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Powering an RGB Tree

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by ryebred, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. ryebred

    ryebred New Elf

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    I am considering converting my mega tree into an RGB tree next year. I was going to buy 30 strings of Ray Wu's 50 count pixels. I understand I can connect 3 of them together in one universe or output on the ECG-P12R. The data and clock lines can pass through on each string however power needs to be injected on every string. The issue I am having is that the power can only flow in the same direction as the data correct?

    If I have three strings connected on a mega tree that would mean a string would start at the bottom and end at the top. It would be connected to the start of the next string at the top and travel to the bottom where it would connect with the third string. The problem is for string 1 I need to inject power at the bottom of the tree and for string 2 I need to inject power 16 feet up at the top of the tree correct?

    I will probably need two power supplies anyway so I suppose I could mount one toward the top of the tree and the other at the bottom. I was trying to avoid adding complexity at the top where it it hard to reach and troubleshoot should something go awry. With DC you can't power a string backwards like you could with AC correct? I would not be able to add power at the end of a string 2 and have it flow backwards would I?
     
  2. joeengler

    joeengler Apprentice Elf

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    The power can be injected from either side, I have all my power connecting at the bottom f the tree.
     
  3. OP
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    ryebred

    ryebred New Elf

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    Thanks. Are your data and clock strings connected together at the top of the tree? If you were injecting power at the bottom would you connect the ground of each string to each other if they are powered by the same power supply?
     
  4. fasteddy

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

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    This diagram may help from Page 11 of the ECG-P12R manual
    Basically if using the same power supply then you just add both +V and Ground as shown in Option 3 and if using seperate power supplies you then connect as per option 4, but make sure with the second power supply you dont connect the +v together between power supplies, but you must ALWAYS have the ground connected between srings and power supplies so they have the same reference or else you can create ground loops which can then cause flickering of your lights
    [attachimg=1]
     

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  5. OP
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    ryebred

    ryebred New Elf

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    Thanks. I had seen that diagram but at the time was confused about whether or not power was a one way pipe or could flow in both directions. Option 3 seems like the option I would use and just to confirm, if this was a 5V power supply, then only one string can be powered in a line because the voltage drop would be too much when carried through to a second string. So, in the option 3 diagram, the power line from the controller is powering the first string of 50 pixels and the line which is injecting power between the second and third string is actually powering both of those strings correct?

    If this were a 12v setup then the line from the controller could power two strings and then a power injection would be needed for the third string. So the setup would actually be the same for 12v.
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    Correct if using 5VDC strings then inject between every string. With 12VDC you can get away with less injection.
     
  7. Brian000

    Brian000 Aviation visual reference engineer

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    Going to set up a mega tree the exact same way. Can you run a separate 5v line to the top of every other string and hook power there to the second string? A 5th wire piggy back on the odd strings?
    For example: String 1 runs up with a separate 5th wire 5v power then connects to string 2 at the top with the 5th wire power. Might try a strand of phone wire to help reduce the resistance drop.
    -or-
    Is it possible to split the clock/data and power wires at the point of origin and keep all the connections at the base of the tree?
    Hope this makes sense.
    -thoughts
     

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