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Power Distribution | Controller or External?

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by MD389, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. MD389

    MD389 New Elf

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    Hey all,

    In a few of the xLights & mini presentation video's I've been cramming I have noticed a few people mention that they do not run their pixel power via the controller board but use an external source (and I assume fuse it, something like a Hexfuse?) and simply have data + gnd hooked into the board.

    I assume it is done to protect the board and maybe feed more than the 7A max on most of the boards. Is this the "correct" way to do the wiring?

    Thanks
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer Generous Elf

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    The main reason for powering at the far end is to avoid the inherent voltage drop. Thinner cable can be used or alternately something like Cat5 which will allow for a longer distance.
     
  3. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    I make it a habit of powering all my pixels separately from the board. So if I have a problem with the pixels it will never damage the board. As you generally need to power inject longer runs of pixels anyway, it makes no more or less work and I can also change where things go, for instance 5v and 12v pixels can all run off the same controller without it ever being a problem.
     
  4. djgra79

    djgra79 My name is Graham & I love flashing lights! Generous Elf

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    Exact reason I don't power my pixels from the controller. Every port could be different voltage nodes, strip etc. Allows for a bit more flexibility to the display.
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    It really goes down to both application and personal preference, for example it is much better to power from the controller if doing something like a tree or a matrix where the lights are close to the controller. But when you start having a longer cable run or a different voltage to what the controller is running then using an external power supply normally works best.
    So depending on how you are using the controller will determine the best method to use, you can also use both methods on the one controller. So there are no real rules on which is better because its more application dependant
     

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