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Thread: What's next :-)

  1. #1
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    Default What's next :-)

    Well first off, THANK YOU to Everyone that helped me get my lights up and running in time for the 2008 season. Back at Thanksgiving I really didnt think that would be happening this year. But with your help I got through it THANKS!

    So now I have a taste and I LOVE IT!!! My little Grinch running 32 of it 64 channels (8 mini trees) has been a fantatic success this year. HOWEVER, as I look to 2009 I realize I'm no where near where I want to be in the new home. Go figure!

    Looks like for 2009 I'll need closer to 192 channels. I could go with 2 more Grinchs but after running one this season I've come to realize a few things: First, I want dimming capabilities. Second, at 192 channels I'm probably going to want to do more desentalization. I think I have way more cat5 running through the window than necessary.

    I've already address the after Christmas sales and scared up 17500 new lights for next year. I've also informed my buddy the Master Electrician he has some work cut out for him this year upgrading my system. So now I move on to my boards.

    Looking back to our friend the wiki (and the forum) the Renard24 looks to be about the most rounded and economical choice, if I'm looking at it correctly. It has dimming, I see people running it for both AC and DC applications. And the cost per channel from the controller though the SSR (on board in this case) is almost 1/2 that of a Grinch or the Renard64. With the two current CO-OP's running this looks like a very inviting solution to pick up a few of these.

    So my first questions are there consideration I need to take into place in this boards usage? From the wiki it appears to have its own power supply, I wont need addition SSR's, It does not appear that I need to worry about the ZC (creates it own?). The only thing I might be missunderstanding is its connection to the PC itself. I think I need a rs232 to rs485 converter. Oh and a plug for the power. Am I missing anything?

    Are there other upcomming boards I might be wanting to hold out for this year? I've seen a blip or two here and there on wireless? Should I be considering DMX (I run a smoke machine at halloween and would love to expand the lights to it)? Keep in mind I really am a novice at the whole electronic game. I can get through the basics no problem with step by step instruction. But actually knowing what most the comonents do is a whole other question.

    Any way, Thanks for your input! Sorry so long.

    David

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    David,
    Here are some short answers to the questions above.

    • Ren24 has its own ZC and transformer. Just supply it it power and communications and connect your lights.
    • Get a 232-485 converter and distance will not be your limiting issue ever (if you stay in your own yard ;)). Get two now so when your channel count jumps you are all set.
    • You can run serial Renards and DMX devices at the same time. No worries about the future.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Virtus View Post
    ...(if you stay in your own yard ;))....
    Too funny ... My neighbor already told me I could expand into his :-)

    Great answer Thanks!!!

    David

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    Why do you say it's half the cost of Grinch or Ren64? Is that on a per-channel basis, or total cost per board set? It doesn't sound right if it is on a per-channel basis.
    Phil

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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Short View Post
    Why do you say it's half the cost of Grinch or Ren64? Is that on a per-channel basis, or total cost per board set? It doesn't sound right if it is on a per-channel basis.
    Well I think my original math may have been off as I can't recreate the "half" statement (hey, I was at work) :-)

    But still based on this page (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com..._of_DIY_Boards) in the wiki the cost to build a grinch on high end is $23. Plus 16 SSR's at $12 each is another $192 for a total cost of $215 (I think I came in cheaper than that). Per channel (divide by 64) works out to about $3.36 a channel.

    The Renard24 has the SSR on board and cost $65 on the high end. Per channel (divide by 24) works out to about $2.71 a channel. A $.65 savings per channel.

    This of course does not include the enclosures, or any of the cordage (Which for the grinch easily blew through another $200++ without flinching). I believe this should be less with the Ren24 setup in a mostly decentralized system? Am I correct? Or missing something as this is the kind of things I want to understand if I am wrong.

    Thanks in advance!

    David

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by SeaHoCaptain View Post
    But still based on this page (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com..._of_DIY_Boards) in the wiki the cost.....

    The cost projections in that page are about a year old now so I wouldn't put too much stock in the those numbers. The best thing to do is to plug the current BOM for the board being considered into a Mouser project and see what the current numbers come to.

    I guess I'll have to get around to updating that page soon.
    RavingLunatic
    Not just a username but a state of mind

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    I don't know if you are right or wrong. If the two prices are under comparable circumstances (same volume) I am hard-pressed to explain the difference in prices, unless it is due to increased connector and PCB costs for the Grinch approach. It might be time to revisit the various BOMs to see if it there are changes to either one that might be advantageous.
    Phil

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's next :-)

    The other gotcha from that comparison is that it largely assumes that you are buying parts in unit quantities. The prices for the triacs and optos go down by 25% when you buy 25 or more, and these (along with the connectors, perhaps) are the most expensive components on the board.
    Phil

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