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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Default What Controller Now?

    So it seems I missed the bus on Falcon controllers for this year and was looking forward to building a mega tree. What would be the I cant get a Falcon so i will go with _____ controller?
    Looking to control 16 strands @ 100 per + possibly a topper(haven't picked one out yet) but would say 2000 pixels total. Would like to continue to use X-Lights as I have a few other small
    items already set up. Not a lot of experience with pixels but do have a basic grasp on them and not afraid to put in some time to learn more. A little help on this would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Watch ebay or start planning for next year. Your a bit late to start. Get the parts and start playing with it mid year.

    Sent from my SM-A536U using Tapatalk
    Slowing moving from an all C9 show to Pixels, each year gets a bit more. "It feels like a carnival"
    https://www.facebook.com/ItsaDillonChristmas/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by xGROMx View Post

    Slowing moving from an all C9 show to Pixels, each year gets a bit more. "It feels like a carnival"
    Have you looked at the C9 pixels. I changed all my C9 to pixabulb and love the look. Using a mix of bullet pixel and pixabulb.
    In Lights Therapy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    Have you looked at the C9 pixels. I changed all my C9 to pixabulb and love the look. Using a mix of bullet pixel and pixabulb.
    They don't illuminate like the traditionals do, I have found that PingPong balls on bullets work well, but still can't get that warm light of an incan.
    Slowing moving from an all C9 show to Pixels, each year gets a bit more. "It feels like a carnival"
    https://www.facebook.com/ItsaDillonChristmas/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by xGROMx View Post
    Watch ebay or start planning for next year. Your a bit late to start. Get the parts and start playing with it mid year.

    I have to agree, to a point. You can build a mini-tree this year, probably with strips 25-pixels high and a topper. Come up with a plan that's scalable to 2400 pixels for later, but this year targeting a mini-tree of 12 strips of 25 pixels is doable. You would learn a lot about how to build a real mega-tree in the process. I wish I had done that myself (I started big, then went smaller...now ready to go bigger again). Because it's only 4 foot tall, you can do the whole thing--topper and all--standing up. No ladders, pulleys, et. al.. The whole thing can run on 1 channel. So much simpler.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    We are using Kulp controllers and they have been great.
    Wired Watts has them.
    Or directly from Dave himself: Kulp Lights
    Other available controllers but we don't personally have experience with them are available from:
    Wally's lights, experiencelights.com, and mattosdesigns among others.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Some people entirely use ESPPixelSticks (or the equiv WiFi Pixel Controller) to run their mega trees and Xlights to do the animation. Fairly inexpensive, simple, robust and flexible.
    [I][SIZE=2]"Beam me up Scotty, there are only limited pockets of intelligent life on this planet!!"[/SIZE][/I]
    Communicating humor in a text only medium is an art form subject to imprecise interpretation by the audience...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    You could go with a Kulp Lights cape for the Pocket Beagle. Daniel Kulp is one of the creators of the Falcon Pi Player. His stuff can be found @ https://www.wiredwatts.com/controllers

    Or you could go with SansDevices controllers. They are a bit older but, I think they can handle 12 universes in Unicast mode which can control 2040 pixels. I have these running my show and I've never had any problems with them. You can get them fully assembled or solder yourself kit. https://sandevices.com/shop/
    Last edited by Cmndr Brain; 11-13-2022 at 10:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    [SoapBox]

    FWIW, one of the concerns I've always had about large, centralized controllers is that if something goes wrong, a large part or possible all of the show goes down. That's one reason why I decided that every prop (or perhaps two props) had their own controller -- if it went down, it's only a very small and almost imperceptible part of the show. And the likelihood that all controllers might go down is a very far-fetched possibility.

    I know many folks prefer the security of wired communications, but I have 76 wireless controllers in my show this year, and each one is performing exactly as intended. Admittedly, some of those controllers manage only one, two or three channels, but some of them are pixel controllers that use gobs of channels. Certainly, wireless may not be the best solution for the hi-def matrices that are popular these days, but by dividing the rest of the show among individual controllers is a pretty sound way to prevent a disastrous situation from happening. I also appreciate that for some users, the congestion of their local wireless communication is a deterrent to the implementation of a completely wireless show. But certainly a combination of wired and wireless can certainly work, too.

    I'm pretty anal about lighting effects that miss their synchronization with music, but I've found that wireless provides an acceptable level of performance. Do wireless controllers sometimes miss a beat? Yes, once in a while they do. Does it matter in the real world? No. Viewers can't see the whole show simultaneously as human attention and vison can't comprehend that scope.

    Could wireless have solved the Chief's issue this year? Probably not completely, but I'm certain it could have mitigated much of the issue, resulting in perhaps a slightly abbreviated result, but a positive result nonetheless.

    Just some thoughts from an old geezer... FWIW....

    [/SoapBox]

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: What Controller Now?

    Hi Dirk. ESPixelStick has taken a big step towards making large WiFi shows viable by using the FPP remote mechanisms and playing from a local SD card. So that should be one less issue to contend with and is in line with the "More smaller" controller models.

    FYI: I use multiple F16s in my show and none of them use all of their ports. I reserve the extra ports to be able to run wires into another area of the yard if a controller goes down and no spare is available. I did lose my street side center controller once and my mega tree and central controllers filled in the gap nicely until I could replace the broken controller.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    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/user/MartinMueller2003

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