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Controller voltages

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by BundyRoy, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    I've noticed that pixel controllers seem to have two separate input voltage settings. They seem to be 5V or something like 7V to 40V with the second input option having a range of voltages. Why is this? To me there doesn't seem much difference between 5V and 7V and why once it can handle 7V can it handle up to 40V. Just seems odd that one setting is for 5V and the other setting handles the rest. I'm guessing it's to do with current and that 5V lights are more sensitive to variation in voltage/current. Just bugs me not having even a very basic understanding of how it works.


    Thanks.
     
  2. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I think this is because the electronics on the board require 5V. There is a voltage regulator used to drop higher voltages down to 5V when used with the higher voltage setting. This will drop too much voltage and bring the voltage below 5V unless you supply it with at least 7V.
     
  3. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Yes this is the exact reason there are 2 voltage inputs
    5vdc for direct input to the electronics or 7v-40v going through the voltage regulator that brings the voltage down to 5vdc.
    If you used a voltage regulator with 5vdc then there may not be enough voltage going through to reliably power up the electronics
     
  4. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    Yes, 5v is required to run the electronics, and when you run through a 5v regulator it needs roughly 2v more to work correctly.
    So the input to the regulator itself must be 7v or above to drop it to 5v.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Dedicated Elf

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    Thank you. Seems obvious once it is explained to you.
     

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