Author Topic: New and want to start off in the right direction....  (Read 102 times)

Offline testfly

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New and want to start off in the right direction....
« on: August 08, 2019, 10:57:42 PM »
Hi Folks,

I have been thinking about getting into Pixels now for a few years. Last year my 17 year old daughter (with a little of my help) put together a sign using Christmas lights, paint, a Arduino board and some relays.
Here is how it went together:

This year I would like to step up my game and get into pixels.
I am shooting to be able to animate a tree like the one shown in this video:

So, I would like to start off with a mega tree.
I have done a little bit of programming with xlights and created this show.
Here is a look at the results:

So there is a lot I need to learn but my point is to show I am serious about wanting to do this and I am willing to spend the time to do it.
However, I would like to go about it the right way and not just start buying things that I don't really need or won't end up using.

I would like to setup a tree (10' to 12' would be great)
I have a 4' chain link fence I can work with and a large front porch. (seen in the video showing the sign above)
I could do arches and even run pixels along the top of the fence.
My point is I do plan to grow the setup.

Budget is $1000.00 for the first step and then $500.00 a month till November.
So by this time November I would have 2,500 invested.
Not sure I will have to spend that much but if I do I am willing to.

I have a PC or a laptop (running windows) I can use to run the show.
But I am not sure of the other parts I need or where best to get them.
I am retired so I have a lot of time I can spend on the projects.
But at this point I really have no clue what I should buy, where I should buy it or even how to get it all working together.

I have a CAD program and a cnc machine so I can make props (A star for the top of the pixel tree for example)
I have the tools to solder and have no problem wiring things up when I have a drawing to work from.

I am sure I could figure it all out but I would really like to ask for help to save time and money as I start this new adventure.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and any help you can offer.


Offline Emuney18

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Re: New and want to start off in the right direction....
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 07:48:48 PM »
Can you give some more info.  How big is the area?  How close will the tree and your house be to the audience?  I will say from my experience 2 spacing on a tree is better than 3 or more if your distance is short.  I started with 3 and switched to 2.  Typically most people do 16 or 24 strings on the tree for 180-270 degrees tree.  Depending on your distance this will dictate your pixel count and what you need to power and control it easily.  Falcon controllers are the best in my opinion.  I use both the ones from and  I would recommend nodes either bullet or square with Boscoyo mega tree strips and not pixel strips.  You will need a center pole and topper.  You could go with an ASAP pole or similar from and a topper from Boscoyo or overkill metal products.  Or look at for pole stuff.  The actual lights you can get directly from one of the trusted vendors in China or locally.  Which would you prefer?  You will pay a little more for local suppliers but you get the customer service and peace of mind.   Just make sure you pick a vendor with the connection ends that you like because its a pain to switch from 1 to another and many are not the same.  The newer style is xconnect which a lot of people are using.  I personally use Ray connections.

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Offline aknflyer

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Re: New and want to start off in the right direction....
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 12:02:48 AM »
I have a 180 degree 24 sting (2" spacing) 50 pixel high megatree with a 290 node 6 ring star. My first. Struggled with the details, in the end works good. Be sure to use  IP68 pixels, I learned the hard way. I have a cad file for the star layout, had mine lasered out as well as the topper for $200. Controlled by a f16v3 via a pi3 in remote mode. The bottom ring is a 6' cable reel side that I picked up for free from a local const company. The pixels are winched up on boysco strips, the ring is bungied down to ground anchors, keeps strings very tight. Feel free to contact me if you want more details.


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