Please vote for me in the contests :-D Thanks
Remember this http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Much-Larger-Board-of-Many-Ping-Pong-Balls/ ?
And this http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Board-of-Many-Ping-Pong-Balls/ ?
Well this is the third generation, and very much improved, LED display.
Dat vid doe - Finally not filmed on a potato, but still filmed by a potato though :-)
First though, a bit on why it was made.
Essentially, it was because of practical problems with the previous display, shown through use at functions .etc.
1. It was not very bright at all, don't ask me how, but I managed to get the power consumption down to 1.13 Watts whilst it was still functional; I hope this shows how poor the brightness was. In professional usage, this creates many unacceptable conditions, the most severe of these is caused when other lights hit the panel and wash it out, they don't need to be pointed at it, just beam leakage and haze can do it. This washes out the panel and changes the colour balance to the eyes.
The new panels are 200W, a significant improvement, and will output 4200lm each. These are very visible even in daylight and the colour remains good even adjacent to significant arrays of movers in haze.
2. Rigging was problematic. It could be used freestanding on the floor with its stand, but anything else was a non-starter. Want it hanging from a truss? Want it in a different aspect ratio? Want it smaller? Want a different height stand? Not possible.
The new panels have standard mounting hardware on the back. They can be mounted in any orientation, in any arrangement, using standard rigging methods, such as hung trussing, tank-traps, trees, and H-bars.
3. Control was ridiculous for professional usage. I had a folder of various combinations of code. Mixtures of my transmission code, solderlab's embedded code, my embedded code, various generation scripts, and so on. Various different non-standard protocols make the control needed for professional applications impossible.
Data is streamed over Art-Net, the standard lighting data protocol for these types of panels. sACN can also be used. This allows use of industry standard software such as madrix. This is phenomenally flexible, powerful, and professional. It makes control and advanced programming extremely easy, and can be remote-controlled from a regular lighting desk with DMX.
4. Reliability and rigging time was an issue. As the units were not enclosed, rigging involved much troubleshooting (mostly wires shorting). There was not much (or really any) proper mounting for anything.
The new panels are fully tested and enclosed. They work reliably without randomly poking wires hoping to find a short :-P
5. Ping-Pong balls and wood are flammable. Whilst the panels do not get hot, other stuff in venues will, making it a big fire hazard.
With a full metal enclosure, this is almost entirely mitigated. However, for ease of hole-drilling, the front board is still MDF, but treated to be more fire retardant than the aluminium case :-)
Whilst all these issues are no problems for installation (custom mounting) or for a few occasional discos or functions (what it was designed for), it is not practical as a full-blown professional video panel.
Whilst the previous display was great for what it is meant for, professional usage requires a bit "more", as detailed :-D