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ICELED • View topic - Help with custom project

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 Post subject: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:34 am 
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hi guys, I'm a designer for a prop building company in the uk. I'm building a giant ghetto blaster that functions as ad booth/drinks bar. I could really do with some technical advice from anyone with some electrical know how. My knowledge is pretty limited. I will upload a circuit schematic on Monday when I'm next at work to explain further but in short here's my query.

My design uses 12m of rgb 5050 led strip with 60leds per/m. The 12m breaks off into 5 various lengths ranging between 2m and 4m, (Roughly 4 strips of 2m and 1 strip of 4m). These strips will junction into 1 input into the flexidriver then into the zap+ controller the into the power supply.

The power consumption of the strip light is a maximum of 14.4w per m, so I have a 12v power supply rated at 200w to ensure appropriate headroom. However this outputs 16a which worries me, do I need a specific wire gauge and can the flexidriver/zap controller take this current, will it break the controller? Also does this setup sound right to everyone?

Thanks for any help

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Hi Dan, sorry to reply so late. I've just received a copy of your diagram. Yes 16A is pushing it with the standard screw terminals. The kind of wire gauge you need would barely fit in the terminals. However, there is nothing wrong with distributing the +12V separately as ZAP and Flexidriver only need a +12V to power their on-board electronics. Both units just route the +12V in to +12V out so you can feed +12V from your PSU straight into your +12V junction box. A small gauge wire is all you need to the ICELED.

Flexidriver, however, does have all the current flowing out of one terminal: the GND connection. Make a good connection here with the largest gauge stranded wire that fits comfortably and run a short length of this to another terminal block to a common connection to the PSU and to ZAP. This should make wiring mechanically simpler. Don't forget to run a GND to both controllers though.

The main problem with powering long lengths of RGB tape is the volt-drops due to resistance in the supply wiring and in the tape itself. Your plan breaks the tape into a useful number of separate zones which is ideal.

You also plan to place inline fuses with each +12 feed to the tape which is good from the point of "what happens if a short occurs in the tape" as the available current that could flow into the tape is high enough to cause concern. However, the fuse will also contribute some volt-drop so it might be worth increasing to 10A. It's a difficult balancing act.

It really depends on how much confidence you have in the integrity of the tape and it's wiring. If everything is well protected and inaccessible once assembled it may be an unnecessary addition to have fuses - however, you seem to have a lot of connectors between sections so there may be too many opportunities for problems.

As for the 16A fuse from the PSU, assuming the PSU is close to the controllers and junction box, I would say leave it out as the PSU itself should have short-circuit protection that will do a very similar job - without any additional volt-drop.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Hi Adrian,


Thanks a lot for the advice. I’ve made amendments to the wiring diagram based on what I think you mean, please do forgive me if any of this is wrong and way off the mark, I am quite new to electrics. I’ve also attached the original I sent to you titled v1.

I’ve routed the power directly from the PSU into the junction box and powered the controllers through this. I think my diagram might be wrong as I don’t have all of the current flowing through the GND connection on the flexidriver, would this go directly out of the psu and into the flexidriver, then into the junction box? I aimed to ground the controllers through the psu as shown, is this suitable?

Regarding the 3.9m length of LED strip, this can be cut down to 1 x 2m length and 1 x 1.8m length. Hopefully this would ensure no voltage dropout? So have 6 separate strips of around 2m. This would also reduce the number of connectors to 1 per strip. These connectors would be protected once the prop is finished, they are literally there if a strip needs changing of repairing.

With the fuses I figured it would be best to put in the 5A fuse so if there is a short of one of the strips blows out, if the current increases past the 6A rating of the wire, the fuses will blow and the leds will be ok. Would this still work if I changed the fuses to 10A, my worry is that the 4 core RGB strip wire I’m using is rated at 6A so if the 10A current was hit the wires would overheat and break. Would a 10A fuse protect the wiring? Would the wiring in this 4 core be rated at 6A per wire, thus giving it a total current rating of 21A?


Thanks a lot for your help Adrian!


Attachments:
File comment: wiring diagram v2
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM V2-optimised.jpg
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM V2-optimised.jpg [ 223.53 KiB | Viewed 11435 times ]
File comment: Wiring diagram version 1
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM optmimsed.jpg
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM optmimsed.jpg [ 215.32 KiB | Viewed 11435 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:33 pm 
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Dan - on your diagram V2 you've accidentally wired GND to 12V :!:

To illustrate the key issue, the thick lines in the simplified diagram below show how the LED current flows out from PSU + and back to GND (-) via Flexidriver's three "output" channels. These switch to the common ground return. This is the only "pinch point" in your high current setup.

$m[1]

To feed all the tapes you would have distribution blocks on the end of the thick wires shown

The thin wires are only supplying the tiny amount of current needed by the micro-controllers inside ZAP and Flexidriver.
Flexidriver gets its GND from the same single GND connection that carries the LED return.
It's probably easiest to get Flexidriver's +12V from ZAP as shown.

Looking at you circuit again the current in each 5A fuse should be low enough not to cause any appreciable volt-drop so go with those. You can always put a voltmeter across each fuse and confirm that it isn't losing you more than a fraction of a volt.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:01 am 
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Ha of course! sorry I was trying to get my head around it all and didnt notice.

I've ammended the diagram based on your image (thanks for that!). I've also powered the flexidriver from the zap as suggested. This leaves the output from the flexidriver +12 terminal empty, is this correct?

Ok Ill leave it a 5 strips for now, if the 3.8m length causes voltage drop problems ill divide this up into 2 making 6 strips of 2m in total. If i do divide it into 6 x 2m strips do you think ill get a better output than having 5 strips with 1 being longer than the rest.

thanks again for the help

Dan


Attachments:
File comment: wiring diagram v3
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v3 optmimsed.jpg
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v3 optmimsed.jpg [ 217.1 KiB | Viewed 11432 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:30 am 
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Yes, the +12V out from Flexidriver isn't connected in this plan. After all, it is just a convenient feed for a single length of tape, connected directly to the +12V coming in. Seeing as how you have to join five lots of tape to +12V, it makes sense to join-in the PSU at the same point.

In my experience, for a typical RGB tape, 5M is just about the limit in length before volt-drops discolour the tape at the the far end. 4M should be fine. This is just the drop in the tape itself of course - supply wiring also contributes a drop.

There are now some improved tapes coming to market that have constant-current regulation (like every ICELED light source has for the last 12 years! :roll: ) but these are naturally more expensive and careful design such as in your wiring plan can make them unnecessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:19 pm 
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Perfect! thanks for you help Adrian, I think I'm pretty much there with it. I've attached the finalised diagram, would be great if you could take one last look. I've sourced 2 distribution boards with spade fuse's built in which I think will do the job controlling the power.

Ha it can take quite a while for everyone to catch up!

Thanks again for your help, very excited to see it all together!


Attachments:
File comment: Wiring diagram v4
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v4 optmised.jpg
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v4 optmised.jpg [ 209.19 KiB | Viewed 11429 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Those distro. blocks look super-handy! Looks good to me. The extra fuses in the return paths for RGB are not really required but they're obviously not optional if you use those blocks. Shouldn't be a problem but even if the fuses did create a volt-drop they could be repalced with higher current ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:28 pm 
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Yeah, theyre intended use are for kit cars and retro-electrics in classic cars. Theyre perfect for combining the distribution and fuse failsafe, plus theyre quite reasonable, around £28 each.

http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/product/1052/category/63

Ah so i wouldnt need fuses for the RGB wires in the 4 core, just the +12v black ones, or have i got that the wrong way round? Yeah this distro block needs fuses in to bridge the connection. So upping these to 10A would prevent voltage drop if it occurs?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:10 pm 
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Yes, that's right Dan - just fuse the 12V side with 5A and consider using 10A to minimise the drop in the RGB returns.

Fuses will vary in resistance, for the same current rating, depending on how fast they're designed to blow. You can easily see what drop your fuses produce by probing both sides with a voltmeter when RGB is on full.
Automotive fuses are typically quite slow to blow so 5A may be OK all round.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:51 am 
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Ah perfect! Will keep that in mind. Electrics should be going full scale end of next week/early following, very excited. I'll purchase 5A and 10A fuses just to be safe. Would it be better to get quick to blow automotive ones to better protect the LEDs?

I've made one final ammendment to the diagram that I've attached, I've reduced the Distro box to just 1 and incoperated 3 x 6 way junction boxes to the RGB end of the lights.

Thanks again for your help


Attachments:
File comment: wiring diagram v5
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v5-09.jpg
GHETTO BLASTER WIRING DIAGRAM v5-09.jpg [ 228.04 KiB | Viewed 11424 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:03 pm 
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Yes, quick blow will be fine :D
BTW, make sure you come back and post photos - I'm looking forward to seeing this when it's finished!


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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:35 pm 
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This project sounds amazing and I can't wait to see the outcome. ICELED products are perfect for projects like this and I'd love to do something similar

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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 11:26 am 
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IMAG0864.jpg [ 190.12 KiB | Viewed 11417 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Help with custom project
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 4:30 pm 
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I too have tried various controls etc and all others I've tried break regular and usually the fades effects aren't very smooth. You can view my project at http://www.pimpedwheelchair.co.uk

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