Wire Gauge Used

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by nmiller0113, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. nmiller0113

    nmiller0113 New Elf

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    [font=segoe ui wpc, segoe ui, tahoma, microsoft sans serif, verdana, sans-serif]I have a quick question regarding wire gauge. I've read this amazing and detailed post by Eddy http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,3668.0.html but I still have my doubts in myself that I'm understanding it correctly.[/font]


    I'm building a pixel display using 12 of these: [/size]http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/BLACK-PCB-5m-led-digital-strip-DC5V-input-WS2801IC-256-scale-32pcs-IC-and-32pcs-5050/701799_651897346.html[/size]I'm connecting them to two SanDevices E682 pixel controllers...6 each. Each strip is being split into thirds...though there will still only be one 5M strip per controller output. So I'm cutting each strip twice and having to solder my own wire in the middle.Sorry for the long explanation but I wanted to make sure this is clear. My concern is around the gauge of the wire used between the cuts to continue the single strip connection. It came with 22 Gauge wire connected to each end of the strip straight from Ray. I have some 24 Gauge wire handy that I was going to use for it that others have told me would work just fine but I wanted another opinion before I go solder crazy for hours and hours only find out it won't work. Do you think I'll be ok using 24 Gauge wire to connect the single strip at the two points I'm cutting it at? BTW, the distance of the 24 Gauge wire used to connect the two cut pieces is about 2 inches.Thanks for you input!Nathan
     
  2. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    Nathan,

    For a two inch section of cable you (or rather your lights) won't notice the difference between the guages.

    One thing you do need to take into consideration though, is power injection. The strip itself is effectivly cable, so you will loose voltage as you go along the strip. It is recommended that @ 5V you inject power at roughly every 50 pixels. That means that if you are cutting your strip in 3, you will have roghly 53 pixels per section.

    I would recommend you inject power at each join by running an additional cable for 5V & ground to them. Simply solder these to the appropriate spot. (No need to break to 5V or ground, just add an extra cable to the solder pad on the strip before silicone is added to waterproof). The data is left continuous.


    Hopefully this helps clear up the mysteries of pixels.

    Apologies for wall of text,
    Rowan
     
  3. OP
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    nmiller0113

    nmiller0113 New Elf

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    Thank you sooo much for your reply. Makes perfect sense!


    Nathan
     
  4. remoteutah

    remoteutah Full Time Elf

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    Food for thought - I am using a similar strip (5 meter - 30leds + 30chips per meter ws2811 for $32) and have NOT had to inject power to run the whole strip. Just power on the lead end.
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    A short length of 24 guage will have no real impact because the added resistance of the cable over such a small distance would not really factor.
    Whats important is that the cable can handle the current being drawn because if a smaller guage cable is used that has a current going through it that is higher than its rated max then the cable will start to heat up and in extreme cases will melt and possibly cause a fire.

    But 24 gauge may in fact be a little small as the 32 section 5vdc 2801 strip that you referenced draws approximatly 2 amps per metre when light is white and 24 guage is rated to 2 to 2.2 amps so you may find the cables getting warm if you have more than 1 metre connected.
     
  6. fasteddy

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

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    I dare say you have the controller/power supply very close to the lights and are not getting any real measurable voltage drop at the start of the strip. But if you had an cable extension connected to this like most will then injection will in most cases be required.
     
  7. burner

    burner Full Time Elf

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    30 LEDs and 30 3811 chips per meter for $32 seems very cheap. I bought 30 LEDs and 10 2811 chips per meter for the same price. Have you got a link to this price?
     
  8. fasteddy

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

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  9. OP
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    nmiller0113

    nmiller0113 New Elf

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    As usual...thanks to all of you for your GREAT insight. Really good to hear.


    I was curious about one more thing and that was where it is ok to inject power. Meaning...do I have to cut the strip to stop the current flow of power from the lead end of the strip and then inject the power on a new end that has no power already flowing to it? Or can I just tap in my power injection at any point in the strip where the voltage and ground points are regardless of whether there is already power flowing to that point from the initial connection to the power supply.


    I hope that question made sense :)
     
  10. fasteddy

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

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    If using the same power supply to inject power as you are using to supply the power to the strip then you just tap

    If you are using seperate power supplies then you need to disconnect the +v between the 2 strips so the power supplies are seperate, BUT you need to ensure you keep the ground wires coneected

    Refer to page 47 of the ACL 101 lighting manual
     
  11. OP
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    nmiller0113

    nmiller0113 New Elf

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    Thanks again everyone for your input. It helped me a TON! As usual, you guys are the BEST!!!


    Nathan
     
  12. drakky

    drakky Apprentice Elf

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  13. cozbert

    cozbert Full Time Elf

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    yep the 2812b is just the 2811 inside a led :)
     
  14. drakky

    drakky Apprentice Elf

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    ooooh that's cool
     
  15. burner

    burner Full Time Elf

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