Author Topic: Best option for power injection on my setup.  (Read 499 times)

Offline Lightsonthelake

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Best option for power injection on my setup.
« on: January 13, 2018, 09:42:53 PM »
Ok so I'm going to start building next year's light show. (Starting from scratch) I was planning on doing pvc for mounting pretty much every light for a clean uniform look. So when I go to do some power injections I don't want cables running everywhere. I'm going to mount my pi, falcon, and there power supplies in the garage and have a junction box feed into the garage from there.so I'm running some long lines (one is 170) so for this I'll need power injection. So I was wanting to keep as many psu's in the garage as possible. Can I run the injection wire the entire length through the pvc to the end of the route or even half way and inject from there? Maybe 2 injection wires and inject at node 61 and another at 121? If I've got no choice but to run psu' everywhere I will but I'd like to hide as much as I can. 


Everything should be a distance from the falcon under 50ft. Average 10 to 15 ft from pi. Mega tree will be furthest at right around 50.

Offline Emuney18

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Re: Best option for power injection on my setup.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 05:32:31 PM »
You might have problems getting data 50' to the first light from the controller. I'm guessing you will need to use cat5 or a uamp for that distance.
For power you can do 50' for sure but I'm not sure what gauge wire you would need.  Check this out. http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html?material=copper&wiresize=20.95&voltage=12&phase=dc&noofconductor=1&distance=35&distanceunit=feet&amperes=4&x=82&y=26
How big of a megatree?  You might be running a lot of data wires from the garage and power if you don't put these at the tree.


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Offline Lightsonthelake

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Re: Best option for power injection on my setup.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 07:44:40 PM »
Thanks for the tool there. I really doubt it's 50 ft to the tree, it's about 10 ft down the wall then 25 maybe 30 ft to where I want the tree. I'm planning on running 16 strings 42 nodes per. So I'll have 4 data lines running there. I've got an endless supply of cat5e. With that tool running 50 ft I'd loose 2.25 by the 50 ft mark. So if I turn up the psu to 14 I should be 12 by that point. Since it won't be shared with card I won't need to worry about that over powering. I'm guessing at this point I'll have 6 psu's for injection only. I'll be cutting the house into quarters and each psu will have equal length wires to keep voltage drop similar. 1 for the columns, and 1 for the tree. I know it sounds like a lot but compared to the 2017 lights it's cutting down lol. I had nothing but dumb strings running from a 6 channel mr Christmas box. This is one hell of an upgrade. I think I had about 30 extension cords.

Offline k6ccc

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Re: Best option for power injection on my setup.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 08:13:16 PM »
First of all, Welcome to the world or "real" synchronized music and light display!  That's a big step up. 

I really doubt it's 50 ft to the tree, it's about 10 ft down the wall then 25 maybe 30 ft to where I want the tree. I'm planning on running 16 strings 42 nodes per. So I'll have 4 data lines running there.

As Emuney18 said, getting data that distance is going to be a far bigger problem than power.  Yes, you can run data extenders, but that adds to the expense quite a bit if you have very many data lines to extend.

Even at 35 or 40 feet, you will likely have data problems.  Half that is a better target (yes, people do get away with farther).  A far better approach is to keep controllers for smart pixels as close to the lights as practical.  Except for some GE Color Effects lights (which have a very slow data rate and can go longer distance), all of mine were less than 5 feet.

I've got an endless supply of cat5e. With that tool running 50 ft I'd loose 2.25 by the 50 ft mark. So if I turn up the psu to 14 I should be 12 by that point.

BAD PLAN!  Remember that the current drawn (and therefore the voltage drop) will vary A LOT depending on the number of lights that are on, how bright they are, etc.  That means that your voltage would be varying all over the place.  Cat-5 as a power cable is really lousy because it's small wires.  Even if you parallel two pair for positive and two pair for negative, it's still a pretty small cable. 

I would seriously consider changing your plan.  Hiding power supplies and pixel controllers out in the yard is not all that hard to do.

If you do go with the longer runs, make sure to test the pieces well before you start setting up your show.  For example set up a controller driving the lights you will be using with whatever long cable you plan on running and run a sequence to make sure it works.   Much better to find out in April that a plan is not going to work than a week before you are planning on opening.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
Jim

Offline Lightsonthelake

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Re: Best option for power injection on my setup.
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 06:34:26 PM »
First of all, Welcome to the world or "real" synchronized music and light display!  That's a big step up. 

I really doubt it's 50 ft to the tree, it's about 10 ft down the wall then 25 maybe 30 ft to where I want the tree. I'm planning on running 16 strings 42 nodes per. So I'll have 4 data lines running there.

As Emuney18 said, getting data that distance is going to be a far bigger problem than power.  Yes, you can run data extenders, but that adds to the expense quite a bit if you have very many data lines to extend.

Even at 35 or 40 feet, you will likely have data problems.  Half that is a better target (yes, people do get away with farther).  A far better approach is to keep controllers for smart pixels as close to the lights as practical.  Except for some GE Color Effects lights (which have a very slow data rate and can go longer distance), all of mine were less than 5 feet.

I've got an endless supply of cat5e. With that tool running 50 ft I'd loose 2.25 by the 50 ft mark. So if I turn up the psu to 14 I should be 12 by that point.

BAD PLAN!  Remember that the current drawn (and therefore the voltage drop) will vary A LOT depending on the number of lights that are on, how bright they are, etc.  That means that your voltage would be varying all over the place.  Cat-5 as a power cable is really lousy because it's small wires.  Even if you parallel two pair for positive and two pair for negative, it's still a pretty small cable. 

I would seriously consider changing your plan.  Hiding power supplies and pixel controllers out in the yard is not all that hard to do.

If you do go with the longer runs, make sure to test the pieces well before you start setting up your show.  For example set up a controller driving the lights you will be using with whatever long cable you plan on running and run a sequence to make sure it works.   Much better to find out in April that a plan is not going to work than a week before you are planning on opening.


OK I wanted to run a test before I went ahead with anything else. So I took 46ft of cst5e plus 2 twist lock connectors about 1 ft total each. For a total length of 48 ft. I tested the power output at the end of the 50th node on full white and ended with 9.5 volts. So since I know my power will be sufficient enough and my data will make the run. I think I'll keep my plan of all my psu's in the garage with the exception of the mega tree, that one I'll place one closer because of the long run.

 

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