Lesson learnt about doubling wires

burner

Full Time elf
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
315
My lesson I learnt tonight was to never double the data wire on my 2811 rgb strings. Over the last couple of days, I've been measuring up all my wire runs between strings, so that I can fully test my lights (which were working fine with just the short plugs attached). While I was connecting my lights together using the full length cable runs, I thought to myself that I might be able to get a longer cable run (without a null pixel) if I doubled the data wire with the spare wire (on the 4 core security wire). BIG MISTAKE. Over the next 1hr, my lights were flickering a lot, especially during the white parts. I started unplugging everything and running 1 item at a time. I tried injecting power left, right and centre. I couldn't get any lights to work past about 80 pixels. The multimeter was reading the correct volts. I tried changing the speed on the j1sys-p12r up and down, and had worse result (currently set at 2400).


I was at breaking point. As a final test I disconnected 1 of the doubled wires (out of about 12 - this run has 6 different strings), and the results started improving. I then disconnected the rest of the doubled over wires and bingo, a perfect result displayed.


I'm guessing the theory would be that the data was being sent down both wires and getting corrupt when meeting at the next join.


I thought I would blog this just in case anyone else is having the same problem. Sorry if it has been mentioned before.
 

angus40

Senior elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
535
emf from each paired wire is more than likely impeding the other . 1 thick wire would be better than 2 wires side by side.
 

anon

Apprentice elf
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
91
Location
Adelaide
Ditto to the above.


We're not transmitting power, only a signal, so the currents are very small leading to minimal voltage loss over a transmission length. The enemy for data transmission is interference (cable capacitance aside). By doubling the the cables you effectively have created another antenna to allow more interference to couple into the transmission signal.
 

crispy

Apprentice elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
72
Location
Fraser Lake
For our instrumentation at work we use 3c#16 shielded cable. It works great there, on very long runs and should do the trick for you. Just make sure you tie the shield to earth at your power supply and cut it off at your device.
 
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