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Thread: Wire Gauge for Neo Pixel

  1. #1

    Default Wire Gauge for Neo Pixel

    Hello All,
    I'm currently building a Neo Pixel with 26 gauge wire, but I'm seeing some folks post about using 24 gauge wire for their Neo Pixel builds. Am I okay with the 26?
    And looking ahead, my next build will be a Graflex 2.5 with a 3-D printed chassis. The chassis manual recommends 30 gauge wire, but this seems to be too small to handle the current to drive the strips. So what's the smallest gauge wire that would run a two strip set up?
    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default

    Hey there! I used 26 gauge on my most recent two-strip neopixel build. I was going to use 28g but I changed my mind for the sake of security. For the Graflex. I don’t know how you’re gonna make that work. If you’re using a GOTH Knight Chassis, for example. The wiring requires some tight space, which is why the 30g or even 32g is recommended. If I remember correctly, there should only be 4 wires coming from the neopixel connector, being a joined POS (+), two NEG (-), and the DAT line, correct? It could work in the Graflex with some fiddling, good luck!

  3. #3

    Default

    If it is a single lead, 24awg is generally recommended as the minimum. 30awg is not sufficient, 32awg is definitely not acceptable.

    I'm not sure why you would have 4 wires with the PCB still connectors. You should have either one each for +/-/data, or double up both power lines for current carrying.

  4. #4
    Owner of the Custom Saber shop Strydur's Avatar
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    Default

    I did a quick test using a power supply and a load generator. Keep in mind this is all tested with the wire we sell and could be different for the same thickness wire in a different brand. You would also get different results with longer or shorter wire, etc..

    3" long 24 gauge
    10A - Ok
    15A - Hot
    20A - Melt Casing

    3" long 26 gauge
    10A - Ok
    15A - Melt casing
    20A - Catch Fire

    3" long 28 gauge
    10A - Melt casing
    15A - Catch Fire
    Tim
    The Custom Saber Shop

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks Tim! So would you be splitting the current if you have the two leads coming off the Neo-pixel PCB? Two each for neg and pos?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeForce View Post
    Thanks Tim! So would you be splitting the current if you have the two leads coming off the Neo-pixel PCB? Two each for neg and pos?
    Correct.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
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    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
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  7. #7

    Default

    So, since I am using the Panasonic 3.7 li-ion 10 amp from TCSS, and I plan to run two wires from each the positive and negative of the hilt side neo-pixel PCB, I should be okay with 26 gauge wire as they would only be handling about 5 amps each. Is this reasoning correct?

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeForce View Post
    So, since I am using the Panasonic 3.7 li-ion 10 amp from TCSS, and I plan to run two wires from each the positive and negative of the hilt side neo-pixel PCB, I should be okay with 26 gauge wire as they would only be handling about 5 amps each. Is this reasoning correct?
    That is correct.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK’s “Down and Dirty” guide to Ohm’s Law

    "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before... you want blindingly bright, super loud, running 1138 blinkies off of the cheapest sound card you can find AND you want all of it to run on a battery the size of a dime, and run for a very, VERY long time. That one cracks me up every time..."
    My email: fjk_tcss@yahoo.com

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strydur View Post
    I did a quick test using a power supply and a load generator. Keep in mind this is all tested with the wire we sell and could be different for the same thickness wire in a different brand. You would also get different results with longer or shorter wire, etc..

    3" long 24 gauge
    10A - Ok
    15A - Hot
    20A - Melt Casing

    3" long 26 gauge
    10A - Ok
    15A - Melt casing
    20A - Catch Fire

    3" long 28 gauge
    10A - Melt casing
    15A - Catch Fire
    Thanks for doing this test. Now I see that as long as I stick to using the 10A 18650 battery that TCSS sells then I know I'll be fine in my NP build if I stick to 26 gauge or thicker since any more current will cause the battery's over-current protection to kick in before anything can fry.
    Last edited by JakeSoft; 12-09-2018 at 09:36 AM.

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