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Power supplies

Started by ebrown19721972, February 06, 2016, 07:16:10 AM

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Okay I am a noob here so bare with me. I will be using a couple of f16v2's this year will all 12 volt pixels. A question popped into my mind about power supplies. I have several 350 watt supplies ordered. My question is does one put the power supplies on timers to kick on at the right time when the show starts? The ones I ordered have fans on them that stay on the whole time they are powered. Or does the f16v2 receive a command that kicks everything on from xlights or something? This is probably a stupid question but I just don't know the answer to it. Thanks all.


First off, welcome and there are no stupid questions.  We all started out in the same place.  In my case, yes, I have my controller boxes/power supplies on timers.  They come on about 30 minutes before my show starts and the timer shuts off about 30 minutes after.  Why 30 minutes before, because I have my FPPs set to update and so I don't want an update running when my show starts.  Why 30 minutes after, because sometimes I run long due to traffic (manually override my schedule)  Your choice of scheduler will determine how your actual show is kicked off.  If you are using what I would refer to as a minimalist setup (PC, router, F16v2), then you will probably use your software's built in scheduler (may I suggest xLights if you haven't already picked software) and there will be a time set for your sequence to start playing and then probably repeat until a certain shut off time.  As you build up more hardware, you could potentially have multiple FPPs (one in master, and multiple in slave mode) where the schedule is kept on the master and it tells the slaves (which may be directly connected to F16v2s thru the eth0 port) when to start and stop stuff (sequences, scripts, etc.).  So, in my mind, you are really talking about two things: the physical power connection timers and the virtual or software start and end times of your display showing.  Hope this helps and again, welcome.
Bentonville Heart Lites (
This is just my opinion/suggestion/viewpoint.  Others with other viewpoints/experiences may have different advice.  I am a hobbyist with a couple years real world experience, not an expert.


I turn nothing off. From day 1 to last day, the power supplies are running.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


I think that a majority of folks turn their controllers and power supplies on at thanksgiving and turn them off on New Years day or around then.  This question comes up every year.  There is no right or wrong answer, just personal preference.  I've been doing animated lighting for 8 years and never turn anything off once my setup is done.  Even now I have a 12v PS sitting on my workbench that has been powered on since early Dec. only with a test Pi and 4 port controller.  Just lazy I guess.  Never had a failure.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5


Quote from: JonB256 on February 06, 2016, 09:02:52 AM
I turn nothing off. From day 1 to last day, the power supplies are running.
Me too. However, my power supply fans run on demand, not all of the time. I do have enclosure fans that run all of the time.


Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


I have one server supply that has a fan that runs all the time.  It works well but I can't say I like it.  I'm sure the fan is taking extra electricity and my controllers have been hot since October and are still hot today.  I like the fan on demand Meanwell style that stay quite until they get warm.


Pi's stay on and PSU's are on timers for the controllers.


With all my lor equipment I always left power on to the controllers. If it doesn't hurt to just leave the power supplies on then that's what I will do. I was just making sure that would be fine and it sounds like it will. Thanks all.


Leave everything on also.


Turn on at start of season turn off at the end.

This avoids inrush currents to supplies, voltage spikes from turn ons and turn off. if your got further dc-dc converters they often don't like on-off cycling.

for the few dollars in electricity i'd rather have a stable setup.


We used to leave everything on from day 1 till end of season.
This year I put timers on the lines going out to boxes "in the yard", but not for any reason dealing with the controllers.
We did it to keep the site safe from "interested" parties.  Found some folks that just didn't understand the meaning of a barrier.

It actually worked out great, as we would turn them on 30 minutes before the show and left them run for about an hour after.
We kept the Pi and the main Ethernet switches on.  The transmitter was turned on and off the same with the controllers.
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!


Using my ted5000 power meter on the whole house ... I saw very little drop when unplugging everything ... I'm sure it would saw a few bucks over the course of the month ... but the load is fairly low ... and I kind of like the PS as poor mans heater for the electronics sitting outside in super cold temps in Colorado.  Over heating isn't an issue for me.


I also turn mine on at the beginning and leave it on for the season. The only exception is the occasional days when the rain is so excessive I am lots of puddling around the displays.. then I shut off ALL the power to the yard until it drains off.
Eddie - KI4RQK


I had to add fans to mine because it smells like my circuit boards are over heating. Now I turn them off after 11pm with a remote control ... I never leave my house tot turn them off..
Raspberry pi - 1 Main
1 x F16V2-R Pixel Controller

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