Could you Use a 24 volt power supply with a voltage regulator?

53strands

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Sep 29, 2021
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I want to send data and power through an ethernet cable, but as I've seen before, the voltage drops like crazy after around 6 meters. Could I use a 24 volt power supply and just have a voltage regulator set to 12 volts before the power is sent to a strand? (Obviously just running the power through the regulator, not data)
 

Grozzy

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You could but it comes down to the amps required to drive the pixels and the cost of the regulator/step down.
Personally I would just run AC out to a PS and controller (or differential receiver) in the yard.
 

AussiePhil

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Yes you can run DC-DC convertor just before a strand.... not just a voltage regulator though as i suspect your thinking this simplistically.

Pixel power down network cable is in no way best practice despite some high profile people saying otherwise over the years.

Ultimately more details required i'd say
 

Mark_M

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Is there a reason behind using Ethernet cable over a thicker 3 core cable?


Ethernet cable is fairly thin.
Sure, POE (Power Over Ethernet) exists and the IEEE 802.3at power variant goes to 25w.
25w @12v is around 2A of current. Guessing from the current draw of my own 12v pixels, that means you would get a 100 nodes in a cable.

POE is 48v, higher voltage means the current can be lower over the cable and less voltage drop. So over the ethernet cable the max current for 48v at 25w is 0.5A. A converter at the ends takes it to 12v at 2A in ideal physics land.

The standards for 802.3at POE go to a max of 0.5A (250mA a conductor) so it doesn't melt the cable.


There is more POE standards that go to 100W of power, but that requires at least Cat6A cable (look at the prices).
Not worth the effort, thicker cable for the job is easier and cheaper.
 

Kent

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Nov 21, 2020
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For my setup I've opted for 24V Meanwell supplies + Falcon F48v4 located in the garage, with combos of remote smart receiver + DC/DC converter to drop the 24V to 5V for my pixels. Whilst the data for the will go over the Cat5 cable, the 24V goes over a mixture of 6mm & 4mm DC solar cable that I had access to.

In any case, I mention this as the DC/DC I'm using may be of interest to you (output is adjustable, so could do 12V instead of 5V):

Cheap, and so far runs OK, however I cannot attest to the longevity just yet...
 

TerryK

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To add a bit, yes but likely not very practical. If you're using 4 pair cable (most likely in today's world), a single core would handle the data as it is very low current thus leaving 7 for the + and -. So probably 3 for + and 4 for -. Running the conductors in parallel would up the current capacity of course. In to out as others mentioned is Watts; can't get more out that what is put in. Efficiency/loss of the converter/regulator needs factored in as well.

I would not rule it out but the yes or no would depend upon power requirements of what you are attempting to power.
 
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