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Power Injection to RGBs

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I've been running a Light-o-Rama show for many years now, but just got into RGB lights for this season.

I bought lights from Light-o-Rama--bullet pixels, 50 per string.  I plan to connect three of these strings end to end.  Will I need to inject power for each string?  If so, how exactly do I do that?  I don't see a straightforward way on the light strings themselves.  I am running a PixCon16 controller, and the first light will be approximately 20 feet from the controller.

Thanks for your help.

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IMHO  3 is pushing it Way past the limit of 100 per port.  20' is on the edge of the old style Pixies.  You may need to put a Null Pixel at the 10' point to regenerate the data signal

I can't find a compatible 3 core 'T' on the LOR store, to do the trick HC did.  They clip the 12V pin that would plug in the tail of the first string and inject power (12V and return) into the base of the 'T' (data and ground pass thru)

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I believe you can run 340 pixels per port on the pixcon16. 

I cant comment on the 20’ data travel to the first pixel, other than do a test. 

As for power injection, maybe you should be a little more specific as to what you are building. 

Edited by robongar

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The Pixcon can handle 340 pixels a port but that doesn't mean the voltage will be good, it just means the data will be good. You still have to power inject after the first 100 pixels (12v) or first 50 pixels (5v) not only because of voltage drop but also the fuses on the Pixcon can't handle more then that.

You didn't mention if you purchased the original CCP strings (4-wire) or the newer CCP ll strings (3-wire), makes a difference because they are different voltages.

Some will power inject between the second and third string and some will power inject at the end of the third string. Me personally, I live by the KISS philosophy, Keep It Simple Stupid, and will go out of my way not to power inject. To me power injecting just adds another level of complexity and more ways for something to go wrong.

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I have 5 pixcon16's in my display and from experience I also suggest using a null pixel if you are 20' away.  I think the furthest I was able to get without issues was only about 12'.  Power Injection can become complicated, but doesn't have to be.  If you are using 12v nodes you can usually go 100 pixels before needing to inject power.  All you do is connect your strings end to end like you need, then run a separate wire from the power supply then splice it in to the + and - connections on the pixel string.   It's also a good idea to use fuses on anything coming off the power supply.  Here's an article I used to help me when I first starting in pixels.  https://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Power_Injection

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Thanks so much for your help.  I will try it as soon as my lights arrive (supposed to be this week).  The RGB lights are new to me, but I'm excited to get them going.

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I thought I would follow up on this topic.

I got all my new rgb lights wired with power injection every fifty lights.  They start about 25 feet from the controller.  I have them going down both sides of my center walkway and across the front walkway.  One side worked perfectly; the other side blew a fuse every time I restored the power.  I disconnected the power injection and they worked great (I must have a connection crossed somewhere, although I thought I was very careful).  Anyway, both sides work great now---one with power injection, and one without.  My wife and I can see no difference from side to side--no fading or color change on either side.  I have 300 lights on each side (6 strands of 50, end to end).  I'm glad it is working well, but I was anticipating that I would need that power injection..........

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Just curious, were you able to run them from 25 feet away, or did you end up needing a null Pixel?

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7 minutes ago, Little_b said:

Just curious, were you able to run them from 25 feet away, or did you end up needing a null Pixel?

25 feet is nothing. You will not have a problem with the pixcon or pixies at that distance controller to first pixel

1 Have one run 6 - 20' extensions to first controller pixie16 and several over 100' from controller to first pixel.

I tested them long before hanging and running cables through my home. Laid them on gargage floor and kept adding extensions until "I ran out of extensions"

All with NO PI, full white no problem.

I will be testing a pixcon pretty soon

JR

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I have several runs over 25' to first pixel. No issues with data, but had to inject power in several spots.

There are voltage drop calculators online that can assist you. Make sure you run at least 16 awg wire from DC power supplies to injection point tees.

Use a F-amp from Falcon if data is an issue.

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Also, look at running pixels at 30-40% max intensity!

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I have run my matrix with pixcon 16's for a few years now, but in the beginning I had major flickering problems so I added null pixels at around a 6' mark, with the line being about 12' total.  Most the flickering went away, but after making close observations and a few minor repairs this year, I believe the problems may have come from bad wires.  I was told they were copper, but turned out to be Copper Clad Aluminum and are now decaying.  So this summer I plan on replacing all the wiring and hope to get rid of the null pixels if possible.  I had it laid out in the backyard a couple summers ago to do some repairs and all the flickering had gone away, but when it made it on the roof they returned, so I am somewhat skeptical about the testing on the ground as I think somewhere it grounds out the problems.  But if I'm hearing that others are having success with longer distances I'm excited for the remodel.  I do have a pixie 4 with about a 20' gap to the first pixel and no problems, but I do recall reading somewhere that they have that capability, but the Pixcon16 was a bit more limited, closer to 8-10 feet.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get all off topic as power injection and setup are not foreign to me, just got a bit excited when the OP said he was able to make it all work with a 25' run to the first pixel and hoping I can do the same. But more at 12'.  Just waiting for the snow to melt off the roof so I can get it down and start "playing."

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Little_b

I had flickering when I first made my matrix, it was a stripped wire I missed. Whenever I leaned my in progress matrix against the wall, I had the same type of flickering.

JR

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I'm guessing some of my solder joints are poking through the heat shrink tubing, shorting out somewhere as well.  First major project, and have come a long way since.

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Just now, Little_b said:

I'm guessing some of my solder joints are poking through the heat shrink tubing, shorting out somewhere as well.  First major project, and have come a long way since.

Hers what I do.

Pre solder put 3 - pieces of heat shrink tubing large enough to fit over the wire and another piece large enough to fit over all three of the soldered wires.

After solder cools shrink the small pieces and then put silicone 3M 5200 or 4200 over the three solders splices.

Slip the larger heat shrink over the three and the silicone. Heat the the heat shrink and the silicone will come out the ends- done.

I use marine grade heat shrink. I used this technique on my boats and in has never failed.

JR

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