Falcon Controller Question

BrianZ

Apprentice elf
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
58
Location
Miami, Fl.
Somewhat indirectly you answered one of your own questions. If you already know 500 pixels at 80% will require approximately 22 Amp, then to find how to run them from a single port you only need to know what amperage the controller port is capable of. From that calculate backwards to determine the pixel maximum drive level. As this thread began with a Falcon F16v3/F4v3, (ports fused at 5 amp) it is an approximate 16% drive level for 500 pixels at the usual .055/.06 Amp per WS2811 pixel.
A similar manner can be used to determine the maximum pixels per port without power injection. WS2811 pixels driven at 80% would be about 105 pixels. If the drive level would be decreased to 30% then about 275 pixels.

Asking if a 350 Watt supply will run the pixels is a apples to oranges question. Amperage is a defined quantity while wattage is calculated. Is 6 watt 2 Amp at 3 Volt or 3 Amp at 2 Volt or 1 Amp at 6 Volt; somewhat iffy isn't it? So, without knowing more about the supply one cannot accurately answer the question. From the other information you posted it seems you are asking about a Meanwell LRS-350-5 or a -12 supply so yes, either a 5 Volt or 12 Volt 350 Watt supply will drive the pixels. Without power injection, not at 22 Amp however. The limitation is not the supply but rather the AWG wire used in the string. At some length or number of pixels depending upon drive level, pixel type, and AWG size, a tradeoff will be reached. The end pixels cannot illuminate and/or amperage in the first part of the string is above AWG amperage capacity and is either heating the wire or causing a high voltage drop inhibiting string operation or both.

So, split the strings? Strategic power injection is better in my opinion. So far, like i13 I do not power any pixels through the controller and like Dan, prefer the F4 over the F16.
This is great information and thanks. I surely forgot about the 5a ports. So, I would probably use a separate power supply with a dist. board to power the pixels while the data comes from the ports?
 

i13

Senior elf
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
893
That's correct. You also need to connect the negative from the controller because it is used as a reference for the data. Disconnect the positive between power supplies because they'll fight each other if you don't. Here's an example: https://auschristmaslighting.com/attachments/16394/
In this example, the power supplies can be different voltages. You to run 5V and 12V end-to-end if you set it up like this.
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
303
Location
West Central Ohio
Thanks but keep in mind that it's only how many pixels one can drive from a port without pulling too much current through it. The pixels at the end of the string probably will not look as you want due to voltage drop. There is a paradox in researching string currents and number of pixels from the effect of pixels drawing less current further down the string because they see a reduced voltage (from voltage drop earlier in the string). That reduced pixel current helps to lessen voltage drop in the earlier portion of the string.

Most individuals I think power the beginning of a string from the controller and then power inject along the string length to minimize voltage drop giving them the ability to drive the pixels to the levels they want in their display. Pretty much how I do it other than the beginning of the string is power injected from the supply rather than through the controller.

The decision to not power inject and power only from the controller, data only from the controller and power inject the string, or the combination of power from the controller and power injection is a decision you will need to make based on how you think one of those best 'fits' your display.
 

BrianZ

Apprentice elf
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
58
Location
Miami, Fl.
Th
Thanks but keep in mind that it's only how many pixels one can drive from a port without pulling too much current through it. The pixels at the end of the string probably will not look as you want due to voltage drop. There is a paradox in researching string currents and number of pixels from the effect of pixels drawing less current further down the string because they see a reduced voltage (from voltage drop earlier in the string). That reduced pixel current helps to lessen voltage drop in the earlier portion of the string.

Most individuals I think power the beginning of a string from the controller and then power inject along the string length to minimize voltage drop giving them the ability to drive the pixels to the levels they want in their display. Pretty much how I do it other than the beginning of the string is power injected from the supply rather than through the controller.

The decision to not power inject and power only from the controller, data only from the controller and power inject the string, or the combination of power from the controller and power injection is a decision you will need to make based on how you think one of those best 'fits' your display.
Thank you guys and gals very much!! I haven’t purchased anything yet, but I’m a little overwhelmed. The only way to really learn is to go for it. I just want to make sure I’m purchasing the correct controllers. I think I’m going to start with the F4v3 and some receivers.
 
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