Pixel strip fire

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by Porsche, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Porsche

    Porsche Full Time Elf

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    hay guys, set my display up last week, running a few tests. all has been running great until I turn on this afternoon only to find one of my arches on fire.
    Pics attached.
    Im running my entire display off 3 different main 240v outdoor power points. Ive had an electrician install them for me and upgrade the lines to 30amp with separate fuses to the house in the meter box.

    Funny thing about this fire was I wasn't running any lights, it was just powered up. Ive checked volts, both from the PSU and at the arch that caught fire. 13.25-13.5v. The strips are ws2811 12v.
    I have turned the PSU up a bit as I was losing voltage down the arches.
    In my pics, you'll see 3 arches. the 3rd arch has injected power. but its the 2nd arch that caught fire.
    I use 2 plugs to connect strips. GND and Data plug and a GND and Positive plug.
    What have I not done??. could it be a faulty strip.
    or should I be inserting in line fuses from the PSU's. surely having the PSUs at 13.25v wouldn't have caused that?? it was pretty hot. melted the PVC piping as you'll see.

    Think I'll keep that power off until someone advises me of what Ive done wrong and or missed.
     
  2. burner

    burner Full Time Elf

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    This happens when the + and - short out together and is common when heat shrinking the wires when there is a pointy bit which ends up poking the other wire.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Porsche

    Porsche Full Time Elf

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    ohh really.
    I can see how that would happen.
    Do you think an inline fuse would prevent this?

    Could it be I had the Voltage up too high??
     
  4. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Porsche the inline fuse would help yes.

    I have a fuse from the 240v to the psu
    another fuse from the psu to the p2
    and then I have a fuse on every power injection line all close to the psu. thus everything should be protected.
     
  5. burner

    burner Full Time Elf

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    I'm just wondering, where it burnt, was that at a solder join in the pixel? Just curious if it's come apart and shorted there with the power injection from the other end.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Porsche

    Porsche Full Time Elf

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    not sure where it burnt. it burnt right through the PVC pipe. bit of a mess.
    so maybe yeah.
    I'll go adding in the fuses as you say Yagoona.
    so if this happens where the + and - touch. like in the shrink wrap where the solder pointy bits can pop out. might be worth separating them completing and running some insulation tape around each of the shrink wraps yeah. just to prevent that from happening.
     
  7. burner

    burner Full Time Elf

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    I tend to feel first with my fingers, and if I detect anything reasonably pointing, just squash it with a pair of pliers, till it's smooth.
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Now you know why I harp on about using fuses to protect the wiring. :eek:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Porsche

    Porsche Full Time Elf

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    yep.. sure do now.
     
  10. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    In your second picture I can just see the solder joins on the far right. That means it wasn't a solder join between sections of strip that failed. Seems to me it just straight out was a faulty chip. The 13V may not have killed it, but probably didn't help.

    I'd mention it to ray. He will hopefully look after you as that's something that obviously should not be happening.

    Cheers,
    Rowan
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Porsche

    Porsche Full Time Elf

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    I will do that. Im not after any freebies. but certainly worth chatting with him about it.
    Thanks for everyone's response.
    Appreciated.
    Cheers
    Phil
     
  12. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    Damn you David and your logic IRT fuses. Lookes like I will be making some adjustments when i pull everything in. I suppose one saving grace for me is the fact all my outputs and power injections are behind a fuse already.. Perhaps I have to look a little more closely tho.. I cant afford a pixel fire. There too bloody expensive for 12v 2801 strips.. lol
     
  13. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    And it's not just as simple as sticking one fuse on the output of the power supply. You should be fusing each outgoing line with a value that is lower than the current rating of the wire it's on.
     

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