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Thread: Long Data Runs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Default Long Data Runs

    Hello! Iím new to the hobby this year and trying to get everything sorted out. Iíve been doing a lot of looking for solid information around how long data runs can be before needing a pixel driver or null pixel. I will have a few props 30-40 feet from my F4V3 and Iíll power them nearby, so the only wire coming from the controller is for data. I was originally planning to use 18/2 from the controller or Cat 5 for these longer runs. Iíd prefer not to add an expansion nearby the props for this year, but if that is my best option I can go that route. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Chicago - Southwest Suburbs
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    There isnít a good answer for this. Lots of factors will contribute to whether you can go 5 or 50 feet. Generally though,15-20 feet will probably work. Over that itís trial and error. You can only try and find out. Iím not a fan of null pixels. If you need to extend the signal a long way, differential systems are the better way to go.
    By the way: you canít just extend one data wire. You need a data/ground pair.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Buellton, California
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    Run data and V- from the F4v3 with cat5 and power inject at the prop and you should be fine. I have done this several times without issue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Mississippi Gulf Coast
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    Default Long Data Runs

    You can get away with using 16/2 wire and power inject at the props. Always use same grounding across all power supplies if youíre not using receiver boards near the props.

    If you use the cat5 cable, you should be able to get away with only the data line and grounding (-) cable, so double up the wires and test it out. Look for data flickering across props. This scenario still requires power injection near the props, so you are still running power 120v line out to it, just donít run the data line and 120v side by side or you will get data interference. Lay them at least a feet apart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Close to Hillsboro, OR
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    F-amps from Falcon are 5/$20, and there are others here selling data amps that are even less (I bought 20 for $40 earlier this year in a group buy sale). Just another option to consider.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    Thank you all for your helpful answers. I was hoping there was a rule of thumb for Cat 5 data length. As with everything it seems that Iíll just have to test and see!


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Lebanon, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    Along with what the others have said, you can always use a diff sender/receiver combination. The F4V3 has a 2 port sender (8 outputs) available.
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2019
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    Default Re: Long Data Runs

    Quote Originally Posted by algerdes View Post
    Along with what the others have said, you can always use a diff sender/receiver combination. The F4V3 has a 2 port sender (8 outputs) available.
    So I started looking at those and I wasnít sure if I needed the expansion board and receiver or just the receiver. Thank you so much for clarifying.


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