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Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by jediknight2, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. jediknight2

    jediknight2 Full Time Elf

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    I am contemplating making the leap to DMX to run RGB in my light show. My plan this year is to run only RGB strips. I guess the proper terminology is DUMB strips as there is no pixel control on the strips. Basically, these http://www.ebay.com/itm/300-LED-5M-SMD-5050-RGB-LED-Strip-Light-IP66-Waterproof-DC-12V-Remote-Control-/290707838473?pt=US_Car_Lighting&hash=item43af899609

    I plan to outline my house along with my white icicle strings and other incandescent minis. From what I gather I will need the following to run BASIC RGB, no pixel control.

    Holiday Coro Dongle to HC 3-Channel controller to strip lights. Along with power injected into the strips. I use both LightShowPro and LOR for sequencing and it looks like I will need to upgrade whatever software I plan to go with. The only thing holding me back on upgrading LSP is that it appears not to be able to use the HC dongle. HOWEVER, if you guys think the better thing to do is buy an Enttec Open/Pro DMX device, I am willing to spend a few extra dollars on that piece of electronics. I DO like LSP better.

    In the future, I DO want to get pixel control. I feel I won't be wasting money because I can always cut the dumb strips and make other things out of them later. I guess at that point I need to make a decision to go E1.31 or DMX for that control...looks like E1.31 is better...This is where I get confused and fuzzy....IF I am using 2801 strips or any "Smart" strip running a supported protocol, do I need ANYTHING other than the E1.31 controller(ECG-DR4) or DMX controller (Enttec Open/Pro)..I see photos with those devices run to other controllers and from my understanding smart devices pick up their channel from the data stream on their own and listen for instruction....is that correct? So I am thinking if I run E1.31 I run the E.131 (ECG-DR4) connected to my network > a String of RGB smart strips (or nodes, etc) (with power injected of course)

    I know its a doozy of a first post...but I don't have much time to goof around :)
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    If going the pixel route in the future then use E1.31 instead of DMX as you will run out of DMX universes very quickly with DMX when you consider 1 x 10IC 30 LED strip (like the CCR) take up 150 channels, so effectively you can only run 3 and a bit strips per universe. So E1.31 is the better choice going forward.


    Personally if you are planning on going down the pixel path in the future then im not sure why you wouldnt consider it now for your gutter outline as the cost is not much more. Using 1 x ECG-P2 for $64 and the 2811 RGB strip for $36 per 5 metre strip


    So for this setup all you need is an RJ45 output from your computer, if you only have the one E1.31 controller then it just connects straight up, if you have other E1.31 controllers you would then distribute using a common network switch.

    So effectively this is what you would need to do your gutters

    computer (LSP or LOR Advanced) network output (RJ45) --- to --- ECG-P2 --- to --- Lights \

    You can get further info on this setup by reading this thread


    The 300 LED/m you linked to are an overkill, the 150 LEDs is more than enough for a clear bright outline and is all i have ever used, This is where you may consider a pixel approach instead as the 2811 intelligent strip is only $6 more which will give a lot more control and effects for your money


    If you still prefer to go down the dumb RGB path then using an ECG-D2 which is an E1.31 to DMX bridge for $64 which gives you 2 DMX universes may be a good choice especially if you plan for pixels in the future and using E1.31. This will enable you to grow your show based on E1.31 in the future.

    In the end its your choice on what path you want to take, im just suggesting an alternative that may give you better value in the future.
     
  3. OP
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    jediknight2

    jediknight2 Full Time Elf

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    Thanks for the response...I cannot seem to find the ECG-P2 on his site?? Also where are you getting 2811 strips for 36?

    EDIT...FOUND the answers in your link! THANKS!

    Do you have a suggestion on a good PS?
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    There is the Ray Wu power supplies which are nice and cheap but i always recommend keeping a spare as these power supplies have failed in the past.
    You can also use a meanwell power supply which is of higher quality but also higher cost

    Both are 12vdc 350 watt
     
  5. OP
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    jediknight2

    jediknight2 Full Time Elf

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    Do you know if Ray combines shipping...sent him an email, but it might take a few days I'm sure for him to reply. I am assuming it would be safe to run about 5 lengths of the strip RGB you linked to on a single power supply. That takes into account I am using a dedicated outlet with a 20 amp breaker and allowing only 80% usage...which is fairly conservative I would imagine.
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    Ray combines shipping and many of us pay him through paypal
     
  7. fasteddy

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

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    Now dont confuse mains power with low voltage DC power for current ratings as you could easily have multiple 12vdc power supplies on the same power circuit.

    we will show it below here

    85% of 350 watts = 297.5 watts

    240volt supply = 297.5watts/240v = 1.24 amps
    110volt supply = 297.5watts/110v = 2.70 amps

    then we look at the same wattage used with low voltage

    12volt supply = 297.5watt/12v = 24.79 amps
    5volts supply = 297.5watt/5v = 59.5 amps

    So on a 350watt 12vdc power supply run at approx 85% you could run a total of 8 strips
     
  8. OP
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    jediknight2

    jediknight2 Full Time Elf

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    ahh..forgot about AC to DC...I was thinking that sure wasn't a lot of leads on a circuit
     
  9. fasteddy

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

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    Just to clarify any possible confusion, its actually not to do with AC/DC but to do with Ohms Law and the relationship of volts and current

    so for the same power requirements needed the higher the volts the less current needed and the lower % of voltage loss over a distance. This is why electricity is distrubuted over long distances using very high voltages.

    I hope that makes it a bit clearer for you :D
     
  10. dpavisic

    dpavisic Full Time Elf

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    This confuses me a bit Eddy. In Australia with 240 volts and using the 5 volt calculation above, gives 59.5 amps. But aren't the powerpoints rated at 10amps max, so how come the fuse doesn't blow?
     
  11. fasteddy

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

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    When you look at the calculations above for the same wattage used you see that with higher voltage you have less current drawn. The wattage load stays the same regardless if it is 12vdc or 240vac, not taking efficiency and fluctuating loads into account.

    So the 350 watt output load which is 59.5 amps at 5vdc would actually only draw approx 1.24 amps at the 240v powerpoint when the 5vdc output is at maxinum load (efficency not taken into account)
     
  12. dpavisic

    dpavisic Full Time Elf

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    I think I understand now, but am I right in saying that I could hook up 8 power supplies (8x1.24 =9.92amps at the PowerPoint )., but how many light strips can I hook up to each power supply?
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    Now when we take into account the power supply efficiency of 85% that means we can run 8 x 5 metre strips of 30 led/m per 350 watt power supply, that then allows us to run up to a possible 8 power supplies from one 10 amp outlet for a total of 64 x 5 metre 30 LED/m strip and that load is rated for when using white (red + green + blue) which is full load

    This would explain why my whole dispaly runs on 2 circuits and that includes the computer and other appliiances
     
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    jediknight2

    jediknight2 Full Time Elf

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    As far as injecting power..would it make better sense and be more efficient if I injected power between strings instead of injecting at the beginning....reason I ask is that there might be 10-20 feet of wire from the box to.the actual beginning of my.strip. Also, is Cat6 ok to use for power...seems a pair would be equal.to alarm wire
     
  15. fasteddy

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

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    If using 12vdc strip than this is an accepted way to inject power, if using 5vdc strings then i would test this first to ensure you do not get pinkish lights at the end of the string when they are on as white. Just make sure your cable to your strip can easily take the load of both strips.

    If using Cat5 or Cat6 cable for your supply then i would be ensuring that you dont exceed more than 1 amp per core. If the Cat6 is solid core then i would avoid using it due to the high risk of cores breaking over time which then can overload the other cores and then melt wires and even possibly become a fire hazard. You can still use the Cat6 but be aware of the potential issues with using solid core and multiplying cores for power.
     

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