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Thread: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

  1. #1
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    Default What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    So this isn't a question of how it's possible to do it, especially if you have read the VERY important page https://www.doityourselfchristmas.co...nd_Fuseholders . In the past, I've gone for some fuse blocks, fed a line from the power supply to the main input pole on the block, then run as many wires as there are connections for power injection. I know some people also use distro boards like the ones listed in that same link topic. What I want to know is: is everyone basically using those two options for injection? There's only so many outputs on a power supply, and it seems iffy to have too many wires attached to a single output. And yet, for those of us with 5v pixels, we will likely need a large amount of injection wires. So I wanted to get some feedback from the community about how they ACTUALLY take the power from their supplies to feed the multiple injection wires.

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    I pretty much use PiHats as my controllers. I developed my own board that has the two standard Data+Power outputs, and two Power-only outputs (for power injection).

    Each of the four outputs are fused at 5A, and the whole board-input is fused at 20A.

    Then again, I’m running 12V, so I don’t need to power-inject as frequently.

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    I am doing it the sloppy way as mentioned by using distro boards and running multiple injection points using 16ga wire. I run several smaller 5v power supplies and try to keep the supplies as close to the props as possible.
    I have access to some heavy duty laptop/dock power supplies as well as a multitude of HP server Power supplies so buck converters may be the best way to go....
    Phil

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrNeutron View Post
    I am doing it the sloppy way as mentioned by using distro boards and running multiple injection points using 16ga wire. I run several smaller 5v power supplies and try to keep the supplies as close to the props as possible.
    I have access to some heavy duty laptop/dock power supplies as well as a multitude of HP server Power supplies so buck converters may be the best way to go....
    But ultimately, you are using distro boards to split the current to multiple wires for injection correct?

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    But ultimately, you are using distro boards to split the current to multiple wires for injection correct?
    Yep, for my 1st couple of years I used bus boards and plain old fuse connectors with 5a fuses and 18ga wire.
    Now, I use a few of the pops 4 output distro and a few of CFOL distro boards. It is actually cheaper to just get them and way cleaner.
    The power supplies I use for 5v props are 200w 40amp. They have 2 sets of probably 14ga wire coming off them. This makes it easy to connect to 2 distro boards. I usually make up a "power box", that is a crappy tire tote: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/m...1677p.html#srp These have a gasket and good locking lid.
    Then drill holes and use PG glands to pass the cables through and make it all waterproof.
    Phil

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    If your goal is to split a power source to many outputs and have that split and its fusing all within one enclosure, then you're pretty much going to be either finding or making a fuse block of some sort. But that's not the only way to do power injection you could come out from that power supply with a large buss wire and tap that wire along its length near each prop. In that case, your fuses would be at each tap, which isn't anywhere near the enclosure with the PSU in it.

    I don't use either approach much in my own display. I avoid the mess by using mostly 12v pixels which minimizes the need for power injection. And where I do power inject on some pixel dense props, it's at the prop level, not the controller level. I generally just add the extra tails to the string where it's needed and then gather the tails together with crimp caps and bring a single line back to the controller. only the single line is fused. I also don't bother with fancy fuse blocks. I just use a pair of female blade terminals with the fuse plugged directly into them.

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    I also originally used the standard distribution-board, as well—alongside my controller. Then to simplify, I combined them into one board.

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    If your goal is to split a power source to many outputs and have that split and its fusing all within one enclosure, then you're pretty much going to be either finding or making a fuse block of some sort. But that's not the only way to do power injection you could come out from that power supply with a large buss wire and tap that wire along its length near each prop. In that case, your fuses would be at each tap, which isn't anywhere near the enclosure with the PSU in it.

    I don't use either approach much in my own display. I avoid the mess by using mostly 12v pixels which minimizes the need for power injection. And where I do power inject on some pixel dense props, it's at the prop level, not the controller level. I generally just add the extra tails to the string where it's needed and then gather the tails together with crimp caps and bring a single line back to the controller. only the single line is fused. I also don't bother with fancy fuse blocks. I just use a pair of female blade terminals with the fuse plugged directly into them.
    Jon, your idea to run a big bus wire with branches feeding off of it is exactly what I first considered a few years ago. I can't recall what it was exactly, but someone had talked me out of it as a bad idea. Obviously the gauge would have to be taken into consideration among other things, but I always liked that idea better. As for the other idea, you say you add extra tails to the strings and gather together. Are you meaning you attach injection wires to the end of strings where needed, then gather them all up and crimp them/transition them from multiple smaller wires to one bigger wire that connects to the power feed? Would love to see a picture or a sketch of that.

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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    The need to inject is often caused by the small conductor diameter in a pixel string, combined with the additive resistance of all those solder joints and PCB traces it travels thru along the way. So simply adding a fresh connection point to a good buss wire helps a lot with the V drop. Again, I don't do this in my own display (using 12V gets rid of most of the need) I've known people to run a pair of #10 or #12 wires along with the pixel string and just tap along it wherever you need to inject more power.

    in my props where I inject, it's always a single prop contained in a small physical space. Say a 200 pixel boscoyo star. It's only 40" or so across and the pixels zigzag through it. In that case, I'd have 4x 50 pixel strings in that one prop. I'll inject power at the beginning, between strings 2 and 3, and again at the end. That way no pixel is more than 50 pixels away from power. So I'd make each of those 3 tails about 18" long and gather them up together with another lead headed toward the PSU. I usually use 18 gauge wire for this. Same size attaching to the pixel lines and to the PSU. The PSU is no farther from the splice than it is the pixels. It's right on the back of the prop.

    Hope this makes sense. An actual picture wouldn't help much, it's too dense to really see what's going on.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What are people actually using to feed power injection?

    HI,

    I have a solution I have used for years now. DC is a beech. Direct DC distribution over a large scale is difficult at best. With that said, here is how I distribute power injection.

    I started using the DX version of PixLite so the PixLite controller stays in the garage on a separate PSU. I run the remote receivers to the display with Cat-5 and power tapped from distribution boxes around the front yard. I have the Falcon v3 with remote receivers and it is outdoors taking care of several other tasks due to its PIXEL flexibility.

    My power supplies are a distance from remote receivers. They are all dialed in @ 5.5v AT the power supply and test to around 4.9-5.25v @ the remote controller, no load. Main feed cables are #6 SOW cord to distribution boxes and come from THREE 5v 100A power supplies in tandem. 2 psus are online, third is backup with an automatic transfer if one psu fails.

    I am an electrician with over 30 years experience. I use the WIRE SIZE method. Most injection cables start with #10 and could end with a minimum of #16 at the end of the run, depending on the length of the run. The cable is FUSED @ the LOWEST WIRE SIZE. The oversized #10 is for DC voltage drop characteristics that you do not see with AC distribution.

    I double wire size due to DC propagation over long distances.

    AC and DC have different propagation characteristics along copper wire. Since AC does change state 60 times a second, a 100' run of #10 @ 20A will show a bit of a voltage drop. Do the same with DC? There will be a significant and unacceptable voltage drop. Electric does not travel INSIDE the wire. It travels on the outside (skin) of the copper wire strands. I will not dive into the physics - we will be here all night.

    I use 1.5mm weatherproof automotive connectors - I can make up any style connector I need. 2-6 pin. WS2811 use a 3 pin M/F adapter with a 2 pin injection port - So it is easy to connect multiple ports to a single #10 with 2 pin pigtails (in a group, in one application).

    Also using the 1.5mm connectors I can select wire size from #18 up to #12. The connectors are rated for 10A continuous and I have run them in test conditions to 15A for 8 hours with little sign of fatigue. Taking into consideration my northern environment, I could run 15A but usually settle for around 10-12A max.

    Just another way :D
    -Eddie

    The missus wants to ride!

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