Cabling Setup Advice

I want to make a setup something like my terrible picture and wonder what people think.

(1) I assume the data line needs all the leds in series i cant have 8 branches from the middle to each led strip ? But i could do this with the expander board.

(2) Also wondering about power orginally i was going to run the power and from the center in two cables and then split off the connection for each stick as you go along. However this makes it more complicated and i can’t work out the power / voltage drop using the spiker tool.

In order to have neat wiring i would need loads of different core wires like 6 core ( 4 data and 2 power ) to the first led tube then 5 core to the next seems hassle.

(3) Can i use the expander board and the sensor board at the same time ?

I think i have mostly answered my own question in that i need the expansion board and each tube should have its own power running direct from the PSU. Just wanting to see if any smarter minds have any good ideas.

Each light stick is 1.5m long using ws2811 at a density of 60 led / m. So drawing 27w at 12v.

Yep. This is really the best way to wire this kind of thing!

How far is each run of 90LEDs from your 12V power supply? I think at 27W (2.25A) you can use cheap 18AWG and only drop 5% for 20ft.


@jeff thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

Cool yeah its 30 ft to the start of the leds on the furthest tube. I checked that on spiker and it looks ok for just powering that strip( and by extension all the others ) from one end which is easy.

Orders the expander and sensor board today very excited but have to wait a bit as im in the UK !

Will the Pixelblaze also be 30’ from the first pixel? If so, you might encounter some signal reflection interference around that length.

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I think the very max it could be is about 30ft. Is there anything that can be done about ‘signal reflection interference’ ( sorry im not that technical ). Other than :

having multilple pixelblazes and firestorm running them
making the cable length shorter

Any other solutions ?

Whats a ‘safe’ max length to first pixel ?

One way to get the data to go as far as possible is to use an ethernet cable. Downside is that it’s no good for power. If you ran 1 cable for power, and ethernet for data it would work. Not as clean as having one cable for both though.

It’s hard to know how long you can go before your first pixel, but I’ve had success with 20-40 feet. My experience is with pixel strings though, not strips.

Thanks for your insight. I give it a go and see how i fair with the knowledge this could be an issue.

& thanks for the tip about using ethernet cable i have so much so whilst not neat at least its free. I assume this is something to do with the sheilding ?

You bet, either twisted pair or shielding gets you the distance for your data signal.