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woolley
01-17-2021, 06:40 PM
Newbie question:

1. Can xLights be used to sequence incandescent light strings on wireframes?

2. What is the missing hardware in the following control flow diagram:

Falcon F-48 controller > Falcon differential board > ???? > 110VAC light string

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Dick

TomL8345
01-17-2021, 06:57 PM
Hi Dick,

Welcome to the Madness of Holiday Lights.

xLights can definitely be used to sequence incan light strings. You need to add an AC controller of some type to your system I personally use Renard boards (You should be able to pick up something used off the Buy/Sell forum at a good price). While I CAN run them off of my F-48, I choose to instead have my Raspberry Pi (Show Computer) directly connected to both my Falcon and Renard boards.

How many channels (different AC strings) are you looking to control?

MikeKrebs
01-17-2021, 08:39 PM
Just for clarity, the F48 supports renard on the board not through the differential receiver.

woolley
01-18-2021, 06:01 PM
Greetings Tom!

I have not heard of Renard boards, just found another research project!

Since you confirm an AC controller board will be required, my research will focus on identifying the best type of light strings and AC control board first. I can then work through the best way to control them.

Thanks for your response and assistance in identifying the problem that need to be solved!

Dick

woolley
01-18-2021, 06:36 PM
Greetings Mike!

Appreciate your response to my question.

I did not realize the Falcon F48 supports Renard boards directly instead of through the differential receiver board. I am guessing that the Renard boards are controlled by DMX, so any of the three DMX RJ45 jacks may be used to control them.

Did I get that right?

Regards,
Dick

algerdes
01-18-2021, 08:05 PM
Check out the manual for the F48 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sAzoFztiKdI3BPDl_Kegu28DKKlIM4PlSNaCNvvDtgk/edit) page 16 (Section 3.2.3).
Renard is its own protocol that also uses RS-485.

MikeKrebs
01-19-2021, 12:54 AM
Most "Renard controllers" utilize the "Renard Protocol" for the data protocol and RS485 (some also support RS232) for communication. Most of the renard style controllers and LOR controllers can also run DMX. For the renard controllers to run DMX, you will need to flash the chip with the right firmware. The LOR controllers appear to support DMX out of the box (as well as their own LOR protocol).

Generically, we refer to AC controllers as Renard controllers. But there is a specific set of data protocols that go along with Renard that specify things like how we know when the packet starts and how to send the byte of data that might otherwise be interpreted as the start byte. DMX has its own mechanism for start of string and then it just sends the data of up to 512 values.

jchuchla
01-19-2021, 01:10 AM
Unless you get them used, Renards are generally available only in kit form. There's currently two main branches of the renard products.

The SS series are sold by WayneJ here via private message here on the forum. These come in 8, 16, and 24 channel versions. They're all for AC lights and have the SSR integrated into the Renard controllers.

The Renard-Plus series is sold at www.renard-shop.com. These have a lot more options. They have onboard SSR options like the SS series, as well as versions that support remote SSRs that let you reduce AC cabling into smaller clusters. They also have versions that control DC lights like dumb RGB strips.

jchuchla
01-19-2021, 01:11 AM
Also worth noting, the LOR controllers, although significantly more expensive, come prebuilt and will run in DMX mode and are easily controlled from Vixen and xLights.

woolley
01-19-2021, 05:57 PM
Thank you for your comment algerdes.
That's what I get for scanning the manual instead of reading all the details. I am learning that this hobby has a whole lot of details!

woolley
01-19-2021, 05:59 PM
Thanks Jon,
Appreciate the info.

woolley
01-20-2021, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the clarification algerdes!

woolley
01-20-2021, 02:49 PM
Thanks to all that have contributed to my question. Your comments have helped me identify the control options available for 120V lights.

Dick

Ruppro
01-21-2021, 02:30 PM
David Peace was also selling a "Pixel2AC (https://www.pixel2things.com/9-AC-Outputs-Fully-Assembled-p137348814)" board that would give you 9 AC channels using 3 "Pixel".

eddylightsup
01-21-2021, 04:51 PM
OP, there are a few built/assembled and used AC light controllers available in the Buy/Sell/Trade section. That's an option as well.
I just started in this hobby a short bit ago and I bought a couple of used controllers via the forums. I have a TR16 (AC), and a Falcon F16V3 (pixels), and now a couple of others. I'll be assembling some from parts/kits as well.

systemguru
04-10-2021, 11:42 PM
i have the falcon 16v3 with diff receivers. i run 2 ports as dmx in LOR mode to drive my 4 AC controllers, 1 24 port led controller and one cosmic color bulb.

I was planning to migrate slowly off AC but like the look of some things so will most likely continue until the controllers die.

ukewarrior
04-11-2021, 08:55 AM
Expensive board it seems to me.
There must be other alternatives?
\
David Peace was also selling a "Pixel2AC (https://www.pixel2things.com/9-AC-Outputs-Fully-Assembled-p137348814)" board that would give you 9 AC channels using 3 "Pixel".