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Jeremy Lawton

Looking Into Rgb Lighting For My Stage Lighting Shows, Questions!

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Hi all,

Not too familar myself yet with all of the ins and outs of the whole RGB lighting stuff but it seems like you can do some pretty neat stuff. Haven't done much research yet but am seeing if some people can give me some answers or if this would be feasible for me or not. I do stage lighting during the summer months when im not hard at planning my christmas display. And have always wondered if I could build something similar to this: http://www.martin.com/product/product.asp?product=lcplusseries except at a much lower cost, does anyone think this could be done, if so what all would I need product wise to construct something like this?

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Jeremy,

I don't see why not. If you use the the digital pixel strips that have 32 pixels per meter. The strips and controllers will not be cheap though.

I don't buy from Ray Wu but here is a type of strip you could use. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-led-digital-strip-DC5V-input-WS2801IC-256-scale-32pcs-IC-and-32pcs-5050-SMD-RGB/701799_465132154.html

to build a curtain it would take a whole lot of these strips.

Lee

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Looking at it and after listening to a video about RGB pixels, ect. those strips must be considered smart RGB strips since they have the digital chip on the strip? Which if I am understanding the circuitry correctly will allow each pixel and color to be its own channels when doing a configuration, is this correct? so essentially if I cut these strips into 3 foot lengths and put 5 3 foot lengths on each panel I make I would need a controller for each vertical strip correct?

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Jeremy,

 

You will need a controller for every 512 channels or 170 pixels of RGB.  Each RGB pixel uses 3 channels (1 for red 1 for green 1 for blue).

If you put 5 - 1 meter lengths of 32 pixels you could manage them all from 3 DMX universes. The controller I use is the J1Sys ECG-P12R http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-p12r/

It can handle 12 universes on one controller. The strips connect directly to this unit. You do have to run an Ethernet network connection to this controller. LOR software does support the use of E1.31 protocol so there is no problem there.

 

Here is a picture of how I set mine up in a CG-1500 break out box.

 

Lee

post-12418-0-46184700-1357264183_thumb.j

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Sorry it is a bad picture.

 

On the right side is a computer power supply with the case and cooling fan removed. The PC power supplys work great they have very stable 12 vdc and 5 vdc outputs.

Just make sure you do the math right when you calculate the # of WATTS with the voltage used. 

 

Lee

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Thanks Lee for the picture and discription! You answered my question for the most part about control I believe, my other question was going to be power.  So looking at your diagram and what you use, it appears I will have an external power source from the controller? will this source run straight to the LED's to power them or does it go through the controller first and out the controller to each pixel? My next thought is how I will control this on my existing system. Is E1.31 and DMX compatible? from things that I have read it seems as though they aren't exactly? My current fixtures run 3 pin dmx, I don't have any that are "intelligent" enough to use 5 pin dmx. those are for the fancy lights that will tell you data back from the device from what i have seen, otherwise they are not normally used for signal. E1.31 is a fast ethernet based network I believe compared to dmx? If you dont know much details that is fine, maybe someone else can shine some light on this subject and what experience they may have with dmx and e1.31. thanks.

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i got an email from jim over at sandevices thats what im going to purchase and he says this

 

"The E682 can control up to a maximum of 16 total strings, or 1,020 total pixels." just to give u something else to think about.

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I've been following this as well.... Jeremy, this is the page I found with their controller.  It is the E682 and sells for $180+S/H

 

http://www.sandevices.com/aboutus.html

 

It is expensive but I can use it to control the GemmyFlex Tech light strips I got for $10-$12 at Lowes/Home Depot/Sears/KMart.  Going out looking for more tomorrow. Amazing!  I'm so excited to get these out and use them for 2013 haha!

Edited by Leechburg Lights

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Jeremy,

 

You will need a controller for every 512 channels or 170 pixels of RGB.  Each RGB pixel uses 3 channels (1 for red 1 for green 1 for blue).

If you put 5 - 1 meter lengths of 32 pixels you could manage them all from 3 DMX universes. The controller I use is the J1Sys ECG-P12R http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-p12r/

It can handle 12 universes on one controller. The strips connect directly to this unit. You do have to run an Ethernet network connection to this controller. LOR software does support the use of E1.31 protocol so there is no problem there.

 

Here is a picture of how I set mine up in a CG-1500 break out box.

 

Lee

LOR 3 does support the 1.31 I have 3.80 and if you go into advanced network preferences you can set it.

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Thanks Streetrodder for the videos!  Your tree looks really good. what type of device are you using for control?  Thanks for the information about LOR. I am not sure if LOR would be the best solution for me on these panels I want to attempt to build though. As I need something like the Madrix software that I can possibly connect to my DMX console and send commands to a computer that is on stage somewhere to respond to what effects I want the wall to do. Or atleat I believe Madrix is the software others use besides LOR. Or I may have to look into more of what LOR can do with e1.31 to know if it will give me what I need. I would prefer a solution that is easy for me to get an understanding of by experimenting with it myself. (Which LOR I use for my Christmas displays already anyways.) It just seems like Madrix is easier for making shapes and various images which is what I will be looking for most of the time. Has anyone ordered the sandevices controller kit? If so is it similar to the kits from LOR? I would assume it is but not sure input on this would be great too!

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Thanks Streetrodder for the videos!  Your tree looks really good. what type of device are you using for control?  Thanks for the information about LOR. I am not sure if LOR would be the best solution for me on these panels I want to attempt to build though. As I need something like the Madrix software that I can possibly connect to my DMX console and send commands to a computer that is on stage somewhere to respond to what effects I want the wall to do. Or atleat I believe Madrix is the software others use besides LOR. Or I may have to look into more of what LOR can do with e1.31 to know if it will give me what I need. I would prefer a solution that is easy for me to get an understanding of by experimenting with it myself. (Which LOR I use for my Christmas displays already anyways.) It just seems like Madrix is easier for making shapes and various images which is what I will be looking for most of the time. Has anyone ordered the sandevices controller kit? If so is it similar to the kits from LOR? I would assume it is but not sure input on this would be great too!

Looking at Madrix also but have not found to much far as demo's or user experience

Any one out there using madrix?

Good idea or bad?

Seems from what I have seen so far Madrix gives a better interface for controlling multi universes

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@jeremy lawton:  You can download the assembly manual from the web site, that will give you a good idea of what's involved in the assembly.

@DSE: I use a combination of LOR and madrix in my own display.  LOR handles the music and general sequencing.  I have a large pixel matrix, 48x84, and I use Madrix to display various 'scenes' on the pixels.  A few channels of LOR are used to remote-control madrix, that way it's easy to bring up the right effect at the right time.

You should download the Madrix demo and play with it, you will be amazed at the incredible effects that you can produce with very little time. 

 

@Clyde Lindsey:  There will be a new firmware release soon for the E682s, also applicable to earlier boards that have been upgraded with the new ethernet module.  The new software supports unicast as well as multicast, and bumps the universe count up to 7 (1,190 pixels) if using multicast and 12 (>2,000 pixels) for unicast.

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Thanks Streetrodder for the videos!  Your tree looks really good. what type of device are you using for control?  Thanks for the information about LOR. I am not sure if LOR would be the best solution for me on these panels I want to attempt to build though. As I need something like the Madrix software that I can possibly connect to my DMX console and send commands to a computer that is on stage somewhere to respond to what effects I want the wall to do. Or atleat I believe Madrix is the software others use besides LOR. Or I may have to look into more of what LOR can do with e1.31 to know if it will give me what I need. I would prefer a solution that is easy for me to get an understanding of by experimenting with it myself. (Which LOR I use for my Christmas displays already anyways.) It just seems like Madrix is easier for making shapes and various images which is what I will be looking for most of the time. Has anyone ordered the sandevices controller kit? If so is it similar to the kits from LOR? I would assume it is but not sure input on this would be great too!

I am using the J1SYS ECG-P12R which uses E1.31 (LOR's advanced program has this).

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@jeremy lawton:  You can download the assembly manual from the web site, that will give you a good idea of what's involved in the assembly. @DSE: I use a combination of LOR and madrix in my own display.  LOR handles the music and general sequencing.  I have a large pixel matrix, 48x84, and I use Madrix to display various 'scenes' on the pixels.  A few channels of LOR are used to remote-control madrix, that way it's easy to bring up the right effect at the right time. You should download the Madrix demo and play with it, you will be amazed at the incredible effects that you can produce with very little time.    @Clyde Lindsey:  There will be a new firmware release soon for the E682s, also applicable to earlier boards that have been upgraded with the new ethernet module.  The new software supports unicast as well as multicast, and bumps the universe count up to 7 (1,190 pixels) if using multicast and 12 (>2,000 pixels) for unicast.
Thanks How was the programing portion of Madrix ?

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I believe the answer to this is yes but just wanted to confirm im thinking correctly. If I want a higher resolution for this project would I just have to get strips that have a higher number of pixels per meter? For example I saw some that have 64 per meter just wasnt sure if they will do what I want anyone have video of strips in action or anyhing that your putting words or shapes through? Would be curious to see them!

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How many pixels are you looking to control?

That will help determine what you need because some systems are easier to grow than others.

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Another option for pixel controllers is the PixLite 16 controller from Advatek Lights.

It can output up to 32 E1.31 universes which on a dollar per pixel basis makes it the best value controller around. 

They are available in both a DIY bare board and a "Plug and Play" version complete with PSU, pigtails etc inside a waterproof enclosure. See here for more: http://www.advateklights.com/pixlite-control/

Edited by Devo

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I think it comes down to how much you want to spend. Honestly, I wouldn't have the patience to build something like this myself. Chauvet now has a line of touring pixel wall that is... somewhat cheap, but I believe it too only works with its own media server, but I could be wrong about that.

 

http://www.chauvetlighting.com/mvp-37-5.html

 

They sell new for about $1000/panel, but you can get better deals through certain people.

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