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Thread: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

  1. #1
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    Question Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    I am trying to figure out what is needed in the way of software and hardware in order to control about 24 different WS2811 LED Strips (16.4 ft. 60LED 20 Pixels) (https://www.amazon.com/Mokungit-5M-W.../dp/B019H9R2MS). I also need to be able to control other DMX devices like DMX servo controllers (2 of them each with 30 DMX addresses controlling 24 servos) and a couple of Tri-Color LED spotlights.

    Everything I want to do needs to be synchronized with an audio track.

    I have not used LOR, but I am very familiar with Brookshire Software's VSA. I am running about 40 servos through 5 DMX controllers and several DMX lights with that software. I'm sure I could also run the strip lights that way, but VSA maxes out at 256 channels for controlling devices, and that won't be enough. I'll need 480 channels just for the strip lights, and I'll probably need a second DMX universe before I'm done, since I will go over 512.

    I know many people in the Christmas forums do large light displays, much larger than what I am starting with, but I am really lost when it comes to what to use for a controller for those LED strips, how that interfaces with LOR, what DMX adapter do I need, what's all this talk about DMX over an IP network (E1.31) and how to program in LOR, if that is really the best tool for the job.

    I have also heard that there was some kind of converter that would take already created VSA routines for servos and lights and whatever, and convert it into an LOR routine, that you can then continue to add to. Does such a thing exist? Or is that something for Vixen, or perhaps I dreamed it.

    In any case, I am starting from zero here. I am kind of new to DMX, and have only used it in VSA, and I don't know LOR at all. I can learn that, but I really need a 'parts-list' kind of response from all the more experienced people here who know what they're doing, and know what works best. I am open to all suggestions and don't HAVE to go with the LED strips I mentioned, but for my application, I am OK with every 3 LEDs being treated as 1 pixel.

    Please excuse my ignorance and guide me to a successful system.

    Thank you!
    HalloweenSkulls.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    1st off, welcome and good luck to this fun headache/headscratcher of hobby. in the words of Hannible Smith, "i Love it when a plan comes together!!" unfortunately i am not able to speak to you comments on VSA. i won't say anything bad about LOR for i have never used it, but i did look at it once. CHA CHING!!!! if you want something already built and ready to go, look at an Alphapix controller or a Falcon controller. nothing against Alphapix, as it was my 1st controller which i still use. however, the gold standard has become the Falcon controllers. there are a few different flavors depending on what you fancy. Alphapix or Falcon both have DMX out. i run a DMX board in my show, but only to control RGB lights. i don't have any fancy moving heads or servos but i believe its the same communication channels. as far as software, i believe LOR is a license based product that has to be renewed. take a look at Vixen or xLights, both of which are free and good. depending on what your end game is, xLights is known to be somewhat more powerful than vixen. where are you located?? there are communities all over that have meet and greets. if you are in the dallas area, there is an expo next week, many of the major players, to include LOR will be on site. good luck

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    most people here on the diy site use Vixen (http://vixenlights.com/) or xlights (https://xlights.org/) which are both free programs to download and use for sequencing of lights to music
    James WinterHaven Fl

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    your strips are 20 pixels per meter. you will need 2400 pixel/7200 channel support to run then. for blinky flashy, 680 on one output is about max yes you can go higher but why push it. just plan to connect them as best you can up to say 600 pixels. 4 ouput contoller just for your strips.

    dmx as a communication protocol is not much used in the diy community. If we are using it, it is because we bought some older tech that uses it or we bought some professional equipment or because our other controller makes it easy to use.

    as fasr as a parts list, off the top of my head...
    16 channel controller with at least one but in your case maybe two dmx ports
    ethernet switch
    raspberry pi
    usb transmitter
    sd cards
    thumb drives
    power for pi
    a few ethernet cords
    guessing at least 6 350w power supplies
    power distribution boards
    12 or 14 guage wire for power injection
    enclosures for power and controllers
    extension cords

    what are you going to use the strips for?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    XLights can read your vsa files and send the data to your controllers. Jerry jewel uses the feature and Gil jones wrote it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    Thank you so much for all the input.

    I am stuck with using the DMX protocol since I have props that run on it that I want included in this setup. This is for a Halloween display. It will have a hearse all decked out with strip lighting under it and in the wheels and wheel wells and two skeletons in the front seat. One in the driver's seat and in the passenger seat. They are DMX animatronics and will be talking, making bad jokes and singing some songs. While the music is playing we want to synchronize all the lights underneath, the headlights, and wheels in patterns that follow the music. Chaser patterns, and the like depending on the music. There will also be a couple of DMX spotlights aimed at the skeletons to light them up when they are talking. I hadn't heard of XLights, but I will be looking into that now. It looks like the most viable way to get this all done with a single controller as long as it has enough channels.

    I am still a bit in the dark about what DMX controller I would need to run the LED addressable light strips.

    So with this information, you know it has to be DMX, and most likely I'll be using XLights, so given that as a starting point, if I want to be able to control that many light strips (Some of which will be running from the same outputs which will cut down on the number of channels and controllers needed. For example, there will be three strips running down each side of the car underneath. The two sides will always be displaying exactly the same patterns, so in reality, even though there are really 6 strips there (Or maybe 12 strips if I need double the length) I will only need half the number of channels since each channel will be running 2 sets of lights. I don't know if I can run two sets of lights from one set of outputs on a controller card or not. That I will need to know. Also each wheel well has a couple strips in it, but all 4 wheel wells will always be doing the same thing at the same time, so I save more channels there. I have attached a video showing the hearse and how it's set up now. The lights that are currently on it arwe just plain strips, not addressable by pixel, so I can't currently do chaser patterns or things like that, so those lights are coming off, but the pattern that you see in the video is one of the things I want to re-create.

    So any help in finding appropriate DMX controller cards that can handle this number of addressable pixel LED strips is what's really needed at this point, as I look further into the capabilities of XLights.

    Thank you for all the input.
    HalloweenSkulls.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    This controller:
    https://www.pixelcontroller.com/stor...roller=product

    Read the description and specs. You will see that it has three serial ports with RJ45 connectors and one 3 pin header that can carry DMX communication protocol. This is what you will use to convert the E1.31 into DMX. In xLights, all the controller setup will be E1.31 (ethernet) and the controller will split out the ws2811 and dmx streams.

    The strips you mentioned are 5m (16 feet) long. You probably only need 4 or 5 of them. The controller is overkill but will handle the job with ease. With 16 outputs, you don't need to run them together, you can do that in software (copy paste is probably easiest but there are other ways). You could tie the inputs together if you really had a hankering to do that. The controller will have to be located in the vicinity of the hearse but could be some distance away depending on several factors including how you get the signal from the controller to the strips.

    The strips you linked use the WS2811 protocol. They are not DMX and a dmx controller (unless it converts for you) will not be usable for them. My experience with professional gear is non-existent but the DIY community would use a e1.31 pixel controller with the DMX ports as the controller above is described.
    Here is a quick picture to further explain one possible solution.
    Untitled.png

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    Excellent Mike! Very informative. Thanks for the info and diagram.
    HalloweenSkulls.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Newbie needing help understanding LOR and Addressable LED light strips

    Wanna guess how I learned about Falcon and XLights? Someone over at Halloween Forum mentioned that he used them to make a bunch of flickering candle props using pixels.

    I think you'll be very happy with XLights. If I'm not mistaken, Gil Jones made the DMX effect to control a Skulltronics piece. Or at least that was one of the earliest applications I saw. Video is here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2LRjWVWVDh4

    Be sure to post links to videos of your finished products. Your intended use sounds really cool.

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