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Distance between pixels in DotStar strip
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Distance between pixels in DotStar strip

by nautalis on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:59 am

I have been asked to build a fake server rack as a prop for a studio set. My plan is to mount face plates from servers and switches to the rack with LEDs behind the status lights. There will be around 30 LEDs needed that can cycle colors, are dimmable, and simulate activity/POST sweeps. I would like to use a DotStar strip for this. My question is, will the DotStar strip function properly if each pixel in the strip is separated throughout a single 6ft tall server rack? Will power requirements need to be increased over a 5v2a source?

nautalis
 
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Re: Distance between pixels in DotStar strip

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:06 am

will the DotStar strip function properly if each pixel in the strip is separated throughout a single 6ft tall server rack?

That should be possible. Instead of cutting up a strip, you might also consider our Neopixel MiniPCBs: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1612

5v/2A should be plenty for 30 pixels.

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Re: Distance between pixels in DotStar strip

by nautalis on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:00 pm

Thank you for suggesting the Neopixel MiniPCBs. It looks to be an easier product to work with compared to cutting up a strip. In the description for that product it states ribbon cable will allow the pixels to be up to 6 inches apart. My plan is to use scraps of cat5 cable to wire up the project. Would this cable allow longer distances between pixels? I am planning on a maximum of 18 inches between LED locations depending on how the face plates are laid out in the rack.

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Re: Distance between pixels in DotStar strip

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:10 pm

Ribbon cable wire is usually pretty thin (26AWG) and can't carry much current. Cat-5 is usually 24AWG, so it can handle a bit more. It is also possible to feed power to multiple points along the strand to assure good power distribution.

Neopixel signals don't drive long distance well. But with Cat-5 twisted pairs you should be OK. Use one pair for signal and ground and another for power and ground between pixels.

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