During our 2022 lighting season, from Thanksgiving to New Years, the outside temperature ranged from -6℉ to 70℉. When I built a new projector enclosure, I had to build it with four (!) cooling fans/vents, three on the sides and one on the top, so I could keep the temperature inside the enclosure under 100℉..
Free-Standing Video Screen
In past years we have used a PVC frame with a frosted shower curtain on one of our windows for rear and front projection. This worked okay, but the PVC bent easily, so the frame wasn't quite square, and the adhesive hooks we used to hold it to the brick and soffit didn't hold very..
Wago Power Bus
This is one of those: "I'm going to see if this works..." builds. I needed some power buses for the top and bottom of our mega tree. The biggest down-side (and only, in my opinion) to using 5v pixels is you need a lot of power injection. We are using 75px. strands, so applying the..
Raspberry Pi 5v Power Regulation
We have a lot of Raspberry Pis that run various elements of our shows, and powering them from "wall warts" in enclosures isn't always practical, especially since we are already running 5v power everywhere. The problem is- if you power them using the GPIO header, there is absolutely no internal voltage regulation. So- a voltage..
Add an OLED to a Raspberry Pi
It's kind of silly since they spend most of their time closed up in a weathertight box, but I really like the little OLED screens on the Kulp controllers. They give me a quick indication if the controller is working, so I can at least rule it out (for the most part) if there is..
FrankenPower Mk. III
FrankenPower Mark I-II used mechanical relays that were connected to conventional outlets. They were bulky, probably not very safe, and had to be placed in a tote to try to keep them protected from the weather. One of the original mechanical relays failed almost immediately upon use. Mark III uses an 8-channel SSR board and..
ESPixelStick ESP32 Build (Alpha)
First off, FYI- there is a new release of ESPIxelStick v.3.2 that fixes the Mac flashing issues that have been a problem for v3.1. If you are running the original ESPixelSticks, or NodeMCUs based on ESP12, like D1 Mini or similar- get that release as it is pre-compiled and just works. https://github.com/forkineye/ESPixelStick Note: I am..
Cheap Rear Projection
A few of the sequences I downloaded/purchased this year actually have video files. I also wanted to try out a Virtual Matrix, since it just wasn't going to be practical to build a large enough one this year for what I wanted to do. So- I decided to try a rear-projection setup. First up- the..
MAX485 Differential Transceivers
I was digging into how Differential Receivers for LED lighting systems work, and was told about these MAX485 Transceivers on one of the forums: 485MAX RS-485 Transceivers These little boards cost around $1 each, and can be used to extend a WS2811 (Pixel) data signal for hundreds of feet (probably close to 1000 with proper..
Well, I couldn't come up with anything else to call it. I also didn't post anything about v.1 so I cover it a bit below. Earlier this year, I decided to buy an 8 channel relay board for Arduino/Raspberry Pi. My plan was to use it to power our inflatables and other "dumb" yard decorations...
While working through WiFi issues and playing with WLED32 (See Multicast Hell and WLED), I started working with the full-sized NodeMCU v2 sticks as well as experimenting with ESP32 modules. I know the ESP32 modules have much better WiFi radios on them, but the V2 sticks use essentially the same radio as the D1 Mini,..
Doing pixels- I use these red ones the most.The white ones are excellent for smaller wires like data cables. These things are a godsend to anyone who tinkers with electronics or repairs low-voltage systems in cars, boats, etc. I can't imagine working with pixels without them. Sure- you can solder connections and shrink tube them,..
I was waiting for parts to continue to work on my Holiday Lights, and had some odds-and-ends extra pixels, so I did a little side-project. I love it for the few months each year in the middle of Summer when I can wake up to dawn/sunrise with light shining in our bedroom window. This sort..