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Topic: WS2812B strips for exterior xmas lights help (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

scottransell

Need some help here. I am new and not experienced here. I bought seven rolls of WS2812B 5050 RGB LED Strip Waterproof 5M Individual Addressable 5V Dream Color Changing M*150 300 LEDs
Now I want to run them all together around my out side of my house.
I know that I will need to hook extra power to every second strip for power drop so the lights wont become dim.
Here is a few questions I have what Arduino would I use and what program would I need for displaying these lights for different holidays.
Also I keep reading about putting a capacitor between the lights and the Arduino for voltage drop? what size and voltage would be needed here. Also resistors between each strands of lights same question what Ohms would I need if required.
Any help would be required here and I wouldn't mind making this wireless if possible.
Thanks for any advice Scott

Qdeathstar

#1
Dec 23, 2017, 03:17 pm Last Edit: Dec 23, 2017, 04:45 pm by Qdeathstar
oh boy.

This a not an easy task.  It can be done. It requires a lot of planning.

My personal thoughts are than ws2812 is not a great choice for this because they require tight timing, and when writing out large arrays of leds that gives you less time for other things. A they are also more susceptible to noise.

I would go for ws2801 or APA104

Also, this project will required high current. You will need to fuse the current. Each strip needs to be powered from both ends so you don't have voltage drop. Zhou should put a 5amp glass fuse at each injection point. 

the data line need to be ran with the ground line at all times and if there are breaks in the strips (e.g. to move to a different eve) you should run shielded cable.

i would get some aluminum channel to put the strips in to protect them. Aliexpress has a lot of different types. I bought them off aliexpress and the had them powder coated white locally. Then glue they give you isn't strong enough. I screwed the channel to my siding, then used 3m gorilla tape to attach the leds to the track.

I used an esp8266 to drive them, and to act as a wordless receiver. This works ok for ws2801s but it's not ideal and probably won't work for ws2812 because of the tight timing requirements and the fact that the esp8266 watchdog takes over the clock to do wifi things.

I would have the esp8266 handle comms and then communicate with a teensy using serial to write out the leds. You also need a level shifter to bring the 3.3v signal up to 5v.

If you don't have much experience expect it take about a year to get everything working, but i've been working on it about 2 years now and i'm still tinkering. I keep mine up all year long, they mostly are white for general lighting, and i've got programs for all the different holidays.
A creaking creeping shadow
stiff against the freezing fog
glares at a tickless watch.

Time has failed him -- all things shall pass.

artisticforge

Need some help here. I am new and not experienced here. I bought seven rolls of WS2812B 5050 RGB LED Strip Waterproof 5M Individual Addressable 5V Dream Color Changing M*150 300 LEDs
Now I want to run them all together around my out side of my house.
I know that I will need to hook extra power to every second strip for power drop so the lights wont become dim.
Here is a few questions I have what Arduino would I use and what program would I need for displaying these lights for different holidays.
Also I keep reading about putting a capacitor between the lights and the Arduino for voltage drop? what size and voltage would be needed here. Also resistors between each strands of lights same question what Ohms would I need if required.
Any help would be required here and I wouldn't mind making this wireless if possible.
Thanks for any advice Scott

Sorry, it is not clear how many LED in total you have. 300 LED per roll would be 2700 LED total for 7 rolls.
You will need a serious 5 volts power supply or several power supply. if you do use several power supply be sure to tie all the grounds together to prevent potential issues.

that many LED you are going to need multiple arduino. The Arduino Due, would be my first choice.
It has the most memory of all the Arduino. assuming that each LED needs 24 bits for RGB, the memory requirements will be large. a roll of 300 LED would require 900 bytes of memory. 7 rolls will require 6,300 bytes just for RGB data.

I have found that 300 LED per 5 Meters really need to have power supplied to each strip.

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CrossRoads

Each LED needs 3 bytes.
300 LED/strip needs 900 bytes, x 7 strips = 6300 bytes.
You can drive each string individually with the FastLED.h library from 7 IO pins.
Atmega1284P has 16384 bytes, can store current image and next to be sent out.

However, if each one is far from the Arduino, I'd consider adding a line driver at the Arduino and a line receiver at the end of the string. Something in the RS485 family, with twisted pair in a shielded/grounded cable.
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/maxim-integrated/MAX485CPA/MAX485CPA-ND/948026

"Any help would be required here and I wouldn't mind making this wireless if possible."
In that case, you will need an Arduino at the receiving end to receive (accumulate) the 900 bytes so they can be sent in one continuous burst to the LED string.
I'm not sure what the best transmitter/ multi-receiver combo setup is best for that.


Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

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