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Thread: what did I do wrong with my ESPixel Pops?

  1. #41
    Frosty member mrGrumpy's Avatar
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    Where would you mount the fan
    Iím in Therapy......Playing with these lights is cheaper than a psychiatrist

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    Pops devices do not have much room for a heatsink.
    Attachment 14823
    Fold up some aluminum foil and screw it on and then attach a mini heat sink on the side?

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptKirk View Post
    U1 (the TO-220) gets voltage straight from the input power - i.e. 12v when the pixels are 12v. I worry that causes a LOT of heat and therefore can cause it to fail. The 5V regulator is better at 12v in but with the TO220 [correction TO-92] form factor, it too can get hot although the current output is minimal.




    No not on the pixel pop but "other" designs I know about do use a bigger 5v regulator and use the 5v to feed the 3.3v regulator.

    Attachment 14822
    From http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com...sSchematic.pdf



    The 5v regulator is used to create the required 5v logic level for the data to the pixels (via the 2n7000 transistor). IT does not require a lot of power to do this so the 100ma regulator is fine in this case. HOWEVER, it also means it cannot be used for dropping the 12v to something the 3.3v regulator can handle better.



    A heatsink would be a good idea but negates the small form factor design purpose of the board. The other design builds the heat sinks into big copper planes on the board. See the previous pictures.
    That one is not great - but something like this is:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-21x15...3/113054098164



    That is what we do here!!
    Thanks a lot for the schematic, and the technical expertise, I now have a better understanding how the controller works.

    I think this little Pixel Pops is an amazing inexpensive controller. I have a few in 5V applications in PVC pipes with no heatsink and they work great. Maybe the heatsink is not that important at that voltage.
    The only road block has been with this first 12V application, but I understand others are using 12V with success as well, so I'll try again when I get new boards. If an heatsink is needed for that voltage, there is indeed not much space to work with; mounting the connector underneath is not a bad idea.

    Thank you again to all for all the feedback and ideas received, I really appreciate it.

  4. #44
    Frosty member mrGrumpy's Avatar
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    Bernard....the LM1117 is a hardy device, and can take a lot of heat, but, at 12V, if you stick it into a small pipe; there is no place to exhaust the heat.
    Typically 1" thin wall is used, but if you increase the size of your pipe to help heat dissipation, the wall size starts hampering the radio range/reliability.
    Suggest using a larger enclosure - just be prepared for HOT to touch 110-120 degree F - spec's says it is good for 248 degree F.
    Iím in Therapy......Playing with these lights is cheaper than a psychiatrist

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrGrumpy View Post
    Bernard....the LM1117 is a hardy device, and can take a lot of heat, but, at 12V, if you stick it into a small pipe; there is no place to exhaust the heat.
    Typically 1" thin wall is used, but if you increase the size of your pipe to help heat dissipation, the wall size starts hampering the radio range/reliability.
    Suggest using a larger enclosure - just be prepared for HOT to touch 110-120 degree F - spec's says it is good for 248 degree F.
    Thank you for this info and for the advice. Not sure what enclosure I will use yet but as you indicated the 1" pvc pipe might not be ideal.

    I did receive new boards and built a new 12V ESPixel Pops mini and had no issue with it... Really no idea what happened with the first one I built.

    Thanks again to all for all the input. Really appreciated.

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