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Multiple Props on single port?

Started by akakfreeman, April 06, 2020, 07:54:49 PM

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akakfreeman

I'm wondering if it's a good design to connect multiple props on a single port from my Controller (F16v3)? I think the pixel limit is 1024 (or close) per port, so I'm well within the pixel limit.


PixelsQuantityTotal pixels
24" Snowflake488384
23" Star90190
36" Start2701270
Total744


Obviously I'll need to inject power every 150 pixels or so (12 v, WS2811 bullet pixels), but the tricky part to me is how to setup xLights? I'm assuming I just tell each prop what port and how many pixels belong to each prop and the software will do the rest? I can still control each prop individually, right?

Any advice appreciated.

pixelpuppy

Absolutely.   And the Virtual Strimg feature makes it easy to manage multiple props on the same physical port
-Mark

k6ccc

That is one major question.  And the answer is as much opinion as it is technical.  Can you?  Absolutely.  Should you?  maybe not so much.
I personally am not a big fan of doing that because WHEN (not IF) a pixel fails, it will affect far more of your show.  Same thing for a fuse, bad connection, the gardeners weed wacker, a deer or rodent that likes the taste of SPT, a controller failure, etc.  For example in my 2019 show, I had a fuse blow that took out one string on my 24 x 100 pixel tree.  I noticed it two days before the end of the season.  It was not worth getting out the big ladder to fix it.  Went back on my security cameras and found exactly when it blew.  It had been failed for about a week, and even I had not noticed it - and I go out every night and watch the show.  You think I would have noticed if 10 strings on the tree were dark?  Hell yes!  Now granted a fuse would not have taken out 10 strings because of PI, but a failed pixel sure could.  Or worse, the failed pixel results in everything downstream going full white - a somewhat common failure mode for WS2811 pixels.
My longest strings in my 2019 show were the 24 strings or the pixel tree and they were 100 pixels.  Just my opinion....
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

Poporacer

Quote from: akakfreeman on April 06, 2020, 07:54:49 PMI'm wondering if it's a good design to connect multiple props on a single port from my Controller (F16v3)?
It is a good design and a very common practice.



Quote from: akakfreeman on April 06, 2020, 07:54:49 PMObviously I'll need to inject power every 150 pixels or so (12 v, WS2811 bullet pixels),
Power injection will vary depending on wire size distance and the brightness that you set the props but with 12v you can usually go every 200 pixels (or less)
Quote from: akakfreeman on April 06, 2020, 07:54:49 PMbut the tricky part to me is how to setup xLights?
That isn't tricky at all especially with the new Visualizer! Just put one after the other on the port.
Quote from: akakfreeman on April 06, 2020, 07:54:49 PMI can still control each prop individually, right?
Absolutely!
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

Poporacer

Quote from: pixelpuppy on April 06, 2020, 08:16:07 PMAnd the Virtual Strimg feature makes it easy to manage multiple props on the same physical port
Just so you are not confused, you won't need virtual strings to manage your models when configured the way you are asking but if you want to control individual attributes for each model (like each one having a different brightness) even though they are on the same port, you can using virtual strings and the nice thing is xLights will configure those for you so you don't have to worry about it!
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

jnealand

I often have multiple props on a single port, but I do not try to maximize the number of pixels on a port.  Always seems like to big a gamble for me.  You need to look at props physical placement along with number of pixels and whether you really need to do this (save a port, gain a port, etc) to see if this makes sense to do.  Lots of ways to do stuff.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

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