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Thread: Controller Suggestions for my layout

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Controller Suggestions for my layout

    Quote Originally Posted by rfallatt View Post
    Good point ... what would you suggest if I went wireless.
    Looking at the layout...
    Propose a Ren-W + Ren24 + SSR's (of some sort) for 1-3 and
    a Ren-W + 2x Ren24SS or Ren32 for 4 & 5?
    If this is your first year, I'd really suggest getting warm and cozy with wired control first. Wireless isn't hard to do, but it puts a whole new set of issues on the table that can be very distracting, not to mention expensive. You can run into signal interference from Wi-Fi networks, cordless phones and even microwave ovens that can drive you nuts. In your first year, you'll have plenty to do to get your displays erected and connected and sequence your musical selections -- it'll be all you can handle. BTW, sequencing will take you a whole lot more time than anything else, so don't delay that for the last part. A lot of folks are probably already working on sequences for 2012 and it's not even March yet. (Don't underestimate the sequencing -- it can kill you )

    But to answer your question at least a little, generally speaking, wireless probably works best in situations where it's either very difficult to get wires to a display or where you have a rather close group of controllers so they can work together. Three SS24s can work together fine, as long as you follow the proper comm guidelines... but three individual SS24s (each individually wireless, not all 3 wired together) works better. Downside: 3X the $$$. (See what I mean about the cost? With wireless, the cost rises exponentially... multiply that times 26 like I did... and then try to float a loan... )
    www.diychristmas.org

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Controller Suggestions for my layout

    it'll be all you can handle.
    Dirk in correcto...Last year was my first year and I only did 48 channels and it was all I could handle between learning Vixen and building the controllers and the display pieces. Not trying to turn you away but just make sure you have time for all that. You are the only one who knows how much spare time you have to dedicate to this so tried to budget your time. By the way if I havent said it Welcome to the CLAP.

    And Dirk has wireless extension cords to save you money....
    Last edited by FIRECOP252; 02-21-2012 at 07:59 PM.
    LANCE

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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Controller Suggestions for my layout

    Quote Originally Posted by FIRECOP252 View Post
    And Dirk has wireless extension cords to save you money....
    Are those the type that turn squirrels purple and give extra limbs to any life form that walks between the tx and rx?

    I use a Ren64 for all my arches and it works pretty nice. It makes the channel count for a specific location very flexible. The only catch is exactly what Dirk mentioned: you have a bunch of Cat 5 wire that needs to be rolled up. For this year, I'm still deciding between 4 DCSSRs or a Ren48lsd for my 5050 led strips.
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS][FONT=Comic Sans MS]
    Renard 64XC5. 18 Custom SSRez. 2 Spare. 2 Ren-W (SMA and Rev6).
    2011- 6 leaping arches and 1 15ft spiral mega tree down by the highway.
    2012- DCSSRs, RenSS24, more XBEEs[/FONT][/FONT]

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Controller Suggestions for my layout

    Quote Originally Posted by rfallatt View Post
    Brian,
    Not excessive, it just doesnt appear as though it would logical since the display elements are spread out.
    Regarding the Ren24's (LV, HC)... not sure of the differences (But i know i can look them up), & Ren32, it appears to me that there is very little information on the 32 In fact i could not even find a thread about it so I thought it did not exist.
    It's been covered now but I'll cover it anyway, Ren24 LV is low voltage and needs SSRs in your case, Ren24, Ren24 3.0, Ren24 3.3, Ren24 4.0, Ren24HC are all the same board with updates. It has on-board SSRs. Simple Renard series require SSRs, it has a 16, 24, 32 channel versions. The 32 is still available, I think they all can be home etched if your up to it. I ran 2 Simple Ren32 this year instead of my Ren64. I know there's thread about them under development buts here is the link to get boards http://www.n7xg.net/sr32.html I've found myself trying to eliminate cords. Dirk went after control cables with wireless but I'm trying to plan better and cut back on power cords. SSRs seem to be the best way to do this for most items around the yard but not all. Be sure to cost this with your planning. Cost the different control boards during your planning. And no matter how much you plan you'll have better ideas while you put it up and while you take it down. Where you get power may drive you to a different controller layout too. Enough for now it's bed time. I hope I've given you food for thought to make your own calls on what works best for you.

    Brian
    2009 - 48 channel MegaTree 4800 lights
    plus 3200 lights static display.
    2010 - 6 Snowflakes on heavy equipment stored in front yard :-(
    2011 - 72 channel Megatree 7520 lights,
    120 channel total about 10k lights total

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Controller Suggestions for my layout

    I know there have been a number of replies already but for what it's worth, my 2 cents, is that I started out with a Ren16 (xmus) and a Ren64 with SSRez's. The Ren16 never saw my first show as I sold it before that and got a pair of Ren24SS's and another Ren64 instead. Similar to Dirk, after the first year of wrapping up all that cat5 (and some complaining about it from the wife) I decided to go with Dirk's RenW's for wireless. As a result, last year I used 6 RenW's with 10 Ren24SS's and 2 Ren48LSD's and it was so much easier. I standardized on Ren24's for my controllers so that I could setup an east assembly line for them, just have to buy one type of enclosure, have a standard set of spare parts on hand, and most importantly have a spare controller than could be swapped in place of any other controller no matter where it was in my display since they're all the same. This year I'll be similar to Dirk in the most if not all of the controllers will have their own wireless receiver (except for the pixels I'm planning for this year). Sure, I've got gaps on some controllers where there are channels that aren't used but that comes in handy when either a triac fails mid-show and I need to map that channel to another spot on the controller (like what happened last year) or if I ever want to expand parts of my display and need more channels.

    Hope this helps,

    -joni-


    Quote Originally Posted by rfallatt View Post
    Good point ... what would you suggest if I went wireless.
    Looking at the layout...
    Propose a Ren-W + Ren24 + SSR's (of some sort) for 1-3 and
    a Ren-W + 2x Ren24SS or Ren32 for 4 & 5?
    Last edited by rjchu; 02-22-2012 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Added Ren48's.
    2013 Plans: Convert to pixels!
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