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CindyChinn

what kind of wire should I use for long runs?

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I have my place wired for power and now I want to run data for smart RGB... the closer runs are working fine but the further out runs are not... I think that I am losing data or dropping packets? (and I might not be saying that correctly)
The original wire is stranded 16 AWG... is that too heavy? And can I get away with just rerunning the data line? ...that's a LOT of wire to totally rerun it all... expense-wise
The 2 windows in the middle on the right are the control room- all of the wiring comes into there and the the windows to the right of that and about the same distance on the left, work fine... the rest have issues, don't turn off, think about following the programming, but don't, etc.

Thanks, Cindy

schoolXmas.jpg

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I'm gathering this is with smart pixels you are having a problem.  It's not about the type of wire, but rather the length of it.  Depending on the pixel technology, there is a limit of how far the data can go between the controller and the first pixel and between pixels.  That limit can be as short as a few feet.  The most common pixel types we use are more like 20 feet or so.  There are a couple ways to extend that distance.  The most common is use of null pixels.  What that means is that you insert a pixel that is not lit, but regenerates the data signal.  For example, if you need to get 50 feet, you might put a null pixel 17 cable feet from the controller, and another one 17 feet after that.  Then you configure your controller so it knows that there are two null pixels at the beginning of the string.  There are also pixel extenders that allow you to get quite a bit farther, but they add quite a bit to the cost.

The best solution generally is to keep the distances down by putting the pixel controllers close to the lights.  Much easier to run Ethernet or LOR network for the longer distances..

 

 

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When you say longer runs acting up, do you mean controller to first pixel or pixel to pixel? Because like k6ccc said, the differences of lengths you can use can be massive. 

Example: I have runs of 50’ with 22g from controller to first pixel but I can only go 9’ between pixels without using null pixels. 

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Thank you guys... I was told that my wire is probably too heavy... I'm running some CAT5 right now... do you think that I will need to change more than the Data line?

and when you say null pixels... I'm using strips on the frames... I would insert- a set of 3/1 pixel every 17' or so?

 

Edited by CindyChinn

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this is what I'm talking about... they should all be the same reddish color

update= I ran a temporary cat5 line from the control room to the furthest window on the first floor (to the left) and hooked up 2 wires together to just the data prong... and it works perfectly.
I first tried one cat5 wire and got nothing, so I tried 2... it's like magic- no null pixels... the front of my building is about 300' (that's a somewhat educated guess) I'm going to actually put the wire in place now and wire the next 2 windows (which will shorten it up a bit), so... we'll see if that is a fluke :) 

 

23760003_10215306914137005_1689370514_o.jpg

Edited by CindyChinn
update

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When inserting a null pixel for a CCR strip, does this mean cutting a 4-inch section of a CCR strip (3 LEDs makes one pixel) and soldering this with 3 cable (LOR CCR-II) 18AWG wire between the CCR strip and controller (whether using a dongle or not)?

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20 minutes ago, mwilson6192 said:

When inserting a null pixel for a CCR strip, does this mean cutting a 4-inch section of a CCR strip (3 LEDs makes one pixel) and soldering this with 3 cable (LOR CCR-II) 18AWG wire between the CCR strip and controller (whether using a dongle or not)?

That's the general idea.  I would really hate to cut a strip that would void the warrantee.  Really the better solution generally is to put the pixel controller close to the pixels.  For example, in the photo below, the pixel controller is in the gray box behind the star.  The 16 cables are less than three feet long.

2014_Top_of_strips-back.jpg

 

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Jim, could they use a bullet pixel as a null pixel for ribbons as long as it is the same IC?

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I use bullets for my non ccr 2811 pixel strips.  Ccr cannot handle a null pixel as far as I know.  Ccr 2 might....

Sax

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Thanks to you all for your help!

I guess I could shift my thinking a bit and use multiple LOR CCR-II Ready-To-Go kits. These come complete with a new Pixie 2 controller that has an enclosure and power supply with 2 CCR-II 50-pixel ribbons. I ordered a single kit in black (new color option) to play around with and get familiar with LOR RGB ribbons and not leap to a Pixcon16 solution and make my head explode (it already did)! The much smaller enclosure will be easier to mount under the soffits, but I have a significant run on two fascia birds that have no soffits. Hmmm .... <thinking>.

By locating the controller between the various rooflines, it will locate the ribbons close to the controller and should eliminate needing a null pixel (or two). I will have to run an extension cord to the controller plug from the power outlet receptacle versus a smaller (less obtrusive) wire lead.

So instead of one Pixie 16/Pixcon16 with external (e.g. additional) power supplies for required power injection needs, I would have multiple Pixie 2 controllers and likely eliminate any need for power injection.

I still will have to cut several CCR-II ribbons to make 90-degree and 45-degree "bends" with soldering, as well as "extending" a CCR ribbon to transition several feet from roofline transition to the next roofline.

Note that I am going to use the aluminum pixel mounting strips with diffuser from HolidayCoro. They seem to be the cleanest method to mount CCR ribbons to fascia and windows, and I liked them because they had a "channel" design under where the CCR ribbon mounts to accommodate 3 wire cable for power injection.

Still learning ... appreciate all of your help and any additional idea you have would be most appreciated!

Edited by mwilson6192
Autocorrect word issue.

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48 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Jim, could they use a bullet pixel as a null pixel for ribbons as long as it is the same IC?

Yes.  Color order does not matter either.

 

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1 minute ago, k6ccc said:

Yes.  Color order does not matter either.

 

Thanks, that is what I figured. Using a bullet pixel beats cutting up a ribbon.

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18 minutes ago, mwilson6192 said:

Thanks to you all for your help!

I guess I could shift my thinking a bit and use multiple LOR CCR-II Ready-To-Go kits. These come complete with a new Pixie 2 controller that has an enclosure and power supply with 2 CCR-II 50-pixel ribbons. I ordered a single kit in black (new color option) to play around with and get familiar with LOR RGB ribbons and not leap to a Pixcon16 solution and make my head explode (it already did)! The much smaller enclosure will be easier to mount under the soffits, but I have a significant run on two fascia birds that have no soffits. Hmmm .... <thinking>.

By locating the controller between the various rooflines, it will locate the ribbons close to the controller and should eliminate needing a null pixel (or two). I will have to run an extension cord to the controller plug from the power outlet receptacle versus a smaller (less obtrusive) wire lead.

So instead of one Pixie 16/Pixcon16 with external (e.g. additional) power supplies for required power injection needs, I would have multiple Pixie 2 controllers and likely eliminate any need for power injection.

I still will have to cut several CCR-II ribbons to make 90-degree and 45-degree "bends" with soldering, as well as "extending" a CCR ribbon to transition several feet from roofline transition to the next roofline.

Note that I am going to use the aluminum pixel mounting strips with diffuser from HolidayCoro. They seem to be the cleanest method to mount CCR ribbons to fascia and windows, and I liked them because they had a "channel" design under where the CCR ribbon mounts to accommodate 3 wire cable for power injection.

Still learning ... appreciate all of your help and any additional idea you have would be most appreciated!

Do you actually have ccr strips from LOR or the clone ccr-II strips makes a difference on using the null pixels.

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1 minute ago, Dennis Laff said:

Do you actually have ccr strips from LOR or the clone ccr-II strips makes a difference on using the null pixels.

I have purchased genuine LOR CCR-II ribbons (strips) from LOR (their Ready-To-Go kit) which includes their new Pixie 2 controller and power supply enclosure. I also ordered the Superstar option to play with sequencing RGB pixels.

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