Quick safety lecture... Pixel light shows like ours run on either 5v or 12v DC. Because this isn't "scary" mains AC voltage (110-120vac in the US), some folks don't think it is dangerous. Well, here is the thing: Electrical current is measured in Amps. An amp is an amp, regardless of the voltage. It takes..
Ugh- Web Server Down Again
Wow- getting kinda tired of the almost weekly server outages. Having some problems with my host. I've rebuilt things from scratch again and restored the sites. Running the newest versions of everything, so fingers-crossed this will at least hold together through Christmas. 😊
DIY Differential Receivers
Earlier this year, due to ongoing supplier and freight issues, controllers and other components like differential receivers were hard to come by. There are still supplier issues as of this writing, but things are slowly getting better. Scott Hanson (computergeek1507) released his own controllers and other components in a DIY format. You can see all..
2021 Behind the Scenes Video
Here is a behind-the-scenes walk-thru of our 2021 show/layout. Obviously completely unscripted with me babbling semi-coherently. 😁 https://youtu.be/m_rzh7nM-fw I'm hoping to get time to post more details about the mega-tree and some of the other builds. It's just been a busy few months. Here is a pic of the K16 controller box that is under..
Since this Web site isn't working very well for posting my Arduino code and PHP scripts for FPP and xLights, I'm moving all of them to GitHub. There is a new GitHub link in the main menu. I've also pinned the official FPP and xLights projects there as-well. I'm going to move everything over there..
Bad Pixel Totals for 2021
We had a lot more bad pixels than last year. A lot of shows reported significant bad pixels this year due to production problems in China over the past two years (due to COVID-19). I believe ours are a combination of that, and just the bad weather we have had this season including extreme rain..
Adam Savage and Solder Seal Connectors
I've posted before about how awesome "Solder Seal" connectors are. One of my heroes when it comes to builds and electronics is former Mythbuster Adam Savage. Well, he just released a new video about them that I wanted to share. He does a better job of showing how to work with these things than anything..
Welcome to Lunar Den Lights
Lunar Den Lights is a technical blog primarily covering RGB "Pixel"-based holiday light shows. It provides a backstage view of our current light show: Oak Hills Lights. You will also find some 3D printing information, as we use some 3D printed components in our light show, and that is one of my other hobbies. This..
Ammo Box PSU Build w/ WoW Diff.
I love these Wizard of Wire differential receivers. They connect directly to a Mean Well PSU, and the angled design means they still fit in a standard Harbor Freight or similar plastic ammo box. https://www.wizardofwire.com/product/meanwell-90-degree-differential-receiver-with-power-injection/ There is one problem though... The pixel ports and power injection ports are fused at (and are rated for a..
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..
ASAP Jr. Mega-Tree Pole Change
Just a quick post on this. For our Mega-Tree, I bought 1.5" and 1.25" galvanized conduit for the pole. We also have a hole in the ground for it already. I'll post more details about that build once we set the tree up this year. It quickly became obvious that these poles would be WAY..
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..
xConnect: I was wrong, and I admit it…
Last year, I wrote a post about how there is no reason to use “proprietary” connectors like xConnect over the JST connectors that most bulk pixels already come with. I still believe JST connectors with a dab of dielectric grease are perfectly fine for joining strings of pixels together in props, or mid-strip on a..