How to integrate 5 volts into 12 volt set up

Dez

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Hi all,

I think I know how to achieve this but thought I would get your experienced opinions before I go wasting money. I currently run all 12 volts with a single falcon f16v3. I’m looking to implement some dense props where 5 volts would make so much more sense.

I know the falcon can be split to run half and half but I would like to keep it all 12 volts for future props.

Should I just set up such things as a matrix in 12 volts and not be concerned with the power usage or is it time to buy another controller for 5 volts? Is there a small controller available for this sort of thing?
 

LawrenceDriveLights

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You have a couple of options, depends on a few factors

How many pixels are you currently controlling with your F16v3 and how many you looking to control in the future?

How close the new high density prop is to your F16v3?


If you are not near the F16v3 limits I would simply get a 4 String differential receiver board for your F16v3 for this 5v dense prop.


Or if you are looking a multiple dense props, you could add a Diff Expansion board and connect the differential recover boards to it.


Note: Adding differential receiver boards doesn't increase the number of pixels the F16v3 can control, it just divides the amount of pixels you can control across more outputs.
 

Dez

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Thank you. I will to figure exact number of pixels currently controlled on the f16. I’m looking at adding 2 props, one is a 720 pixel custom spinner and the other a 1000 pixel matrix.

Both of these props will be approximately 7 metres away from the current controller.

I think one of those 4 port smart receiver boards on each prop might be best as they will be in 2 different directions away form the main controller
 

TerryK

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If you want to keep the pixels on the Falcon, you can drive the data from the Falcon but inject power directly from the 5 Volt supply. That is, Data and V- only from the Falcon, V+ from the supply. As would be expected the V- on both the 12V and 5V supplies would need connected.

If you might consider another controller, perhaps a RPi and PiHat. That way everything on the Falcon is 12V, everything on the RPi is 5 V.
 

Srmorgan

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The differential receiver will need its own Power supply anyway so making it 5v is easy. Canispater Christmas has a great video on how they work. That’s the route I would take.
 

Adsy

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You could just use 1 receiver and null buffer if your not sure about the distance.
Managed to do approx 12 or so metres last year without one though.
 
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Dez

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If you want to keep the pixels on the Falcon, you can drive the data from the Falcon but inject power directly from the 5 Volt supply. That is, Data and V- only from the Falcon, V+ from the supply. As would be expected the V- on both the 12V and 5V supplies would need connected.

If you might consider another controller, perhaps a RPi and PiHat. That way everything on the Falcon is 12V, everything on the RPi is 5 V.
Thank you - yes this is a simple way to do it I guess
 

hamish

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I run twin voltage on one reciever. I've got it all 12v and a distro board out putting 5v for the 5v props So data only from the reciever and power injection just starts at the beginning of the string it's realistically only one extra wire running to the prop
16220260450567822926035322566154.jpg
Nothing special just sits in a waterproof tub
 

Dez

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@TerryK so it seems running a cable with data and V- from the falcon controller only then power injecting at the prop with 5 volts is the way to go. So I can just cut the V+ cable at the controller with no issues for data sending?
 

TerryK

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Thanks, but I was only trying to point out a few alternate methods and let you make a choice as to which works best for you.

If one is not shoving power from the controller to the pixels then the V- and Data cable can be rather light (amperage-wise) as the V- in such a situation serves to reference the Data signal to the 1st pixel and the Data line never does carry current of any amount.

I had a small Easter display out this year; rabbit and 3 eggs. The controller was a RPi. I used 2 conductor 24 AWG cables from the RPi to the pixels and to daisy chain the data and V- from prop to prop. Cable lengths were about 20 feet plus a bit (7/8 meter).
 
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Srmorgan

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Possibly another thing to think about is if you’re just power injecting directly at the prop there’s less risk of something going wrong with your controller in case there’s a power surge because they do get a bit pricey
 
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hamish

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Keep all grounds connected and you can't go wrong the first pixel requires ground for signal you only need to split the positive to share loads and stop 2 power supplies fighting each other. They still need to share a ground
 
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