proper setup for 3 power supply pixel tree?

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by nato595, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    Hello!
    Can anyone please describe (or better yet, illustrate) the correct setup for wiring up a 12 strand pixel tree with the following specs?
    12 strands of 60/M 12v strip (max draw 6A / 72W per strip) .
    3 350W 29A power supplies.
    1 ECG-P12S controller wired up to pass power + signal through each port.

    By my calculations individual strips are OK to be powered from each port of the P12, but all 6 strips together (36A) exceed the 30A max per bank.
    Currently I have one power supply supplying one bank of the P12, a second power supply powering the second bank, but what do I do with the third?! Do I need to connect each PS to each other and use the third PS to just feed power only to 4 out of my 12 total strips directly and use the P12 to power the other 8 strips (4 from each bank) to even things out?

    Am I over thinking this?

    Currently everything generally "works" but I am experiencing some flickering during high output scenes so I'm guessing I do really need the third PS...

    Please help, I'm a week behind on kicking off my show! :(

    Thank you!!
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I am no good at illustrating so I hope you can follow my description.
    The ground/-ve/0V of all 3 power supplies needs to be interconnected. The positive of each power supply cannot be shared across a strip so the logical thing is for 4 strips to be on each power supply. The 0V and data lines can be ran from 1 strip to the next across power supplies but the +ve cannot be connected across a strip. How you implement that with your P12 I have no idea. You may have to use external fuses to power different strips.
     
  3. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Like Alan said you need to feed 4 strips directly from one of the PSU's. The negative from this PSU needs to be connected to the negative coming from the other 2 PSU's. The trick is the +ve from any of the PSU's can never be linked to the positive from any of the others. What I do to ensure this can't happen is on the wire from the output to the strips that are powered independently from the controller I disconnect the positive wire at the controller. This way there is no way that anything on that cable can have 2 PSU's connected to it.

    So in my case, on the strips that are powered by a separate PSU, I have the data and -ve going from the controller to the strip and the +ve and -ve from the 3rd PSU going to the same strip. The +ve goes straight into the strip, the data goes straight into the strip and the 2 negatives are joined and go into the strip.

    You can join the negatives straight at the PSU's as well but from what I've seen on the forum it is better to do at the lights if you have long cable runs.
     
  4. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    Thank you both!
    I just want to double-verify before I hook it up and accidentally fry something.
    Excuse the attached mess of a picture, but I believe these are my instructions:

    Add a jumper wire between the V- outputs to connect all three power supplies.
    Use SPI and ground outputs of all 12 ports from the P12 controller.
    8 of each of the outputs (4 from each bank) will also supply V+ in addition to data and ground.
    The other 4 strips will get their V+ directly from the third power supply.
    The 4 strips that are powered directly from the power supply will have a Ground wire from the controller AND a ground wire spliced in from the V- output of the power supply.

    Am I all good to go??
    My sloppy Photoshop work is this:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Looks good to me Nato.

    I think in theory you wouldn't actually need the negative "jumper" cables between PSU's in this case. This is because (if my understanding is right) the two negatives on the controller are linked on the controller. So having the negatives linked through the controller does the same job as linking them at the PSU. Can't hurt to have the "jumper" negative wire there though, so I would leave it in just in case my understanding is wrong.
     
  6. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    I had to research a little to figure out why you needed so my current because your 12 ribbon tree looked exactly like my setup. I realized your strips are 60/m and I'm using 30/m. I know its too late but I would have recommended you go with the 30/m strips for the tree because most sequences that you can get out there are programmed for 50 pixel strips and you could run them with 2 power supplies. I have a nice housing I built from a rubbermaid container that houses the P12S board and 2 power supplies to run my tree.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    Thanks all!
    Yes, I had the 30/M last year, but ended up replacing them with the 60/M. Not because I NEEDED more, but because the ones I had before were 6803's and had some goofy results with flickering that I could never get rid of, so I wanted to change to WS2811 like all the rest of my gear. While shopping for the 2811's, I didn't consider any purchasable sequences and what they are written for, I was just thinking of the resolution increase.
    Anyway, I wired everything up as in my diagram below and it all works great! Occasionally I am still getting a little, minor, "glitching", but I'm leaning more towards my network being stressed out rather than the power now.
     
  8. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    Glad you got it worked out!

    Yeah I also have 2811's in everything I use. Here's a video I put together to demo my 12 ribbon tree last year. If you forward to about 4:10 you can see one of the sequences I purchased. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju6eOBwzEsU
     
  9. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    Very nice, your display looks great!
    Couple questions;
    1. How big is your large arch, and what is it made out of, and how is it secured?
    2. What program did you sequence with prior to the 4:10 purchased sequence? I'm guessing SuperStar - which I purchased but never got a grasp on :( I use mostly random, cool looking, Nutcracker effects through my show.
     
  10. Gilrock

    Gilrock Full Time Elf

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    The large arches are made of 2 pieces of grey electrical conduit...I believe the 3/4" stuff. They were cut down a little so the 5m strips make it to about a foot from the end so I'm guessing they are close to 18' when put together. To secure them to the ground I just pounded a couple of those steel pins from Home Depot into the ground at an angle so that the arch is about 6' high in the middle. The steel pins are the kind that have holes in them since they are usually used to run string lines for marking new construction areas. There is nothing supporting it so its really flimsy at the top if you touch it but it holds up really good. Never had them fall last year. I just tie wrapped the rgb strip to the pvc.

    Yes I used SuperStar for that first sequence. I'm using xLights/Nutcracker to do some things this year but you can get tired of the built in effects pretty quick. I like being able to draw animations in Superstar and using the Morph capability. If we could get similar functionality into xLights it would be awesome. I might volunteer to develop it. Even though I developed them in Superstar everything is exported over to xLights and then converted to run on the FPP.
     

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