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Using Flex Strips for Mega Tree

Started by Bill A, July 15, 2014, 12:21:50 PM

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Bill A

      Okay - For 3 years I have been using the old bullet type 128 node 1804IC's for my tree.  I'm wanting to use the new flex strips and totally revamp the whole thing.  However, with all the different types available I'm not sure which way to go.  I talked with several people at the Academy this past weekend and there are mixed choices.  2811's / 1809's/ etc. Here's my problem - I have built 3 out of 6 Zeus's and not sure which way to go.  Having seen the new Falcon stuff (excellent job BTW), am I still limited to the '128' node limit with the Zeus??  Several people spoke of interfacing the Falcon with the Zeus and increasing the node count up to at least 150.  I understand that LSH will shortly have a group buy from Ray Wu and I do not want to order the wrong stuff.  I will also be building a matrix in the near future as well.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I'm spinning my wheels right now.

Thanks


Bill A.

Steve Gase

RJ's Zeus code (and SSC code) is limited to 128... regardless of the source of the pixelnet data (irrespective of hubs, computer, FPP, etc.)

Falcon Zeus (and SSC code) which replaces RJ's firmware has the limits imposed by David's code.  I heard a couple numbers -- all greater than 128, so David will need to provide the specifics.

With greater node counts, be aware that you may need to apply power injection at various points throughout your string.
http://WinterLightShow.com  |  110K channels, 50K lights  |  Nutcracker, Falcon, DLA, HolidayCoro

jnealand

I would not recommend 2811 flexstrips for a pixel tree as every channel lights up 3 leds.  that works fine for arches and house outlines, but not on a tree where you want to use nutcracker effects.  IMHO.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

taybrynn

+1 on what jnealand said.

I would not recommend flex strips for a pixel tree, because the vertical spacing is very dense.   The horizontal spacing will likely be far less dense, resulting in an unbalanced resolution. 

I personally don't push the 128 node limit because your just asking for trouble.  I know others will disagree ... but why give yourself the chance to shoot yourself in the foot?  I think RJ had it right in imposing that limit, unless your smart enough to understand injection issues inside and out.  I appreciate the David opened this limitation up, but its an advanced capability that many should never use unless they really know what they are doing.



arw01

I have 1003 strips in a porcupine ball.  at 17 strings of 15 with 30" data returns from the end of every spike back to the next spike, I had to put power injection in for the last, literally, last spike. It freaked out the last 3.  Once I dropped 12v on it I had no more issues.

SOOO depending on your flex string you may NOT need power injection at 150 nodes.

Alan

David Pitts

I ran 9 mini trees each with 150 nodes no injection. I also ran 144 node flex strips on my coro matrix. This came at a 2/1 cost savings per string because I could run past the 128 node limit.  I ran them for two years. The only thing that will happen if you draw to much current is you may blow a 5V fuse which I did not. But going over 22 nodes is not a big concern. If you start to go past that then power injection should be considered. And that is a more advanced setup but we can learn about these type of setups that are being used throughout the hobby on many forums.
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Bill A

Thank you for all the input on what to use.  As most of us know, all of the flex strip lights will hardly ever be on 100% of the time, thus reducing current draw.  In fact, the sequences I use right now rarely flash every node white at the same time.

David, what type of strings are you using for your mini trees?

As jnealand pointed out, the 2811's use 3 nodes per channel.  That might not be good for a mega tree.

Correct me if I'm wrong here - I believe Sean uses the 2811's on his mega tree. 

I might have to look at buying the 1809's, but is it worth double the cost?

Again - Thanks to everyone who replied - I'm getting a little closer to a decision.

Bill A.


jnealand

I'm pretty sure Sean uses 1809s in his pixel tree and 2811s in his arches which is what I also do.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

smeighan

Yep, 1809's in my megatree, ws2811 on my arches
Sean
Littleton, CO Latest releases http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases xLights/Nutcracker Forum http://nutcracker123.com/forum/index.php Facebook [url=https://www.facebook.com/groups

gadgetsmith

You might also consider 2812 in place of 2811, as every led has an internal ic.

arw01

2812 is all 5v as far as I know, so power injection comes up sooner..

David Pitts

Quote from: Bill A on July 16, 2014, 08:51:47 AM
David, what type of strings are you using for your mini trees?

Sorry Bill, missed this question.

The 9 mini trees used some TM1809 pixels I bought several years ago. it seems the newer ones from Ray draw more current. 
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Bill A

Thank you all for the replies.  I guess I will have to bite the bullet and go for the 150 node 1809's for the tree.  I will probably use the 150 node 2811's for my arches and around the house eaves.  If the current draw is too much then I will cut back as needed.  I will definately do alot of burning in and testing before I put them up.

Again, thanks for all the help

Bill A.

David Pitts

Quote from: Bill A on July 16, 2014, 05:01:52 PM
Thank you all for the replies.  I guess I will have to bite the bullet and go for the 150 node 1809's for the tree.  I will probably use the 150 node 2811's for my arches and around the house eaves.  If the current draw is too much then I will cut back as needed.  I will definately do alot of burning in and testing before I put them up.

Again, thanks for all the help

Bill A.

We ran 96 node strings on MyKroFt's matrix at Academy with no problems. 150 of the newer nodes moat likely will need power injection. Trial and error.
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

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