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Thread: Ground ties on power injection

  1. #16
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    I think the default fuse size is 5A on the small controllers that come with fuses (but I don't have one with me right now) .. Should be OK for this load.
    This controller is fused, 12.5 AMPS for 12VDC, but the individual positive injection leads are not going through the controller. Since I was going to tie all three grounds into the controller and have the grounds for injection come from the controller output, won't this protect the circuit adequately? If I don't need individual fuses in the box, I'd like to avoid it.
    Thanks!
    Paul

  2. #17
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by PKingRoch View Post
    This controller is fused, 12.5 AMPS for 12VDC, but the individual positive injection leads are not going through the controller. Since I was going to tie all three grounds into the controller and have the grounds for injection come from the controller output, won't this protect the circuit adequately? If I don't need individual fuses in the box, I'd like to avoid it.
    Each positive output to a run of pixels should have its own fuse. The master fuse on the power supply won't stop one string from taking out others depending on what kind of problem occurs. Your master fuse is not helping the individual strings. You can go without if you don't mind taking the risk :-)
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  3. #18
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by kidcole View Post
    Each positive output to a run of pixels should have its own fuse. The master fuse on the power supply won't stop one string from taking out others depending on what kind of problem occurs. Your master fuse is not helping the individual strings. You can go without if you don't mind taking the risk :-)
    No, you're right. I'll stop over to Home Depot tonight and get a fuse holder and some fuses. Thanks for all the advice!!!
    Thanks!
    Paul

  4. #19
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Now to follow-up. I tied all the grounds together and I also fused the positive leads coming from each of the power supplies. While everything worked well in the house, now that I have the display up, I'm getting noise past cane 4. This is my first injection site for power. DO from 4 goes to 5, power for 5 comes from new power supply. Canes 5-9 are all noisy. I tried the cable first, no change. Next will be to swap out the props to see if they are introducing the noise. First swap the last working prop, the swap the first noisy prop.

    I'm wondering about termination. I do not have any termination on this DMX universe nor do I have any termination on the SPI data run. I could put a 220 ohm resistor on the end of the DMX run to help clean up the signal, but what's odd is that the first 4 canes are rock solid.

    Advice?
    Thanks!
    Paul

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    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    I swapped the props with no change. My current plan is to add 120 ohm resistor (not 220) to the DMX data line to help clean up the signal. Stay tuned.
    Thanks!
    Paul

  6. #21
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by PKingRoch View Post
    I swapped the props with no change. My current plan is to add 120 ohm resistor (not 220) to the DMX data line to help clean up the signal. Stay tuned.
    Sometimes distance between the power supplies can cause issues. I have not run double power supply installation but I recall seeing other discussion boards saying to keep the power supplies close together. Also, it's important to use a heave gauge wire for your injection. also make sure you are not accidentally backfeeding the + from one supply to the other.

    Beyond that I would need to see a detailed schematic for what you are trying to do.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  7. #22
    New Member qberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    What is the distance between the candy canes? any chance you need a null pixel node?

    I did RGB landscape lights using the rectangle smart pixels and they worked great for 2 weeks and then one by one I started losing them from the end. I had a long run under my driveway that left me about 22' between two lights. First I tried adding a power supply and injecting it, but no change. Right after the driveway I have 6 pixels that dance and flicker and the remaining 12 are out. So I tested my Data Out from the pixel just before the driveway with a set of 50 bullets I had....no problem lighting them all correctly so I concluded my data out was ok, just not strong enough to make it to the next light. I even hooked up the 50 immediately after the driveway and they displayed exactly like the landscape lights....definitely a data problem for me that a null pixel should solve.

    When I first tried to add my power injection during testing I forgot to ground the power supplies together....all the lights on the second power supply were completely erratic. I have my power supplies 75' apart and just hooked the grounds together in the pixel string (18 gauge wire) and they work fine.

  8. #23
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by qberg View Post
    What is the distance between the candy canes? any chance you need a null pixel node?

    I did RGB landscape lights using the rectangle smart pixels and they worked great for 2 weeks and then one by one I started losing them from the end. I had a long run under my driveway that left me about 22' between two lights. First I tried adding a power supply and injecting it, but no change. Right after the driveway I have 6 pixels that dance and flicker and the remaining 12 are out. So I tested my Data Out from the pixel just before the driveway with a set of 50 bullets I had....no problem lighting them all correctly so I concluded my data out was ok, just not strong enough to make it to the next light. I even hooked up the 50 immediately after the driveway and they displayed exactly like the landscape lights....definitely a data problem for me that a null pixel should solve.

    When I first tried to add my power injection during testing I forgot to ground the power supplies together....all the lights on the second power supply were completely erratic. I have my power supplies 75' apart and just hooked the grounds together in the pixel string (18 gauge wire) and they work fine.
    Hi qberg .. Are you local ? Where is Anderson Creek ? Welcome to CC .. !

    You are very lucky that your setup worked with that much distance between your grounds. With 75' of 18ga, you have a lot more resistance between your two ground points. A much heavier wire (around 12 ga) would be safer. Of course at the end of the day, if it keeps working for you then there should be "no need to fix what's note broke" <as they say> ..
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

  9. #24
    New Member qberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Thanks Denny, I am just north of Fayetteville. This will be my fifth year with LOR and first year throwing in RGBs. I have been mainly on Planet Christmas' Forums.

    I used18 gauge solid core irrigation wire for my landscape lights....150' total around my house running 45 smart rectangles. I wanted to keep my power supply with my controller so I was hoping it would all work out. After the problems started a couple weeks later I added the power injection in the middle, running off a solid state relay...but it didn't fix anything. Now that I have tested the data signal all up to the driveway and I have the wire back up, we will see if adding these pixels will help.

    Anyone know if stranded wire caries the data signal better than solid core?

  10. #25
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by qberg View Post
    What is the distance between the candy canes? any chance you need a null pixel node?
    ....
    When I first tried to add my power injection during testing I forgot to ground the power supplies together....all the lights on the second power supply were completely erratic. I have my power supplies 75' apart and just hooked the grounds together in the pixel string (18 gauge wire) and they work fine.
    I have less than 7 feet between candy canes. Actually, the wires are 7 feet, the distance between the canes is about 70 inches. Everything is powered well, and it's get's some signal. It's just the last 5 canes that flicker. I was able to shorten the DMX cable by 25' tonight, but it didn't make a difference. I had the entire run of canes indoors earlier in the year while I was building it and I never had an issue. Ground and Positive are tied together at the beginning and end of the candy cane to help balance the power across the nodes. Date just carries through from one cane to the next. I think it could be a noisy DMX signal. That is the one thing I didn't have in my test environment; the DMX run was short. Just right from the dongle to the controller. Maybe 5 feet of cat 5.

    The grounds are all tied together.

    My outdoor setup is much different. I channels 1-30 feeding my DMX RGB floods. Then the DMX channels are assigned to the tiny pix controller on channels 31-462. Each flood has an input to a Y connector. Output from the Y connector goes to a 3 channel DMX controller for that flood, and the copied signal runs to the next flood. The floods are using power over cat 5 with power injection as explained on the holiday coro site. The floods are solid.

    I have a 2 Ys at flood #2 . One goes to the controller for the flood. The other feeds the second Y that carries the signals to the 3 flood and the input of my tinypix. Here's a picture that might help.

    -netword.jpg
    Thanks!
    Paul

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    Registered User JediKnight2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Sounds like you have V+ shared from different PS...you can't do that...only ground is shared from end to end. Your V+ from the second PS should ONLY be going from CC1 to CC4....NOT going the other way. Same for the last PS...CC5 only

  12. #27
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Quote Originally Posted by JediKnight2 View Post
    Sounds like you have V+ shared from different PS...you can't do that...only ground is shared from end to end. Your V+ from the second PS should ONLY be going from CC1 to CC4....NOT going the other way. Same for the last PS...CC5 only
    I wish I could see a way that was happening. PS1 + goes through a fuse and to cane one through 4. Data goes from 4 to 5 and PS2 + goes through another fuse and directly to 5. Runs through 8. Data goes from 8 to 9 and PS3 + goes through a fuse and directly to 9. Data and - are the only things shared, unless the diagram on the power supplies is backwards. I wouldn't expect any of it to work if it were wrong.
    Thanks!
    Paul

  13. #28
    New Member qberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    Paul,

    Lets try to determine if the problem is the data input to the tiny pix or after it is out. If you unplug the data in on the tiny pix it will go into demo mode. Run that and see what happens. If it works with the same problem it is not your DMX cable from the dongle and you can isolate that.

    I understand what you are saying with the V+ on each candy can and that is fine. But never allow 2 separate power supplies to be connected on the positive V+ side....only the negative.

    Next, you say you only have data only from CC4 to CC5. From reading earlier, you have a ground V- connecting all your power supplies right? I would try this next....run a V- ground between CC4 and CC5 along with your data cable.

    This is my first year messing with RGBs, so I claim to be no expert. But I think what you are describing is either a data wire issue between CC4 and CC5 or a lack of a ground V- wire between them. Personally, I did not ground my controllers together separately. I have a continuous 18 gauge ground wire that runs the full length of the RGB run....my power supplies V- just splices into that ground wire. The V+ wires are cut prior to my power injection points.

    Rich
    Last edited by qberg; 11-11-2014 at 09:01 AM.

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    Registered User JediKnight2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    I would do this....test the last SIX canes inside to see if it's a problem with the last pixel on CC4 or the first on CC5. If everything worked I would add a pixel between 4 and 5 to try to boost the signal. Also, are you using the 3 or 4 core pigtails? If so, turn everything on. ..go out and press on, bend,jiggle the connector between CC 4 and 5....

    Where are you located?

    Also, do you have a multimeter with continuity so you can check your ground?

  15. #30
    Registered User PKingRoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground ties on power injection

    I had swapped both canes 4 and 5 with a spare and had the same problem, so I don't think it's a pixel problem.

    I can test later today when I can see them again; it's pretty hard to see them in the daylight. Pulling them all back in would be pretty difficult right now. I'll just bypass the first 4 canes and hook up cane 5 as cane 1. Can 5 is the first injected power, so that will let me test the props 5-8 on the working circuit as canes 1-4. If cane 9 messes up, then I still think it points to termination (I had changed cables in the past as well). I'm in Rochester, NY and it's going to get nasty here soon I do have a multi-meter with continuity. What should I be checking? All of the grounds are ties to the same post on the tinypix controller.

    I also plan on going directly to the tinypix controller from a laptop to see if the problem goes away. If it does, I know that the problem is in my DMX run before I get to the tinypix controller. If it still occurs, then I'm looking at something wrong with from the tinypix controller through the last cane. Basically, this would rule out the need for termination which I can't do until tomorrow.
    Thanks!
    Paul

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