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TheLost
03-03-2017, 12:04 PM
We've been using a cheap disco ball as part of our Halloween display for years. With all of the fog machines we use, the disco ball creates a multi-color 'search light' effect as it spins and can be seen all up and down our street. We always get a bunch of complements on it... which is strange because we also have a yard full of 6' Zombies setup to look like they are attacking the house (but people like the $10 spinning light... :happycrying:)

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61475VxWiyL._SL1200_.jpg

My plan is to build/modify a version that uses Pixel's that i can controll from Vixen3/xLights.. Before i get started i want to make sure i don't re-invent the wheel(ball). Is there already something like this (plans or kit)? (Im talking low-er cost.. not the high end DMX versions)

Any Ideas before i get started?

RogerH
03-03-2017, 03:24 PM
Similar yes, but not the same. Sparkle balls made from 50 - 9oz clear Solo cups. Stapled into a sphere with pixels facing out.

didjareally
03-03-2017, 06:19 PM
I think a boscoyo icosasphere would work

Jerry-Rigs
03-06-2017, 03:29 PM
To get the "search light" effect, won't the light have to be somewhat focused? I image the ball that is pictured uses a single incan bulb and the colored lens act like light guides to form semi-focused beams. The colored lens might even have short tubes to accentuate the effect. That might be hard to do with pixels but I'm curious what solutions develop.

TheLost
03-06-2017, 07:20 PM
To get the "search light" effect, won't the light have to be somewhat focused? I image the ball that is pictured uses a single incan bulb and the colored lens act like light guides to form semi-focused beams. The colored lens might even have short tubes to accentuate the effect. That might be hard to do with pixels but I'm curious what solutions develop.

you would think.. but on our cheap 'disco ball' its just a colored piece of plastic (no type of lens). I think the distance from the bulb to the hole is the only thing that creates the 'spotlight'.

My current plan is to 3D print a sphere (2 halves, hollow that fit together), Drill some holes for 12mm pixels and see what works best to create the spotlight effect.

Spinning the ball will be easy (simple geared motor with power slip-ring)

Jerry-Rigs
03-07-2017, 08:55 PM
you would think.. but on our cheap 'disco ball' its just a colored piece of plastic (no type of lens). I think the distance from the bulb to the hole is the only thing that creates the 'spotlight'.

My current plan is to 3D print a sphere (2 halves, hollow that fit together), Drill some holes for 12mm pixels and see what works best to create the spotlight effect.

Spinning the ball will be easy (simple geared motor with power slip-ring)

Re Lens: Your description is what I expected. I was not thinking optical quality by any stretch.
Re Slip-Ring: 3 conductor slip-ring to include data? Will that be too noisy for data? How about an ESPixelStick or equivalent? That way it is just power.
Re spotlight effect: What about short lengths of small pvc pipe on each pixel? Or print them on the exterior of the sphere?

Jerry-Rigs
03-07-2017, 09:03 PM
OK maybe slip rings handle data better that I thought...
Sparkfun (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13064)

Wolfie
03-08-2017, 09:11 PM
Well....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8rMX5B-H44

RichD
03-09-2017, 06:11 AM
I'm pretty sure the coloured discs still act as a lens. They only have to bend the light a little to mike quite a difference to the spot size at distance.

I've had a look on aliexpress and there are some lens assemblies that might work ok with normal pixels
Option 1 (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/20-Sets-lot-Setted-well-LTI-23-High-quality-Led-Lens-5-Degree-Holder-Size-25/32794821836.html) I think this might be best as it one of few I could find that gave the width of the led's hole. At 8mm it might need expanding a little but the lens is simple so there is space.
Option 2 (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/50pcs-lot-High-power-1W-3W-LED-lens-5-degree-bracket-set-with-holder-LED-lamp/2042688803.html) Lots of sellers of these but less clear if a pixel would fit.

Using 5050 pixels might work a bit better with the lenses, it is more similar to what they are designed for and would be more of a point source which should give a sharper beam. Ray has lots of options for them including A (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/16mm-DC5V-WS2811-led-SMD-pixel-node-50pcs-a-string-with-one-piece-high-bright-5050/701799_907524352.html), B (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Black-DC5V-WS2811-led-5050-SMD-pixel-node-50pcs-a-string-black-wires-10cm-wire-spacing/701799_32348498254.html), C (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/60mm-pitch-IP68-WS2812B-LED-addressable-pixel-string-rgb-full-color-DC5V-input-40pcs-a-string/701799_32261584777.html).

I might order some myself to have a play with - if I ever decide what I'm doing this year!

Jerry-Rigs
03-09-2017, 04:07 PM
Well....


Have you tried putting this in a foggy environment?

TheLost
03-15-2017, 01:56 PM
I'm pretty sure the coloured discs still act as a lens. They only have to bend the light a little to mike quite a difference to the spot size at distance.

I've had a look on aliexpress and there are some lens assemblies that might work ok with normal pixels
Option 1 (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/20-Sets-lot-Setted-well-LTI-23-High-quality-Led-Lens-5-Degree-Holder-Size-25/32794821836.html) I think this might be best as it one of few I could find that gave the width of the led's hole. At 8mm it might need expanding a little but the lens is simple so there is space.
Option 2 (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/50pcs-lot-High-power-1W-3W-LED-lens-5-degree-bracket-set-with-holder-LED-lamp/2042688803.html) Lots of sellers of these but less clear if a pixel would fit.

Using 5050 pixels might work a bit better with the lenses, it is more similar to what they are designed for and would be more of a point source which should give a sharper beam. Ray has lots of options for them including A (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/16mm-DC5V-WS2811-led-SMD-pixel-node-50pcs-a-string-with-one-piece-high-bright-5050/701799_907524352.html), B (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Black-DC5V-WS2811-led-5050-SMD-pixel-node-50pcs-a-string-black-wires-10cm-wire-spacing/701799_32348498254.html), C (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/60mm-pitch-IP68-WS2812B-LED-addressable-pixel-string-rgb-full-color-DC5V-input-40pcs-a-string/701799_32261584777.html).

I might order some myself to have a play with - if I ever decide what I'm doing this year!

I picked up some 15deg lenses from ebay.. I'll do some testing and see how they look.

djulien
03-17-2017, 11:09 PM
Well....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8rMX5B-H44

That looks great! Do you have a link for build instructions on that?

don

Wolfie
03-20-2017, 01:50 PM
Yes.
http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?43863-Project-Disco-Ball&highlight=project+disco

A lot of images and videos may be broken. I did something stupid a while back. But should be enough info there to construct it.

And I have the 3D print files and more construction details here:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1826322

I do have an internal walkthrough video back up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSudU3ruZTM

And a daytime photo of Serena wearing it:
http://cdn.ipernity.com/200/17/86/43541786.4db42b32.500.jpg (http://www.ipernity.com/doc/wolfie/43541786)

Here are some aerial shots of Halloween night and her traversing the neighborhood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMM6pWqb9zA