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Am I on the right track?

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by Nuzzy, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Nuzzy

    Nuzzy New Elf

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    Hi All,

    First time using controllers and Pixels this year to have put together a small flowchart of what I think I will need for my display this year.

    I have yet to buy the controllers, power supplies etc but just want to make sure it will work before ordering. I have heaps of 2.5mm and 5mm twin core for the power injections/supplies and a fair bit of 4/6 core signal cable for the data.

    My main concern is I have some existing Solar net lights which I know will work straight off a 5v supply, the only thing I'm not 100% sure about is the BigW string lights, doing some reading tells me that they currently use 24VAC 24VA as their supply (I was running around 150 metres of string from the one Adaptor last season) so I should be able to run these off a 27-32V DC power supply and control them and the net lights via a 2811DC30 from Hanson Electronics.

    anyway, please feel free to point me in the right direction if need be.

    thanks.

    Chrissy lights 2017.png
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    The Big W lights should run well on approx 30V DC.

    Solar light strings are often roughly 3.3V, but some sets actually use strings wired in a similar fashion to the Big W sets, so are in the 20V - 30V range.

    Some solar light sets also use the 2-wire polarity swap system for the alternate light effects.
     
  3. OP
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    Nuzzy

    Nuzzy New Elf

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    Thanks @David_AVD

    I have pulled apart some of my solars, my net lights will run off 5 volts, already measured and tested but they were very bright so maybe will lower the supply to 3.5 volts for longevity. I have 2 arlec rope lights which should run off 28 volts dc on 2 channels, I ran my multimeter over the output terminals on the controller and they started illuminating at 25 volts and were fully illuminated at 28 volts.

    The one I'm not sure about is my existing solar icicle lights, measuring the voltage from the controller is 240v AC and about 60v DC. Not sure how that all works just yet but will do more research.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    The readings from the solar icicles sounds wrong. It could be the pulsing waveform from the controller is confusing the meter.
     
  5. videoman3857

    videoman3857 Full Time Elf

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    looking at your flow chart you are attempting to run 5 volt and 32 volt from the 2811DC30 Board.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but these are a single voltage unit working in the range of 5 -36 volts.
    To get it to work you would need multiple PSU of varying voltage and wired as detailed below
    layout plan DC_Controller_Mixed_Voltages.png
     
  6. videoman3857

    videoman3857 Full Time Elf

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    also - your Big W string lights - are They two wire or three wire ?
    I know nothing about the 2811DC30, and I am unsure if it will alternate the Big W 2 wire strings
    The DMX2-18 does.
    No doubt the experienced will chime in here.
     
  7. OP
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    Nuzzy

    Nuzzy New Elf

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    Thanks @videoman3857 appreciate your help.

    I have been looking at that many different boards this week I did overlook that the 2811DC30 was a single voltage. Having said that I did my sums on the outputs I want for the BigW lights and I will need around 10 so likely I will use one 2811DC30 for the BigW stuff and get a separate 2811DC15 for the 5 volt solars.

    Also the BigW stuff is fairly old so I checked them and they are all indeed 3 wire so should have no issues with them.
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    You can mix voltages on almost all DC controllers, as per the diagram that videoman3857 posted above.
     
  9. videoman3857

    videoman3857 Full Time Elf

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    That's good news about the lights being 3 wire !
    You don't need two boards if you have enough channels on the one board to do both 12 and 5 volt lights
    Just use two different power supplies as per the diagram. The diagram only shows three channels, but you can do the 30 on your 2811D30 board.
    The boards switch the negative so all you need do is connect the 12 volt and 5 volt negatives together at the controller negative input
    Run the 12 volt positive to the controller and connect the 12 volt lights to positive and negative on the board.
    on the 5 volt circuit you run the negative from the board to the lights and the positive to the lights from the 5 volt PSU power supply
     
  10. OP
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    Nuzzy

    Nuzzy New Elf

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  11. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

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    spirals are common, they do make great props.

    Your current calcs are out for those, 10 pixels per metre is actually 30 leds per metre therefore 9A per 5 m strip (assuming full white 60mA per led)

    54A theoretical max pull for all 6 spirals.

    The hoops need recalcing as well.
     
  12. OP
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    Nuzzy

    Nuzzy New Elf

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    @marmalade thanks for the heads up, I used one of the calc sheets on here to work out what it would draw which is what I have on my flowchart.

    I am only doing the 4 spirals now and have a 400 watt power supply to power them.

    Just out of interest though, I was running them lights off a 4A power supply and they were fine on full white for short periods, would be a different story if they were on for a long time though.
     

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