Putting led's behind each 5.1 speaker (Finally with pics; page 2)

Wayne00

Active Member
Hi,

I'm new to all this! I have a 5.1 system in my bedroom, I want to put short LED strips behind each one and have them all connected to a single IR controller so they all respond the same!

Obviously my speakers are all around the room, how would I say utilize this kit to make all 5 speakers and my sub light up? Can I just cut the strip up into smaller strips, buy some extra wire and solder the wire onto each individual strip, and then solder them all into the controller? Would that work?

Thanks for any advice!
 
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supraTTman

Banned
Yes - in a nutshell! Just buy some 4 core cable or better still make your own - it will be thinner to run under carpets etc. I use Red Green Blue and Black 16/0.2mm twisted with an electric drill. Just connect all the Reds together, all the Blues together ditto Greens & Blacks.

The flexible strips are quite fragile so don't use too hot an iron. If you remove the (top surface) pads accidently, scrape the lower surface beneath the adhesive, where you will find the 4 conductors that run the entire length of the strip.
 

Wayne00

Active Member
Thanks! I'll give it a go! Do you think the controller will have enough space for me to solder all those lights to it! Will they all be really dim if I did this? (Sharing the power?)
 

supraTTman

Banned
Do you think the controller will have enough space for me to solder all those lights to it! Will they all be really dim if I did this? (Sharing the power?)
You may need to cut off any connectors fitted (e.g 4-pin gold) and wire into a 4-way screw terminal block.

Provided the controller is able to drive the total length of all 5 pieces there won't be any dimming if you use decent wiring.
 

Wayne00

Active Member
This has a csa of only 0.125mm2 - you'll get 0.5V dropped for every meter in length, lighting full-on (for a 60 LED/m strip - half this for 30/m strip). Depends on how long your runs are.
Thanks. Is that much of a drop? What's yours? Would that be noticeable?

So I'll have the controller next to my TV, which means i'll have 6 wires coming from each speakers set of lights going to it.

If I go the same way round my room as the speaker wire, i'll need:

Rear right: 8M,
Rear left 5M
All fronts about 1.5M
Sub 2M

So I need to purchase about 20M of wire? Would it be better to wire all 6 into a block, or splice them down the line so I require less cable? e.g. splice rear left and wire rear right into it?

Also when I cut the strip into segments the correct size, is it hard to access the 4 wires? I'll have to peel back some of the plastic some how? If I cut a segment say 20 led long i'll just be wiring into one end of it? The other end (now exposed because i've cut it?) will be fine? Did you solder the wires to the strips or crimp them somehow? I have a solder iron but if there is a way of using something like a mini block (4 in 4 out) then that would be easier and I could hide if behind the speaker :D

Thanks for your answers mate your really doing me a massive favor and help! (I'd be totally lost on my own and it would be left to trial and error which would prob end up costing me a small fortune for mediocre results!)
 
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Wayne00

Active Member
I can't see the back of this which is frustrating, but do you think this would work or is it way too big for what i'm predicting to be four tiny wires! 10 x WAGO 4 WIRE ELECTRIC PUSH CONNECTOR TERMINAL BLOCK | eBay

Maybe i'm just being way to lazy considering using a block rather than just soldering hehe!

EDIT: So i've read a few other posts on this forum (Your know your stuff!!!!) and you suggested a power supply to another dudes 4 x 5m strips. My speakers are just little ones only 16 cm in height so if I got these, what's the minimum length strip I can cut from it? (Ideally less than 16cm!? :S)

Also i've inspected the design and you can ignore more question (stupid question!) regarding using a block! You can buy little pins as shown in this package? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Multi-Col...ighting_SM&hash=item27bfcae89a#ht_4124wt_1185)

Also as my strips are going to be so small there's no real need to worry about a power supply for the 8m speaker? Or voltage drop over the cable length because the 16cm strip of LED/SMD's won't require much power to work fine vs a full 5M strip?
 
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supraTTman

Banned
This (hopefully!) answers your 2 replies.

For such small speakers, the LED strip currents are tiny, so the flat telephone cable you suggested should be OK.

It will be best if you buy 60 LED/m strip which can be cut every 5cm, 30 LED/m strip can only be cut every 10cm. So with 60/m, 3 off 5cm segments for your 5 speakers would be perfect. You may want to fit a longer length behind your sub because its probably bigger - e.g. run the strip in a square shape around 1cm from the edges.

A small 12V 3A power supply will be more than enough, and this feeds just the controller. The 4 controller output wires (you may need to chop off any connectors - the 4-way gold pins are no good) then feed the speakers in a daisy-chain configuration. Use a 4-way terminal block -see photo.
Run the 4 controller output wires (flat telephone cable) in a big loop, break the loop and feed vertically to each strip behind the speakers, then onto the next. Use a 4-way terminal block to connect the 3 lots of 4-way cable at each vertical feed.

To make life easier, buy strip without a waterproof coating - removal of the coating is tricky unless you have the right tools. Cut the strips to length, then solder the 4 wires (use the individual wires in the flat telephone cable) to one end of the 15cm segment, make sure the 'tail' end of the strip does not have any shorts after cutting.

Simples!:D
 

Attachments

Wayne00

Active Member
Thanks mate!

So that white block is effectively splicing the wires for you?

4 wires in, 8 wires out kinda thing? 4 of the out wires go to the next block at the next speaker and 4 wires go into the 15cm light strip?

Controller--------Block--------Block-------Block------Block--------Block------Block-------Block------Block
l l l l l l l l
Sub Lights Sub Lights Sub Lights Sub Lights Sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4

Does the final block then have to come back around and be connected to the controller?

Is there a block that does 4 in 20 out for the sub lol!!?

EDIT: I knew the spaces wouldn't work. Imagine the lines lined up underneath each block and then the speaker headings below each line!
 

supraTTman

Banned
The terminal block is a screw-terminal type - you strip back the insulation off the wires by 6-8mm, poke them in from each side, then tighten the screws.

The sub lighting can be one long strip that you bend around 4 sides on the rear panel, so you wire it like the other speaker strips. You don't need 20-way blocks.

If you can feed the tail end of the daisy chain back into the controller output feed you'll get a much more even lighting behind all 6 speakers - it's called dual feeding - bit like your house ring main.
 

Wayne00

Active Member
You star. I think i'm all clued up now!

I didn't realise you could send the current going two way around a ring? By wireing the end of the chain to the output of the controller then that's whats happening right? So the most current hits the first and last speakers?

Now I just need to do a little reasearch in what is required to have the bottom of the TV stand a seperate colour from the speakers utilising the rest of the 5M strip! I'm assuming atm a second psu, controller and remote :)

Value for money wise can you suggest a better way than using the telephone cable? I want the wires to look as discrete as possible but not pay £100 a real lol!
 

schford

Novice Member
You could probably use the same PSU!

Might look a bit "interesting" though - suggest you try it with same colour first!
 

Wayne00

Active Member
Is the current not halving at every block or does the lights only draw from the ring system what it requires?

In order to complete the ring and wire it into the out put it would mean doublebacking on itself the same way around the room (to avoid crossing the door) about 9 meters, do you think it's worth it? Excluding the vertical lines, the main chain will therefore be about 18 meters but only powering about 1.5M of lighting total, from experience do you think this will be ok!? Considering the cable drops voltage by 0.5v per meter then if I didn't double back on myself thats 9M x 0.5v = 4.5v drop at the last strip!? 12v - 4.5v = 7.5v at the last strip?

Is this sounding to you like maybe i'll need to amp the signal a bit down the line?
 

Wayne00

Active Member
I'm just confusing myself now; the terminal block you mentioned has screws in? I figure for every section one imput gives 2 output? So where are the clamp screws in you attached picture? Underneath and not pictured?

On ebay there only seems to be 12 way strips, do I buy these and cut them down? They come in various amp values what should I be looking for? Anything as long as it's over 3A?

Thanks :)
 

Wayne00

Active Member
I now understand that the entire system only pulls from the power supply what it requires at any one time. I'm still very uncertain about connecting the tail end back to the controller out put though, surely you are then sending current two ways around the loop! Not good!? Did you mean to say connect the tail end to the controller imput?
 
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supraTTman

Banned
You star. I think i'm all clued up now!

I didn't realise you could send the current going two way around a ring? By wireing the end of the chain to the output of the controller then that's whats happening right? So the most current hits the first and last speakers?

Now I just need to do a little reasearch in what is required to have the bottom of the TV stand a seperate colour from the speakers utilising the rest of the 5M strip! I'm assuming atm a second psu, controller and remote :)

Value for money wise can you suggest a better way than using the telephone cable? I want the wires to look as discrete as possible but not pay £100 a real lol!
For the TV stand, you'll need a seperate controller - Schford is absolutely correct - you can use one psu to feed two LED controllers since your total strip lengths are small.

CAT5/6 cable may be OK - you can double up the 8 wires to half the wire resistance. Or use 4 colours of 16/0.2mm untwisted for lower profile.
 

supraTTman

Banned
Is the current not halving at every block or does the lights only draw from the ring system what it requires?

In order to complete the ring and wire it into the out put it would mean doublebacking on itself the same way around the room (to avoid crossing the door) about 9 meters, do you think it's worth it? Excluding the vertical lines, the main chain will therefore be about 18 meters but only powering about 1.5M of lighting total, from experience do you think this will be ok!? Considering the cable drops voltage by 0.5v per meter then if I didn't double back on myself thats 9M x 0.5v = 4.5v drop at the last strip!? 12v - 4.5v = 7.5v at the last strip?

Is this sounding to you like maybe i'll need to amp the signal a bit down the line?
No - the current doesn't half - the LED controller outputs a constant voltage. The strips pull whatever current they need.
18m is fine - the voltage drop calculations given earlier assumed you'd be using 5m of flexible strip - so forget these now.
You certainly don't need an RGB Amplifier
 

supraTTman

Banned
I'm just confusing myself now; the terminal block you mentioned has screws in? I figure for every section one imput gives 2 output? So where are the clamp screws in you attached picture? Underneath and not pictured?

On ebay there only seems to be 12 way strips, do I buy these and cut them down? They come in various amp values what should I be looking for? Anything as long as it's over 3A?

Thanks :)
The terminal block has screws inside the nylon 'chimneys' - buy a 12-way and chop into 3 pieces of 4-way. 3A rating is more than enough.
 

supraTTman

Banned
I now understand that the entire system only pulls from the power supply what it requires at any one time. I'm still very uncertain about connecting the tail end back to the controller out put though, surely you are then sending current two ways around the loop! Not good!? Did you mean to say connect the tail end to the controller imput?
As I said earlier, the LED controller ouputs a constant voltage. When this voltage is 'delivered' to 18m of wiring, there will be a voltage drop all along the length of the wire. The tail end will have the largest voltage drop. So if you connect this tail end back to the LED controller output, such that the first strips connect to the last strips, you get a dual-feed action which will boost the tail-end lights.
 

Wayne00

Active Member
Thanks mate, by connecting the tail end to the output as well, is current going around the circuit 2 ways? But this is ok because the 18M's will only pull what it needs from the shortest distance possible? In my head these two currents of electricity are hitting each other about half way around the loop but I appreciate this is wrong!

So i'll order:
Terminal block: Terminal Blocks 3A 12way(cut to smaller lengths)10 pcs | eBay

White 4 core telephone cable: 4 Core Flat White Phone/Telephone Cable/Wire 150M Reel | eBay

Led's (Can't see any non waterproof ones?) Multi Color RGB Flash SMD 300 LED Strip Light 5M+REMOTE LD045 | eBay

psu: FOR 12V 3A EEE ASUS PC 1000HG LAPTOP CHARGER AC ADAPTER | eBay

And that should be it as the kit says it comes with a psu lead so shouldn't need one of those! I'm getting there thanks to your help, i'll be sure to post up the results!
 

Wayne00

Active Member
So i've been to B&Q today to get a bit more of a physical understanding about cables and terminals etc. Ended up picking up some 3A terminal blocks and some Tower 4 core telephone wire. I paid £20 for 100m, this stuff: B&Q - Tower Flex 4 Core Telephone D2PAIR White 0.5mm x 100m customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings

Now compared to the 1.0mm^2 4 core cable, on this cable each individual wire is very thin indeed! My first thought was that even the small 3A terminal blocks may have trouble trapping each individual wire but that's not the case and the terminal blocks work fine with them.

I guess this stuff should be fine seeing as we are only putting 12v through it? It does have a warning on the front though saying "Not for mains use!" but I guess this is to stop people putting 240v through it!!!?

I thought i'd test the integrity of each individual core by using one of those screwdrivers that light up if you complete a circuit (I used my thumb on the end and touched the wire the other end with my other hand to make a circuit as I didn't want to remove too much from the 100M reel incase I end up returning it!

Now the issue is, they all light up no matter which core I connect my 'body' circuit to! Although when I connect the Blue to Blue core the led in my screwdriver lights up a lot more (as it should do!) there is still a faint glow if I connect the Orange to the Blue in my 'body' circuit! This suggests that somewhere down the 100m the wires are touching a little and/or voltage is seeping between cables!!? This may be acceptable for telephone use but for LED lighting what do you think!? I guess this means if I set my lights to 100% Blue i'll get seepage of the signal to the other colours so will end up with like 95% Blue, 2.5% red and 2.5%yellow!? (I assume the led's are just the three primary colours?)

So what do you think guys? The 1.0mm2 stuff is bulkier and £38 per 25M from B&Q and I might need just over 25M of it which would be a pain. I'd prefer to use this stuff if it works ok because it's more discrete trailing up my walls but it would be £20 wasted if it doesn't!
 

supraTTman

Banned
Your total strip lengths of 15cm x 5 speakers = 75cm + sub say 60cm in a 15cm square loop = 135cm total.

60 LED/m RGB strip is spec'd at 14.4W/m, so in your case, total power is 14.4 x 1.35 = 20W. Divide this figure by 12 (Volts) to get current = 1.6A.

0.5mm cable will drop 0.055V for every meter at 1.6A. So 18m will drop 1V.

So, whilst this doesn't sound much, this is the drop for one of our Red, Green & Blue lines. If all 3 colours are on maximum (i.e. white), all 3 RG&B wires are dropping 1V, however, the V+ line is carrying all 3 currents, so it will drop 3 times this, i.e. 3V. So the tail end LED's only see 12V - 1V - 3V = 8V and this emphasises the need to dual feed when you use thin wires. The currents don't collide - they add together.

Regarding your testing of the wires - you have just discovered a thing called capacitance. Two long wires running together will have a small amount of capacitance between them, and your tester works at AC. So the signal it sends down one wire will couple over to the next wire - that's why you get a lower 'reading'. RGB lighting is DC and capacitors don't pass on dc. So don't worry about it! Don't get too bogged down.:confused:
 

Wayne00

Active Member
Awesome, I've discovered something!!!! Lol

I'll have just under 4M of lighting left and i've decided to use some of it for under my TV stand, and I would like it to be a different colour so i'll be ordering a separate controller and remote. What splitter lead will I need to wire two controllers into one PSU? I take it if I only want one set of lights on I can turn an individual controller off/on?

I'll still use the thin wire I have (I'll do my speakers first so will see if all is OK!) as the strip I need to go all the way around the base of my TV stand is about 1.6M, while a longer strip than the combined speakers strips (1.4M) the total length of this circuit will me massively shorter as my controller will be positioned on the TV stand itself.

My three front speakers are very close together and situated on wall brackets just above a shelf. Will it be ok to have the main circuit on the floor, then run one cable vertical up the wall to my shelf where I can attach the terminal block under (To hide it) which gives out three feeds, one to each speaker? My small concern is that i'll be over working that individual cable running up the wall; however after studying all your replies and what I have learnt thus far is that no matter how it's wired that cable will only ever have 45cm of lights to power so it should be fine (This is less than the individual cable going to my sub anyway!)

So this cable will have 14.4 x 0.45 = 6.48W, 6.48W/12V = 0.54A going through it which means the 3A terminal block should be fine as well as the cable (Although I'm not certain what the maximum current the cables can handle i'm certain it's more than 0.54A)

There we go i've answered my own question, see i'm learning mate!

Random unrelated question you may be able to answer to save me putting up a new thread

I have a police light, you know the blue one that spins that sticks to the roof of your car via a massive magnet that's i'd like to get added and working as a feature in my room. It came with just two leads leaving it a red and black, and a sticker underneath saying "12V DC". So my first thought was to solder on a cigarette lighter plug thing to it and try it out to see if it works in the car. This lights it up just about and spins the motor in it really slowly.

So to wire it in the house i'll need a 12v power supply, however wouldn't know what wattage to get, is there anyway I could work it out? I'll also look into getting a variable slide controller for it just so I can speed it up and slow it down :) The fact that it was really crap in the car which is 12v could suggest it's just broken and that even if I put 12v of DC through it in the house it may not even work! Just wondered if you had a suggestion :)

You mentioned compiling a master thread explaining all the basics of LED lighting etc to help everyone out. I think a lot of the questions I have asked most other beginners would be wondering so I deffo think you could reference this thread in your master guide when you get round to it to help out others :)

Thanks for all your help & patience,
Wayne
 
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supraTTman

Banned
The PSU you are proposing has a 1.7mm power socket on the end of the 12V lead. 1.7mm will probably be too small for LED controllers - they are usually 2.1mm or 2.5mm. You'll need to chop off the 1.7mm jobby, buy a couple of 2.1/2.5mm sockets (e.g. Maplin) and solder wires to these to connect to your psu lead. Make sure you get the polarity right - centre pin is usually positive. You'll also need a clover mains lead also - see ad - these can be expensive. Yes - you can power either or both circuits up independently.

You're learning fast regarding your calculations :smashin:

Fuzz light

Cigarette lighter sockets are notoriously bad when pulling large currents, which you will be with a motor & light.

First establish that it works properly - connect the wires straight onto a car battery. If it works OK, there's only 1 way to assess how much current it needs (and hence the power supply requirements) and that is to buy a cheap DVM with a 10A DC current range - there are loads on fleabay.

To measure the current, connect the ammeter in series with the fuzz lamp (from the car battery), then buy the appropriate power supply. At a guess, I would expect it tol be around 5-6A. It will be difficult to slow this motor down without fancy electronics because you'll need a 5A (or whatever) 12V dimmer than can work with heavy inductive loads. A PWM dimmer module is probably your best bet. There are PWM LED controllers that may be suitable and this would involve wiring all 3 RG&B channels together via diodes so they work in harmony - to get the current drive capabilitly. Some diodes across the motor would also be needed since inductive loads (motors) generate high reverse voltages which can destroy the power transistors (MOSFETS) driving them. This is 3rd year student material.:eek:
 
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