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Thread: The Simpler Things

  1. #1
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    Default The Simpler Things

    Yesterday a friend, who owns a business with a larger building standing out on its own (nothing within 200 yards), asked if I could light up his building.
    He knew about all the "fancy stuff" I do, and wanted to see if I could put that knowledge to work on his corner of the world.

    He wants to outline the building, which has several peaks and a good set of roof lines, some with some depth to them. His desire is to change the color of the outline, perhaps with a pattern (something like the bars effect, or a single strand) from time to time to match the holiday, and to make it look "real festive" during the Christmas holiday season.

    At first I thought, sure. No problem. Several remote receivers, a Falcon F4V3, and quite a few pixels mounted in channels. He could run xLights to sequence, and let an FPP on an RPi be "the boss". Then it struck me that the "fancy stuff" we do on a regular basis was because of all the learning, testing, failing, succeeding, experience and friends we have in the DIYC community. He has none of that behind him. Trust me when I say that he is pretty well removed from the tech community. (He is a smart fellow, but his skillset includes pumps, chemicals, and grass.)

    So, I started looking around for simple controllers with even simpler programs to run them. I came across a couple of videos on WLED. Now I'm beginning to wonder if this wouldn't be better for my friend as it is pretty simple from where I sit.

    Does anyone have an opinion as to how to do this for him? It has to be simple, but still capable. It has to be inexpensive, or at least not cost an arm and a leg.

    TIA
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    Quote Originally Posted by algerdes View Post
    Yesterday a friend, who owns a business with a larger building standing out on its own (nothing within 200 yards), asked if I could light up his building.
    He knew about all the "fancy stuff" I do, and wanted to see if I could put that knowledge to work on his corner of the world.

    He wants to outline the building, which has several peaks and a good set of roof lines, some with some depth to them. His desire is to change the color of the outline, perhaps with a pattern (something like the bars effect, or a single strand) from time to time to match the holiday, and to make it look "real festive" during the Christmas holiday season.

    At first I thought, sure. No problem. Several remote receivers, a Falcon F4V3, and quite a few pixels mounted in channels. He could run xLights to sequence, and let an FPP on an RPi be "the boss". Then it struck me that the "fancy stuff" we do on a regular basis was because of all the learning, testing, failing, succeeding, experience and friends we have in the DIYC community. He has none of that behind him. Trust me when I say that he is pretty well removed from the tech community. (He is a smart fellow, but his skillset includes pumps, chemicals, and grass.)

    So, I started looking around for simple controllers with even simpler programs to run them. I came across a couple of videos on WLED. Now I'm beginning to wonder if this wouldn't be better for my friend as it is pretty simple from where I sit.

    Does anyone have an opinion as to how to do this for him? It has to be simple, but still capable. It has to be inexpensive, or at least not cost an arm and a leg.

    TIA
    So far for simple and economical the small controllers like pixel pop or pixel stick or wemos with wled is about the simplest I have personally tried ,other than just putting up some led strands . But Iím not the most experienced lol

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    + 10 on WLED

    I would suggest using Srg74's shield as your controller

    Nothing compares to this shield as it accepts Wemos 8266 or 32

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    Let me say this....you will probably be on the hook to help him out from this day forward, when something doesn't work or he wants something different. If you don't mind being "the guy" then proceed. I'm that guy for a local family fun center. It all started some 20+ years ago when I saw something that made me think...I can fix this, and I did. And now when he needs something (including the hot dog machine that needed a new switch on July 4th) I get the call. But I don't mind because I knew this going in and we have a good relationship. Thats just my experinace. And this is why I never tell the neighbors I can fix their computer because once you touch it, you hand is there forever. I send them to a guy I know that does it as his business.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Utimgr View Post
    Let me say this....you will probably be on the hook to help him out from this day forward, when something doesn't work or he wants something different. If you don't mind being "the guy" then proceed. I'm that guy for a local family fun center. It all started some 20+ years ago when I saw something that made me think...I can fix this, and I did. And now when he needs something (including the hot dog machine that needed a new switch on July 4th) I get the call. But I don't mind because I knew this going in and we have a good relationship. Thats just my experinace. And this is why I never tell the neighbors I can fix their computer because once you touch it, you hand is there forever. I send them to a guy I know that does it as his business.
    +10

    I would point him in the direction of those who light commercial buildings for a living and count that as the best thing one could do for him.

    http://digwdf.org/store/
    Even though the DIGWDF Store has been closed for two years, it's still awesome!
    User guides, documentation and other files are still free and available for downloading.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    at the minimum you should have an electrician do the install and sry up a maintinance contract. commercial permanent installs need permits and licenses and safe systems that meet local codes.


    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Simpler Things

    I've got some contacts with CLIPA. I'll see what I can scare up.

    Thanks everyone.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

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