PDA

View Full Version : Smaller Displays



ctmal
02-10-2008, 05:16 PM
Hello Everyone, I'm just starting out with this light controlling stuff and I've got a question as to what I'm thinking is even possible.

I am not looking to set up a full blown light show like the one's you can find on youtube, I would like to start off by making a smaller display. Here is what I have in mind...

I would like to create a singing/dancing Santa Clause using LED's mounted on plywood or something similar. I am hoping to coordinate this with music. From what I've read so far, I'm leaning towards one of the Renard setups to get me going.

My main question is this: Is it possible to do this in a low voltage manner that would allow me to supply power to the lights using only cat5 cable without running a separate extension cord? Sort of a power over ethernet setup?

Thanks for your help,
Chris

Virtus
02-10-2008, 07:12 PM
Chris,

First off, welcome. If you are even slightly interested in how to make your idea into a reality out in your front yard, you have found the right place. The folks who share ideas here could run the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade without any problems.

Secondly, assume if your initial idea is successful you will want 4 more for Christmas '09. It seems it happens to us all.

Third, your inital idea of using the Renard design is a good one. For your animation either Xmus’s Ren16 or Frank's Ren24 would work well. They can each be used in conjunction with others of the same types or even the larger Renard64. Either the Ren16 or 24 will require at least one extension cord for power to the controller. Also, I'd recommend using lamp cord (SPT1 or SPT2) to connect the light strings to the controller, even with the smaller current draw they require.

I saw a how-to on YouTube about a dancing penguin cutout that was pretty good as far as understanding what you need to keep in mind throughout the effort.

Good luck and have fun!

Dave

Macrosill
02-10-2008, 11:25 PM
Hello Everyone, I'm just starting out with this light controlling stuff and I've got a question as to what I'm thinking is even possible.

I am not looking to set up a full blown light show like the one's you can find on youtube, I would like to start off by making a smaller display. Here is what I have in mind...

I would like to create a singing/dancing Santa Clause using LED's mounted on plywood or something similar. I am hoping to coordinate this with music. From what I've read so far, I'm leaning towards one of the Renard setups to get me going.

My main question is this: Is it possible to do this in a low voltage manner that would allow me to supply power to the lights using only cat5 cable without running a separate extension cord? Sort of a power over ethernet setup?

Thanks for your help,
Chris


1st let me welcome you to the site.
Now the short answer to your question is yes and no. If you are referring to using individual leds for each channel then you can run cat 5 for the low voltage power. If you are referring to using standard 110v led christmas light strings then no, you can not run the 110v power over the cat 5 cables. Some may tell you it is safe to do. I do not condone it and never will, it is a safety issue IMO.

alwysrit2
02-11-2008, 12:33 AM
Hi Chris,
Like Brian said, if you are looking to use individual LED's, it wont be a problem, I would recommend using an Olsen 595. It is 64 channels and you can pass in a voltage to meet your needs to drive the LED's without relays or extra work. If you don't put the RJ45's on, you can also cut the cost down pretty far. If you think you will need dimmable, you will need to look at the Renards or Lynx controllers.
Good Luck!

ctmal
02-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the replies! You guys are really quick.
No worries, I'm not thinking on running any kind of ac current through CAT5. What I was wondering was if I got a string of 6 or 12volt dc led's(CAT5 can handle up to 48v), could I power that through the CAT5. (I'm a network admin by trade so I'm thinking about the power over ethernet).
My main concern is that the CAT5 apparently can only handle low current and I can't seem to find any information on how much a string of LED's draws.

Also, If I don't go the power over ethernet route, I am thinking on the Renard 64 and about 4 SSR's. Does anybody have a somewhat realistic cost to build that would be(without wires, casing, etc.)

Thanks again for all your help!
Chris

ppohlman
02-11-2008, 03:17 PM
I am thinking on the Renard 64 and about 4 SSR's.

Chris -
Since you mentioned the Ren64 and ONLY 4 SSR's, I'm guessing that you're already leaving room for additions in the future. If all you want is 16 channels (4 SSR's), then you could use the REN16 with SSR's attached.

I'm sure you know what you want, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Welcome aboard.

ctmal
02-11-2008, 09:46 PM
Thanks for all of your replies, they were very helpful. I've decided to abandon the idea of putting any power through CAT 5. The hassle, worries, etc. just don't seem worth it.

I have pretty much decided to go with the Ren64. It seems to me that for what I want that would provide less extension cords lying around(more CAT5 but that's easier to hide) and I like the idea that the figure itself would be somewhat of a self contained item.

I have to tell you guys that I'm extremely impressed with the amount of knowledge in these forums and the willingness to help.

Thanks again for your help, I'll be over in the Renard forums working on the answers to a couple more questions, then I'm off to getting this thing going.

Chris