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toozie21
07-10-2014, 07:34 AM
I finally finished my matrix yesterday. It is 73 wide by 20 tall WS2812 pixels controlled by an e682. Right now I am just doing a direct connect to a laptop for testing, but soon I will run it from an FPP. This was shot in my garage, so of course it is WAY too close (wreaking havoc on my camera due to the brightness), but it should give you an idea.

I'll put this pics somewhere more convenient later, but for now I have some links from my google drive acount:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhMmVJX210TS1FUW8/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhZ25XblltM2RXV28/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhY1JQY1FVSlBsQmc/edit?usp=sharing

And one quick video with a random countdown date in it:
http://youtu.be/OpXHvw20UaE

Electrified3
07-10-2014, 07:46 AM
Great Job Jason! Looks nice and clean, your design looks like it supports the strips very straight. Any chance for a shot of the back with the wiring? Trying to figure out how to run my wiring on mine, how big was it physically when done?

DrNeutron
07-10-2014, 07:47 AM
Very Nice!
That should be a show stopper this year for sure!
:rolleyes:

toozie21
07-10-2014, 07:57 AM
Great Job Jason! Looks nice and clean, your design looks like it supports the strips very straight. Any chance for a shot of the back with the wiring? Trying to figure out how to run my wiring on mine, how big was it physically when done?
Thanks, you had quite a bit to do with it! I'll try to get a back shot up tonight. The metal backing is 8ft wide, so I cut the ends of the strips to 73 ct as that had them end roughly at the end of the metal (some hang over a little more than others. The wiring wasn't terrible, but I think I would do it different next time. I ran 18/3 thermostat wire to every end. On half I used all three wires, on the other half I use just the power and ground (for power injection), I then ran that back into the e682 and put the pair into each output (a pair of red, a pair of white, and a single green). Having a pair of wires makes things VERY full and I think is probably overkill at 18 AWG. The other issues is thermostat wire is solid core, so it is a little tougher to move around within the box. All-and-all though, it seems to be working for now (knock on wood).


Very Nice!
That should be a show stopper this year for sure!
:rolleyes:

Thanks, it should allow me to do much more than my last incandescent PIC controlled countdown.

toozie21
07-10-2014, 09:22 PM
OK, here are a few more pics. on the zig-zag side, I took a piece of PVC and spray painted it black, I then used that to give the wire a little more strength coming off of the endcaps and zip-tied the wires around it. I cut and stripped the connectors down so that they are directly soldered to the strips. The thought is that the PVC will allow for some strain relief since the wires will have to come straight out some before looping around to the back. The wood strips are glued on in case I need something to attach the connectors to to keep them in place.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhdHQtYlA4SDJXQmM/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhd2xUM2dMbEJ1YnM/edit?usp=sharing

On the other side, where I kept the already installed wires, I used thermostat wire to connect the pwr/gnd/data on the odd number rows and pwr/gnd on the even rows. I soldered the individual wires, electrical taped the connections, and put heat strink over the whole section. I then brought the bundle pairs back to my e682 (in hindsight, I think this was overkill). I put small eye-hooks on the wood strips and zip-tied the wire pairs to them.
(this pics aren't as clear as I was taking them behind the matrix in my garage and the lighting/angle wasn't great)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAheDlNVnhVRVJtdU0/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3u2xTppuGAhWjc3cG5fcnNSUGc/edit?usp=sharing

In the end, I will probably trim the display with garland to cover up some of the wires and stuff and try to give it a little more finished look.

NkySpike65
07-10-2014, 11:56 PM
looks great Jason!

Sorry if you have already mentioned it, but what is the surface the strips are mounted on, coro? Also how did you fasten the strips to keep them from moving.

Again great job.:thup2:

toozie21
07-11-2014, 07:15 AM
looks great Jason!

Sorry if you have already mentioned it, but what is the surface the strips are mounted on, coro? Also how did you fasten the strips to keep them from moving.

Again great job.:thup2:

Thanks, appreciate it. The backing is something called Max-Metal. The sign shop recommended it over coro. It is basically a thin sheet of PVC sandwiched between two very shin pieces of aluminum. It is very light and pretty sturdy. It comes in 4x8 sheets and I had it cut down. You can get it painted, but the sign shop had white scrap in stock, so I went with that (was going to go with black). They use this for some road signs on the side of the road.

I then glued strips of black pvc (4mm thick) cut 20mm wide and 8ft long to the backing. This allowed me to get the strips straight as well as add some support to the pixels so the glue doesn't have to do all of the work. To glue the PVC as well as the silicone tube around the pixel strip, I used this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HBNUFO/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It took about a tube and a half for the whole thing. I glued the PVC down first (using pixel strips as spacers), and then once that I was dry I layed out the pixels and got the LEDs to line up the best I could, and then glued them into place. So far the glue is holding great (a season in the weather will be a real test), and in theory I should be able to peel off the pixels for repair/replacement if needed.

arw01
07-11-2014, 01:01 PM
Looks fab Jason. I'm struggling with the neatness of wires and power injection myself on the back of coro panels to do 10x51 matrix myself. Think I decided last night on 4 core T's. They let me run power and data, double up on the power lines on one 4 core if I needed. Just hope to never hook them up backwards!

toozie21
07-11-2014, 01:09 PM
Looks fab Jason. I'm struggling with the neatness of wires and power injection myself on the back of coro panels to do 10x51 matrix myself. Think I decided last night on 4 core T's. They let me run power and data, double up on the power lines on one 4 core if I needed. Just hope to never hook them up backwards!

Thank you. In the end I was happy with the front side of everything, we shall see if I end up happy with my wiring after a while.....

One question on your 4 core approach? Are you talking about for power injection? Because if not, it might not work as well as you are thinking. The same amount of power needs to travel on the V+ as does ground. So if on the 4-wire connection you put 2 wires on V+, one on GND, and one on DATA, it will pretty much be the same as not having the second V+ wore on there. I am sure someone will be able to refute that (not being snarky, just the truth), and you can maybe make a case for a little improvement on it, but I didn't want you to think that you were going to be able to get twice as much power out of that setup. Now on the connections where you don't use data lines (like a power injection), you could use 2 wires for power and 2 for ground and get twice the capacity!

plasmadrive
07-11-2014, 01:30 PM
Nice Job!

arw01
07-11-2014, 06:53 PM
That's what I was mainly intending for the 4 wire would be not use the data on one wire so I can get 2 v+ and v-. I run 12v and am not quite as worried about having 2 on v- if necessary as a fair amount of my 12v is released as heat dropping down to 5v for the leds themselves versus being returned to ground.

At least that is my theory, and I base it on the old wiring rules that you can use a smaller ground on your outlets by one gauge, but I think they have amended that to use the same gauge now.

toozie21
07-11-2014, 07:08 PM
That's what I was mainly intending for the 4 wire would be not use the data on one wire so I can get 2 v+ and v-. I run 12v and am not quite as worried about having 2 on v- if necessary as a fair amount of my 12v is released as heat dropping down to 5v for the leds themselves versus being returned to ground.

At least that is my theory, and I base it on the old wiring rules that you can use a smaller ground on your outlets by one gauge, but I think they have amended that to use the same gauge now.
Ah interesting, I never knew that. It makes sense, but I can also see them getting cautious and amending the rule to be the same. I don't how long your run is, but it sounds safe and a good plan. Worse case you could always add in another wire external after the fact and not have to blow it all away.