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Diy Rgb String Ideas?

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I'm looking at what it would take to convert my mega-tree to LED lights, maybe one color at a time (due to expense of LED lights). And I was wondering if there are any RGB strings available which are wired up with all the red, green, and blue elements connected together to the controller, so the controller could turn the string on in any color by manipulating those color circuits.

Given that, I'd probably just cut the controller out and put each color into my own controller and have a single string replacing what is now four separate single color strings on my tree.

However, I'm not sure if such a string exists. I've seen multi-color LED sets but the only true RGB ones I've seen are set up with a whole microcontroller in each LED with a data line running through the string to command them. Pretty neat, but not quite what I'm looking for.

Has anyone else worked out a way to get a string of RGB lights which could be plugged in (electrically) as if they were three power loads to one of our usual controllers?

I was even thinking of a way to get a bulk shipment of RGB LEDs and build my own strings, but I don't think I'm going to get the LEDs anywhere near as inexpensively as the light string manufacturers, let alone the effort that would take.

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Ray Wu (China) sells these:

http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/701799/209889132-431022423/DC12V-input-12mm-through-hole-LED-channel-letter-100pcs-a-string.html

They are 12V RGB LEDs that can be driven from 3 channels of a DC controller. You can mix your own colour, but all LEDs in that string will be the same colour.

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That looks promising. It's not clear from the description on the site, though, are these in a string or individual pieces that need to be assembled into a string? If they're on a string, I'm curious what the spacing is and how visible they'd be when strung up in a mega-tree (brightness, viewing angle, would all LEDs face the same way or be spread out around the wire like mini-light strings are)?

Any experiences using these in Christmas lighting would be great to hear about, thanks!

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They are a pre-assembled string. They are usually 50 LEDs to a string, despite being 100 for sale. You'd probably get two 50 LED strings if you ordered 100 LEDs.

You would have to enquire about the spacing as it's usually about 80mm (3") but can vary.

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I send a couple of emails to Ray a few days ago, and so far haven't heard anything from him. Not sure if that's typical or if something's wrong, but I guess I'll keep checking out more alternatives.

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It is the beginning of the Chinese Holiday & you may have problems getting any kind of replies until around 1/31/12. I know I ordered somethings & they stated that shipping would be delayed till the end of the month.

Mike

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Can you cut them at any length or do they have to be used in a set of 50 Thanks

You can cut them down or join them. Not sure how many you can join together before voltage drop in the wire becomes an issue though.

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I am building some controllers and getting some strings from Ray Wu based on the Smart String controller over at DIYlightanimation.com

Fun stuff!!!

Mike.

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Oh, right, I forgot about the holidays there. Also, I got a message from their website saying the dumb strings are no longer available. Hopefully that's only temporary.

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Somehow I missed the fact that these were dumb strings:( My bad.

I am also running dumb RGB flexstrips from Ray Wu and have them driven off of 3 channel DMX controllers as well as Lynx MR16 controllers. They look great! Nice and brght, and depending on whether 30 or 60 LED per meter strips you can cut them every 3 inches or less.

I will say that I am using the 30 LED/Meter strips and they are incredibly bright! I have also seen a few instances of people using the flexible strips instead of nodes to make a mega tree.

Good Luck.

Mike.

Edited by mmciver

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I'm looking at the diyledexpress sale, looks like a good deal, but waffling back and forth between getting dumb strings or the pixel strings. I'm wondering what I could use to control the pixels with, but that's a compelling idea to start playing with those :)

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The dumb strings (and strip) are cheaper of course, are simple to drive and may be all you want. If you already have a few spare DC channels you're set.

Once you go with intelligent strings (or strip), you need an SPI controller and a lot more control channels. You can probably reduce that down to 3 channels (RGB) in some software to make it easier to work with to start with though.

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If you go to Smart String strips or nodes this controller will work, but MAX number of nodes or LED for this is 128. Now with that said every node needs 3 Ch. so 128x3=384CH needed. Now that is over 1/2 of a DMX universe which is 512. So now you need to get into a lot of other items to make them work & for me I have enough problems sequencing 304 normal Ch much less each individual light bulb. I am not saying it is not worth it it is but a lot of work, more then I want to do.

Mike

http://www.diylightanimation.com/wiki/index.php?title=Manual_SSC (Controller Link)

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I'm just getting into this LED thing myself and it's very confusing esp. when you talk about smart and dumb strings. I bought some dumb modules from holiday coro and am doing some testing with them right now. all my controllers are from RJ at diylightanimation.com so i'm trying to piece it altogether. I'm waiting for my smartstring stuff to come in to play with it more.

I'd love some smart string stuff but I'm NOT going to pay shipping that is twice the cost of the strings. I don't care how bad I want it. There has to be a cheaper way to do that one. That is in my opinion dumb. Money could be spent better eslewhere. Just can't believe no one in the U.S. isn't selling the same exact thing. Just another way we support china.

Just my opinion of course... But I am learning this new technology. These are some very bright lighting options though...

Dean

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