Author Topic: PiCap pixel capabilities  (Read 276 times)

Offline o6blink

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PiCap pixel capabilities
« on: May 29, 2019, 08:39:27 PM »
Looking at using a PiCap as a beginner controller for my Christmas display my first year. I plan to run a 8 foot pixel tree using about 450 pixels, as well as having the roof lines of our home and garage done (300 C9 Pixels).

My questions are will the 2 channels be enough? Will I be able to sequence on both the tree as well as the house? And 3) Pixel tree should be one channel and the roof lights should be the other correct? Or should I wired the channels up according to distance from the controller?

Thank you!

Offline Sawdust

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 09:16:38 PM »
You are on the right track.  The only issue is distinct from PiCap to first pixel...data from PiCap to first pixel may need to be 10 feet or less.  Look for a pixel extender

Offline Poporacer

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 10:07:54 PM »
As Sawdust mentioned, the distance to the first pixel on a PiCap is limited and it sounds like your roof line and pixel tree might be far enough away from each other that using one PiCap might be problematic. pixelcontroller.com carries F-Amps to extend the signal if you need it.

One thing to think about is the PiCap is at the lowest end of capabilities and most people expand year after year. Another option to consider is the F8PB from dankulp.com.

A PiCap and Pi will run you approximately $70 and can control approximately 1600 pixels and has only 2 ports.
A F8PB will cost you only $8 more ($78)  and can control approximately 5,600 pixels and can be expanded to control more. It has 8 ports.

A couple other things, many people get confused with the terminology. A PiCap (and all controllers) have ports, not channels. Channels is assoociated with the pixels, each pixel needs 3 channels.
You want to use one port for your pixel tree and and your pixel tree will have about 450 pixels (450 pixels is 1,350 channels of data)
As far as the PiCap being able to control your tree and roof lines, it will work as described, but you will more than likely need to power inject!
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Offline Bos Lights

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 10:19:30 PM »
You can go over 1000 per output.   Note that longer strings will have a slower refresh rate.  You can run up to 40fps (25ms timing) if you have less than ~800 pixels per frame.  Using 20fps (50ms timing) lets you go up to ~1600 pixels per frame.

Offline Sawdust

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 10:46:01 PM »
I like Poporacers recommendations to look at the F8-PB (FPP and controller in one) for similar dollars you will cover todays needs and a lot of the future. 

Additionally, F8-PB is compatible with the Falcon Receiver board (up to 2)  This will RJ45 plug into the F8-PB and remote mount at your roofline, even if 100 feet away.

https://kulplights.com/product/f8-pb/ (Buy with PocketBeagle installed)
https://www.pixelcontroller.com/store/index.php?id_product=45&controller=product

Offline o6blink

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 05:56:19 AM »
Great information everyone thank you.

I live on about a fifth acre of land. I believe I can get the controller right around 10 ft from the first pixel of both ports. I still don't have a good understanding on power injecting (how it's done that is). I've read on wikis it could he as easy as using a lower gauge wire?

Poporacer, sounds like that would be a good controller for me as well. I like the idea of being able to expand ports when needed down the road. Will this controller add to the distance to the first pixel possibly?

Ray Wu seems to sell all 20 gauge wire and that is who I was recommended. Does anyone know if you can get 18 gauge through him or can recommend somebody else?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 06:42:13 AM by o6blink »

Offline Poporacer

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 07:43:56 AM »
Great information everyone thank you.
You are welcome! We are here to help.

Quote
I live on about a fifth acre of land. I believe I can get the controller right around 10 ft from the first pixel of both ports. I still don't have a good understanding on power injecting (how it's done that is). I've read on wikis it could he as easy as using a lower gauge wire?
Using a lower gauge wire will help, but usually not eliminate the need for power injection on longer runs

Quote
Poporacer, sounds like that would be a good controller for me as well. I like the idea of being able to expand ports when needed down the road. Will this controller add to the distance to the first pixel possibly?
Yes it will, I have a few F8PBs and I don't know what the max distance is (and it will depend on your wiring, wire size and pixels) but I have some runs that are around 25 feet.

Quote
Ray Wu seems to sell all 20 gauge wire and that is who I was recommended. Does anyone know if you can get 18 gauge through him or can recommend somebody else?
I don't know why you think all he sells is 20 AWG wire? His website can be a little confusing. I love Ray Wu lights and use them exclusively. Here is a link and don't buy from his store, send him an email and he will give you a quote and it is usually a better price.
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/18AWG-wire-pixels/701799_506363523.html?spm=2114.12010608.0.0.19fe7e59YggsoK

Offline o6blink

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Re: PiCap pixel capabilities
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 10:18:28 AM »
It may have just been me looking in the wrong place! Excellent I'll email him what I'd like. I'm shooting for (4) 50 count epoxy filled technicolor c9 pixels black 18awg wire 6" apart and (9) 50 count bullet pixels black 18awg 3" apart.

Can anyone forward me his email address?
Nevermind I got it.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 11:01:34 AM by o6blink »

 

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