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Cburg
01-29-2015, 01:29 AM
There is a lot of talk about building a Matrix. I am going to build one too. But while the design appears to straight forward there is a lot to consider. I would like to know what you have built and are using. Also I would be interested to know if you were to do it all over, what changes would you make and why? Maybe to improve the graphics or wording or for some other reason.

So Please let me know what you have done or planning to do. Let me learn from your doing.

Thanks

Cburg

habbosrus
01-29-2015, 06:55 AM
I made a horizontal matrix out of ws2812b strip 20 rows x 75 pixels. It looked good and I did a quite a bit with it but I feel it is too short. I plan to double the height to 40 rows for 2015. This will make it 9000 channels.

toozie21
01-29-2015, 07:14 AM
I too had a 20x73 matrix out of strips and loved it for scrolling text. Sadly the small height made it lacking for anything else.

I am totally happy with my construction of the unit and how it performed, but I would probably try to go with more height if possible (I am adding a measly 6 rows this year I think).

If you are trying to get your pixel count down, I wouldn't make it as wide, but would add more height. Try to shoot for something close to a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio.

Short and badly typed since written from my phone...

arw01
01-29-2015, 11:38 AM
Did a coro panel matrix this year at 10x51 and that is too short as the others have said at even wider. 20x51 I could have done more with, but I am going to pull those nodes out completely, repurpose them and buy the P10 panels and use one of the new controllers from FalconChristmas with the P10 panels. They run 16x32 or something are less than $20.00 each if you buy a half dozen with shipping. They need a case made up to protect them as they are indoor panels.

For the cost of 6 of those or 8 of those I am still investing way less than the equivalent nodes, it's more compact and should be more versatile.

Alan

DanielSkeen
01-29-2015, 12:23 PM
I created a smallish matrix of 24x32 using s2811's this year. I used four black coro strips (24x8 pixels each) that were scored to fold and drilled at about two inches spacing with a viewing distance of about 20 feet. This modular construction allows me to fold the entire matrix up and store it in a single storage tub. The 24x32 matrix seemed to work well once I mastered the process of creating animations on that scale.

I was somewhat surprised at the reaction from my guests to the matrix: it was rather ho-hum. Many commented that they had seen a jumbo-tron before. At the same time they were very impressed with my coro-canes.

If I were to do it all over again and had the budget, I would like to go with something larger, perhaps a 32x64 matrix and include it as a component in a larger fixture.

toozie21
01-29-2015, 12:26 PM
I created a smallish matrix of 24x32 using s2811's this year. I used four black coro strips (24x8 pixels each) that were scored to fold and drilled at about two inches spacing with a viewing distance of about 20 feet. This modular construction allows me to fold the entire matrix up and store it in a single storage tub. The 24x32 matrix seemed to work well once I mastered the process of creating animations on that scale.

I was somewhat surprised at the reaction from my guests to the matrix: it was rather ho-hum. Many commented that they had seen a jumbo-tron before. At the same time they were very impressed with my coro-canes.

If I were to do it all over again and had the budget, I would like to go with something larger, perhaps a 32x64 matrix and include it as a component in a larger fixture.
(Sorry OP for the tangent)
What did you use for your animations (HLS? NC?)? Were they videos, or something custom?

DanielSkeen
01-29-2015, 12:54 PM
I tried to use the movie effect in Nutcracker via Vixen 3 but I found the resolution of the matrix was just too small for the job. The video tools that I have would scale a movie to the size but the compress averaging was too messy.

I was able to make simple illustrations using MS Paint and Adobe products. This was truly a return to my early days in writing computer games with very small workspace. Once I figured that out I started experimenting with simple animations again using Nutcracker effects. I sequenced one image after another (sometimes with tiny overlaps for smoothness) to create motion. The effect is quite nice but it is labor intensive. These were all in JPEG format. OBTW - I found that working in primary colors works best for me.

I did play with one GIF (again supported by Nutcracker) and finally got it to work with some effort(dancing santa and rain deer). I'm still looking for a better tool to produce animated GIF's.

kevin
01-29-2015, 02:25 PM
Mine is 16x40 using 1812 strips (each pixel its own channel). Worked out great for text and most graphics. However I think I'm going to add a couple more strips this year to make it a 22x40 to get closer to the 16:9 format. Right now at the 2.5 ratio its hard to get graphics and video to look good. It really should be between a 1.3 and a 1.7 ratio.

Cburg
01-29-2015, 02:27 PM
(Sorry OP for the tangent)
What did you use for your animations (HLS? NC?)? Were they videos, or something custom?

Toozie21,
Not at all, This is the dialog I need to help make up my mind.

Thanks to all that are posting here. Please continue .....

"Node Spacing" vs the "view distance" is a big concern also. So any notes/comments you can add about this would also be helpful!
I am looking at about 60ft from my house across the street to the parking lot.


Cburg

toozie21
01-29-2015, 03:46 PM
I tried to use the movie effect in Nutcracker via Vixen 3 but I found the resolution of the matrix was just too small for the job. The video tools that I have would scale a movie to the size but the compress averaging was too messy.

I was able to make simple illustrations using MS Paint and Adobe products. This was truly a return to my early days in writing computer games with very small workspace. Once I figured that out I started experimenting with simple animations again using Nutcracker effects. I sequenced one image after another (sometimes with tiny overlaps for smoothness) to create motion. The effect is quite nice but it is labor intensive. These were all in JPEG format. OBTW - I found that working in primary colors works best for me.

I did play with one GIF (again supported by Nutcracker) and finally got it to work with some effort(dancing santa and rain deer). I'm still looking for a better tool to produce animated GIF's.
Keep us posted as you come up with stuff. I could find a method I liked that was pretty simple to do. I wish this step was a little bit easier.....


Toozie21,
Not at all, This is the dialog I need to help make up my mind.

Thanks to all that are posting here. Please continue .....

"Node Spacing" vs the "view distance" is a big concern also. So any notes/comments you can add about this would also be helpful!
I am looking at about 60ft from my house across the street to the parking lot.


Cburg
Since I went with the 30/30 strips, they have ~1.3in between pixels. I then had strips of PVC made by a local sign shop (I know the owner) that were 20mm wide. I then glued my pixel strips and the PVC strips to a piece of backing. The PVC then acted as spacer to keep my vertical pixel separation the same as my horizontal AS WELL AS a reinforcement sort of "shelf" to allow the glued on pixels to sort of act as a little bit of a strain relief. In the end I was very happy with the horiz/vert spacing and it wasn't that hard.

Here are some pics:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3u2xTppuGAhc3pfM3pvYWpvSkk&authuser=0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3u2xTppuGAhdHQtYlA4SDJXQmM&authuser=0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3u2xTppuGAhamJ0VVFlQlJNOUU&authuser=0

and one quick video:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3u2xTppuGAhdDlKclhMT2MyVTg&authuser=0

OriginalHotrodder
01-31-2015, 09:29 PM
Do you have a link to these P10s? I'd really like to check them out.



Did a coro panel matrix this year at 10x51 and that is too short as the others have said at even wider. 20x51 I could have done more with, but I am going to pull those nodes out completely, repurpose them and buy the P10 panels and use one of the new controllers from FalconChristmas with the P10 panels. They run 16x32 or something are less than $20.00 each if you buy a half dozen with shipping. They need a case made up to protect them as they are indoor panels.

For the cost of 6 of those or 8 of those I am still investing way less than the equivalent nodes, it's more compact and should be more versatile.

Alan

Cburg
02-01-2015, 03:56 AM
Thanks to everyone who is posting here. I need all the info I can get. There is a lot to think about when designing a matrix. I like what Matt Johnson did in his video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Dy0RlEEw&list=PLOp9Tx63j4ojLndg_GsMVdVZSh_ALLiDf&index=3

I would like to here about forms on construction. Also due to the cost of all the pixels, I want to be sure I can safely takes this up and down and store without worry. In fact, I wonder if there would be a way to roll the matrix on something like a sonotube for storage. How do you store Your Matrix?

At this point I am thinking about 7ft wide X 5ft high that is about 4:3 This would cover my front window. That is 1260 Nodes.

But it may be easier in the long run to go to about 8.5 ft wide, I could use on string of 50 nodes per strip. Then to keep 4:3 aspect I would need 37 rows or 1850 nodes. Boy does this get expensive fast, even with Pre-sales.!

Question: From the programing point of view, could we make (wire) the nodes the other way? I mean make the nodes run in columns rather then in row? I wonder if that would make it easier to design and then store.

Boy am I glad it is January and not November!

Cburg

ActiveHouse
03-17-2015, 06:39 AM
I'm using P6 panels (32x32 RGB LEDs per panel)
Currently I have 192 x 96 pixels up and running, but I'm planning on expanding this to 320 x 192 pixels (almost 16:9 aspect ratio)
Panels are 19,05 x 19,05 cm, so total dimension will be 190,5 x 114,3 cm.
Currently I get about 25 fps, 24bit color with 120 Hz refresh rate ...
Also, i'm 3D printing parts to build a Truss-system to "hang" this screen.

Pictures/movies and more info can be found on my personal blog http://www.digitalplayground.be


best regards from Belgium,
Kris

MartinMueller2003
03-17-2015, 11:00 AM
mine is a 10 row 25 column matrix using ws2811 12mm bulbs stuck through every other hole on an egg crate ceiling tile. I have a couple lengths of angle iron zip tied to the plastic to give it some stability. Has worked for two seasons and stays together as a single peice. The bulbs are held in place with hot glue. I had to replace three bulbs. Found that all I needed was a heated knife to cut the hot glue and replacement became an easy operation.

ronp5683
04-22-2015, 09:57 AM
Well, I have done three sizes 16x20, 16x64 and 96x128.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhu6pClHPg

Robo
04-22-2015, 02:11 PM
Well, I have done three sizes 16x20, 16x64 and 96x128.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhu6pClHPg

Damn that's more pixels then my living room tv, lol!

thebaronn
04-23-2015, 05:18 AM
Well, I have done three sizes 16x20, 16x64 and 96x128.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhu6pClHPg

WOW! I thought my 2012 matrix was big at 80X48 pixels!!!!

Mine is probably the least "high-tech" of everyone else's.
I used coro with square pixels every 2" for 2013 and 2012. (links are in my signature)

2 things I would do differently:
1. 12V.....I am so over power injection
2. I would never make a square/rectangular matrix again (kinda boring). The clock tower (2013) is just too awesome (people still ask if I will bring it out again, and at the risk of showing how conceited I am, the clock tower matrix is the best I have seen, not counting that dude in Glendale with hundreds of thousands of pixels controlled by MADRIX all over his house)

RogerH
04-23-2015, 02:35 PM
I had a 24 x 10. 8ft x 3ft using a t1000s controller. The lededit software worked nicely capturing a gledeator animation. My pixels were spaced 4" a part and viewed at 80ft. It looked nice. I haven't quite decided if I'll just increase it to 20x24 or put all the effort into all the new stuff I'm adding to the show. I'm getting an alphapix16 any day. Going to add a walkway element similar to the Johnsons Christmas show.
Roger

Greg.Ca
05-01-2015, 01:30 PM
I may be the winner with a 56 vertical X 96 horizontal matrix. I used rigid pixel strips at 56 pixels long (tall) and used 96 of them (horizontally). They are all 5V WS2812b pixels at 60/meter using 8 450 watt power supplies powered by a single pixlite 16 board. I had these strips laying around for a different project. It's quite bright but still isn't quite large enough for reasonable quality graphics. This big boy is all mounted professionally on a 4' X 8' 3/4 commercial particle board that is cut down to about 4' X 6'. It's all painted black as a backdrop and has commercial leveling stands so that it never tips over in high wind. This matrix is destined to be the centerpiece of my display and will be centered on my porch.

I have to pick my animated GIF's carefully as the matrix simply isn't large enough for video. I'm currently in the process of building a 84 X 128 matrix using the same type of rigid pixel strips. Frantically trying to complete to be functional this Christmas season. This design will only need one additional Pixlite 16 board.

The Pixlite 16 worked perfectly as each of the 16 outputs could drive 2 full universes (340 pixels). They are actually driving 336 pixels EACH output and each output is driving 6 of the 56 pixel strips in a 'zig zag' up & down fashion. Multiply the 6 strips by the 16 outputs on the board and you get the 96 strips.

As far as how many channels. Here is my math 56 X 96 =5376 pixels and multiplying by 3 = 16128 channels.

Four of the Meanwell 450 watt power supplies are powered by one 'phase' of 120 VAC and the other four power supplies are powered by the other 'phase' of 120VAC. Even though these Meanwells are at 120VAC input, technically the Hoffman NEMA 4 box that I houses everything has two 'different ' feeds of 120VAC. Thus power input to the box is technically 240VAC. This was done to balance power. So far, everything is working great. I incorporated into my Hoffman NEMA 4 box two fans that blow out when internal temperature exceeds 20C (70F) and also incorporated two static fan inlets that allow cool air into the box when fan cooling is requested. Fan cooling is commanded by a simple N.O. temperature operated snap switch.

ActiveHouse
05-22-2015, 04:48 AM
"winner" ? I think everybody skipped my message about my 320x192 pixels (61440 pixels) :-)
(currently 192x96 "up and running" - 24bit color - 25FPS - 120Hz - 18432 pixels)

a Teensy 3.1 for every 6 panels, currently controlled by an Odroid XU3 via one USB port ! using 4x 5V/30A power supplies ...
(dotNET application ported to Mono - initial development done in Visual Studio 2013 on my macbook Pro - as you can see in the video)
home-made firmware to write directly to framebuffer (5 times faster than standard smartmatrix library)

Animations and videos are NOT pre-rendered, everything is calculated in realtime.
(I can even stream a webcam or video-input from a USB capture card to the display, also live "desktop" preview etc ...)

Waiting for my last 5 panels to arrive, within a few weeks the 320x192 will be completed, I will upload a video here,
in the meanwhile, watch a video of the 196x96 pixels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAi9DVd9Xxs


best regards from Belgium,
Kris

Gilrock
05-22-2015, 10:25 AM
No I'm the winner. My matrix is so big I once hung it off a bridge and the cold water shorted out some of my pixels. :)

DrNeutron
05-22-2015, 10:51 AM
Come on guys.......size doesn't matter! Like you haven't heard that one before!
:wink:

ActiveHouse
05-22-2015, 02:37 PM
Lol, indeed, size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it, that matters :-)

angus40
05-22-2015, 02:40 PM
"winner" ? I think everybody skipped my message about my 320x192 pixels (61440 pixels) :-)
(currently 192x96 "up and running" - 24bit color - 25FPS - 120Hz - 18432 pixels)

a Teensy 3.1 for every 6 panels, currently controlled by an Odroid XU3 via one USB port ! using 4x 5V/30A power supplies ...
(dotNET application ported to Mono - initial development done in Visual Studio 2013 on my macbook Pro - as you can see in the video)
home-made firmware to write directly to framebuffer (5 times faster than standard smartmatrix library)

Animations and videos are NOT pre-rendered, everything is calculated in realtime.
(I can even stream a webcam or video-input from a USB capture card to the display, also live "desktop" preview etc ...)

Waiting for my last 5 panels to arrive, within a few weeks the 320x192 will be completed, I will upload a video here,
in the meanwhile, watch a video of the 196x96 pixels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAi9DVd9Xxs


best regards from Belgium,
Kris

Definitely the best matrix I have seen to date .

Are you planning to or willing to share your brilliance ?

I would like to be able to stream live cam of my viewers etc .

Great work with this Kris .

neilric99
05-22-2015, 03:19 PM
This year we will be seeing more matrix's built from the P10 type panels which each panel is 32*16 rgb leds spaced at 10mm (I have seen P5 panels as well at 5mm spacing and 32x32 leds per panel)

The FPP (www.falconchristmas.com) can run 64 of the these panels (256*128) on a single Beagle Bone Black (BBB) with the octoscroller cape.

I am currently working on a 256*48 sign board which will do acceptable video at 50-250ft viewing distance as well as scrolling text and graphics. uses 3 x 5V/30amp power supplies to drive it comfortably.

Gilrock
05-22-2015, 03:32 PM
Yep it all depends on what you are doing. I think the panel type matrices are too small for my taste. I've bought 5,440 pixels to make an 85x64 matrix but I haven't decided how I want to mount them yet. I think with the space I have available over my garage I want to use around 1" spacing. I originally also had planned to follow Matt Johnson's design but the problem was when I modeled a video in xLights on a 32x34 matrix I couldn't really make out what was in the video. Since I wanted to be able to play video clips I needed to go bigger. So I decided on 85x64 since two rows of 85 would fit into a universe and 5,440 was a good number for a couple of the controllers out there to handle. For 85x64 I'm thinking a PVC pipe design like Matt's might turn out too heavy. By the way you probably saw how I made a makeshift matrix out of my pixel tree straps. This was only 32x42 but with 4" spacing it was close to 10.5' wide by 14 feet high. People were able to view this thing from over a 1/4 mile away as they were leaving the graduation parking lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPdv8kNncMw

angus40
05-22-2015, 03:43 PM
Yep it all depends on what you are doing. I think the panel type matrices are too small for my taste. I've bought 5,440 pixels to make an 85x64 matrix but I haven't decided how I want to mount them yet. I think with the space I have available over my garage I want to use around 1" spacing. I originally also had planned to follow Matt Johnson's design but the problem was when I modeled a video in xLights on a 32x34 matrix I couldn't really make out what was in the video. Since I wanted to be able to play video clips I needed to go bigger. So I decided on 85x64 since two rows of 85 would fit into a universe and 5,440 was a good number for a couple of the controllers out there to handle. For 85x64 I'm thinking a PVC pipe design like Matt's might turn out too heavy. By the way you probably saw how I made a makeshift matrix out of my pixel tree straps. This was only 32x42 but with 4" spacing it was close to 10.5' wide by 14 feet high. People were able to view this thing from over a 1/4 mile away as they were leaving the graduation parking lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPdv8kNncMw

50/50 pixels and 8-12 mm pixel nodes just do not provide the resolution .

They are great for text and low res effects like we use for a mega tree etc .

For an acceptable video resolution pixel panel elements are the only solution .

ActiveHouse
05-22-2015, 04:33 PM
Definitely the best matrix I have seen to date .

Are you planning to or willing to share your brilliance ?

I would like to be able to stream live cam of my viewers etc .

Great work with this Kris .

Hi Angus,


Thanks for the compliment :-)
I'm currently finishing printing 3D brackets for the last parts, and also finishing the trusses, but due to health issues, it can take a while before everything is finished.
Because I didn't order all my panels at once, I'm now stuck with 3 different types of panels. Well, the electronics and LED-structure is 100% identical, but the plastic back and mounting holes, are a bit different, so I had to design different brackets, and also "mixed" brackets. (to connect type X panels to type Y panels, I currently have panels marked as 286,297 & 333)
I will surely put all 3D printable brackets on my thingiverse page, some construction movies on my youtube page, and sourcecode (for the Teensy AND the dotNET code) on my Github page.
(and ofcourse an article will all these links, on my own homepage)
I expect all this to be ready by mid-summer :-)

I can also live-stream Jinx and Glediator streams, there is a possibility in Jinx to overlay some nice FX and text effects, over the actual webcam/video-stream. (I will also upload a demo of this on my youtube shortly)

BTW, I'm currently also designing "dropping icicles" (dropping icicles), a piece of WS2812B ledstrip with 15 LEDs in each icicle. This will form another LED matrix of 108 x 15 pixels :-) (I will not only have the "dripping" effect, but I can also use it to put all kinds of effects on it)
Currently printing icicle number 56 as we speak ! (I have multiple 3D printers running simulataniously 24h/24h - 7d/7d, LOL)

best regards,
Kris

Gilrock
05-22-2015, 05:11 PM
50/50 pixels and 8-12 mm pixel nodes just do not provide the resolution .

They are great for text and low res effects like we use for a mega tree etc .

For an acceptable video resolution pixel panel elements are the only solution .

We'll like usual we will disagree on what's acceptable.

Phrog30
05-22-2015, 05:43 PM
He's supposed to be on summer break. [emoji16]

angus40
05-22-2015, 06:03 PM
We'll like usual we will disagree on what's acceptable.

Gil , there is nothing to disagree with . :)

The facts speak for themselves .

Cheers

Gilrock
05-22-2015, 06:32 PM
Gil , there is nothing to disagree with . :)

The facts speak for themselves .

Cheers

Those led panels you think are so precious would look terrible if you had one less than 3 feet wide and tried to view it from 1/4 mile away. It's all about viewing distance. Here's a video showing what a video would look like when I build my 85x64 matrix. At 7' feet wide this will look great from out in the street. I've demonstrated two different viewing distances using the exact same resolution. There's nothing wrong with 8mm pixels. They actually will work better if the viewing distance is greater. Phrog is right...you said you were going to give us a vacation from the mindless rhetoric.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMzzUl07e6w

angus40
05-22-2015, 07:01 PM
You can fool your self with 50/50 all you like .

I don"t think many , if any here are planning their display for viewers to be a 1/4 mile away .

You are still getting your feet wet with pixels and will soon realize your pixels suck for optimum resolution .

50/50 are to big an cause a pixelated image no matter what you do .

Talk about mindless , trying to fool yourself .

Gilrock
05-22-2015, 07:37 PM
Fine...I'll ignore your posts and you ignore mine.

angus40
05-22-2015, 09:28 PM
This year we will be seeing more matrix's built from the P10 type panels which each panel is 32*16 rgb leds spaced at 10mm (I have seen P5 panels as well at 5mm spacing and 32x32 leds per panel)

The FPP (www.falconchristmas.com) can run 64 of the these panels (256*128) on a single Beagle Bone Black (BBB) with the octoscroller cape.

I am currently working on a 256*48 sign board which will do acceptable video at 50-250ft viewing distance as well as scrolling text and graphics. uses 3 x 5V/30amp power supplies to drive it comfortably.

Neil I bet you are correct , as I can see why one would want to migrate from strings or strips .

Kris has clearly demonstrated the picture quality and resolution gained by doing so .

After hours of trying different videos and with adjusting settings on a standard pixel matrix i quickly realized that pixel size and density

are just never going to be suitable for a pleasingly view able yard display .

I am looking forward to seeing your matrix when completed .

Cheers

neilric99
05-22-2015, 10:43 PM
here is a photo of the board which is 9ft x 3ft. It is currently de-assembeled as I am in the process of moving so I cannot fire it up to show the resolution.

MartinMueller2003
05-22-2015, 11:02 PM
IMO, there is only one opinion that really matters: The opinion of the person that built the matrix. If you build it and like the way it looks, then you have the perfect matrix for you. For me, it really is that simple. I dont expect everyone to like the array I am building and I do not like some of the arrays I have seen. But, my opinion only matters for my matrix. We all work hard at this hobby and have come up with some novel solutions, Thats pretty cool. Think about where this hobby was 10 years ago and how much has been learned and changed. We are evolving. Lets go with it.

Roterhead
05-22-2015, 11:22 PM
Since my viewing distance will be fairly short, I have gone with a 4x5 P10 matrix. That will give me a 128W x 90H matrix (a little over 4' wide). With my smaller yard I don't think I can go much bigger.

neilric99
05-22-2015, 11:28 PM
My 9ft x 3ft matrix will be mounted over my double garage

ActiveHouse
05-23-2015, 03:37 AM
My front-garden is actually very small, compared to American standards :-)
The front of our house, sits about 40 foot (12 meter) from the sidewalk, and the width of the garden is also about 40 foot.
We have a very large window in our front of the house, about 19.5 foot wide (6 meter) and 6.5 foot in height (2.5 meter)
The display will be placed against the window, on the inside of the house (no need to make it waterproof)
70 suction cups will hold it up against the glass :-)
The view from the sidewalk/street, is just perfect with these dimensions ...
I also had to "dim" (running at 50%) the panels a lot, otherwise, you will get a tan from that much light :-)

Also, I'm catching 2 flies at once:
I'm a member of a modelrailroad club (with live-steam trains etc ...)
The Matrix panel will also be used for fairs and exhibitions and shows, for some "publicity)

And maybe, on those hot long summer evenings, I can put the display in the garden, to view some sport-events on local television together with the neighbours.
(it's much much much more bright, compared to my Epson EH-TW9200 FullHD beamer (with 2400 ansi lumen and 600000:1 contrast ratio))

Phrog30
05-23-2015, 09:52 AM
50/50 are to big an cause a pixelated image no matter what you do.

That is probably true. If resolution is so important, than why the money and effort, just hang a flat screen or use a projector and be done with it?

I like the Christmas look of some pixelation. Hope that made sense.

James

aesl1982
05-23-2015, 10:00 AM
Lol, indeed, size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it, that matters :-)

I once tried that line on a woman and she responded with "have you ever takin a job boat into the ocean. It doesn't work to well"


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ActiveHouse
05-23-2015, 10:18 AM
LOL, if we talk about ladies, here in Belgium, the ladies used to say "it's better to enjoy a small good one, than a large bad one ..."
My answer was always: "And what do you think about a large good one ?" :-)

Electrified3
05-23-2015, 11:29 AM
Here is mine from last year, it is 220 x 92 pixels. I tried several different methods, bullets, 30 LED/M strips, then eventually 60 LED/M strips which started to give me the effect I was looking for.

https://vimeo.com/113173429

I used a polycarbonate panel 12' wide by 6' tall and had strips custom built to the 12' length then pulled them into each channel inside the panel. This was a bit extreme, ended up with just over 20,000 pixels, took 12 E682's to drive it. I overkilled the power supplies for it, in the end I was around 25A @ 120V to drive it all. Hard part was with such a high density panel I had to tune it down quite a bit to try to not blind cars driving by it and viewers, ran around 75-80% intensity in XLights, when I ramped it up to 400% it was blinding and really drove up the amp draw on it, but it did a great job playing video on it.

Of course, this all comes with a price. For what I do I have corporate sponsors so I can go a bit crazy. If you want video resolution I would recommend using the 60 LED/M strips, be sure they are individually controllable, some strips work in groups of 3 so they will not work well for video. Then determine how much you want to spend to dictate your size, be sure to account for controls and power as it will add up quick. The new Falcon Pixel controller looks to be an awesome controller for a display like this, probably reduce controllers from 12 in my case to 3 or 4, so going from $2400 in controllers down to $600-800 is pretty substantial!

The channel polycarbonate is a great method to build as well, easy to work with and as a bonus, mine ended up dual sided, I expected to only be able to view from one side, but in the end it was viewable from front or back! Obviously from front was best and text was inverted when looking from back but when playing video could be viewed from either side!!

Bill

angus40
05-23-2015, 03:21 PM
That is probably true. If resolution is so important, than why the money and effort, just hang a flat screen or use a projector and be done with it?

I like the Christmas look of some pixelation. Hope that made sense.

James

Are you speaking from experience ?

For those that do not want a less than pac man quality image when spending the $$ and putting in the effort to building a matrix ,

they can read these threads and be informed before getting disappointed afterwards .

I did not know that a less than poor quality video image equated to the Christmas look .

Phrog30
05-23-2015, 03:36 PM
Are you speaking from experience ?

Nope, opinion. I assume you know what that means.

I agree, these posts will help others make a decision. But, maybe get some sense and realize that we all have different opinions and tastes.

Go back to break, please.

James

ActiveHouse
05-23-2015, 04:38 PM
I tried the projector thingy a few years ago. (back then, I had a 1024x768 Benq, doing 2500 ansi lumens - beamer setup inside of the house, projecting trough a special see-trough projection screen on the front window)
Projection was the same screen size as my current matrix. (2m x 1m20 - 4 foot by 6.5 foot)
I like the matrix more, it's more bright, and more "noticable" from the sidewalk/street !

For me, as an electronics challenge, and also be able to take the "billboard" with me to modelrailroad exhibitions and shows, I didn't have to think long before deciding to create such a matrix.
I think it all depends on personal taste, just like some persons prefer BMW above Mercedes and visa versa :-)

Just my 2c :-)

angus40
05-23-2015, 05:02 PM
Nope, opinion. I assume you know what that means.

I agree, these posts will help others make a decision. But, maybe get some sense and realize that we all have different opinions and tastes.

Go back to break, please.

James

On a high horse with no experience .
A very worthy opinion .

neilric99
05-23-2015, 05:22 PM
angus40 and phrog30 enough already

On a high horse with no experience .
A very worthy opinion .

Phrog30
05-23-2015, 05:53 PM
Sorry guys.

thebaronn
05-23-2015, 09:48 PM
I'm using P6 panels (32x32 RGB LEDs per panel)
Currently I have 192 x 96 pixels up and running, but I'm planning on expanding this to 320 x 192 pixels (almost 16:9 aspect ratio)
Panels are 19,05 x 19,05 cm, so total dimension will be 190,5 x 114,3 cm.
Currently I get about 25 fps, 24bit color with 120 Hz refresh rate ...
Also, i'm 3D printing parts to build a Truss-system to "hang" this screen.

Pictures/movies and more info can be found on my personal blog http://www.digitalplayground.be


best regards from Belgium,
Kris

WOW! While nothing gets me in the mood to work on xmas lights better than people arguing over personal preferences......

Let's get back on track again and talk about lights!

I have to say, I LOVE both types of matrices! I like the huge pixelated one from coppercreek and the high resolution matrix from active. Viewing distance is a major consideration when building anything (I know, I have screwed the pooch before, nothing better than telling your Halloween audience to go to the other side of the street for "better" viewing.)

Jeff M in florida is working on a matrix that will be something ridiculous like 80'X40' on top of his house (I think I have the name correct, but I do not think he is a member here) he wont have the super high resolution but he does have some sort of crazy viewing distance of over 1000ft. Most of his display is old school but it spans acres.... He will not be using panels (I could only imaging the cost of that) but he is building his panels with pixels (which is still $$$$).


Now I will bombard Kris:

Do you have a link to the panels that you purchased?
Is this setup waterproof and ready to go?
Can I bend these panels?
Can I curve them?
Can I cut them? (I may be working on a matrix in the shape of a chess piece, still up in the air this year on whether I am doing anything at all)
What is the life span of the panels?
What happens if a pixel goes bad? Can you replace a single pixel?

Looks a lot faster than drilling thousands and thousands of holes through coro.....

I went to your website, and you have a ton of information and honestly I am too lazy to sort through it, I would prefer it was handed to me on a silver platter.

I have more questions but apparently I am going on a bike ride.....RIGHT NOW!

Thank you
Eric

DrNeutron
05-23-2015, 10:17 PM
I believe Kris is using the standard P6 panels which are made using a ridged matrix panel so they do not bend.
I made mine using P10 panels from this supplier: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/1090165
To drive my small matrix of P10 panels (3 wide X 2 high = 96 X 32), I used RonP's 16 universe controller (rons holiday lights). His controller was very easy to setup and very inexpensive (uses off the shelf FPGA processor, similar to what the new Falcon controller is using).
You can't cut these either as it is one large circuit board and the LED's are very small but can be replaced if one goes bad on you (I asked for spares when ordering and they included a dozen).
There is the option of buying "outdoor rated" panels but I have only bought the indoor model with plans to make an enclosure.
I am really stoked to show off mine this year as it is replacing a rather simple "Tune To" sign. Nutcracker effects look awesome on it, but to show full motion video it is rather small, would have to be at least 96 X 96 to be acceptable IMO taking into account a 100' viewing distance.

angus40
05-23-2015, 11:16 PM
I seem to have struck a nerve mentioning resolution and this has caused a riff that was not my intent .

Beyond that , I merely stated the facts and not a personal preference .

thebaronn
05-24-2015, 02:24 AM
Alright! I nominate this dude! This used to be on the sandevices home page but the link is broken. It was killing me, but after a lot of different youtube queries, I found it!
This is the house that inspired me to have a matrix 3 years ago. He was using stellascapes and if you ever looked them up $$$$.....$$$$$$$$$!! They are astronomically priced! Well they were when I priced them in 2012. My contact even gave me a quote for an LED curtain that would have set me back the same as a new Honda civic, YIKES! While I would love to do this to my house, my roof height and pitch would never allow you to see all the pixels. (but maybe from space).

Anyone here ever use the Galaxia Constellation software? Now that stuff was cutting edge. Too bad their pixels with outrageously priced also, but they had in house financing!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOroZ2P-3FE

We need to pool our resources together. Create a 2 door garage door matrix with both pixels and panels. Then have a poll from actual people. (not crazy xmas light dudes who are set in their own ways).
Actual side by side comparison is the only way to go.
Heck if we get a lotto winner to sponsor the contest we can go pixels vs panels vs 4 80" TVs vs 40K Lumens Barco projector (LOL) (need to high a security guard for that one)

thebaronn
05-24-2015, 02:49 AM
I believe Kris is using the standard P6 panels which are made using a ridged matrix panel so they do not bend.
I made mine using P10 panels from this supplier: http://www.aliexpress.com/store/1090165
To drive my small matrix of P10 panels (3 wide X 2 high = 96 X 32), I used RonP's 16 universe controller (rons holiday lights). His controller was very easy to setup and very inexpensive (uses off the shelf FPGA processor, similar to what the new Falcon controller is using).
You can't cut these either as it is one large circuit board and the LED's are very small but can be replaced if one goes bad on you (I asked for spares when ordering and they included a dozen).
There is the option of buying "outdoor rated" panels but I have only bought the indoor model with plans to make an enclosure.
I am really stoked to show off mine this year as it is replacing a rather simple "Tune To" sign. Nutcracker effects look awesome on it, but to show full motion video it is rather small, would have to be at least 96 X 96 to be acceptable IMO taking into account a 100' viewing distance.

Thank you! That sucks that they don't bend. They are petty impressive, like putting legos together.

Outdoor rating comes with a price on those P6!!! my garage is roughly 16X8. So to cover that in panels (that are roughly 8" square) 24X12 panels, 288!!! OMG!! $14K! The price of a Honda!!!
That is 4 80" TVs at Costco!

I gather that the number after the P refers to the distances between pixels?

If I scale down to the outdoor P10 320X160mm for $25 (bulk price, woot woot) I need 15X15 for only 225 panels. That is only $5600, so much more doable. If I was going to cover my garage again, that would be the way to go. Although storage at my house is always an issue. If you have ever watched my videos, my displays are pretty much built from scratch every year because of that issue. (I sold my Castle to a neighbor who turned it into a playhouse for her daughter) I am actually surprised that the majority of my pixels still work after popping them in and out of coro so many times.

Forget it, just buy this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2-08mx1-44m-P10-RGB-Full-Color-OutDoor-LED-Sign-Display-Free-Ship-By-Sea-/141268966595

Then, boom! I'm done!

I wonder how they hold up to 80mph winds.

This is a sub-sickness of the Christmas Display sickness.
You start with a matrix, tune to sign, or whatever......
Then you say it needs to be bigger (dimension wise), so you go bigger....
Then you say, hmmm, I need more resolution, so you do that......
Then because of your pixel size, you realize "I can't get that TV like resolution".....(cause you hate pacman)
Then you scrap everything and decide switch to p10 panels.....
Then you realize, well if I use p6 panels, it will be that much more awesome....
Then you realize, even with p6 panels, you still get the pixelated look to some degree.....(resolution is still not as good as a TV or Barco projector)
Then you high some thugs....
Then you steal the jumbotron from the Cowboys stadium.....
Then you have fun in prison.....

But if this happens, it will be at least 2016, and by then the newest thing will be happening to the Christmas light scene.
Guess I will just stick with pixels for now, since they are free, lol, and no jail time!


But then again.....
Anyone know of a pixel panel that you can cut to a certain shape?

thebaronn
05-24-2015, 05:45 AM
Now that I have possibly been motivated to get on with this year's display I was searching and found that Ray has some reasonably priced p10 outdoor panels.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/P10-1R1G1B-full-color-outdoor-LED-Display-screen-unit-board-16-16pixels-160mm-160mm/701799_867083355.html
The 16X16 works out to 5cents/pixel and the 32X16 works out to 4cents/pixels.

hmmmmmm....
Time to start measuring I guess.

neilric99
05-24-2015, 03:06 PM
One thing to watch out for the the scan rate, currently the FPP with BBB is driving the 1/8 scan panels. I see that these are 1/4 scan and may need FPP to support them. I have also seen panels in 1/2 scan and 1/16 scan.

Maybe RonP's controllers are more configurable for driving the different scan rates.

ronp5683
05-24-2015, 05:23 PM
I think pixel density is a preference. I like the look of the pixels that are widely spaced that you can see through. The low resolution displays look great for cartoon type drawings and nutcracker effects. If you want to do video and photo quality pictures you need the P5 or smaller panels. The panels are available in different resolutions from P3, P4, P5, P7.62, P10, P13.3 (sames as 60 pixels per meter), P16, P20, and water proof. Choose according to your budget and the type of graphics you want to use.

The perceived quality depends upon the pixels per degree. The optimum for photo quality is 60 pixels per degree, about the resolution of the eye. So this equates to:

P3 -at 34 feet
P4 - at 45 feet
P5 - at 56 feet
P10 - at 112 feet
P13.3 - 150 feet

Ron

Gilrock
05-24-2015, 06:06 PM
Firstly I will say the work Kris did with those panels is great. I was mostly impressed with the hardware work he did to be able to have real time updates. A pixel matrix may not look like a photograph but I personally am not trying to achieve that type of look. I actually happened to have displayed photos on my makeshift low resolution matrix in my show last week and even at terrible 4" resolution spacing it was amazing how decent the photos looked and the kids were yelling out the girls names. I'm planning to build a matrix with 4 times that pixel density and I already know I'll be happy with it because if it's decent at 4" spacing 1" will be awesome.

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