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Thread: Where do I start?

  1. #1
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    Default Where do I start?

    Hello,
    I have a theatre background and I understand dmx and programming stage lights. Im eager to jump in this year. Ideally Id like to start with some basics that I can build upon. What should I be buying and where should I be getting it? I understand Im going to have to learn some soldering, sounds good to me! What is the first step?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Read the getting started section of the Wiki


    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Would you go out and buy a new vehicle without first deciding whether you needed a car, a truck, an SUV or a motorcycle?

    Plan your display a bit first. Decide on what you want it to look like, where you'll have lights, how many and what kind (incandescent, LED, strobes, floods, big bulbs, mini-bulbs, etc.). Consider color -- are they all going to be white or do you want to use colors, too? Do you want longs strings of one color of lights or do you want to be able to control each bulb independently from all the others?

    Your vision of what you want your display to look like will determine the equipment you need to make it a reality. Not all control electronics are the same. Some are designed for AC lights; others for DC powered lights; some are wired and some are wireless. It makes a difference!

    Take a picture of your house/yard/whatever from where viewers will see it. Print out a handful of copies. Take some pens, sharpies, pencils, etc. and draw on it where you want lights to be. Also draw on it where you have power outlets because that's critically important, too. Then collate all the information and go from there.

    The old adage applies here: "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail."

    http://digwdf.com/store/
    The DIGWDF Store will be closing at the end of this year.
    While it's still open, please check us out for blinky-flashy gizmos that nobody else on the planet makes!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by patmitchell View Post
    Hello,
    I have a theatre background and I understand dmx and programming stage lights. I’m eager to jump in this year. Ideally I’d like to start with some basics that I can build upon. What should I be buying and where should I be getting it? I understand I’m going to have to learn some soldering, sounds good to me! What is the first step?

    Thanks!
    Honestly, here what I would do and this is what I have done to get started. This may be biased so take that for what you will. I like Falcon hardware. Currently I run all of their hardware and have no regrets. I know there is other stuff out there, I have no experience with it other than my neighbor having a SanDevices E682's. I would think about what you want to do with your house similar to what dirknerkle said. Pick an element or two, for me I built a circular wreath with three segments. I zip-tied pixels to the frames similar to the video that Matt Johnson made on YouTube. Get yourself a few bundles of 12v pixels off Amazon. Do not believe the hype that you need 18awg pixels, and they need to be from Ray Wu. I went through the same back and forth reading and it was simply not worth it to me. The point here is to learn. Next, get yourself a Raspberry Pi, SD card, 16gb Usb thumb drive, and micro USB cable/power adapter as well as a Pi Cap. You can get the Pi Cap from Falcon, Crockett Fantasy of Lights and a few other vendors. The Raspberry Pi and Pi Cap will allow you to run over 1000 pixels off the two outputs. It will also get you familiar with FPP which you may want to use to run your future show. Also pick up a 12v power supply from amazon to power your pixels. I like the 360 watt versions. You will also need a few tools like wire stripers, as well as a soldering iron. I bought one of the Hakko Clone solder stations and really like it. I have the Aoyue 936 from Amazon.
    Last edited by stidrvr; 11-12-2018 at 03:19 PM. Reason: changed 1v to 12v

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by stidrvr View Post
    Honestly, here what I would do and this is what I have done to get started. This may be biased so take that for what you will. I like Falcon hardware. Currently I run all of their hardware and have no regrets. I know there is other stuff out there, I have no experience with it other than my neighbor having a SanDevices E682's. I would think about what you want to do with your house similar to what dirknerkle said. Pick an element or two, for me I built a circular wreath with three segments. I zip-tied pixels to the frames similar to the video that Matt Johnson made on YouTube. Get yourself a few bundles of 12v pixels off Amazon. Do not believe the hype that you need 18awg pixels, and they need to be from Ray Wu. I went through the same back and forth reading and it was simply not worth it to me. The point here is to learn. Next, get yourself a Raspberry Pi, SD card, 16gb Usb thumb drive, and micro USB cable/power adapter as well as a Pi Cap. You can get the Pi Cap from Falcon, Crockett Fantasy of Lights and a few other vendors. The Raspberry Pi and Pi Cap will allow you to run over 1000 pixels off the two outputs. It will also get you familiar with FPP which you may want to use to run your future show. Also pick up a 1v power supply from amazon to power your pixels. I like the 360 watt versions. You will also need a few tools like wire stripers, as well as a soldering iron. I bought one of the Hakko Clone solder stations and really like it. I have the Aoyue 936 from Amazon.
    Note this should say 12 V power supply not 1 V...
    Ed
    Happily retired

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Also check out auschristmaslighting.com They have a 101 manual that's very good for you to understand all the possibilities. You'll have to register for the site (it's free) but well worth it.
    Ed
    Happily retired

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezellner View Post
    Note this should say 12 V power supply not 1 V...
    Whoopsie, thanks!

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