Using My Controllers

When I started out to do my own Christmas lighting, I looked at the available controllers, and I knew I could do my own for less and have lots of room for growth. This is why I built the 32 universe controller. It has about $80 worth of parts and has plenty of options for growth as I expand my lighting display. In addition, I can add a display element on a single control line and not worry about wasting channels, since I have many universes and the cost is low. The outputs from the controller are run through a RS-485 buffer to each group of the lights, so on the receiving end, there is a receiving circuit card.

Single_Controller

One Large Controller

Even though I only have buffers from the controller to the lights, these still cost around $5-$7 a universe for the buffering. The pixel output of the controllers can be run 10-15 feet, so if you can group your lights around a controller, you can reduce costs some more, since no buffers are required. So, any time you have a connector, buffer, switch, change format of the data, it costs you money. So the lowest cost solution would be a few local controllers as shown below.

Slide15

Multiple Controllers

This is true for both the RGB full color lighting as well as for the AC (wall plug) power for incandescent lights.

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