Newbie help with RGB bullets

obts000

New elf
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
I just installed 1000 bullets in a beer sign I am doing. After I fired it up, I am a little disappointed that the colors don't blend really well and when showing full-on white, each pixel has a green, blue, or red tint visible depending on its rotation in the mount. It get's a lot more pronounced if I have a collor mix like 0xFFFF80, where it really looks like two different colors of pixels. Did I just buy the wrong kind (I picked one of the cheapest on ebay), or is this typical of bullets? I have only used them once before, and that was for a model train display where they were either pure red or green. The sign is typically viewed from 10 to 12 feet, and the pixels are only about 1" apart so I think this effect is probably much more noticable than on a typical outdoor display where the pixels are spaced further apart and viewed from a greater distance. I could get rid of the two-color effect I think by remounting the pixels and paying attention that they all have the same rotation, but it would still be nicer if the colors blended better. Is there a brand I could replace them with that would be better?
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
87
Location
West Central Ohio
If the rotation of the bullet makes a difference then you must have mounted them to be viewed more from their side, rather than their face. That is looking towards the dome of the pixel. Because the diffusing lens sits on top of the RGB LEDs, as the viewing angle moves away from the direct front of the pixel, the lens diffusing efficiency decreases. There is of course also the possibility that what you purchased either has a poor or no diffusing lens.

Without attached photos or some information of what type you purchased, individuals here will be hard pressed to offer better alternative LEDs. You might check the 'Wired Watts' and/or 'RGB Man' web sites both of which have some pretty good photos of the type of pixels typically used.
 

obts000

New elf
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Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
I'm having trouble uploading photos, but the one above shows what I'm talking about. No, they are mounted so that you are looking at them from the top. The picture exagerates the effect as some of it washes out due to the brightnes you are staring at normally, but it is still quite noticable. These are the pixels I used. Are they just bad with minimum diffusion?

 

obts000

New elf
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
This shows what the whole sign looks like and the multi-color effect I am getting. These lights are all set to the same output color 0xFFFF80.


DSC_0616 copy.jpg
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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Dec 27, 2011
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Cranbourne West
Agree, if this is supposed to be full white (I have no idea what 0xFFFF80 means) then yes pixels tend to go redish/pinkish/orangish when there is insufficient power able to be supplied.
Hook up a couple more power injection leads in the middle and end of the string and see if that helps, or, reduce the brightness from your controller down from 100%, say 30% to see if the colour changes to white as expected. If it does, you need more power.
 

BAZMick

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Nov 26, 2019
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I'd even go so far as to ask a silly question. Are you supplying 5V to 12V pixels? The title on the eBay advert to me looks like it's suggesting the pixels can be powered by either voltages
 

djgra79

My name is Graham & I love flashing lights!
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The listing allows you to choose which voltage, but good point, would be interesting to know which one you have bought as 5v often requires more power injection, but its not hard to do.
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
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Feb 9, 2020
Messages
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Location
West Central Ohio
I agree, photos appear to show insufficient power to the string. Little blue it looks like although that is I think the command that is being sent to them. Correct me if wrong but the Hex 0xFFFF80 is 100% red/green and 50% blue, yes?

Did you purchase the 12 or 5 volt version and did you do a power calculation? My quick estimate is you will need 300 watts at 5 volts or 720 watts at 12 volts. Also, with a 1000 pixels, multiple power injection points will be needed.
 
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obts000

New elf
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Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
No, these are not set to full white currently. FFFF80 means full red, full green, half power blue. I am trying to get a color between yellow (FFFF00, red and green on, blue off) and full white (FFFFFF, all colors full on.) They are 12 volt pixels powered with 12 volts. Each letter has power injected indifidually. Realize that the pictures probably look that way because it's a very fast exposure with the lens stopped down. Otherwise the brightness of the leds tends to just wash out in the picture.
 

obts000

New elf
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
I can't get the new picture upload. ("Something went wrong please try again or notify the administrator.") I have a picture now of two pixels side by side, one of them is a leftover from the train project a few years ago, and one is the new pixel. They are very different with the three colors clearly visible in three section in the new pixel. I will try to keep uploading, but the problem is difinately with these pixels. As I wrote earlier, I'm not sure you would notice it that much in an outdoor display, but it is very visible ih this project. I will need to order a string of somthing different and make sure it works the way I like and then order the full amount. Kind of a pia, but doable. Thanks for your insights.
 

obts000

New elf
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
9
I got it to load with cut and paste. The one on the right is my new pixels that I used for this project. The one on the left is an older leftover. Both of these are showing full on white.

1594766944436.png
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
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Feb 9, 2020
Messages
87
Location
West Central Ohio
I looked through the Ebay listing pretty thoroughly, rather vague in places. If that is full white my best guess is something in the LED itself used in the string. The LED is mentioned as a 5050 but that is a square LED, not round. So something in the listing is a bit amiss.

I would suggest ordering a small number of replacement pixels swapping them out to see if there is a difference. Since you are in the US, I would suggest either of the vendors I previously mentioned. I've ordered from both and have had no problems. The Ebay lisitng also showed a JS style connector which I would probably not advise for bullets. I also started counting the number of pixels in the "A"; lost track around 80 but can say that at 100% White, power will need injected in at least 2 places for the "A" if you use 5 volt pixels or 12 volt resistor pixels. Regulated 12 volt pixels are available, cost a bit more, but are extremely resistant to voltage drop. The "I" should work with a single injection point, the other letters are a bit 'iffy'.
 
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