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Thread: Vixen, servos light etc

  1. #1
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    Default Vixen, servos light etc

    Hi all,
    Very new to this, much to the annoyance of my partner, Iím setting up a small light display this year for both Halloween and Xmas,
    Iíve done loads of background research but Iím still at a pause for now.

    So far I have
    Vixen 2 & 3 ( donít know which one to use)
    Arduino uno r3
    Adafruits 16ch servo controller
    Basic 4 channel relay board

    I figured Iíd start with the minimum and expand from there, what Iíd like to do is something similar to the singing pumpkins and skeleton to start, hence the servo controller,

    Anyone any idea where to start Iíve had a look at vixen and tried to follow some of the instrucables out there, only to end up more confused.

    Iíd like to have 1 solo pumpkin and 4 background pumpkins And a few lights dotted around

    Any help on setting the servos and extracting the data for moving the servos would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    You need to give a bit more information.

    Where did you get the pumpkins? If DIY, what kind of servos are you using.

    What are you planning to do with the Arduino?

    What is a basic 4 channel relay board?
    SSR? With / without zero crossing circuit? Hardware Relays?

    Do you want to dim the lights or just turn them on/off?

    Vixen 2 is no longer supported. It works but it is a bit behind the times. Vixen 3 is a completely different product than Vixen 2. Knowing one does not help you with the other. Once we have more information, we can help you set up your elements, get the preview set up and then start sequencing.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    Hi Martin thanks for the quick reply

    They’ll be diy pumpkins using standard Rc servos (not micro) and 180 degree movement ( spare boat/car) that I have lying around.
    Arduino I was going to use as the link for all the components.
    The basic relay board is mechanical I don’t need dimming for now just on and off
    If I need dimming apparently the adafruits servo board can offer this but I’m unsure on how to power the 240v side it, but it’s not important for now,

    Ok if it’s best I’ll go with vixen 3 if you recommend I do, I’m just pulling info from different areas at the moment, I’m happy to go with the better recommendations

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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    "much to the annoyance of my partner"

    I like this guy already!

    Dale P.

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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    In vixen 3 setup:

    Create a group called "Pumpkins"
    Create an empty group called Pumpkin_Solo
    Drag and drop the Pumpkin_Solo group onto the Pumpkins group (There are other ways to do this but I want you to understand the group of groups concept).
    Create an empty group called Pumpkin_background_1
    Create an empty group called Pumpkin_background_2
    Create an empty group called Pumpkin_background_3
    Drag and drop these into the pumpkins group.

    For your solo pumpkin create a channel for each of your servos and lights (Pumpkin_Solo_left_eye etc).
    Drag these to the Pumpkin_Solo group. Arrange them in a way that makes sense to you within the group (can be changed later)

    Now create the channels for the other pumpkins and drag them into the proper groups (Remember to use a naming convention such as Pumpkin_Background_1_Left Eye etc.

    Next set the color handling filter for all of the servo channels to one color and make the color white. I use white because the definition for white is easy to manage. Using a different color can become an exercise in frustration.

    Look at your groups. Do they make sense TO YOU? If not, tweak them. There are no rules here. I have given you one naming convention. You do not need to use it, but I have found that having a naming convention (something that makes sense to you) makes managing the elements simpler.

    After you get this done we can move on to creating a preview. FYI: I have never created a servo based preview. I would just assign a light to indicate current state of the output. Not sure that is correct. Someone that uses servos should chime in here.
    Last edited by MartinMueller2003; 01-29-2018 at 07:54 PM.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    Couldn’t resist that line, plus it’s true she’s already annoyed as it’s only January, but I’ve heard that sequencing can be a nightmare that’s why I’m on the ball now..

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    Thanks Martin I’ll set it up as you’ve said first thing and I’ll post back on here when I’ve set it up as suggested

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    My wife gets a break from Christmas in the living room from Nov 27 - Jan 2. All the rest of the time there is some form of project going on wire I am cutting, stripping, twisting, drawing, gluing something. She is a bit tired of Christmas all year. I am no linger allowed to bring Christmas projects on vacation. She is looking forward to this year because we are not going to have a significant show so the living room will be mostly wire free.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    Sounds like my house, I’m a self employed computer engineer and work from home, my office has now spilled to every room in the house, according to my wife. Don’t think it helps that I built myself 3 retro arcade machines and placed them around the house, 2 tall uprights and a coffee table machine

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Vixen, servos light etc

    Hi Martin I have this so far but don’t know about the colour handling etc that you’re talking about
    image.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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