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baelinc

Which Rgb Controller?

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I am currently using 5 d-light controllers with incandescent minis and now I am looking to add some RGB lights to my display. I am wondering what the community thinks between these two controllers:

  • Joshua 1 Systems - ECG-P12R
  • SanDevices - E682

I am about to order my lights from Ray Wu's store, but I am just not sure which of these two devices I want to purchase. There is only a $3 difference. I do know that the P12R has a GUI style to setting up the controller where as the E682 has a webpage with command lines.

 

Which one would you purchase or do you currently use?

 

Thanks,

Johnathan

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Both controllers are great offerings but i find for anyone new that the ECG controllers are much easier to connect and configure and also update the firmware using the J1sys UBL program than the sandevices setup and connection, the other thing is you must look at what lights you are using, if using GECE lights then the E682 is your choice, if running 2811 then i believe the ECG is a better choice because the 2811 distance from controller to first pixel is heavily dependant on data speed and the ECG controllers allow you to adjust the data speed to maximise the distance between controller and first pixel.

 

The E682 if bought in a kit offers excellent value and will shortly go from supporting 6 universes to 12 universe (some conditions apply) so it will soon have the same channel capacity as the ECG-P12R controller. The sandevices has 16 fused output as apposed to 12 fused outputs for the P12R. The e682 also has some other features if thats what you want like dimming curves  for 12 bit pixels and 5 to 8 bit dimming conversion for 6803 pixels

 

Personally for me i have taken the J1SYS route but others have chosen the Sandevices route, in the end they will both run your pixels and help create a magical show.

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My RGB project is a 16 x 48 pixel matrix and 10 - 8 pixel coro canes. a total of 848. is it possible for all 848 pixels to be controlled on either of these controllers or would I need a separate controller for the 10 coro canes?

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My RGB project is a 16 x 48 pixel matrix and 10 - 8 pixel coro canes. a total of 848. is it possible for all 848 pixels to be controlled on either of these controllers or would I need a separate controller for the 10 coro canes?

 

 

You could control up to a max of 2040 pixels with 12 universes, so well within the limits, If you ran 2 strings/strips per output you would use only 9 outputs and have 3 spare with the ECG-P12R.

 

I ran one ECG-P12R with a 12 x 50 pixel strip tree and then there was the star on top plus 20 candy canes and i have a few spare outputs for future additions if needed.

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I was getting ready to fire off a big response....Then I recognized the user name! We have exchanged PMs before. You know that I would go with SanDevices. Ordered my first controller in the summer and ended up with 6 of them and a massive matrix. If I can do it, anyone can.

 

 

My RGB project is a 16 x 48 pixel matrix and 10 - 8 pixel coro canes. a total of 848. is it possible for all 848 pixels to be controlled on either of these controllers or would I need a separate controller for the 10 coro canes?

 

I could be wrong, But I thing you could do it, but you would have to have unsequenced pixels inbetween the candy canes.

The E682 supports 1020 RGB channels (6 universes) across 16 connections.

 

Maybe split the 768 matrix across the first 3 sockets (12 connections) for pixel string lengths of 64 each. (I am pretty sure that the 12V RGB would be okay with this 5V you would need to inject power).  Then split the 80 pixels across the last 4? I do not know how far away each candy can is, but maybe add whatever pixels you need to bridge the gap between them? Like lets say 8 candy canes from left to right. with a distance of 4 pixels between (20")them? Sorry, just throwing things off the top of my head while goofing of at work!

 

edit. That is basically what I did with the RGB balls on my tree. 3 levels. Top has 8 pixels, middle has 16 pixels, bottom has 21 pixels. I figure why cut them up (that are a pain to splice) so each is just a whole 40 pixel string.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.510557635642308.120623.323555271009213&type=3

Edited by thebaronn

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Wow, info overload. Ok, the matrix 16 strings of 48 pixels.

  • Can you connect 2 strings of 48 totaling 96 pixels without power injecting in between? These are WS2811 LED Pixel nodes 5V.
  • The 1st connection between the controller and the 1st coro cane would be about 30' and then about 5' between each coro cane. Is this wishful thinking? I can inject power at the first coro cane, but can data be sent over 30' without degrading?

I am also thinking of creating my cables using 22/4 alarm wire.

 

Also, when you say that it supports 1020 RGB channels are you talking1020 nodes (one bulb) or 1020 / 3 (RGB channels for each node) meaning 340 nodes?

 

Thanks for the help.

Edited by baelinc

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Based on the fact that you want to use 2811 and want to get a distance of 30 feet between the first pixel and the controller then the J1SYS P12R is a better choice because the 2811 pixels distance between controller and first pixel relies heavily on the data speed. The E682 does not have this feature so your distance may be limited before needing a null pixel. I ran close to 30 feet extensions for my tree using 2811 strip, the data speed had to be slowed from 3500 to 2000 to handle the longer distance.

 

Personally i believe a lot of people have not seen the differences between the J1SYS and the Snadevices controllers but im my honest opinion as far as getting up and running as a newbie i find the J1SYS controllers to be far easier for this.

 

Now with 5vdc you will need lots of injection at least between every string and you may need a decent sized cable to inject cable depending on how far away the power supply is away from the pixels. 22 guage cable may be a bit small for 5 volt use if there is any distance between the powersupply and the pixels as 5 volt also puts extra demands on current carrying capacity compared to 12vdc

 

But definetly you can do this with a J1SYS P12R as i have done something similar in 2012, 12 x 50 matrix tree and 20 candy canes and i have spare outputs for this year.

 

Now if you wanted to wait a little you could see what the updated sandevices will look like as its supposed to be more user freindly with the update and will support 12 universes, currently it supports 6 universes, so currently 1/2 of the pixel control of the J1SYS ECG-P12R

Edited by ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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I realized i didnt put all the information in. The 5v leds are on the matrix which will be right next to the controller at the longest the connected cables will be about 4-5'. The coro canes are 12v which I can inject power right at the first coro cane.

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With 5vdc you will still need power for each string, so if you have 2 strings connected per output then you can supply the injected power directly from the output of the P12R or E682.

 

You may still need injecting for your candy canes but you could get away with just adding the one injection at the end. For my 20 candy canes i had 2 injection points, one in the middle and one at the end and that worked well

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I purchased a power supply from ray wu (5v/350w dual output switching power supply) that will connect to the controller. Am I understanding it right that I will have to have additional power supplies to each of the 16 strings on the matrix. I know I will have to have an additional 12v power supply to use with the canes.

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Just from another one who is getting started with RGB and the wonderful world of pixels, I have decided on the J1Sys line of controllers myself after looking, talkng to others, and researching them over the SansDevices ones.  The J1Sys are easier to set up and have future expansion capabilities built in as well as the speed selection that Fast Eddy talked about above to help with distance between pixel strings and the controller.

The ws2811 is another good choice as it appears to be the "pixel of choice" pretty much for a lot of folks and the most reliable one so far in this new portion of the lighting hobby!

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I purchased a power supply from ray wu (5v/350w dual output switching power supply) that will connect to the controller. Am I understanding it right that I will have to have additional power supplies to each of the 16 strings on the matrix. I know I will have to have an additional 12v power supply to use with the canes.

 Keep in mind I'm still learning, but i believe you can Run power to your matrix from the same power supply. matter afact i believe it's recommended.

Edited by Mcas4380

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I am finding this whole thread VERY informative. I am just about to bite the bullet and go with P12R. I know my show NEEDS to have intelligent strings in the next couple of years to bring it up to current standards. I have been hesitating on purchasing a controller for smart strings as I know that I will have to do it alone and suffer the consequences if things don't go right.

 

What everybody is NOT talking about is how you go about sequencing the new hundreds or thousands of channels so that my new 'magical' megatree still dances in syncronization to the music. It was hard enough having 500 regular LOR channels but now I expect to have perhaps thousands more. It's like buying a new Ferrari sports car and not having a drivers license yet. I'm not sure how I go about having all that 'capability' and not using it correctly.

 

I signed up to go to Conway Texas this summer to learn more about RGB and smart pixels. Hopefully I'll learn all about the new world of smart pixels and RGB. It could only enhance our already cool show. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there. --Greg--

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I am finding this whole thread VERY informative. I am just about to bite the bullet and go with P12R. I know my show NEEDS to have intelligent strings in the next couple of years to bring it up to current standards. I have been hesitating on purchasing a controller for smart strings as I know that I will have to do it alone and suffer the consequences if things don't go right.

 

What everybody is NOT talking about is how you go about sequencing the new hundreds or thousands of channels so that my new 'magical' megatree still dances in syncronization to the music. It was hard enough having 500 regular LOR channels but now I expect to have perhaps thousands more. It's like buying a new Ferrari sports car and not having a drivers license yet. I'm not sure how I go about having all that 'capability' and not using it correctly.

 

I signed up to go to Conway Texas this summer to learn more about RGB and smart pixels. Hopefully I'll learn all about the new world of smart pixels and RGB. It could only enhance our already cool show. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there. --Greg--

 

 

This is why i use LSP :)

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This is why i use LSP :)

 

 

100% correct. LOR in its current state is not uber-channel/effects friendly...

 

I was able to pump out a 1.5GB sequence with S3 but had to change the program a little.

 

But 95% of the sequence was done with LSP.

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The new hardware is requiring everybody to take a serious look at what they use for sequencing.  RGB throws in a mega amount of channels without even trying - LOL.

 

LSP is showing to be great to use with RGB but does still have some quirks.

LOR is fine UP TO A POINT (and no I don't know what that point is - yet)

Nut cracker is a fine program for using to make effects on things like a pixel tree and can be integrated into other programs somewhat.

LSH is a new program that is more or less being designed to work with pixels.  It is free and has some very promising features.

Madrix is a program for pixels but comes with a fairly steep price tag on it.  I have no working knowledge of it so can't really comment on how it does.

xLights is another program that I am hearing more and more around different forums as a way to control lights but I am not sure how it is with pixels.

 

Seems like a lot of people are finding that it is taking more than one program to do all the sequencing and then run the shows when going to pixels but it also does depend on how many actual pixels you are talking about tryng to run in a show.  That may turn out to be the only way to really handle the bigger amount of "channels" that start to come into play when adding in pixels with other aspects of a display or else it may come to the point of having pixels on one program and your other parts of the show on a different program and have the 2 programs talk to each other to keep synchronized.

This is new stuff with everybody working on finding answers to the problems that are starting to surface.  There is always a learning curve to things as well as improvements and totally brand new ways to do things.  It certainly makes this interesting as well as sometimes frustrating while getting it all to work together.

I am certain that we will see many new inovations as well as redesigns on programs and hardware in the coming months to allow us to make things a little less stressful.

Edited by Bill Ellick

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I do not know channel wise, but information wise, S3 runs into problems saving the slightest change after a files size of 900MB. After that it will give you an error. Now in some cases it says it couldn't save the file, but in reality is saved "something" to the temp user folder. I ended up using that temp file many times (sometimes after doing too much work at a time) and while I cannot possible verify all channels and effects, it "looked" good and when played.

 

Now you can change LOR to use more memory (up to 4GB) but at 1.5GB I started running into the same errors. Funny, the same 1.5GB file in S3 was only 193MB in LSP.

 

Hard to go cold turkey on LOR though!

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Do you guys have links to the programs posted?

 

I have been looking into this as well and have chosen my hardware but am having a tuff time with the program to run the show.

I did down load the demo version of Madrix and it looks good but the price is real high and I wouldn't mind the cost if in my mind I new I would have more abilities but from visiting with others it seems Madrix is same as same as.

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Based on the fact that you want to use 2811 and want to get a distance of 30 feet between the first pixel and the controller then the J1SYS P12R is a better choice because the 2811 pixels distance between controller and first pixel relies heavily on the data speed. The E682 does not have this feature so your distance may be limited before needing a null pixel. I ran close to 30 feet extensions for my tree using 2811 strip, the data speed had to be slowed from 3500 to 2000 to handle the longer distance.

 

Personally i believe a lot of people have not seen the differences between the J1SYS and the Snadevices controllers but im my honest opinion as far as getting up and running as a newbie i find the J1SYS controllers to be far easier for this.

 

Now with 5vdc you will need lots of injection at least between every string and you may need a decent sized cable to inject cable depending on how far away the power supply is away from the pixels. 22 guage cable may be a bit small for 5 volt use if there is any distance between the powersupply and the pixels as 5 volt also puts extra demands on current carrying capacity compared to 12vdc

 

But definetly you can do this with a J1SYS P12R as i have done something similar in 2012, 12 x 50 matrix tree and 20 candy canes and i have spare outputs for this year.

 

Now if you wanted to wait a little you could see what the updated sandevices will look like as its supposed to be more user freindly with the update and will support 12 universes, currently it supports 6 universes, so currently 1/2 of the pixel control of the J1SYS ECG-P12R

 

 

OK, I have to ask.  Since most 3-wire pixels, and this for sure applies to the 2811s, are designed to run at one specific data rate (800khz in the case of the 2811), what is to be gained by adjusting the speed?

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OK, I have to ask.  Since most 3-wire pixels, and this for sure applies to the 2811s, are designed to run at one specific data rate (800khz in the case of the 2811), what is to be gained by adjusting the speed?

 

 

It has been proven in the real world that the data speed has an effect on the distance range that can be gained between the first pixel and the controller when using 2811. Yes a dummy pixel could be used but for me if i ran the distances i needed from the controller to the tree (10 metres) then i would have had to have dummy pixel for each strip used. Instead i was able to adjust the data speed downwards and get the correct operation from the 2811. Its a bit like the 2 versions of the e68x code where the data speed was adjusted to compensate for some 2811 that didnt respond at a certain data speed. So there is a lot to be gained by adding this feature as this allows a lot more flexability when using the 2811. I cant really talk about the other 3 wire IC types as i have not really played with them. But there have been many reported cases of people adjusting the speed down to get the 2811 to run with any decent length between the first pixel and the controller.

 

This may not be running the 2811 at the spec speed but there has been no undesired effects by doing this, instead its been an advantage to be able to adjust the data speed and one feature i reakon you should look into for the 2811

 

Cheers

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Do you guys have links to the programs posted?

 

I have been looking into this as well and have chosen my hardware but am having a tuff time with the program to run the show.

I did down load the demo version of Madrix and it looks good but the price is real high and I wouldn't mind the cost if in my mind I new I would have more abilities but from visiting with others it seems Madrix is same as same as.

 

Heres a few to take a look at

 

www.lightshowprow.com   Lightshow Pro 2.5

 

www.lightorama.com  Light-O-Rama S3

 

http://joehinkle.com/HLS/  HLS

 

http://www.lightfactory.net/product_info.php?mPath=7&products_id=34  Light Factory personal

 

http://www.vixenlights.com/downloads.html  Vixen 3 (beta)

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It has been proven in the real world that the data speed has an effect on the distance range that can be gained between the first pixel and the controller when using 2811. Yes a dummy pixel could be used but for me if i ran the distances i needed from the controller to the tree (10 metres) then i would have had to have dummy pixel for each strip used. Instead i was able to adjust the data speed downwards and get the correct operation from the 2811. Its a bit like the 2 versions of the e68x code where the data speed was adjusted to compensate for some 2811 that didnt respond at a certain data speed. So there is a lot to be gained by adding this feature as this allows a lot more flexability when using the 2811. I cant really talk about the other 3 wire IC types as i have not really played with them. But there have been many reported cases of people adjusting the speed down to get the 2811 to run with any decent length between the first pixel and the controller.

 

This may not be running the 2811 at the spec speed but there has been no undesired effects by doing this, instead its been an advantage to be able to adjust the data speed and one feature i reakon you should look into for the 2811

 

Cheers

 

That makes we want to put a scope on the end of the line and see what's happening to the waveform.  There are 2 variables for 2811 timing, the width of the bit cell, and the points in the bit cell where the data line transitions from 1 to 0, early in the cell for a 0, late in the cell for a 1.  If the 1-0 transitions occur near the edges of the bit cell then that would allow for a wider range of speeds to be accepted by the pixel with the tradeoff being that you are having to send higher frequency pulses down the line, and IIRC that's what's recommended in the 2811 data sheet, something like transitioning at 20% for a 0 and 80% for a 1.    Positioning the 1-0 transitions nearer the center of the bit cell reduces the allowable timing variation but also reduces the bandwidth requirement on the line.  By slowing down the data rate you are pushing the 1-0 transition for a 0 bit closer to the time when the data is sampled by the chip.  In theory, if the code is set to divide the bit cell into 5 increments, you could operate anywhere from about 350kbps to about 1200kbps.  If you've experimented with it, is this about the speed range that you can operate at? 

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