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Thread: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

  1. #11
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    I have many props that have a single string of pixels in excess of 500 pixels. That much power over any wire causes a loss. A loss costs me Money. Shorter wires = lower operating costs, less heat, better reliability etc.

    I DO run my lights at 100% My viewers are more then 15m from many of my props and it takes some good brightness to make an impact. Also, I WANT to be able to dazzel the eyeballs on occasion and designing for a dull display makes that impossible.


    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    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. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  2. #12
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by todd1814 View Post
    With 245 pixels on your roofline, you can put power at the beginning and end of the string and run 100%. You donít have to inject every 100 pixels. Power runs both directions from an injection point so you would do that every 200 pixels. I have a run of 810 pixels injected that way and I can run them at 100% all white. I have both 5v and 12v but would gladly swap out the 5v if someone wanted to trade. 5v will cost more in wire which is also heavy, has to be stored, layed down and picked up every year.

    http://spikerlights.com/calcpower.aspx
    Interesting, I understand that the power runs both directions, but if they say inject every 100 I would assume that means the line from the controller covers pixels 1-100, then you can inject at 150 to cover 101-200. Which to me equates to the power being distributed / consumed by 100 pixels.

    But your not the only one to say that so itís almost as if the injection covers 100 pixels upstream and 100 down. Iím def not arguing with one less injection point haha. Think Iíll just have to play around and see what works then go from there.


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  3. #13
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    I have many props that have a single string of pixels in excess of 500 pixels. That much power over any wire causes a loss. A loss costs me Money. Shorter wires = lower operating costs, less heat, better reliability etc.

    I DO run my lights at 100% My viewers are more then 15m from many of my props and it takes some good brightness to make an impact. Also, I WANT to be able to dazzel the eyeballs on occasion and designing for a dull display makes that impossible.
    Makes sense to have the shorter runs. One final question I swear .

    When running only data and v- from the controller, you go to pixel 1. Then you can use a separate PS bringing v+\- to pixel 1, tying in the v-? Assume with that you canít use a standard pigtail unless it has another connector on it as well?


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  4. #14
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    I DO run my lights at 100% My viewers are more then 15m from many of my props and it takes some good brightness to make an impact. Also, I WANT to be able to dazzel the eyeballs on occasion and designing for a dull display makes that impossible.
    I do the same thing. I also have a good amount of space to work with. About 100' from the house to the street. There's some effects that look much better at 100% brightness. A twinkle for example pops a lot more when it's full bright.

    The 30-50% trend is a newer concept. I wouldn't say most people do it. You really didn't hear about that until the past year or two when props started to get super dense. You're just hearing about that more this year because it seems like the new thing to do.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by rsegreto View Post
    When running only data and v- from the controller, you go to pixel 1. Then you can use a separate PS bringing v+\- to pixel 1, tying in the v-? Assume with that you can’t use a standard pigtail unless it has another connector on it as well?
    When I run just Data and V- from the controller to the prop, I bring that into the enclosure containing my PS. There I tie the V- from the controller to the V- from PS and send out a standard 3 wire connection from the PS enclosure to the first pixel.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless

  6. #16
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by rsegreto View Post
    2. What do you do to inject arches? I assume theyíre more than 50 pixels each, but Iíve never seen or counted the strips inside to confirm thatís just my assumption. I guess you just inject at the end and beginning of each arch?
    I use bullet nodes in the Boscoyo Triple Arches, so I can inject wherever I need to, but if you are using a tube type arch, you are correct it has PI at the beginning and end of each arch. FYI, Pixel Strips have a MUCH higher failure rate than bullets typically do, arches tend to protect them better than most props, but they are definitely more problematic.

    BTW keep asking questions, we are happy to help.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    [mention]todd1814 [/mention] that calculator is awesome thanks!

    [mention]jchula [/mention] okay I can def see how a twinkle would have more effect at 100%. I love that look and def want to be able to have that with maximum impact.

    [mention]TomL8345 [/mention] thatís a great way to run the power! Make so much more sense than the double connectors I had in my head . I do like the tube style arches for the diffusion, but already the only place to really get the waterproof strips I need is from Ray Wu and seems silly to pay shopping from China for 4 strips.

    Iím planning on doing PI now Bill Porter describes by using one cable and stripping it at different points if I need multiple PI points on the same strip. Although 12v limits the amount of times I would need that.

    Iím just thinking of my roofline in general, I want my controller central in the front, so to would be a 30í PI run to the end of the string. The end of that string will be near a window outline when I expand, one other prop and could reach my door outline. So putting another PS there makes sense but then I have to cut one of the V+ wires in my roofline string so the V+ are separate. Seems annoying and itís probably just me being naive to the whole thing but that would allow me to spread the power load much better.

    I know one prop I want will have rgb modules which are only available in 12v so I guess Iíll start there but more PSUís than I though haha. These are great ideas for the future and how to mix 5v into the mix of needed.

    Thanks again everyone, this is so helpful! I wish I could buy you all a beer !
    -Russ


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  8. #18
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by rsegreto View Post
    the only place to really get the waterproof strips I need is from Ray Wu and seems silly to pay shopping from China for 4 strips.
    You don't necessarily need waterproof strips for tube arches. The tube negates the need for the strip itself to be waterproof.

    You can get them on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/ALITOVE-Addre...0590637&sr=8-9

    ...but more PSU’s than I though haha
    Get used to that idea. There's many ways to skin the cat, but keeping the PSUs very close to the props themselves is the best way to combat voltage drop. I build power into every prop. And I size the PSUs appropriately. I only use a few 350W units. The majority of mine are 150w or less. And when you're using smaller PSUs, they're smaller. As in physically smaller. So they hide within the props nicely. I use many that are in the 2-6A range that I've salvaged from various old electronics.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    I do the same thing. I also have a good amount of space to work with. About 100' from the house to the street. There's some effects that look much better at 100% brightness. A twinkle for example pops a lot more when it's full bright.

    The 30-50% trend is a newer concept. I wouldn't say most people do it. You really didn't hear about that until the past year or two when props started to get super dense. You're just hearing about that more this year because it seems like the new thing to do.
    Not really a new trend, been running my mega tree and matrix at 35% for the past 3 years.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: 5v vs. 12v Pixels

    Russ,

    You seem to have a good handle on what you need to do. Like Jon, I too am building my props with either PS built into the prop or a small enclosure nearby with an appropriately sized PS. Also as Jon noted get used to using more pigtails, cabling, and PI Tees than you think you will need. I use a different connector (pigtails) for my Data/V- runs than I do for my PI runs so I don't accidentally hook up the wrong type of connection. (Idiot Proof myself). I use waterproof Automotive connectors instead of the typical pixel connectors. I find them easier to install, cheaper, and I can single-handedly disconnect them, even with winter gloves on, which makes tear-down more pleasant.

    Wish I could have that beer with you.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2019 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights
    2020 - Emergency Conversion to Falcon F48 with limited wireless

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