News:

LATEST RELEASE:  FPP 6.1 - Download from here - https://github.com/FalconChristmas/fpp/releases/tag/6.1

+-+-

+-User

Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
 
 
 
Forgot your password?

+-Site Stats

Members
Total Members: 15473
Latest: vb
New This Month: 95
New This Week: 10
New Today: 9
Stats
Total Posts: 126844
Total Topics: 15549
Most Online Today: 74
Most Online Ever: 7634
(January 21, 2020, 02:14:03 AM)
Users Online
Members: 6
Guests: 57
Total: 63

HELP!

Started by Scarpo, November 14, 2019, 03:41:07 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Scarpo

OK I am a senior and not used to forums, or pixels or controllers so please don't respond unless you are patient and forgiving.  I am also a newbie,  way behind schedule and I realize that.  But being retired and pretty handy... I think, given the right advice I could still pull this off even though it is the middle of November.

I am building a mega pixel tree for Christmas.  it will be 13 feet high with 48 strips of 50 intelligent pixels on PixNode Extreme strips.  The pixels will be 3 inches apart and I am currently looking at 12 v bullet or flat pixels running at about 40% power.  The tree will be about 350 degrees round.  I would rather not have to deal with power boosting at this point since I am running behind.

Being retired I can construct all of this in a matter of a few days using Walter Monkhouse's designs.

I would rather buy a ready to run controller because I do not feel comfortable enough... nor do I have enough time to put together my own controller system.  I am currently looking at the Falcon F16 v3 with 32 ports.

OK my questions are:
  • Is this adequate... overkill or not sufficient for my design?
  • Will I need expansion boards?
  • Should I look at a different system?

As of yet I have not purchased anything.  So I am very open to suggestions on lights, controllers, etc.  But I obviously need to purchase in the next few days if I have any chance of pulling this off by Christmas!

Thanks so much!

Reys Dad

You certainly couldn't go wrong with getting the F16V3. It's a great controller and you can expand off it in next year if you decide to do so. Personally for a mega tree I'd go with 5V instead of 12V you'll save a lot on power requirements. Power injections isn't so hard once you get the hang of it. The F16V3 comes with 16 ports. You can get up to 32 with the expansion card and receiver cards but you really don't need that much for your tree. 16 ports should be fine. All you really need is 3 ports for your tree as each port can provide data for 1024 pixels. Power is another story as you won't be able to power 1024 pixels per port. Maybe 200 or so 12V pixels at 40% per port so it would fit onto 12 ports without having to power inject but you'll need at least two 12V power supplies for 2400 pixels @40%. David's ready to run F16V3 comes with 1 power supply so you would have to figure out how to add a second one. It's certainly possible to to as the F16V3 can accommodate 2 power supplies. I have a 5V and a 12V power supply mounted in the enclosure door with each powering 1/2 the Falcon so it's doable but a little tight.
If you use 5V you'll only need one 5V power supply but assuming you do 200 pixels per port you would need to power inject at the last pixel for each run of 200. You'll need a couple of F8 power distribution boards for the power injection but those are cheap. Btw, there are probably another dozen ways to skin at cat and do this. You could just use 3 ports and more power injection. But the above methods are probably the most straight forward for starting out.

Emuney18

I don't know the 5V way of doing it but the others can help if you want to go that route. A tree is definitely one of the places that 5V strings work well. 
Based on my math, for 12V pixels you need 2 350w power supplies.  You can run 150 off one output without power injection because I do it.  That would mean you would use all 16 outputs which is fine. You could get the ready to run controller if that's how you want to do it for time and disconnect the power to V1 and then power that side of the board from a second power supply.  You could put that second power supply in any cheap waterproof case next to the main box and run a 10 awg power wire from it to the V1 on the board, I would add an inline fuse for safety.  As long as you keep that wire short you will be fine. 

The way I would wire your tree is with all plugs at the bottom with the controller in the center. You then have #1 string go up then down then back up to end, to make 3 vertical strings.  You would then skip over to string #6 and go up then down then up but in reverse to fill in strings 6-4. Next would be strings 7-9, 12-10, etc until you fill in all 48.  I don't remember if you can reverse the alternating strings of a tree in xlights or not but I know you can in the Falcon. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jnealand

Well I'm probably a lot older than you, but I am still doing a light show.  Walter Monkhouse and I are the two oldest animated lighters we know of and I am older than him by a couple of months. LOL  I pay little attention to all the technical calculations.  I currently have two megatrees that are about 18ft high.  I have 12v strings of 120 nodes with two physical strings connected to make a 240 node logical string.  I use 60 nodes per strand (3" spacing).  I have 24 strands and use just 6 outputs of an F16 for the lights with NO POWER INJECTION running at 20% brightness.  A 7th port is used for a star.  So I only need 7 ports out of 16.  I ordered my strings custom built as 120 node strings with a 5ft lead from the pigtail.  That meant they easily connected to the F16 sitting at the pole with no extension wires.  I started with a 180 tree several years ago but have upgraded to a 270 tree.  For my viewers a larger than 270 tree would not enhance the view.  48 strands is pretty dense and means that you probably need close to a 48" circumference topper assuming 1" mounting strip width.  I think that means your topper will have to be over 15" in diameter so your tree loses pointiness? at the top and has a pretty flat top.  Just some things to think about.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Scarpo

Thanks folks for the feedback!  jnealand you are exactly correct about the topper.  It is (by Walter's design chart) just over 15 inches in diameter.  Perhaps I will reduce the number of strands to 32.

I live on a corner and I need a wider viewing area than 180 so I was shooting for more toward 360 but could probably get by with 270.  I like your design better than mine and with your permission I will copy yours!  So if I shoot for an 18 feet high 270 degree tree with 32 strands...  I would need 16ea, 120 node 12v strings.  Each strand would have 60 nodes on 3 inch spacing. Assuming I run at 20% I would need 8 ports with no power injection... correct?
Being that I am short on time (and common sense) I pretty much have one shot to order everything I need.  I will need to continue to research and learn how to put it all together while I am waiting for delivery.
Questions:
1.    Assuming the above design... I am looking for a controller that is the ready to run, such as:
https://www.pixelcontroller.com/store/index.php?id_category=11&controller=category
Will I need anything else to make the mega tree run properly like a raspberry PI?  Someone suggested I am going to need two power supplies.
2.    You mention that you have your strings custom made.  Do you mind sharing by whom?  Or at least where you get your nodes from?
3.    How do you get two strings into one port?  I assume there is a Y adapter?
4.    You indicated that you have 5 foot leads on your strings.  I assume your tree must have a bottom diameter of less than 10 foot?
5.    What other obstacles or materials should I be looking for?

Poporacer

Jim is a great resource and wealth of knowledge! He helped me out tremendously when I first started. I will jump in here for my input and I am sure Jim will provide his input as well.

Quote from: Scarpo on November 15, 2019, 06:52:59 AMSo if I shoot for an 18 feet high 270 degree tree with 32 strands...  I would need 16ea, 120 node 12v strings.  Each strand would have 60 nodes on 3 inch spacing. Assuming I run at 20% I would need 8 ports with no power injection... correct?

Correct, that should work, I suggest to get 18AWG strings.

Quote from: undefinedBeing that I am short on time (and common sense) I pretty much have one shot to order everything I need.  I will need to continue to research and learn how to put it all together while I am waiting for delivery.
Questions:
1.    Assuming the above design... I am looking for a controller that is the ready to run, such as:
https://www.pixelcontroller.com/store/index.php?id_category=11&controller=category

That is an excellent choice and if you weren't short on time you could build one fairly easily

Quote from: undefinedWill I need anything else to make the mega tree run properly like a raspberry PI?  Someone suggested I am going to need two power supplies.

You need some sort of player to play your show. There are a few options
1. The F16 can be configured as a scaled down player, but it has limitations. To make any changes to your sequences requires you to remove the SD card and put it in the computer to put the updated files. Some of the other functionality of the standard players is not available
2. Use xSchedule- This is a great player about the only drawback is that you have to have a computer dedicated to for your show and some sort of network connection from the computer to your show. This can be wired or WiFi. If you have a large display (which in your design so far are nowhere near a large display), WiFi tends to get a little erratic, but wired networking runs great.
3. Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone- These are full computers of their own and are a great option. If you go with this option, you can communicate with your show via WIFI but the actual show data is kept local so you don't get the problems of WIFI.

With 1920 12v pixels at .8 watts at 20% brightness that will use 308 watts. A 350 watt power supply will probably be enough for now. (If you use 5V pixels at the same specs, then it will use 93 watts) Either way you decide to go will work. (this is an estimate only)

I am a huge fan of 12V pixels but dense props are a place where 5V pixels might be beneficial. As a thought, if you use 5V pixels and run 240 pixels per port at 20% then you can make it work with injecting power at the end of each "string" of 240 pixels. There is a method of power injection that is pretty simple and I had great success with it this year on a few of my "experimental" 5V props. Where you connect the port to the string, put a T (they make premade ones, either 3-3-3 or 3-2-3, either will work) and then put a small extension from the T to the end of the string. If you make your own cable (highly recommended), DO NOT connect the data wire, just the V+ and V-. If you use a premade extension, make sure that the data line is terminated somewhere on the extension.

In this hobby there are many ways to get the job done and the best way is the way that works for you.

Quote from: undefined2.    You mention that you have your strings custom made.  Do you mind sharing by whom?  Or at least where you get your nodes from?

I will have to let Jim answer that, but I have been extremely satisfied with Ray Wu.

Quote from: undefined3. How do you get two strings into one port?  I assume there is a Y adapter?

No, no adapter, connect the strings together so that you end up with one long string of 240 pixels

Quote from: undefined4.    You indicated that you have 5 foot leads on your strings.  I assume your tree must have a bottom diameter of less than 10 foot?

Another one for Jim, but he might have long pigtails coming off of his controller box as well.

Quote5.    What other obstacles or materials should I be looking for?

I don't like using just the portable hole method, I use guy wires to secure the top of the tree.
If you use Strips (I recommend Boscoyo and they are almost caught up now) you might want to buy the 1" spacing. I bought the 3" spacing but I wasn't happy with the resolution I got on some of the effects (this is something that only you can decide on what looks good) so this year, I had to buy all new strips and replace them. I like the 2" spacing on my tree but my tree is fairly close to the street and the viewer distance make a HUGE impact on how dense props need to be to get the desired affect, again, only you can decide that.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

jnealand

Oh Boy lots to decipher.

My strings all came from Ray Wu and I had him put his connectors on the strings.  I have been using nodes from Ray Wu since my first nodes and his connectors were the only option then.  Over the years I have accumulated many string of lights and an assortment of connectors used at the controller level so I am not going to change, but if I was starting over I might be tempted to use the xconnect as I hear they go together real good. When I ordered the strings I was not sure how I was going to connect them all so I just asked for all of them to have the 5ft lead in wire.  In acuality two 120 node strings are connected together to make the 240 strings and I never even unraveled the lead in wire on the second 120 string as it kept things a little neater.  Both of my trees are on slight slopes so I crank the pole up until my base ring is about 8" off the ground on the high side.  That makes the low side 12" to 20" depending on exactly where I place those two trees, they tend to move around a little every year.  I have a corner lot and one tree is near the corner and the other tree is at the other end of the house.  My base ring is 3 pieces of 3/4" grey electrical pvc.  So the ring circumference is 30 ft and the diameter is about 9.5 ft.  I may cut a foot off those pipes this year which would make my tree a little narrower.  So then 27 ft circumference and about an 8.5 ft diameter.  Be sure to put pigtails on your controller that are at least 18in.  Shorter ones tend to clump up around the controller and when you are trying to trace which cable is which and put the pigtails together, etc it just make it harder when everything is right next to the controller box.  I use two 8ft strips from Boscoyo and tie them together with two zip ties.  I do have 1" spacing on my strips.  I use the MISR clips from Boscoyo and wrap the top two hole over the misr clip and zip tie them all together.  At the bottom I am left with 6 hole empty.  I wrap that 6 hole piece around the PVC and put the last hole over the bottom node.  So the bottom node goes thru two holes.  Once I have the pole up and all the strips attached to the ring I slide the strips around to get eyeballed equal spacing fbetween them and then I put a zip tie thru the mounting strip and around the pipe to keep the wind from changing my spacing and it will do that.  Even with a zip tie a strong wind will still sometime move the strips on the pipe so after a storm and just slide them where I want them.  Once that is done I put small auger stakes into the ground under the ring and bungee cord the base ring to the augers.  I do not try to get the strips super tight, just don't want the tree moving around like a skirt on a pretty dancer.  LOL  I put a couple of extra strips on the back side no light 90 deg to put tension on the pole and to hold up the ring on the back.  Here is a link to an album of tree construction pics.  Remember that I have two trees so both are pictured here. I'll PM you my email and phone.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/FYbhZR489b6bgi5y5
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Scarpo

Thank you!  see email

Scarpo


Support FPP

+- Recent Topics

USB Wifi Adapter by jem5136
Today at 05:37:34 AM

show locks me out of falcon player by breese
Today at 04:11:38 AM

F48 with Daisy Chained Smart Receivers by Starry
Today at 03:18:05 AM

Unable to get DHCP after FPP install by Jlwright325
November 27, 2022, 11:31:30 PM

What is the second best way to get rid of pixel gap errors? by k6ccc
November 27, 2022, 10:32:34 PM

FPP connect by LedMutt
November 27, 2022, 09:29:34 PM

FPP Scheduler duplicate by Aaron Maue
November 27, 2022, 09:24:20 PM

Audio Stalls on 8th music sequence by JonD
November 27, 2022, 08:09:16 PM

Kulp 32A-B setup by tgeorges
November 27, 2022, 05:54:31 PM

MultiSync copying of Show Files not working in FPP 6.1.1 by jnealand
November 27, 2022, 05:27:32 PM

Powered by EzPortal
Powered by SMFPacks Menu Editor Mod