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Thread: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

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    Trying to behave here-NOT John's Avatar
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    Default UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    Coming Very Soon: Open Source Controller

    Posted by JEC on August 6th, 2010
    Just a quick note before the weekend… On Monday, August 9, we’ll publish a whole batch of documents, including:
    • Source code for driving last year’s 5 bit nodes and this year’s 8 bit nodes (the control protocol is quite different) based on DMX input.
    • Schematics for a simple 4-string driver system.
    • Eagle & gerber files for a known-good PCB layout.
    • PCBs from the shop shelf – at least 50 pieces – will be available for a nominal fee.
    All information will be released under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license.
    Stay tuned!

    http://response-box.com/rgb/2010/08/...ce-controller/
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    Yeah baby. I like open source stuff. The 50 piece minimum for PCBs shouldn't be too hard to get from our group.

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    There's been quite a bit of development over on the Aussie Christmas Light forums around this - there's several types of RGB pixels and flexible strips that are using different chips and protocols. These are now becoming available direct from China for less than the $2/node that the JEC/MPH pixels currently cost. And DMX-pixel protocol controllers are available too. There's a protocol "converter" project being developed as well down under.

    And the open source stuff from JEC is also still an option.

    I'm thinking RGB pixels will be a definite option for 2011.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

  4. #4
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    Mark, I couldn't agree more.

    How many universes would it take to do a large display?

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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    The other interesting thing that's just coming available is the EtherConGateway from j1sys. It can be driven by Vixen and LSP via Ethernet, and have up to 8 DMX universes output. There's even hints about being able to have a protocol converter for RGB as a firmware update as an option.

    So being able to drive lots of pixels is getting easier too!

    Ed of j1sys will be at the convention, and I've already committed to purchase one and should have it ready to show by then, provided Ed ships it on time.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    Yeah baby. I like open source stuff. The 50 piece minimum for PCBs shouldn't be too hard to get from our group.
    Al, I think they meant that they'll have at least 50 boards available for purchase, not that you have to buy them in qtys of 50...

    MPH posted a picture of an actual board over on the AUS site. It's SMT, but then that toaster oven I've got sitting in my spare room is ready.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    More information:

    Light Show Pro + T3 Controller + 168 RGB Nodes

    Posted by JEC on August 9th, 2010
    A few weeks ago, we sent the friendly folks at Light Show Pro a T3 controller and 4 strings of RGB nodes. They and some of their customers wondered if our controllers and nodes were compatible with the new RGB toolkit they’d designed.
    Turns out, they are…
    See below for the video clips. Fun software, very reasonable price.




    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    From Response Box

    Open Source Bits

    Posted by JEC on August 13th, 2010


    Okay.
    Here they are. Finally. Field-tested, known good goodies.
    Open Source T3 Controller Schematic [pdf]
    Gerber Files (zipped)
    Eagle Files (Authored in Eagle 5.10 Professional)
    Design Notes:
    • Processor is a PIC 18F2610. It has many pin-compatible brethren.
    • Top of the schematic contains a neat RS-485 receive section which is both optically and galvanically isolated from the rest of the world. This conforms neatly to the official USITT spec, and this particular corner of the schematic has been field-proven by many hundreds of our other customers, over several years.
    • There’s a single LED for power, plus a second LED for status / user feedback.
    • This PIC contains EUSART and SPI peripherals on (conveniently) separate pins. To drive 4 different string outputs, we use a flock of ‘AND’ gates to select and route the data to its proper destination.
    • Expected power source is 5V DC via a switching supply, rated at 3A per 42 nodes driven. A fully loaded card requires about 12A.
    • There’s no polarity protection included on this board. Caveat emptor!
    • Most parts are SMD. Chips are SOIC, discretes are 0805. Easy easy to hand solder.
    I have 10 remaining bare PCBs based on this design. 15 are en route to mrpackethead (.nz) for distribution. $10 each or 5 / $45. If you want some, email ‘john AT response-box.com’ with the subject ‘Open Source PCB’
    I do not plan to re-run these boards once current supply is depleted.
    Source code is coming soon. Check back!
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    [*]Top of the schematic contains a neat RS-485 receive section which is both optically and galvanically isolated from the rest of the world. This conforms neatly to the official USITT spec, and this particular corner of the schematic has been field-proven by many hundreds of our other customers, over several years.
    Yeah baby. This is standard stuff in the industrial electronics world. ATABOY.[*]Most parts are SMD. Chips are SOIC, discretes are 0805. Easy easy to hand solder.
    Another fan of SMD. Yeah. Smaller and easier to assemble. However, 0805 size components will require magnification for those of us with bat vision. I used a microscope for this task in my other life. Looks like I need to buy a cheap industrial microscope.
    The cost of the nodes is keeping me from ordering this.
    Al

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPDATE: Color Mixing Christmas Light Project

    I ordered 5 of these PCBs, and expect to have them in time for the convention. I have plans for at least 2, so I may be persuaded to sell 1 or 2...

    I haven't bought any pixels yet, and probably won't till next season. However, if I get a nice commission check, I might just find some. There are pixel strings using the same chips as JEC and MPH available from China...
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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