News:

Server migration complete, Welcome to version 2.1.1

+-+-

+-User

Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
 
 
 
Forgot your password?

+-Site Stats

Members
Total Members: 15504
Latest: Nicolarockarola
New This Month: 12
New This Week: 40
New Today: 5
Stats
Total Posts: 127151
Total Topics: 15598
Most Online Today: 89
Most Online Ever: 7634
(January 21, 2020, 02:14:03 AM)
Users Online
Members: 9
Guests: 72
Total: 81

Feature request for micro boards

Started by lrhorer, January 03, 2017, 03:21:35 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

corey872

#15
Quote from: lrhorer on February 03, 2017, 03:16:27 AM
I see your point concerning the uSC.  I surely hope there is a 2017 co-op.  I need some, but this is about the uAmp, not the uSC.  It looks to me like you sold well over 600 of the uAmps.

What about if you designed the uAmp PC board with 3 solder pads allowing the user to jumper the 12V port if they do not need a buck converter, but can attach one if they do?  Make the pad spacing the same as a pin header so one can use jumper headers to attach the supply or bridge around it.  That should only increase the size of the board by a small amount and the cost only a few cents (for the jumper pins).

There is no "12V port" specifically, the uAmp is stable with 5-16V input, so a user can simply hook the 5V converter output directly to the Vin and GND inputs on the uAmp.

QuoteIt then would be a universal board allowing management of the uAmp location (before or after the pixel string) power insertion (from input / output, from external supply, or from a buck converter powered from the input / output) and even allowing for duplicate strings, all on one universal board attached in an identical fashion to each string, whether it be for a long linear string, a meteor tube, one star in a chain of stars, or whatever.  You could even make the jumper pins optional, allowing the user to employ solder bridges rather than pin jumpers to keep the cost almost the same, and also allowing the user to customize any element and heat-shrink the uAmp, if they so desire.

I think it already does all this.

QuoteHeck, if the jumpers are arranged the way I show them in the diagram, it even allows the user to bypass the uAmp section altogether.  In a geographically diverse display, some elements will need uAmps, and some not.  The proposed board would allow the user to make every single string element in  the display precisely identical, irrespective of where it will be installed in the display or what the power needs will be.  The display inventory is then vastly reduced, since each element is identical and can be placed anywhere in the display.  Any unique requirements for power or data conditioning can be handled by changing the jumpers or inserting a supply.  Changing the number and location of any element from year to year is a simple matter, requiring only moving the pins, rather than a lot of soldering and re-wiring.

I don't know why anyone would bypass the uAmp.  In a long line, it does it's job.  In a short line, absolute worst case, it does not hurt anything... best case it is still conditioning the signal, acting as a voltage leveler and providing short-circuit protection on the data line.  So again, it is already 'universal' in that regard. 

Overall, I think it already does everything you want, though I may falter a bit in explaining all possible situations here and in the manual. 

As an example, in my display, I basically have 'display elements' and 'power lines'.  The 'display element' is the actual pixel string/shape/outline or other sparkly/twinkly bit and has a connector near it.  Then the 'power line' is cat5 cable with power, data and ground.  If the 'power line' is over ~15 ft, it gets a uAmp just to insure stability. 

With this set-up, any display element works on any power line.  If I move any power line, the uAmp goes with it, so any line can feed any display.  If I goof and have a 50ft line feeding a display 5 feet away, the uAmp is still in there doing its job.  I don't deal with multiple voltages, but if I wanted to take that same power line and put it on 5V, 12V or 16V - uAmp still works just the same.

Hope this helps.
Corey

lrhorer

#16
Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AM
Quote from: lrhorer on February 03, 2017, 03:16:27 AMWhat about if you designed the uAmp PC board with 3 solder pads allowing the user to jumper the 12V port
There is no "12V port" specifically, the uAmp is stable with 5-16V input, so a user can simply hook the 5V converter output directly to the Vin and GND inputs on the uAmp.
Not in the current revision ofthe uAmp, of course, but there is on the 2nd drawing I provided.  I think you are missing my point. Please take another look at the bottom diagram on the previous page.  I modified the labels a bit to hopefully make it clearer.  On the board I am proposing, there are 7 ports, 3 jumper headers, and 3 external tie points.  The labels are:

From the previous display element:
Main Power
Ground
Board Data In

To the next display element:
Main Power
Ground
Board Data Out

To / from the local display element:
+Vout
Ground
Pixel Data Out (To 1st pixel of local element)
Pixel Data Return (From last pixel of local element)

3 pin jumper headers:
uAmp Input (From Board Data In / From last pixel of local element)
Pixel Data Source (From uAmp Out / From Board Data In)
Board Output Source (From last pixel of local element / From uAmp Out)

Auxiliary Pads:
Aux Power Main (To buck converter / From local power supply)
Aux Power String (To 1st pixel of local element)
Aux Power Gnd

Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMI think it already does all this.
No, it can be incorporated as one section of a universal arrangement requiring a lot of extra wiring for the individual, or it can be incorporated in various ways into several unique display elements.  The former requires a lot of work for the individual upon the first deployment of each display element.  The later requires a lot of work every time the show layout is changed or expanded, and requires keeping track of several different unique elements.

Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMI don't know why anyone would bypass the uAmp.
Point well taken.  OK, so it is one incidentally available option with no particular use.

Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMOverall, I think it already does everything you want
No, it can be placed in a modified system to do all I am requesting, but the 16 board facilities I am suggesting (compared to the six the current design provides) would require a lot of external wiring by the user, rather than just a few traces and pads on the PC board.  The user does *HAVE* to take advantage of the extra traces and pads, and the data paths can be permanently soldered, if one so desires.

Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMthough I may falter a bit in explaining all possible situations here and in the manual.
My point is, each of those situations requires a different data stream or a different power path, or both.

Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMAs an example, in my display, I basically have 'display elements' and 'power lines'.  The 'display element' is the actual pixel string/shape/outline or other sparkly/twinkly bit and has a connector near it.  Then the 'power line' is cat5 cable with power, data and ground.  If the 'power line' is over ~15 ft, it gets a uAmp just to insure stability.
By which I take it you mean you wire the uAmp into the "power line".  I of course considered that.  It does not, however, take into consideration the extra wiring required for power insertion.  It also does not take into consideration the fact Cat5 won't always do the trick.  Some scenarios call for larger power cables.  As I show in the picture on the previous page, some may call for a uAmp at both ends of the cable.  If the uAmp is included as part of the display element, rather than the power line, with a power tap, as well, then the display element is truly universal, and no additional power inserter cable / box is required.  In the case where the display element doesn't like the main power voltage, a buck converter does the job, again without any external wiring.


Quote from: corey872 on February 04, 2017, 10:45:11 AMWith this set-up, any display element works on any power line.
Not if the element voltage is different than the main power.  As I already mentioned, lots of elements are 5V, with no 12V replacement on the horizon.  In addition, 24 volt display elements are getting more and more popular.  If the header for each display element has a uAmp that can be moved from input to output, and the ability to insert power either to the local element, to the main power, or both, then it is truly a universal display element.

Finally, it is quite a bit of work to deal with the 4th local element line - the one coming back from the last pixel in the local element - which I labeled as "Pixel Data Return".  Having a single (still tiny) board dealing with every aspect  of the display input, output, and power requirements can save the user a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort.

Note there is nothing preventing the user from taking my proposed version of the board, shorting the uAmp Input to Board Data In and shorting the Board Output Source to the uAmp Out.  Doing so configures the new board to be identical to the current version fo  the uAmp, except that it still has the ability to insert power with no additional wiring.  Wire the proposed board into every power line, and viola!  You have exactly what you have now.  Add an additional little polarized connector and presto allegro!  You can plug in a power supply anywhere in the display it is needed.  No tedious power calculations, no extra wiring, no uncertainly.  Put the whole display together, measure the voltage at every display element (remember, you have a handy little connector that allows you to stick a voltmeter into the power line without taking anything apart), and anywhere the voltage is less than 10V (for a 12V show), plug in a power supply.

To sum it all up, due to the extra flexibility of this setup, one can very easily take either approach or possibly others.  It handles multiple show voltages just as easily as 1 fixed show voltage.  It handles hubbed show elements just as easily as long linear ones, with the additional advantage of being much more power efficient.  It makes wiring much easier.  It makes power insertion and multiple show voltages simple.

P.S. A 24V version of the uAmp - whatever the form - would be great.  One that could handle up to 48V would be terrific!

lrhorer

Oh, one note: if you do decide to add the additional ports which I am requesting, I suggest rather than using the ordinary vertical male pin headers, you use a low profile socket like this:

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Mill-Max/3100-0-15-00-00-00-10-0/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMs%2fSh%2fkjph1thcfAz%252bBasumVGwelCEmk%2f0%3d

This will still allow the unit to be easily covered with relatively low diameter heat shrink.

zwiller

Quote from: lrhorer on February 03, 2017, 06:26:24 PM
Yes, I know.  A series pass (e.g. linear) regulator gains one very little in that scenario.  The only advantage is starting with 12 - 24 Volts, one has more headroom before the voltage drops to the minimum usable level - about 6V.  If the string pulls, say, 1A at 5V, then with a linear regulator like the LM1084, one is still pulling 1A from the man supply at 12V or more.  The efficiency is barely 40%, and the voltage drop on the power lines is still the same as if one had a 5V main supply.  With a buck converter, however, the efficiency can be greater than 90%.   If the same string is pulling 1A at 5V, then the buck converter will only draw about 0.46A - less than half the current using the LM1084.  Take a look at the charts above.  Although a linear regulator will allow more strings than the 5V main supply, the number is less than half of that allowed by using buck converters.

Thanks for the info.  So it's about efficiency... 

What $1 buck convertors on ebay you guys talking about?  These based on LM2596 or MP2307 or? 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-Re-DC-DC-3A-Buck-Converter-Adjustable-Step-Down-Power-Supply-Module-LM2596S-/222245520202?hash=item33bedd834a:g:UZsAAOSwknJX05VB

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-10-Buck-Converter-US-Seller-4-75-23V-In-1-17V-Out-Step-Down-Mini-360-/272216340322?hash=item3f615bb762:g:hLAAAOSwJQdXBA-M
Sam

lrhorer

#19
Quote from: zwiller on February 05, 2017, 08:13:12 AMThanks for the info.  So it's about efficiency... 
At the heart of the matter, yes.  The result is being able to power more objects over a longer distance, with the same size (or evenr smaller) wire.  If all the devices are right together, with no significant amount of wire between them, then using buck converters will roughly double the number of devices one can deploy with the same sized power supply.  Add in long power leads, and the maximum number of available devices using the linear supply plummets fast.  That is precisely why public utility companies employ very high voltages - up to half a million volts - to distribute power across the land.  It reduces the amount of energy lost to heat, but far more importantly (to them) it allows them to deliver power to far, far more customers than much lower voltages.

Quote from: zwiller on February 05, 2017, 08:13:12 AMWhat $1 buck convertors on ebay you guys talking about?  These based on LM2596 or MP2307 or?
Either will work.  The LM2596 converters are a lot larger and usually more expensive.  The MP2307 devices have better conversion efficiency, although not by much.  The 2596 based boards are typicaly over40mm long and 20mm wide.  The MP2307 devices are less than 1/2 that at under 20mm ling and about 11mm wide.  The 2596 boards are also quite tall at around 14mm, while the 2307 devices are a mere 4mm.  On the other hand, most of the 2596 boards can handle 3A continuously, while the 2307 devices can only handle 3A in bursts, or 1.8A continuously.  In our hobby, 1.8A with a 3A burst may often work just fine, as long as one is careful not to leave any high-powered section of the display on at top intensity for a long time.

JonB256

Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user

zwiller

Thanks again.  Seems like a good reason to try a few of each. 
Sam

Support FPP

+- Recent Topics

BBB running 3-4 seconds ahead by MATTS
Today at 06:20:53 PM

Setting up new Falcon f16v4 noob question by Scouser10231
Today at 03:45:54 PM

Sequence freeze by jnealand
Today at 02:51:04 PM

Raspberry PI 4 won't connect to WIFI by jnealand
Today at 02:46:23 PM

new piCaps in the works? by jnealand
Today at 02:38:26 PM

FPP not releasing control to WLED when idle by cwr89
Today at 01:04:54 PM

FPP 6.2 Video Issue by ppanelli3
Today at 12:04:54 PM

Beagle Bone Black for sale by ppanelli3
Today at 10:40:18 AM

Port 11 not working by rossg10
Today at 09:57:03 AM

Remote script issue by mac1321
Today at 06:43:26 AM

Powered by EzPortal
Powered by SMFPacks Menu Editor Mod