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Thread: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

  1. #1
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    Default 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    I have some extra 14-2 AWG landscaping wire that I had lying around for awhile. I thought I might use this for my power injection feeding my 18awg/22awg pixels. Just wanted to know if there would be any problem using that as my power leads.

    Thanks

    Bob

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    As long as your not going to pull more than its capacity is rated for, and the length you run won't drop more than expected. Take a look at the wire...landscape wiring has much more insulation around it than normal zip wire has, because it can be direct burial or run on the surface to withstand the elements. I just ran 90' of it across my roof to power my pixels in the jchannels. I'm running 36V and bucking it down every 50 pixels.

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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    I also use landscape wire in some parts of my show. Only issue I have is the need to be careful to not try to apply 120v to it by accident.

    2017 adding 2 more candy canes, 7 Mid trees and a Halloween show. Removing most 2812 strips and replacing them with bullet pixel mounting strips. Replacing many buck converter waterproof bags with printed boxes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    I use 12/2 and 14/2 landscape for main-line runs (needed to carry high-current). I'd also be curious to hear if there would be any potential problems/concerns.

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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    Hey Utimgr,
    Can you tell me what buck reducers you are using? Are they reliable? How many pixels (load) are you running off the 90 foot wire? Can the buck reducers compensate for the voltage drop accross the 90 feet of wire? I imagine if you are running above 5 Amps at 37 volts (185 watts; 616 5V pixels) the voltage drop along that wire gets fairly large. This sounds like a good design concept......

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-XL401...72.m2749.l2649

    Exactly the reason for running 36V, taking a wide input buck regulator you can manage the drop in the wire. So using the 14AWG landscape wiring, still gives me overhead on its capacity. You never want to run something to its limit, 70% is a good limit. You have heating effects due to the IR drop, and then when its warm, it will add to the derating. I'm running about 300 pixels from that drop, and each 50 pixels will have a buck regulator. Physically it fits into the J channel I am using, but I have to take the inductor and put it on its side so it does fit (doesn't hurt it doing that of course).

    Reliable? Time will tell. I'm running a test now, using an IR thermometer to watch the temp of the switcher. It settles out about 40C if I recall, without the heatsink on it. I'm also not running them full on, just doing test patterns so similar to what they might see in operation.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    I too would like to ask for examples of buck converters you're using to drop down to the 12v? or 5v? pixels every 50 count, as mentioned. If you can provide a URL to read about the specs, that'd be great.

    Basically I want to know how much current the buck converter has to be able to handle to do what you're doing. I believe maximum current draw @ full white 100% intensity is about 3A for 50 pixels, yes? So buck converter choice is important if you plan to do a lot of full white activity in the show. Are those cheapo eBay buck converters that are less than $2/ea. ok, or do you have a better solution?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    I was going to design my own, but I bought one to see if it would physically fit in my j-channel, and it did with the mod on the inductor. I might go ahead and replace the electrolytic caps with ceramics or tantalum's to get the profile down a bit more, and replace the trimmer with a pair of resistors. The design is pretty simple, and at 5A full rated, more than enough overhead. I figured why lay out a board when I can buy them this cheap, and if they work...great. I want to do some more testing, right now I have have the test pattern being driven from a Falcon board, using the built in tests they provide.I can pull the data line when its full white to keep them on, and see how the buck behaves itself. As an engineer, I tend to spend alot of time upfront with a system level analysis, because when I put them up, I want a robust design. And with all my spare time....its taken a year to get to this point.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    I use 12/2 and 14/2 landscape for main-line runs (needed to carry high-current). I'd also be curious to hear if there would be any potential problems/concerns.
    I use 12/2 landscape wiring also to carry my 12v for power injection. I inject about every 80 to 100 pixels.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 14-2 AWG landscaping wire question ?

    Thanks for the responses. Perfect, as I am just going to use the 14-2awg to inject power at the end of the first 100 22awg pixels and feed another 50/100 18awg pixels forward for a total of 150/200 12v pixels.

    Thanks

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