Author Topic: Multiple strings per output  (Read 876 times)

Offline jhoybs

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Multiple strings per output
« on: February 06, 2017, 03:06:23 PM »
I just purchased an F16v3, now the question of how to power and wire my first tree.  It is pretty straight-forward if you use 1 string per output, but I'd like to use 1 output to drive 10 - 50 pixel strings.  See the attachment.

I was going to use 3-pin & 1-pin connectors - it there an easier way to wire this thing using 1 output?

Jim H.
Muskego, WI
Lynx USB Dongle, Lynx Expresses, Falcon Player, Vixen 3

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 04:03:45 PM »
There are several different ways to use the Falcon. I used how I wanted to power the 12 V to my model as to how the Falcon is set up. For example my matrix (42 x 50) is 600 pixel per plug, row 1 from the controller for 100 pixels add power to row 2 and signal thru from row 1 etc. this uses 4 plugs but multiple power supplies.


The mega tree for example (24 x 80) each string defined as 160 folded at the top for 80 up and 80 down, the used 12 plugs on the Falcon.


So this is two different ways on two controllers. So I don't use the expansion boards. Hope this gives you an idea do it whatever way works for you.
Kent Davis
Davis County UT

Offline jhoybs

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 07:59:05 AM »
The reason that I'm asking this question is because I have no idea about the failure rates or failure modes for WS2811 'bullets'.  If I assign 1-2 outputs per tree, 1 controller can power my whole display, but if a string stops passing data, the whole tree (or 1/2) goes down.  If I use 1 string per output, I'll most likely need a bunch of controllers, but if a string stops passing data, I'll only loose the string.

I plan on having 2-12' trees (840 pixels/tree), 1-9' tree (500 pixels) and 2-6' trees (240 pixels/tree) for next year.

I'm not really sure what to do - I need some advice...

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 08:34:07 AM »
I have run my show for two years now and have replaced three bullets total.
There are several things that can happen:
They light and pass data - normal
They light but do not pass data - bad replace
They do not light but they do pass data - can be left alone
They do not light and they do not pass data - bad replace
I believe you will find the bullet pixels virtually bullet proof and very reliable.
For example every pixel in every string on any of my models turned on perfect and ran from Thanksgiving until New Years. We got alot of snow, rain, wind etc. with no problems. My mega tree has withstood over 70 mile per hour winds.
You don't need to fret about using ws2811 bullet pixels they hold up.

Offline jhoybs

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 10:58:36 AM »
Kent,

Thanks for all the valuable information!  I really appreciate it and that is good to know.  It seems the F16v3 has so much capability it wouldn't seem logical just to plug 100 pixels into each output.

Do you insert your bullets into a strips or just hang then like conventional light strings?  Since I'm not going to be doing video, I'd like to just hang these things without inserting into strips (ie: folded at top) to give a more random and imperfect look.  I was just a little concerned about the stress on the wires causing the solder connections on the pixel PCBs to fail and pull out.  I was told that I don't need to worry about this, but I'd like some opinions.

Thanks!
Jim

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 02:34:24 PM »
Jim here is a picture of my tree 2015 (180 Degree) no star but I would suggest pixel mounting strips from Boscoyo.com. I mounted to a topper with J hooks christmaslightshow.com here is the part numbers
Tree Star SKU10261 24" 100 Pixel Star
 Topper rgb9 15" Tree Topper
 rgb13 PVC J Hook to attach to topper
 I used eye bolts at the bottom to go into the ring and then tensioned the strip. The top is two J hooks with the string folded and coming back down. 2" spacing on the pixels so 80 up and 80 down for one string. Each string is plugged into one output on the Falcon with power being fed from a fused strip into the three conductor cord to the tree. I have included a picture of the controller. Note for every 50 pixels they draw about 2.268 amps at 100% White. Each string on this tree will draw max 7.258 amps which is more current than the controller is fused for so I hook the 12 V to a fuse block, the ground to the ground bus and the data to the controller as you can see in the picture. This controller has four power supplies each one feeds one of the power strips. BTW Disto boards could be used instead of what I did.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 05:54:27 AM by kentd »

Offline RWS92

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 07:29:26 PM »
One thing I have yet to learn about and this situation would clarify...If you ran 500 off one "plug" of the 16v3, what do you mark down (if anything) as the "universe"?  I have seen mention that universe doesn't really mean anything with setting up a Falcon as in "days past" but don't quite have a grasp on it right now.

Offline plaberge

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 10:01:11 PM »
Out of interest, jhoybs, why are you doing it this way?  You can easily power 100 pixels at 12 volts. So why not just connect two 50 strings together, configure them as folded strings in the F16 or Xlights, use 5 ports instead of 1 and avoid the power injection hassle?
Paul.
Deep Cove, North Van. BC

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 05:38:02 AM »
Out of interest, jhoybs, why are you doing it this way?  You can easily power 100 pixels at 12 volts. So why not just connect two 50 strings together, configure them as folded strings in the F16 or Xlights, use 5 ports instead of 1 and avoid the power injection hassle?
Jim Paul has a good point, I modified my earlier post to show the Mega Tree which uses one plug per string on the Falcon. I am going to post some pictures of my matrix that only uses four plugs to feed a 42 x 50 matrix. The way you lay out your display will in large determine how you feed from the Controller.

The first picture shows how the controller and power is to be used, The second picture is the actual wiring of the Matrix. The third picture is the Controller and Power Supplies mounted to run the Matrix and this same controller also runs all of the roof lights with a extra power supply mounted for the roof power.

Offline jhoybs

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 06:23:20 AM »
plaberge (Paul),  I see your point - I have not actually setup a sequence in xLights yet, but if I make my strings 100 pixels long, I'd actually have 2 folds (inverted W).  Can Falcon/xLights handle this?

Offline jhoybs

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 06:26:23 AM »
Kent, Thanks for the post with pictures!  That is similar to what I was thinking on how to power inject.

I do like Paul's suggestion too - I was thinking this, but I didn't want to push my string sizes too high.  Can I assume that a 100 node string of 12V pixels will never need power injection using 4', 18 AWG pigtails?  That was one of the reasons I was going to use 50-pixel.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 07:00:55 AM by jhoybs »

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2017, 06:52:51 AM »
Jim when you set up Xlights for example the Mega Tree I did #Strings 12, Nodes per String 160, # Strands = 2 This gives 80 up and 80 down per string. The Controller would be set to just run 160 pixels per plug with the starting number depending on how you have everything numbered. The folding is handled in Xlights so don't try to fold it in the controller you will not have it work properly. I hope this makes sense.

I am showing a picture of a Falcon Layout for a 50 Pixel Firestick, a 175 Pixel Starburst, another 50 Pixel Firestick, and two more 175 Pixel Starbursts with nothing else being used. This is only an example and not an actual layout although it started to be an actual layout but has since changed but will give you an idea.

Offline jhoybs

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 07:12:09 AM »
Kent, so in my case (10 - 50 pixels strings), if I'd solder them together to make 5 - 100 pixels strings (double folded), could I define them in xLights as #Strings 5, Nodes per String 100, # Strands = 4?  (Sorry, I edited my last post with another question as well on the feasibility of 100 pixel nodes).

A third question, we appear to be a little colder here in Milwaukee, WI than you in Utah.  Did you find that your power supplies were getting too hot - I noticed that you placed vents in your CG-1000.  I wasn't planning on venting my power supplies, but I'm also sizing them to only load them to 75%.

Offline kentd

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2017, 08:05:50 AM »
Jim the matrix is the only supply that is vented and that was because I thought about using it in the Summer for some things which I have decided not to do. I have run my display with power on 24/7 for two years starting Thanksgiving Night until New Years Day without any problem and the other controllers have 4 power supplies and no vents, we are cold here but not below zero.

You are correct in what you said for layout. I found with 12 volt pixels that 160 can be run with no problem with color change or dimming at the end. If you look at the tree picture you see everything looks good. Those are 160 with no injection at the end. You should have no problem with 100.

Offline jnealand

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Re: Multiple strings per output
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2017, 10:36:41 AM »
I have 3 pixel trees.  All use 12v lights.  On my big tree I use a string of 120 which is two strands of 60.  I have 18 strands and use 9 ports on the F16v2.  The star is a 10th port.  I also connected a Differential receiver to run 8 arches where each arch uses 48 nodes and two are connected together to make a string of 96.  On my shorter trees I also use strings of 120. but they are in 4 strands of 30.  All are connected back to the controller using the same wire that is between the nodes.  I've never had any problems using that same 3 conductor wire even when I ran 10ft from the controller to the first node on a prop.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA
Lynx, Falcon, XL, FPP

 

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