View Full Version : Newbie Needs Recommendations

02-08-2008, 11:15 PM
Greetings All!
I have been reading all the various sites and forums etc. etc. etc. and I am ready take the plunge into animated lighting for 2008. So, what do I do next? There are so many choices and options and choices with those options that I thought I would reverse it and ask the experts what route I should go. I have designed the layout (roughly) and know what I want to do. It is probably ambitious for a first year display but that is why I am starting now and not in 6 months.

I live on a hill and my display will consist of 10 5 color 3 foot trees with strobes at top layed out in a tree shape, of course. One mega tree (16ft) at the top of the hill. Outline on the house and various other elements carried over from my previous, mostly static, displays. I will need at least 128 channels and want it to dim. Because of the size of the yard I will put the controller at the house with SSR boxes dispersed amongst the display all linked with cat5 (subject to recommendations). Vixen seems to be the software of choice and I have downloaded it and started tinkering with it. I will also need an FM transmitter.

So there you have it. 128+ channels dimming. What do you recommend?

And of course, the big question, what stuff do I need to pull this off and what is the best way to get it?

Thanks in advance for your advise!

02-08-2008, 11:27 PM
Welcome Scott!

I have just started my journey as well, and got my first lights blinking tonight!

I ended up doing 128 channels of Renard 64's and 240 channels of Renard 24's.

I am using the 24's where I need many channels in one spot (Mega Tree, Mini Trees, Light Arches) and the 64's with remote SSR's where I need fewer channels in sporadic places.

I have documented MOST of my progress on the site in my sig if you want to check it out.

Good Luck, and let me know if I can answer any more questions - I'm a night owl if you want to talk on the phone...

02-09-2008, 02:05 AM

Congrats on getting the blinky flashy going as well as the new web page. It's a great feeling when it all works after doing all the planning, soldering, programming and construction etc, and finally hitting the switch.

02-10-2008, 12:26 PM
Several members have posted "Lessons Learned" (the hard way, mostly!) in this thread: http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2040&highlight=virtus
It should give you some things to keep in mind as you sort through all the options and decide what to make your own. Good luck, and have fun!