Author Topic: Matrix size for a tune in sign  (Read 3077 times)

Offline FireMedic4Christ

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Matrix size for a tune in sign
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:14:59 AM »
I am planning a tune in sign matrix for 2014 made of pegboard with 1" centers. I think it will be placed over my garage which gives it a viewing distance of about 50'. Knowing that I can get 170 nodes from each strand on a F-16, how many pixels tall should it be? I think I want a minimum of 9 to allow for upper and lower case characters. Would 11 nodes tall be of more benefit? From the others that I have seen, odd numbers work best on the height.

Also, 9 x 19 = 171 nodes. Would this be a problem or should I stick to 9 x 18 = 162? Unless of course I go with 11 tall.

Thanks in advance,

Brian
Brian

Offline smeighan

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 12:10:20 PM »
9x7 would do well. if you had two rows you weed need spacing, since you just want one line of text7 wide x 9 high works for most all fonts. if you do make it 11 high it just allows you to put other effects besides text on it.
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Offline jnealand

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 02:22:10 PM »
9x7 sounds like a single character size if you are talking pixels and I don't think you are talking about a 9ft x 7 ft matrix.  If I was going to make a matrix I would want to use if for more than a tune to sign and would want at least a 2ft high by 3 ft wide.  Even better would be 3ft high by 5 ft wide.
Jim Nealand
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Offline FireMedic4Christ

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 02:51:18 PM »
9x7 sounds like a single character size if you are talking pixels and I don't think you are talking about a 9ft x 7 ft matrix.  If I was going to make a matrix I would want to use if for more than a tune to sign and would want at least a 2ft high by 3 ft wide.  Even better would be 3ft high by 5 ft wide.

Yes, I am thinking single character size for this year, as I have everything to assemble already on hand. With another piece of pegboard, I could add another panel or three next year to expand it to 3 x 5. I would probably pick up a F-8 to run it and keep it all together.

I am also going to finish the pixel mega tree like Sean's and will be able to use it somewhat as a jumbo tron.

Brian

Offline taybrynn

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 04:16:26 PM »
I would build a model in nutcracker and just make sure you like the capabilities of height x width size you decide on.   My matrix was 8 strings of 128 (32x32 overall) and I felt it really needed to be one panel wider (mine is two vertical panels placed next to each other on cedar fencing frame and conduit clipped onto it).  Next year I'm going for 48(w)x(32(h) and my spacing is more than 1" ... like 1 1 3/4 or something ... but I'm also going for one block range, not 50'.

But if your sole purpose is just as a "tune to" then your plan sounds good.  I would be careful pushing the 128 limit because you only have to accidentally send all white a few times and you may push the limit.  You may want to spread across a couple channels and use two strings if your using a F8 anyways ... not sure saving a channel is worth the risk.

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 04:29:13 PM »
I have also seen that the newer 1809 bullet nodes take more power. I would also not count of running much more then 128 nodes without power injection.
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Offline smeighan

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 04:37:10 PM »
I would build a model in nutcracker and just make sure you like the capabilities of height x width size you decide on.   My matrix was 8 strings of 128 (32x32 overall) and I felt it really needed to be one panel wider (mine is two vertical panels placed next to each other on cedar fencing frame and conduit clipped onto it).  Next year I'm going for 48(w)x(32(h) and my spacing is more than 1" ... like 1 1 3/4 or something ... but I'm also going for one block range, not 50'.

But if your sole purpose is just as a "tune to" then your plan sounds good.  I would be careful pushing the 128 limit because you only have to accidentally send all white a few times and you may push the limit.  You may want to spread across a couple channels and use two strings if your using a F8 anyways ... not sure saving a channel is worth the risk.

or use the brightness slider on bottom left of nc tolimit the max value sent to the lights to help reduce current.

Offline taybrynn

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 04:45:59 PM »
Sure, but if you can break it (overload it) ... it generally happens eventually.  These are all things I'd call "high maintenance" ... meaning, you have to know a bunch of things and do certain things ... so your lights don't break or get damaged.  Been there, done that ... no thanks.  It eventually gets to be too much hassle, imho.  Back when I started it was the 2 lights at once instead of all 3 ... 2 is ok, 3 is overloaded.  Worked mostly.  Eventually there goes another GFCI ... accidentally did all 3 at once.

Offline FireMedic4Christ

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 04:51:31 PM »
My mistake, I thought I could run 170 nodes off of the falcon controllers without power injection. I was thinking of your mini trees when I came up with that number and now that I think about it those were on SSCv4 with falcon firmware. I don't think I want to go the SSC route, so I will have to reconfigure to use 128 nodes per string.

Thanks for catching my error! Love this forum.

Brian

Offline David Pitts

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 04:56:15 PM »
I ran my minitrees this year from a Falcon16. I did not use power injection at all. The nodes were from 2012 and seem to use less power. I successfully ran 140+ new bullet nodes but not all 100% white. Like Sean said you can turn the intensity down. I would just try it. 150 does not seem bad if you do not go all 100% white.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 08:28:06 AM »
http://www.diyledexpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=56&products_id=272

Just a heads up that if you want to use more than 20 rectangular or square modules they WILL require power injection...  I have 2 banks of 4 mini trees with 20 rectangular modules each.  I planned on 1 SSC per bank since it conformed to the 80 module max spec as per the wiki.  After countless hours of testing I found I needed 2 SSCs per bank AND power injection to the 2nd mini (20 modules).   

I also have single elements that use 2 SSCs per element (window frame of 200 or so nodes of flex) and originally I thought it would be really odd or problematic but found it works just fine once set up correctly.  There's no way I would remember to not turn something to full white...
Sam
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Offline JonB256

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 12:32:54 PM »
The metal backed squares? I ran 2 strings of 66 and 2 of 59 to go around my roof. SSC 3, no power injection. Did you mean 120?

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Offline twooly

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 06:15:43 PM »
Yeah 20 seems very low, something else has to be going on.  You have long wire runs for these?  I'm running 40 rectangles (2811s) off a SSC and I'm not noticing an issue.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 08:03:51 AM »
Sorry to steer thread offtrack...  I am kinda waiting before I commit to a matrix tune to sign since I see new stuff coming out regularly.  Ray has some really cool panels that I am interested in and these are actually jumbotron stuff.  http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/LED-display-screen-unit-board-control-card/701799_210028161.html  Unsure how to run them though, maybe video?  Then you have some other things like this, but 5V.  http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/16-16pixels-WS2812-led-digital-flexible-panel-light-ws2811-IC-controlled-size-17cm-17cm-DC5V-input/701799_825283258.html  Then you are in the $400 range for a typical yard sign...  I did alot of old school 8 bit letter testing and if all you want is some basic lettering tune to stuff you can do well with 128-170 pixels and that panel in the link I posted.  It would be very interesting to compare a matrix with 2 SSC or P16 strings against one with power injection. 

Some more info about my power injection issues.  The rectangles were 1804IC from the wiki and yes I meant the metal backed square ones, but mine are 4 led.  My testing was primarily with the rectangles but I did see the same results on 2 sections of squares so I would expect the same or worse.  Testing was inside, using both V3 and V4 SSCs.  Distance to SSC was 20' cat5 from mono price.  I tried swapped a tons of things to debug.  IE different power supplies on same hub, different cat5, using a 4 port with 30A PS, SSCs, etc.  After digging I found that this reported before...  http://diylightanimation.com/index.php?topic=13212.0 

Offline JonB256

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Re: Matrix size for a tune in sign
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 11:29:51 AM »
Getting a bit off topic unless you were considering the square metal backed pixels for your Tune To sign. :)

I ran these square metal backed ones last year and this year. Last year's batch got replaced by Ray because they were NOT nearly waterproof. I had almost 50% failure. This year's crop had much better resin coverage. They were both the 4 LED version.

Now, to be fair, I was more cautious this year. While I would run them in the rain or snow, once the show was over I unplugged power to the Smart String Hub. I believe the bulk of my first year damage was because they stay fully powered 24/7 if you let them. A full month of 24/7, combined with a wetter than average December, caused a lot of unnecessary corrosion. These were on my roof at a mild angle, so water would pool until blown away or evaporated.

This year, no visible damage. Improvements in quality, a dry December and killing the power made all the difference.

And, these were controlled from a DLA Smart Hub and four SSC V3s using Falcon firmware. The distance to first pixel was about 24 inches. My CAT5 run from the Hub to SSC was 20 feet, though.

you can see them in action best in the Wizards 2013 or Dreams of Fireflies 2013 video.  https://vimeo.com/album/2702443

 

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