Central RGB Pixel Controller Box Rebuild

I’m rebuilding my main RGB pixel power and data distribution box, leaving room for expansion for next year.

I try to run most of the lights from a central controller box underneath the mega tree. I created a box last year that worked great, but did not have room to expand so I rebuilt it this year using some lessons learned form last year. I also got some new cable glands to hold onto the wires protruding from the box. They don’t make it water tight, but they do hold onto the wires well so they won’t get pulled away from the controller if I happen to accidentally trip over the wires.

I also used a different layout for the internal components. I left room for expansion as I’m sure I’ll add more pixels next year and will need more power supplies. All electronics are mounted to a 1/2″ piece of MDF. The board can not be removed once the wires are attached, but provides a solid base for everything and adds a little weight to the box.

I mounted the controller and expansion board to a piece of PVC “wood” left over from the P10 sign build and oriented that vertically to save some room. It makes it a little hard to make connections, but since that won’t happen a lot, I felt the tradeoff was worth it in space saved. The box is tall enough to add a second controller on top if needed.

I used fuse blocks for power injection distribution for safety. Last year, I totally bypassed power distribution on the controller, but felt I could use it this year for props that don’t need power injection. It does make managing power among the four power supplies a little trickier, but given enough thought and planning, it can be done.

I’d still like to build a small cover for the box as I’m using trash bags and straps to secure it. A cover in the shape of a Snoopy house or Christmas present would hide the box and provide some protection from rain or snow.

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8 thoughts on “Central RGB Pixel Controller Box Rebuild

  1. Rob

    Hey bud am a fan!
    I am wanting to break in to the rbg pixel light
    I want to run em across roof line of my house Maybe outline a
    Few windows n such
    My problem is what all do I need to get started I’ve watched several videos some
    Are helpful some aren’t plz help a noob get started lol
    Thanks

  2. Dog Father Post author

    Thanks Rob! Start here and see if that doesn’t help. But generally, pixels, a controller, power supply and a computer & software.

  3. Rob

    Thanks that dose help idk how I missed that video
    So I figured I’d probably need a couple thousand pixels to outline my house and maybe a few yard ornaments

    I’ve seen most ppl only run 125/150 pixels strings,my other question would be how many power supplies would I need to power all Thai and how many strings can run off a single power supply if I ran em @30% like you’ve suggested

  4. Dog Father Post author

    The power supplies I recommend are the Mean Well brand. This 12V power supply http://amzn.to/2kaWnLC is rated at about 30A, but I would use around 25 for calculations. Since pixels have 3 LEDs in each node, 100% brightness running white (all three LEDs on) pulls the most power so roughly .06 amps per node. So a 100-node string would be about 6 amps at 100% or about 2 amps at 30%. Different strings require slightly different power so depending on the string, the number may be a little off, but it’s a good guideline to use.

    So, 25 amps should power about 1,250 nodes. Again, you’d need to measure to make sure not to exceed the limits of the power supply and your particular strings, but that is a good guide to start with for planning purposes. Also, string placement may require a separate power supply so it also depends on where the strings are located. If a string is pretty far away from the rest of your display, you’ll likely need a power supply for that string and some way to get the data signal to them.

  5. Rob

    That clears up several questions I had thank you very much for the information so here’s my plain for my first rgb light experience

    Im gonna order a falconf16v3
    3 meanwell power supplies.1 for controler
    And 2 for the pixels nd some extra wire for the pixels
    I should have plenty of wire at home for power injection
    That everything I’d. Need as far as hardware I have a raspberry pi Ann’s several laptops and data cat5/7 cable

  6. Dog Father Post author

    Sounds good. You said 1 power supply for the controller. If you are running 12V pixels, you should be able to power the controller with the power supply connected to the right bank (V2). The controller doesn’t pull much and you should have plenty of overhead (unless you’re maxing out that power supply with pixels). If it’s 5V, then a separate power supply is recommended.

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