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Places to buy smart and dumb RGB pixels

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by BoonDogs, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    Any advice..
    I need to buy 16 strings of waterproof smart pixels for a mega tree that is 5m high
    I also need 4x smart waterproof LED strips to wrap around some poles
    And... 13x waterproof dumb RGB pixels... in 24vdc


    Plus I need a dumb RGB controller (27-30 channels) that can handle the 24vdc...


    I've been shopping around on DIY LED express but they don't have any dumb RGB pixels in 24vdc and the prices of the others in such quantities is more expensive. Any advice on placed to get any three of these pixel/strip types?


    Riley
     
  2. Roosta

    Roosta Full Time Elf

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    Hey mate, can i ask why the 24vdc?
     
  3. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    I'm using the same dumb controller to control some strings if icicle lights which run at 24vdc, I didn't really want to spend the extra money for a separate controller for 24vdc
     
  4. Roosta

    Roosta Full Time Elf

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    Ah ok, so u only need the dumb rgb strips in 24vdc.. What about the pixels? What voltage and type and controller u using for them? Maybe you might be better off using pixel strip instead of the dumb rgd stirp and just treating it like dumb rgb from a sequence perspective?
     
  5. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    I need the 8 strings of pixels/nodes in 24vdc.. they're being driven from a 27 channel DMX decoder / RGB controller. Are you suggesting it would be easier to find smart pixels in 24vdc and drive them of my e682?
     
  6. Roosta

    Roosta Full Time Elf

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    Nah i am suggestion it would be easier to source 5/12vdc pixel strip/nodes and drive them off your e682..
     
  7. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    Yes that makes sense! I will investigate sourcing some smart pixels for the e682.. otherwise I could always use 24vdc strips such as the one you suggested in the chat and drive them of the dumb controller.


    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5M-Roll-5050-60led-m-24VDC-IP20-RGB-soft-strip-light-led-tape-light-for-indoor/32445418557.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.43.aX0Azr&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_1,searchweb201644_4_10001_10002_10005_10006_10003_10004_62_9912_61,searchweb201560_1,searchweb1451318400_6148
     
  8. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Because dumb nodes are only a single rgb LED in each node they will usually only be offered in 5V or 12V. The 12V ones are rather wasteful as 9V of the 12V just gets wasted as heat in the current limiting resistor.
    Also be wary of using lots of dumb rgb nodes off some controllers. The 27 channel controller you mentioned has a maximum total current of 15A. As all leds in the dumb nodes are in parallel a string of 100 nodes is potentially 2A per colour or 6A total per string. This means you are limited to only running about 250 nodes off a single 27 channel board.
    My DMX36 board was specifically targeted at the high current nodes and strips as it has a maximum current per board (for 36 channels) of 120A. It also has 4 seperate fused zones meaning that you can mix and match voltages easily.
     
  9. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I agree that smart pixels are a better option than dumb RGB. It isn't much more expensive, you already have a compatible controller, you can mix voltages simply and you get much finer control.

    Dumb RGB is not a type of pixel. You can still have multiple voltages on the same dumb controller; scroll down to example 2 here http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/Controller_Setups_and_Settings

    If you can solder then it is possible to significantly increase the maximum current that the 27 channel controller can handle.
    http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/HD712
    That said, you might not want to modify a controller or use your power supplies as in example 2 in case something goes wrong. AAH would have simpler options then and it can help to buy from someone nearby for support. He also has controllers that take in WS2811/WS2812B and WS2801 signal and control dumb display items with 30A per controller. This could help you because I don't think the E682 can output DMX for the 27 channel controller.

    Have you tried running the icicle lights at 24V DC? If they're store bought then I suspect their original plugpack will be 24V AC and you'll need a slightly higher DC voltage. You'll need to test them to figure out exactly what voltage they need. I use the 27 channel controllers at 31V without any problems. If the icicles have an 8 function controller then there needs to be at least 3 wires going to the lights.
     
  10. nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    I run my "store Bought" icicles on a 27 channel controller at 36V. Not saying you should exceed the stated 31V but I did this year and no problems.
     
  11. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    I can run the icicle lights at 24vdc with no problems and they appear to be at their original brightness. Should I be running them at 31vdc or stick with the 24v as it isn't giving me any problems? I would only need to source a 31vdc power supply as the boards can handle up to 35vdc without and modifications.


    All these posts are confusing me. From what I understand, the 24channel controller should only be used to control the icicle lights at 24vdc, and I should use the E682 to run everything else at 12vdc and just suck up the price and buy smart pixels? It's not that much more expensive. The only reason I was going to use dumb RGB was because I'm wrapping christmas balls made out of chicken wire and scattering them on the front lawn, there was no reason to make them smart pixels.
    The other option is to wrap the balls in a 24vdc dumb RGB strip.. It wouldn't look all the different and can run at a higher voltage, meaning I could drive it off the 27 channel controller.
     
  12. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    Would it be a better option to split the load between two dumb controllers.. one for icicles at higher voltage and one for rgb nodes at 12/5vdc?
     
  13. fasteddy

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

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    Take a look at the Wiki on the link below, specifically at Example 2 as this may be the solution you need to run multi voltages from the same controller. This works because the controllers and LEDs we use are switched on the ground side (negative side) where the positive is the common.

    http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/Controller_Setups_and_Settings
     
  14. OP
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    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

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    Decided to go for the option to switch two different voltages through the one controller.. That way I don't have to worry about overloading the board or anything because all the positives will be connected and I will just switch the negatives. Also decided to go for a PixLites controller over the E682


    Thanks for your help guys
     
  15. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I wanted to include that information so you know more options before choosing one. I'd even covered the option Fasteddy posted. You will still have to worry about the current through the controller but you can modify the 27 channel controller to handle higher currents. Having a PixLite instead of an E682 will make it simpler to include the 27 channel controller because the PixLite can give you DMX output. Also check out the F16v2 as a possible pixel controller option.

    Without knowing the current draw and number of series sections in the icicle set I don't know what voltage would be best. 24V would be safer than 31V until you've tested it because higher voltages than required can be damaging. 24V could still be too high but that is unlikely. If it is too low then you won't get the full brightness the icicles are capable of. You can also modify them to slightly change the required voltage. I did this so that everything matched at 31V. Surprisingly, I even had a small number of light sets that could safely be brighter than with their original plugpacks.

    You sound right on track.
     

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