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Thread: Is this the right controler for me?

  1. #1
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    Default Is this the right controler for me?

    Last year I played with an espixel stick with 200 lights on a little tree. This year I'm looking at getting the F4v3 Pixel controller. I have 600 outlining the house and doing an 8 foot tree with 10 strands of 50. A total of 1100 lights this year with maybe adding another 1000 in the future. Is this the right one for me?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    That is a loaded question. For me, I am leaning towards smaller controllers. You will have a spot for the F4 in your layout someplace. If you think it is going to be one controller and done for your whole display...I would probably step up to have more outputs available.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    Without a clue what your layout it... Its hard to say. But, I love my F4v3's! I had over 5,000 pixels on one of them with diff expansion and two receivers. F4v3 for the house outline and maybe a receiver at the 8ft tree? The tree would probably require some power injection

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    What is the receiver I would need? The controller will be really close to the house outline lights and about 20 feet from the tree.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    What type of smaller controllers are you using?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    I missed Ron's four/four controller (the title is misleading it really is a 4 output/4 universe per) the first round but am sure going to try to get it when it is back in stock:
    http://renard-shop.com/home/65-4-uni...ontroller.html

    ESP based controllers are the other type I am thinking about. I have a couple of them on my workbench. Unless I get really ambitious, they probably won't be used this year. But these provide a very convenient, inexpensive controller. If I would expand the show in the future, these will be top of the list.

    I initially bought two 16 port controllers and a 4 port. As I started to expand my actual lights, I found I really wanted small controllers that could go next to the items. That is my primary reason for my comment about smaller controllers and why I am leaning that way.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    I think the Falcon F48 is probably the most versatile controller in their lineup. I think Dave really hit a home run on that concept. If I were starting out with pixels and planned to expand, Iíd drop the money on the F48 up front and buy differential expansion boards as my display grew rather than buying a smaller board and upgrading. Even if youíre certain that you wonít expand that much, displays have a way of growing over time. I didnít plan on expanding much this year, but here I am staring at another $1500 order from Ray.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKrebs View Post
    I missed Ron's four/four controller (the title is misleading it really is a 4 output/4 universe per) the first round but am sure going to try to get it when it is back in stock:
    http://renard-shop.com/home/65-4-uni...ontroller.html

    ESP based controllers are the other type I am thinking about. I have a couple of them on my workbench. Unless I get really ambitious, they probably won't be used this year. But these provide a very convenient, inexpensive controller. If I would expand the show in the future, these will be top of the list.

    I initially bought two 16 port controllers and a 4 port. As I started to expand my actual lights, I found I really wanted small controllers that could go next to the items. That is my primary reason for my comment about smaller controllers and why I am leaning that way.
    Price per driven pixel is more expensive with the ESP than the F48. The individual modules may be easier to purchase over time, but by the time you purchase 48 of them, you will have spent more than you would have spent for the Falcon. With that said, there are good reasons to use the ESP (Prop Accessibility, ability to build it into a prop, less wire) that would make them more attractive than a larger controller. I tell many people, lay out your show, decide where you want power and controllers (May not be in the same locations) and then choose the controllers that meet your application needs.


    2018 - Moving and going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand. Most likely I will be dark or nearly dark, Some static stuff that is simple to put up.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is this the right controler for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    Price per driven pixel is more expensive with the ESP than the F48.
    The F48 is actually more expensive than the ESP. The F48 is a differential controller so you need to pony up $200 + another $17 for the first receiver. As you add more receivers, the price goes down but is still more than an ESP.

    F48 + 12 Receivers = $404 / 16384 pixels = .024 per pixel
    Esp = $15 / 680 pixels = .022 per pixel
    Rons 4 output controller = $25 / 2720 = .009 per pixel

    There are a few caveats. I believe the ESP can do > 680 per port but we know the refresh rate decreases as you add more pixels. This also affects the F48, supporting 1024 pixels per port, which is beyond what some people may find acceptable for a refresh rate.

    Overall cost isn't the only factor though. Price to entry is important as well as incremental cost. If you don't max out the F48 then your cost per pixel is a lot higher.

    I'm not saying the F48 isn't a good option but it isn't cheaper. What you use should depend on the architecture that works best for your layout. I have at least a dozen different types of controllers but I wouldn't recommend any one for all layouts. Sometimes you need a lot of pixels in one spot and sometimes you only need a few. This year I'm trying yet another controller setup with power over Ethernet. Price per pixel may be a bit higher but if it makes the layout easier to manage then I don't mind the cost.

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