Control Devices

Updated for 2014

Our light show will consist of just over 45k lights. Controlling the lights takes a handful of devices:

The show PC.  This computer runs a software called Vixen ( which is used to produce the actual light sequences.  These sequences take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours per song to complete, and more if you are picky like me 🙂

The Bridge. The bridge is a network device that takes all of the sequence data produced by the show pc and divides it up and sends it out to separate areas of the display. It also controls channel assignments and baud rates.

The controllers.  This year I have 18 separate controllers in use: three Renard 64XC5, seven Renard SS24, three Renard SS16, three Renard SS8, three MiniRen 8XBLSD, and three Renard PX-1.  Other than the PX-1, the number in the controller name generally reflects the number of channels unit is capable of controlling, which means I have 448 channels of computer control in use for the standard light strings in this year’s show.  The PX-1 is a small pixel controller that can control a large number of pixels. I have two of these running at 546 channels each, and the third at 150 channels. These controllers take the information produced by Vixen and use it to turn the power on and off to each string of lights.

The Relays.  I have a total of 48 four channel Solid State Relays in use. I use a combination of the SSRez and the Dirkcheap SSRs. These work with the Renard 64XC5 to control the power going to lights.  The Renard SS controllers have this switching function built in.


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