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Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-05-2010, 6:14 AM Reply   
I'm doing an RGB LED job for a couple boats this Winter, and need a controller. The lights have RGB -, and 12V+ (common positive).

I'm looking at this one from Oznium:

Don't really want to spend $300, or have anything complicated like all the DMX512 stuff. What I need needs to be easy to operate. What I like about the one above is that it has 4 different channels. I can't really tell, but think that you can have a different pattern for each channel.

Anyone have any better suggestions or experience with this one?
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-06-2010, 3:52 PM Reply   
It sounds like the basic controller is what you are looking for and they are a dime a dozen. The basic controllers do all the fades and colors.
I hvent played with the basic controllers because they don't do anything any other controer does so I hvent played with them. Sorry I wish I could give u some advice on the basic stuff but because I don't play with that stuff I can't help you. I offerd Dave to do a DIY thread / video on rgb stuff but it didn't seem to have that much intrest so I kinda trash canned it. Good luck ask acme tops and tunes what he is using he has done a project with a basic controller
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-06-2010, 4:23 PM Reply   
Thanks for the reply Grant, I sent you a PM here earlier in the weekend a few days before starting this thread.

I noticed on one of your video's you're using a laptop but still have the remote. Care to elaborate on what you did there? It's when the lights were taped to the floor in 16' rolls. If you have a thread already send me a link.

I'm about to order the $100 one from Oznium, but I'm really not sure if it's worth the extra money. It says "4-channel", so I'm wondering if each channel does something different. That's sort of what the Malibu that Ben did if I understand all of this right.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-06-2010, 6:01 PM Reply   

The 4ch controller will work from Oznium. I used that controller for an under car LED kit once and it performed great. The only thing that I did not like was the codes they used for colors and modes. I ended up typing out and laminating a cheat sheet just so the customer knew what the heck the display was indicating.

Here is the link to the Malibu we did earlier this year:
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-06-2010, 6:24 PM Reply   
That's the boat that I mentioned above. I'm trying to do the lighting so that 4 different channels do 4 different things. I think this is what you and I talked about earlier last year.

While we're talking, what's the next step up? Something more than a basic controller? When I search for DMX512 and controllers on google, I see mixing boards, but it's mostly DJ equipment.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       12-06-2010, 11:05 PM Reply   

What is your end goal?

Do you want the whole boat to have color chasing like Grants boat does here:

Or do you want it to roll through the different colors for each fixture like Ryans boat here:

If I were starting over I would probably do as Ryan did. While Grant's boat is super cool, it's a much more elaborate system and I think Ryan's effect is nearly as cool.

If you want to do like Ryans I would first work with a basic controller like most have used then move up to the DMX unit later after all of the LED fixtures are working. In an LED installation you are likely to have sections with burnt colors that will need repair so plan on spending quite a bit of time in that phase. For the basic controller you can check out sites like:

Most of the DMX controllers units are designed to work with an intelligent fixture. The LEDs we put in our boat are dumb so you will also need a DMX decoder not really a controller. If you want different zones to display different colors at the same time (Ryans boat looks like there are 2 zones on the tower), you will need an individual decoder for each zone. Then you will need a DMX mixer or controller to control the properly addressed decoders.

Some info here:

In general I feel that a simple color changing/chasing RGB controller is adequate for most boat lighting systems. The other options get very complicated very quickly and I don't think the minor increase in "coolness" is worth the extra effort.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-06-2010, 11:11 PM Reply   
I believe that you can do 4 different things with that controller only by changing how each section/zone is wired. If you were to connect the Red, Green and Blue wires to different pin locations on each connector you would end up with different colors. You would not be able to ever have everything the same color or in sync unless the color selected was white (equal power on all 3 colors). Technically this can be done with any controller.

I have made some assumptions about this controller so far in this thread. I would suggest calling oznium and verifying that this controller will do EXACTLY what want. When I used it I had all 4 zones/outputs wired the same and I could not control them independently.

In my opinion the next step up is the color chasing RGBs that Grant did in his boat. This is an entirely different league when it comes to product and amount of wiring required. If it was just a few long strips I wouldn't be that bad but when you have 10-18 cup holders, 8-20 speakers, amp racks, sub enclosures, vents, accent areas and then some… it gets to be very time consuming getting everything wired up.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-06-2010, 11:15 PM Reply   
Mike, You beat me and took the info to the next level. Thanks.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-06-2010, 11:50 PM Reply   
Mike, thanks for the info and the links. I hadn't seen those video's until now. I've seen a few, but those are pretty cool.

What is my end goal?
1) Right now I have a customer's boat in the shop. I'm adding 2 pair of Pro80s, amp for them, new in-boats, and red led's. I'm doing LED's in the speaker rings for the 80's, rings for the in-boats, consoles, and cubby holes. This is the one that needs to be simple. I'm taking it a little further then red and installing RGB's but wanted simple for him because the owner's home is 2 hours away. I like the chasing part the best. I guess if they don't do anything independently, it would be okay. There's just so much out there, I want to make the right decision first.

2) I'm moving forward with this on my boat as well. The tower has a 3-some so I'll be adding 8" rings and horn rings, then lights in the in-boats, consoles, cubby's, and maybe other places. This one can be more complicated if it needs to be. I'd like mine to be like the Malibu in the video that Ben did.

Ben, thanks for the info and links also. I may just call Oznium today and ask those questions, then probably order it. Essentially, if you have to wire them differently to make them do different things, it sounds like it's no different then a 1-channel controller, just more flash or lighting modes. Again, I just want to make the right decision first. I bought 2 16' rolls of RGB from ebay so I can test this stuff out as soon as the controller comes in.

Does anyone have a good source for the cupholder rings?
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-07-2010, 12:01 AM Reply   
Another question on this subject: On the Pro80's, what are you guys using for connectors to the cans? The Neutrik NL4 has 4-pins. I've looked at the NL8, but it looks quite a bit bigger then the 4, so I don't think it'll fit.

I've talked with Guyver at WS, and he's made a couple good suggestions, but it's still up in the air.

I had thought about using the NL4 connector for lighting, then adding a set of binding posts to the can for the speaker wire.

Has anyone come across this situation?
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       12-07-2010, 8:12 AM Reply   
Deutsch Connectors. I have used them in the past. used to be OEM for some skier's choice applications
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2010, 12:01 PM Reply   
John: You said somthing about customers boat? and Shop. What is it that you do? Are you a installer?
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-07-2010, 5:13 PM Reply   
Yes Grant. I'm part owner of a shop. We sell a few of the bigger brands, but I won't go into that since I'm not a sponsor. I do mostly keyless/remote start, a little car audio, about 90% of the marine audio in town, and then a bigger part of the lift kits on trucks. My partner and I still carry a full-time job so our rates are reasonable and we don't have to live off of the income of the shop. Thanks to the internet and the online hackshops, that's not possible these days in small towns.

Adam, I'll check out those connectors.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-07-2010, 10:47 PM Reply   
Found this on Oznium's site:

What does the four channel part mean? does this mean I can have 4 different sets of lights doing different things as long as it is on different channels?
Yes, you can have four unique channels / sets of lights, all doing different colors.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       12-08-2010, 9:51 PM Reply   
Here's the back of the Oznium controller. Obviously you can do 4 zones of RGBs directly off this controller. I would say that this is a great solution for any boat. Anything more elaborate than this just gets too messy and complicated with diminishing results for the extra effort. This is already complicated enough so just keep it simple. I'd do 2 zones on the tower and 2 zones in the boat. That would give you two more zones than my buddy Jims Malibu that Ben did on that video. Obviously Jim's boat is already a disco light show on the water so double the zones is pretty far out there.
Attached Images
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       12-08-2010, 9:54 PM Reply   
When I was doing my wetsounds with RGB's I was planning on using a phone line with RJ-11 connectors. The current is low and these are compact. You can even find nice waterproof versions of phone connectors. After spending about 20 hours on my tower speakers and still having dead zones I gave up and went with solid white. If I ever get another boat I'll do RGB's with simple multi-zone controller like the Oznium unit.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-08-2010, 11:05 PM Reply   
I know there's 4 different connections, but I wanted to make sure it would do a single function for each connection, but I think we've all come to that conclusion. I'm gonna order one of these before this week is over, and I'll put up a video or some kind of info once it's done. I did pick up a cheap controller already just to test the lights out.

Thanks for all the replies fellas!
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-22-2010, 10:30 PM Reply   
John - Have any feedback on that controller yet?
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       12-22-2010, 11:22 PM Reply   

I am trying to work some things out with Elemental LEDs run by Max Darling the former technical manager from Oznium. It may take a while but the goal here is to have him prepare some kits suitable for boat installs. Not sure what he is doing for tech support, I might be able to fill in the gap if needed. We have been exchanging emails, send me a PM if you want his contact info. When Max left Oznium and they moved the warehouse I stopped doing business with them.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-22-2010, 11:35 PM Reply   
Ben, nothing yet. It got really cold here and everyone that forgot to buy a remote start in the Summer came by to get fixed up. I bet I've done 15 Avital 4103 installs in the last 2 weeks. The boat is still in the shop though. I've cut out a bunch of acrylic rings for the cupholders and about to start on the 6.5" rings. I'll be picking up a controller after Christmas some time. The customer wants a music interface, so that one from Oznium is perfect.

Mike, let me know how that pans out. I'll be looking for options for my boat after this one is gone.

Have you guys ever heard of "Wildcat Lighting". A customer was by the shop today talking about some sort of lighting they do.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-23-2010, 4:36 PM Reply   
Hey John: I check out wild cat's Facebook page Any information on this Lit Rub rail
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Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-23-2010, 9:07 PM Reply   
The guy that told me about them said he has one of these ordered. Claims they "sell" for $750 for 2 16' rolls for the sides, 1 or 2 3-4" rolls for the transom, and the controller. Sounded like RGB stuff too.

He's supposed to hook me up with the builder, claims he's friends with them. They're built in Texas, so he said.

If I can get my hands on some of this stuff, I'll let you guys know, if it's something you'd want for yourself.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-23-2010, 9:13 PM Reply   
Disregard most of what I said. Should've searched first.....
Old     (frosty2469)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-02-2011, 10:26 AM Reply   
What is recommended to stick the led strip lights to the underside of the boat dash, etc. on the bare fiberglass?

I bought a roll of rgb direct from Hong Kong, it came with a sticky backing that had '3M' printed on the paper covering the sticky backing, but I doubt that it is actually 3M adhesive.

Have you guys just been using the sticky backing on the led strips, or is it better to use something else, like double sided foam tape?


Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-02-2011, 11:04 AM Reply   
I have, but only on speaker rings or cupholders. Under a dash you may get a small piece of aluminum L or C channel, mount it, then wire tie the LED strip into it.

I received the controller last week. Definitely does some cool stuff, but not like Grant's video's of his stuff. Then again, it's a $100 controller. I've got a few of the cheap ones that are $15-$20 on ebay and they're just that, cheap. The Oznium controller does do 4 separate zones like it says, but you don't have much control over it. It'll work for me and my customer though. I'm working on the rings and lights for 2 pair of Pro80's, and as soon as I get them done I'll post up a video.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-02-2011, 1:35 PM Reply   
IMO: You don't need a controller to do diffrent zones. IMO it looks like things are out of sync. Example your tower is zone 1 and you cups are zone 2 and your boat interior is zone 3. What's the advantage of having the tower doing one thing and your cups doing an other and your boat doing the 3rd thing???? When I have seen it in action IMO it looks like the controller is broken and the lights are outa control. When your whole boat turns one color or pattern it looks in Syn and cool. But when one part of you boat is doing one thing and the other part is doing somthing diffrent it dosent come off IMO as somthing cooler or a diffrent.
I could understand if it was a club and threw was some distance between the bar and lets say a dance floor. But when its slo close to each other it dosent work and IMO looks like a mess. So my advice is don't let a controller that dosent have any zone's turn you off. Do your self a favor go see some ones set up with all the diffrent zones going and see if its somthing woul want to invest in. IMO a simple controller that does the job is Key.

What your going to find the HARD WAY. is some controller dont have the power to push signal to the diffrent zones. example you might have enough controller power to push the entire boat but when you run a wire to the tower its not enough. Thats when you need a RGB amp to boost the signal. FUN FUN FUN.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-02-2011, 4:27 PM Reply   
Actually, each speaker on the tower would be a different zone. Example: 2 colors, white and blue. White starts on the complete strip of zone 1, then rolls to 2, then 3, then 4. So it actually goes across the tower, then back. Kind of like a chasing sequence. Starboard cupholders - zone 1,2, 3, and 4. Speakers beside each other in the boat, 1, 2, 3, and 4. I get what you're saying Grant, I realized that once I powered up the strips and played with the remote. I think it'll work out pretty well though.

If there's not enough power, I'll be a $10 amp for each channel.


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