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Thread: Neopixel and CrystalFocus X

  1. #1

    Default Neopixel and CrystalFocus X

    I have been absent from the forum for a long time, and have not constructed many sabers, but I wanted to get back into it and found a new world of technologies, quite frankly, overwhelming.
    So I find myself in need of advice from those more knowledgeable in electronics.
    I am trying to put together a Neopixel blade driven by a CrystalFocus X board. My concern is with the power draw, and what battery pack is the appropriate power source.
    If I understand correctly from reading about Li-ion batteries, there is an inverse relationship between the battery capacity (mAh) and the maximum safe power drawn from it. In other words, if I want to draw a lot of current (Amps), then I have to go to lower capacity batteries. My calculation of what a 288 pixels blade will draw puts me at about 4+ Amps, plus the power drawn by the board and the speaker. I have purchased Tim's Panasonic 7.4v Li-ion 3400mAh 18650 Battery Pack, but I am now questioning the wisdom of using this power pack with my setup, and wonder if I should go with the 1400mAh pack instead.

    Can any knowledgeable electronics expert help me with this, please?
    Thank you kindly.
    Born of Sith, seduced by the light.

  2. #2
    Sith Warrior darth_chasm's Avatar
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    Default

    Welcome back! Yeah, the hobby has changed quite a bit. Even in the time I've been active it has changed.

    CFX can run on 3.7v now without any hacks. You'll want to go with the high drain 15A cell. Those have been specifically stocked for pixel setups.

    https://www.thecustomsabershop.com/J...ery-P1451.aspx
    Last edited by darth_chasm; 10-03-2019 at 03:06 PM.
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  3. #3

    Default

    Most of the better batteries for neopixel have a 15A cutoff protection circuit. While most single color blades will draw between 5-9 amps, white blades and some combo color blades will draw 7-12 amps at max. FOC will also push the amps if your FOC is white. So, the TCSS Panasonic 15A cutoff batteries are sufficient for neopixels. Next, you also need to be concerned about the wires to carry that ampload. Wires feeding your neopixel connectors need to be sufficient to carry the amp load. Positive/Negative pixel feeds need to be double 26 or single 22 AWG imo to get the maximum pixies to your pixels. PTFE wire (which is thinner than standard wire) works well for me. I use 30 for speaker/accent feeds. But any power feeds from the battery, RCP, and switches needs to be significant enough to carry the full amp load. Good luck!

    "Let the past die."

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you gents, your input has been quite valuable. It confirms my fears, and I will get the appropriate battery.
    Evey datasheet regarding 3400mAh Panasonic batteries I can find indicates that the maximum discharge rate should not exceed 2C (about 6.8A) regardless of the PCB cut off, and while this may work quite well for an in-hilt LED saber, it would not be fit for a neopixel blade. I will go with the high discharge (15A) cell instead.

    Thanks again!
    Born of Sith, seduced by the light.

  5. #5

    Default

    Ok I'm glad I clicked this but I think I made the same assumption however my order already shipped.
    I bought the dual 18650 7v battery without even considering amp draw or high drain capability.
    Would my build be doomed to fail if I use this battery? Would I see problems or possibly damage the cfx?
    Again thanks for bringing this up.
    Last edited by Jedi Mynock; 04-18-2020 at 09:51 PM.
    NOMING YOUR POWER CABLES

    MHS #1 "Coppertop" currently installing CFX with neopixel!
    MR 616 "Joe Jedi"
    LDM converted Korbanth LS6 (Hero with PC 1.6 and FOC)
    Vintage graflex ANH externally complete, just needs guts
    Disney Savi Saber Peace and Justice (experience was worth it)

  6. #6

    Default

    Yun would need the high Amp drain batteries for a Neopixel setup.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
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    "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

  7. #7

    Default

    You will also risk blowing out you pixels at that voltage. They are all sold as 5v, but optimal output is really around 3.7-4v

  8. #8

    Default

    So the ability of CFX board to run at 7 volts is for traditional in-hilt LED style (xpe2, Cree, tri-reb, etc)?
    Huh.
    I guess I will try to sell the 7v 13650.

    What if I wired 2 of the 15a 3.7v 18650 in parallel to double the run time?
    NOMING YOUR POWER CABLES

    MHS #1 "Coppertop" currently installing CFX with neopixel!
    MR 616 "Joe Jedi"
    LDM converted Korbanth LS6 (Hero with PC 1.6 and FOC)
    Vintage graflex ANH externally complete, just needs guts
    Disney Savi Saber Peace and Justice (experience was worth it)

  9. #9

    Default

    Just plan your build for removable batteries. Will save you lots of headaches.
    TCSS MODERATOR
    All n00bs READ these first (PLEASE)!!!:
    1. Forum Guidelines
    2. FJK痴 泥own and Dirty guide to Ohm痴 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

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Forgetful Jedi Knight View Post
    Just plan your build for removable batteries. Will save you lots of headaches.
    Yeah, agreed with FJK here. Independent charging of your parallel cells could be problematic and potentially dangerous. Run time is an easy cat to skin, adding more batteries inside your hilt isn't necessarily the easiest/safest way to accomplish that.

    "Let the past die."

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