Pixel Strip Light Control?

I am looking to control a few lengths of LED RGB Pixel strip light (here's a link http://a.co/8NzDd9S). Anyone have any products to interface between my DMX control (nomad) and the actual strips?

I have DMX 32 channel decoders which I've used in the past for standard single control RGB strips, however I don't really have any concept of how the control works for the pixel strips.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
There are hundreds of DMX-to-WS2811 devices available. I bet any of them will work for your application as long as you match the protocol and voltage. Typically, each pixel is mapped as an RGB (or BGR or BRG or GRB or...) device using 3 8-bit addresses per pixel. These work by sending a string of bits down the data line of the chain at a constant clock rate which depends on the pixel string protocol. Power needs to be injected along the length of long strings since the copper traces are limited in their current-carrying capacity.

If 'twere me I wouldn't use DMX for pixel strips. E1.31 or Art-Net is a better choice given the number of addresses involved. The string from amazon.com uses 900 addresses or almost 2 full universe of DMX per 5m length.
 
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porkchop

Well-Known Member

TupeloTechie

Active Member
If you are using the standard 512 nomad dongle then you will only be able to control 1.7 of these 5m reels. If you are wanting to use more than this, or control a stage lighting rig as well then you might want to ether look into a separate control software such as Enttec LED Mapper, which you can then control via nomad in the same manner as a moving light. You could also opt for 50IC/M tape to get double the length, albeit a further pixel pitch... also achievable with 24v strip, using 6 leds per "pixel" instead of 3... or using a controller that allows pixel grouping. I know the Enttec Pixie driver will allow this, and I highly recommend it as an "all-in-one" solution for small projects, they seem to pop up on ebay a good bit.

Luckily, you've selected 12v strip instead of 5v so you wont have to deal with a major power injection process, but you should read up on basic electricity (i.e. ohms law) and learn about voltage drop. If you use good copper than you should be able to just inject power ever 5m, but depending on the trace quality of your strip, you may need to power a run that long from both ends.

There's really a myriad of ways (and budgets) to interface addressable strip with nomad, or any other DMX controller. Unless the aforementioned Pixie Driver isn't your fancy, I would recommend going with an artnet or sACN (e1.31) based solution, which will work fine with nomad. I've been using the DMX King LeDMX4 units recently, and I really like them, as they offer 4 outputs, and each can control 2 universes, the "pro" model also has a DMX out, and can serve as a node for the shows that don't use pixels!

If you are just wanting to have some fun, then you can build your own controller using an Arduino or go wireless (over wifi) with the ESP8266 board.
I really love the $20 ESPixelStick on Amazon. It uses the ESP8266 and a custom PCB with level shifting, fusing, and screw terminals. Just be aware of the implications of using wifi based signals in a show environment and make wise choices! :)
 

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