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Trying to get this RGB stuff sorted out. If I have a pixie 8 12v system and have a window frame that has 136 pixels, how do I power the lights? I know the output can handle 100, just don't know what to do with the other 36.  Is my only option to power inject? I am really trying to stay away from power injection. Then the other question would be, on the PixCon controllers can you put more then 100 pixels on a output with out power injection? 

                              Thank You

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I have heard people say up to 170 per port, but can't confirm that as I don't use LOR controllers. There are a number of variables involved, pixel type, wire length and gage and desired intensity. The best way to know for sure is to test.

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There are a lot of variables so Phil's advise to test with YOUR pixels is the best.  In real general terms, pixels tend to come in the more common high power versions and the low power versions.  The low power versions draw about half as much power as the higher power versions.  Different pixels will come with different wire size between pixels.  If you have a longer length of wire from the controller to the first pixel, that will affect it.  If you have a pixel controller that can dim the pixels (and by that I mean it can reduce the brightness regardless of your sequencing - i.e. run everything at 50% of the sequenced values), that can get you more pixels.  Another solution to avoid power injection is to split the string into two strings fed from separate ports on the controller.

 

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I learned a LOT this year about using pixels from the Pixie line and a PixCon16.  I use a Pixie 4 to drive 4 150 light/50 pixel strips (leaping arches).  I use a Pixie 8 to drive 8 150 light/50 pixel strips (matrix).  A Pixie 16 to drive 16 150 light/50 pixel strips (mega tree).  And finally a PixCon16 to drive six (6) 143 pixel bullet (each) Boscoyo singing bulbs.  I ran all these at full 100% power for one night with no power issues, other than I made sure not to set everything on any output to white (all LEDs on).  The 2nd night I dropped everything to 30%, again having no issues with power, not lighting up my neighbors houses like Ft Knox, and also now being able to set everything to white.  Next year I am going to redo my matrix and mega tree to run off half the outputs, so doubling the number of pixels on the used outputs, and freeing up other outputs for other uses, still running at 30%.  Based on my experience I believe, like Jim states, that if you drop the intensity (via the prop definition in S5) you should have no issue running your 136 pixels.  You may want to try it out "on the bench" using HU, and certainly check/test it out with white (all LEDs on).  I did this with the PixCon16 (using NP) and discovered it would blow the fuse with the 143 pixels.  Reducing the maximum intensity (which you do via NP on the hardware) eliminated this problem.  And as Phil states, you should be able to get to 170-ish bulbs given the variables Jim stated.  My controllers are all co-located with my props to distance to my first pixels are minimal.

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1 hour ago, Kulpy said:

Trying to get this RGB stuff sorted out. If I have a pixie 8 12v system and have a window frame that has 136 pixels, how do I power the lights? I know the output can handle 100, just don't know what to do with the other 36.  Is my only option to power inject? I am really trying to stay away from power injection. Then the other question would be, on the PixCon controllers can you put more then 100 pixels on a output with out power injection? 

                              Thank You

The outputs can control 170 pixels each. Pixie series.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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Okay so the Plug-n-Show pixel package controller will work right? or should I build a controller? Thank You 

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12 hours ago, Kulpy said:

Trying to get this RGB stuff sorted out. If I have a pixie 8 12v system and have a window frame that has 136 pixels, how do I power the lights? I know the output can handle 100, just don't know what to do with the other 36.  Is my only option to power inject? I am really trying to stay away from power injection. Then the other question would be, on the PixCon controllers can you put more then 100 pixels on a output with out power injection? 

                              Thank You

The newer Pixies can do 200. But my question is why you are so set against PI?   PI on most Windows  is way easier than straight runs (or doors). PI at the tail, which is right next to the start of the string. (both wires can be run together.)

The RTG Pixie8 has 27A of 12V (3.375 / port). That sounds a whole lot thin for 8 ports of 136 low power nodes. You might want to build your own with a 500W supply (and add fuse block for the PI leads)

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5 hours ago, Kulpy said:

Okay so the Plug-n-Show pixel package controller will work right? or should I build a controller? Thank You 

I’ve built all of mine , all 4’s have 350 or 500w psu’s depending on what I had/ have at the time. 
 

All 8’s and 16’s have no less that 350w per bank.

Instead of 2 banks sharing a psu they get a dedicated bank. Perhaps this is why some that have 2 psu’s have better results than single psu’s. IDK, but I do know that those that use my design do not have the priblems that some others have.

Also doing it this way, in the event that you ever need PI the power can be easily pulled from one of the psu’s.

I for one do not think pi is a good thing. Yes, it sounds cool, “I have so many pixels I need pi”. I read statements like that all of the time.

However it adds another yet another link that could fail if not properly done.

In a lot of cases it was people reading what other people post that do not have actual experience at the user level with pixels and controllers.

Each case will be different. I can easily control 156 pixels on my roof with 120’ cable between the first pixel and the controller without pi. No problems. But I spend extra $ to get those results with my builds.

It all boils down to your situation. A pixie16 can power 170 nodes. A pixie controller being used with the pixielink  is said to be able to control 200. I have a pixielink but will not test until my show is down.

A pixielink can also be used in e1.31 mode and raise the bar as to how many pixels can be run off a port.

JR

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38 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

A pixie16 can power 170 nodes.

Assuming per port - only carefully.  Standard WS2811 pixels are about 55 - 60mA per node at full white.  Even at the lower figure, that is almost 9 1/2 amps which will blow the fuse on a pixie in fairly short order - and is well in excess of the rated current for the controller.  There are low power pixels available that are about half that - which only slightly exceeds the ratings for the controller and it's fuse sizes.

The general rule of thumb is 100 pixels at 12 volts and 50 pixels at 5 volts is the rough limit without power injection.  YOUR MILEAGE WILL VARY.  Depending on your pixels, you may get less, you may get more, and the limit usually has little or nothing to do with the controller.  Pixels generally come with pretty small wire.  It can only handle so much current.  The more current, the more voltage drop.

With that said, I am generally not a big fan of long strings, but it has nothing to do with power injection.  I am using power injection in a few places in my year round landscape lighting (all on 12 volt strings of less than 100 pixels), because it was needed.  I intended to put PI on my pixel tree rebuild in 2020, but lack of time and then COVID prevented me from doing so.  So I had to run my pixel tree at 30% and even at that, I could see issues near the ends of the strings (100 pixels at 5 volts) when the strings were full white.

 

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5 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Assuming per port - only carefully.  Standard WS2811 pixels are about 55 - 60mA per node at full white.  Even at the lower figure, that is almost 9 1/2 amps which will blow the fuse on a pixie in fairly short order - and is well in excess of the rated current for the controller.  There are low power pixels available that are about half that - which only slightly exceeds the ratings for the controller and it's fuse sizes.

The general rule of thumb is 100 pixels at 12 volts and 50 pixels at 5 volts is the rough limit without power injection.  YOUR MILEAGE WILL VARY.  Depending on your pixels, you may get less, you may get more, and the limit usually has little or nothing to do with the controller.  Pixels generally come with pretty small wire.  It can only handle so much current.  The more current, the more voltage drop.

With that said, I am generally not a big fan of long strings, but it has nothing to do with power injection.  I am using power injection in a few places in my year round landscape lighting (all on 12 volt strings of less than 100 pixels), because it was needed.  I intended to put PI on my pixel tree rebuild in 2020, but lack of time and then COVID prevented me from doing so.  So I had to run my pixel tree at 30% and even at that, I could see issues near the ends of the strings (100 pixels at 5 volts) when the strings were full white.

 

The only fuse I have ever blown on a pixel controller was my matrix pixie16- that was due to me forgetting that I cut the oem black connector off and had bare wires.

I have never blown a fuse on any pixel controller while testing to see how many nodes I could connect without power loss.

The truth is all with testing. While beta testing the pixie16 I always posted the results which can be found in these forums in various threads.

A test I conducted between Halloween and Christmas that I did not post since it’s a personal test is here. Originally the test stopped at 350.  After disconnecting and reconnecting the last string did power up as seen. No color loss 450 nodes. Only because I ran out of nodes with the connectors in them.

JR

 

 

 

 

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What was the measured current when full white on that test?

 

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15 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

What was the measured current when full white on that test?

 

I don’t know. It was something I just through together because I just finished the build and always test 150 nodes. But I was also building a prop and had all of my nodes out and figured why not since the topic of “how many nodes can I light” always seems to be brought up.

My reply is always the same “depends on the situation”.

The test above was 100%
 

The prop was ran at 30% because it looks better and this year I will try 20 or so%.
 

JR

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Just now, dibblejr said:

I don’t know. It was something I just through together because I just finished the build and always test 150 nodes. But I was also building a prop and had all of my nodes out and figured why not since the topic of “how many nodes can I light” always seems to be brought up.

My reply is always the same “depends on the situation”.

The test above was 100%
 

The prop was ran at 30% because it looks better and this year I will try 20 or so%.
 

JR

You show RED , which is way less than WHITE current, which is why you should not have issues. each color draws about 1/3 (the current is slightly different per color to balance the light)

My HC bullets draw 3A/50 (white).  so 100 nodes of Purple (Red+Blu) would max the  4A fuse on a Pixie.

They also tag as 120 nodes without PI 

Repeated hits of over current will weaken a fuse until it does give out.

 

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54 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

You show RED , which is way less than WHITE current, which is why you should not have issues. each color draws about 1/3 (the current is slightly different per color to balance the light)

My HC bullets draw 3A/50 (white).  so 100 nodes of Purple (Red+Blu) would max the  4A fuse on a Pixie.

They also tag as 120 nodes without PI 

Repeated hits of over current will weaken a fuse until it does give out.

 

You must not be watching the same video I made. It shows all colors.

This is one half the problem here. Some read to much, some read to little.

JR

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22 minutes ago, Kulpy said:

Jr.

What enclosure do you use that you can put the 2 power supply and pixie 8? 

HC2500. You will want to get the “generic mounting plate” and a couple other items.

Shoot me a PM and I can add you to my build list

JR

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I really think we are not comparing apples to apples - as there are low wattage strings and higher wattage strings - there are dumb RBG pixels and Smart RBG pixels and there is 5 volt and 12 volt pixels...

Each has their own Spec - the common theme is a 4A draw per controller port

What I have seen in regards to PI recommendations and is based upon Home Interior LED lighting - every 1 strip for 5 volts - every 5 strips for 12 volts and they Over Rate the Power Supply..

Your mileage may vary - and your test results may vary - this is the understood concept when using variables  

Edited by KYHI
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I use Pixie II controllers and I am moving props around to maximize the per port output of 170 instead of buying additional controllers. (at least that is what my wife thinks).  So I hooked up 150 LOR bulbs WS2811 (3 strands of 50) on each port one and two of the Pixie II.  At 100% white, each port was .52 AMPS per my Kilawatt meter.  so 1.04 AMPS total for 300 bulbs.  so on a 15 amp store bought extension cord I could plug at least ten of these Pixie II into my home 15 amp outlet?  Ok, tell me I am nuts!  is my Kilawatt meter broke?  

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How many Amps at 110 volts is the Power Supply rated... as at .52 Amps you surely are not talking the 12 volt draw

As an example the IRM-90-12 is rated 1.9A/115VAC

Edited by KYHI
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1 hour ago, Crimson Lane Lights Etown said:

I use Pixie II controllers and I am moving props around to maximize the per port output of 170 instead of buying additional controllers. (at least that is what my wife thinks).  So I hooked up 150 LOR bulbs WS2811 (3 strands of 50) on each port one and two of the Pixie II.  At 100% white, each port was .52 AMPS per my Kilawatt meter.  so 1.04 AMPS total for 300 bulbs.  so on a 15 amp store bought extension cord I could plug at least ten of these Pixie II into my home 15 amp outlet?  Ok, tell me I am nuts!  is my Kilawatt meter broke?  

I assume you are talking about the 120V AC power to the controller's power supply.  If so, that number sounds not overly out of line.  It will vary A LOT depending on the pixels and power supply.  So yes, you could put about 10 of them on your 15 amp outlet (assuming that there is not anything else on that circuit).

 

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48 minutes ago, KYHI said:

How many Amps at 110 volts is the Power Supply rated... as at .52 Amps you surely are not talking the 12 volt draw

As an example the IRM-90-12 is rated 1.9A/115VAC

If I recall the pixie2 is rated at a grand total of 5 amps

JR

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Well i believe i am using the white box Pixie2D's 12vdc according to the user manual Sept, 28, 2017 V1.03 page 22.  On the back cover of the book the Total Amps are rated at 10, probably 5 each port.  But a .52amp draw for 150 bulbs per port all white, I 'm not worried!   rack 'em and stack 'em! 

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27 minutes ago, Crimson Lane Lights Etown said:

Well i believe i am using the white box Pixie2D's 12vdc according to the user manual Sept, 28, 2017 V1.03 page 22.  On the back cover of the book the Total Amps are rated at 10, probably 5 each port.  But a .52amp draw for 150 bulbs per port all white, I 'm not worried!   rack 'em and stack 'em! 

I believe you are comparing apples and oranges.  The 5A and 10A are for the low voltage (12 volt in this case) at the Pixie controller board itself.  Your Kilowatt meter is measuring the 120V AC power that is feeding the power supply.

 

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Also a Kilowatt = 1000 watts

at .52 - that would be 520 watts

Assuming 115VAC that would be equal to 4.52 Amps

Most small handheld Volt-Ohm Meters will shunt  a 10A draw -

Edited by KYHI
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