NooB - PSU question

Scott Suine

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HI,
Am planning to step things up this year and have made the plunge in the Falcon world by just getting hold of a Falcon16V3. have ordered some strings and will have some strips, I think when I am finished will come to using all the ports on the F16.
Started to think about PSU and have done some research but have some questions. I plan on using 5V for all my pixels
I noticed the F16V3 has max of 32Amps per connector V1 and V2.
I have seen a youtube video (Leechburg Lights) where he essentially uses two 5V 300W Psu on the board. I would like to have an enclosure where I have the PSU and the F16v3 together. I am guessing I will need some power injection so want to plan for this.
Is the general approach to use a 1 x 300W psu to the board, then use a second one to act as the power injection psu? and feed the pixels through a 2 core pig tail for injection?.
Or do I run each 300WpsU to to v1/v2 on the f16 and use the F16 terminal to run additional wires for power injection? I will use 30amp fuses on v1 and v2, but if i do that the second option really doesn't need 300W PSU could be half that.
I may use some satellite PSU for power injection on some leaping arches etc, but generally was hoping to try to power everything from one central location.
I have attached a sketch to try to explain better than I can write
 

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ICon

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Your power injection should not come from the F16v3, you should use a separate power distribution board. Make sure you have all feeds appropriately fused. As a general comment do not draw to much power from the controller, as that is the expensive part that you don’t want to damage, although the fuses should blow before to much else.

You need to common the earth of your power supplies as the the data line is referenced to earth and without connecting them together you are likely to have some very interesting flashing, that is not controllable.
 

AAH

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Your drawing of Option 2 is more along the lines of what you would do.
With the onboard fusing capacity of the board you are limited to around 100 pixels per output at 100% brightness or actually 550 pixels per bank of 8. To provide power to anything beyond that capacity you need a power distro like my Power8, Falcon F8-distro or similar. As ICon said you need to tie the -ve/V-/Ground connection of the power supplies together to ensure the data line of the pixels has a stable reference.
 

Scott Suine

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Thanks for this and I now have a Power8 distribution board.
As a followup, I have a question around how physically most people wire this up.
Eg
If I have a prop, that will require some power Injection. Do you join the power from the second PSU to the 3 core pigtail, or do you run a 2 core pig tail for power injection?

in the second approach, this would mean that each prop would have a 3core and 2 core pigtail. Just wondering how most people wire this

thanks

Scott
 

ezellner

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Thanks for this and I now have a Power8 distribution board.
As a followup, I have a question around how physically most people wire this up.
Eg
If I have a prop, that will require some power Injection. Do you join the power from the second PSU to the 3 core pigtail, or do you run a 2 core pig tail for power injection?

in the second approach, this would mean that each prop would have a 3core and 2 core pigtail. Just wondering how most people wire this

thanks

Scott
Not exactly sure what you mean but NEVER connect V+ from different PSUs together. Grounds (V-) must be connected together to have a common reference.
 

AAH

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Thanks for this and I now have a Power8 distribution board.
As a followup, I have a question around how physically most people wire this up.
Eg
If I have a prop, that will require some power Injection. Do you join the power from the second PSU to the 3 core pigtail, or do you run a 2 core pig tail for power injection?

in the second approach, this would mean that each prop would have a 3core and 2 core pigtail. Just wondering how most people wire this

thanks

Scott
I personally have 2 core pigtails for power injection points. I'll have them at the start of every prop as an absolute minimum.
 

Scott Suine

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I have been watching some behind the scene videos tonight to confirm things. I am aware not to connect the two V+ together. Let me see if I can explain better.
If I have 10m long 5v Strip ( two 5m lengths). I have F16V3. Do run a 3 core wire (data, G, V) to the start of the first strip, then power inject with a two core wire at the beginning of the second strip - cutting the V+ from the first strip at the end. Or as I have seen, do I just run Data and ground from the F16V3 to the first strip and run all the way through the 10m, and add V+ ( common Grounds) to the beginning and the middle of the strip.

This would mean that all would have 2 core wire running ( one 2 core pair for data ground) and one for 2Core for V+ Ground). I also think this means that I could have a small PSU running the F16 - through V1/V2. and have the bigger PSU located close to the injection points for each of the props.
 

AAH

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I have been watching some behind the scene videos tonight to confirm things. I am aware not to connect the two V+ together. Let me see if I can explain better.
If I have 10m long 5v Strip ( two 5m lengths). I have F16V3. Do run a 3 core wire (data, G, V) to the start of the first strip, then power inject with a two core wire at the beginning of the second strip - cutting the V+ from the first strip at the end. Or as I have seen, do I just run Data and ground from the F16V3 to the first strip and run all the way through the 10m, and add V+ ( common Grounds) to the beginning and the middle of the strip.

This would mean that all would have 2 core wire running ( one 2 core pair for data ground) and one for 2Core for V+ Ground). I also think this means that I could have a small PSU running the F16 - through V1/V2. and have the bigger PSU located close to the injection points for each of the props.
In my opinion if there is anything more than about 5m from the pixel controller to a large prop I would just about always go with 2 wires from controller to prop and all of the power for it supplied as close as possible to the prop. This is even more preferred if they are 5V props where there is very little voltage headroom and voltage drop becomes a major concern.
 

jollyzee

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So, just to see if I have it clear in my mind - if you don't run power from your controllers but only data, then all you would need is 2 core wire. Data and Ground from controller and V+ and ground from the PSU. Combining the 2 2-core cables into a single 3 core at the props by tying the ground wires together that leaves you 3 (V+, Data, Ground).
 
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AAH

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So, just to see if I have it clear in my mind - if you don't run power from your controllers but only data, then all you would need is 2 core wire. Data and Ground from controller and V+ and ground from the PSU. Combining the 2 2-core cables into a single 3 core at the props by tying the ground wires together that leaves you 3 (V+, Data, Ground).
Yep
 

Scott Suine

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OK I think I am there. I have built an enclosure and in the final throws of wiring things up. The diagram attached is what I have built ( Thanks to Alan for the Power8's, PSU and Pigtails!). I am running 3port pigtails from the F16 ports and running 2 port pigtails from the Power 8's for Power Injection.
I now want to be sure I am right in my thinking here with wiring these up to strings. I still have some strings and strips on order so not 100% sure on lengths etc. But Looking at my model and where strings can be joined together and run off a single port on the F16. @AAH you mentioned above that the max is about 100 pixels per port on the F16 without PI. However with my setup, I am right in thinking I can run more ( it may a be around 3-400 ish) off a single port on the f16, provided I run enough power injection from the same PSU ( or second PSU, provide +V are not connected)? Or are you still limited to the number of pixels per port

With Running pixels from ports on controllers, is there any advantage disadvantages of running them end to end or off separate ports. The number of available ports I one thing, and I guess wire lengths to connect from one end of one string/prop is another, but are there limitations/issues you run into with controlling them?
 

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Dez

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However with my setup, I am right in thinking I can run more ( it may a be around 3-400 ish) off a single port on the f16, provided I run enough power injection from the same PSU ( or second PSU, provide +V are not connected)? Or are you still limited to the number of pixels per port
No you can only achieve approx 100 pixels on 12 volts before the pixels start turning funny colours. This is based on 100% brightness and pure white.
 

AAH

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You can get up to about 1000 pixels per output out of the F16. This equates to about 55A which is 2 typical 12V 300-400W power supplies. You can load up the Power8 with the 2 power supplies and run 1000 pixels from it via power injection every 100-150ish pixels.
To fully utilise the F16 you would need 16 Power8's and 32 12V power supplies (or 16 5V power supplies if using 5V pixels).
 

jollyzee

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AAH is right. Your ports are not limited to 100 pixels. Even the PI hat can go 800+ pixels per port. Eventually there will come a distance of wire where the data will go below a certain level ( I think it's called cut-off??) and the pixels will not know what to do. You can use a F-AMP to amplify the data signal again. However, I have also read on some forums, that if you have a bad pixel on that string, it may not pass the data, it may turn itself and ALL following off or worse it will turn ALL following pixels on 100% white ( a lot of power draw!!). And if it just truns off it may not be bad unless it is within a prop.
It's one of those things - do you want to put all your eggs in one basket?

Later ...
 

TerryK

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Falcon specs the F16V3 at 1024 pixels per output maximum. That is refreshing the string at 20fps. If one wishes to use the 40fps then the maximum pixels per output drops to 680. Expansion boards and/or receivers are speced at 680. Falcon has a document on their website that lists specifications for their products.
 
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