About

Canispater

 

It’s Latin for “Dog Father” (kinda).

I like dogs and technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 thoughts on “About

  1. Barry Edwards

    I truly love that wreath Can you get a close up shot of it??? maybe with some measurements, or even better a how to video. Live in SE Oklahoma — I truly get a kick out of your youtube’s!

  2. Dog Father Post author

    Thanks Barry! Yeah, that was an interesting build I did before I started making the videos. It’s a piece of 3/16″ acrylic I bought from a local plastic supplier measuring 4x4ft. Pretty expensive and I broke one of the corners off so I sawed two of them off to make it look like I knew what I was doing. Haha

    It’s 288 pixels total, 4 rings of 72. I had a friend make an Adobe Illustrator file for me as a guide for the holes and had it printed at a local print shop that had large formate printers (about $20 for a 4ft square sheet of paper). I put everything on top of a 3/4″ piece of MDF and just drilled 1/8″ holes through the paper, acrylic and MDF. That way, if any of the holes were off, I could make a small adjustment. Then back through the acrylic with a graduated 1/2″ bit (for drilling through plastic) and wired it up. I do want to re-wire it after this year with different pixels to see if I can get the mounting any better, but I’m pretty happy with it. With the rings symmetrical, it’s very easy to do nice looking patterns. The other wreath is LED strip inside PEX tubing, but it isn’t an equal number of nodes per ring so I’m more limited in the patterns I can generate.

    I have straight on shot of it in “Injecting Power For RGB Pixels” at 0:43.
    Jeff

  3. Benjamin Smith

    Jeff,
    Thanks for the link! Hey, my work has a huge plotter, any chance you can send me the file of the wreath hole spacing (pitch chords) I can probably get a piece of scrap Lexan for my project here at work as well 😉
    Thanks again!
    Ben Smith

  4. Bill Brothers

    I was laughing so hard at the snowmageden video I almost fell out of my chair. I am up in Georgetown, TX and the way people talked up here about the “MASSIVE STORM” was a hoot. We recently moved from Colorado where is does snow occasionally. Good thing we left the snow tires on the car! 2018 will be my first computer-controlled lighting event. Thanks for your vids, they help a lot. I do technology for a living and have been wanting to do this for a while.

    Bill Brothers
    P.S. we are dog lovers too. Good to know about the dog event in Austin. Will try to get to the next one.

  5. Dog Father Post author

    Bill,

    Welcome to the hobby!

    Yeah, I’ve lived in Texas for most of my life and I’ve noticed the reporting seems to get worse each year. It’s rare when we get snow, but ice IS A huge problem. They try spreading sand or chemicals, but really don’t deal with it well because it doesn’t happen often either. I’ve been caught trying to drive over an overpass on solid ice and I just stay home now. 🙂

    I started the channel because I had a few people ask me how I do it, it’s more than a 60-second conversation and I wanted to be able to say “go here” so I hope it’s helpful. It is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it and it does help if you are a techie – shorter learning curve at least. I’ll do my best to help out when you get stuck, but there are also a lot of forums and Facebook groups with people I learned from. There’s a great beginner guide on auschristmaslighting.com (the Aussies are really into this too).

    There’s actually a lot of dog-related events in Austin throughout the year. This one is close and we’ve gone every year.

    Welcome to Texas!

    Jeff

  6. Paul North

    Good Afternoon, I am new to the RGB pixels. For the past year I have been learning and acquiring the hardware, as well as building elements. My questions are:
    1. I want to put (8) spinners atop of 20 foot poles the poles will be spaced about 20 feet from each other, what type of controller(s) should I get from the falcon christmas store?
    2. I been reading about people putting fuses between the power supply and controller. Is this correct and if so where would I get such fuses?
    When all said and done my display will have (2) 20 foot 16-100 lights each strip mega trees, (8) 4′ trees 100 lights, (8) 6′ trees 168 lights, (4) 8′ trees 168 lights., 8 spinners, 8 arches.
    I’ve acquired (1) f16v3 controller with (2) expansion boards., I think I will need to get another f16v3, 12 distro boards for power injection on the 6 and 8 foot trees.
    Remaining items I need are the lights. And anything else you might suggest Sir. Thank You for Your Time and Help.

  7. Dog Father Post author

    Wow. Well, with the distances involved, you might look at the F48 & differential receivers. I’m waiting on one myself, but that would handle the distance easily. You may be wasting some ports with that setup unless you need 4 per spinner (maybe kick those up a notch). 🙂

    You only need fuses if you aren’t using the built-in power distribution from the F16 (or differential receiver). I’ll bypass that sometimes if I have really long strings or on my wreath that has 288 pixels (which exceeds the 5-amp fuse on the F16). Also, if you power inject directly from the power supply, use a fuse. There are several options. Amazon has some automotive inline fuse-holders and Hanson Electronics (Australia) has the hex fuse board. I also use Hella fuse holders in my distribution box. All that depends on your brightness setting. I run 30% brightness so the display uses 1/3rd the power – any higher and I’d probably start getting complaints from neighbors because pixels are bright.

    That all sounds like a nice display! It sounds like you have everything covered.

  8. stephen gill

    Hi, first my condolences on our loss and best wishes to the other half aka the boss.
    Have watch with great interest all your vids. can you help, (i know you DONT usually answer queeries.
    My hope is being from the other side of the planet you may take pity on me.
    I am looking at going to pixels for my display that at the moment is basic and static none coordinated units (stuff you buy and put up), usual case of money no time, time no money!!! Question is i would like to use the Falcon system but cannot obtain the parts here (nz) Aus person used to be David Pitt web site now closed.
    Tried Falcon direct no help there, is it a conspiracy against us nuc free people!!!! Do you have a contact/web site/ anything that could help. Looked at Light o Rama too restricted, vixen is a maybe, xlights looking favourite for software. reason to do this i am retiring this year 68 yrs younge
    Any help would be most gratefully received Please keep up the great work and slow and easy. look after all around you, more so those you love.

  9. Dog Father Post author

    Stephen,
    Thanks! I do answer queries, but mostly on YouTube as I get notified quicker. As for getting you a Falcon controller, David WILL ship one internationally, but I forget what the requirements are. He had a problem once and is more cautious now. You can email him directly at david@pixelcontroller.com. I’m not sure what you mean by the website being closed. https://www.pixelcontroller.com seems to work fine for me – unless you mean the checkout won’t let you enter an international address. xLights is my sequencing software of choice. The developers are always adding new stuff and fixing bugs. It is being updated constantly by guys that run light shows. 🙂
    Thanks again!
    Jeff

  10. Larry

    Jeff, Great video on the F48 as usual. I have created an excel template I am using as I convert over to F48 and xLights. May be good content for a video especially for folks like me who are taking the plunge. If you send me your email, I will send you the excel template and instructions if you think it would be useful for some. I’m sure you can describe it better than I.

    By the by, thanks for the shoutout about setting up the pixel poles as trees with no offset. Hope that works for you.

  11. Dog Father Post author

    Larry, Great and Thanks! You can get my email on the YouTube channel in the about section. I don’t post it here due to spam although I doubt that really helps much. LOL! So what is the Excel sheet for? Just keeping track of which strings go to which receiver port?

  12. John lubenow

    This will be my first year trying pixels. I found your YouTube channel and love the videos. I live out in Round Rock.

    I would like to see your lights when the show goes live this year. Will you post the address?

  13. Justin Byers

    Hey I’m trying to get into the RBG hobby. I want to start acquiring and learning so I can be ready for Christmas 2019. Any advice for beginners? What should I buy first? Ect.

  14. Dog Father Post author

    Justin, I would hold off buying anything right now – plenty of time to do that between March and September. I have a beginner playlist of videos on YouTube that pretty much covers everything you need to know to get started so I’d start there. Then look at any other videos that might be interesting. There are usually a bunch of comments attached to each video so if you have questions, they may already be answered there and if not, feel free to add one. Check into the Wednesday night xLights call (see xlights.org). Maybe download xlights and go through the tutorials in the video section of that website. After that, you should have a good idea of what you want to do and what you need to do it. I also have forums and Facebook groups listed in the descriptions of my videos that are a great resource for getting help and ideas. I also put an online course together on Udemy that goes through the basics if you like that sort of learning, but it’s basically the same material as is on YouTube, just boiled down to a 2-hour course. So, Welcome! That should get you started and help get you ready for 2019! 🙂 Jeff

  15. Chris Vince

    Question About your P10 panels

    Can a P10 (or P5 for that matter) be run directly from xLights? I see you used a Beaglebone Black. Is that necessary or can you run from xLights direct?

    Thank you in advance for your help/

  16. Dog Father Post author

    Chris, The panels need something to drive them. There is a cape for the BBB or a hat for the Pi. The BBB cape handles more panels, but other than that, pretty much the same. Falcon Player runs on both and can be configured to output to the panels. You can run them in bridge (passthru) mode, but mine looked funny (colors were off) when I did that.

  17. Tim Kerner

    I would like to thank you for all your videos on YouTube. They have entertained me and helped me set up my first pixels on our living room real Christmas tree. With your help I have them sequenced on xlights and playing on a raspberry Pi. Now if I can convince my wife into letting me buy more I’d like to set up a pixel tree and other displays on our corner lot. Thanks again for the laughs and info.

  18. Dog Father Post author

    Not specifically. P10 or P5 panels could probably hit that number easily. If you mean discrete, 12mm pixels, it would be big, but doable. Are you building one?

  19. Benjamin Smith

    Jeff,
    Just thought I’d drop you a note to say I’m still working on my light show project. I’ve been buying bits and pieces here and there. I just ordered my Falcon V16v3, bought a Raspberry PI and one of those AMMO crates to mount everything in. I’ve been amassing bits and pieces here and there, the technicians at my work hooked me up with a dozen “ Woodhead pigtails” basically the same as the black ones you get from Ray Wu. I’ve also got several gland fittings to pass the cables through the case. I’ve still to buy my power supplies and Pixel strands, but in due time.

    I’ve been experimenting with Xlights and how to setup the effects. I really enjoy all your videos, and sometimes I need to rewind and go over a few things, but I’m progressing rather well. I’d like to see a finished video of how your matrix turned out, and if you don’t mind explaining what types of effects that can do, I’d appreciate that. Your “Staff of Zorton” was impressive as well. I remember seeing a video on how someone made one of those Mega trees that you raise with a boat winch, that was a slick setup.
    If you don’t mind, may I ask what those “Boscoyo products”
    Cost? Like the matrix and rolls of pixel mounting materials cost?
    As usual, your knowledge and presentation of this hobby have given me some inspiration and my wife is already telling everyone that I’m gonna have a nice display next year ( Guess I’d better get crackin’ or I’ll have mud in my eye”)
    Thanks again!
    Ben Smith

  20. Dog Father Post author

    Ben,

    Haha! Yes, you will need to deliver! LOL! I think you mean the ASAP pole for the tree (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8XRpqi3dvU). James has prices listed on everything on the web site (https://www.boscoyostudio.com). It might be more difficult to figure out how much you will need, but they might be able to help figure that out if you contact them directly. The matrix turned out well and you can see it in action in the music videos I posted. You can basically do any pattern xLights has on a matrix since that is how it actually renders everything. Some props look better with certain patterns, but a matrix will display almost anything. Keep me posted on your progress!
    Jeff

  21. Ben Smith

    Jeff,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence that I’ll deliver! (I’ll need that) I do have one request though, I cannot find anyone who can print that mega wreath file you sent me, apparently, they need a specific image format, I.e.
    Corel draw, .dwg, etc…. any ideas on how to change the format? Somebody mentioned fedex office might be able to do it, not sure.

    I’ve tried applying the setting to my Arches in my model, but they don’t chase left to right or -vs. right to left, they just flash the pattern at the top of the arch, any hint of what I might be doing wrong here? I’ve downloaded the manual for Xlights and I’m sure I’ll stumble across a solution sometime soon, just thought I’d ask. I can email you a screen shot showing what I’m talking about if you would like.
    Thanks again for the wonderful info and delightful videos!
    Ben Smith

  22. Dog Father Post author

    I got mine printed at a local blueprint printing shop, but Fedex might have large-format printers too. As for the arches, you’ll either want to change the direction (usually defaults to UP) or change the buffer to single-line. Also, be sure to check into the Wednesday night xLights call (see xlights.org). A lot of great into there and folks that can help you out live if you get stuck! They have people in there most of the time so it’s not just limited to Wednesday nights. Also, there’s a 3-hour long xLights training Keith did recently. You might want to invest an evening watching that as it’s a great intro to xLights.

  23. Tom Russell

    Would appreciate an email from you… interested in discussing pixels if you have the time. Thanks very much! Tom

  24. Dog Father Post author

    Hi Tom,

    Time is in short supply (so responses may be slow), but what is your question? I may be able to direct you to a place where you’ll get a quicker response.

    Jeff

  25. Dallas Pitzen

    Hi Jeff,

    Great Youtube videos and content. It’s been fun to watch what you put out and has been very easy to follow. I started this year with my big box LED’s to see if I could get them to sync and flash through a serial controller and now I am hooked and ready to start pixels with the mega tree of course. If you wouldn’t mind, could you tell me why you went with 12 100ct pixel strings vs 24 50ct or some other combination? Or was it purely a price point decision? Do you have a recommendation of what 12mm bullet pixels are good or a price point decision as well? Thanks in advance and I look forward to more videos!

  26. Dog Father Post author

    Hey Dallas,

    Thanks! Number generally has to do with voltage. If you go with 5V pixels, you need to inject power more frequently so they are usually 50-count. 12V strings waste more power, but generally require much less power injection and come in 100-count strings though you can find 50-count 12V strings. I actually created 4×300-count strings (as far as the controller is concerned), but inject power at the ends. I started with 50-count strings my first year and that is the safest until you figure out power injection to keep power running through the board under 5 amps. I also run them at 30% brightness which saves on power demands. More than 30% in the city and aircraft start circling for a landing – pixels are very bright.

    I buy my pixels directly from a manufacturer in China (Ray Wu). Affiliate link to Ray Wu’s store on AliExpress: http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bEJTQvP6 Stay away from “promotional” items, but I’ve been happy with the rest. For bullets, I get the 18AWG 12V version. They also make flat bullets if space in the rear is an issue. They can also put pigtails on the ends according to your specifications if you contact him.

    Be sure to go through my beginner playlist if you haven’t already and check into the xLights (see xlights.org) Zoom meeting on Wednesday nights. There is usually someone hanging out in the room to help if you get stuck on something. Not guaranteed all the time, but more than just Wednesday nights. Also, check out the Facebook groups and forums listed in my videos. They are great resources for learning this stuff. The xLights site also has a video section with all kinds of videos from several in the community.

    Finally, if you already have a display, just add pixels the first year. That way of it totally goes sideways, you won’t be stressed by having a dark yard. lol! Good luck and welcome to the hobby!

    Jeff

  27. Terry Fink

    Hi Jeff.

    Was wondering if you will be going through a setup of the Falcon F48 in the 2019 season?

    After all this time has passed, I still get a kick out of your “look” when you dropped that flood-light lol!!

    Regards,

    Terry

  28. Dog Father Post author

    Terry,

    Haha. Thanks! I could, but with xLights being able to configure it, that is less of a concern. I do go over the web interface in my video: https://youtu.be/fcf5U7XByfE.
    Is there anything specific you want to see?

    Jeff

  29. Terry Fink

    Hi Jeff.

    I was more thinking if you were going to incorporate it into your display setup as the main controller, using the remote 4 string power cards & power supplies and how you fair(ed) doing so and all the unique experiences you have that show up in your videos + it’s a chance for the dogs to help 🙂

    Thanks.

    Terry –

  30. Dog Father Post author

    Haha. Due to the crazies driving in our neighborhood, the dogs don’t go out front off leash so they don’t get to help. 🙂 Yeah, I very much enjoyed using the F48 this past year. Very easy to set up. I’ll probably talk about it in the October timeframe for the setup video.

  31. Dallas

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the words of wisdom on pixels.I have my first order in with Ray through paypal and everything happened as shown on your video. We went with 12v 12mm pixels to start off at they seem to be one of the “standards” to at least start with. It should be a good addition to the standard big box LEDs we have on display and ready to start creating!

    Thanks again for all your efforts.

    -Dallas

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