Author Topic: New Light Setup help  (Read 1268 times)

Offline lil-hwe

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New Light Setup help
« on: September 07, 2017, 05:50:36 PM »
Hi all,
Complete NOOB here and I'm completely lost! I thought I had it all figured out, but now I'm 2nd guessing myself. OK so I have a F16V3 and I have RGB WS2811 60/m strips. I'm planning a permanent mount solution under my eaves outside the house. What I'm not understanding is the whole channels/universes/nodes thing. If I have a strip with 150 LEDs on it, is that the number of nodes? So do I take that times 3 to get the number of channels and the whole thing is 1 universe? So I'd have a single universe with 450 channels and 150 nodes? Or is it completely backwards from that? Since there are IC chips for every 3 LEDs then is that 1 node and 3 channels? Holy crap I'm confusing myself even more by typing this..

Anyway, I'm sure there's an answer in here somewhere, but I'm not finding it.
Thank you in advance for any help!!

Offline lwillisjr

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Re: New Light Setup help
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 07:10:14 PM »
Count the IC's as nodes. The fact you have 3 LED's per IC is not relevant. Each group of 3 with an IC is 1 node (or pixel). Each LED actually houses 3 LEDs internally (1 red, 1 blue, 1 green) and you need 1 channel for each to control them.


So when you say you have 150 on a strip, I don't know if you are counting all LEDs or the IC's. If 150 IC's, then yes each IC requires 3 channels of information.

Offline lil-hwe

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Re: New Light Setup help
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 08:35:45 PM »
OK so if I understand you correctly, a strip with 150 physical LEDs counted on it and in my case 50 chips (1 for every 3 LEDs) that would mean I have 50 nodes with 3 channels each making that strip 150 channels.
That's what I was originally thinking but stumbled on to some other info that didn't make sense and completely confused me so once I started creating the xLights sequence I could only have 512 channels per output on the controller and if I had a 300 LED strip that would mean I'm using 900 channels so it wouldn't all fit on 1 output. It now makes sense that it's really 100 nodes/pixels and 300 channels in that case.

Thank you so much!!
I'm looking forward to diving head first into this and seeing where I end up!

Offline jnealand

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Re: New Light Setup help
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 09:07:22 AM »
As long as you are wired correctly there is no penalty for trying things out and using that as part of your learning curve.  You could have easily connected everything up and used the 50 nodes 150 channels config to see if that worked.  It is more important to make sure that your wiring connections / polarity is correct that what the xlights config is.  Just my 2 cents.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline tbone321

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Re: New Light Setup help
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 08:54:15 PM »
Actually, depending on the chip it could have either 3 or 9 outputs.  I would follow Jim's suggestion but instead of setting up for 150 channels, I would set up for just 3 channels.  This will tell you the chip type, the color order and if you are configuring your controllers starting channel properly.  Each one of those "LED's" is actually a separate 3 color node.  Most of the lower cost strips use 3 channel chips and connect the 3 nodes between the chips in parallel with each other so that each channel controls the same color on all 3 nodes.  The more expensive high definition strips use 9 channel chips where each color of each of the 3 nodes is individually controlled.  Once you have your 3 channel configuration set up and the strip connected to the controller, turn just the first channel on to full power.  Either the first node or the first group of nodes should light up either Red, Green, or Blue.  If nothing lights up, then you need to check you wiring of the strip and your controllers configuration to make sure that everything is ok.  If only a single node lights up, then you have 9 channel chips on your strip.  If all three nodes light up, then you have 3 channel chips.   I would then turn off channel 1 and turn on channel 3.  If the same node or group of nodes light up with a different color, then you know that you have the controller configured correctly and you know the color order of your strip.  If a different node or group of nodes light up, then your starting channel configuration is not set up correctly. 
 
If you are using 12V strips, you need to be VERY CAREFULL on how you wire them up.  If you reverse the power and data lines, you could fry the entire strip.  If they are 5V strips, reversing the data and power leads normally doesn't harm the strip, it just doesn't work that way. 

 

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