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Thread: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Can dumb RGB nodes be controlled by a smart controller or a Pi?

    I'm looking at some options for lights and I'm curious if I buy some dumb nodes and plug them into a Pi or into a smart controller, can I control them? I still want them to be dumb (all the same color). Can I control more dumb nodes from a Pi output than smart nodes? (since they are treated as one "node") Obviously, I'd need enough power to still power all the nodes. Can I have one output from a Pi Hat control a bunch of separate dumb pixels if I separate each of the dumb strings?

    For instance, to control multiple of these trees. Each as it's own dumb node, but multiple connected together.
    Last edited by scottmcl; 03-09-2016 at 09:40 AM. Reason: added example
    - Scott M.
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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottmcl View Post
    Can dumb RGB nodes be controlled by a smart controller or a Pi?

    I'm looking at some options for lights and I'm curious if I buy some dumb nodes and plug them into a Pi or into a smart controller, can I control them? I still want them to be dumb (all the same color). Can I control more dumb nodes from a Pi output than smart nodes? (since they are treated as one "node") Obviously, I'd need enough power to still power all the nodes. Can I have one output from a Pi Hat control a bunch of separate dumb pixels if I separate each of the dumb strings?

    For instance, to control multiple of these trees. Each as it's own dumb node, but multiple connected together.
    The dumb pixels I have require a DMX signal to control. They won't respond to a e1.31 signal. Most smart controllers have the ability to output DMX so this should be ok.

    A string of dumb nodes, no matter how long, are treated as 3 LEDs so yes you could theoretically control more of them but with the cost of smart pixels coming down so far I wouldn't recommend it.

    You can put a string of 200 smart pixels on a controller and then tell the controller to treat them as dumb. This would give you the option later to set them up differently.

    I'm not sure I follow how you would separate the dumb strings. If you just cut them and splice in 20 feet of wire they will still think they are together. So no you can't separate dumb strings, connect them together to the same output, and have them think they are separate.

    The F16V2 does have a feature called virtual strings. What that will let you do is attach a string of 200 pixels to one output and tell the F16V2 to divide them into smaller strings. You can then set up each 'virtual' string to have different color orders an such. I believe this only applies to smart pixels though.

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Can you cut smart pixel strings into two and have them operate separately?
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    Registered User Tripplett's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottmcl View Post
    Can you cut smart pixel strings into two and have them operate separately?
    Since each pixel of a smart pixel string is addressable - yes, you can cut them into as many pieces as you like.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Dumb RGBs do not have the control chip on each light (like the pixels do). You can cut Dumb and Smart bulb-type RGBs one at a time if you want. It's only the pixel strips that have different cutting rules, usually every three. The Sandevices lets you make a whole pixel string into a dumb string, or you can break it up into small strings, such as making a 200 bulb pixel run into8 groups of 25 (or any way you want to divide it). This is the same as the Falcon, they just use different names for the same thing.
    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,
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    Registered User FrankP's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Another related question, I think:

    All dumb pixels on a string (controller output) are either on or off, correct?

    For example, if I have 3 mini candy cane's with dumb RGB, I can have them Green, Red, Blue, on, or off... but not 1 cane on, 2 canes off without putting each candy cane on a separate controller output.

    If so, are there any CHEAP dumb controllers out there?

    Thanks in advance,

    Frank

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankP View Post
    Another related question, I think:

    All dumb pixels on a string (controller output) are either on or off, correct?

    For example, if I have 3 mini candy cane's with dumb RGB, I can have them Green, Red, Blue, on, or off... but not 1 cane on, 2 canes off without putting each candy cane on a separate controller output.

    If so, are there any CHEAP dumb controllers out there?

    Thanks in advance,

    Frank
    I use a bunch of the 27 channel RGB controllers (9 RGBs) that Holiday Coro sells. You can also buy them a little cheaper in China but only when getting cheaper shipping with a large purchase. I like these a lot. Comes with XLR and CAT-5 connnectors, and very simple dip switch setting for the first channel.

    27 Channel DMX Controller/Decoder for RGB Lights / 12v DC - Low as $49.99

    I noticed that his site text says "Low as $49" for those. But he's currently selling them for $54. It might be worth emailing him and asking why his link says $49 but the site is charging $54 ..
    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
    Thanks FrankP thanked for this post

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: dumb controlled by a smart controller or Pi?

    Wow .. I found that someone in China made a new form factor RGB controller. It's got 30 channels instead of 27, plus all the same features as the other one. This one looks to be a little smaller which can also be nice. The price is a lot less on eBay !

    @FrankP if you decide to buy some of these, please grab one for me. I'll bring you $40 cash.

    30CHANNEL 27CH Easy DMX LED Controller DMX Decoder Driver RGB LED Controller | eBay

    This unit can handle up to 24V and has its own test bulbs on the board. It can run up to 2A per channel across all 30 channels. And it also has a ton of test modes. I like this new mod. I wonder if it will fit in a CG1000 ?
    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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