1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
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Any one know where to get 1000ft (300m) 4 pin wire for pixels for $125

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by XYrZbest, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. XYrZbest

    XYrZbest Apprentice Elf

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    I need it to be able to deliver to USA
     
  2. DrNeutron

    DrNeutron Just starting in this crazy hobby

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    eBay....search for security wire, 4 core 18ga. I use it all the time and usually sold in 500ft for around 40 or 50$ U.S.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    XYrZbest

    XYrZbest Apprentice Elf

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  4. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    The short answer is NO. The long answer is it depends .....

    You may get by with security cable for a small number of pixels close to the controller, but for most typical situations, you'll get too much voltage drop in the power conductors. There's a good explanation in the 101 manual - pages 46-50

    Dave
     
  5. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    What cable do you use for pixels?
    I have heard people use cat5 cable. Is that suitable? or are you using something else like mains cable?
     
  6. Bill Ellick

    Bill Ellick Full Time Elf

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    This isn't 1000 feet but is 14 Ga so can carry the current and voltage farther!
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300909485654?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


    The 18 gauge stranded wire is so-so but it is always better to use stranded wire. Also most of the stuff on eBay is actually copper coated aluminum (CCA) so it has reduced current capability to some degree just so you are aware of it.


    You can find other lengths and gauges from this seller and others here in the states.


    It really depends on how many pixels and how far away from the controller they will be along with how you are going to power them to accurately calculate what size wire to use. Look in the Aus manual as suggested on this thread as well as on the DIY forum and you can learn all this fun stuff on wiring sizing, power selection, power injection, and more!
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. adski

    adski Dave Brown

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    Well there's more than one way to skin a cat of course, but here's how I do it:

    I DO in fact use security cable, but:

    • I use 6 core 14/0.20 (.44 sq mm, approx. 21 AWG) - 1 core for data (I only have 2811 pixels so no clock), 2 cores (roughly equiv. to 18 AWG) for the positive supply, and 3 cores (equiv. to 16 AWG) for the ground.
    • On it's own, this is only good for a shortish run supplying a moderate number of pixels (do you like my precise figures :D ). For say 3m and 50 pixels, you'll probably see over half a volt total loss, and you'll probably get away with it. For 12V pixels, you should do better, but I have tried 100 x 12V pixels at 3m - it almost makes it, but on full white it fails. So in the end, I always add a figure 8 cable to supply extra power. For the 100 x 12V pixels, it needed a 24/0.20 power cable, but for some of my pixels, I use 64/0.20 figure 8 (14 AWG - similar to beeiilll's speaker cable - good price btw), and for longer runs where multiple power injection points are needed, I double (and sometimes triple) up on that.
    • There's also a distance limit on the data - you may get 5m, you may get 10m - it depends on lots of factors. Anything over about 3m and I currently use null pixels to regenerate the signal, but you could use balanced line drivers / pixel extenders, or you could use signal-conditioning buffers, or there are techniques using either coax cable or twisted pair cable (e.g. cat 5) to better protect the quality of the data signal over longer distances.
    Dave
     

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