Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 15 of 15

Thread: Planning first display Dec.2020

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Planning first display Dec.2020

    Thanks for the info. I plan to use 12v as my current requirements don’t have any single string of lights over 110 pixels, so hopefully don’t require power injection mid string. I plan to inject power at the end of each longer run just to be safe.
    I plan to fuse input voltage before my controller, as they are not cheap to replace. I’m hoping that my history with building PLC cabinets and wiring them will transfer well to this new hobby, and luckily I have a few friends with similar work experience who are designing similar projects at the same time.
    Do most people use xlights? That is what I have downloaded and begun playing around with and so far it seems fairly straight forward.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    4,199
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Planning first display Dec.2020

    I use vixen because it makes sense to me and xlights is very confusing. To some of my friends, Vixen was confusing and xLights made a lot of sense. Go with the sequencer that makes sense to you.

    As for your statement that your controller can drive your 110 pixel string without power injection. You are presenting a solution with an implied assumption that there is little or no voltage drop in the length of wire from the controller to the first pixel. This is only true if the wire from the controller to the first pixel is very short AND that the wire from the PSU to the controller is also very short. Every foot of wire between the PSU and the last pixel (the one furthest from the PSU) in the string has a voltage drop and increases the need to inject voltage into your string.

    Another controlling factor is the length of wire between pixels. In most cases we are talking about pixels that have less than 4" of wire between them. If the length of wire between pixels goes up then the total length of wire between the PSU and the furthest Pixel goes up, requiring you to inject power even though you have not increased the number of pixels in the string. FYI: This is also why pixel strips can have 150 pixels on a 5m strip. The wire between the pixels is is only 20mm long, which limits the voltage drop between pixels.

    In other words, just because the pixel count is within the limits used in many discussions, this does NOT mean that you do not need to inject power.


    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Planning first display Dec.2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Chara View Post
    Thanks for the info. I plan to use 12v as my current requirements don’t have any single string of lights over 110 pixels, so hopefully don’t require power injection mid string. I plan to inject power at the end of each longer run just to be safe.
    I plan to fuse input voltage before my controller, as they are not cheap to replace. I’m hoping that my history with building PLC cabinets and wiring them will transfer well to this new hobby, and luckily I have a few friends with similar work experience who are designing similar projects at the same time.
    Do most people use xlights? That is what I have downloaded and begun playing around with and so far it seems fairly straight forward.
    I'm in the industrial automation field as well, the experience will help. I use both, xLights definitely has the steeper learning curve, but also the more powerful effect rendering engine. Vixen's grouping concept and GUI is more polished imo. I go back and forth. Both are supported to a degree that seems unimanginable for open source and such a niche hobby.

    I use 18awg for everything. Much over 15-20 feet-ish I have to use null pixels. Much over 20 feet I also have to increase wire gauge. Voltage drop on the power can also cause flickering and off colors, not just data line decay. I've found these to be a PITA to troubleshoot so I've gone the route of designing shorter wire runs. Hence I've bougt more controllers and have a more distributed system vs. centralizing and maximizing each controller before adding another.

    You sound very well researched, my closing advice is it takes a proof of concept to iron out more issues and learn the specifics of your intended design. Buy a falcon (I can almost guarantee that's a decision that will hold up), and a few different strings, maybe a few types, and do a test sequence, ideally including a test with your longest planned wire run. All kinds of stuff should come up, you'll figure it out, and be ready to place a larger order with your preferred hardware.
    Last edited by Cmschleich; 01-20-2020 at 08:58 PM.
    youtu.be/nBL9qYPaXwQ

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Planning first display Dec.2020

    Thanks Cmschleich and MartinMueller2003, both very informative posts. I do plan to get a few pixel strings to play with to start on my workbench. Luckily my central mounting of my first controller allows all 4 runs to be less than 10’ away to the first pixel. I have a huge quote from Ray Wu but haven’t pulled the trigger as I am skeptical about exactly what pixels will work best. I appreciate all the advice, and my brain is like a sponge again taking in everything. I look forward to updating with a drawing of my plan for criticism before actually constructing.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Planning first display Dec.2020

    Great!

    I bought some ribbon and pixels from a few different vendors January my first year. And ultimately placed a bigger order with ray after a few months of test bench. Another option is holiday coro, I believe itís rays stuff ultimately, but holiday coro has a custom spec which involves more labeling on wires and ends, clearer de markers, and all their products have standardized ends. Theyíre out of Texas and run their own QC processes locally before shipping, superior documentation, much easier to find products on their site and the specs are clear. If I did it all over again I would do my whole light order with them despite any premium. Thatís my light vendor now, saves me time and eliminates worry.

    My first year renewed my appreciation for the technical standards we are accustomed to here.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    youtu.be/nBL9qYPaXwQ

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •