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Thread: Help me decide on a controller

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    Thank you for that insight, Mr. Hinkle. It is always good to hear it from the source.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    I have one of Joe’s controllers. It is one of his original Hinks Pix16 I use it extensively for my testing and works flawlessly. It’s also my back up in case something goes wrong. The support Joe has given has been outstanding for the couple times I’ve needed it.

    Joe, If my post earlier was perceived as a taking a dig at your controllers, it was not intended that way. I tried to differentiate between yours and HC controllers. If it came across that way. I apologize.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    Quote Originally Posted by ukewarrior View Post
    I think you hitched your wagon to the wrong horse.
    Thanks for your comments.

    David Pitts and Jim St.John elected to market their controllers via their own web site and most buyers of their controllers were from the DIY community.

    My vision embraces the DIY community but also extends to the newcomer market - those people that don't want DIY. They don't want to purchase "parts" (of which the controller is just one part of many) from multiple sources. By parts, I mean, controllers, wire, pixels, power supplies, boxes, etc. People that are looking to purchase a "solution" at the same or better cost as that acquired by being a true DIY'er.

    As an example - Grandpa and Grandma want a Pixel Tree for Christmas - to have their grand kids enjoy it. They just want to purchase a "total solution" that runs. Before I engaged with HolidayCoro, only LOR provided that capability. NOW - (with a Hinkle controller) - HolidayCoro can supply a "StandAlone" show (running from an SD card) that does not require any computers or a RasPI. The provided solution is much less expensive and much more powerful than the solutions offered by LOR - as a result, we have more families entering our hobby and having to spend MUCH less to do so..

    HolidayCoro is one of the ONLY companies that can and do provide a very cost competitive total solution. I'm not aware of another company or another horse.

    I'm not sure why HolidayCoro has such a bad reputation as I have found David a very fair and upstanding businessman. Has he pissed some people off - probably - but that is true of every business.

    All I ask of the community is to be a little more specific on your dislikes instead of blanketing them on a single statement - "HolidayCoro". If you don't like HolidayCoro's AlphaPix controllers - be specific. If you don't like HolidayCoro'c AlphaPix Coro products - be specific.

    I am releasing 4 new products related to our hobby this year thru HolidayCoro. I suspect some of them may be every interesting to many in the DIY cvommunity. I suspect some of them may be copied or improved upon by others once they are in the market.

    It would be sad for newcomers to this site not to be aware of them just because of some specific dislike of HolidayCoro NOT related to anything that I bring to the table.

    Again - just my 2 cents.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    Quote Originally Posted by TSL View Post
    I have one of Joe’s controllers. It is one of his original Hinks Pix16 I use it extensively for my testing and works flawlessly. It’s also my back up in case something goes wrong. The support Joe has given has been outstanding for the couple times I’ve needed it.

    Joe, If my post earlier was perceived as a taking a dig at your controllers, it was not intended that way. I tried to differentiate between yours and HC controllers. If it came across that way. I apologize.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Not at all - thanks for your comments.

  5. #55
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    If you don't want to do the 'selling and shipping' part, I suggest you do what Shelby did and sell your stuff on amazon.
    That way, your gear stands alone and is not hooked to peoples feelings about HolidayCoro.
    Quote Originally Posted by JHinkle View Post
    Thanks for your comments.

    David Pitts and Jim St.John elected to market their controllers via their own web site and most buyers of their controllers were from the DIY community.

    My vision embraces the DIY community but also extends to the newcomer market - those people that don't want DIY. They don't want to purchase "parts" (of which the controller is just one part of many) from multiple sources. By parts, I mean, controllers, wire, pixels, power supplies, boxes, etc. People that are looking to purchase a "solution" at the same or better cost as that acquired by being a true DIY'er.

    As an example - Grandpa and Grandma want a Pixel Tree for Christmas - to have their grand kids enjoy it. They just want to purchase a "total solution" that runs. Before I engaged with HolidayCoro, only LOR provided that capability. NOW - (with a Hinkle controller) - HolidayCoro can supply a "StandAlone" show (running from an SD card) that does not require any computers or a RasPI. The provided solution is much less expensive and much more powerful than the solutions offered by LOR - as a result, we have more families entering our hobby and having to spend MUCH less to do so..

    HolidayCoro is one of the ONLY companies that can and do provide a very cost competitive total solution. I'm not aware of another company or another horse.

    I'm not sure why HolidayCoro has such a bad reputation as I have found David a very fair and upstanding businessman. Has he pissed some people off - probably - but that is true of every business.

    All I ask of the community is to be a little more specific on your dislikes instead of blanketing them on a single statement - "HolidayCoro". If you don't like HolidayCoro's AlphaPix controllers - be specific. If you don't like HolidayCoro'c AlphaPix Coro products - be specific.

    I am releasing 4 new products related to our hobby this year thru HolidayCoro. I suspect some of them may be every interesting to many in the DIY cvommunity. I suspect some of them may be copied or improved upon by others once they are in the market.

    It would be sad for newcomers to this site not to be aware of them just because of some specific dislike of HolidayCoro NOT related to anything that I bring to the table.

    Again - just my 2 cents.

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    Quote Originally Posted by ukewarrior View Post
    If you don't want to do the 'selling and shipping' part, I suggest you do what Shelby did and sell your stuff on amazon.
    That way, your gear stands alone and is not hooked to peoples feelings about HolidayCoro.
    Thanks for your comment - I not sure if you got the point I was attempting to make.

    I can sell via my own web site - I choose not to. I could sell via amazon - I choose not to. All of the sales thru those avenues would be for a controller alone - NOT a controller that is part of a solution package.

    My belief (right or wrong) is that controller sales alone are mostly associated with the DIY community and those that have the knowledge and skills to build a display on their own.

    I'm attempting to get my controllers into hands of NON-DIY'ers - the market currently owned by LOR.

    The ONLY way to accomplish that is to be associated with a company that can provide a "total solution" - as HolidayCoro does - one stop shopping.

    All decisions have ramifications. If my decision to team up with HolidayCoro results in banishment of discussions in this web site - so be it.

    Again - my only goal to to enable families to enter this hobby with the least amount of hassle and expensive while obtaining a hi-end product.

    Thanks.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    I didn't realize I touched on a sore subject here lol. I mentioned the HinksPix Pro and Flex system just because it seems comparable and is around the same price point. Being new to the game I was just checking into all options I could find.

  8. #58
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    Default Help me decide on a controller

    Imagine if you asked a room of random people to decide on PC, Mac or Linux for you.

    That’s essentially what you’re asking when you ask about controller preferences or “which one is best.”

    McDonalds has sold billions of hamburgers, right?
    Last edited by Bwinter; 01-15-2020 at 09:41 PM.

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    Imagine if you asked a room of random people to decide on PC, Mac or Linux for you.

    That’s essentially what you’re asking when you ask about controller preferences or “which one is best.”

    McDonalds has sold billions of hamburgers, right?
    I didn't ask for best. I realize that's a relative question. I just asked why no one ever seems to even acknowledge the Hinkspix Pro or the Flex system stuff.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Help me decide on a controller

    My perspectives from different view points (this will be long):

    As a Mac user, any controller that requires some bizarre windows only utility to configure it is automatically blacklisted. Even if I was a windows user, I would strongly recommend against it. During setup, I am constantly using my phone or iPad from my yard to make minor adjustments and to test things and such. With the capabilities of browsers now, it makes no sense to not provide a complete and useful browser based frontend for the controller.

    As a controller designer/manufacturer/seller/whatever, I personally think all the spec chasing stuff is nearly pointless. No one uses controllers at their full capacity. Joe's "grandma/grandpa" example is a good one. To hit 1000 pixels per output would require all kinds of special handling of power with all kinds of power injection, knowledge or what happens when one pixel dies causing all the rest, etc... That's not something you want to thrust on them. At 50 ms timing, my controllers can hit 1400 pixels per output on all outputs. You could even drop to 100ms timing and go over 2800, but I would never recommend anyone do that. To me, ease of use (example: browser based config, xLights integration, etc...) are way more important than maxing out outputs.

    As an xLights developer, I will say that any controller that does NOT support virtual strings in some form or another (whatever they decide to call them) should not be recommended. Without virtual strings, there are a lot of things that the user will be required to manually configure and keep track of. It will work, but the user has to pay much more attention to things like start channels and such. In addition, without virtual strings, there are entire classes of configuration changes that will require complete re-rendering of your entire show instead of simple controller configuration updates. Also, doing some of that in xLights does involve slower render times which is something people would like to avoid. For example, if you have three props on an output and decide the middle one is too bright, with virtual strings, we can decrease the brightness on the virtual string in the controller configuration and not have to re-render anything. Without them, you would have to adjust the dimming curve on the model in xLights and then re-render your entire show. In addition, by adjusting the dimming curve, the render time does go down as xLights has slightly more work to do. (if a model's dimming curve is an identity, it's completely skipped). Also, displaying the preview involves more CPU time to "undo" the dimming curves for display. For the cleanest integration with xLights, virtual strings really are a must.

    Finally, as an Open Source Developer and main contributor to many open source projects including FPP and xLights, (as well as MANY projects at the Apache Software Foundation related to my day job), I would strongly encourage supporting the vendors that support the communities and contribute back. Thats more of a personal preference that others may not share, but I wanted to mention it. This also includes recommending vendors that are "friendly" to the other vendors. Dave Pitts and I are kind of competitors, but I'd also consider him a friend and he and I have bounced ideas off each other a couple time. Likewise with me and Alan Hanson. I provided a lot of information and suggestions to David Peace before he released his Pixel2Things boards. The relationships are really what make this community to me.

    Anyway, this is WAY too long at this point. However, I wear many "hats" and thought I'd provide my thoughts. I'm obviously very biased toward my own controllers ( http://kulplights.com ), but I'm also the first to say that my controllers may not be the best for every use case. Being based on FPP, they are EXTREMELY powerful. There are tons of things you can do with them that you cannot do with any other controller. However, being based on FPP, they are also way more complex than any other controller.
    Last edited by dkulp; 01-16-2020 at 10:54 PM.
    Dan Kulp

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