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Thread: 2016 Group Buy Information

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Group Buy Information

    Greetings fellow decorators and lighting fanatics. It's time to begin planning our local group buys for the 2016 season. For those who have not done this before with us, what we do as a group is use our purchasing power to save on the incredible shipping costs of getting our hands on our supplies. For some sites, free shipping can be had once a certain dollar amount is reached. For others, just having a single large shipment saves on shipping rates. Outlined below are the pre-sale information that I currently have available.

    Holiday Light Express - Ends February 29th, 2016 - This is a wonderful vendor to purchase commercial grade LED strings. They are sealed, preventing corrosion failures, and are also full-wave rectified. Orders over $1000 ship for free.

    DIY LED Express - Ends January 31st - This site has wonderful items such as the infamous E1.31 to DMX bridge, along with strobes, pixels, power supplies and staring this year P10 display panels. They also have the PixaBulbs, however they are not being offered in this pre-sale. A separate sale will take place later for the PixaBulbs.

    Radiant Holidays - Unable to find pre-sale end date - This is the main source of our SPT wire and plugs. Shipping is cheaper when all the wire is ordered together as they weigh a LOT. Pricing is at $134 for a spool of 1000' of SPT2, and slightly less for SPT1. They have other products as well, but appears to be mostly limited to wire and plugs.


    Feel free to update this thread as other pre-sale information becomes available. I'll be purchasing items from the above three stores during the pre-sale and can guarantee free shipping from Holiday Light Express. I'll begin another thread in a bit for that vendor to head up the pre-sale.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Holidaycoro has also begun their sale....

    Good source for pixels and pixel supplies (enclosures, power supplies, controllers, etc).

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Paul at CDI has started his sale as well: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001M9kyu...hFG6KPcMLHMA==
    - Scott M.
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    Carpenter Lights: Website; Twitter feed; Facebook page

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    The Pre-sale for Radiant Holidays runs through January 15th. The prices include shipping so no sense to purchase together.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    I may get a few strips in presale and some "staples" (power supplies, cables, etc). But I'm holding off a little bit on controllers.... I think there's some new stuff coming down the pike early this year- so Im going to wait a bit.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Lowe View Post
    I may get a few strips in presale and some "staples" (power supplies, cables, etc). But I'm holding off a little bit on controllers.... I think there's some new stuff coming down the pike early this year- so Im going to wait a bit.
    What manufacturers have suggested they are releasing new controllers? Just curious as I am in need for a few more...
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    What manufacturers have suggested they are releasing new controllers? Just curious as I am in need for a few more...
    Well, I've been seeing awesome stuff from Falcon. Their f16v2 is already outpacing the gold standard e682:
    E682: 12 unicast, 7 multicast universes.
    Falcon16 v2: 64 unicast, 64 multicast universes. V2 allows every string to be a different string type and a different rgb order. V2 has OLED display that can be used to diagnose E1.31 issues.
    You can also add a daughterboard onto the falcon ($40) and it adds another 16 outputs!

    The v3 promises even more flexibility:
    built-in wifi
    bilt-in e1.31 bridge so controllers could be "daisy-chained" vs typical "star-config" for ethernet wiring.
    etc.

    They also have a f4B
    this is a 4-output pixel controller that plugs directly into a BBB.
    so BBB+f4B = about $75.
    add a $10 wifi module and you have a wireless pixel controller for under $90!

    And lastly, seeing some really interesting stuff on the ESP8266:
    The ESP8266 IC has just been converted into a WiFi pixel controller (ESPixel), if the proves stable I thing it will become a popular (and cheap) controller.

    So lots of cool pixel stuff on the near horizon.
    Given just those 3 items above, I will NOT be buying anymore alphapix, pixlite or sandevices controllers until more details emerge.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Lowe View Post
    Well, I've been seeing awesome stuff from Falcon. Their f16v2 is already outpacing the gold standard e682:
    E682: 12 unicast, 7 multicast universes.
    Falcon16 v2: 64 unicast, 64 multicast universes. V2 allows every string to be a different string type and a different rgb order. V2 has OLED display that can be used to diagnose E1.31 issues.
    You can also add a daughterboard onto the falcon ($40) and it adds another 16 outputs!

    The v3 promises even more flexibility:
    built-in wifi
    bilt-in e1.31 bridge so controllers could be "daisy-chained" vs typical "star-config" for ethernet wiring.
    etc.

    They also have a f4B
    this is a 4-output pixel controller that plugs directly into a BBB.
    so BBB+f4B = about $75.
    add a $10 wifi module and you have a wireless pixel controller for under $90!

    And lastly, seeing some really interesting stuff on the ESP8266:
    The ESP8266 IC has just been converted into a WiFi pixel controller (ESPixel), if the proves stable I thing it will become a popular (and cheap) controller.

    So lots of cool pixel stuff on the near horizon.
    Given just those 3 items above, I will NOT be buying anymore alphapix, pixlite or sandevices controllers until more details emerge.
    Unless Falcon falls on its face (which is not going to happen), I agree that their V2 controller is the way to go. That was my conclusion last summer when the detailed comparison was published on DIYC. I think it was able to drive longer wires out to the first pixel also .. at least I had the in my head. I'll have to check that fact again ..

    For DMX AC controllers I am seeing a huge migration of people over to theLynx 16 channel. and it looks like the new Minleon controller is just a rebadged Lynx .. unless they put their own firmware in it .. Not sure. I bought a couple of them to give them a whirl. According to William Bottomley, they work perfectly with no issues. I may have to pass on my Renards. I have two assembled (with firmware issues) and two unassembled.
    Last edited by kidcole; 12-31-2015 at 05:11 PM.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Group Buy Information

    Btw, forgot to mention the innovation coming from the FPP/rasPI camp.

    Already you can run hundreds of pixels from a $35 pi. But they are still working to drive even more pixels.

    And, recently, they launched an even CHEAPER version of the pi, the Pi free. $5. Yes, $5! Adapters are already in the world to drive pixels from these.

    Raspberry Pi's latest computer so cheap it comes free with magazine | Technology | The Guardian

    So, it's going to be an exciting year for pixels, pi's and p10 panels! ;-)

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    Registered User ggusta's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Before I write a post trashing a vendor, let me pre-face the comments by saying that if I cannot find spt2/vampire plugs priced similarly to radiant holidays, I may use him again this year. Even after this ordeal, so call me stupid.

    Around the end of June radiant holidays posted that all orders from the january 2015 pre-sale had shipped. Well I had participated in that sale and didn't get anything, numerous, and I do mean NUMEROUS emails, phone calls, posts to his facebook page, many pm's on diyc and diychristmas.org any way I could reach him, went ignored through the middle of August. I pretty much had to cyberstalk the guy.

    I finally found his personal gmail address after days of cyber sleuthing, I am now qualified to work for the nsa, and got a sob story after 6 weeks of wasted time. And my stuff a few days later.
    Wherever I found fellow frustrated customers of his, I found numerous people who would jump to his defense. He has friends, just needs some customer service. I mean, really really minimal customer service.

    Due to mine and the other ppl who experienced similar frustration with radiant holidays, this is common enough to be a concern to me and I'm hoping I can find it elsewhere even if it's a little more.
    Last edited by ggusta; 12-31-2015 at 11:24 PM.
    Clayton NC, Gregg Gusta & Son Ben, Was converting to LED lights gave up, went back to incan!! not a single pixel in sight!
    Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gustafamilychristmas
    Likes AnniesSS liked this post

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    Registered User Paul Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    I will not re-order from radiant again myself.

    I had an issue with them this past year. When it took DAYS for followup , I was bluntly told this was a hobby and not a fulltime gig and I should expect service as such.

    Nuff said for me.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Lowe View Post
    Btw, forgot to mention the innovation coming from the FPP/rasPI camp.

    Already you can run hundreds of pixels from a $35 pi. But they are still working to drive even more pixels.

    And, recently, they launched an even CHEAPER version of the pi, the Pi free. $5. Yes, $5! Adapters are already in the world to drive pixels from these.

    Raspberry Pi's latest computer so cheap it comes free with magazine | Technology | The Guardian

    So, it's going to be an exciting year for pixels, pi's and p10 panels! ;-)
    It would be nice if we could get a Pi Resources Page posted ... with short descriptions and links.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default 2016 Group Buy Information

    And soon so those of us considering it can get in on the group buys/big sales going on right now.
    - Scott M.
    ______________________________
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    LOR user with 108 channels.
    Carpenter Lights: Website; Twitter feed; Facebook page

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    We could have another group buy planning session at Starbucks again. The location off of Lake Boone Trail was very useful in the past. @kidcole, how do you go about reserving the meeting room?
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2016 Group Buy Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    We could have another group buy planning session at Starbucks again. The location off of Lake Boone Trail was very useful in the past. @kidcole, how do you go about reserving the meeting room?
    Good idea. The end of January comes fast and a lot of money can be saved through group buying.

    The last time I reserved a room at Starbucks Lake Boone Trail, I drove there. But it might be possible to reserve it by calling them. I have not tried that, but others may have.

    I am pretty flexible on dates. Maybe we wait about a week so people can get their plans on paper ? I recall last year a bunch were not ready in time, so it's good that we're driving this sooner. There's a lot of money to be saved ..
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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