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Thread: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

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    Talking First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    Hey guys,

    First post! I've been tinkering with the idea of doing an LED light show for christmas for about two years now. I finally pulled the trigger last year and started learning the basics of electricity but I had no real direction on what to do so a lot of the things I started with were wrong (wish i found this forum sooner). Ultimately I wasn't ready for a light show. I'm still not 100% there so I'm putting together a smaller project on my back porch to get down the basics. This forum has been an IMMENSE help in me putting together the project plan but I'd like to get some eyes on it before I start building.

    Basically, I'm putting pixels down all of the joists on my back porch. The porch is enclosed so I don't have to deal with waterproofing and running long extension chords. The lights are going to be controlled by a Fadecandy controller and will be controllable via a web interface I've already built, all run by a raspberry pi. My goal this year is to complete this project and then scale it up to the front of my house and have anyone who strolls by be able to control the colors of all the lights. Next year I'll get a big boy controller and big boy software and work on syncing to music and stuff but.... baby steps.

    My plan is attached. Please excuse the crude format. I built it in photoshop cuz I have no idea what other tools to use for planning. This also gave me a better visual than just a wiring diagram. Figured that would help since I barely have the slightest Idea what I"m doing.

    If anyone could have a look at this and point out any issues (i.e. bro ur gonna burn ur house down) or anything that could save me time/wire/other supplies in the future I would be eternally grateful. I feel like I may have been heavy handed on some of it but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Electricity scares the s*** out of me.

    I look forward to being a member here for years to come!
    Thanks guys!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    each data line between the beams needs a ground wire.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    each data line between the beams needs a ground wire.
    So grounding at the other end of the of the string doesn't work? That's good to know. The few videos I watched seemed to emphasize that you should ground where you power inject but I didn't see any mention of grounding with respect to the data.

    It would obviously be easy enough just to run a ground across the top with the data but hypothetically if I was to run the data wire back to the beginning of the 2nd beam would that work as well?



    Edit: Also... as a note. The fadecandy can control up to 64pixels per channel which is why I chose to loop it over at the top like that.
    Last edited by v3xx3d; 05-12-2019 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    data plus v- should travel together. If you were to run the data from end of string to start of next string you would also run a v- from end of string to start of next string.

    Data is :with respect to ground" at the point at which the data is generated. Each pixel regenerates the data signal.


    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    Got it. Thanks!

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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    Looks like an interesting project. BTW, I think your lights would work just fine as drawn. On the loops, you could connect all the wiring but probably no need. You could also make your power a little easier. With the number of leds you are running, you could power the whole thing from the "front" only. Of course then you would need the loop to carry all three lines but no lines on the back end.

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    Default Re: First Project With LEDs! Can I get some Pros to check out my plan?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKrebs View Post
    Looks like an interesting project. BTW, I think your lights would work just fine as drawn. On the loops, you could connect all the wiring but probably no need. You could also make your power a little easier. With the number of leds you are running, you could power the whole thing from the "front" only. Of course then you would need the loop to carry all three lines but no lines on the back end.
    Thanks for the input! I did end up testing it as drawn and it worked just fine. I powered everything from the same end for a couple reason. The first being that in every single video I've watched everyone states that the max you should be running should be 50. I did test with the full 64 and it looked fine but I'm still new so I figured I better listen to what other people have said. I should have tested the voltage drop for the full 64. The second reason was the ceiling on my porch ceiling gets really high where i'm running only the data line. I have to get the ladder out of the garage to reach up there versus the other end where I only need a stepstool. And I'm running everything on the shorter end through some channeling so there's really no exposed wires other than those upper data lines. Trying to make things look semi-professional.

    Also it sucks having to solder the lines between the pixels. I feel like there's got to be an easier way. I soldered almost everything in my entire wiring scheme. Probably should start looking into more of those crimp-on connectors instead.

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