Billboards

This should have it's own area but I'm going to start a thread here.

First of all the billboards are a great lighting addition.  That being said I do have a couple complaints/suggestions after sitting and watching them all flash away in my LEGO city.  I think that the effects make them way too "busy".  I realize that there is one effect that slowly fades all of the segments together.  The problem is that at power on it defaults to the first effect setting, not the last setting selected, that's my second complaint.  I;m tempted to wire together the 6 segment leads so that all of the segments light together no matter what effect is selected.  Would that work?  It would also be nice to have a power supply without the battery box so that it would be more unobtrusive.

Larry

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  • Hi Larry Andersen , I'm glad you're liking the billboards.  Thank you for your feedback.  Not being able to preserve the pattern setting is the biggest issue we have with the controllers as well.  We're in communication with the manufacturer to see if this is something they can remedy for us.  The challenge is that, to keep costs down, these are mass-produced and we are using one of the standard controllers available on the market; as a result we are limited in our ability to make changes to how the module looks or operates.  Again, it's something we're looking into, so stay tuned.  At present, the only other option is to make our own controller board, which would more than double the cost of the billboards.

    Remember that the billboard circuits themselves operate on 90v AC, so the power supply does more than just supply power-- it's also a voltage converter.  We looked at others on the market, but they don't have the pattern capabilities, so to get an all-in-one unit that allowed both 5V operation and patterns, we needed to choose the module we did.

    We're always going to be looking into ways we can improve the product, however, so keep the feedback coming!

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  • Rob Klingberg Oh. My. Goodness.  Need it.

    Well, need is a harsh term... but these are trying times.

    And questions abound, like...

    1. The controller is swell and all, but how do they connect in to an existing BrickStuff community?  USB in, or the two-wire deal?
    2. Is flashing a do-or-die?  Guessing so (splits load into 1/5 of the total need?), but had to ask.  Sounds like there's at least two patterns from Larry's post, which aren't "sticky," so that may be the long and short of it.
    3. Can of worms alert, but reading your note, sounds like you've answered it (changes to wording; since our town isn't Brickville).  Guessing if it's screened on, it's about the same as asking if Nike can print one shirt that has my name on it instead - a custom screen, setup, effort, hassle, and way most costly.
    4. In terms of screening themes, suggestion for the next round: theme or amusement park?  I hear LEGO has this roller coaster, and ferris wheel, and carousel, and if you put 'em together, well... (just don't "name" the place on the sign, eh? 😉 )

    But even so, I see one or two that aren't town-name-branded that need to go into the shopping cart!

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  • I want to toss in my 2cents and say these billboards are way cool.  Really clever idea, and really well implemented.

    My only question would be how much power do they take to run?  If I add them to an existing run of pico lights, will it draw too much power?

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  • John Gerlach Hi John, I think the current draw is around 120mA per billboard, so you should be able to connect it to your Pico lights without issue.  Give it a try and let us know how it works!

    I'm glad you are enjoying the billboards!

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