Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Pixel Disco Ball..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    96
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Pixel Disco Ball..

    We've been using a cheap disco ball as part of our Halloween display for years. With all of the fog machines we use, the disco ball creates a multi-color 'search light' effect as it spins and can be seen all up and down our street. We always get a bunch of complements on it... which is strange because we also have a yard full of 6' Zombies setup to look like they are attacking the house (but people like the $10 spinning light... )



    My plan is to build/modify a version that uses Pixel's that i can controll from Vixen3/xLights.. Before i get started i want to make sure i don't re-invent the wheel(ball). Is there already something like this (plans or kit)? (Im talking low-er cost.. not the high end DMX versions)

    Any Ideas before i get started?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Delafield,WI
    Posts
    222
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    Similar yes, but not the same. Sparkle balls made from 50 - 9oz clear Solo cups. Stapled into a sphere with pixels facing out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern IL
    Posts
    876
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    I think a boscoyo icosasphere would work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    To get the "search light" effect, won't the light have to be somewhat focused? I image the ball that is pictured uses a single incan bulb and the colored lens act like light guides to form semi-focused beams. The colored lens might even have short tubes to accentuate the effect. That might be hard to do with pixels but I'm curious what solutions develop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    96
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    To get the "search light" effect, won't the light have to be somewhat focused? I image the ball that is pictured uses a single incan bulb and the colored lens act like light guides to form semi-focused beams. The colored lens might even have short tubes to accentuate the effect. That might be hard to do with pixels but I'm curious what solutions develop.
    you would think.. but on our cheap 'disco ball' its just a colored piece of plastic (no type of lens). I think the distance from the bulb to the hole is the only thing that creates the 'spotlight'.

    My current plan is to 3D print a sphere (2 halves, hollow that fit together), Drill some holes for 12mm pixels and see what works best to create the spotlight effect.

    Spinning the ball will be easy (simple geared motor with power slip-ring)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLost View Post
    you would think.. but on our cheap 'disco ball' its just a colored piece of plastic (no type of lens). I think the distance from the bulb to the hole is the only thing that creates the 'spotlight'.

    My current plan is to 3D print a sphere (2 halves, hollow that fit together), Drill some holes for 12mm pixels and see what works best to create the spotlight effect.

    Spinning the ball will be easy (simple geared motor with power slip-ring)
    Re Lens: Your description is what I expected. I was not thinking optical quality by any stretch.
    Re Slip-Ring: 3 conductor slip-ring to include data? Will that be too noisy for data? How about an ESPixelStick or equivalent? That way it is just power.
    Re spotlight effect: What about short lengths of small pvc pipe on each pixel? Or print them on the exterior of the sphere?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    OK maybe slip rings handle data better that I thought...
    Sparkfun

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    2,225
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    Well....

  9. Likes djulien liked this post
  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    8
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    I'm pretty sure the coloured discs still act as a lens. They only have to bend the light a little to mike quite a difference to the spot size at distance.

    I've had a look on aliexpress and there are some lens assemblies that might work ok with normal pixels
    Option 1 I think this might be best as it one of few I could find that gave the width of the led's hole. At 8mm it might need expanding a little but the lens is simple so there is space.
    Option 2 Lots of sellers of these but less clear if a pixel would fit.

    Using 5050 pixels might work a bit better with the lenses, it is more similar to what they are designed for and would be more of a point source which should give a sharper beam. Ray has lots of options for them including A, B, C.

    I might order some myself to have a play with - if I ever decide what I'm doing this year!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pixel Disco Ball..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    Well....
    Have you tried putting this in a foggy environment?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •