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Thread: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

  1. #41
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    Here's the BOM (from Mouser). Worth checking around on some prices.

    *only 3 fuse holders, not 5. Will need two 10A fuses and one 7.5A fuse.

    Attachment 43237
    Hey, I actually realized you had sent me something last year and if was saved on my mouser account for the BOM. It was exact part numbers you had supplied, but looks like a few changes made. Quick question, I noticed your dc/DC converter on your original BOM is Non-Isolated DC/DC Converters 7.5W 24Vin 5Vout1 1.5A SIP Non-Iso. 24v in and outputting 1.5 amps? Did that work? I would think the voltage input range would work, but 1.5 amp output? Curious because if it worked, that part is only like $6 Canadian vs almost $24 Canadian for the version listed on the BOM you just posted.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    No, that doesnít sound right. You need the one in the image (20a).

  3. #43
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts


  4. #44
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwinter View Post
    No, that doesn’t sound right. You need the one in the image (20a).

    Just a few quick questions as I start these: Regarding the that dc/dc converter 20amp. As I know you agreed, I was shopping around for the BOM since the prices are so incredibly variable. Many of the items on these sites end up using generic pictures, for example, a 12p rail when the listing is for a 2p rail. As I was cruising for that part under those specs, it occurred to me that the images I was seeing showed really different pin patterns and spacing from item to item. Looking at the bare board above, you can see that it seems to have a very very specific spacing pattern between pins. I couldn't confirm any others shared that spacing pattern other than a murata brand one I found for around $28. Wondering if this really limits you to using a part with that pattern, or if every pin of that is necessary or tied to the traces, which would be a problem trying to adapt it?


    -I know you said PG7 cable gland for the pex to cat 5 transition, but how exactly were you sealing up the board and rj sockets? From what I could see, it looks like you have a piece of abs pipe for the body, a cap on one end with some kind of cable transition, and reducing fitting on the other end. All I have to go on is quick clips from a distance in your video, which I assume the modules as is may not have been the final "ready to put out" version in terms of sealing. I couldn't really tell if you had something else going on, but it almost looked like the ethernet cables going to the icicles are coming out of an open reduction hole, is that correct?

    - I assume your little cat 5 breakout boards, there's 9 holes, but cat 5 is an 8p8c connection, so I assume the RET pad on that board is meant for the wire coming back up from the data out at the bottom of the icicle? Did you run the wire back up tight along the side of the back to back strips? I wondered if running it up the middle sandwiched between the strips would make sure no possible shadows if the wire happens to be in the way of the led for the viewer. Lastly, I have the ip67 coated strips. The kind that have a curved sealant layer on top, not the kind embedded into a sleeve. You talked about shrink wrapping, and I also noticed the one picture I could find that your strips looked to be bare, not coated. Would the shrink wrap on top of sealant layer on both sides on top of the pipe be a potential heat concern? Lowering the lifespan exponentially since it's multiple layers locking in the heat?

    -Which cat5 cables did you end up deciding to twist as a pair before connection? You had been going back and forth in the thread going way back, but couldn't a final decision? I'm guessing twisted pair for the Data in and data out wires with each a ground wire?

  5. #45
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    Just a few quick questions as I start these: Regarding the that dc/dc converter 20amp. As I know you agreed, I was shopping around for the BOM since the prices are so incredibly variable. Many of the items on these sites end up using generic pictures, for example, a 12p rail when the listing is for a 2p rail. As I was cruising for that part under those specs, it occurred to me that the images I was seeing showed really different pin patterns and spacing from item to item. Looking at the bare board above, you can see that it seems to have a very very specific spacing pattern between pins. I couldn't confirm any others shared that spacing pattern other than a murata brand one I found for around $28. Wondering if this really limits you to using a part with that pattern, or if every pin of that is necessary or tied to the traces, which would be a problem trying to adapt it?
    You'll really need to use the specific Delta Electronic NE12S0A0V20PNFA ($19.74 on Mouser). Anything else will likely have different pin-out, spacing and supporting Rs (for setting the output voltage). It would be doable to hack in something else, but that would be up to you. Part of designing the module was relying on known, defined, quality, available components--not just whatever is randomly available elsewhere (that may simply disappear next month).

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    -I know you said PG7 cable gland for the pex to cat 5 transition, but how exactly were you sealing up the board and rj sockets? From what I could see, it looks like you have a piece of abs pipe for the body, a cap on one end with some kind of cable transition, and reducing fitting on the other end. All I have to go on is quick clips from a distance in your video, which I assume the modules as is may not have been the final "ready to put out" version in terms of sealing. I couldn't really tell if you had something else going on, but it almost looked like the ethernet cables going to the icicles are coming out of an open reduction hole, is that correct?
    Correct, the CAT-5 is merely coming out of an open reduction-hole (from the control-module). That's the best I could come up with, that was economical and yet allow the cables to be swapped-out as necessary. I'm sure there are better options, I just haven't spent any time on it (and haven't had any problems otherwise).

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    - I assume your little cat 5 breakout boards, there's 9 holes, but cat 5 is an 8p8c connection, so I assume the RET pad on that board is meant for the wire coming back up from the data out at the bottom of the icicle? Did you run the wire back up tight along the side of the back to back strips? I wondered if running it up the middle sandwiched between the strips would make sure no possible shadows if the wire happens to be in the way of the led for the viewer. Lastly, I have the ip67 coated strips. The kind that have a curved sealant layer on top, not the kind embedded into a sleeve. You talked about shrink wrapping, and I also noticed the one picture I could find that your strips looked to be bare, not coated. Would the shrink wrap on top of sealant layer on both sides on top of the pipe be a potential heat concern? Lowering the lifespan exponentially since it's multiple layers locking in the heat?
    Correct--the 9th hole on the breakout is for the return-signal (from the end of the LED strip). If you're doing the back-to-back, 2-down method, you need to return the signal to the top. I wouldn't recommend sandwiching the return-wire between the two LED strips. It was pretty easy to just run it right next to the LEDs on the strip (aligned so that it doesn't cross/obstruct the LEDs anywhere). This is also one of the benefits of using a shrink-wrap tube--you can lock everything in place exactly where you want it, including the return data-line.

    I only use the bare strips (not coated or sleeved). I would consider the shrink-tube to be relatively similar as the normal sleeve. Heat-generation could always be questionable, especially with...two LED strips...back-to-back...in a tube with no airflow. If these tubes were expected to be running at 100% white, always-on--that might eventually be a problem. But for my normal use, they're really only used sporadically--and never all-lit for any expended period of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    -Which cat5 cables did you end up deciding to twist as a pair before connection? You had been going back and forth in the thread going way back, but couldn't a final decision? I'm guessing twisted pair for the Data in and data out wires with each a ground wire?
    Both the board and headers are labelled for which CAT-5 color. Changing to your own preferred pin-out simply won't work. But I remember that DO is twisted with one GND, and DI is twisted with another GND.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Correct, the CAT-5 is merely coming out of an open reduction-hole (from the control-module). That's the best I could come up with, that was economical and yet allow the cables to be swapped-out as necessary. I'm sure there are better options, I just haven't spent any time on it (and haven't had any problems otherwise).
    No concerns about moisture or condensation with it open? I live in Vancouver so we spend most of November December in the downpours, hence, my concern. What did you use at the top? I could only see a really small shot of it. Kind of looked like a pipe cap and some king of wire transition to the body for the seal? Guessing you had to drill the cap if that's what it was? I guess the issue I was picturing is that with the cables exiting the bottom open reduction, you would have to limit how far you could pull the icicles and leave enough slack to make sure that it stays pointed downwards, no angle.

    While I was checking out the original post with some initial brainstorming, I know the suggestion was to do some testing on capacity and distance over cat 5. I'm going with the same as you since it is a known factor, 30 down x2 sides. While you mentioned 10' as a guess, did you end up sticking to max 10'? And did you find out how much more or less you could go before it was too much? Looking at my tree spacing and branches, the ideal position for the module and about 6 of the icicles is in a certain place, but if possible, I would need to try and squeeze a few extra feet minimum for the last two. Wondering if that's feasible without injection?
    Last edited by XmasinVancouver; 09-20-2020 at 06:41 PM.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    No concerns about moisture or condensation with it open? I live in Vancouver so we spend most of November December in the downpours, hence, my concern. What did you use at the top? I could only see a really small shot of it. Kind of looked like a pipe cap and some king of wire transition to the body for the seal? Guessing you had to drill the cap if that's what it was? I guess the issue I was picturing is that with the cables exiting the bottom open reduction, you would have to limit how far you could pull the icicles and leave enough slack to make sure that it stays pointed downwards, no angle.

    While I was checking out the original post with some initial brainstorming, I know the suggestion was to do some testing on capacity and distance over cat 5. I'm going with the same as you since it is a known factor, 30 down x2 sides. While you mentioned 10' as a guess, did you end up sticking to max 10'? And did you find out how much more or less you could go before it was too much? Looking at my tree spacing and branches, the ideal position for the module and about 6 of the icicles is in a certain place, but if possible, I would need to try and squeeze a few extra feet minimum for the last two. Wondering if that's feasible without injection?
    I have all of my module openings faced down, so no rain will get in. Condensation? Possibly--but that would be no different than any other enclosure. I'm a big fan of the concept of making enclosures 100% water-proof, then turning around and adding ventilation....

    The top is completely sealed (which is where the 12V power enters).

    I didn't really do an extensive testing on the max length, as that would have required me to make several icicles of various lengths (or one very long, then repeatedly chop it down, and re-terminate a CAT-5). I do know that I've seen issues at 10' with data down 18/3 (non-twisted). I also didn't want to deal with pushing 5V too far.

    My v2.0 does away with the data-return concern, as there is no data-return, and all out-going data is buffered. The main concern isn't with the buffered-data, it's with the data off the last pixel to the next.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: DIY meteor tubes/icicles without ray wu Tee's or other parts

    The one thing that I DIDNíT like about having the modules in PVC, was that they were a bit heavier than necessary (by the time the PVC, reducer and cap are included).

    Iím still thinking of something better. Small, lightweight, inexpensive, available...

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