Author Topic: LE Alternatives  (Read 2259 times)

Offline rjhodgefamily

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LE Alternatives
« on: March 17, 2017, »
So the Cul-De-Sac has always used LE for the last 6 years or so but with an LE coop looking less and less possible. What are some possible equivalents that someone can get. It would need to have a similar feature set as the LE.

So something like the following:
16 Channels
Wireless
Runs on DMX
Bonus if I get to assemble it.

I realize there is the Minleon out there and I might pick a few up. But there is no way to add wireless to them. And before anyone jumps on the pixel thing there is no way at this point I am converting 11 houses to pixels. At least not at this point.

So any ideas would be appreciated.

Offline rjhodgefamily

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, »
And actually I guess it is E1.31 that we are running not DMX.

Offline caretaker

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, »
You can still pick up LE's both un-assembled or assembled. I have a couple I will be putting up for sale in a few weeks.
Jeff Squires
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Offline rjhodgefamily

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, »
Yeah I know I can still pick them up onesie twosie but it isn't quite the same reliability as an annual coop. And eventually a lot of that will dry up. Probably won't need to look outside of DLA this year. More worried about years to come.

Offline taybrynn

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, »
Minleon express.  Sold at various places for around $179 assembled.

There is always the LOR CTB16PC kit and secret sale (mostly assembled and soldered for about kit price)  ... similar price point.

Scott - Castle Rock, Colorado   [ 2 homes, 100% RGB in 2016; since 2008; over 32k channels of E1.31 ]
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Offline kidcole

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, »
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So the Cul-De-Sac has always used LE for the last 6 years or so but with an LE coop looking less and less possible. What are some possible equivalents that someone can get. It would need to have a similar feature set as the LE.

So something like the following:
16 Channels
Wireless
Runs on DMX
Bonus if I get to assemble it.

I realize there is the Minleon out there and I might pick a few up. But there is no way to add wireless to them. And before anyone jumps on the pixel thing there is no way at this point I am converting 11 houses to pixels. At least not at this point.

So any ideas would be appreciated.

I am sure you have long been working on your solution.  But I thought I'd reply anyhow.  The LE is still a very viable controller.  I've found that there is still a ton of help here, and I found a steady stream of them for sale.  I bought 19 kits so far this year.  And I was not snapping up everything.  I am just finishing up the last two now.  I'll have 3 or 4 spares for a quick swap if needed.

I am not using the Lynx wireless, but those kits have steadily bee for sale here too.  I believe I read that you can daisychain hard wired LEs off of the wireless ones by using the DMX outputs.  So just put the Minleons and some of the other controllers in groups, with at least one of them being wireless..  Cable some of the others off of the wireless ones. 
Thanks,

Denny Cole
ChristmasCarolina.com

Offline rjhodgefamily

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, »
Yeah I can daisy chain them. and that is what I plan to do if my options for LE's ever dry up. I was able to snag the 6 new ones I needed for this year so I can hold off for another year.

Been looking at the CTB16PC the only downside to it is that I have to program the start channel via a computer. And then remember/label what it is. Not to mention they look a little more convoluted then the LE. The LE is just nice and clean. Gotta price them out though I think they come in about 40 more per box then the LE's unless someone knows how to get them cheaper. Not sure if LOR does group buys once a year or not. Not even sure where to look for that.

Offline ChristmasattheY

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, »
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Yeah I can daisy chain them. and that is what I plan to do if my options for LE's ever dry up. I was able to snag the 6 new ones I needed for this year so I can hold off for another year.

Been looking at the CTB16PC the only downside to it is that I have to program the start channel via a computer. And then remember/label what it is. Not to mention they look a little more convoluted then the LE. The LE is just nice and clean. Gotta price them out though I think they come in about 40 more per box then the LE's unless someone knows how to get them cheaper. Not sure if LOR does group buys once a year or not. Not even sure where to look for that.

There is a LOR spring sale every year.

Offline kidcole

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, »
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Yeah I can daisy chain them. and that is what I plan to do if my options for LE's ever dry up. I was able to snag the 6 new ones I needed for this year so I can hold off for another year.

Been looking at the CTB16PC the only downside to it is that I have to program the start channel via a computer. And then remember/label what it is. Not to mention they look a little more convoluted then the LE. The LE is just nice and clean. Gotta price them out though I think they come in about 40 more per box then the LE's unless someone knows how to get them cheaper. Not sure if LOR does group buys once a year or not. Not even sure where to look for that.

I sold off 24 used CTB16PC controllers for 140 to 160 each.  They are fantastic controllers if you are running LOR software.  But they require LOR software to be programmed, they never show the DMX start channel number, and they always have to have special wiring adapters since they don't use the same pairs inside the Cat-5 cables.  They are awesome if you have incandescent lights or other high power things you are controllers.  But they are massive overkill if you don't need all that.  They are around $170 or $180 in the early sale.  You can buy two LEs for that!  There are many thousands of LEs out there.  I don't think they will dry up.  Perhaps the available kits will dry up but finding some that run should be easy.  I only buy Version 5.0 or 5.1.  There are no schematic changes to 5.1 except the holes will fit the current CG1500 cases.  Whereas the 5.0 require the older cases, or some adapter strips.  No big deal.  If you are ok with interpreting the wiring, it's pretty easy to solder the snubber resistors on the bottom of the Version 4.0 LE boards.  Then they are basically a version 5.0 as long as you set yourself up with the PicKit adapter to flash them with the latest firmware.  Most used ones you find were probably already flashed up anyhow.
Thanks,

Denny Cole
ChristmasCarolina.com

Offline winwin

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2017, »
When I started in this hobby I thought the LEs where the best option for me. Glad I made that choice. What RJ has created is pretty solid. I am slowly moving to pixels and need less AC controllers but I have on occasion wondered if I should not get an extra kit or 2 while it might still be an option. I am not familiar with them but should the LE totally become unavailable, wouldn't the Renard be an alternative? Don't they offer them assembled or as a kit? Again, I am not familiar with them but I have seen the name popping up on occasions. 
Birmingham, AL - Canton, GA

Offline mmciver

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, »
I thought I would weigh in here.

While I do have props that are Pixel based, there are just certain things that do not look right and I still use 110v strings for the asthetics.  With advances in software to program the shows it doesn't make it much more difficult to use 110v or pixels and that is making my life easier:)

Having said that, I do have cases where I will pick up minleon versions of the controllers, but a stick point with me has always been the wireless piece.  I have a large yard and a driveway in the middle and don't want to bury cable so wireless has been great for 3 sections of my yard and a 110v wireframe rope light prop that i put in my neighbors yard.  Without wireless LE's I would not be able to do this.

If memory serves, and I am getting older;), RJ was having issues sourcing parts that were not surface mount in order to continue the LE's.

While I would really like to see LE coop's continue, I need 5 more this year, and I really enjoy building them, I could make due with a minleon that has a wireless option.

Anyone know how to get feature requests into Minleon?

Can we still do some LE coop's?

Just my .02

Mike.
650000 lights!
160 Channels - 2010 numbers
RGB elements
Combo Mega Tree
Never enough lights!

Offline tbone321

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Re: LE Alternatives
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, »
I really doubt that you will see any other coops here.  There are other ways to get your signal around.  All you really need is one LE in each area with a wireless daughter board and you can simply cable from it to your other controllers.  If that doesn't work, you can also use a few Raspberry Pi's running FPP to deal with your wireless connections.  The PI with FPP is in a way like a hyper advanced Conductor.  You load your show files on the PI's and make one the master.  It will control the remotes over WIFI.  If you add a PI hat to the PI, it will be able to control 2 strings of smart nodes and output a full universe of either Renard, LOR, or DMX.  It can also control one or more ETD's if needed or any other E1.31 controller thru its Ethernet port. 
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