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Leroy

I don't get it

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Friends:  Ihave been doing lights about 5 years now.  I am computer literate and understand some of the basics.  I have used LED and incan's for years.  But I really don't have a clue about RGB stuff.  I have done come reading and watched a few video's but they are all created by people who have advanced understanding of this stuff.  Is there anyone who can explain RGB tech 'from the ground' to someone who has never even seen a module?  Sorry to sound so stupid, but I have read about dumb modules and smart modules, about controllers and no controllers.  It's all a mystery to me.  HELP!  I get the fact that there are basically three elements that blend to create a multitude of colors but beyond that, I'm lost.  HELP!

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Simply put.....Read, Read, then Read some more:unsure: I've been in this hobby (obsession) about as long as you and RGB lighting can be a complex and sometimes confusing animal.

Ausichristmas forum has great manuals on how pixels work in our hobby and David at Holiday Coro has some good videos on pixels, to help understand how pixels work.

Sorry, IMO there isn't a quick answer to the pixel world it mostly depends on where you want to go and do with the stuff.......Last year I just made up my mind after reading and reading to jump in with both feet and do pixels and I did a 32x50 360 degree tree and it's suprising when you get into it all the reading you did about pixels the light bulb comes on in your brain (LOL) .

Just to give you some input, I decided to control my pixel tree with  E 1.31 over Ethernet cuz IMO you don't have to be concerned with conflicts with other donigals you might be using like if your using LOR donigals to control your other lights, E 1.31 can be a little intimidating since you have to assign IP addresses to your controllers but it's pretty straight forward IMO.

Lastly, I don't understand what you ment about NO CONTROLLERS you definetly need a controller to make the lights do the patterns you see and stay in time with the music.

Good Luck and happy sequencing....

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Thank you for your comments, friends...You have just illustrated my problem.  I have read a lot but I have no idea what GMAC just said.  I have never seen a module.  I don't even know how to order one to look at because I don't understand the nomenclature.  I don't understand.  No one has been able to explain this step by step from the ground up.  It reminds me of the old days when people used to write computer software manuals.  They were written by people who already knew the programs and forgot that the end-user knew nothing.  They automatically did some things without even realizing it.  The manual said, "Do this," but they forgot the 3 steps they took before they did that thing. I have watched a few video's but they are made by people who assume a level of knowledge that the beginner doesn't have.  I think I need someone who will teach me the ABC's before they expect me to read Shakespeare

 

Leroy

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Lol, I know where you are; I am the same way...I have been researching this since last November and I also could not find one person to start from ground zero, not one. SO I got a bit upset and just started reading as much as possible about all this. After about 4 months now I think I finally have a basic understanding, and it really wasnt until I got my hands on a controller ( an alphapix 16 ) and played around with it with some smart RBG strips connected to it, then I really began to "see" what I had been reading about...So keep plugging away at it, there are some good videos out there so to speak...and get a controller and see with your eyes what the experts are trying to explain...that should help some..

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6 hours ago, Leroy said:

Thank you for your comments, friends...You have just illustrated my problem.  I have read a lot but I have no idea what GMAC just said.  I have never seen a module.  I don't even know how to order one to look at because I don't understand the nomenclature.  I don't understand.  No one has been able to explain this step by step from the ground up.  It reminds me of the old days when people used to write computer software manuals.  They were written by people who already knew the programs and forgot that the end-user knew nothing.  They automatically did some things without even realizing it.  The manual said, "Do this," but they forgot the 3 steps they took before they did that thing. I have watched a few video's but they are made by people who assume a level of knowledge that the beginner doesn't have.  I think I need someone who will teach me the ABC's before they expect me to read Shakespeare

 

Leroy

Sorry I didn't get my message across, but if look at my previous post I said go to the Aussie Christmas  Lighting Forum and read their manual about pixels and how they work ......They start with the basics, in fact they call it manual 101 just like in school it was English 101, anyway here is a link to download the manual http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php?topic=1889.0

Happy Reading 

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HolidayCoro.com has quite a few instructionals and youtube videos.

We all started in the same place.  What you really need to do is purchase a small project and play with it this summer.   For instance....I retrofitted my landscape lights to (45) smart pixels running off a small power supply and an older Tinypix smart controller.  Not an E1.31 controller so originally it ran off an Actidongle (outputs the DMX signal to the pixels and connected to the computer by USB), but I now control it now off my Pixlite 4 DMX output.  A small project where the power supply powers the controller and the output from the controller is then connected to all pixels in series (+, data, -).  Don't get into any power injection or anything else more advanced right off the bat.

In my opinion....get a small controller.  (dumb is the same as traditional Christmas strands....all the bulbs are the same color at once.  Smart is every single bulb/pixel is independently controllable).  Pick a way to interface with your computer...after playing with both I would recommend an E1.31 controller (pixlite 4 or 16 or alphapix) as they are relatively cheap now days.  Simpler to connect everything together and not effect your current LOR stuff.  Figure up the size of the power supply you need for the size of the project and build it! 

E1.31...I run a laptop with a unique network 192.168.1.100.  All the controllers are set up in unicast with unique IDs on that network.  You set each controller up by telling it what DMX Universe it is controlling and how many channels are connected.  With my 2500 smart pixels, each LOR channel is a single RGB bulb/pixel (Universe/3xchannels). 

Tech info:  Smart pixels/bulbs have a chip on every pixel.  Your controller is programmed to know that you have X # pixels and sends out instructions to the first pixel(for example Universe 1, channels 1-3)...who does what #1 pixel is told to do and then sends the remaining data on to the #2 pixel (Universe 1, channels 4-6), who does what it is told and sends on the data down the chain until it gets to the last pixel.  For instance if you have 100 pixels wired up in series, but your controller is told there are only 50....#51 on will be off because #50 was told by the controller he is the last one and he didn't send any instruction down the line.  If there is too much distance between two pixels the data gets distorted and pixels down the chain get wrong information.  That is where you can put in a "null" pixel.  One that you never program to turn on...but boosts/repeats the data on down the line for the remaining pixels. 

Dumb pixels have no chip.  The entire string of dumb RGB pixels in the series are the same (Universe 1, channels 1-3) no matter how many you have.  Generally you are limited by total distance and power supply requirements. 

A little hands on time and you have it figured out in no time.

 

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