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Saltisiak
01-09-2008, 12:36 PM
For the 2008 season, I'm going to try and do a huge matrix of 4w C7 bulbs in my yard. Basically I'll have a matrix made up of 10 columns, and 20 rows. Probably 3 foot spacing between the rows and columns.

Here's what I was planning on doing:
The columns would relay switch the hot leg. The rows would switch the neutral leg. So by turning on a single row and single column, I'll get 1 bulb to come on. No biggie.

I've had alot of success using an olsen595 to control relay outputs (a 20 ch. mega tree this year). I was going to use the olsen 595 to control the rows and columns, and then in vixen, all I gotta remember is which rows/colums go together for which bulbs, etc...

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get the signal to the matrix. The relays would be in boxes at the ends of the rows/columns. The entire matrix is taking up a full city lot, which is about 58 feet from my house. I'd really hate to take individual control wires out to the relay packs, because that's 31 wires that i'd need going out 50 feet. I was also considering placing the 595 closer to the display, but I know parallel communications can't be reliable over that distance.

I was thinking along the lines of something like a RS-485 to parallel conversion, but I'd like some additional ideas.