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Thread: Just introducing myself

  1. #11
    Santa's Helpers Falcon's Avatar
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    Dave,

    Stay tuned to the forum and wait a little while longer before you start acquiring stuff. This is a good time to read the forum and understand the difference between AC lighting controllers and Pixel. If you think you might be leaning in the direction of Renard send me a pm. In the next month or so I will be selling off some wireless controllers I am no longer using that will be out of the box ready for use. All you will need to do is download the free software to start blinking lights.

  2. #12
    Junior Elf member Boca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    Dave,

    Stay tuned to the forum and wait a little while longer before you start acquiring stuff. This is a good time to read the forum and understand the difference between AC lighting controllers and Pixel. If you think you might be leaning in the direction of Renard send me a pm. In the next month or so I will be selling off some wireless controllers I am no longer using that will be out of the box ready for use. All you will need to do is download the free software to start blinking lights.
    Wow, that is great, I will definitely keep you in mind sir. I have played around with vixen3 software since Thanksgiving (2018), I wanted to make sure I could at the least understand the software to sync with music before I went insane trying to do the mechanics of it all. I did try xlights but for me I just do not like it as much, think ease of use, not end results. I will take your advice, I am not in to much of a hurry to buy stuff yet, I do have lots of sequencing to still do and this will probably be the majority of my time at least for this year. And you also made another great point and one I will not pursue at this time which is the Pixels, for me and what I am able to afford for at least this years will be simple ac led lights, just the mini ones from like walmart. But I can see I would at some point love to do the bullet node lights and or Pixels or a combination of all of it again thank you all I am very excited about this all coming together.

    Dave

  3. #13
    Junior Elf member Boca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevster View Post
    I do not have any experience with Renard controllers but they are a staple of the hobby. You can't go wrong.

    For me, I was interested in learning a a little bit of Arduino programming and also making my own boards. So I went the route of sticking with the Arduino for standard AC light strings and non-pixel DC light strips. My end cost for building SSR boards was about $1.75 per AC channel and about $1.00 per DC channel. Also, I can mix AC and DC boards within the same system.

    BUT!!
    The big but is, by the time you add in the costs for enclosures, power supplies, cabling, the Arduino MEGA, and wireless communication module, my cost per channel rose to $2.50 - $2.75 for a 32 channel system. Most of these added costs will be required for the Renard based system as well. This does not include the cost for lights!!

    I guess my point is - the cost difference may not be as much as you think by the time you add it all up. The Renard has a lot of support avaiable. While there is a lot of Arduino support available, each persons implementation differences adds many different and unique problems that can be harder to solve.
    Kevster I would love to see pics and or any information you have on your system. The lights which for me are just simple led mini's I have roughly 10000 of them, which for now is enough since I am on a simple 2/3 acre corner lot. My 48 channel arduino system was as an average about $18 per sainsmart 8 channel relay, the Mega I got on Amazon for a steal ( I actually got 2 ) was I think 16 or 17 bucks each. I saved on the box setup since I just made a control box with Lumber and Plexiglass, I live near a flea market so stuff like wire and hinges and things like that are just dirt cheap. I had all the cables, usb a to b, 5volt power for the relays all just laying around, so the cost for me for on off was like you point out, very cheap. I have not looked much into DC dimming since as you have stated the Lights, I just don't have them now, so I am leaning towards ac, this is where I am not seeing a cost efficient alternative. So if you don't mind posting links or anything to help me get that way I am willing to learn and try to see what I could make that way also.

    One last question if you all could please answer. Is it okay for me to post all these types of questions and such in this area, or should I be posting somewhere else on the forums? I don't want to step on toes.

    Thank you all so much.

    Dave

  4. #14
    DIGWDF Engineer member dirknerkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boca View Post
    One last question if you all could please answer. Is it okay for me to post all these types of questions and such in this area, or should I be posting somewhere else on the forums? I don't want to step on toes.

    Thank you all so much.

    Dave
    You're fine, Dave. Just keep goin' and ask away! If at some time you want to shift gears, just create a new topic in an appropriate place.
    Even though the DIGWDF Store has closed, it's still awesome! Thanks to all who have supported us through nearly 7 years of excitement!
    Parts of the store will remain open for downloading documentation, firmware and other files: http://digwdf.com/store


  5. #15
    Old Man Winter member
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    Welcome! Great to see new names here.

  6. #16
    Senior Elf member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boca View Post
    Kevster I would love to see pics and or any information you have on your system.............
    Here are a couple pictures.

    The first picture shows what I call a "system". It consists of a Arduino MEGA (clone) with a custom shield attached, an AC distribution board (white) that also has the Zero Cross Detector circuit, a DC distribution board (black), and three 8 channel AC SSR boards (blue), all enclosed in a SockitBox.

    The second picture shows the systems out in the front yard area.

    The third picture shows one version of the MEGA shield that I designed. This particular one was designed to include a NRF24L01(?) and had the Zero Cross Detector circuit. I ended up not liking the Zero Cross Detector and AC power on the shield and moved it to another board. Now I use a shield that was designed to use an ESP-01 module for wifi communications.

    The fourth picture shows a version of the AC SSR board.

    The fifth picture shows a system with a DC SSR board (red) that just shows the flexibility of the system. I can put in whichever SSR type that I need.

    I designed all of the printed circuit boards using Eagle and had them made by Dirty PCBs. Having never done this before, I was happy with the outcome although I had to make revisions to each board because of mistakes.

    For me, I was laid up for a year or so and used this hobby to keep my sanity. So I had a lot of time to dedicate to research, design, testing, and re-design. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to use sketches that others provided. I learned enough to be able to modify the sketches to meet my needs.

    I hope this helps you. If you want a more proven and widely supported system, you can hardly go wrong with Renard.

    BTW - I would suggest starting new threads for more specific questions about whichever system you decide to go with and put some keywords regarding the subject in the thread heading. I almost did not click on this thread because it was titled as an "introduction".

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  7. #17
    Junior Elf member Boca's Avatar
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    Kevster that is a nice setup. I love how you can switch out your ssr's to fit your need. I pray all is well now.

    Dave

  8. #18
    Junior Elf member
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    Welcome to addictive fun. Everyone here is very helpful and the guys at Renard and Vixen are awesome to deal with. You cannot go wrong with either as a newbie, IMO.
    Standing on the shoulders of others before us to make our home blink
    '07-17 Static incans and leds
    '18 Delayed but went on. 14k led, 4-TR24's 8 Sequences

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