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View Full Version : New to 595, any suggestions/warnings...



fcky529
11-24-2008, 02:49 AM
I'm sure there is already a thread for this matter, if so please direct, I have been searching.

I am new to the 595 board, I know electronics, I'm just wondering if there is anything to "look out for" as far as any "kinks/quirks". I will only be going for ON/OFF this year with it.

Any input is well appreciated.

WakeFan
11-24-2008, 12:11 PM
You have to limit your distance between computer and board. I used about 25' and have some bad signals, but people viewing couldn't tell. It does vary with ports. From board to SSR any distance will work.

rlilly
11-24-2008, 06:54 PM
Be careful! Once you experience first blink, you won't be able to stop!

Wombat
11-24-2008, 09:31 PM
make sure you have short lead runs from the computer to the 595's, If possible use a REN-C on it so you can run it off a Serial Port and then you'll be able to have a longer length.

Wombat

Dan Ross
11-24-2008, 09:56 PM
The 595 has a tendency to turn random channels on when no commands are being sent to it. You could either create a background sequence for your off times or turn the main power off when you don't want to find lights on.

bmcgeeny
11-24-2008, 11:18 PM
The 595 has a tendency to turn random channels on when no commands are being sent to it. You could either create a background sequence for your off times or turn the main power off when you don't want to find lights on.

The Grinch's do the same. I think they somehow pickup a random signal from the port. I have an overnight sequence that turns on and leaves on the power for the security motion dector flood lamps. I also have it turn on and off one channel every 5 seconds so with 320 channels that means the longest any one channel would stay on would be............... uhm a little while.

Sequencing. Be aware and be carful not to use to much blinky flashy. They look good in the preview but in reality they can stay on a little longer and not blink quite so often. A little less Vegas'y problem will be eliminatedwhen you go diming.

joshlisa
11-25-2008, 09:59 PM
I have a run of about 45 foot of cat5 between my thrid and forth 595.
It works for the most part with a few double triggers (two strings turn on instead of one), but because it still dose this at the beat of the music people who are watching wouldent know........but I do. Next year I will be shorting this run but for this year, my first, I am just happy to have it working.
The only other issue I had was getting my wires from the computer to the first board mixed up. Pays to double check these things.
Josh

ben
11-27-2008, 11:21 PM
I am just curious why anyone would want a 595 instead of a Ren64 or something else? I think its outdated. Its ok for people that already have it but those who don't should go for something with dimming.

Ben

Macrosill
11-27-2008, 11:59 PM
I am just curious why anyone would want a 595 instead of a Ren64 or something else? I think its outdated. Its ok for people that already have it but those who don't should go for something with dimming.

Ben

That is your opinion. Some people prefer a less complicated design than the renard or any of the other dimming systems. Especially for the 1st electronics/soldering job.

scorpia
11-29-2008, 07:02 AM
but a ren-64 without the led's isnt much more soldering that a grinch and i think its alot less than the 595 . and the ren-64 isnt a hard board to solder.

as for being more complicated. as FCKY529 said in his first post he knows electronics so the differences shouldnt be to much of an issue.

the ren-64 has alot of other advantages as well. for example you dont need any other external boards other than a transformer and the ssr boards to get it to run. you loose any issues with the parallel port by going to a serial port design. it can use an off the shelf serial cable from the pc to the ren-64.

the disadvantages as far as i can see is that if things go wrong a pic programmer is VERY handy so this can push the cost up. the BOM also costs a bit more than the grinch.

i have to say that going for a ren-64 as a beginner board isnt a bad idea , even if its not everyones cup of tea.

roger
12-03-2008, 02:06 PM
This is my third season using the Olsen 595. First year 80 channels. 2nd year 120 channels. This year I am using 120 Olsen 595 channels along with 48 channels of dimming with a Jon Williams dimmer. The Jon Williams dimmer is from Nut & Volts Magazine (Nov 2007). It is built in modules of 8 channels. It connected to the serial port via an RS 485 converter. So far both the Olsen 595 and Jon Williams dimmers are working together flawlessly under Vixen 2.0. The Jon Williams dimmer uses a Parallax microcontroller. His design idea is probably similar to the Renard. In fact the notes in his code are commented "inspired by the work of Phil Short". I modified the Jon Williams dimmers to handle more power and to provide power to the board thru the daisy chain. They are located outdoors and are daisy chained together with 4 pair wiring. Two pairs for control board power, two pairs for board ground, two pairs for signal ground and two pairs for signal. Addressing is by 4 DIP switches on the board.

I modularized the Olsen 595 on control boards of 40 channels each. Three boards are daisy chained with straight thru wiring to achieve 120 channels or however many are needed. The control boards are located near my computer. The triac and optoisolator boards are in a box with the 5 receptacles split to give 10 outlets to the Christmas lights outdoors. Control wiring is run from the control boards to the outdoor boxes. Each control board handles 4 boxes of 10 channels each. The interconnecting wire is one 8 conductor flat modular cable and one 4 conductor flat modular cable. These are connected with RJ11 and RJ45 jacks. The wire count gives 1 common in each cable, three signal in the 4 conductor and 7 signal in the 8 conductor cables. You can use cat 5 cable, but you terminate plugs on flat cable in about 15 seconds versus several minutes for cat 5 cable.

The dimmer boards work very well, but are a bit tedious to construct. Plus, there are microcontrollers to flash with a programmer board. None of the individual components are that expensive, but there are quite a few of them. The nice thing about it is you can get the magazine article and have an explanation of how it works, a printed circuit and wiring diagrams. It is limited to 120 channels, but you could probably drive multiple serial ports for 120 channels each.

cgarwood
12-03-2008, 03:32 PM
Echoing the posts about channels randomly turning on. I've noticed when I turn off a certain florescent light in the house it causes a random amount of channels to turn on, and they will stay on until Vixen sends new data to the controller. I've got a background sequence running now to send the controller a command to shut off every channel every 5 seconds now.