LED Tape pulsating

Aaron S.

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
Hey everyone, I'm having an issue with some LED tape.

I have a billboard in a show I'm working on. There are 4 lights at the bottom. Inside the housings are 2 runs of LED tape. RGBW 12v, and tunable white 24v. I have Environmental Lights DMX decoders for them all. They have DMX down to the first unit and converted to RJ45, and all the units are then daisy chained with RJ45.

The issue that I'm having is when multiple units are on at the same time between 0-99% the LED's pulsate. It seems like they pulse at the same time and rate.

I have tried using a wireless DMX receiver thinking the 5-pin supplying the initial DMX was bad. I even tried isolating 1 unit from the rest to see if it was one of the lines farther down the chain. Nothing has worked.

Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks everyone.
 

theatrewireless

Jim @RC4Wireless #RC4DoesThat
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Location
Raleigh, NC
Can you attach a short video? That would help immensely. I've seen a lot of things go awry, and the core problem is often divulged subtlety by the symptoms.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
When you make that video take some pics of your wireing and the setup.
 
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Aaron S.

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
I am having trouble uploading a video, I should have an image uploaded. I will work more on the video. What is the best file type to upload?

I will also get some pictures of the power supplies and such.
 

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Butch!

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Location
Under there
I have no experience with the particular dimmer/decoder you're using, but have had similar issues with LEDs in the past. I've found that some stuff, due to how it dims things, just doesn't play well with LEDs and they flicker. The solution that's worked for me is to put a very low wattage incandescent lamp in parallel with the LEDs and then the dimmer gets the load it's expecting and the LED flicker goes away.
 

NickVon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Location
07003
I have no experience with the particular dimmer/decoder you're using, but have had similar issues with LEDs in the past. I've found that some stuff, due to how it dims things, just doesn't play well with LEDs and they flicker. The solution that's worked for me is to put a very low wattage incandescent lamp in parallel with the LEDs and then the dimmer gets the load it's expecting and the LED flicker goes away.
Absolutely try this. It looks like that decoder should do the job but it also looks likes it might designed for a heavier load and still needs more load to get into it's ideal zone. a 40-60 lamp wired in addition would be something to try.

We had a similar problem with maybe 12 strands of 100light Christmas lights and they flickered/pulsed at every dmx value. added a 40w Incandescent Bulb the circuit and worked as expected.
 

Butch!

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Location
Under there
Since the decoder/dimmer is operating on 12 volt to 24 volt all that should be needed is a 5 or 7 watt lamp. If nothing else go to an auto parts store and get a tiny marker light lamp, like a 168. They take a funky socket so you might be best buying a few clearance light assemblies, something like this https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/LIT5012593 (about $4) which looks like

There will be two of those 168's in there. Tweak the wiring so that each one has its own positive lead and put one lamp on each LED output (one lamp for every color) and take a wire from the metal strap to the negative terminal on the decoder/dimmer. For the whites which are 24 volt put the wire from one lamp to the positive and the other wire to negative. Don't do anything with the metal strap as it is acting to put the two lamps in series for 24v.

You can put these lamps on the back where they won't be seen or find some other way to mask the light from them (I've been known to leave the red cover on and then spray paint it black to block the light). But if they're going to be on for long periods make sure that what you do won't cause them to heat up too much.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Yeah it can take up to 10 amps. So I would say you prolly aren’t hitting the minimum requirements for them to dim. Especially if you have 1 box per line. You could do a ghost load. Or condense boxes. Or add more strips.

To upload a video send it to YouTube first then upload here.
 
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Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Are you doubling down 12 and 24?
 

DIYLED

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
Location
Palm Springs, California
The DC dimmers usually use MOSFET's which don't require a minimum load. They never use TRIAC's which do require a minimum load. Those are AC components.

I would double-check the wiring of the DMX adapter to RJ45. If it's designed for Colorkinetics equipment, then it will have a different pinout than the more commonly used ESTA standard.

Edit: Another thing worth checking is that the switch for 8-bit/16-bit corresponds to the type of data that is being sent. I've used that dimmer before and continue to use it. It's a really good piece of equipment.

Are those wire colors the same as what's on the LED strip? I've never seen blue used for the positive common wire. It's usually white or black.
 
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