Help calculating power requirement for module project

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by nato595, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    I have found so much useful info on this forum, but I'm having a hard time and getting overwhelmed trying to apply it to my specific projects.

    I'm looking for power and signal requirements to run a chain of 155 (one hundred fifty-five) 12V 2811 modules.

    The modules I'm using are http://www.holidaycoro.com/Smart-Pixel-Rectangle-RGB-Module-p/656.htm
    I'll be using an ECG-P2 to control the lights. All the lights will be confined within a 5'x5' area. The project will be located about 20' from a power outlet.

    Basically I'm looking to know:
    1. How many power supplies, of what output spec do I need to power this project? At what points does the power need to be injected? What type of cable do I need to use?
    2. Can I use data input at the beginning of module #1 and chain it all the way through #155, or does data need to be injected several times throughout the project?
    3. I believe my 155 modules will use 465 channels, this will be okay running out of one port from the ECG-P2, correct?
    4. Should I use power output from the ECG-P2, or rely on separate power supplies?

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    24 hours with no reply makes me think I'm asking for too much... how about a bribe?
    First person to give me a good detailed answer with all the info I asked for will win a prize pack of assorted items from my garage; bungee cord, CAT5e cable, power plug, and a couple nodes or modules, and whatever else I can give up from my workshop!

    Thanks in advance!! I appreciate everybody in ACL!
     
  3. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    If it were my setup, this is what I would use:
    1, 350 watt 12v power supply. You didn't specify if you had a power supply so if you have to buy one then buy a 350 watt supply.
    You do not inject data into the data lines. Each module will regenerate the data signal and pass it on to the next.
    Power injection every 50 or so modules, even though HolodayCoro suggests every 20. If, when you turn on all white light the color varies from beginning to end of the string, inject at every 25.
    On a string that long, I would power it by connecting the string directly to the power supply. You will be injecting power along the string anyway.
    I use 18 AWG wire for my installations for power. The data line can be either 20 or 18 AWG, dosen't matter.
    Hope this helps.

    John
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    The specs for the modules

    • Power consumption per module (three LED's per color):
      • Red: 21ma (.414 amp per 20 modules)
      • Green: 22ma (.431 amp per 20 modules)
      • Blue: 22ma (.428 amp per 20 modules)
      • White (all three colors): ~64ma (1.27 amp / 15.2 Watts per 20 modules)
    So 64mA x 155 = 10.075amps

    9.92 amps @12vdc = approx 120 watts

    So a 150 watt power supply will do the job

    Now with these modules you will need to inject power at the begining and then between every second string, so inject between string 2 and 3 and 5 and 6 and also at the end

    The P2 will provide enough channels to run this chain so data only from the beginning of the string its only power you inject. But do not run your power through the P2 as its not designed to have power go through it with any real load (max 25 pixel power load)
     
  5. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    The modules linked to say 64mA (0.064A) current draw per module. So that's 9.92 Amps all up @ 12V DC ( 120W) so a power supply that's larger than that is what you need. I'd probably use a 200W or 350W unit.

    How often you inject power depends on the wire gauge used on the modules. With 12mm pixels, 50 is about the limit. With some modules it's only 20 - 30.

    Yes, you can run them as one big chain data-wise.

    Yes.

    The ECG-P2 does not supply power to the pixels. It's only meant to provide the data.
     
  6. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    Perfect! Thank you for all your answers!
    If any one of you want to claim the 'thank you prize pack', just PM me your mailing address. I stick to my word!
     
  7. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Eddy,glad to see you fixed your maths. :D
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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    I had based it on 0.3 watts per module, but quickly changed it when my assumptions were found to be incorrect
     
  9. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    I could do with that bungee cord to keep my pants up! LOL - just kidding. :D
     
  10. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    I have all the pixel modules layed out on the prop now, including where I will inject power. But I now need to figure out the voltage drop for my "patch cable" between some sections of modules, AND power consumption of the actual lights.
    I have five clusters of 5 of these 12v modules, with 3' in between each group. For the three feet in between each cluster, is CAT5 enough to carry power and data
    Basically the layout is:
    [data in from other modules] > 5 modules > 3' of space > 5 modules > 3' of space > 5 modules, etc. for a total of 25 modules and 12' of spacing with no lights.

    Also, does anybody have general capacity / voltage drop guidelines for CAT5 vs. SPT-1 vs. 4 conductor in-wall speaker wire? I have them all but never know which is best in which conditions. As a rule-of-thumb, let's assume I always am using 12V.
    Which is best to go from power supply to first pixel over various lengths?

    I promise I've already read the 101 manual and Eddy's 'Calculating Voltage Drop' posts - and others, I'm just still trying to wrap my head around the abundance of information!
     
  11. fasteddy

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

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    Its not just the type of wire that is important but its the guage of the cable and the current that will be drawn down it over a particular distance that determines what is best, the bigger the guage cable for the same current and distance will give you less voltage drop.

    But CAT5/6 is generally not a good choice for power because each core is rated at just 1 amp and most people will use solid core which is designed to be used in permanent installations and can easily break with movement. Where the danger comes from using this is when pwople decide to double and triple up cores to handle the load, if you then get a broken core then the total load can then overload the remaining cores taking that current and in a worst case situation it can catch fire.
     

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