I'm putting together a project proposal and need to finalize my plans for budget before I can actually do any testing or building. I've chained RGB LEDs before, but have never used this much power over this size area.
Briefly, I'm putting together an outdoor interactive light display that will be played by an electric piano in various effects. The piano will connect to my laptop, then to an uno that will shift out to 88 Megabrites:http://docs.macetech.com/doku.php/megabrite
Each Megabrite will be hung our housed on the ground inside a paper lantern. At the scale in the layout below, each gray circle is about 24" in diameter.
Here is my layout plan:
I'm mostly worried about voltage drop over these distances and would like feedback on setup options I'm thinking of.
The diameter of the circle is 80'
The longest distance between Megabrites will be roughly 10' (all connections will be 10' to modularize construction)
Because of the zigzag, I'm guessing about 45' from power supply to the end of each direct power line
Each Megabrite can pull 300mA - 88 will pull 26.4A
22 Megabrites (each quadrant) would pull 6.6A
They recommend a chain of 5 or less MegaBrites to avoid voltage drop
They can handle between 5.5V and 9V
If all 88 are connected to the same power source, and I need 30A, I will probably need 10AWG or 8AWG to handle it and reduce drop as much as possible. I'm not sure I want to spring for 200ft of 8/2 wire if it makes more sense to use 4 power supplies at 8A each and go with cheaper 12/2 wire. Is that a legitimate concern or am I over complicating it? Would the trade off make sense? Any recommended power supplies for this application?
Also should since they can handle 9V should I go for that so I have the freedom to drop all the way down to 5.5V at the furthest load?