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Thread: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

  1. #1
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    Default Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    So i was ready to pull the trigger on the Falcon F16v2 and use it as the central controller for years to come. I'm new to the hobby and while waiting for the controllers to be restocked, i've done a lot of reading.

    The controller itself seems great.

    - 16 channels expandable to 32
    - 680 pixels per string (340 if in 32 channel mode)

    But how is it even possible to power that many lights? Am I missing something?

    Really reconsidering and thinking of going with the smaller board, simply because i could never fully utitlize this controller because of the power requirment. Please talk me out of this and help a noob in need.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Well, it's able to control that many pixels per port, but powering is another thing. You'll need power injection at some point and power injection in itself is another topic entirely. (Plenty of info here on that subject). The F16V2 is a great controller and I don't think you can go wrong. Once you get the hang of things, you'll likely want to add more and more decorations in the future. F16 will give you room to grow.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Yeah I've read up on Power Injection, but looking at the board, you power the first 8 channels with one power supply and the other 8 with a second power supply. That obviously isn't enough to power that many lights, obviously, but can you power inject with a different power supply on those strands? I thought I read that this is a big no, no. Could be wrong. If you can power inject with a different power supply this would clear up any questions i have about this controller being overkill or not.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Yes, you can PI with a different power supply.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Also, if you still think the F16V2 is overkill, go with the F4V2. Effectively, it's the same board but with fewer ports.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Or...... you could wait for the F16V3 to come out in a couple of months, and have even more bells & whistles plus built in WIRELESS control.

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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    I am not going to talk you out of anything. You have to make a decision based on your own needs and future plans. We can help in the decision process, but ultimately, its gotta be your call.

    1. Yes you can start off with a small controller. Lots do. I did. I started off with a couple little 12 port J1Sys P12 controllers last year. It took a WHOLE controller just for my mega tree. Yep. All 12 ports!. But yes, it can be done on a small controller. Advantage: Lower initial cost, usually physically smaller, cheaper so deploying multiple units more practical fewer single points of failure. Disadvantage: Usually smaller number of ports, fewer pixels controlled, limited capabilities, need to purchase additional controllers as display grows.

    2. Yes, you can start off with the cadillac F16. Lots do. I wish I had. This year I own 3 of them. I am only using 1 in the show. My mega tree this year is 20% larger than the one last year, but it will run on only 3 ports of the F16. Not 12 ports. 3. My entire display runs off a single 16p falcon and its nowhere near its max capacity! So, yea, big is, well, big. Advantages: Large number of ports, large numbers of pixels supported, easily expanded to 32 ports, way more features. Disadvantages: Higher initial cost, seems daunting to a noob (but really isn't), physically larger, higher costs typicaly means single controller so single point of failure.

    Starting off small means you will quickly outgrow it. That means you end up buying another controller so your long term cost could be higher, especially if you do not utilize the older controller. Starting off small means a quicker entry at lower cost. But as described above, there are drawbacks too.

    Starting off big means you won't quickly outgrow it before you have to purchase additional controllers. It, unfortunately, also means a higher initial investment. That investment, though, will last through more addons. It also means quicker and cheaper show expansion later since you have a controller capable of handling the additional load already in place and you already have experience using it in the years to come.

    ---

    As a note of correction, you are slightly incorrect on the power. Most controllers with larger numbers of ports are split in half. This is so you can run two power supplies as you are thinking. It also allows you to run 12v on one side and 5v on the other. But you can run BOTH sides from the same PSU. I have a F16 out in the yard. One 12v PSU powers both sides. I have an F16 on the bench for prop building and testing. Again, one PSU. Just because a controller is split in half, it doesn't mean you are required to power it from two different PSUs.

    ---

    You are also wrong on power injection too. Yes you CAN supply a string of lights using one or more power supplies. You just can't supply it from more than one at the same time. You can start out feeding from your controller. Then inject again after a while from the same PSU that fed the controller by bringing out heavy 14 or 12ga feeder wires. An lets say you put a 2nd PSU in another box further out. To supply the pixels further out, you simply connect all the grounds together (as you should always). But you break the V+ line from the first set of pixels so it doesn't carry to the new set. Bring over the data and ground from the previous string to the new string. And from your new PSU, bring in a ground and fresh V+ line to supply the pixels farther out. The thing you do NOT want to do is connect any two V+ lines from different PSUs together. You break the V+ line (cap it off in other words) and start a new V+ line fresh from a new PSU.

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Quote Originally Posted by rstehle View Post
    or...... You could wait for the f16v3 to come out in a couple of months, and have even more bells & whistles plus built in wireless control.
    this ^^^^^

    (1)F16V3 Pixel Controller
    (1)Falcon PI Player (Running the show)
    (1)E682
    (1)Renard SS24
    (1)E1.31 Bridge
    (1)EDM-LCD-CS-EP
    (12)P10 Panels
    (12)ESPixel Sticks (shelby aka sporadic)




    WIKI
    Become A Supporting Member



  10. #9
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    As mentioned,only you can decide on what you need now and what you may need next year,etc. No matter what you decide,there are alot of guys on here who can give you very good advice on setup,etc.

    I always go ahead and get more than I need just so i'm set for the next few years and don't have to worry if I'm going to have to upgrade down the road.

    (1)F16V3 Pixel Controller
    (1)Falcon PI Player (Running the show)
    (1)E682
    (1)Renard SS24
    (1)E1.31 Bridge
    (1)EDM-LCD-CS-EP
    (12)P10 Panels
    (12)ESPixel Sticks (shelby aka sporadic)




    WIKI
    Become A Supporting Member



  11. #10
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    Default Re: Which controller? Falcon F16v2 seems like overkill...

    Wolfie gave you a terrific answer to you questions. I will just add one more thing, in all seriousness. If you fall in love with blinky flashy, which most of us have/did, your show will grow and grow and you may end up wishing you had gone with the bigger controller. Lots more bang for the buck with the F16V2 (or 3).

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