WS2801 LED strip - connect power without data/clock and vice versa

Hey everybody,

I'm currently working on my project with an WS2801 LED strip and wondered if it is critically to only connect the data/clock respectively only power/ground. I have in mind that I read something about it in any thread, but I can't find it again.

I just want to go sure that I can plug off the power while the strips are still connected to the board.

Thanks!

I just want to go sure that I can plug off the power while the strips are still connected to the board.

You can't. As a general rule you must never apply signals to a chip that is not powered up. This can easily destroy the chip. Power with no signal is fine.

Okay, thanks for that! So is there a way to ensure this anyhow? So the Strip is connected to the board but the signals won't go through while power is not connected. Is there a suitable component?

Thanks a lot!

You could have an open collector non inverting buffer with a pull up resistor on the strip power side.

Okay thanks, I will take a look at it.

The practical answer is to use a properly regulated 5 V supply which is suitably rated to power the LED chain and which can also power the Arduino via the 5 V pin.

Both are then always powered together.