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Thread: Distance to first pixel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Ohio
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    Default Distance to first pixel

    Hello all. I'm doing a bit of testing and was wondering what I should consider a reasonable distance to pixel #1 from my controller. A bit about my setup:

    Running 12v 8211 string
    For my controller, I have the 12v going into a power regulator (12v to 5v). The 5v is then driving a wemos d1 mini. The output channel from the D1 is going into a logic level shifter to bring the signal back up to 5v outbound to the first pixel. I have measured the 12v power and 5v power which both look reasonable. I don't have a scope to verify the 5v signal out.

    The pixels work perfectly if my run to the 1st pixel is roughly 1ft. Just to be obnoxious, I put in a length of 18 ga wire to the first pixel of about 20ft. Now I notice a bit of flickering when running the test sequence.

    My setup won't require a run of that length, but I may need to run data 6 to 8 feet (which I will also test shortly). I was just wondering if there is a good rule of thumb regarding the length of the data line to pixel #1. I know "the closer the better" but didn't know if there is something more concrete. Thanx for any insight!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Bloomingdale Ga
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    Default Re: Distance to first pixel

    I am not familiar with your controller but I think you are going in the right direction. Test, Test, Test.
    IMHO there are a lot of things that make that distance vary. Type of controller, type of wire and so on.
    I use Sandevice E682's and by changing the resistor pack you can increase distance or use cat5 wire
    or both will increase distance. Hard to point to a concrete distance because of so many variables
    but you can test for your set up and find what works for you. I found this to be very helpful, Good luck.
    https://auschristmaslighting.com/thr...1-manual.1889/
    Rayhjr I Love This Stuff!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Distance to first pixel

    You did not mention how you are handling the V- wire. the data line out of the buffer (logic level shifter) AND the V- (aka ground) at the buffer board need to travel together to the first pixel. Many people try to tie the grounds together at the PSU, the effective distance is then the longer of the distance of "the V- from the buffer through the psu and out to the pixel" and the distance for "the data from the buffer to the 1st pixel".
    Last edited by MartinMueller2003; 06-15-2019 at 07:33 PM.


    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

  4. #4
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    Mar 2019
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    Default Re: Distance to first pixel

    Martin.... YOU DA MAN. Thank you for your insight. I had been tying the grounds. Instead I tried a cat 5 and ran one data line and one ground for 20 feet and now the display is rock solid. Thank you so much.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Distance to first pixel

    You are very welcome. Many people try to get away with just tying the grounds at the PSU. Sometimes it works, often it does not. I never use the "tie it at the PSU" model and rarely have an issue until I get a bit over 20' between the controller and the pixels using cheap (unshielded) 22 AWG wire. At that point it is time to add another buffer.


    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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