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Thread: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

  1. #131
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    As you mentioned, your connections weren’t very tight (between the PEX and the gland)—so that’s likely the problem.

    Mine were very tight (tight enough that I had to use a wrench). I also submerged them for a couple nights (while intermittently running) in a bathtub, just to verify. Depending on how loose a fit you had, plumbers-tape might be a good option. Or silicone the top connection ( making it permanent) and keep the bottom plug removable (for access).

    I wouldn’t see why drilling a hole in the bottom would be a bad idea—but I would start making the top as waterproof as possible.
    I might try a few wraps of teflon tape on the top, as well as drilling a hole in the bottom. Mine were tight enough to hold the pex to the gland (strong enough that the tube and the end cap were hanging from it as I have hooks wrapped around the cable and that's the main point of support to the tree), but I could screw the glands in by hand, although it was a little painful on the fingers, and I could definitely pull them out without unscrewing the gland. I also might try silicone on top too - I don't think that would make it permanent - the silicone doesn't stick that well to the pex, I'm sure the glands could still be pulled out with pliers if need be.

    I do know that the best way to keep an enclosure dry though is to have a hole in it somewhere where air can flow, but not let rain in. I've learned that lesson in the past with cameras (and raspberry pi's) in enclosures, so I'm definitely going to drill holes in the bottom as well. The consensus I read online was a 1/8" hole (3mm).

    My lights just started up a few minutes ago - sad to see the tree with the controller box in it, but no meteor tubes on it today


    sad_tree.jpg

  2. #132
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    bwinter (or others), what brand cable gland did you use? I used some generic ones from amazon, and they are definitely an issue. I drilled 3 holes in a plastic jar lid and put 3 cable glands in the lid with the cable I'm using, flipped the jar upside down and drilled a hole at the top to let air in. No matter how tight I tighten the retainers down, I'm getting dripping around the cable. I wonder if better cable glands would help, or whether I just need to slather the cable and the inside of the gland with silicone before I assemble it.

    Silicone is probably the only way to get the meteors going again before next week, but it seems like a lot of extra work, and mess! I checked some local electrical supply houses, none are open on the weekend, and I haven't seen standard cable glands at Lowes or HD in a while now - they both seem to have just stopped carrying the standard plastic ones - they only have the metal ones that are meant for clamping on conduit, or "liquid tight" conduit fittings now.
    Last edited by bobsmith; 12-19-2020 at 06:28 AM.

  3. #133
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Hi. Been reading through this thread, and am highly intrigued with the whole concept of the "star topography" for these icicles. But of course, there are always questions! Do you use an RJ-45 connector (plug) on the tube end of the wiring. I know that's the connection on the pi shield side, which makes sense - wondering about whether this utilizes a fully terminated cable, or if you solder the network wiring directly to the tube header PCB (or, directly to the pixel strip)? If you use the "plug," do you have to run the wire through a cable gland before terminating?

    Also - wondering if there's been a max length of wiring determined - if I've understood correctly, there's some buffering happening before and after each "icicle" loop, but I haven't been able to fully figure out how long you could run the icicle away from the controller?

    Lastly- is there a source that I could either purchase, or have some of the PCB boards created to start working with?

    Thanks!

  4. #134
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinj89 View Post
    Hi. Been reading through this thread, and am highly intrigued with the whole concept of the "star topography" for these icicles. But of course, there are always questions! Do you use an RJ-45 connector (plug) on the tube end of the wiring. I know that's the connection on the pi shield side, which makes sense - wondering about whether this utilizes a fully terminated cable, or if you solder the network wiring directly to the tube header PCB (or, directly to the pixel strip)? If you use the "plug," do you have to run the wire through a cable gland before terminating?

    Also - wondering if there's been a max length of wiring determined - if I've understood correctly, there's some buffering happening before and after each "icicle" loop, but I haven't been able to fully figure out how long you could run the icicle away from the controller?

    Lastly- is there a source that I could either purchase, or have some of the PCB boards created to start working with?

    Thanks!
    On the tube-end of the wiring, the CAT-5 connects directly* to the LED-strip (through a header that simply makes the connection easier). More details in this video:


    Haven't bothered figuring out the max.

    Yes, I plan to make these available for purchase (just haven't taken the time to post yet). I am working on the next version, that doesn't rely on the data to be daisy-chained back from each icicle, into the controller and back out (which would be a benefit), but would only allow for 6-outputs, instead of 8 (which is a negative).
    https://www.tindie.com/stores/bwinter/
    Last edited by Bwinter; 01-25-2021 at 04:55 PM.

  5. #135
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    I've got 24 2-foot multicolor meteor shower tubes on order from China for $21, with the downside that I will not be able to sequence them as part of any bigger light show; or at least not with any real degree of granularity. I can live with that.

  6. #136
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    On the tube-end of the wiring, the CAT-5 connects directly* to the LED-strip (through a header that simply makes the connection easier). More details in this video:


    Haven't bothered figuring out the max.

    Yes, I plan to make these available for purchase (just haven't taken the time to post yet). I am working on the next version, that doesn't rely on the data to be daisy-chained back from each icicle, into the controller and back out (which would be a benefit), but would only allow for 6-outputs, instead of 8 (which is a negative).
    https://www.tindie.com/stores/bwinter/
    Thanks Bwinter. Have been following both (or actually a number of) discussions around all your different "capes." For what I'm wanting to do (icicles/meteor) I really like the original 8-port using the network cable. I get the point with the 6-port but also see that there's some arduino and additional coding to split those channels out. I may find a good use for that somewhere down the road, but would like to try the 8-port if there's any way to get ahold of one (or two) of them?

    Thanks!

  7. #137
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinj89 View Post
    Thanks Bwinter. Have been following both (or actually a number of) discussions around all your different "capes." For what I'm wanting to do (icicles/meteor) I really like the original 8-port using the network cable. I get the point with the 6-port but also see that there's some arduino and additional coding to split those channels out. I may find a good use for that somewhere down the road, but would like to try the 8-port if there's any way to get ahold of one (or two) of them?

    Thanks!
    I'm still working in the next version, but have had multiple requests to make the "original" (v2.0) version available:

    Icicle WS281x LED v2.0 on Tindie

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