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power injectors

Started by tkuharski, December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AM

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tkuharski

Hello Everyone.  Newbie here looking to get into the hobby.  Currently I have been trying to do some  pre research  and I would like to have a show for halloween and christmas 2022.    There are some amazing displays on here.  


Right now I do have some questions when it comes to the powering the pixels.  I am looking to do a small display next year and here is what i am looking to do.  

Most of my ideas would run anywhere from 200-300 pixels per output using the 30% brightness rule.   Maybe an average of 250 pixels using a mix of props and  1 24 x 50 matrix and or 400 pixel tree.  I am not looking to do any house outlines at this time.  

looking at both 5 v and 12 v options.  

I have seen that after 75 pixels on 5v needs power injection, and after 200 on 12v the same.  Is this correct?  

Based on what i have seen, it seems 12 v may be better option if I am going to 200-300 pixels per output.  Am I correct on this?  But I have also seen that 5 V maybe better for props.  

Has anyone run more than 150 pixels on a  5 v strand?  If was running 250 5 v pixels, would I need 2 power injections?  

I am looking at a falcon f16V3 ready to run for my controller in either 5 v or 12 v.

Could the either one have enough power for a total of lets say 4000 total 2811 bullet pixels? I tried one of the calculators i saw and at full white 5 v @ 30%  i may be around 333 watts of power from the power supply.  This does leave room for power injections from this power supply.  I would need a second one correct?  12 v seems to be at almost 800 W of power 
@ 30%, so I may be limited to under 2000 pixels on one power supply?


With the power injections, I would need an additional power supply correct?  Could I use the t injectors or the direct wiring from the power supply?  

Does F amp do anything to reduce the number of Power injections?  or could this also be an option.  

 Any examples of what you are running off a 5v or 12 v 16 port controller would also help me.  Thank you all for any input you can assist me with. 
   

JonD

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMI have seen that after 75 pixels on 5v needs power injection, and after 200 on 12v the same.  Is this correct? 
Not all lights are equal and there are going to be several variables.  Cable gauge, cable length, light type and many others.  In general your statement seems about right.

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMBased on what i have seen, it seems 12 v may be better option if I am going to 200-300 pixels per output. 
I only use 12v personally.  12v is more forgiving.  You can typically run longer cables, and don't need to inject power as often.  There are good cases for 5v though. 

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMI am looking at a falcon f16V3 ready to run for my controller in either 5 v or 12 v.
I would consider the newer Falcon version 4 model over version 3, but Falcon and Kulp models are both solid choices. 

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMCould the either one have enough power for a total of lets say 4000 total 2811 bullet pixels? I tried one of the calculators i saw and at full white 5 v @ 30%  i may be around 333 watts of power from the power supply.  This does leave room for power injections from this power supply.  I would need a second one correct?  12 v seems to be at almost 800 W of power
@ 30%, so I may be limited to under 2000 pixels on one power supply?
This of course would depend on the power supply.   Each power supply is typically rated at so many watts. 

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMWith the power injections, I would need an additional power supply correct?  Could I use the t injectors or the direct wiring from the power supply?
If your power supply has enough wattage left over you can inject from the same one.

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMDoes F amp do anything to reduce the number of Power injections?
An f-amp just cleans up and boosts the data signal and will have no impact on the need for power injection. 

Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 09:02:44 AMAny examples of what you are running off a 5v or 12 v 16 port controller would also help me

I have two empty lots on each side of my house and my display covers a lot of distance.  I prefer having many controllers 20 ports or less all over the place.  This keeps the cabling distance from each prop closer to the controller, and if I loose a controller it does not take the entire light display down.  I have a spare that I can swap in and repair quickly.  Others have a ton of lights in one location and prefer having a lot of ports in one box.  In the end there are many ways to accomplish the goal and it typically comes down to personal preference.   You will want to have extra parts on stand by.  I have not had many issues, but there are typically shortages during Christmas and if your display goes down it can be very difficult to get replacement parts late in the season.

tkuharski

Thank you JohnD.  It seems i might be on the right track.     I did take a look at the V4 and it does have a 350W power supply.  If I ran 12V strings, then i should max out around 2000 pixels?  If I added a second power supply to run 8 outputs, Then I can balance the load and double my pixel count to 4000?   Plus this may give me a little bit extra power for any added power injectors.   
  

My display will not be spread out over a large area.  i will be in an area around 20 feet X 30 Feet on the side of my house.  

I would need to run extension cords from my power source to the controllers.  Would the 16 G medium duty green power cords from lowes be sufficient? Maybe 15-20 ft extensions.   This will keep the runs from the controllers to my props minimal.  

Thanks again for the help.  I am trying to plan ahead on what I may need to budget for.

k6ccc

5V vs 12V - that discussion can (and has) gone on forever.  Pluses and minuses on both sides.  I have a combination.  My pixel tree and star is all 5V, but most of everything else is 12V.  I  have one controller that has a 5V side and a 12V side.  Careful in that box and good labeling! 

The biggest advantage of 5V is total power consumption.  Most 12V pixels draw about the same current as similar 5V pixels (about 55 - 60mA per pixel at 100% full white).  There are low power pixel available that are about half that.  And yes, there are variations on those numbers.  However with the higher voltage and the same current, the power consumption on 12V pixels is larger.  So at 100% full white, the typical 350 watt 5 volt supply (70 amp capacity) can support about 1,000 pixels but a similar 350 watt 12 volt power supply (29 amp capacity) can only handle about 400 pixels.  Remember those figures are at 100% full white.

The biggest advantage of 12 volts is the ability to have longer strings with less or no power injection.  Personally I don't like long strings, but it has NOTHING to do with power injection.  It relates to pixel failure.  First of all, pixels WILL fail.  There are several things that can happen when pixels fail - one or more colors on a single pixel can go dark or fully on.  Those are annoying (especially stuck on), but they are not really the end of the world.  The bigger issue is that a pixel can fail resulting in all the downstream pixels either dark or fully on (usually fully on in 100% white).  Having some portion of one string on a tree as stuck full white is certainly annoying, if you said that you can run really long strings, so now half your tree is stuck on 100% white is a bigger impact.  The other potential issue if you base power supply and fusing on running let's say 30% brightness, that 100% white failure mode is 100%, not the 30% so the remaining part of your string is drawing far more current than you planned on.  Blown fuses or worse comes into play.  Just for giggles and grins, I have a string of 50 pixels that I need to fix today that has the last 26 pixel stuck in full red.  I have never seen that failure mode before.  Single pixel stuck in a color yes, but normally  if everything downstream is affected, it is either dark or full white.

Since you are planning stuff, here is another opinion.  Pixel strings are FAR easier to repair than ribbons.  Particularly true if it needs to be waterproof.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:  http://newburghlights.org

Jim

JonD

#4
Quote from: tkuharski on December 25, 2021, 10:43:32 AMThen I can balance the load and double my pixel count to 4000?
Your controller will take some power as well, but not too far out of the ballpark.  Your are going to be able to push on some things and come up short on others.  I have used 100ft extension cords from lowes and other places with no issues.

tkuharski

Thank you guys. I really appreciate the help.  Just trying to pre plan and budget.

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