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How to do Roof

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by Kimbo3000, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Kimbo3000

    Kimbo3000 New Elf

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    Hey,


    Simple question: How do you do your roof outline? What pixels do you use: 5V/12V, strips/string/rope etc?


    I was originally planning on going 5V strings (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DC5V-WS2811-LED-smart-string-addressable-with-all-rgb-wire-IP68-rated-epoxy-resin-filled-50pcs/701799_32277653753.html) but I dont want any of the power supplies on the roof. The greatest length in 1 line is about 7.5m, which shouldnt be a problem even with 5V if injecting power from both ends, i figure. Total length of the roof outline that I want to cover is about 60m.


    How far can you run a 12V strip or string of pixels without injecting power?
    I would rather use 5V to decrease power consumption, but it does make it a lot trickier.


    What do you think?


    ..
    Kimbo3000
     
  2. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    It depends what look you want. DC-DC converters are an option to help with long runs of 5V lights.

    12V strips and modules are efficient; it's only the 12V strings (nodes) that waste the power.
     
  3. BradsXmasLights

    BradsXmasLights WiFi Interactive

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    Go 12V. 5V is a major hassle in terms of distance vs voltage drop.

    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]5V lights are only really good if you've got them all in one spot close together.[/font]
     
  4. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    My roof is done in 12V strip, injected every 40 or 50 pixels, depends on where I have my joins, I have no issues.
    Theres a good post somewhere on here that lists all the pro's and con's of 12V v 5V, IMHO the Pro's outweigh the con's for 12V. As far as power wastage, for the size of most of our displays it makes no real difference either way, unless your planning lights of a Griswald scale your not going to notice it on your power bill :D [SIZE=78%] [/SIZE]
     
  5. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I agree that the pros outweigh the cons a for 12V roofline but that's not the case for all display items. Imagine a megatree with 32 strands of 48 nodes each. Assuming 55mA per pixel, it'll add up to 1014 watts if you use 12V nodes but only 422 watts if you use 5V. This means you'll need less power supplies and you can run more display items from one power outlet. 5V nodes are generally slightly cheaper than 12V too. At worst you might need to power the tree's strings at both ends but the voltage drop isn't such a problem when all pixels are so close to their power supply.

    As I was saying before, it is only the 12V nodes that are inefficient. You get better efficiency with 12V strip and 12V modules.
     
  6. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    As I said theres a whole post debating the 5V v 12V issue so not going to hijack kthe OP's post here.
    As an actual example my megatree is 32 strings of 42 pixels @ 12v, it uses approx 480W when on full white? Its injected every 84 pxls. these are ws2811,
    I run my whole tree off one 600W PS.
    For the OP's case, running a roof line, 5V would be a PITA to do, you'd need injection everywhere and would need to use fairly heavy guage cable to avoid voltage drop.
     
  7. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    Please post the exact link to the pixels that you used for your tree. Although I still believe 5V is a good choice for trees, those pixels would be a reasonable option for a roofline. That wattage corresponds to a current of 30mA per pixel (not 55mA) which is what 12V nodes should be. 30mA ones are getting hard to find. They still do waste power but the lower current means a lower total power consumption, less voltage drop and they won't be quite as bright.
     
  8. mararunr

    mararunr Here to learn! (and share)

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    ah the good ole 5v vs 12v....my whole display if 5v (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ly1f7HvfSI) and I think it is far less of a hassle than all the extra power supplies I would need if running 12v....there's two sides to every point.
     
  9. fasteddy

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

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    That's only true for the single node 12vdc that run at full current. But in this case where the OP is asking about what to use for an outline then the 12vdc 3 LED per section from my experience is the best choice because its efficient as the current for 3 LEDs in series is the same as 1 LED, less voltage drop than 5vdc, thinner gauge cable required and has less chips to potentially fail and single light control is not really required on the outlines due to the average distance that it is viewed from, so really not much to gain by using 5vdc strip compared to 12vdc strip for outlines.

    You can get up to approx. 15 meters between power injection using 12vdc 30 LED/m strip if you add power in the middle between 3 strips and send voltage 7.5 meters both ways

    But I do agree that if using single nodes running at 60mA at 12vdc then effectively all you are doing is wasting power and needing more power supplies for little gain in voltage drop
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Kimbo3000

    Kimbo3000 New Elf

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    15m is pretty damn good. I assume this is with minimal voltage drop prior to the strip (ie the power supply pretty close).


    Looking into it further, you guys are right, 12V strips would be a lot easier.
    When looking online at my options, I found out that the INK1003 strips are essentially 5V 2811 strips that have in-built buck converters in the strip. Has anyone used these before? Are they any good?


    The main reason I'm looking into them isnt for the individual LED/pixel, but for the longer strip runs without injection. Apparently it is possible to get more than 10m when fed from 1 end. Do you think its worth the extra cost to get the INK1003 instead of the 12V 2811's (30/10)?
     
  11. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    The INK1003 does work and I've tried asking that exact question about it in chat. Everyone seemed to get confused and think I was asking about the number of PIXELS without injection and not the number of METRES. The ordinary 12V strip has 10 pixels per metre while the INK1003 has 30 pixels per metre even though they have the same number of LEDs per metre.

    If it turns out that the INK1003 does go further without injection then you may as well run it end-to-end with the ordinary WS2811 strips so you only have to spend the extra for the long sections where you need it. This is a similar option that I'm more confident would run end-to-end http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/5m-DC12V-WS2812B-addressable-pixel-strip-waterproof-in-silicon-tube-30pcs-WS2812B-M-with-30pixels-36W/701799_32348237310.html
    I've not seen it in person but I have run WS2811 and WS2812B end-to-end and it works just fine. I have not heard of anyone using INK1003 end-to-end but I'm pretty sure it has the same signal.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Kimbo3000

    Kimbo3000 New Elf

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    Ok.. well this is getting confusing now. What is the difference between those 12V 2812b strips and the INK1003's? They are both 12V, 1x LED per pixel, both have the 12V to 5V converter on the back.. they appear pretty similar.


    When joining the 12V 2823b and the 12V 2811 end to end, wont they look different when lit up because of the 3x LED's/pixel on the 2811 strip?


    Another question, when cutting and joining (to go around corners) with the strips in the silicon tube, how do you seal the tube back up to stop weather getting in? Just put a blob of rooving silicon on it?
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    The reason the INK1003 has not been popular is 2 main reasons.
    Because the strip uses a buck converter for each 1/2 meter section then if using 12 volts then the strip can only be cut in 1/2 meter sections or else its 5vdc and can be cut every LED section instead, so takes away the flexibility on being able to cut these to a fairly precise measurement when used as 12vdc strips
    The other issue is that the buck converters can fail and have fail for some in the past especially in Australia where we have a summer Christmas and the temps can get warm, so the buck converters have been known to burn out.
     
  14. fasteddy

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

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    they are very similar as far as LED count and LED used , the difference is that there is a 4th 12vdc track on the INK strip that has a buck converter that brings the voltage down from 12vdc to 5vdc. The strip can be used with either 12vdc or 5vdc. But the limitation is that when used as 12vdc then you can only cut in 1/2 meter increments

    you cant connect these together as one is 12vdc with 3 LEDs per section and the other is 5vdc with single LED per section. The other issue is that because these are 2 different batches of strip then the LED colours may also vary between the 2 strips

    Use a bit of clear heat shrink then inject with a small amount of silicone and then shrink. It will make a perfect weatherproof seal
     
  15. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    They both have the 4th track and the buck converters. I really wouldn't worry too much about which one to choose over the other.


    You can connect them together but you'll need a small section of wire in the join because the WS2811 strip won't be connected to the 5V line in the 12V WS2812B strip. They will look a bit different. Joining them at a corner would be a good idea from a sequencing and physically parctical viewpoint.

    Even if the WS2812B strip had no 12V input, you'd still be able to run it end-to-end with its own power supply. I do this in my display.


    I do it that way and it works, especially when joining the same type of strip end-to-end without a gap of wires. That said, I've always used black heat shrink. You still 100% can't see it unless it overlaps one of the LEDs.

    When sealing off the end of a strip with wires I use these http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Silicon-end-cap-8mm-10mm-12mm-optional/701799_459153462.html
    I would still add the heatshrink on top of these because they don't offer much physical protection for the solder join; they just help seal it off. Ray doesn't mind if you buy them in small numbers alongside other items.
     

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