Author Topic: having problem with mega tree  (Read 435 times)

Offline enjoylife22

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having problem with mega tree
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:44:22 PM »
I am having issues with my mega tree flickering.  I don't know where to even start.  When I run the test I will get some of the strands start to flicker and then go raindow flicker.  I soldered the 3 pin connectors on to some cat 5 and 6 cable.  I can move cords around and get some to stop doing it.  I unplugged a few and it seemed to stop it a little bit.  Could it be a power supply?  I have two power supplies running the board, I have fan on and both power supplies dialed to 12v exactly.  I can turn up the power supplies but I don't know what the max power to board is so I don't want to wreck board so not messing with that.  I am hoping someone can help.

Offline tbone321

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 09:47:00 PM »
It sounds to me like you don't have enough power for the strings.  What is the setup for your Mega Tree, IOW, how many strings and how many nodes per string.  I don't know what you mean by turning up the supplies but if you are referring to increasing voltage, that is a really bad idea that can result in loss of the entire string.

Offline AAH

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 11:29:45 PM »
To me it sounds like you have power issues that could stem from using cat5/cat6 cable. If you're using that for power rather than heavy figure 8 or 3 core cable then you have to expect that you'll get voltage drop issues. If you fade the entire tree up from black to 100% white and down again and get pink pixels occurring and/or pixels latching on then you don't have enough copper in the cables.
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Online jhoybs

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 04:54:41 AM »
CAT5/6 may be good for long data runs, but it isn't great for power.  CAT5/6 (3 conductors) will drop more voltage than 18 gauge wire.  http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html
Jim H.
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Offline danj

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 10:49:42 AM »
I have seen some posts either here or over at DIYC forum that it is actually a bit better to dial your PSU slightly below 12V.  I have all mine adjusted to around 11.8V as measured on the PSU terminals.   But I would like others to weigh-in on that one...   I have very successfully used cat5 for several years now and plan to continue to use it for all my props.   Again, I think it was either on this forum or DIYC forum that I read to twist all the solid colors together for negative/ground, twist the striped gr/wt, br/wt, & bl/wt together & use as positive, and to use org/wt for data.   I have found that config to work really well even for fairly long runs (55' last year from F16V2R with no null pixel needed, after I had a controller fail so had to run a long lead across my driveway...).   I hope this helps.

Offline jnealand

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 12:36:21 PM »
I have used cat5 for power and data for over 40ft.  No problem.
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Offline corey872

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 01:21:50 PM »
Sounds like the typical ground line loading issues... you put so much current on the ground that it floats up to 1-2 volts and the nodes can no longer get a good data signal.  Several ways to attack the issue - several already mentioned:

1) Bigger conductors and/or dedicated ground lines.  This simply lowers wiring resistance and reduces voltage drops / ground loads.

2) Shorter runs - again, same as above.

3) Limit brightness through software / sequencing techniques - especially 'all white' which draws the most power.

4) Lower power supply voltage.  Effectively the same as #3 - you're simply limiting input power so the power on the ground line falls into 'acceptable' levels.

5) Install a uAmp in the data line to clean/process the data and re-level it to the 'loaded' ground line.

Obviously there are benefits / detriments to almost any method of fixing the issue.  But hopefully one will work out best for your scenario.
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Offline enjoylife22

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Re: having problem with mega tree
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 07:47:40 PM »
Thanks all for the comments. It was voltage drop issue. I just needed up using 3 core wire.  I will do the twisting the 4 together for power and three for groun and only one for data. This will be just as good as 3 wire I would assume as 4 small cat wires will be about the same as 18 wire i would assume. I do like the ease of 3 wire but have a ton of cat five i would hat to throw away.

 

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