placing hardware like you have done. In a nutshell - you have your computer and RenT near your power source, which your RenT is pulling from the same power source as your computer. From the RenT a single CAT5 to the first RenC & controller. Then another CAT5 jumped to the next RenC & Controller. So am I correct to assume that your populated boards are getting power from the RenT?

Something else your pic help me with...One of my hurdles is power. Initially I did not want to set up a computer (dedicated) in the garage. But I am liking the idea now because; I don't have to run a new line all the way over the river and through the woods to get to the other side of the house where the "office" is. AND Running the CAT5 cable straight from the garage to the yard/roof is going to be tons cheaper and easier. We have a sub-panel that powers an addition to our house. I am going to investigate to see if that will handle my display power needs.

This is great, any others?


01-04-2008, 07:32 PM
The boards are getting their power from the standalone power supply in the cabinet. The Ren-T is only supplying the ZC as well as the RS485 output.