Author Topic: waterproof connectors and power injection  (Read 501 times)

Offline Frankr

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waterproof connectors and power injection
« on: December 10, 2018, 12:19:51 PM »
Hello all,


I have been doing RGB since 2011 but I have always kind of done my own thing. Looking at 2019 I want to switch over to using power injection and having longer pixel runs off of my F48.


In preparing my plan I have run across a question that I have wanted to see what others are doing. That is, for the waterproof connectors coming off of a controller or power distribution board are you using male or female connectors? I have always used female as the exposed prongs of a male connector seem like a real exposure in wet conditions if you do not use every connector.


That all seemed to make sense to me till I saw this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/32900104998.html?spm=a2g0s.13010208.99999999.259.2fef3c00HquXhL


having the T point be female implies that someone is buying these and using the a live male connector from the power distribution board to this T point. So now I want to know what do others do? is it common to use male connectors from controllers?


OR am I just missing some other T connector with male at the T?


Frank

Offline Bwinter

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2018, 12:53:02 PM »
I see your point and  I agree that you shouldn't have exposed "male" prongs that are live (i.e, carrying power).


I've never used these pre-made pigtails (they always seem to be a hassle)--instead, I've just made my own (to my own specs).  But I don't know exactly how others are using these.

Offline jnealand

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 03:20:33 PM »
I have some of those, but have never used them since I use very little power injection.  I was testing one earlier this year as I had decided to run 240 12v nodes per output as I expanded my megatree.  But I put it aside when I discovered that I was able to run all 240 nodes with no power injection.  I was running 30% power but am now running at 20% and my show looks even better at 20%.  My testing showed that all the legs are connected on every wire on that T.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline Frankr

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 04:05:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies. So are both of you running female connectors off your controllers? this whole concept of live male connectors gives me a general unease thinking anyone is going that route...


I am leaning towards building my own cables with a Y at the end for injection. So extensions carrying the data from a previous string. Possibly with a f-amp, where the distance between nodes will be more than 5', at the start to extend the data signal and then a y at the end to add power into the next string.


Frank

Offline Bwinter

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 04:13:54 PM »
Yes, females off the controllers.


Whenever I need to power-inject, I always try to do it at the END of a strand (which will/should have a female plug).  However, to then power-inject there, you will need a male-plug (carrying live power).


So I don't think there is anyway around this situation--the act of "power-injecting" involves connecting two "live" (i.e., powered) circuits.

Offline Frankr

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 05:08:01 PM »
Hmmm... Was thinking that since the V+ line should be snipped that all I really need to carry to the next set of lights is ground and data. Then have a Male plug there, for the power injection, and a female plug there for the next strand.  That way I never have a live V+ prong floating in the open.


Crud picture attached to show what I mean. Red is V+, Green is ground and blue is data.


Seems this is a safer standard since there is a high probability for each V+ being from a different power supply in all the various props etc...


Frank





Offline Bwinter

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 05:12:41 PM »
I'm not following you.


If you're just carrying data/ground (snipping the V+), then you're not *power injecting*.  You're doing something else.


As far as "V+ being from different power supplies".  That's a big no-no--that should never be done.  If you need multiple power supplies, each prop would need to powered by only one power supply, using the "snip V+ and only carry data/ground" between props.

Offline Frankr

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 05:24:08 PM »
I'm not following you.


If you're just carrying data/ground (snipping the V+), then you're not *power injecting*.  You're doing something else.


As far as "V+ being from different power supplies".  That's a big no-no--that should never be done.  If you need multiple power supplies, each prop would need to powered by only one power supply, using the "snip V+ and only carry data/ground" between props.


Hmmm... Somehow I feel like we are saying the same thing :). I view power injection as getting V+ for the next set of nodes and it may come from the same power supply or another but the V+ from the first set of nodes does not connect to the next. Attached is a screen grab from the aus christmas 101 book that spells out what I am doing.


As I said, some runs may be from the same power supply between injection points but I can't guarantee it so it seems better to just snip V+.


For context I am strictly 12v.


Frank


Offline rstehle

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 05:43:42 PM »
Short answer is yes, if you are using a power injection 'tee', you end up making custom cables with a male connector on each end.  You only need to cut the V+ if you are injecting from a different PS.

Offline Bwinter

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2018, 05:59:31 PM »
I'm not following you.


If you're just carrying data/ground (snipping the V+), then you're not *power injecting*.  You're doing something else.


As far as "V+ being from different power supplies".  That's a big no-no--that should never be done.  If you need multiple power supplies, each prop would need to powered by only one power supply, using the "snip V+ and only carry data/ground" between props.


Hmmm... Somehow I feel like we are saying the same thing :). I view power injection as getting V+ for the next set of nodes and it may come from the same power supply or another but the V+ from the first set of nodes does not connect to the next. Attached is a screen grab from the aus christmas 101 book that spells out what I am doing.


As I said, some runs may be from the same power supply between injection points but I can't guarantee it so it seems better to just snip V+.


For context I am strictly 12v.


Frank
In your example, youre not power injecting. Youre running a continuous data line through multiple props, powered with different power supply.

Power injecting is where you inject two or more power-inputs into one long strand.  All the V+ lines are *connected* and coming from the same power supply.

Offline jnealand

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 06:15:53 PM »
I use two pigtails with a two pin automotive connector spliced in between the pigtails for my window matrices

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pin-Way-Car-Waterproof-Electrical-Connector-Plug-Wire-AWG-Marine-Auto-10-Set-/112628822869?hash=item1a39337355

Offline Frankr

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PM »
Short answer is yes, if you are using a power injection 'tee', you end up making custom cables with a male connector on each end.  You only need to cut the V+ if you are injecting from a different PS.


Ah this makes sense. So you still have female connectors coming out of any controller/power boxes you build but you have a male to male extension cable explicitly for power injection. That addresses my concern and allows using the connectors from Ray in a safe manner.


As to power injection terminology I will subject that I don't know what to call it. I get where Bwinter is coming from but I see both methods being referred to as "power injection" across the standard forums. My plan has me driving 1200 nodes off a single 4 port extender for an 8 foot mega tree so there will be more than one power supply between the 4 port extender and the multiple power distro boards. So I'll call it power splitting :)


Frank

Offline JonB256

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Re: waterproof connectors and power injection
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2018, 08:39:36 PM »
I'll throw this in. I only have one display area where I use multiple power supplies with power injection (and only power inject on one other type object).
27 Boscoyo snowflakes across my roof in a 5 rows, staggered in a 5 x 6 x 5 x 6 x 5 pattern

I don't snip the V+  (heresy, I know)

But the layout always has either 96 or 144 pixels between injection points (48 pixel snowflakes)
I use Ray Wu waterproof T's and they connect V+ and V- going both ways.
That length of wire between injection points is sufficient to prevent the voltage oscillations that can occur if you truly parallel two power supplies.
As an added measure, I do run a light gauge wire between the 3 power supply V-

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