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Gary Martin

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Everything posted by Gary Martin

  1. Even buying from other Aliexpress vendors besides Ray Wu is a pretty big risk. I have tried three other vendors besides Ray and in two of those three cases I got screwed over. In one case, I ordered some LED strings clearly labled 6vdc, battery powered. The pictures showed the 6v controller on them, showed the battery pack, etc. What I received were strings designed to plug into 220v european power. The vendor refused to do anything about it, claiming he had sent the correct product. Second screwup was similar, product delivered not close to product advertised. Oddly enough, the third, non-Ray transaction actually turned out to be some very high quality "meteor" or "snowfall" tubes. I was really surprised that those were so much BETTER than expected. Moral of the stories here are simple. If you want to buy LED stuff from China, get it from Ray Wu. Ray has always stood behind what he sells. He's gone above and beyond to fix any issues if there are some. I've had a dozen orders with him and have been quite happy each time. (or eventually happy
  2. I use a 2" steel pole for a 25' megatree. It used to be three AC16 controllers so I got a 4" piece of heavy PVC pipe and then two of the rubber, reducer clamps that go from 4" on one end to 2" on the other. The boxes mount directly to the PVC, the rubber size adaptors are left tight on the PVC and the whole assembly slides onto the main pole when I set the tree up. You can see it at the base of the tree here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/perryddock/7900598418/in/set-72157631336988114/lightbox/
  3. You can get the non digital pixels from Ray Wu with any spacing you want. If you're willing to pay a premium, you can get solid green or solid white wire as well. NOTE: Be sure to specify that you want "epoxy filled" (sometimes listed as "resin filled") for the waterproofing. The IP67 stuff they do with silicone doesn't hold up under any kind of handling. On the megatree, it's 48 strings of pixels that have 42 pixels on each string. Spacing is 5.5" and the length of each one is a shade under 20' I also spliced in a 6 foot leader from the start of each pixel string to their controllers. When you're doing a twig tree, you could put all the four conductor splices in you want to make jumps between layers of branches. Granted, that's a lot of extra work but it's feasible.
  4. I think you really need to get some test strings of pixels and see what they look like next to those twig trees. As mentioned before, the pixels are about 3 to 4 times brighter than CDI LEDs which IMHO are about twice as bright as a conventional incandescent minilight. Here, my megatree has 2,016 pixels on it. Check out this video at the 1:00 mark and notice how it illuminates the neighbor's house. If you put 600 pixels on each twig tree, it would be blindingly bright! http://vimeo.com/33851508
  5. Please be aware, those GE Color Effects are 4 bit greyscale. That means only 16 brightness levels. If you avoid long, slow fades, they'll probably look just fine. But if you like slow fades, they make noticeable jumps in brightness as they're ramped up. CCRs are 5 bit scale, but they do some tricks with them to make it look like more than 32 brightness levels. WS2801 based stuff is 8 bit scale, 256 brightness levels which matches DMX control levels. TSL3001 is 12 bit scale, 4096 brightness levels but we don't have controllers or software to deal with that level. I will say, Jim StJohn's pixel matrix using TSL3001s has much better gamma and color mixing levels than my WS2801 stuff does.
  6. Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful New Year!
  7. If that's a typical series of LEDs, just one dead LED can cause that. Easiest test method is to unhook the flood from anything and apply battery voltage (1.5v) to the LED leads directly. You should get a faint glow out of each one. If not, swap out that LED with a replacement.
  8. We've been running strong since Thanksgiving. Only issue so far was a dang rabbit chewed through a Cat5 that was carrying 24vdc to an RGB flood. Killed a Mosfet on that controller but that was a five minute fix. Traffic's been heavy, too heavy for not even Christmas week yet.
  9. Here's a quick and dirty video of this year's display from the first week of December.
  10. Yep! My "one" is the mother of the family right next door to the south of us. She has lots of bad things to say to anyone that will listen about the display. Funny thing is, her husband and her kids really like the display. Gotta love that.
  11. First year I used Walmart minilights. When a string or two (or three, or....) goes out you really don't want to lower the whole mess to replace it. Second year was CDI LEDs. They worked great, looked great and the 70 count were just the right length (about 24.5 feet) This year I have the CDI LEDs up again combined with 48 strings of digital pixels. The digital pixels are zip tied to paracord for strain relief and have actually turned out to be a factor of two or three times *brighter* than the conventional M6 LEDs from CDI. Granted they're expensive, but next year I may just use the digital pixels only on the tree. It's a pricey option as there isn't much in the way of software out there that can help control them. I'm using Madrix, remote controlled by LOR S3 to do it myself.
  12. Judy, the uproar here is due to the perception that you're chasing after every possible dime of profit from your song. I don't know you personally so I can only go on what I've read from your posts on here and other forums. You *do* a lot of self-promotion and you have publically stated your goal of becoming rich and famous. Let me try to impart a hard lesson I learned many years ago with regards to something I created and released into the wild. Many years ago I wrote a game that ran on BBS systems called Trade Wars 2002. (This was online gaming before the Internet took off). After having put many thousands of hours into the development of it, I took it very personal every time I learned about someone pirating the software instead of paying the small shareware license I asked for ($15). I went to great lengths to install and frequently change the activation key system for the game only to have people hack that code and put out free key generators within hours of each new release. At some point, I came to the realization that once my creation was out in the hands of the public, it was really beyond my control for the most part. There is NO REASONABLE way that anyone can sue over $15 and expect anything but a huge expense. So I then came to realize that trying to pursue or threaten any of these people blatantly stealing my work was *JUST NOT WORTH IT* A short while after that, I started to realize that these people, who were not paying for my work, *were* actually helping promote my work. They were exposing more and more people to what I had created and that steam rolled the game into a very very popular product. The "honest" people bought the game more and more until it became extremely well known, widespread and I ended up having over 45,000 PAID customers. My point? Trying to threaten people over "a buck" or two is only going to make you look bad. You want wide exposure of your song, to get your name out there and recognized, not as someone trying to squeeze every cent out of their work, but as someone that produced a good song that people want to hear. You want this good will from the public so that the next song you produce has instant acceptance because of your reuputation *and people will willingly want to buy it* The path you've taken lately has been a PR disaster for you. You need to change that.
  13. LOR S3 should handle that just fine. Make sure you've got the DMX universe set to Lynx for the Lynx DMX dongle. Run the D-light dongle as LOR and you should be 100%. I still have eight D-light AC8s in my display and am using Lynx Express units too. No issues.
  14. Your setup is similar to mine. I wrap the string around the base ring once, then zip-tie the string to itsself. As others have mentioned, don't winch the carrier all of the way up before you secure the lights to the bottom ring, use those last few inches to put some tension on the strings after they're zip tied down. I get pretty good tension this way: http://parksidechristmas.com/tinc?key=MSRAfLS5&fs_settings=1,17,1,5,800,740
  15. Yep, I'll second that stance. No way I would touch that song after reading this thread.
  16. They have been hard to find the last couple of years. I bought five of them 3 or 4 years ago at Walmart, 6 foot versions, white wire but multicolor lamps. My plan was to change out the bulbs until they were all green, then add red and clear lights to them as well (all on white wire). I made it through changing the bulbs on one of the five until I said "Feh" on this project and put it on the back burner. I've decided I won't be using them, so I guess I have five of the six footers for sale. Brand new, never used in their original box. As I said, one is all green bulbs, the other four are the original multi. I will be selling them with enough boxes of brand new Walmart minis to both convert the other four to green and add the red and clear to each of them. Originally the trees were $50 each and I was going to put them up for sale as a package for $350. (five trees plus 90 boxes of minis). Who's interested?
  17. More detail please. What addresses did you set the FireFli controller to? What addresses did you set the three 16 channel controllers to in LOR?
  18. Okay, RGB lighting is more complicated than just buying a string and plugging it in. First off, you purchased some WS2801 based pixel strings. Those are the controller chips that make the string work. They are 5 volt DC strips. The DMX to SPI controller you mentioned (the thing that attaches the pixel strip to the DMX network) is for 6803 based pixel strings, NOT 2801 pixel strings. Basic DMX to SPI controllers like that are not interchangeable. You *must* get one appropriate to the same controller chip that is in your pixels. Now, if you use LOR S2 in it's current version, you would have to buy an iDMX and that would let you control 128 channels of DMX. (NOT 512, only 128 "ichans" on an iDMX to allow fading/shimmer/twinkle effects. If you just want on and off, then you can control a full 512 channels with each iDMX) Light Show Pro *can* do DMX direct, but open DMX doesn't handle high traffic loads that great, you would need a heftier DMX interface. LSP also has some issues at this point but they are in the middle of a total re-write. Version 2.0 due out later this year should be a great improvement.
  19. Here's some things you can do with Fireflis. 1 strand star: http://parksidechristmas.com/11.html 2 strand star: http://parksidechristmas.com/12.html Arches mixed with minilights: At the 1:30 point in that video you can see four arches with Firefli (1 strand each) and the SuperStar above the main entrance (2 strands)
  20. Your best bet right now is SuperstarLights: www.superstarlights.com
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