P10 LED panels are pre-made pixel panels with a 10mm pixel spacing, which is what the 10 in P10 indicates. There are also P6, P16, P20, P25, P40, etc, but it is the P10 that is usually used for Christmas displays. The P10 panels daisy chain from 1 to the next via a 16 way IDC cable. They are powered by a figure 8 cable running 5V DC.
VarietiesThere are indoor and outdoor versions of the P10 panels. The indoor style usually have a single RGB surface mount LED per pixel. The outdoor P10 panels have separate red, green and blue LEDs for each pixel and are potted in a sealing compound. The outdoor P10 panels are typically about twice the price of the indoor panels, but they function the same.
There are single colour, 2 colour and RGB P10 panels with different scan types; static, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th. The 32x16 RGB panels are usually a HUB75 (1/8 scan) interface while single/dual colour panels are more likely to use a HUB08 or HUB12 interface. Those three interfaces are all 16 pin, but the signals are a little different so are not directly interchangeable.
It is the HUB75 RGB, 320mm x 160mm, 32 pixel x 16 pixel panel that is commonly used for Christmas display and that is the one that this article mainly covers.
The LED panels run off 5V DC and can draw up to 3A per panel depending on various settings within your sequencer and potentially within FPP. All cabling and power allowances should be made for this level of current however it would be expected that normal usage would be 40% of this figure. The current will vary somewhat and is dependent on the panel manufacturer and whether they are indoor or outdoor panels.
ConnectingWhen used for a Christmas display, the P10 panel will usually be connected to an Octoscroller PCB plugged into a BeagleBone Black (BBB) running Falcon Player (FPP). The standard P10 1/8th scan panels can be daisy chained up to 8 in a chain. The P10 has data in and out IDC16 connectors as well as a connection for the 5V DC. The picture below shows 2 rows of 4 panels. This would plug into 2 outputs of an octoscroller. Alternatively this could be connected as 8 daisy chained together with the lower 4 going in the opposite direction. The configuration in Falcon Player takes care of the change in direction.
MountingThe P10 panel can be mounted to a steel enclosure with the magnetic screws that are usually supplied with the panels. Alternatively they can be mounted together with 3D printed mounts or similar. Details of some 3D mounts are on the ACL forum.
See also: LED Panel compatibility
Configuring a FP on a BeagleBoneBlack for P10 panels
Gerry put together a great thread at https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/my-p10-panels.7619/
The pdf document at https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/my-p10-panels.7619/page-2#post-69052 is well worth a read for setting up a P10 matrix. Categories: LED panel pages