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Thread: What controller to buy?

  1. #16
    Official Lurker EricR's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    So, I have everything mapped out on graph paper. I even got lucky enough that the squares could each be 1 foot so I didn't have to do math. I was correct that my furthest distance is going to be 35 feet from my pixel tree to the next item. I will probably just get the F16v2 now while its in stock in their online store and then get the F4V2 later when available and probably the differential expansion board for fun. I did run into 1 mind boggling issue that someone probably knows the answer to but hopefully some of the other Newbies can learn from the answer as well.

    What is the maximum power amperage you can plug into this controller and can you have 2 power supplies plug into the same power terminal on the controller? I have searched but cannot find the answer. SanDevices say 64 amps of pixel power but I can't find the Falcon specs. Has anyone tested that full 64 amps from the SanDevices? If you don't know I will post it on the Falcon forum.

    Here is my situation why this came up. I am planning a 16 strand pixel tree with 56 pixels per run and a 90 pixel star (all 12 volts). I know 56 is weird but it is to make the tree a specific height. I wanted to use 9 of the F16V2 outputs so I didn't have to inject power and have all the power come through the controller. I planned to put 2 runs of the tree together on 1 output and not have to do power injection. That would take up 8 of the outputs, 4 on each bank of the controller. The 9th output would be the star. If you do the amperage math based on 0.06 amps per pixel (when all white) you get almost 60 amps of power needed which is equal to 2 power supplies at 100%. Without the star you are at 90% power supply level. So how do you do this? Where do you put the power supplies? The controller will be under the pixel tree so short wires. What am I missing or is this not possible without power injection?

    Related question which could eliminate the problem above is what vertical spacing to make the pixels on a 180 degree pixel tree? I would like to be able to put some cartoony pictures on there as well as the standard effects. My viewing distance is 30-50 feet because the tree sits 30 feet from the road. My plan is 5ft wide base (~4 inch spacing at bottom) unless someone recommends that it should be different. Should the vertical spacing be 2, 2.5, 3 or 4 inch spacing?

    Thanks
    Eric

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    Registered User smeighan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    F16v2 can supply 5amps on 12v, i would not go higher than about 3.5amps. 150 nodes per port is safe. What uf u want to drive 600 nodes? Power first 150 from board, bring only ground and data line to node 151. Power 151 with another power supply. Break the +12v line every 150 nodes and apply new power

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    Official Lurker EricR's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    Thanks Smeighan. For some reason I couldn't find that information.
    Am I missing something? 150 nodes * 0.06 amps/node = 9 Amps How can that be driven from 1 port if each only supplies 5 amps?

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    Registered User smeighan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    Ws2811 12v is .3w per node or 25ma current draw. I measured my lights, 150 nodes drew 1.53amps from 12v line

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    Official Lurker EricR's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    That's exactly what I was missing. A third less energy draw is a big difference. Just curious, when you tested yours was that all white? I will test my own lights once they arrive so I will have my own numbers but this makes all the difference. Thanks again.

  6. #21
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: What controller to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by smeighan View Post
    Ws2811 12v is .3w per node or 25ma current draw. I measured my lights, 150 nodes drew 1.53amps from 12v line
    This is good info Sean. Your measured power 1.53 amps for 150 nodes is only 10.2ma per node, a LOT less than the spec of 25ma. Have you compared this with measurements from others ?

    It seems we've been WAY over designing our power. I've always wanted to have 20% to 25% of headroom above the peak load on these cheap power supplies. So I've been using 25ma and then factoring the 20% headroom on top of that. But wow .. if we back off and use even 15ma per node for power planning, we would still have a good margin above. To account for the strips and modules with multiple LEDs per node, we should probably use 15ma per LED .. that would safely cover all cases.

    For anyone reading this, the above numbers are only for 12V power. Be careful not to use these numbers for 5V power supplies. You need to increase that number by 150% for 5v. I've been using 70ma per node for 5v planning and could have been using 40ma!
    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

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