Author Topic: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup  (Read 334 times)

Offline altereddezignz

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Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« on: July 16, 2017, 02:28:47 PM »
Hello everyone.  After a few days of trying to get everything in order and functioning correctly I finally have a working demo. Well its a demo of watching the relay leds to see my show lol.
A couple years ago we bought lights from a place going out of business. We ended up with 6 boxes of 300 light ice cycle strands, 2 boxes of 200 light ice cucle strands, 4 boxes of 200 light standard strands and a few more 20 light standard strands.  These are all mini light single color incandescent build lights.

Here is where I am at. I purchased a raspberry pi 3 model 3. Breadboard, some jumpers, leds, resistors, Sainsmart 8 relay ssd board. 5v his trigger.  Here is where Im not sure if I am going in the right direction or not.

Should I
A.  buy more ssd boards and figure how to run many standard single color strands at 3 strands per relay ( 1 strand of 100 lights is .5 Amps so I can run 300 bulbs on one relay to keep me at 1.5 amps under the max 2.0 of the ssr) 

B. Buy ws2811 pixel rgb strands and sandevice e682 to control the pixel rgbs.

I keep hearing about the sandevice e682 this is the reason I looked into this one. There is still a lot of info about it I do not understand as well tho.  But from reading you can control 16 strands of 50 pixels per strand. 

I found a family online that I have been reading about that actually  gives info that they use for their shows.
He stated he used only 6 of the e682 to create the display here. https://youtu.be/90oZ52M4IC0
It looks as this would be more than  96 strands of pixel lights or 4800 pixels but I have never used them so I dont know. 
I am just looking for info and help. I have the software kinda figured out. Have the controls and all working but looking for someone who has done this so I can see what would be the best direction to do. Thanks.

Offline jeff

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Re: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 05:43:13 PM »
It depends on how crazy you want to get with your display. Pixels require more setup and programming, but you don't seem too shy about that. Do you want to control strings or bulbs? I have some beginner videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLO6ZXWQ3cM&feature=share to give you an idea of what's required to get pixels going, but it's really up to your interests & pocketbook.

I graduated from strings to pixels and haven't looked back. Others that have a large investment in strings run a hybrid setup with both. The 682 is a great controller (i have one), but I'm using the Falcon f16 series now.

If you want a display like Matt's, then pixels is the way to go.

Offline David Pitts

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Offline altereddezignz

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Re: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 07:14:41 PM »
It depends on how crazy you want to get with your display. Pixels require more setup and programming, but you don't seem too shy about that. Do you want to control strings or bulbs? I have some beginner videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLO6ZXWQ3cM&feature=share to give you an idea of what's required to get pixels going, but it's really up to your interests & pocketbook.

I graduated from strings to pixels and haven't looked back. Others that have a large investment in strings run a hybrid setup with both. The 682 is a great controller (i have one), but I'm using the Falcon f16 series now.

If you want a display like Matt's, then pixels is the way to go.
Well the reason i started like i did was this had been a dream of mine for a long time but everything seemed to get in the way and around here there just is not anything nice at all to look at during the holidays for people to see..
I started this way bc i already had a few stands of mini standard lights but again didn't really know what i was looking for or what to get so i figured i would start with a type of beginner kit. Something a little simpler to learn on before the Christmas time came around.  In the end i would rather control pixels as you get more bang for the buck i think in the long run as i would liek to grow this a little bit. Nothing crazy just nice display and add things as i can and as i see fit really.


I have the ssr 8 right now but nothing to control any pixels but thats where i am a little lost. I understand the pixels and for the most part how they are controlled and powered but when it comes to the universe talk and how many i can link together and all that well i am REALLY NEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!
I dont have that many standard lights right now, as far as standard strands go just 3-400 and then few boxes of icicles and then they are either blue or white so im limited there again.
Right now i am lost on things like how many i can realistically run per board. I know reading on  he e682 it was 16 strands of pixels per. When reading and watching the video above he stated that he only used 6 e682 boards but then stated he ran 5-600 string lights and 6100 pixels.
If you can only control 16 stands of 50 pixels then that would only allow you 4800 total pixels so how the heck he running 6100..


Well sorry i am rambling on. Thnk you for the info and can you give me reasoning to using the falcon board over the e682 at the same price? not trying to be or sound sarcastic but im still so new that i dont understand all the information provided about them...


Oh if it help when i was reading on the pixel strands i has kinda planed on using 12v if i did them and then of course next battle is power supplies lol... Never ending haha...

Offline jeff

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Re: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 07:33:10 PM »
The Falcon F16v3 can drive 1024 pixels per output, has 3 DMX/LOR outputs. You can expand the 16 outputs to 48 with expansion boards (sharing the 16,384 pixels per board). It has a lot of new features this year that will catapult it past anything else on the market. David, the other guy that responded designs them and is easy to get in touch with if you run into a problem.

The v3 will soon be able to run in stand-alone mode (no Pi) or can be a FPP slave once the firmware is updated which is in active development.

I admit, I am biased. I have last years v2 model and was quite impressed last year at the differences. This year's update made my jaw drop. Funny to get that excited about a pixel controller I realize, but they are pretty cool.

Offline altereddezignz

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Re: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 07:44:57 PM »
The Falcon F16v3 can drive 1024 pixels per output, has 3 DMX/LOR outputs. You can expand the 16 outputs to 48 with expansion boards (sharing the 16,384 pixels per board). It has a lot of new features this year that will catapult it past anything else on the market. David, the other guy that responded designs them and is easy to get in touch with if you run into a problem.

The v3 will soon be able to run in stand-alone mode (no Pi) or can be a FPP slave once the firmware is updated which is in active development.

I admit, I am biased. I have last years v2 model and was quite impressed last year at the differences. This year's update made my jaw drop. Funny to get that excited about a pixel controller I realize, but they are pretty cool.


Well being as he has already commented on my post i think i know now who i will be going to for my products lol.. Its always nice to know that the developer of a product is willing to participate!! Guess i need to just make up my mind and go with pixels. That and i need to get a layout together, Figure out the power supply stuff, Wiring, oh man oh man this stuff can get overwhelming quick if you let it lol.. I am sure i will need help.
Took me most of the afternoon and night to get the pi to work right with fpp and vixen. I didnt know i had to activate the output channels in fpp and then i was reading the names wrong so i was all sorts of confused but i did a sample test using my own music, leds on a breadboard off the pi and some quick vixen editing. Once i understood what i was doing it made more since. ( still a little lost sometimes haha )


Thanks again.. Any pointers to start me off in the right direction,. Hecl you already have me using a new pixel controller if i go that way lol.

Offline altereddezignz

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Offline jeff

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Re: Need help with my first ever Christmas light show setup
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 09:02:36 PM »
Haha! Yeah, it can be a little overwhelming. Seriously, watch the videos. I pretty much cover everything you need to know to get started.

Also, I don't know how much time you have invested in Vixen, but also check out xLights. They can configure FPP for you now!

Oh and welcome to the hobby! It's a lot of fun!

Jeff

 

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