Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: PLC Program for Lighted Arches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default PLC Program for Lighted Arches

    Seems I have been hijacked into doing some lighted arches and some other things i guess. Looks to me that a digital 120vac output 8 channel 2amp relay card will work. Has anyone else done it this way, and if you did, what type of timing did you use between channels? I normally do industrial controls, but some insight on timing or other issues would be helpful. Need be I have an additonal 16 channel,. Looks like there are many variations of moving the lights up/down, center to both ends, etc. I am not beyond copying a working program or any additonal idea's. I could also make 3 arches move together as a 2 amp channel will do the light sets in sync (should work). We are new to this type of thing and time is moving quickly by. Do most people us PLC's or something else?

    THANKS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Pacifica, Calif (30mins from downtown San Francisco)
    Posts
    1,974
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: PLC Program for Lighted Arches

    Ginger:

    As others have said in other threads: welcome to the club.

    Most of us handle things like leaping arches via a 120vac controller -- how many channels depends upon how many arches and how many channels per arch. I would hope by now you've visited the "Arches of Light" subforum where you can read up on how people here do this.

    When you use the term "PLC," I assume you mean "programmable logic controller," which is a foreign term here. The controllers discussed here are do-it-yourself projects; the engineers amongst us design printed circuit boards and those are then offered for sale (usually at no price markup) or as files for self-etching; lightmasters then buy components (from Mouser or one of the other electronics mail order houses), solder up the results and have a controller.

    The controllers here use one of two basic protocols: DMX-512 or Renard (the latter is a protocol designed by people here and documented on the wiki; the former is the entertainment lighting system). The Renard can be driven serially or via RS-485. The controllers use either Microchip-based microcontrollers or Atmel microcontrollers.

    Most people here share their hardware designs as schematics and firmware code as C or assembly (there are exceptions).

    Controllers can be either centralized, where the solid-state relay is housed with the logic circuits, or decentralized, where the SSR is remote from the logic circuit.

    We mostly synchronize our lights -- leaping arches and others -- with music and use the Windows application Vixen to do this. We are open about sharing our Vixen files and if you find a song you want to use and post, someone may certainly have a synchronization file they'd be happy to let you use.

    Please visit the wiki's "Beginners" section, where a huge amount of info is available.

    HTH.

    \dmc
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    Christmas lights: http://www.PacificaLights.info/
    uC/LED hacking: http://www.dmcole.net/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Pacifica, Calif (30mins from downtown San Francisco)
    Posts
    1,974
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: PLC Program for Lighted Arches

    Double post
    Last edited by dmcole; 10-26-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Double double
    ________________________
    The only thing more dangerous than a software engineer with a soldering iron
    or a hardware engineer with a compiler is a liberal-arts major with either.
    Christmas lights: http://www.PacificaLights.info/
    uC/LED hacking: http://www.dmcole.net/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: PLC Program for Lighted Arches

    thanks very much for the information!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Murrieta Ca
    Posts
    370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: PLC Program for Lighted Arches

    Ginger

    Welcome to DIYC, the hobby that never ends.
    When I first started looking into this hobby, I too was going to use a PLC, but found it to be way to restrictive. The controllers you find here in the WIKI work much better, are cheaper to build, and are a lot easier to communicate with. A lot of us program our songs with 50ms changes in our sequencing. Thats a lot of data for the PLC to handle. Also if you use something like the REN series controllers, you have the ability to dim your channels. When building arches, I have found this to look a lot better. The arches I built last year are all LED, with 8 segments per arch. I used 10 foot piece of 3/4 PVC EMT. The sequencing I found that works the best is 100 ms on with a 200ms fade to off. That way it looks like a tail on the arch.
    Everyone does things different here, and that is the fun part. It always keeps your mind thinking about how to improve your own display.

    Good luck, and have fun with this. Oh and one last thing, on this forum, there is no such thing as a dumb question. So feel free to ask.
    tweist
    736 Channels
    65+ Wireless Ren controllers
    [COLOR="#0000FF"](2013) 25+ houses[/COLOR]
    (2012) 20 houses total
    (2011) 13 houses total
    2012 video
    [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KVM_EPKYMM[/url]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •