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FAQ Links


  • Glossary Glossary of Terms used in the DIY Lighting
  • LED Descriptions; Description of the difference between 1/2 wave and Full wave LEDs
  • Mod_Wireless; How to add the Lynx Express Wireless Receiver to a non Lynx Express Controller
  • DIY_Decorations; How To Build Display Items

DMX Wiring Info

LOR Info

Dimming Info

  • Pic Dimming; Chat log of RJ explaining how different types of dimmers work
  • Dimming; How Dimming works with random trigger ssrs

PIC (micro-controller)

Connector Wiring

  • 3_Conductor; Wiring convention for the 3-wire connectors

Video Guides

Bill Buehler's Helpful How to Video Series

Xmus Video Series, Vixen setup and function use

Other Guides

Hooking up a DMX Universe

  • How to hook DMX up and make it work

Low Voltage Transformers

  • A simple diagram of transformer setup
  • Lynx Voltage Info; Describes which Lynx hardware that can be used on different voltages and hertz
  • Low Voltage Lighting in Oz; A quick run down on low voltage lighting and Toroid Transformers.

DIY MINI Presentations

Wiki Editing


Soldering Irons and Soldering Stations

With all the new people building controllers this year some info about options for soldering irons and stations would be useful.

Soldering Irons/Stations in the United States

Soldering Irons/Stations in Australia

Solder - Confused? Don't know what to get?

Helpful Tools to Have

  • DVM Digital Volt Meter- Very helpful in diagnosing problems and to see how many amps you have on something.
  • Magnifying Glass with Light
  • Printed Circuit Board Holder (PCB) - Try Radio Shack
  • Basic Wire cutters Small Diagonal are good Plato Cutters
  • Solder Braid and or Desoldering Iron for that rare oops moment

To Program a PIC Chip you can either ask one of the members to program them for you (Note: In most kit coops, the PIC will be preprogrammed) or you can get your own Pic programmer and either use the hex code from RJ or if you feel up to the challenge write your own code. You can get a clone Pickit2 from ebay or get the programmer right from the company that made the PIC Pic Kit 2 Super Note: If you work in the education field and have an email address with edu at the end then Microchip will give you 5% off the price of the programmer.

Tips and Tricks


  • Top all time Tip - Having JJ as your Dad
  • 1. To help to avoid electrical death, put one hand in your pocket whenever working on live circuits.
  • 2. To remove mounting bosses inside the cases - Use a drill press with a bit that is larger then the boss. A drill press is safer to use than a drill.
  • 3. You don't need any hardware to use Vixen (besides the computer). In fact when starting out just take a picture of your house (if possible set your camera to Black & White). Load the picture into Vixen and start drawing channels on it.
  • 4. Soldering Triacs - Its better to solder them quickly at a higher heat than a lower heat and longer heat time.


  • 1. A quick and easy way to set the start address on the dimmers is to use the Test Channel function in Vixen. It is two boxes with check marks normally right next to the number of channels. Once in the "Test Channel" dialog box, select Channel 1 and adjust the dimming value to the starting channel number you desire. (ie: If you want a start address of 65 move the slider down to 65). Once that is done just follow the directions for the dimmer to program/configure it.
Programming/configuring the start address for the SSR4 and Freestyle is really much easier than it sounds in the manual -- once you have vixen setup and outputting with the test channel(s) as above and the controller running in "operate" mode, just simply move the jumper over to "program" for 2 seconds and then put it back to the operate side. It is now programmed! Now restart it and send data to the address you just programmed it to. It's that simple.

Resistor sample color codes