5Volt pixel strings.

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Stephan, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Hi all, What do you think is the maximum distance run from controller to first pixel for 5 Volt 2811 pixel strings before you get issues. Cheers


    Im working out whether I should use 5 or 12 volt strings for some cluster objects about 15 meters from controller.
     
  2. damo1271

    damo1271 Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    Hi Stephan. there are two things to consider in the length of the run. the first is voltage drop, the second is signal quality.

    Many people will give you different views on the signal length issue. Personally I have had success with 5 -10 meter runs, at other times I have needed null pixels at 3m.

    Voltage drop also becomes relevant for long runs as the power wire has a small but finite resistance. With 5 volt pixels you don't have as much 'overhead' to lose in voltage drops on a long run. Voltage drop will depend on the number of pixels you are running.
    12V pixels waste more power as heat than 5V so its always a balance. Using a larger gauge wire will help minimise any drops due to wire resistance, or put your power supply closer if possible.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Thanks Damo
    I found this video from David Pitts and want to try the same thing, Using the F16 and Cat 5 cable, would this be possible with 5 volt Pixels?

    F16V2 60ft to first pixel - YouTube
     
  4. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I have not had a problem with 10 - 15m but I have always used cat5 cable for my pixels.
    I also make sure I run large 2 core cable for power injection to alleviate any problems with voltage drop.
    I did do a test run with a 20m length of cat 5 cable and didn't have a problem but I have never needed to go that far for my actual display.
     
  5. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    thanks scamper.
    was that for 5 or 12 volt pixels?
     
  6. darylc

    darylc Full Time Elf Global Moderator

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    It varies significantly by controller in my experience.


    I've had the F16v2 go a heck of a long way, 21m or so, the Pixlite go pretty good distances (didn't try them at 21m so hard to say exactly) and the j1sys struggling at 5m.


    As usual your milage may vary.
     
  7. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The data is the same for 5V and 12V pixels so yes that should work for getting the signal to go long distances. You may well need to power the lights at their location to get around voltage drop. One way to do this is to use a DC-DC converter to give you 5V where you need it without having an extra power supply.
     

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