Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

    Up until now, I've gone with dense display items (pixel tree, mega tree, etc) and the power supplies reside in the same box as the controller and distribute both across short distances.

    However, I'm planning new display items and I want to do arches (96 linear ft) and ornaments (placed in tree - 10-20 in total). I plan to use the pixel sticks for controllers, but I'm struggling with how to provide power. I plan on using 5v pixels/strips in both display items. I'm planning on 6' spacing on the arches (which makes it 9-10 ft of pixel strip). If I use 30 led/m strips and use 3m per arch - I should be right around 5v and 4a per arch. This would leave me a peak draw (all white pixels) of 20w.

    I think I would like to go with a couple of "power boxes" that convert to 12v and then distribute that to the end points with a larger gauge wire (14 ga extension cord probably - cut to length) and then using a DC-DC buck converter at each display item to convert to the appropriate 5v for display. By distributing 12v I can carry the necessary watts in fewer power cables and have only small boxes near the individual display items. I believe I can safely run 4 arches per power cord (20w * 4 = 80w, and 80w = 12v - 8A). Even account for a bit of loss, 8A is safe in in the 14ga power supply.

    The ornaments are smaller - 112 pixel bulbs. These would be even less, but given how spread apart they are I may end up running independent power lines anyway. 12v just reduces having big heavy gauge wires hanging in my trees.

    I was looking for buck converters like this - designed for 5a (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001520959705.html).

    Any advice - is this a good idea or am I just asking for electrical problems?

    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Sauk City, WI USA
    Posts
    1,771
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

    There is someone on this forum that basically does what you are suggesting. He seems very happy with his setup. He is part of this thread:
    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...buck+converter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Newtown CT
    Posts
    4,856
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

    I suggest 24V for your long run. I would still try to locate a PSU closer to the props.

    FYI: Each of my RBLs has a buck converter in the base. My eves have converters in small boxes spaced all along the run. Because my Arches and Candy Canes are close together I use 5v PSUs to power them.


    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

    You could also use 36v power supplies. Ali Express has cheap buck converters that drop 36v to an adjustable voltage. I have 2 Meanwell LRS-350-36 power supplies, used 1 year when I tried power injection. If you're interested, I'd be willing to part with both for $50 shipped anywhere in the US.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    58
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Power distruibution - independent or distrubuted power?

    Aliexpress sells breakout barrel plugs like this for like a nickel apiece:

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...iew&ajaxhist=0


    I just accumulate wall warts from around my home, every time I throw something electrical away. I just find the barrel plug of the right size--or I will just cut the wire and use quick connects--and I have never had to actually buy a power supply. Old laptop chargers usually tend to be the best. Those need to be strictly regulated, and are high-amp. And upgrading (and obsoleting) laptops is not rare.

    The reason I think people buy power supplies is not because they need better power supplies themselves. It's because they haven't quite figured out how to make the connectors work. You're basically buying a $25 connector.
    Last edited by 1pet2_9; 01-27-2021 at 01:57 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •