Hi all, potentially stupid question.
I'm using some ws2812b led strips on the front of the house. Had them installed for months and they've been ok using nodemcu's and 3 core pond wire (because it's uv-resistant). I also enlisted the use of a sacrificial LED.
Distance between the controller's sac-led and the first strip is about 3 metres. Works ace (still). 2nd one has a distance of approx 5 metres. This initially (for months) worked fine. Now I seem to be getting the flickery data-loss isssue. I'm assuming it's down to electrical interference.
Someone recommended using twisted pair cat 6 instead.
Can anyone please tell me in idiot terms how would be the best way to connect the wiring (data, ground, pwr). Thanks!
Hello, just to better understand your set up, what is the total length of the strips?
are you power injecting on the second strip? or is run in series from the previous strip?
How many LEDs in your strip and the Amp output of your power supply ?
I have been playing around with a pixel blaze controller for some WS2811's and went through most of these questions when fault-finding my set up.
2 strips. One per board.
No power injection. Was working fine.
Length is 4m each.
Psu is way overkill. 60amp.
Twisted pair may or may not help. If you are running data direct from the nodemcu then you are already underpowered (3.5v vs 5v recommended). Short runs are ok but as you found out, longer runs will die. If you don't want to tackle the electronics involved (such as soldering in a level shifter) I'd recommend something like the dig-uno board which is all set up to run these lights. I don't know what firmware you are using but these come with WLED flashed.
Roger that and yeah tad over kill on the amps, lol.
as far as i'm aware, using a sacrificial led is akin to using a level shifter, which i've already done. initially the 5 m run wouldn't operate properly as i'd expected (flickering, data loss). Banging in the sac-led solved it. worked since pre-december.
suddenly this isn't 100% anymore, and gut's telling me it's interference rather than bad connections. which is supposed to be potentially solvable with some twisted pair instead of my ghetto pond wire.
also, oddly, noticed last night that the patterns were pretty solid again. not perfect, but not far off. i bet my backside that if i pop out and take a look now this morning, it'll be patchy again.
there has to be a reason.....
Not 100% sure, but I don't think a null node will convert your signal to 5v. They can help by cleaning up the signal before sending it along. The location of that node can make a difference too as I recall.
How confident are you of your connections? I've pulled my hair out before trying to track down intermittent lighting problems as you've described and it usually, for me, comes down to a bad connection somewhere.
If your wire is in good shape with sufficient capacity, it is most likely not the problem.
Twisted pair can work by combining strands for + & -, but I wouldn't split the data signal between multiple strands.
odd. I've swapped the top/bottom around, and now suddenly, all is working ace.
could it have been a bad ground aka flaky ground causing data return errors?
I have found the 2811's and some strands of 2812's to be a bit sensitive to signal return issues.
Glad it is working again.
Who knows man, it's odd. I wouldn't be confident betting that all of this remains a-ok. In the past, intermittent probs are usually power related. Or interference.
ahhh it is working on the "FM" principle (Freaking Magic).
I remember that from my radio fault finding, take the radio apart to look for the issue, cant find it, put it back together, test, works......hmmmm.