Ws28xx questions

Hello, new to PB but I have 5x300 ws2811 strips I would like to run. So far I have tested the PB on a single 300 LED strip. I am using a 12v power supply for the LED strips, and powering the PB separately via the 5v pin. The data line and 5v power supply share a common ground. The preset animations work but lag quite a bit. Is the PB having a hard time running such a long strip or is it something else causing the lag? What are the maximum number of LED’s on a single strip that the PB can run? Will I need multiple PB’s to run all 5 strips?

Hi @Corlo,
First, I’d check that you are using the Buffered WS2812 setting. That can make a big difference.

300 Pixels should be no problem. Can you describe the lag? If you have the web page up and previews running (you can click to toggle), then wifi blips can stall animations, but that goes away when you disconnect or turn off previews.

5x 300 pixels is quite a bit more. From the web page:

Using included patterns as a benchmark, Pixelblaze can generate between 12,000-45,000 pixels per second, and can drive up to 5000 pixels.

  • 100 LEDs: 120-400+ FPS (very fast animations, special effects, POV)
  • 1000 LEDs: 12-40+ FPS (animations, backgrounds)
  • 5000 LEDS: 2-4+ FPS (slow-fading backgrounds, ambiance)

A single strand of 1500 WS28xx pixels will be limited by data rate regardless of the controller’s ability to calculate them. Using an output expander board and splitting them across 5 channels will help. You can set this up on your PB without buying anything to try it out and see what kind of FPS you would get. To do that, set LED type to output expander, click Add Board, and configure 5 300 pixel channels.

Yes, you can also run 1 PB for each 300 pixel segment, and use Firestorm to network and sync them together. This is really the only way to get around the rendering limitations for larger installs.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!