Author Archives: Dog Father

Falcon F-Amp RGB Pixel Data Signal Booster (2018)

The Falcon F-Amp is an RGB data signal booster you can use between props or within props to boost the data signal. I’ll show you how I’m planning to use these this year. Thanks to David at PixelController, LLC for sponsoring this episode!

Dumb RGB Strings In Your Display (2018)

Smart pixels get all the attention these days, but dumb RGB strings may still have a place in your display. We look at controlling dumb strings with an Arduino Uno and a 2811DC15 from Hanson Electronics.

Hanson Electronics 2811DC15: https://bit.ly/2tHwwwy
Make: article: https://bit.ly/2lIUG5g

My online course for RGB Pixel beginners: http://bit.ly/udemy-basics-coupon-17

xLights Value Curves Example (2018)

Happy Father’s Day! This is a short tutorial about a powerful feature in xLights called Value Curves. It extends what you can do with normal effects. I used them a lot last year.

Gil’s original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ0DJfTV0l4

My online course for RGB Pixel beginners: http://bit.ly/udemy-basics-coupon-16

IT’S A COURSE, OF COURSE! AN ONLINE COURSE (2018)

I’ve been working on an online course for RGB pixels and it’s finally out! Here’s what it’s about and why I did it.

The course is hosted on Udemy.  http://bit.ly/udemy-basics-coupon

The course is designed to take someone new to pixels through everything they need to know to get a show up and running.  It covers both hardware and software.  There’s even a section on sequencing using xLights that even people running shows might want to check out.  If you take the course and like it, please leave a good review with a couple of sentences about how it helped you or why you liked it.  Reviews really help a new course get noticed.  If you see something that needs changing, please let me know that too.

Home Assistant RGB Pixel Pathway Lighting (2018)

This is a slight departure from my normal RGB pixel display videos. We look at using strip lights as pathway lights and controlling them through Home Assistant. I go through setting up Home Assistant and programming the NodeMCU modules using Ben’s code on GitHub.

SD Card Formatter: https://www.sdcard.org/
Etcher Image Writer: https://etcher.io
Home Assistant: https://www.home-assistant.io/
CloudMQTT: https://www.cloudmqtt.com/
Arduino IDE: https://www.arduino.cc
Multi-sensor GitHub Page: https://bit.ly/2GUnSmQ
Pixel controller GitHub Page: https://bit.ly/2IKBLR7

Parts Lists:

Multi-Sensor

Pixel Controller

My YAML configuration for this:

# Binary Sensors
binary_sensor:
  - platform: threshold
    name: isdark
    entity_id: sensor.light_level
    lower: 100
    hidden: true

# Regular Sensors
sensor:
  - platform: template
    sensors:
      rgbtemp:
        friendly_name: RGB Temp
        value_template: >-
          {% if states('sensor.temperature')|float > 79.9 %}
            Hot
          {% elif states('sensor.temperature')|float < 70 %}
            Cold
          {% else %}
            Just Right
          {% endif %}

Automations

- alias: Stair Pathway Lighting On       
  trigger:                               
    - platform: state                    
      entity_id: binary_sensor.isdark    
      to: 'on'                           
    - platform: state                    
      entity_id: sensor.rgbtemp          
  condition:                             
    - condition: state                   
      entity_id: binary_sensor.isdark    
      state: 'on'                        
  action:                                
    - service: mqtt.publish              
      data_template:                     
        topic: "mqtt/topic"         
        payload: >-                      
          {% if is_state('sensor.rgbtemp', 'Hot') %}
            {"state":"ON","color":{"r":255,"g":100,"b":100},"brightness":6,"effect":"solid"}
          {% elif is_state('sensor.rgbtemp', 'Cold') %}                                     
            {"state":"ON","color":{"r":100,"g":100,"b":255},"brightness":6,"effect":"solid"}
          {% else %}                                                                        
            {"state":"ON","color":{"r":100,"g":200,"b":100},"brightness":6,"effect":"solid"}
          {% endif %}                                                                       
                                                                                            
- alias: Stair Pathway Lighting Off                                                         
  trigger:                                                                                  
    - platform: state                                                                       
      entity_id: binary_sensor.isdark                                                       
      to: 'off'                                                                             
  condition:                                                                                
    - condition: state                                                                      
      entity_id: light.stair_strip                                                          
      state: 'on'                                                                           
  action:                                                                                   
    - service: mqtt.publish                                                                 
      data_template:                                                                        
        topic: "mqtt/topic"                                               
        payload: '{"state":"OFF"}'                                                          
                                                                                            

ESPixelstick RGB Controller Setup (2018)

Pixelsticks are small, WiFi RGB Pixel controllers. YOU MUST FLASH THEM YOURSELF TO USE THEM. There are two ways to flash or program a Pixelstick. This video covers using the java tool (TLDR) as well as flashing from the Arduino IDE.

Renard Plus ESP WiFi Pixel Controller Kit: http://renard-shop.com/home/37-es-wifi-pixel-controller.html

Arduino IDE: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

Board Manager Link: http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json

ESPixelStick GitHub Repo: https://github.com/forkineye/ESPixelStick

Amazon Links: https://wp.me/P3deDh-fN

Using Music in Your RGB Pixel Display (2018)

This is an update to my RGB Pixel Basics series about using music in your display. We cover FM transmitters, finding an open frequency near you and uploading a video of your display to YouTube.