I am finally starting to test some new props for this year and just wanted to pass on a tip I am sure many of you already know...
I am re-doing my outline starting with my roofline since this is the most difficult to access.
To make it simple and possibly keep it up all year (with boss's permission), I am using Jchannel and have divided it into 3 X 10' sections.
I used the pixel calculator http://spikerlights.com/calcpower.aspx to get a rough idea where to best do power injection (especially since I am using 5V pixels).
Spacing for the pixels is 2.5", so I ended up at 142 pixels. Using the calculator I ended up injecting at pixel 94 and things looked fine in simulation(18ga for pixel wire and 16ga for injection wire).
Now here is the tip to use xlights to help diagnose some common pixel problems users face, namely power issues causing flickering or pink on white.
1. Start xlights and input your controller info and create your prop.
2. Create a new sequence, just an animation is fine.
3. Now make sure you can see your prop in the view selected.
4. Create a timing mark for the full 30 seconds.
4. Drop the ON effect onto selection and make sure white is only color selected.
5. Click output to lights and see how things look at 100% intensity (default dimming curve).
6. Now for testing, just adjust the slider bars for the effect settings.
In my case I was getting a lot of pink and some flicker at 100% intensity (set start and end intensity to same value).
You can use this to find the sweet spot for your intensity and then change the dimming curve on the prop.
I run mine around 30% and this test shows I can safely go to 50% with zero flicker, any more and I can just start to notice it on the final few pixels.
I don't see any discoloration until around 65% intensity, flickering starts well ahead of this.
YMMV.