Controllers

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Intro

There are many different types of controllers used for RGB lighting effects. The most common fall into two different categories:

  • Pixel Controllers
  • Dumb RGB Controllers.

The different controllers also can be broken into categories based on the type of data communications protocols used to speak to them from the sequencing computer. The main categories of communications protocols are:

  • Renard (using either RS232-serial or RS485)
  • E1.31 (DMX over Ethernet)
  • DMX A traditional stage lighting protocol
  • Programs stored on SD memory cards
  • Lightorama LOR compatable gear


When choosing a Pixel controller it is important that you confirm that your selection is compatible with you system design. Critical properties to consider include are:

  • Communications Protocol (E1.31, Renard, DMX, LOR, Etc.)
  • Pixel Voltage (5VDC vs 12VDC)
  • Pixel Type (WS2801, WS2811, GECE, LOR, Etc.)
  • Number of Pixels to be Controlled
  • Number of Connectors and Number of Strings that can be Physically Connected
  • Advanced Features
    • Grouping (ability to treat multiple Pixels as one)
    • RGB Ordering (ability to correct the physical RGB order to match the software sequence order)
    • ZigZag (Ability to treat physical strings as multiple logical strings)
    • Reverse order (ability to reorder the channels on a string so the most distant one is the first channel)
    • Etc.

Generally you also need to add an Enclosure to the Pixel Controller to protect it from the weather. You will also need a Power Supply to power the Pixel Controller and Pixels. There are several ways to connect the Power wiring and there are also several types of Pixel Connectors that can be used to simplify the wiring.

Disclaimers

The standard disclaimers pertaining to the information contained on this wiki page are listed here.
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND IS NOT COMPLETE!!


These are selected Pixel Controllers and other devices from the various vendors with a mix of properties. Visit their sites for the latest information and to see their entire product catalog.

PLEASE CONFIRM ALL DETAILS WITH VENDOR BEFORE ORDERING!! ALL OF THIS DATA IS SUBJECT TO CONSTANT CHANGE AND MAY BE WRONG!!!

Pricing is in US $. Pricing is as of 1-29-13.

PRICING DOES NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING, TAXES OR IMPORT DUTIES!

Shipping from overseas can be expensive, check with your vendor.

PIXEL CONTROLLERS

Renard Protocol (RS232 or RS485)to SPI (Pixel Communication)

Renard PX1 Pixel Controller

The Renard PX1 was designed by Phil Short as an inexpensive Pixel controller designed to work with standard Renard systems. It can be daisy chained with other Renard controllers. The PX1 provides a low cost solution that allows a user to add pixels to an existing display setup using just a simple Renard setup.

E1.31 (Ethernet) to SPI (Pixel Communications)

These interfaces accept an E1.31 (Ethernet) input and typically drive one or more pixel strings.

HolidayCoro

(USA Based run by DIYC user David Moore (dmoore))

Default IP Address: 192.168.0.50 or DHCP if available - can be discovered on network using Assistant Utility

Model Max Pixels DMX Universes Pixels Supported Output Connectors String Outputs Image Link Price Manual/Videos Note
PixLite 4 2,720 16 UniCast
16 MultiCast
WS2811,WS2812,WS801,WS2803
TM1804,TM1803,TM1812,SM16715
TLS3001,TLS3002,CY3005
LPD6803,D705,LPD1101
USC6909,UCS6912,SM16716,MBI6020
4 Fused Outputs
Screw Terminals
4 Outputs
680 Pixels Per Output
HolidayCoro-622.jpg Product Link Assembled $129.99 General Setup Video
LOR S3 Setup Video
Manual
Includes one dedicated RS-485/DMX output, 28A per Controller/7A per Output, Gamma Correction, Temp & Power Monitor
PixLite 16 16,320 32 UniCast
32 MultiCast
WS2811,WS2812,WS801,WS2803
TM1804,TM1803,TM1812,SM16715
TLS3001,TLS3002,CY3005
LPD6803,D705,LPD1101
USC6909,UCS6912,SM16716,MBI6020
16 Fused Outputs
Screw Terminals
16 Outputs
340 Pixels Per Output
621.jpg Product Link Assembled $219.99 General Setup Video
LOR S3 Setup Video
Manual
Includes four dedicated RS-485/DMX outputs (does not use a pixel output), 30A per Bank, 2 Banks per Controller (60A Total)/4A per Output, Gamma Correction, Temp & Power Monitor

SanDevices

(USA Based run by DIYC user jstjohnz)

E68x Configuration Guide

Firmware Updates

E68X-to-DMX#Converter_Configuration

Default IP Address: 192.168.1.206


Model Max Pixels DMX Universes Pixels Supported Output Connectors Max Channels DMX Universes per Output Image Link Price Manual Note
E6804-4 2040 7Multicast / 12Unicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 4 Fused (1x4 Electrical, 4x1 Logical) 6120 Up to 12 link Assembled/Tested: $99, Full Kit: Price $69 Presale Owner's Assembly Size is 2.5" x 4", mounting holes on 2"x3" centers, compatible with CG series enclosures. Announcement
PS-1 1020 6Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 3060 Up to 6 link Turnkey System: $399 Owner's Assembled E682 with power supply in an Enclosure
E682-12 2040 6Multicast / 12Unicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 6120 Up to 12 link Assembled/Tested: $180, Full Kit: Price $109 Owner's Assembly To be released shortly
E682-6 1020 6Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 3060 Up to 6 link Assembled/Tested: $180, Full Kit: Price $109 Owner's Assembly Original E682, Before Firmware Upgrade
E681-12 2040 6Multicast / 12Unicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 6120 Up to 12 link No Longer Available Owner's Assembly Firmware To be released shortly, requires UP1 upgrade
E681-6 1020 6Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 3060 Up to 6 link No Longer Available Owner's Assembly Original E681, with Firmware Upgrade and UP1 upgrade
E681-4 680 4Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 2040 Up to 4 link No Longer Available Owner's Assembly Original E681, without Firmware Upgrade and without UP1 upgrade
E680-12 2040 6Multicast / 12Unicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 6120 Up to 12 link Partial Kit: $19 (PC Board + EEPROM) needs additional parts to function Owner's Assembly To be released shortly, requires UP1 upgrade
E680-6 1020 6Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 3060 Up to 6 link Partial Kit: $19 (PC Board + EEPROM) needs additional parts to function Owner's Assembly Original E680, with Firmware Upgrade and UP1 upgrade
E680-4 680 4Multicast GECE, Native DMX, TM1804, 1903, WS2801, WS2811, TLS3001, CYT3005, LPD6803(+8bit), 8806, 9813, and others 16 Fused (2x8 Electrical, 4x4 Logical) 2040 Up to 4 link Partial Kit: $19 (PC Board + EEPROM) needs additional parts to function Owner's Assembly Original E680, without Firmware Upgrade and without UP1 upgrade

Joshua 1 Systems (J1SYS)

(USA Based run by DIYC user j1sys)

Tutorial Video

Setup Video

Unofficial Users Manual

Default IP Address: 10.10.10.10

Model Max Pixels DMX Universes Pixels Supported Output Connectors Max Channels DMX Universes per Output Image Link Price Manual Note
ECG-P12R 2040 12Unicast LPD6803, WS2801, WS2811, TM180x, TLS3001 12 Fused (2x6 Electrical, 3x4 Logical) 6120 1 link Assembled Board: $175 Owner's Notes
ECG-PIXAD8 1360 8Unicast LPD6803, WS2801, WS2811, TM180x, TLS3001 8 Fused (2x4 Electrical, 2x4 Logical) 4080 1 link Assembled Board: $155 Owner's
ECG-P2 1360 8Unicast LPD6803, WS2801, WS2811, TM180x, TLS3001 2 Unfused (2x1 Electrical, 2x1 Logical) 4080 4 link Assembled Board: $68, Assembled Board w/case: $77 Owner's

Stellascapes

(New Zealand Based run by DIYC user mrpackethead)

Model Max Pixels DMX Universes Pixels Supported Output Connectors Max Channels DMX Universes per Output Image Link Price Manual Note
E16-II Green 672 6Unicast Stella-green 16 Fused (? Electrical, ? Logical) 2016  ? link Assembled Board: $1296 16 Character LCD Display for diagnostics and identification information.
E16-II Commercial 672 6Unicast Stella-black 16 Fused (? Electrical, ? Logical) 2016  ? link Assembled Board: $1995 With power supply and 16 400mm "tails" with waterproof screw up connectors
E16-II Pro 672 6Unicast Stella-black 16 Fused (? Electrical, ? Logical) 2016  ? link Assembled Board: $?? With power supply and Neutrik XLR, power and ethernet chasis connectors
E2 170 1Unicast Stella-black 2 ? 512  ? link Assembled Board: $?? With power supply,operates on low voltage DC (12-48V)

DMX512 to SPI

These interfaces accept a DMX input and typically drive one or more pixel strings.

HolidayCoro

(USA Based run by DIYC user David Moore (dmoore))

Model Max Pixels DMX Channels Pixels Supported Output Connectors Image Link Price Note
EasyPix 170 512 WS2811,WS2812,WS801,WS2803
TM1804,TM1803,TM1812,SM16715
TLS3001,TLS3002,CY3005
LPD6803
1 Fused Output
Screw Terminals
HolidayCoro-614.jpg Product Link $39.99 Null pixels, Reverse order,Push button setting with back-lit LCD screen, built-in sequences
TinyPix 170 512 WS2811,WS2812,WS801,WS2803
TM1804,TM1803,TM1812,SM16715
TLS3001,TLS3002,CY3005
LPD6803
1 Fused Output
Screw Terminals
HolidayCoro-611.jpg Product Link $34.99 Null pixels, Reverse order, built-in sequences

Joshua 1 Systems (J1SYS)

(USA Based run by DIYC user j1sys)

Model Max Pixels DMX Universes Pixels Supported Output Connectors Max Channels DMX Universes per Output Image Link Price Manual Note
DCG-P2 170/680* 1DMX/*4HyperDMX LPD6803, WS2801, WS2811, TM180x, TLS3001 2 Unfused (1x2 Electrical, 1x2 Logical) 512DMX/*2048HyperDMX 1 link Assembled Board: $53 2 Pixel Outputs share 1 DMX or 4 HyperDmx input channels
uDCG-P2 170/680* 1DMX/*4HyperDMX LPD6803, WS2801, WS2811, TM180x, TLS3001 2 Unfused (1x2 Electrical, 1x2 Logical) 512DMX/*2048HyperDMX 1 link Assembled Board: $42, Assembled Board w/Case: $48 2 Pixel Outputs share 1 DMX or 4 HyperDmx input channels

Ray Wu

(China Based)


DIYB

(USA based) Run by DIYC user charleskerr

Electron Design

(Israel based)

AVD

(Australia Based run by DIYC user David_AVD)

ACL Wiki

ACL Thread

ACL

The Tiger Protocol Bridge (TigerPB) TP3212 is a small controller for use with RGB LED lights and LED strips that utilise driver chips like the 6803/2801/3005. These are the currently targeted protocols and it is possible that other 2-wire and single wire protocols could be supported with firmware upgrades. This will provide future proofing of your controller.

The initial release will accept a standard DMX512A data stream and provide control for 170 RGB Pixels (510ch). There will be dual buffered outputs that will allow you to split the 170 pixels into say 100/70 and run them in different directions and yet control them as a single 170 pixel string. Each dual buffered output will also allow for the parallel connection of the same number of pixels allowing for two strings to be used with the same patterns. If these are run in opposite directions they would provide for mirrored effects. Each of the Dual outputs will be able to drive different protocols if required.

If ran with ECG product line from http://www.j1sys.com you can use hyper-DMX and this controller can be expanded to running 4 Universe's off each controller.

More info to Follow and at this point this controller is no longer sold. It has been talked about coming back out. As the information comes in it will be updated. If you can get one used, they are still very nice units and work well.

More info at http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/board,34.0.html

Onumen

RPM

(USA Based run by DIYC member RPM)

Stellascapes

(New Zealand Based run by DIYC user mrpackethead)

  • T3: DMX512 - SPI Bridge

The T3 controller provides a bridge between DMX512 and 4 strings of RGB pixels.

More details at http://www.stellascapes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55&Itemid=62

SD Memory Card to SPI

Ray Wu

(China Based)

Light-O-Rama (LOR) to SPI

Light-O-Rama (LOR)

(USA Based)

PIXEL Extenders

Joshua 1 Systems (J1SYS)

(USA Based run by DIYC user j1sys)

  • ECG-PPX

ECG-PPX is a combination of small adapter boards that can be used in conjunction with our pixel oriented products (PIXAD8, P12R, etc.) to extend the pixel signals over much longer distances. They should also work with most other brands of pixel drivers. The ECG-PPX system also will distribute a modest power envelope over the same cable for optionally powering the pixels without the need for local power supplies at the pixel strings. More details at http://www.j1sys.com/ecg-ppx/

  • ECG-PPD-A – Powered Pixel Driver - 7VDC – 12VDC input range
  • ECG-PPD-B – Powered Pixel Driver - 7VDC – 40VDC input range
  • ECG-PPD-C – 4 Channel Powered Pixel Driver - 7VDC – 40VDC input range on Channel 1
  • ECG-PPR-A – Multi-Mode Powered Pixel Receiver
  • ECG-PPI-A – Powered Pixel Injector - 7VDC-40VDC Input, 5VDC 1.5A output

E1.31 Bridges and DMX Dongles

E1.31 (Ethernet) to DMX or Renard Output

DIYLEDEXPRESS

(USA Based run by DIYC user tjetzer)

Joshua 1 Systems (J1SYS)

(USA Based run by DIYC user j1sys)

RPM

(USA Based run by DIYC member RPM)

Discussion Thread

USB to DMX512 Output

USB DMX dongles are commonly used in conjunction with PC software to output a single universe (512 channels) of DMX.


FTDI drivers for dongles:

Dumb RGB DC Controllers Feature Comparisons

DC Controller Comparison Table
Manufacturer Model Pre-built DC Voltage Channels Channel Current Total Current Protocol(s) Total Price Per Ch Price
Light-O-Rama CMB16D Yes 5V - 60V 16 4A 20A per 8 Ch LOR, DMX $119.95 $7.49
Light-O-Rama CMB16D-QC Yes 5V - 60V 16 4A 20A per 8 Ch LOR, DMX $99.95 $6.24
TigerDMX TigerDMX48 Yes 9V - 55V 48 2.5A 30A per 24 Ch DMX $145.00 $3.02
TigerDMX TigerDMX120LC Yes 12V - 36V 120 100mA DMX $125.00 $1.04
AVD DC48 Yes 12V - 36V 48 2A 20A per 24 Ch DMX $199.00 $4.15
AVD DC24 Yes 12V - 36V 24 2A 15A per 12 Ch DMX $129.00 $5.38
Audiolight Intl HD-714 US China Yes 12V - 24V 3 2A 6A DMX $8.95 $2.98
Audiolight Intl HD-712 US China Yes 12V - 24V 27 1A 15A DMX $44.21 $1.64
Leynew LN-DMXMODEL-3CH-LV12 US China Yes 12V 3 2A 6A DMX $7.49 $2.49
EUChips PX24506 Yes 12V - 24V 3 3A 9A DMX $22.32 $7.44
wjohn DMX3 No 9-35vdc 3 2A per Chn up to 6A DMX $9.00 $3.00
wjohn DMX16DCSSR No 12-24vdc 16 2A per Chn up to 10A DMX $48.00 $3.00
wjohn REN64 No 9-35vdc 64 2A per Chn up to 7A per SSR RS232/485, DMX $67.50 $1.05
Renard Ren48LSD No 5,9-24vdc 48 400mA 9.6A x 2 RS232/485, DMX $44.66 $0.93
DIYLEDExpress Ren24DC Built or Kit 5,7-24vdc 24 4A 30A x 2 RS232/485, DMX $72.10 $3

DM103 Ray Wu DMX to 3 Channel

Related Links

Different Styles of Pixels
Pixel Wiring Colors
Dumb RGB or Intelligent Pixels??
Things You Will Need To Get Started With Pixels
Power Supplies
Pixel Connectors
Choosing a Pixel Voltage: 5V vs 12V
Power Injection
Waterproofing Pixels
Null Pixels
E1.31 Network Setup and Configuration