Category: Opinion

Just my opinion, which you may not agree with. May contain rants! :)

Time to start ordering pixels!

It’s time to start ordering pixels for this year’s show! I order all of our pixel strings starting now through about April. I add at least 1000 to what I feel we will need this year, and then split it up over a few months worth of orders. This gives us all the pixels we should need by May or June at the latest, while largely insulating us from any supply chain or transportation issues. That said… (Following is my opinion. Take it or leave it.) Beware of… Pre-Buys: Many US vendors will have “Pre-Buy” deals soon, where you can …

Continue reading

2020 Show Post-Mortem and 2021 Plans

Well, it’s mid-January and things are still getting organized and packed up as we plan for this year’s show. The roof outlines won’t be coming down until the weather improves, but almost everything else is either hung up somewhere or crammed into a tote for storage. We even already got our first order of pixels and my wife (Kim) bought us a box of new coro props to get started on. I thought I would review this past year’s experience and share some of our plans… I feel our first real pixel show this past year went really well overall. …

Continue reading

5v vs. 12v Pixels

This is one of the most divisive arguments you will find online among folks in the Pixel hobby, perhaps more-so than where to buy your pixels and what connectors you “HAVE” to use. Here is my take on it… First- this is all my opinion. I will very likely take a hit in several online forums for posting this. For some reason a lot of folks think 12v is the only way to go, and I disagree. Don’t do anything based solely on my advice. Do your own research and make your own decisions- as I said above- this is …

Continue reading

Up and Running!

Oak Hills Lights officially started on Saturday night, Nov. 28th! It’s been an uphill battle the last couple of weeks, as I noted in my previous post. The problems have primarily been syncing issues, scheduler issues, and problems with our WiFi SparkleBalls. Our display is running now through Jan. 3rd. Current hours (subject to change based on traffic and impact on neighbors) is 6-9pm Sun.-Thur., 6-10pm Fri.-Sat. It’s a repeating playlist that lasts about an hour. Syncing Issues The real problem is the BeagleBone SBCs that run Kulp controllers appear to poor audio timing, making the audio run slower than …

Continue reading

JST Connectors

UPDATE: I revised my thinking on this after realizing I was dead-wrong about xConnect connectors. See it here. This started out as a side-note for my Pixel Data Cables story. I decided it needed it’s own write-up… I’ve seen a lot of hate for these online, usually from people who have spent a small fortune on “xConnect”, “Ray Wu”, or “Paul Zhang” pigtails and other connectors. If you buy cheap pixels from China (which most of us do)- unless you actually buy them from a “big name” seller- they will likely have JST “SM” connectors on them. When I first …

Continue reading

Pixel Data Cables

I’ve seen a lot of debate about this, and of course everyone does things differently. I just wanted to show what I am doing for my cables this year. So- you have a fancy new controller, like a Kulp K16A-B: You stick it in a box with power supplies, terminal blocks, and maybe an FM transmitter and WiFi. Now what? You need to get data and power to your pixels! Pixel data is precious in our world, and unfortunately it is short-lived and can’t travel far. A lot of people try to get power and data in the same cable …

Continue reading