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Thread: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

  1. #1
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    Default Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    Just a quick comment...

    In general, it will be a lot better (in my opinion) for people to build Ren-64 boards (especially t he XC version) than to build the Ren-C plus Grinch combination. Some of the newer people might have been led to think that it is better the other way around, so I thought that I'd post this brief message.

    There are a number of features that are available on the Ren-64 that are not available on the Ren-C (and probably never will be):

    1) Programmable output polarity
    2) DC-only operation
    3) Possible future DMX operation
    4) Built-in power supply (Ren64-XC has everything except the transformer on-board).
    5) Absence of sensitive interconnect cables (Ren-C to Grinch cables have high-speed signals and are quite sensitive).

    Both schemes have PICs that need programming, so there isn't any advantage one way or another.

    The only situation where I think that the Ren-C is a good idea is if you bought Grinch or 595 boards without the intention of dimming, and then changed your mind later on. In almost every other circumstance the Ren64 is a better choice, I think (and I have no ulterior motive in recommending one design over the other, since I created both and do not get any monetary benefit from either one).

    --

    Phil

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    I would like to comment here as well.

    The Ren-C was designed as a way to recycle older controllers, like the Olsen 595, that you may already have instead of letting them go to waste. The Ren-C was not designed as a way to start out as your 1st controller. If you want to start out with dimming then you should be going with a Renard board such as the Ren-64, Ren-24 or Ren-16. You are being foolish if you purchase a new Grinch or 595 and add a Ren-C to it as a scheme for dimming. The Grinch and 595 should only be purchased with no dimming intentions.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    I completely agree! I think that a common misunderstanding for new comers is that to get dimming, you need a Grinch, Ren-C and Ren-T and that they are easier to build and use.
    IMO... the way to start is with one of the Renard boards, they are no more complicated than the Ren-C combo and are cheaper to build.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    This is why I went the Ren24 route! Dimming and blinky flashy whenever I choose with no addition hardware.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    D'oh. Wish I knew this before ordering all the PCBs and parts.

    I went with a Grinch for ease of construction and price originally. If I can get it to run off my old PC with a parallel port, I will probably stop there this year. Have the Ren-C and Ren-T to connect to USB to serial for newer computer if not, and get the added bonus of dimming.

    But if there is one thing I have learned here, is that as soon as I think I understand something, someone throws out a curve.
    1 channel, 0 dimmable. Powered by a man flicking a lightswitch to the beat.

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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    Deplanche,

    Things should work out the way that you are going, it's just not the optimal path (if there is such a thing) IMHO. The difference between what you are doing and my idea of the optimal method is not all that great, so don't worry.

    --

    Phil

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    No biggie, my goals is animated lights, not necessarily the most efficient or optimal path there.
    1 channel, 0 dimmable. Powered by a man flicking a lightswitch to the beat.

  8. #8
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    Question Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Short View Post
    it will be a lot better (in my opinion) for people to build Ren-64 boards (especially t he XC version)

    Hey Phil,
    I hadn't heard that this board was released yet? Did I miss it?

    Leon
    [url]http://www.vixenlights.com/download/vixen_2(2)/banners/vixensig256.gif[/url]
    [url=http://sawmillchristmas.com]sawmillchristmas.com[/url]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    Ok, at the end of the day what i would like to be able to do is dim LEDs. Can the REN 64 do this by switching ULN's? i know i keep pushing the same subject, is just i am looking at a simple way of switching and dimming my lights, without having to make a heap of SSR's.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ren64 vs Ren-C + Grinch

    WWNF911,

    There isn't any formal 'release' procedure around here, but as far as I'm concerned that board is good to go. It's up to the coop process now.

    Synnie,

    Assuming that you are still talking about using 24VDC...

    The Ren64 does not have on-board ULN chips, but it could drive them readily if you were to put the ULN parts on a separate board. Unlike the Ren-C / Grinch combo, Ren64 can be programmed to drive the ULN parts without needing an intermediate (inverter) chip.

    --

    Phil

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