Author Topic: Is Falcon a business or a club?  (Read 2902 times)

Offline Micromutt

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Is Falcon a business or a club?
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:04:48 AM »
I don't see the focus of a business. I do see a group of pals having fun as Makers.

I was under the impression Falcon was a business in the Christmas controller market the same as SanDevices or LOR. I see there is an excellent controller designed but not available. There is talk of a new improved model that is on the back burner behind other niche maker projects.

What I'm not seeing is anything that says 'we will be here for the long haul'. I'm not seeing a focus on the controller or any sense of urgency to make them available. This makes it very difficult to consider building the core of an expensive system around Falcon.

I know this may not sit well with the club members but it is the view or impression I get as an outsider looking in and studying everything available to me regarding Falcon Christmas. Maybe my expectations were misguided and I should be looking at Falcon in a different way but I'm not sure what that is yet.


Offline Steve Gase

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 07:26:16 AM »
You may not be far off in your characterization of falcon, and it may not be a good fit for you.

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Offline Steve Gase

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 07:45:34 AM »
I Hit the send button too soon... I didn't want the response to sound that gruff...

What your characteriziation does not reflect is that there is a huge difference between a falcon and a lor or minleon.

Enthusiastists that go with falcon may want to claim that they built the display from the ground up... was involved in the design and features, soldered the boards and the wires and did their own sequencing.

They like the organic nature of adapting to new technologies as they emerge and finding smarter ways to do stuff.

Note the p10 project...
Or the discussion about wireless dancers...
Or the falcon pi that uses a $30 toy computer to create something that didnt exist before or replaces a $500 'show' computer.

...each of these ideas are brewing and will result in solutions that 'delight'.

Some people take the falcon path because it is cheaper... often a comparable solution from minleon or lor can be 3 to 5 times the cost!

Lor and minleon are reliable/dependable but slow to change and definitely do not lead in pixels, new concepts, etc.  They have marketing and messages... sales projections and the need to capitalize on an investment.

In falcon we are driven by whims that make us stand out from the crowd.

Lor and mineon are also interested in protecting their investment... they don't open their specs and invite the world to extend the product and derive more utility.

Falcon is open to new ideas, encourages more people to participate under the forum... ANd HAS A HUGELY LOYAL FOLLOWING!

Offline jnealand

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 07:46:08 AM »
This is not a business or a club.  It is a do-it-yourself community.  DIY folks do stuff because they like to do it and not for profit or even necessarily for the long haul.  But there are great hobbyist products available on a co-op basis.  Co-ops are a way to save money and are typically done on a periodic basis.  If you need guarantees I suggest you look at Light-O-Rama products.  They are very good and many of us started with them, but this is an addiction and money can be tight.  We get twice the product for half the cost, by building stuff ourselves and by putting up with no continual inventory constantly watching for the next coop purchase opportunity.  You also should be looking at the Light-0-rama software since most of the software we use here is free and written by volunteers who have other day jobs.  Enjoy the hobby, but as Steve said this may not be your cup of tea.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline MrChristmas2000

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 07:59:35 AM »
This is not a business or a club.  It is a do-it-yourself community.  DIY folks do stuff because they like to do it and not for profit or even necessarily for the long haul.  But there are great hobbyist products available on a co-op basis.  Co-ops are a way to save money and are typically done on a periodic basis.  If you need guarantees I suggest you look at Light-O-Rama products.  They are very good and many of us started with them, but this is an addiction and money can be tight.  We get twice the product for half the cost, by building stuff ourselves and by putting up with no continual inventory constantly watching for the next coop purchase opportunity.  You also should be looking at the Light-0-rama software since most of the software we use here is free and written by volunteers who have other day jobs.  Enjoy the hobby, but as Steve said this may not be your cup of tea.

+1 for me as well.

If you are looking for packaged product the Falcon or Lynx line for that matter is not a good fit. In the DIY community product is usually purchased through group purchases with individual pieces sold on an availability basis an usually at a larger cost because of smaller quantities. The designers of the Falcon products do it on their own time and make virtually zero 0 profit. They are designed with the love of the hobby and the community in mind.

The up side is that as was stated the designs are market and light product driven and can be enhanced, upgraded or improved as needed. Commercially based products from anybody for that matter depends on the stability of the company and demand for that particular product.

Bottom line, if you are technically inclined, like the challenge and or like to tinker go Falcon, otherwise go the commercial route.

Hope our input helps with your decision. It would be nice to have more females involved so here is hoping you stay with us.

BTW there are lots of people here that is allays willing to assist you in any capacity you might need.

Tom

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 10:03:24 AM »
Micromutt,

Welcome to FalconChristmas. Do you have a show or are you planning to build a show? Maybe we can help you decide what you need. You are right in the sense that we are not profit orientated. If another controller is a better fit for a user we will direct that user to the other controller. So if you need a controller in the next week than there are some venders that have them right now. Now if you can wait till April we will most likely have a solution that is worth the wait.
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Offline Livermore-Dad

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 10:29:10 AM »
I don't see the focus of a business. I do see a group of pals having fun as Makers.

I was under the impression Falcon was a business in the Christmas controller market the same as SanDevices or LOR. I see there is an excellent controller designed but not available. There is talk of a new improved model that is on the back burner behind other niche maker projects.

What I'm not seeing is anything that says 'we will be here for the long haul'. I'm not seeing a focus on the controller or any sense of urgency to make them available. This makes it very difficult to consider building the core of an expensive system around Falcon.

I know this may not sit well with the club members but it is the view or impression I get as an outsider looking in and studying everything available to me regarding Falcon Christmas. Maybe my expectations were misguided and I should be looking at Falcon in a different way but I'm not sure what that is yet.

I'm not going to add to what has been well spoken, but the question has not been asked. What is the purpose of this post?  1 post and it's this, I don't get the motive.

Tory
I know some stuff. For example i know I don't know anything.
 

Offline arw01

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 10:40:49 AM »
Micromutt, if you are new I was where you are 2 years ago nearly to the day.

I LUCKILY missed the LOR spring sale and ended up on the DIY side of things and had a blast building everything and saving a TON of money..

I have added some Minleon for the reliability of their lights on my "mega tree", 55' in the air hanging for a few months and wanted their water proofing, uv protections etc.  They also have superior specs to other types of nodes from Chinese vendors.

For floods I have both DIY and LOR, maybe this year mine will look  as good as Zwiller's and Steve's!

Offline neilric99

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2015, 11:31:33 AM »
where do you get minleon rgb strings from in the US?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 12:09:16 PM by neilric99 »

Offline bassmants

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2015, 12:07:05 PM »
I use Falcon/DLA for the simple reason of building it myself and learning how things work.

Great job guys, I love learning from you.

Offline Micromutt

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 03:58:20 PM »
Thanks everyone for your mature dialog.

The purpose of the post was to try and determine if my impression of Falcon was correct. And if not then hopefully see what was I missing.

I understand what you guys are doing much better. I like that your pushing the edge. FPP and the SMS stuff is awesome. Someone needs to bang the box because so many on other sites are mired in what they already own and can't see beyond that. My purpose is to determine if I can use what you do here.

As I said, I was expecting a company that made controllers. They also designed a way to run things on an RPi. And some blinky software. But I thought it was mainly about controllers. Without controllers the show doesn't play and that's what I am searching for. The controller that fits my needs and warrants my spending thousands of dollars around using it as the backbone to my show.

As for DIY, I've been DIY since before computers got involved. lol While I can solder, saw or shovel, I do not design circuit boards. If that's what DIY means these days then I'm ok with being a Buy, Plug and Play guy. BPP vs DIY. Let's get ready to ruuumble! Sorry. Back to business.

David, I do not have a 'pixel' show. I'm old school incan, cutout and wireframe. I have been 'encouraged' to move to pixels. Someone even promised the middle granddaughter Grandpa could put her picture in lights on the side of the house. So here's Grandpa trying to make sense of all this pixel stuff and find out where to spend his money. Apparently that new boat will have to wait.  :'(

My original plan was to study my options and decide by the end of Jan. which way to go. I don't have a specific pixel/channel count as it won't friggin' stop raining long enough to get exact measurements. *sigh* I am anxious to get a board and some strings/strips in my shop ASAP. I learn by doing better than I do by dreaming about doing. I need to get some nutcracker and Vixen running and start making things blink. The sooner the better since I'm a slow studier and only have about 48 weeks until lights on. If I skip the July 4th and Halloween shows someone wants.

TLDR: Thanks for your posts. I'll be watching and learning.

EDIT Forgot to mention I'm male. That pic made me laugh so I used it. Sorry for the confusion.

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 04:22:54 PM »
FPP and the SMS stuff is awesome. Someone needs to bang the box because so many on other sites are mired in what they already own and can't see beyond that. My purpose is to determine if I can use what you do here.

Our goal is to make FPP as widely usable as possible.  In 2013, the released version of FPP supported only two output methods, E1.31 and the Falcon FPD Pixelnet/DMX board.  At that time, I ran some unreleased code to run my lights using a USB dongle.  That proved to work well, so we rolled support for USB dongles into the next release.  In late 2014, the FPP v1.0 release supported 12 different types of channel outputs and we are already adding more for FPP v2.0 which I would like to have out by this summer.  As David mentioned, if it seems like a user is a better fit for non-Falcon hardware, we'll direct them there, but our goal is that they should be able to use the Falcon Player (FPP) no matter what controller hardware they choose to use.
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Chris

Offline MrChristmas2000

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2015, 04:56:58 PM »
Dang and I thought we had a new female joining up in the group.

Name on the side of the building, the answer is a grid. The best software today to accomplish it quickly is Nutcracker. Nutcracker will be able to do what Vixen does by the middle of the summer or sooner so why try to learn two sequencers.

With a Grid element many effects including 'text' is quickly possible.

A Falcon 16 is quite suitable for running a grid. There are many different opinions about how to build one but I believe the how to produced this year by the Johnson family Christmas could accelerate you towards your goal.

This is just a quick thumbnail sketch of a quick start at this pixel stuff.

Tom

Offline toozie21

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2015, 05:14:21 PM »
Just throwing my comments in. I am a very happy used of the falcon software AND a Sandevices controller. Much like here, the sandevices stuff is maintained by people with full time jobs that aren't christmas related. A lot of the companies in our hobby are side ventures by the people running them.

Short and badly typed since written from my phone...


Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Is Falcon a business or a club?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 05:38:45 PM »
As I said, I was expecting a company that made controllers. They also designed a way to run things on an RPi. And some blinky software. But I thought it was mainly about controllers. Without controllers the show doesn't play and that's what I am searching for. The controller that fits my needs and warrants my spending thousands of dollars around using it as the backbone to my show.
  as you will see, I don't have many posts here, definitely an outsider... just wanted to add a quick comment pertaining to your paragraph above.  I came to this forum because of the SOFTWARE/player.  I didn't even know there were controllers!  I have been running pixels for two years and incandescent/led the eight years before that.  I am a equal opportunity pixel controller user, in that, I use sandevices, j1sys, and advatek controllers.  Imho, after two years of using these various controllers, I can tell you that the controllers are the EASY part...  I think your comment about "without controllers the show doesn't play" isn't very accurate.  My (and I believe others) experience with pixels is that the main challenge is with the software.  Every software package I'm aware of (lightshow pro, vixen, hls, xlights/nc) work with every one of my controllers.  I would venture to guess that the majority of folks that came to the falcon forum did so because of the player/software... like I did.  For me, with close to 30,000 channels in my display, the playback software I was using after sequencing just couldn't handle smooth playback... and I heard the falcon player would easily eat it up.  I may never use a falcon controller, but I really hope to get the player working for 2015...

I started in 2005 with lightorama... I don't believe it is necessary to use their product or minleon to get "easy"... All of the various pixel controllers I have used have been easy to setup... with the existence of YouTube and Vimeo, most of the controller vendors have step by step videos showing you how to setup the controller... the rest past that is software (sequencing and playback).

Ok, that wasn't short or quick...

Louie
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