Troubleshooting RGB Strings and Other Things

One thing I noticed after getting my show live was one of my RGB strings was not behaving as expected. This is one of those things that no one else would probably notice because it happens so fast, but to me it was like not having the string on at all. The issue was the string on the left side of my garage (I have 2 strings around the garage, each starting in the center) seemed to be sequenced in the wrong direction. Where this became really noticeable was when I did a curtain effect from left to right, or right to left instead of a smooth wash across the garage the left side would start at the wrong end of the string.

As you can see in the pictures the string on the left is starting to fill from the bottom instead of from the centre like the stings above are.

I wasn’t sure what was causing this. My guess was I had something set up incorrectly in my preview as it seemed to work correctly in the preview window. First I created a test sequence with a left to right curtain effect and an up and down curtain effect. Then I tried changing the properties of the prop. Ensuring the string definition was to start at the right side of the prop. This didn’t seem to make any difference. One thing I had noticed in the S5 preview is there is a blue box on one end of each string, maybe this was the starting point for the Pixels not the setting in the string definition? I rotated the prop and adjusted it accordingly to fit the outline of the garage, run the test sequence again and bingo it works.

Here is the test sequence with the left side of the garage running backwards

Here it is after reversing the direction the prop was drawn in the S5 preview tool.

You can see the continuous flow of blue light across the top of the garage vs. the disjointed flow in the first video. I am happy I got this fixed because it was really bugging me when looking at the videos and watching the lights live. This issue is probably more to do with me not fully understanding the S5 Preview tool when building my layout than anything, but this did not reveal itself until I ran the sequences on the house.

I’d also been looking for a tree topper for my Pixel tree, I’ll most likely make a pixel one next year but for this year I wanted something to hide the conduit sticking out of the top of my tree. All the lighted ones seemed to be indoor only and the non lighted ones seemed a little too fragile to be outside in the elements, but then I found this snowman head at the Christmas Store (it may be fragile too but it is awesome enough I’m willing to use it for 1 year if that is all it lasts).

Snowman Head

The width of the collar was exactly the size of the top plate on the pixel tree and the depth inside the head was the same as the length of conduit sticking up. It couldn’t have fit better if I had measured it. The only modification I made was to make 2 small slits in either side of the neck to secure the topper to the tree with zip ties.

After all this was done I was excited to watch some of the sequences. Everything looked great on the RGBs but then I noticed on one of my mini trees the green lights were not working, grrrr.Tree outThis is a problem I’ll need to look at fixing next weekend, I’ll most likely also look at the middle tree where the top 1/2 of the green string is not working.


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