Top positive review
124 people found this helpful
best controller for under $300 bucks - with a few mods it ROCKS!
on December 10, 2012
Ok I have had 3 of these now, and they were all great. They are a little cheezy, but if you are careful with your setup, they are amazing. The only reason I deducted 1 star is because the songs are a bit lame, and no option to input from stereo or MP3 player. I burned up the first one ( my fault, tried to run some big 100W floodlights...) I gave the 2nd one away when I saw they had the 40 song version 2 years ago. Specs say it is rated for 12.0 amps, with a max of 3 amps per channel, and there are 6 channels total. I have run this thing at full 13 amps for 2 years 30 days at a time and still going strong. Here are my tips to make it awesome. I will try to post a video later so you can see the effects. We have the best dispay for miles around!
1. I used a amp-clamp meter to carefully test the current of each channel, making sure to not go over the 3 amps limit. I just keep adding lights to each channel until I get to the limit. We have a modest 2 story house, and covered the roofs with incandescent icicle lights (very power hungry) and a bunch of LED lights on trees and shrubs.
2. forget any blinking or color-changing lights, get the best steady-state lights you can find, and let the controller do the flashing.
3. Get a set of (6) six short 3 way extension cords. plug the 3 way cords into the single outlets on your controller. This gives you three outlets for each channel.
4. IMPORTANT - you need a LOT of high quality extension cords to make a good layout. You need to 'home run' each separate object back to the controller, so each object can be powered by a different channel. Do not get lazy and start connecting all of your lights together, or you will overload the 3 amp fuses in each channel. The more separate small objects you have, the better the light show!
5. I tapped into the speaker wire, and installed a 1/8" mono audio jack. Then connected a 1/8" mono extension cable to a FM transmitter (lots to choose from here on AMZ) and put a sign in your front yard that reads "stop and listen, tune to 99.1FM" then turn the speaker down to be just audible to people walking by. The traffic on our street has slowed dramatically, and the neighbors dont complain about hearing the endless loop of Xmas tunes. Everybody loves it!
6. The channels are prioritized in pairs; channels 1 & 2 are the most active, and play against each other. Channels 3 & 4 are the next most active, 5 & 6 are the least active. So make channels 1/2 the biggest part of your display (roof icicle lights) make channels 3/4 the bigger trees and fence lines, and channels 5/6 smaller bushes, or in our case a big peace sign and cross up on the sides of the house.
7. And most importantly, spread the channels around a bit; for example channel 1 is the left side of the roof, AND some trees way over to the right. Cahnnel 2 is the right side of the roof, and the fence and bushes over to the left. the effect of different objects, flashing back and forth is amazing. this is where the hard work comes in, spend some time really planning your layout to alternate side to side, high to low front to back, it is worth it!
8. After you have come up with the perfect setup WRITE IT DOWN! Make a sheet showing what object get plugged into each channel, you will save time and blown fuses later.
Hope this helps! Enjoy...