Author Topic: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?  (Read 3233 times)

Offline rdebolt

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What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« on: January 06, 2015, 04:34:10 PM »
Steve has a post about having some issues with the 1809 Flex strips. I need to order a bunch of the bullet nodes and flex strips so what are you having the most success with? This is NOT a bashing session! I myself am starting to have a pretty large failure rate on 3rd year now of the DLA bullet nodes. What are you all seeing?


Thanks,
Roger

Offline Steve Gase

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 05:04:33 PM »
I have had years of gripes about the DLA bullets...  my first year I had a mixture of the IP66 and IP68 variety... the next year I had failures -- maybe due to tension on the wire (even with paracord).  (but this is not a bash!)  This year I pretested my earlier IP68 strings and added 16 more -- and had ONLY 2 pixels out of 4000 in my tree which failed in 5 weeks of continued use -- including some nasty wind and rain where I continued to run my show.  THe 2 which failed were due to broken wires.  I used the same pixels in my 24 arches, and in my stars, and in my corostar without a single failure among them.  So, the DLA bullets were a huge success.  I think using the plastic strips from DIYC helped avoid any tension on the wires.


I did have 3 square metal pixels (out of 450) fail in my coro flakes.  These were 2-4 years old.

I had 0 failures in my WS2812B 5v Rigid strips (each has 60 pixels).  I had 20 strips  These were great!

I had 3 bad pixels out of 2400 in my new Pixabulb strings... another great success considering these were simply lying on the wet ground for 5 weeks.
http://WinterLightShow.com  |  110K channels, 50K lights  |  Nutcracker, Falcon, DLA, HolidayCoro

Offline rdebolt

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 05:31:28 PM »
Thanks for the info Steve and NOT bashing!  ;)  My problems are mostly where the wires go into the back. They are breaking left and right.... if you know what I mean. There is no tension on them as they are all supported by strapping, but the elements (weather) appear to be taking their tole. The only thing that I have any square nodes on are on my spinners and I have had failures twice this year on them. My spinners are 15 feet up on poles, on top of my house, so repairs are not easy and most of the time impossible with snow on my roof. I have not had a large failure with my flex strips, but am trying to learn from others not to buy something that is failing, as repairs in winter for me are difficult and I was burned by the Technicolor debacle! (Not Bashing, Ray they took care of me in the end).


Roger

Offline corey872

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 06:00:30 PM »
Not sure if "DLA bullet" = Ray Wu TM1804's or not - but if so, I' actually had fairly good luck with the Wu TM1804s.  Out of 1650, I have two nodes which have one color dead in two years of use. [knocking heavily on wood here!]  On the down side, it seems the colored wires are fading and weathering pretty heavily - after just a bit over 6 months total exposure to the winter sun (I put the lights up for Halloween and get them down right after the super bowl so generally outside Nov, Dec, Jan plus a week or so.

I know people were cutting those things into confetti the first year or so, replacing 'bad nodes', but I think a lot of that was due to the SSC.  I did see quite a bit of flickering in my strings too... until I did the Warp Drive mod, then the flickering went away. 

Have not really had any issues with the wire breaking at the back of the node.  [knocking on wood again!]
Corey
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Offline drlucas

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 06:15:06 PM »
These replacement flex strips have been MUCH better than the last batch.

3m long 90leds TM1809 30leds/m digital strip,DC12V input;waterproof by silicon tube;with 3core waterproof connector at the input and output ends

I had maybe 5 individual lights fail out of the 2800+ i have on my matrix. I would be confident in buying more of these if I needed more flex strips from Ray.
Ryan

Offline JonB256

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 06:39:29 PM »
All my current pixels are Ray Wu DLA "smart pixels"

I have 1200 TM1804 bullets. Some are now 3rd season, some are now finishing their second season. Other than not being a great color match (the new ones are brighter but seem to be fading a bit), they've been very reliable. This is on the matrix that has traveled to Conroe, Texas twice. I broke a few wires due to bad handling, and I've had to replace about 6 that had a single color quit and replace one that just went CRAZY, making the following 50 pixels also go crazy.

I have 88 meters of TM1809 flex strips running. They are doing great with only 3 pixels missing a single color. I can "massage" them through the cover and make them work for a while. I'll try cutting open the sheath and retouching the solder joints. If that doesn't work, I have a lot of spare strip pieces.

On my roof, I have 250 metal squares (4 LEDs per square). I had huge water problems with the first batch 3 years ago. The resin coating was too thin, allowing rain and dew into the circuits. Ray replaced them all. Many are still good because they had thicker coatings. The new ones (last year and this year) and much much better, but I have had 3 fail due to obvious water damage. Some of them have very thick coatings. Others are good. The failures have had visibly thin coats. Running a finger over the surface is an easy test. I rubbed a thin coat of Corrosion X onto the thin ones, and probably prevented more failures. The metal squares should not be flat or near flat if exposed to moisture. It will collect on the surface. Since pixels are always energized (24/7), the slightest break will cause rapid galvanic breakdown. If it is going to rain, I unplug the Hub to remove voltage.

I've already pre-ordered 300 Pixabulbs for next year. I've already gotten 12 P10 Matrix panels in anticipation of the Falcon NEO.

Offline jnealand

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 09:03:26 AM »
I have had great luck with the TM1804 nodes.  In fact in late Dec I ordered another 2000 to use for a second pixel tree.  I use TM1809 flexstrips on my first pixel tree and have had to replace several of them. Of my 16 2m pieces of flexstrip I have about 10 bad pixels.  I have some new strips but have not used them so I'm thinking of cutting up the old ones to make a small matrix like Jon Back did and putting the new ones up.  I like the nodes, because they are easier to replace a single bad node and because I can cut the string at more precise lengths that I can with the strips.  This was my 3rd season for the nodes and the first batch of strips.  I also have had several nodes fail with a broken wire at the back of the node and the colors in my older wires are also fading quite a bit.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline bassmants

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 10:47:23 AM »
I have around 2000 tm 1804 bullets that have been out in the yard the last 2 seasons.  I have had one failure and it happened while testing before I put them out this year.  Nothing failed in the yard.



Offline JonB256

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 05:20:33 AM »
... I'm thinking of cutting up the old ones to make a small matrix like Jon Back did ...

Here is my "easy to build" matrix. I made two of them put them on either side of a bedroom room. This pic doesn't show the 3 wires soldered at the top to make these "folded" strips. I also cut off the extra peg board at the bottom when I realized that my original plan for 3 meters (90 pixels) would have been lost in the shrubbery. My wife was not willing to let me remove her shrubs. So, each strip got split at the 2 meter solder point. You can cut them, but I recommend actually de-soldering them. It makes soldering on jumper wires a lot easier. Ray Wu provided a pile of end caps and sealant with the strips.

If you are starting from scratch, just order them already cut and spliced. Ray's customization charge is pretty low. Soldering the end wires and sealing them was the most time consuming part.


Offline twooly

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 06:09:14 AM »
... I'm thinking of cutting up the old ones to make a small matrix like Jon Back did ...

Here is my "easy to build" matrix. I made two of them put them on either side of a bedroom room. This pic doesn't show the 3 wires soldered at the top to make these "folded" strips. I also cut off the extra peg board at the bottom when I realized that my original plan for 3 meters (90 pixels) would have been lost in the shrubbery. My wife was not willing to let me remove her shrubs. So, each strip got split at the 2 meter solder point. You can cut them, but I recommend actually de-soldering them. It makes soldering on jumper wires a lot easier. Ray Wu provided a pile of end caps and sealant with the strips.

If you are starting from scratch, just order them already cut and spliced. Ray's customization charge is pretty low. Soldering the end wires and sealing them was the most time consuming part.

So a 60 x 22 matrix?  Any chance you have some video?  My wife is wanting a matrix and I can't decide on a size I like

Offline JonB256

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2015, 07:16:57 AM »
It is 30 by 22. (or 60 by 11 ??)  I wired it for 11 channels, controlled by a Falcon 16.

Notice that it is just standard pegboard. One inch spacing between all holes, so my strips are just zip tied to every other column. It is not a "square" pitch like I'd like, but I was going for easy over perfect. :) Each pixel is 33mm (1.3 inches) vertical pitch (30 per meter) and 2 inches horizontal. Nothing to keep you from putting them on every vertical column for density. Or you could just drill your own holes to get the perfect size. Again - easy over perfect.

My pegboard width was determined by existing space, so 22 columns became 11 channels (folded strings). I could have done a lot more soldering and folded 4 or 5 times to reduce channel count. Since I had the F16s already, I went with easy again.

I put a coat of Thompson's Water Seal and a coat of outdoor latex paint on the pegboard. They have been very water resistant, plus they are under my eaves. The scrap pieces I cut after painting have been in several rain showers and are not swollen at all.

Here is a picture of it "in place" so you can see my space constraints, plus the wires at the top. The F16 is on the ground in a CG-1500 case, powered by a 12vdc Ray Wu supply in its own CG-1500.

On the left is my older Dumb RGB window frames (12vdc controller) and then custom Red/White Candy Canes to the right. I used mortar screws to attach to the brick. These are active in the 3 videos I posted already.

https://vimeo.com/jonb256/videos


Offline rdebolt

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2015, 09:33:06 AM »
Very nice Jon. Great idea! I say remove the shrubs, but that's just my opinion....... do it when she is not looking and put an image of a shrub on the matrix!  ;D


Roger

Offline jnealand

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 09:41:03 AM »
How did you know I was going to ask for more details?  In one photo you show the connecting wires at the top in the other there are no connecting wires shown.  I assume you just ran them thru the pegboard to hide / protect them.

I also like the overlapped arches.  I may have to try that.  I have 6 this year made from landscape edging.

Offline JonB256

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 01:18:10 PM »
The picture without the top wires was pre-soldering. I didn't hide the wires, though I may paint them. I did not want anything on the back.

Offline Bshaver

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Re: What Node is Everyone Having Success With?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2015, 11:30:53 AM »
Jon, Very nice job.

Quick question: What did you use on your roof on the left side? Strips of pixels with a border around the edge? Or is the end pixel of each string the border effect?
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