Ready to take control of thousands of smart pixels with just one controller board?  Say hello to the LOR-PixCon16.

How do we explain what this powerful pixel controller can do?  In the video below, look at the huge tree of lights on the left.  It’s called a pixel tree and every light can be individually controlled.  Watch the video carefully as the tree shifts from solid colors to dazzling patterns.

 

 

The LOR-PixCon16 smart pixel controller includes 16 SPI ports, each capable of driving up to 340 pixels as well as up to four more dedicated DMX-512 ports.  The PixCon16 is designed for Light-O-Rama highspeed enhanced networks or E1.31 IP based LANs.

 

In the world of smart pixels, each LED based RGB pixel is individually controlled and each can be any color of the rainbow.  The most popular smart pixels are based on WS2811/12 LEDs but see the specifications below for all the different formats this pixel controller can handle.  Light-O-Rama will soon be selling smart pixel strings to make it easy to use the PixCon16 controller on a standard highspeed LOR data network so you don’t have to worry about complicated E1.31 configurations.

 

LOR PixCon 16What can the LOR-PixCon16 handle?

  • Ethernet input compatible with industry standard sACN (E1.31)
  • Onboard E1.31 to DMX512 output capability
  • Onboard LOR enhanced network to DMX-512 output capability
  • Supports both Multicast and Unicast addressing
  • Supports IGMP allowing highly efficient data packet routing in large networks with hundreds of universes
  • High refresh rates
  • Individually fused outputs and logic circuitry
  • Wide range voltage input
  • High current capacity outputs
  • Configuration free power connection
  • High power TVS (600W transient peak) providing external ESD protection on DMX interface
  • Remote temperature and voltage bank monitoring
  • Firmware upgradable over Ethernet data network
  • Simple network setup and fast configuration via powerful LOR Network Preferences utility that shows all controllers on the network at once
  • Advanced configuration options including start universe, start channel, null pixels, zig-zag, reverse pixels, RGB color order, pixel grouping, brightness control and more
  • Individual outputs with each connector supplying power and data over a single cable
  • Easy to use screw terminal connectors on all channel outputs and data interfaces
  • Supports the following pixel protocols (only one type at a time per controller):
    • TLS3001
    • SM16716
    • LPD6803
    • WS2801
    • WS2811/12/12B/APA104
    • TM180x
    • MBI6020
    • INK1003
    • APA102
  • 16 SPI ports, each capable of addressing up to 340 pixels
  • 16 SPI ports, each protected by 4A mini blade fuse (can be changed up to 7.5A)
  • Up to four standard DMX-512 universe outputs (providing an E1.31 to DMX-512 bridge) via dedicated RJ45 connectors
  • Jumper links allowing selection between “LOR” and “ESTA” wiring on dedicated DMX-512 ports
  • Two split power banks allowing simultaneous support of two different pixel voltages (rated at 32A each for total current capacity of 64A)
  • Auxiliary output allows PWM control of an external fan for automatic temperature regulation inside an enclosure
  • Four layer PCB with high six ounce copper density to handle large currents and minimize voltage drop
  • Controller board only and does not include enclosure or power supply(s)

You’ll need one or more appropriately sized power supplies based on the type of smart pixel devices you are using.  We have found the typical smart pixel device runs on either 5VDC or 12VDC and each draws 5-40 watts.  Since this controller can handle multiple smart pixel devices we recommend heavy duty, high wattage, outdoor rated power supplies.

 

Lots of smart pixels can get complicated in a hurry

Smart pixels can really light the imagination but a word of caution is in order.  Depending on what you have in mind, design and deployment can require considerable expertise in engineering and data communications.  If you are thinking seriously about adding an over-the-top smart pixel element, consider working with Light-O-Rama parter that has smart pixel experience.

 

PixCon16 pixel controller typical layout for LOR highspeed enhanced network

Basic layout showing highspeed enhanced data network

The LOR-PixCon 16 can be connected to highspeed enhanced LOR data networks.

1.  The Light-O-Rama ShowTime Sequencing Suite works on your personal computer running Microsoft Windows and allows you to design your own shows. The ShowTime Sequencing Suite then runs your shows and sends the right commands at the right time to the various control channels.  The ShowTime Sequencing Suite can even keep music synchronized to the controller commands.

2.  Speakers to play the music accompanying your show are attached to the computer sound card.

3.  Your personal computer communicates to the Light-O-Rama controllers using a device plugged into the computer’s serial or USB communications port.  The blue line shows the standard serial output of the computer (RS-232 or USB) connected to our highspeed adapter that transforms the signal to the native Light-O-Rama network protocol (the green line) that then connects to our various types of controllers over standard computer network wire.  We recommend Cat 5 LAN cables available from us and off-the-shelf from your local big box store in the computer section.

4.  The Light-O-Rama highspeed enhanced network.

5.  The Light-O-Rama-PixCon16 controller.

6.  Standard SPI based smart pixel lights.

7.  The PixCon16 has up to four extra DMX-512 universe ports via RJ-45 connectors.

PixCon16 pixel controller typical layout for E1.31

 

Using the PixCon16 in E1.31 mode on your LAN? Read this.

It’s tempting to connect the Light-O-Rama PixCon16 to your existing local area network.  Because so much information has to be moved between the computer and each PixCon16, best practice is to create a separate network.  We suggest using a different router to connect to the PixCon16’s so the traffic stays isolated from the normal LAN.

 

 

Basic layout with LOR PixCon16 smart pixel controller using E1.31 network

The Light-O-Rama PixCon 16 can be tied into two different types of networks.  E1.31 is popular but be aware considerable data traffic is generated.  Best practice it to use a dedicated network for your high-count pixel projects..

1.  The Light-O-Rama ShowTime Sequencing Suite works on your personal computer running Microsoft Windows and allows you to design your own shows. The ShowTime Sequencing Suite then runs your shows and sends the right commands at the right time to the various control channels.  The ShowTime Sequencing Suite can even keep music synchronized to the controller commands.

2.  Speakers to play the music accompanying your show are attached to the computer sound card.

3.  The Windows based personal computer communicates to the PixCon16 controller over a local area network.  We highly recommend a different network than the one used for all your other network traffic.  Connect directly to an Ethernet hub/switch or router.  We recommend Cat 5 LAN cables available from us and off-the-shelf from your local big box store in the computer section.  If you connect your computer LAN output directly to the PixCon16, be sure and use a cross-cable.

4.  The Light-O-Rama PixCon16 controller.

5.  Standard SPI based smart pixel lights.

6.  The PixCon16 has up to four extra DMX-512 universe ports via RJ-45 connectors.