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Thread: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I'm looking to expand pixels next year after the success of my small pixel tree this year.

    Will likely add 1200 C9 pixels for roof outline and another 1200 nodes for other elements.

    Currently using a single sandevices e6804 for the 650 node pixel tree and find it intuitive and working well. I'm using all 4 channels for the tree and so I haven't had to do any injection running the tree at 25% (which is plenty bright).

    1. Since my new plan calls for pixels across the entire house should I get a single 12 channel controller and run cable from it to the various locations (using null pixels, etc. as needed)?
    2. Or is the general practice to buy a few 4 channel units and place them closer to the area being serviced?


    Thanks!
    Allen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Somers point nj
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    It’s a personal choice but I would tend to go with multiple controllers. That way if something goes down you don’t lose your whole show.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Buellton, California
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I prefer several controllers myself (small or large) with as few pixels per output as possible. I had some issues last year with some outputs with 800-1000 pixels per output. Lots of darkness when node one dies. I really like the Falcon F4v3 myself. You can add a diff expansion and two receivers to basically have (3) 4 port boards. Lots of options out there

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    Iím a big fan of using multiple small controllers (2-outputs each). You can get your controller closer to the elements (and not worry about long data runs). As long as youíre wireless

    And itís easy to have a backup in case one goes down.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Manhattan Kansas
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I think it depends on what your layout is. I have a mix larger controller at tree and a couple F4V3 controllers.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    NW Suburbs of Chicago
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I am running with all Espixelsticks and Pixelpop Tinys, love em, I don't think I would ever go to a large controller
    Flash Flash Blink Blink,,Oh What A Relief It Is

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    Many thanks for the replies. It certainly helps to hear from experienced users before making a decision.

    Cheers!

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Hudson MA
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    so i have four large controllers and three small controllers. started with all small controllers and then my show ate steroids (and money) and grew. my answer is: it depends.


    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.

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I'm not new to decorating, but new to the pixels and controllers. I won't make my show this year, but will be ordering, building and playing with stuff to be ready for next season. I also want to have the house trim up year round, and also have a screened in pool and want controllable lights year round as well (I'm in Florida). So I figure I'll be running a controller most nights all year, then change the programming for the season.

    Anyway, I thought about the Falcon F4v3 controller... but now am looking at buying the Falcon F48 Differential controller with 5 Differential Receiver boards to start with. I figure 1 receiver using 2-3 channels for the front house trim and 1 receiver using 2 channels for the pool area. The other 3 boards will give me 12 (plus the extra 1-3 not used) channels for next Christmas. This will give me the flexibility to run Cat5 around the house and yard to the smaller receiver boards. If I find an area that requires a lot of channels (Mega tree and large matrix probably), I will get the F4v3 and tie it together with the F48. I don't do small and I'm finally in a house that I can light up again... this time with extreme flare! I have found so much useful information here!

  14. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    7,629
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    Default Re: Multiple smaller controllers or single large controller?

    I currently have 5 E682s. I like the boards and am familiar with them. The pixel thing is so complicated that I figure if I have to spend a few extra bucks and "waste" some channels for ease of implementation then so be it. It is the cost of doing business for me. KISS, as much as possible anyway.
    Thanks,
    Brian, your friendly site Admin.

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