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Distance between controllers and pixels

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Warlock, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Warlock

    Warlock New Elf

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    Is there a max distance between pixels and their controllers that someone has figured out ??? I'm not asking for like 20 feet I'm talking like 6 feet either side for my hedge..If this exceeds the max distance how would one achieve this as I plan to have 128 pixels per 2 foot section and I'm doing 16 feet of it plus trees in my garden this year and the max distance between trees is also about 6 feet..
    Thanks for the help.
    Joe...
     
  2. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    What kind of pixels are you using and what controller?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Warlock

    Warlock New Elf

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    Should it matter ??? For pixels lets say 12 volt..Controller shouldn't matter..If you are using an RJ controller then it doesn't matter..I was referring to a multi channel controller
     
  4. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    Different pixel types have different specs. I have run 2811's as far as 40' from my controllers. The 2801's require null pixels to run that far. You are right tho, the controllers shouldn't matter much.
     
  5. GoofyGuy

    GoofyGuy Guest

    The controller can make a difference based on settings. As the post above the 280/6803 and other require null pixels to carry the signal as they require shorter distance to first pixel, the 2811 I have a run of 42 feet from controller to first pixel. As well the controller will make a difference as the J1sys controllers you have to setup data speed, the E68x's do not require that setting.
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    The RJ pixels are a 180x based pixel so the max distance is based on that chipset. There are many choices and the main one now being used in the hobby outside of RJ world because of its quality and value is the 2811 chip set, this can get up to 10 metres (30 feet) or more depending on conditions such as cable type used, data speed and surrounding interferance. The 2801 and 6803 will get upto 5 meters (again conditions apply). 6 feet is well within the specs of all the chips so shouldnt be any issue there

    Each pixel will regenerate the signal before passing the data on and to get a longer distnace you would use a 'dummy' or 'null' pixel which is just a pixel that is connected but not used in the sequence, its just for regenerating the signal to extend the range, you can do this as many times as needed but voltage drop concerns need to be considered.
     
  7. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    As already stated, 'null' pixels will take care of data over distances. With a setup of approx. 6 feet between trees this should not be a problem once data reaches trees. If the distance from the controller to the trees is 30+ feet null may be suggested.
    Power injection will take care of voltage drop issues. Example, sounds like power will need to be injected (added) at the tree area. 16 feet of pixels is a good rule of thumb for power. However when running power out to the yard element (hedges &/or trees) that distance also needs to be accounted for. Wire size (guage) and voltage (5v, 12v, etc) needs to be considered. Power supplies start on page 38 and cables (wire) start on page 43 of the AusChristmasLighting 101 manual
    Hope this helps.
    If you have other questions or concerns don't hesitate to ask. Cheaper to ask before you purchase. :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Warlock

    Warlock New Elf

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    Thanks everyone...It has helped alot...Not for another question...I knnow with RJ's system he has a limit of 128 pixels for his controllers...I have trees that will need at least 256 nodes for what I want to do and have them filled with lights on a 2 inch spacing...Plus my hedge design calls for 128 pixels with 2 inch spacing as well..Now for the question how does one calculate these distances,plus say more then 128 nodes for my tree example to see for voltage drop etc...
     
  9. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    A good rule of thumb is to inject every 50 or so pixels. This is normally in play for 2801 and similar modules, however, would probably be good practice for any module. (cant confirm as i dont have any other then 2801.)

    As Bird mentioned, Use of a null pixel will help extend the distance of the data signal. I usually inject every 4m (16 feet also) and had no issues.
     
  10. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    I find that it's best to hook it up and experiment - every 50 pixels is probably about right for 5v pixels, but for 12v, you'll get away with a lot more.. I run strings of 100 12v (1804 chip) strings which are powered direct from the PixAd8 with no additional power injection - and the last pixel is the same brightness as the first. With the way I use this, it would be painful to have to inject power every 50 pixels.
     
  11. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    One thing tho, even though i can also run more then 50 pixels (12V) direct from the pixad8, the length of the cable from the controller to the first light is also going to depict where to insert injection. Close to the controller I could get close to 2 strips of 2801, but found also that when you add a length of cable, i found that 8 meters was about the max length before sufficient power loss occured to have colour fade/pinky stain towards the ends of the strips.
     
  12. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    Yeah, there's definately a lot factors that come into play (rating of cable you're using, voltage, type of pixels etc), so my recommendation is that if possible, you should try and match the test runs with what you want to do in the real world - if you test it out with an 8metre cable and it works fine, then you can be pretty sure it'll work with an 8metre cable once you set it up. But if you've only tested with a 3metre cable, you may get some nasty surprises when you test it out in the real world.
     

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