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Thread: F16v3 LED Strip issues

  1. #1
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    Question F16v3 LED Strip issues

    Hello all.

    I am quite new to all of this so hopefully you can assist me with what I hope is a simple issue.

    I have an F16v3 controller, I bought it completely setup from falcon, power supply and board all in a good case. I am using LED strips 30 per meter and each strip is 10 meters (300 pixels). I am currently using 13 of the 16 outputs. Even using all 16 ports, I should still be a good ways off the maximum allowed pixels for the controller.

    After plenty of trial and error, I have been able to get it all to work for the most part. I can typically get all of the lights into test mode using the web browser for the F16v3 and get them all to function as expected using xLights.

    My issue is that strips will completely fail or partially fail. This can happen on any of my outputs and is rather random. In some cases an entire strip will fail. In others, only a portion of a strip will fail. These two issues can happen together or solo, but it does tend to only ever be one complete strip out and/or one strip partially out.

    To get these issues to go away, temporarily, I can usually disconnect the strips and reconnect them a few times while in test mode or just running test mode by itself has worked as well. I can find no rhyme or reason to why this may be occurring. It occurs when I leave the system running for a few days, it has also occurred when prior to turning everything off it was working fine.

    It makes me think the controller just stops talking to the additional pixels and/or whole strands.

    Any assistance anyone can offer would be great.
    I am going to post this same post on other sites as well.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    A couple odd quick thoughts. ..
    disconnecting but especially reconnecting should not be done live.
    Do you have adequate power? 300 pixels /leds probably needs power injection.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKrebs View Post
    A couple odd quick thoughts. ..
    disconnecting but especially reconnecting should not be done live.
    Do you have adequate power? 300 pixels /leds probably needs power injection.
    Thank you for the heads up on disconnecting and reconnecting while powered.

    My knowledge of electrical is quite limited.

    The strips are 12v are rated "Power: 0.3W/LED 30/60/144 LEDs/m". I am using 30 per meter strips. The falcon website says it provides a MeanWell 350W 12v power supply. The rough math using all of that tells me 90W per output would be needed. At 13 outputs that comes to 1170W. I understand that the maximum power requirements are needed when set to white at full brightness, I have my set to 50% and use a number of different colors.

    How is it able to function at all if I am that far off on the power requirements? Or is there something I am missing in my calculations?

    The following link covers the controller.
    https://www.pixelcontroller.com/stor...roller=product

    This link is for the strips
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3296...chweb201603_55
    Last edited by jokeremnl; 10-16-2019 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    Sometimes it will work with simple controller test, but not on the xLights program with varying signal instructions. You really need to add 2 more power supplies and power inject at the back-end of each string.

    A few articles on this:
    https://www.doityourselfchristmas.co...ower_Injection
    https://www.holidaycoro.com/kb_results.asp?ID=173
    Last edited by dkauthen; 10-16-2019 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    Thank you, I will look these over.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    Considering how close the holidays are, I don't think I will be able to get all of the wiring and such completed to do a proper end injection; however, I should be able to easily add a second power supply, at the controller, and split my outputs to 8 per supply instead of 16.

    Do you think that would help the issue to some extent or is it not worth doing?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    That will stress your power supply less but won't help the strings - if it is a power problem. What is happening is that as the voltage goes down the line from pixel to pixel and led to led, the voltage is dropping. When it drops too much, the colors and the tiny pixel controller (the ws2811 part) can drop out or display incorrectly.

    Power injection test is not hard nor terribly expensive. Get some wire (12 gauge (two colors), landscape wire, or even spt). Pick a strip that seems to have a problem more frequently. Pop the far end off if there are not wires attached. Attach the wire to the same power supply you are using on the front end and attach them appropriately on the back end. Does it seem to solve the problem? Because the problem appears to be random, it might be hard to tell if this is the solution but if it appears to be working, that is all that is required. Now extend the wire to 10 meters and see if it still works. If it works you have your first pi done. just zip it to the strip and carry on. Be sure to put some "electrical" silicone in the end of the tube you opened before closing it up.

    10 meters seems like a long display item. What prop did you construct with 10m strips?

    If it is two 5m strips connected together, you might be able to PI at 5m and save a bunch of wire.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: F16v3 LED Strip issues

    The strips are each 2 x 5m to make the 10m runs. On several of them I should be able to inject at the end or middle without too much trouble or long wire runs. I will just need to determine how to wire it, run the wire, etc.

    The biggest issue I have right now is that the majority of my display is already up. The strips, with modifications, form an outline of my house and are all currently controlled from a single point and controller. 5 of them will require some rather long additional wire to inject.

    While modifying the strips, I made sure to attach the additional lengths of wire to reach the strip starts, added waterproof connectors, etc., but while I had them all set out during testing, I didnt encounter these issues even though I ran the whole system through several test runs of my schedule.

    Ultimately, I will definitely have to rethink, design and replace some elements. I always expected that to some level considering all of the complexity and being new at this. Too bad my testing didnt show me this before mounting lol

    Thank you both for the advice and mild hand holding, I greatly appreciate it. I have another power supply and mount coming today that I can add at the source and split the outputs this weekend. Luckily holidaycoro is just across town. Hopefully the new supply will get me through the year, since I dont have the time remaining to do much else.

    In case you are curious, I will try to post a short video of what I have out, so you can have an idea of the setup. I will do that on an additional reply though, since I am writing this on my phone.

    Thank you again!

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