Hi, New member from Parkes, NSW

Discussion in 'New Members Say Hello' started by Stephan, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Hi, I am happy to have found this site to help me on my first Christmas light display.
    After reading some info here, it looks like a good startup setup for me would be.


    Falcon F16v2 controller
    Xlights software

    For my first year I would like to run a house outline measuring 41 meters using 12v 30LED's/m Intelligent pixel strips
    two leaping arches using 12v 60Led's/m strips
    Two snowflakes and a small tree cluster or pixel tree, maybe using 5v 60LED's pixel strips.
    Does that sound doable?
    Also with the F16v2, would I need to use the expansion board to make it 32 CH and would I need 2 Power supplies?
    Any info would be appreciated.


    Cheers.
     
  2. darylc

    darylc Full Time Elf Global Moderator

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    You can use http://www.da-share.com/calculators/led-strip-string-current/ to help you work out how much power you will need.

    For example, 41m of 30led/m 2811 pixel strip would be about 350W, so if you were using 350W power supplies (loaded to 80%) then you would absolutely need more than 1 power supply. Depending on the exact sizes of your elements, 2 might be ok.

    Daryl
     
  3. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Thanks, thats what I thought. So on the F16 you would run one power supply on each power input?
     
  4. darylc

    darylc Full Time Elf Global Moderator

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    It depends

    Well you need to think about how many pixels you want to run on each output and how you will handle power distribution/injection - the f16v2 can only do 5A of power per output, but can do 680 pixels. If you don't want to power inject then you can (for example) run 3m of 2811 30pix/m strip per output. If you want to power inject you could run up to 22.66m
     
  5. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    I would have to power inject, so I can have outputs available for the other elements. power inject maybe every 150 pixels or so? So run 20 meters on one output on the F16 at 150 pixels per 5m. Possible?
     
  6. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    If you are on a tight budget, and are not scared to run the gauntlet, then you could get away with one supply, but only if you keep a close eye on your synchronising. ie. don't run white, or at least minimal, as far as power injection goes, I would not go over 100, ie 1 run up, then back and inject. i have attempted to go further, and although it still works, any white elements will end up yellow.


    now for the caveat.
    What Daryl said is right. go for 2 supplies, power inject regular etc etc. real world is different to theory.
    but if you run your supplies to the limit, you run a risk of damaging them. You should always keep a spare for this event, but it is better to have more power than load every day!


    Ps. I have drunk way too much and should not even be typing, so if any of this is nonsensical... take it with a grain of salt. :p
     
  7. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    It sounds as though you're right on track.

    Only thing I'd suggest changing is to make the arches and perhaps the snowflakes 30 LEDs per metre. 30 is still BRIGHT and it'll lower the price, channel count and power requirements.

    Adding the expansion board gives you 32 outputs of 340 pixels each instead of 16 outputs with 680 pixels each.

    There's a slight terminology thing here. Outputs have hundreds of channels within them and that's what I refer to above when saying "channel count".
     
  8. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Thanks all, I appreciate the input. I just had another thought for the house outline. Maybe using the 30LED's/meter is overkill. What about using 50Nodes DC12V WS2811 LED technicolor pixels sets or those "brilliant bulb" sets from HolidayCoro.com ? So there are 10cm space between the LED's so giving me 10LED's/meter This way I assume I can run longer runs without power drop. Also they might look better using diffusion bulbs covers. What do you think?
     
  9. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Unfortunately with 12V it doesn't work that way.

    I can't 100% speak for the HolidayCoro products but typically the power draw is about the same for the strip as it is for the nodes unless you buy high-end 12V nodes which are likely to be more expensive.

    The reason for this is that LEDs are typically in the range from 1.8V to 3.5V. You're supplying 12V and the extra voltage (and therefore power) is dropped across resistors in the nodes so the efficiency is low. The strip uses the sections of 3 LEDs in series to use up the available voltage more efficiency.

    Not sure exactly how their voltage drop would compare side-by-side.

    In my setup, when I need a lower voltage item further from power supplies, I use a DC-DC converter.

    Summing this up, one node every 10 centimetres draws about the same amount of power as the 12V strip with 30 LEDs per metre. The nodes waste the power while the strip uses it to produce more light.


    Some suppliers are happy to space the nodes further apart if you ask them but don't rely on it being an exact measurement.
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    Welcome to ACL, Using strip for outlines will give you a far better outline definition than if using strings because all the light is pointing where you want it and there are more LEDs per meter
     
  11. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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  12. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The first strip is a nice cheap option and it is easy to work with, it's what I use. You may as well get it cheaper from this listing http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/promotion-5m-DC12V-WS2811-150LEDs-10pixes-m-led-digital-strip-waterproof-in-silicon-tube-IP66-WHITE/701799_32493161338.html

    The second has an extra epoxy fill which will make it less flimsy than the others but harder to join into different lengths or to repair if a pixel dies. Resin can discolour but not enough to affect light output and I don't know if the tubing stops that happening to this strip or not.

    The third has built-in DC-DC converters to accept the 12V input but otherwise it is a 5V strip. The converters should let you get longer distances without power injection compared to an ordinary 5V strip. The 5V properties mean you have individual control of every RGB LED while the first two strips you listed have them in groups of 3. This means a higher resolution but a higher channel count. No-one seems to know whether it can only be cut every metre or whether you can cut it wherever you want as long as you have sufficient DC-DC converters in the section that you want to use.
     
  13. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Excellent thanks. So it seems the winner is 1 or 3, for resolution on the house outline I guess the cheap option would do fine.
    Do you know running at 12v witch one would give you the longest run without power injection?
     
  14. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    No I don't but you can expect 1 and 2 to be about the same as each other.

    Careful when asking about that because it is easy for the answers to confuse the most pixels without injection versus the most metres without injection. The third strip has 3 times the pixel density.
     
  15. OP
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    Stephan

    Stephan New Elf

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    Ok so I guess the WS2812B with the DC-DC converter would be good on cluster stuff like trees and snowflakes?
     

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