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travisb6989
12-30-2012, 01:00 PM
Hello everyone,

I need some help and some ingenuity. 2013 will be my 4th year of having an animated light display and my plan is to make the biggest upgrades possible. I am currently using AL controllers and pre made show cards however they have made me pretty upset this last year so i will be switching over to all LOR products and pro software to do our own programming.

The last two years we have made a custom lighted american flag with a 4 channel controller for the stars, red/white stripes and the blue. This year my desire is to do WAY more with flag as it has gotten very popular in the area. I want to get this flag to have "waving" effect as if it was blowing in the wind. I know we will have to upgrade the controller or maybe have two controllers as i want to make the stars twinkle and what not. But i need some help on the design, number of channels, best type of light to use, etc in order to accomplish these effects.

Thanks so much for the help. Please keep in mind when explaining things that this is my first year of really doing custom programming and display effects.

dirknerkle
12-30-2012, 01:14 PM
Hi.

Just curious why you're switching over to all LOR? If you don't mind getting out the soldering iron and assembling your own gear, there are some DIYC products that provide a lot more bang for the buck. And from the sound of it, ("WAY more..."), if you really want to have total control for making a great flag waving effect, you might consider going to RGB pixels and E1.31 controllers.

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 01:33 PM
this is what im finding out. I havent a clue where to start with the DIY stuff or where to purchase, learn about whats out there and software to use. I keep seeing these RGB pixel strings talked about everywhere but cant seem to find the best source to but them nor how these connect to software and how they are programmed. I have no clue what a E1.21 controller even is.

I know i sound like novice and thats because i am. I have only used out of the box crap from animated lighting. I'm not scared of building anything. I have a garage with every tool id need including welders, cutters, etc. I actually own a custom A/V install company so i believe i gave the correct mind set and skill set to accomplish these things.

dirknerkle
12-30-2012, 02:30 PM
It sounds to me like DIY is perhaps in your future...

There is a plethora of information here about DIY, pixels, how-to's, where to buy, etc. It's not laid out on a single page, but it's all here. The best place to start is by going to the WIKI (button link near the top of the page) and perusing the Beginner's Guide. Even though you're not a beginner in the truest sense, it will help you formulate your thoughts and questions, and it will give you a pretty decent overview of what's available here.

The WIKI also has a whole section devoted to RGB lighting. That's a good resource, too and hopefully will answer more questions. Then, of course, there are the forums. Back here at the Forums, all you have to do is search for "RGB PIXELS" and you'll see a whole lot, including the Forum devoted to it. There are lots of group buys planned for 2013, and that's where you can really save some serious cash, too. To get involved with the DIYC group buys, you must be a supporting member of DIYC, which costs $20/year (you'll find a link to SUBSCRIPTIONS in your profile page). That can save you hundreds of dollars/year and is well worth it.

Anyway, this will get you started. After a while if you can't find information you're looking for, don't hesitate to post a question in the appropriate forum. We have an incredibly energetic and knowledgeable group of folks here and someone will chime in pretty quickly.

Happy New Year, too!

BTW.... hang onto your wallet :lol:

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 02:45 PM
This sounds great. Looks like i need to become a supporting member. I am so happy i stumbled upon this forum by mistake.

Also did some research and i know what e1.31 is now! lol

it seems that the layout is like this PC running LOR software---->LOR DMX interface----->DMX RGB controller------>rgb pixel strings

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 02:46 PM
do you think rgb will let me get the waiving effect im after?

dirknerkle
12-30-2012, 03:18 PM
You might think of RGB pixels as a low-def television. Of course, the more pixels you put together, the higher the definition. It definitely can do what you want... it's not cheap, but it is affordable.

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 03:33 PM
great thanks much. I just contacted waynej about some renard boards.

do you know if vixen allows control of e1.31?

dirknerkle
12-30-2012, 03:43 PM
Vixen uses the appropriate plugin for it. Vixen is quite malleable and flexible! Wayne has some fantastic boards. They've become the "standard" by which other boards are measured.

Materdaddy
12-30-2012, 04:27 PM
great thanks much. I just contacted waynej about some renard boards.

do you know if vixen allows control of e1.31?

FYI, the Renard boards Wayne designed/sells are for controlling A/C lights, not RGB or pixels.

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 04:31 PM
correct i knew that. What boards would i use to control these?

djulien
12-30-2012, 04:37 PM
I am so happy i stumbled upon this forum by mistake.

Mistake ?! :cry:

Welcome to DIYC anyway! :)

don

Materdaddy
12-30-2012, 04:41 PM
correct i knew that. What boards would i use to control these?

If you're going the pixel route, the favorite around here (and what I use) are the SanDevices line of pixel controllers. You're looking for the E682: http://www.sandevices.com/

If you're doing RGB, there's too many options to simply say one. You'll need to figure out what level of control you'd want, the current requirements of the lights you're planning to use, etc.

travisb6989
12-30-2012, 07:11 PM
Well I'm doing RGB pixels for some portions of the display. The flag and a mega tree.
The rest of display is led lights such us c7, nets, etc.

For the RGB pixels I want max control due to the effects I'm after.

What is the preferred vendor for pixel lights?

Materdaddy
12-30-2012, 08:10 PM
Well I'm doing RGB pixels for some portions of the display. The flag and a mega tree.
The rest of display is led lights such us c7, nets, etc.

For the RGB pixels I want max control due to the effects I'm after.

What is the preferred vendor for pixel lights?

For the pixels themselves most people talk about Ray Wu. Since I haven't purchased anything from him I don't have any contact information. Somebody is sure to chime in with details.

dirknerkle
12-30-2012, 08:43 PM
Probably the best quality pixels are from stellascapes. Pricey, but they work both above and below water.

travisb6989
12-31-2012, 09:07 AM
Probably the best quality pixels are from stellascapes. Pricey, but they work both above and below water.

thanks much

travisb6989
12-31-2012, 03:28 PM
ok so i am going to start working on the actual cost and design of the new flag now that i have a handle on hardware and software.

my question is this... i want create the 13 strips as a wide stripe maybe 4" or so (depends on the actual scale of things in regards the standard flag size ratios) with a high resolution of pixels. So how many rows going horizontally do you guys think i should use 2-3 or maybe more?

I don't want to over do this but I feel as if I need more than one row of pixels per stripe being my goal is give the flag a waiving effect. I also would like to display words across the flag as the music plays.

What do you guys think a good "big" pixel would be to create the stars?

thanks