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Thread: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

  1. #1
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    Default Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    In trying to simplify my setup I realized I may have designed myself into a corner and made things a little more complex.

    I am looking to drive 32 strings 12v @ 50 nodes each (1600 total 12v nodes) megatree from one F16v3 board. My plan was to use 2 strings (total 100 nodes) per port for 16 ports total. For now, let's assume worst-case scenario of 100% brightness/white which leaves me with a power requirement of 1152 total watts and 96 amps per the megatree calculator. My plan was to power this from 4 350W Meanwells OR 2 750 HP server PSUs.

    The F16v3 is only rated for 30amps per bank (8 ports per bank) so 60amps total.

    My realization is that I must power inject to remove the load from the board. So I have inadvertently designed the opposite of what I wanted to do

    Assuming no changes to the design or brightness and not using another expansion board - is the best approach to send data only from 16 ports on the F16v3 and drive power to the 16 strings through 4 F8-Distro power distribution boards? The F8s are rated at 30 amps each. So 4 F8-Distro gives me 120amp total (I can't use 2 or 3 boards because I would exceed the 30 amp per board limit and not give me the 96 amps I need). I would run 4x, 100-node strings from each of the 4 F8-Distro boards at 6amps per string gives me 24amps per F8-distro board.

    Is this the best approach or is there a more elegant solution?

    If this is the recommended approach would I just bring the data line from the 16 F16v3 ports to each of the strings? Do I need to worry about making a circuit or loop for data or does this not matter?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    IIWM, I would would feed half of each bank from the board. The other half I would run data,V- from board and V+ and V- from a different power supply.

    But really if it were me...I would run at 50% and just use two power supplies.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeKrebs View Post
    IIWM, I would would feed half of each bank from the board. The other half I would run data,V- from board and V+ and V- from a different power supply.

    But really if it were me...I would run at 50% and just use two power supplies.
    Are you saying that I should power ports 1-4 and 9-12 from the board and then ports 5-8 and 13-16 would be ground and data only and use distro boards to bring ground a V+? Ports 1-4 and 5-8 would be 288 watts/24 amps and 1 power supply each. Then ports 5-8 and 13-16 would be supplied the same through the distro boards and 1 PSU each.

    One more fatal flaw I realized my 6 amps per string at 100% brightness simply won’t work since the fuses/ports are 5 amps. Max would be 60% brightness which is 3.6 amps per 100 node string and 57.6 amps for the board.

    This is my first megatree and I have no point of comparison on brightness so I was using 100% as worst case. If I insisted on 100% The only choice is to use 32 strings across 32 ports at 50 nodes to come in at 3 amps per port and 48 amp total per board.

    I’ve read that 100% brightness on a 180 degree 1600 node megatree may be eyeball searing. I’m looking for reassurance that it will look good even at 50%. It won’t be competing with any other high density prop aside from a PPD geowreath on the house 25 feet behind it and on the second floor.
    Last edited by rci27; 03-01-2021 at 12:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    so 32 string at 50 pixel is not that tall /big ( 12 ft ? ) .. no need to run 100 % i run mine at 25 % and its pretty bright enough with 2000 pixel on the v3 ... that way only need 2 power supply (1 for each side ) no injection needed it
    in the last few year thing has change when regard to power injection and brightness as it used to be 12 v 100 pixel need injection ect ,,, now if you run 40 % or less you can run close to 200 pixel without injection and you still blind people with it lol
    Last edited by barbotte; 03-01-2021 at 01:11 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    imo, 100% power injection. no v+ from the controller at all. dont care what intensity you use.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    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.
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    I expect that will be a very very bright tree, if 100% on.

    You may want to tell the controller to limit the brightness to 50%. I know my E682 can do that. Then your power is halved, and you don't blind passing jetliners

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
    I expect that will be a very very bright tree, if 100% on.

    You may want to tell the controller to limit the brightness to 50%. I know my E682 can do that. Then your power is halved, and you don't blind passing jetliners
    I've compromised down to 60% as the mathematical magic number I need to hit to make it work That breaks down to 32 strings of 50 lights put into groups of 100 to use 16 ports. 80% power supply utilization at 60% brightness gives me 57.6 amps for the total board - or 28.8 amps per bank.

    In general - how strict are the amperage limits. The PiCAp is documented at 5amps max but in practice, it can handle a lot more. What is the relationship between the documented amp load and practical use?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by rci27 View Post
    I've compromised down to 60% as the mathematical magic number I need to hit to make it work That breaks down to 32 strings of 50 lights put into groups of 100 to use 16 ports. 80% power supply utilization at 60% brightness gives me 57.6 amps for the total board - or 28.8 amps per bank.

    In general - how strict are the amperage limits. The PiCAp is documented at 5amps max but in practice, it can handle a lot more. What is the relationship between the documented amp load and practical use?
    i did run 125 pixel per port at 100 % for few night as it was user error (on my part ) until half tree die (blow the power supply and few wire lol ) dont forget that your tree will only be at full white for few second in your song so at 50 % or less you still will be bright and not blowing anything

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by barbotte View Post
    i did run 125 pixel per port at 100 % for few night as it was user error (on my part ) until half tree die (blow the power supply and few wire lol ) dont forget that your tree will only be at full white for few second in your song so at 50 % or less you still will be bright and not blowing anything
    Perfect example of why you should not design for less than 100% brightness.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    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/user/MartinMueller2003

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Megatree power configuration and F16v3

    Quote Originally Posted by barbotte View Post
    so 32 string at 50 pixel is not that tall /big ( 12 ft ? ) .. no need to run 100 % i run mine at 25 % and its pretty bright enough with 2000 pixel on the v3 ... that way only need 2 power supply (1 for each side ) no injection needed it
    in the last few year thing has change when regard to power injection and brightness as it used to be 12 v 100 pixel need injection ect ,,, now if you run 40 % or less you can run close to 200 pixel without injection and you still blind people with it lol
    I run 300 pixels at 35% off a single port with no issues at all.

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