Falcon Christmas

The Lab (Technical Talk) => New Hardware Projects => Topic started by: earsofvaal on May 10, 2018, 12:45:50 PM

Title: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 10, 2018, 12:45:50 PM
Hello- New member here. Am trying to plan how to run diy matrices (about 3) made of 600-1000 pixels (not P10 boards). I am using the F48 for my show. Question - What is the best control setup for the matrices? A slave FPP with a separate board? Will including them on my FPP/F48 setup directly slow my performance. How much load can a Picap take?


I realize these are noobie questions - any input is appreciated.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: taybrynn on May 10, 2018, 04:34:06 PM
It seems like you could easily run them off the F48 ... and I personally wouldn't use a piCap when you have all this capacity in the F48.  I think the performance would be fine .. a non issue.   These DIY pixel based matrixes are a lot less demanding than a P10 matrix ... these matrixes of 512-1024 pixels each -- shouldn't be any worse than a 4-8 string display element.  Just decide on whether your going to inject power every 100 pixels or not) ... and then decide how many channels from there.  I don't inject, but can run a tm1804 for 128 pixels off a single channel ... so for me, I'd use 8 channels per 1024 matrix and 4 for a 512 pixel matrix.  If you decide to inject every 100, you could use maybe 2 channels (512 each) and just inject every 100.  I just don't inject so I use more channels, but keep it cleaner without having injection wires all over the place.  If I was starting over today, maybe I would inject and then that F48 goes a lot further.  But keep in mind when you get a bad pixel, larger pixel count channels, also experience larger failures.  My personal preference is for the small failures, as the show can easily go on in most cases.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 11, 2018, 02:51:58 AM
Thank you very much! I realize that my first year plans are ambitious but requiring separate controllers for each matrix might have been a deal-killer. I do plan to power-inject every 100 pixels. I think I will split the difference with the channels and use one 4 channel receiver board per matrix. Now I have to build them....
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Emuney18 on May 11, 2018, 06:18:36 PM
Quote from: earsofvaal on May 11, 2018, 02:51:58 AM
Thank you very much! I realize that my first year plans are ambitious but requiring separate controllers for each matrix might have been a deal-killer. I do plan to power-inject every 100 pixels. I think I will split the difference with the channels and use one 4 channel receiver board per matrix. Now I have to build them....
Something you should consider because I did this last year is to try to run 150 nodes before injection.  This could reduce your injection points.  For the 600 node matrix you could use 1 board without injection. This should work with nodes if you turn the brightness on the controller to 30-50%.  Most people's eyes can't distinguish 50 from 100%.  You never said how far your spacing would be or how far the viewer is from the lights.  At 1-2" spacing you will be blinded and lose clarity of font and effects on the matrix if you run at full brightness plus it takes more power.  At 3" my guess is you'll be happy with the same brightness.  To test your lights plug 150 or more in and then see if you get flickers or reddish color towards the end.  Decreases the brightness and then determine what length you can do at what brightness without the lights acting erratic.  These numbers are different for everyone because it depends on a lot of factors.


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 11, 2018, 08:22:47 PM
Thank you Emuney. The insight about the brightness and the small difference between 50% and 100% was not something I was aware of. I have read plenty about people dialing down their brightness for various reasons. Of course - being new - the first impulse it to scoff at reducing the brightness in my soon-to-be-legendary display. It is good to have a veteran's advice.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Todd on May 12, 2018, 04:59:48 AM
 Another thing to keep in mind....the more the spacing on the nodes the further away the matrices need to be have the best result for the viewers of your show.


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 12, 2018, 12:51:06 PM
Looking at second floor windows so that gives me some latitude...
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: algerdes on May 12, 2018, 03:37:20 PM
We currently have a matrix setup in our backyard, 30 pixels vertical by 58 pixels horizontal on 2" centers.  Driven by a F16V3, we had to turn the brightness down to around 20% last night.  During the daylight we pumped it back up to 30%, but at night back down to 20%.  The two power supplies pushing the matrix didn't even get warm after a full night of running sequence tests.  Note that the air temp last night started at around 78 degrees F and by the time we called it quits, was down to around 70.  No vents, no case fan. 


The "take-a-ways":  1) 20% brightness was more than enough to put on a great show for that prop.  2) Power consumption was way down.  3) Heat creation was extremely small.


FYI and YMMV.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 12, 2018, 05:57:23 PM
I'm definitely doing some backyard testing. In retrospect, garage testing is not quite a good representative test.


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: algerdes on May 12, 2018, 08:29:42 PM
You should also know that the matrix is on the "roof" of the prop angled back as if it were the actual roof.  About 6 feet off the ground at the leading edge, and about 9 - 9.5 feet off the ground where the "ridge" would be.  (The garage isn't tall enough.  :(   )
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 13, 2018, 01:44:05 PM
While we are on the subject of spacing...what are everyone's thoughts on 12mm pixel spacing for roof eaves?
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: algerdes on May 13, 2018, 02:53:40 PM
12mm, as in 0.47 inches?  Or did you mean 120mm (4.7 inches)?
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 13, 2018, 05:09:23 PM
Sorry - I mean 12mm as the size of each pixel fixture (those are the strings I have a lot of).
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Todd on May 14, 2018, 11:05:35 AM
I'm doing 2" spacing for this upcoming Christmas. I would say 2" minimum, 4" max with 12 mm. I like the 2", but it's a personal preference. I feel over 4" the effects start to lose it.

"If a little is good, more is better!"
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 14, 2018, 12:10:29 PM
Quote from: Todd on May 14, 2018, 11:05:35 AM
I'm doing 2" spacing for this upcoming Christmas. I would say 2" minimum, 4" max with 12 mm. I like the 2", but it's a personal preference. I feel over 4" the effects start to lose it.

"If a little is good, more is better!"
That was my thinking. Just wondering if the over two-floor height would give me some savings via wider spacing.



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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Todd on May 14, 2018, 12:16:18 PM
It's a little more money for the pixels, but my thinking is.... I only want to build this once. I don't want to have it all up and stand back only to realize then I should have spent a couple extra dollars. I don't like to waste money unnecessarily but to me a couple hundred bucks extra is worth it to have it look good.


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 14, 2018, 12:23:06 PM
Quote from: Todd on May 14, 2018, 12:16:18 PM
It's a little more money for the pixels, but my thinking is.... I only want to build this once. I don't want to have it all up and stand back only to realize then I should have spent a couple extra dollars. I don't like to waste money unnecessarily but to me a couple hundred bucks extra is worth it to have it look good.


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You're right. Coincidentally I am placing a large order with Ray today...


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Emuney18 on May 14, 2018, 07:07:41 PM
I did 4" spacing on my outlines with Rays C9 nodes which are basically a 12mm node with a small C9 cover that is actually closer to a real C7. 4" looks good and was not too close.  My house is 35-40' from the road. In this picture all the outlines of the windows, garage and roof are C9 at 4". The mega tree is 2".
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180515/ffb2dde810990bd96d7ad99cfc84c989.jpg)


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Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: earsofvaal on May 14, 2018, 10:33:54 PM
Quote from: Emuney18 on May 14, 2018, 07:07:41 PM
I did 4" spacing on my outlines with Rays C9 nodes which are basically a 12mm node with a small C9 cover that is actually closer to a real C7. 4" looks good and was not too close.  My house is 35-40' from the road. In this picture all the outlines of the windows, garage and roof are C9 at 4". The mega tree is 2".
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180515/ffb2dde810990bd96d7ad99cfc84c989.jpg)


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Nice! Love the icicles...


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Title: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Kamcash on August 06, 2019, 06:39:00 AM
i think it has to stay very low tech.

the bellows are a good idea too, certainly have to think of a way to use them that requires minimal effort too.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: Choguil on October 31, 2019, 09:47:05 AM
Somewhat related to this topic, so once I have my home made matrix (with Home Depot mesh) and figure out where I am power injecting, etc. Do I connect it directly to a smart receiver so it can be controlled by my F48? Hypothetically, lets say its a 600 pixel matrix using, perhaps two ports from such receiver.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: jnealand on October 31, 2019, 11:08:10 AM
I do not use a receiver but one port of a PiCap to run my 600 node window matrix (20 wide by 30 high).  I used five 120 node strings starting bottom left and going up and down. All my connections end up at the bottom. Power injected at node 240 and 480.  Works great.
Title: Re: Running DIY Matrices Built with Strings/Strips
Post by: dm9991966 on November 02, 2019, 04:21:00 PM
Quote from: earsofvaal on May 10, 2018, 12:45:50 PMHello- New member here. Am trying to plan how to run diy matrices (about 3) made of 600-1000 pixels (not P10 boards).
I'm running 2 matrices with about 850 pixels in my display, both connected to an F48, and they are working with no issues.
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