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Thread: New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

  1. #1
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    Default New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

    Hey guys. Long time lurker here. So I do a lot of marine stereos. Especially ones with the rgb rings behind the speakers and then strands of rgb under cubbies and vents to accent the boat. What I would Love to do is start integrating pixels into my installs. I've seen no one who does it. I think it would take my installs up a whole level if I could have a show to put on rather than the boring red green blue fade or strobe. I would definetly want to stick with 12v strands vs 5v seeing as all cars/boats are 12v. So I guess my question is what type of controller should I be looking for? Most of the stuff talked about on here are for 120v home use. There are plenty of 12v controllers on amazon but theyre single channel. I would like to do something with 4 different channels ideally but realize it might not be possible. I've bought 2 generic amazon controllers and they just don't cut it. Any suggestions? Thanks
    Nick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

    Not an expert but a fellow lurker looking at starting very soon. Collecting knowledge first. What about a teensy with an octows2811?
    Could run an adapter to usb for the 5v needed to run the teensy

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

    To be honest anyone using pixels on dry land will be using appropriate power supplies to get down to 12v from whatever their mains supply is - here itís around 230v. I imagine rather than a power supply as such you might need to look at something to stabilise the supply - automotive marine supplies are renown for peaks and troughs around engine starting etc - but you could probably resolve this as simply as having an additional leisure battery specifically for your lighting.

    All the techniques are transferable from what youíll read from the Xmas displays crowd - controllers - frankly you canít go wrong with falcon. If I were doing something like youíre thinking, my main concern/effort would be in putting together a front end to give the end user control over the system in the end - this is the big difference from an Xmas display where youíd sequence your various show elements and then schedule up a cue list for evening playback.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

    Many of the devices here are powered from a 12v power supply so you have plenty of options. If you want to just add some variety a string of Ws2811 12v and a $3 Arduino will get you started. If you want to go more elaborate you could add a Raspberry Pi, create sequences in XLights or Vixen and run a full show.

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  5. #5
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    Lebanon, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: New Pixel user here. Looking for a suitable controller for automotive/marine.

    If your pixels are 5vdc, then a simple buck converter will bring the varying 12vdc down to the appropriate level, and smooth it out.
    If your pixels are 12vdc, you may need to "smooth the waves" because engine developed power is notorious for not being a steady power level. Though undervoltage isn't much of a problem (usually), overvoltage can cause some grief.

    Remember, automotive and marine power sources do vary from lows of 9 or 10 volts, and highs of 14 or there about.

    With all of that said, some folks have been using the 12vdc directly from the vehicle on a regular basis. They have been quiet about the ramifications of doing so, though.

    BTW - I agree - Falcon Controllers are Top Notch.
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