Author Topic: Pixels take more power than I thought  (Read 4964 times)

Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2015, 06:39:35 PM »
A 50 node string of 12v ws2811 takes 2/3 the power off (plugged into a running hub with uSC) as a 50 node string of regular LED's full on. 
And I thought I was going to get away with less power cords in the future.
Jeff, I would definitely say that something is wrong with the string you plugged in or the setup overall, as was suggested below.

I finally got my Kill-A-Watt the other day and went out to do some testing.  As I think I mentioned in the other thread over at PC, I am interested in leaving my ten e1.31 controllers plugged in and running in the garage this summer so that I can experiment with (1) new software (2) FPP master / slave setup (3) music sequencing in general.  I have convinced myself that I don't need all the lights plugged in to see data issues, just all the controllers that will get data.  I do, however, have the megatree (which lives on my garage ceiling) plugged in for visual reference.  That megatree consist of 48 poles with 50 ws2811 pixels each (square, flat back style) = 2400 lights.

So, I went off to the garage with my new Kill-A-Watt in hand...  Since the megatree is spread over two p12s controllers, each in its own case with a 350W power supply, I went to my controller rack that I just built and plugged two p12s controllers to the Kill-A-Watt, each p12s in its own case with its own 350W power supply, but NO LIGHTS connected.  The power draw was 11W.  I then went and connected the Kill-A-Watt up to the two p12s controllers that have the 2400 megatree lights plugged into them and the power draw was 24W (lights off).  I went and flipped on a little sequence I have running on the FPP (link below) and the power went between around 190W to 375W max.  Basically, the 190W was when there was red sweeping going on and the 375W was when there was a much higher percentage of white (duh).

https://vimeo.com/120250250

Summary:

two x p12s controllers, no lights:  11W
two x p12s controllers, 2400 lights OFF:  24W
two x p12s controllers, 2400 lights ON:  190W to 375W

Do you have any other controllers you can test that one string in?  Any other strings you could test to see if that string is shot?

For further reference, I connected a wifi router, a gigabit switch, and the FPP to the power switch with the two p12s controllers without lights and the total power draw of the whole shabang was only 21W... right now, I'm figuring (need to confirm) that all of the e131 controllers running (no lights), the two p12s controllers with lights (lights OFF) and the network stuff listed above will take around 75W.  If I end up leaving that on all the time, it will use around $5.40 electricity per month.

-Louie
-Louie
Videos @ Cape Sable Lights

Offline Jeffl

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2015, 07:31:23 PM »
I don't have any other hardware to test with.  It might be because I had a uSC plugged into each string.

Offline Gary

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2015, 09:00:24 PM »
Or is it a difference between board manufacturers, rather than having a uSC? Maybe the Joshua 1 Systems boards have a sleep mode of some sort?

Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2015, 09:32:10 PM »
Good point Gary.  I can also repeat this with a San Devices e6804 or Pixlite4 or Pixlite16.

Louie

Offline Gary

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2015, 10:55:31 PM »
Good point Gary.  I can also repeat this with a San Devices e6804 or Pixlite4 or Pixlite16.

Louie

Now all we need are some volunteers with Kill-a-Watt meters to test all the other equipment available and Sean Meighan can add another row to his comparison table at http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/rgb_controllers/   ;D

Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2015, 07:20:45 AM »
Now all we need are some volunteers with Kill-a-Watt meters to test all the other equipment available and Sean Meighan can add another row to his comparison table at http://nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/rgb_controllers/   ;D
Sign me up!

-Louie

Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2015, 11:12:58 AM »
Ok:

p12s draws 5.5W
e6804 draws 7.5W
PixLite4 draws 8.5W
PixLite16 draws 8.7W

That's all I have... those numbers are without lights attached.

-Louie

Offline AussiePhil

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 05:53:50 PM »
Don't forget to factor in the efficiency factor of the AC/DC or DC/DC convertors you have between the AC line and DC device as everyone may be a little different with common efficiency factors from 70% to just over 90%

I would also expect that a 12V sting to have a higher Quiescent current draw than a 5v string due to the extra components per node.

I must admit to leaving mine hot all show season and I still have 1600 pixels running hot at the moment and really should turn them off.

Offline nutz4lights

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Re: Pixels take more power than I thought
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 06:29:10 PM »
Don't forget to factor in the efficiency factor of the AC/DC or DC/DC convertors you have between the AC line and DC device as everyone may be a little different with common efficiency factors from 70% to just over 90%
You're absolutely correct.  This came up in a thread over on Planet Christmas and I kind of had forgotten about it.  Luckily for the background power measurements, the amount of extra power drawn from the controllers is to the point where I don't even trust the measurement of the Kill-A-Watt (5.5W / 70% = 7.8W, etc).  I think what I found was that my cheapie Ray Wu power supplies are running around 72% efficient (the Kill-A-Watt shows you VA as well as W so I backed it out from those two numbers) whereas a Meanwell power supply would get you closer to that 90% you quoted.  I guess what I had in one of the earlier posts was that 2,400 pixels draws around 13W above and beyond the controller setup (5V pixels).  Even if you assume that you have to factor in the efficiency and even if you figure in somewhere closer to 10,000 pixels, that is still around 75W running when nothing is going, which would cost around $5 here in Florida for the month of December.  I feel like the effort I would have to go through to somehow shut off 10,000 pixels would probably cost me more than $5 to pull off, but maybe not.

-Louie

 

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