Getting HELP with RGB Pixels

Getting back to it after a rough post-Christmas season this year. Here are some helpful resources you may find useful.

Christmas Lighting Forums:
https://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/
http://diychristmas.org/vb1/index.php
http://doityourselfchristmas.com
http://falconchristmas.com/forum/
http://nutcracker123.com/forum/
http://www.planetchristmas.com

Facebook Groups:
Advanced RGB Pixels and Controllers http://bit.ly/2zEMrgX
Official xLights Support Group http://bit.ly/2zBMwnv
FPP, Falcon Player http://bit.ly/2yvc7v3

RGB Pixel Wreath Build

I cover the steps I went through to build the large pixel wreath. It’s got 4 rings of 72 pixels per ring for a total of 288 pixels.

Illustrator File: wreathtemplate

RGB Pixels for EVERYONE! NO COMPUTER REQUIRED!

Run RGB pixels without a computer! I look at an inexpensive RGB pixel tester from Hanson Electronics (http://www.hansonelectronics.com.au). Whether you’re an Uber Christmas decorator or just want some pretty lights for your patio, boat, car or DJ booth, you’ll be interested in this!

Song: You And Me [Rewind Remix Release]
Music provided by Rewind Remix https://goo.gl/08ZthI
Artist: Clemslize & Nanso

RGB Pixel Light Display Walkthrough and SNOWPOCALYPSE!

Giving some details of the display at night and I cover Snowpocalypse 2017 that we experienced. Chilling video!

Song: Still Young
Music provided by Rewind Remix https://goo.gl/08ZthI
Free Download: http://myaudiograb.com/Ol9jBoZB
Artist: Speo

Christmas and You – Go Fish – RGB Pixel Light Show

Enjoy Christmas and You by Go Fish synchronized to RGB Pixel lights. This was shot with a Lumix GH5 http://amzn.to/2AlvY1x with an Olympus 12-40/2.8 lens http://amzn.to/2jxPPTe, both rented from a local camera store. The video was filmed in 4K about 15 minutes after sundown with the following camera settings: sensitivity set to 3200, shutter speed set to 60, aperture set to f11, white balance set to incandescent. I made some minor exposure and saturation changes in Final Cut Pro.

Song: Christmas and You
Performed by Go Fish
Written by Jamison J. Statema
Copyright 2010 Found Free Music (Administered by Fun Attic Music)

Recording available at www.GoFishResources.com!

This was the song I sequenced “live”, well, on video anyway. I let xLights choose random effects and edited some of them afterwards, but if you watched the earlier video, you’ve seen how the sausage was made! LOL!

Joy To The World – Go Fish – RGB Pixel Light Show

Enjoy Joy To The World by Go Fish synchronized to RGB Pixel lights. This was shot with a Lumix GH5 http://amzn.to/2AlvY1x with an Olympus 12-40/2.8 lens http://amzn.to/2jxPPTe, both rented from a local camera store. The video was filmed in 4K about 15 minutes after sundown with the following camera settings: sensitivity set to 3200, shutter speed set to 60, aperture set to f11, white balance set to incandescent. I made some minor exposure and saturation changes in Final Cut Pro.

Song: Joy To The World
Performed by Go Fish
Written by Jamison J. Statema
Copyright 2010 Found Free Music (Administered by Fun Attic Music)

Recording available at www.GoFishResources.com!

This is the first time I have used a talking head in my display. It was a neat skill to learn and I hope I’ve done it justice.

Light of Christmas RGB Pixel Light Show

Enjoy Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) by Owl City synchronized to RGB Pixel lights. This was shot with a Lumix GH5 http://amzn.to/2AlvY1x with an Olympus 12-40/2.8 lens http://amzn.to/2jxPPTe, both rented from a local camera store. The video was filmed in 4K about 15 minutes after sundown with the following camera settings: sensitivity set to 3200, shutter speed set to 60, aperture set to f11, white balance set to incandescent. I made some minor exposure and saturation changes in Final Cut Pro.

Song: Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac)
Artist: Owl City
Album: Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Single

EDM & Dubstep RGB Pixel Light Show

Enjoy a medley of EDM & Dubstep synchronized to RGB Pixel lights. The first two songs are original music by me (created using an app called GarageBand on my iPad) and the last is from Dany Vin. This was shot with a Lumix GH5 http://amzn.to/2AlvY1x with an Olympus 12-40/2.8 lens http://amzn.to/2jxPPTe, both rented from a local camera store. The video was filmed in 4K about 15 minutes after sundown with the following camera settings: sensitivity set to 3200, shutter speed set to 60, aperture set to f11, white balance set to incandescent. I made some minor exposure and saturation changes in Final Cut Pro.

Song: Christmas Dubstep [Rewind Remix Release]
Music provided by Rewind Remix: http://tinyurl.com/rewindremix
Artists: Dany​Vin

This is my oompa loompa song for 2017. It’s a medley of two songs I created on my iPad. The first is EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and the second is dubstep. They don’t have anything to do with Christmas, but are neat to program the lights to. The third is from Dany Vin and is a short Christmas dubstep song. I hope you enjoy the show!

RGB Pixel Display SetUp Day

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! It took much longer than anticipated to get everything set up, but it’s done! Almost showtime!

SetUp day is when I set aside time to actually set the display up for the season. Ideally, I’d have all fabrication done and just need to set everything up. I don’t believe I’ve EVER had an ideal situation – I’m always fabricating something. So not ideal, but it just adds to the time required to get everything ready.

I started off fixing the power injection problem I had last year on the mega tree because I did it wrong. You should transfer data and GROUND (or negative) between strings. I only transferred data which allowed stray voltage to affect the lights. Turning brightness down to 30% solved most of the flickering problems, but it did not eliminate them. So I’m putting new ends on each of the twelve strings so they can be used interchangeably and I’ll wire them up as needed.

The first prop to set up is the lights along the back fence. The fence faces a street so I have a string of 175 pixels mounted to EMT. I tie-wrapped each node to the EMT. I highly suggest getting a tie-wrap tool for stuff like this. It makes tightening and cutting the excess much easier.

The new window outlines needed some fabrication and my solution was to use rebar for the cross pieces. The vertical Boscoyo strips stay straight by themselves, but the horizontal strips need support. I tie-wrapped each horizontal node to rebar using an alternating pattern of bottom two holes and top two holes in the strip. That seems to keep the pixels straight. I used masonry bits to drill holes in brick for the eyelet standoffs and the windows are now outlined.

The mega tree was fairly easy to set up this year since it didn’t require any fabrication. I used the ASAP pole design from last year and was able to string the tree while it was horizontal. Once the strings were attached, the tree was pushed upright. I connected the ends (bottom) of each string to an 8-foot PVC ring with Ball Bungees and staked the ring to the ground at several points around the ring. This adds support (once the mast was cranked up) and does not need guy wires. Granted, the tree is less than 15-feet tall, but a nice gust of wind will topple it without the support from the stakes.

It took several hours to fix all the electronic issues I had, but some of that was anticipated due to the new stuff. I had planned on filming that part, but I quickly realized it was going to be a longer process that I thought. Reconfiguring the controller was the easy part. Finding that I had not connected pigtails to the controller or not having wire connected well took some time. Then there was the large 288-pixel wreath with a bad ground that took and extra day to resolve.

All in all, it was fun setting up the display. A few challenges to overcome, but I’m ready for showtime!

Good luck with your displays and Happy Thanksgiving (if that’s something you celebrate where you are)!

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Central RGB Pixel Controller Box Rebuild

I’m rebuilding my main RGB pixel power and data distribution box, leaving room for expansion for next year.

I try to run most of the lights from a central controller box underneath the mega tree. I created a box last year that worked great, but did not have room to expand so I rebuilt it this year using some lessons learned form last year. I also got some new cable glands to hold onto the wires protruding from the box. They don’t make it water tight, but they do hold onto the wires well so they won’t get pulled away from the controller if I happen to accidentally trip over the wires.

I also used a different layout for the internal components. I left room for expansion as I’m sure I’ll add more pixels next year and will need more power supplies. All electronics are mounted to a 1/2″ piece of MDF. The board can not be removed once the wires are attached, but provides a solid base for everything and adds a little weight to the box.

I mounted the controller and expansion board to a piece of PVC “wood” left over from the P10 sign build and oriented that vertically to save some room. It makes it a little hard to make connections, but since that won’t happen a lot, I felt the tradeoff was worth it in space saved. The box is tall enough to add a second controller on top if needed.

I used fuse blocks for power injection distribution for safety. Last year, I totally bypassed power distribution on the controller, but felt I could use it this year for props that don’t need power injection. It does make managing power among the four power supplies a little trickier, but given enough thought and planning, it can be done.

I’d still like to build a small cover for the box as I’m using trash bags and straps to secure it. A cover in the shape of a Snoopy house or Christmas present would hide the box and provide some protection from rain or snow.

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