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Thread: Power injection locations

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    ... If there is one thing I don't feel entirely comfortable with re: power injection, it's making waterproof connections at the injection and "tee" points. When you reference T connectors, I assume you mean like the style from Ray Wu that's meant to combine with his 3 or 4 core pigtails (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...707253215.html). ... Or did you have a different style of Tee connector in mind?
    I agree with your preference to be able to stack the trees for storage.

    If the runner from tree to tree was 5 foot instead of 1 foot, would that allow you to stack your trees? The last pixel should be able to push signal 5ft to the next 1st pixel. Power might become more of a factor though.

    Waterproof may be over-rated. Maybe. Sealed connectors are not truly waterproof. They let vapor in that condenses into liquid (and stays) on the inside. That is considered bad. Some people drill weep holes in the bottom of their waterproof boxes to allow condensate to exit but that's with boxes, not connectors. I have seen water in every style of water proof connector I have (3 or 4 types) and every box I put in the yard.

    There is nothing magical about Ray's (or anybody else's) connectors. You can custom make any connector you need from butt-end connectors with wires soldered together or any other connector you want even alligator clips and bare wires. I like Anderson Power Poles (APP's) but they are expensive too. There are some automotive connectors that are getting good press around here. For whatever connector you use, many people here swear by Corrosion-X. It basically displaces water and protects contacts. Some are using Corrosion-X instead of worrying about waterproof connectors. I invested in APP's and Corrosion-X before the automotive connectors were found. I may switch as funding becomes available over the years. I like consistency but unfortunately, I have multiple connector types across my modest layout. It will take time for me to settle to one and then technology will change.

    I do not intend my comments to start a connector holy war and everybody is likely to have their own experience.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    I agree with your preference to be able to stack the trees for storage.

    If the runner from tree to tree was 5 foot instead of 1 foot, would that allow you to stack your trees? The last pixel should be able to push signal 5ft to the next 1st pixel. Power might become more of a factor though.

    Waterproof may be over-rated. Maybe. Sealed connectors are not truly waterproof. They let vapor in that condenses into liquid (and stays) on the inside. That is considered bad. Some people drill weep holes in the bottom of their waterproof boxes to allow condensate to exit but that's with boxes, not connectors. I have seen water in every style of water proof connector I have (3 or 4 types) and every box I put in the yard.

    There is nothing magical about Ray's (or anybody else's) connectors. You can custom make any connector you need from butt-end connectors with wires soldered together or any other connector you want even alligator clips and bare wires. I like Anderson Power Poles (APP's) but they are expensive too. There are some automotive connectors that are getting good press around here. For whatever connector you use, many people here swear by Corrosion-X. It basically displaces water and protects contacts. Some are using Corrosion-X instead of worrying about waterproof connectors. I invested in APP's and Corrosion-X before the automotive connectors were found. I may switch as funding becomes available over the years. I like consistency but unfortunately, I have multiple connector types across my modest layout. It will take time for me to settle to one and then technology will change.

    I do not intend my comments to start a connector holy war and everybody is likely to have their own experience.
    I should mention I use the term waterproof as a general concept. I use it to mean good enough/sealed well enough to not have a situation where water causes it to arc or damages/destroys anything. If water or moisture technically got in as you describe in the boxes (the old adage that water always finds a way right?), but it didn't result in a situation where pixels are killed or worse, that's all I care about. I'm also slightly more paranoid than most here about that, because I live in Vancouver, BC. Most people on the board are in different climates or are referring to what is "waterproof" for their type of weather. It's no exageration to say that in Vancouver during November/December, it's low risk that there's any snow at all compared to most of this sites members (usually shows up in january/february if it does at all), with exceptions some years of course. However, we are technically a rainforest. And although it's not a guarentee to hit this level every year, and our geography can cause WILD differences in weather, even short distances apart, my area has an average of 20 days of rain out of 31 in december, and 316mm of rain in the month! That's 12.4 inches!!! And I point out...That's the AVERAGE. Not the upper end. For that reason, I tend to be a little more cautious about waterproofing and electrical connections. Because that's the old saying isn't it? Hope for the best, plan for the worst. I actually picked up some liquid electrical tape yesterday. So far, seems pretty cool. My question though, is how trustworthy is it? Is it good enough (if applied with 2-3 coats) to be used on it's own? Or does it require shrink tubing or other things to be strong enough to protect the connection? It seems somewhat flexible, but I don't know if I would have to worry about it cracking or splitting if bent.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    I should mention I use the term waterproof as a general concept. I use it to mean good enough/sealed well enough to not have a situation where water causes it to arc or damages/destroys anything. If water or moisture technically got in as you describe in the boxes (the old adage that water always finds a way right?), but it didn't result in a situation where pixels are killed or worse, that's all I care about. I'm also slightly more paranoid than most here about that, because I live in Vancouver, BC. Most people on the board are in different climates or are referring to what is "waterproof" for their type of weather. It's no exageration to say that in Vancouver during November/December, it's low risk that there's any snow at all compared to most of this sites members (usually shows up in january/february if it does at all), with exceptions some years of course. However, we are technically a rainforest. And although it's not a guarentee to hit this level every year, and our geography can cause WILD differences in weather, even short distances apart, my area has an average of 20 days of rain out of 31 in december, and 316mm of rain in the month! That's 12.4 inches!!! And I point out...That's the AVERAGE. Not the upper end. For that reason, I tend to be a little more cautious about waterproofing and electrical connections. Because that's the old saying isn't it? Hope for the best, plan for the worst. I actually picked up some liquid electrical tape yesterday. So far, seems pretty cool. My question though, is how trustworthy is it? Is it good enough (if applied with 2-3 coats) to be used on it's own? Or does it require shrink tubing or other things to be strong enough to protect the connection? It seems somewhat flexible, but I don't know if I would have to worry about it cracking or splitting if bent.
    I think you will find that most people use shrink tubing to protect connections. Some use regular and some use the type with glue inside (usually stated as for marine use). Since the voltages are low, you're not going to get arcing unless the wires are virtually in contact with no insulation. You just want to protect bare wires from touching other things and also limit corrosion. The only place I have these types of connections is where I have had to replace dead pixels. All others are sealed connectors, the type used in cars and trucks which are excellent for keeping moisture out while being easy to connect and disconnect and inexpensive when large quantities are needed.
    Ed
    Happily retired

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    For a more detailed estimate than "inject every 50", try this awesome calculator: http://spikerlights.com/calcpower.aspx

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    Sometimes injecting every 50 pixels means every 100 pixels. See below sketch. Appears to be 100 Pixels between injection, but the injection is 50. Focus on current flow arrows. Both are 50 pixel injection.

    50PixelInjection.JPG
    In Lights Therapy

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    I've never tried these, but they came up while I was searching for something else. Might be worth a try. https://www.amazon.com/Wire-Connecto...ustomerReviews

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    Sometimes injecting every 50 pixels means every 100 pixels. See below sketch. Appears to be 100 Pixels between injection, but the injection is 50. Focus on current flow arrows. Both are 50 pixel injection.

    50PixelInjection.JPG
    We are getting into Matrix business here lol. Philosophical questions about perception and reality Joking aside...That's an interesting point. Since the injection isn't directional, you are feeding both ways. The question is, does feeding at pixel 1 and pixel 100 cover the bases and power evenly across the run with those 100 pixels in between? Does it act the same way as let's say injecting at pixel 1 and 51, but not on the last pixel 100? The answer to that could help significantly with efficiency.

    Likewise, for that diagram, for a string of 200 pixels, would skipping power at pixel 1, and only injecting/providing power at pixel 50 and 150, without injection at pixel 200 actually cover the bases due to bi directional current flow? Just to check since that screenshot doesn't specify, we are talking about 5v pixels and power injection here right? Not 12v?

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    On another note, I ran a test powering 70 of the pixels without any other power other than the controller power, using the e682 controller I will be using. It appears that it's able to power all 70 without injection, and without noticeable color changing or difference between pixel 1 and 70. With one exception, all white 100% power did seem to cause some flickering throughout the entire string. This was just using the built in test patterns. And I've actually seen at least a few other people reporting the flickering with the e682 test pattern at full on white. The reason I'm testing 70, is because that was going to be the longest run of pixels without injection in my initial plan (which is still, as of yet, not finalized hehe #askingfortrouble). Still being my virgin year as far as power injection goes, and only my second year ever with pixels (and first with 5v pixels), I was thinking of running all 8 trees off of one input, so one big string. Each minitree at 35 pixel. I would run 2 trees in between injection points at the most if possible (less if possible). So trees 1 and 2 powered from the controller, Inject before 3 and 4, another injection before 5,6, and finally one more before 7. I hoped that would be enough. Oh, and the first 2 would be powered from a different power supply feeding the controller. I was going to use an old pc power supply for the 3 or 4 injection points. For reference, here's a shot of my preview layout. The only pixels are the 8 mini trees, the mega tree (16 legs @35 pixels per, 180 degrees), the 2 columns (180 pixels each. 3 x 60 grid for each column=360 pixels for both columns), and the 3 arches (only 25 pixels per arch total 75). Controller and power supply 1 are at the base of the mini tree. I was going to put the second meanwell, 60amp/350 watt PSU on the second floor deck behind the arches (since the columns alone will need at least 4-6 injections), and then potentially the PC power supply to feed the minitrees behind the mini trees under the window.displaypreview.PNG

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Power injection locations

    I run 5 V pixels on E682 controllers. The pixel wire gauge is 18 and my power feeds are all 14 gauge wire. My longest power feed is 49 feet with many in the 30s. My longest data feed is 34 feet. I have a couple places with 65 pixels on one power feed and many with 60 on one feed. I have no issues with colors or flickering. I run at 75 or 80% ( can't remember which is in the E682 at the moment). All this works for me and I think what you have will probably work. At worst, if you have some full intensity white sections in your sequencing, just reduce the intensity of change colors to avoid an issue. Then fix your power injection next year. I read lots of posts early on about null pixel requirements and power injection. Even though my set up doesn't follow the rules of thumb, it all works without violating any safety issues. YMMV but there's only one way to find out.
    Ed
    Happily retired

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