Review of 50m WS2811

Hello, I would like some opinion and peer review on the wiring and the overall feasibility of a project I have going on. It is quite a big project (50m of ws2811 LEDs). I have tried to be as detailed as possible on my diagram.

I have 2 power supplies of 12V 600W. Each pair of LED strips (10m) should be 180W Max. There is a third level shifter which I couldn’t fit in the diagram but it would come out of one of the ESP32 boards and would feed the 5th strip.

My main questions and review required are:

  • Power injection method
  • Level shifter
  • Common ground connections.

Please correct anything I have done wrong and any suggestion is appreciated.

I would put the fuses close to the power supply end. It would protect more of the wiring.

Why a 3rd level shifter? The ones you have listed have 4 outputs on them.

Thanks for your answer. Yeah indeed the fuses will go as close to the power supply as possible. I just ‘drew’ them there to make it more clear since close to the power supply they would have been bunched up in the image.

Regarding the level shifter. I looked at: Other Hardware - WLED Project
And didn’t really see how to use all 4 outputs for a single board; since GPIO signals would go to 3A and 4A with data out at 3Y and 4Y but the image had 3/4A connected to GND. To utilize 4 outputs I would connect 3/4A to GPIO instead of GND? How about when using one level shifter for 3 GPIOs? Leaving the other for 2 GPIOs which I can follow the website for.

Also, you see any problem with the power injection method? All guides online use a second V+ V- of their power supply. I’m hooking them to the same V+ V- that would power the first LED of that strip.

The extra levelshifter inputs are often shown as grounded and the extra ~OE’s are taken to 5V.
This is done to make sure the inputs aren’t left “floating” as that will potentially pickup noise tha can be transferred to the LED data stream.

You can use all or some of the “A” inputs on the '125 chips. The inputs need to connect to a GPIO (from either ESP board) or ground if not used. When connecting to another board, make sure you maintain common ground between the 2 ESP’s. If you’re thinking about future expansion, you could also look at the 74AHCT245 which will give you up to 8 outputs on 1 chip (check the knowledgebase)

As far as power supply wiring, the biggest issue at the PS end is to make sure you have good contact between your multiple injection lines and the PS terminals. You probably want to crimp (or solder) on a ring spade or fork spade connector. That will let you properly stack injection wires on a single screw terminal. Alternatively you may need to attach a distribution bus of some kind.

Thank you for your review, specially regarding level shifter.

Regarding the ESP32 boards I think I can do fine with just 1 board for the 5 strips. What do you think? If not, I will make sure to connect common ground. Tbh to ensure correct sync I think I prefer to use a single board.

For the PSU part, yes I will make sure the connection is secure to the PSU. I will look into distribution bus to see if it will help. I think solder and fork connection is better option.

As far as the total number of LEDs you’re trying to drive and how many ESP’s to use?

I count 600 LEDs/strip and 5 strips, so 3000 LEDs in total.
A single ESP can definitely generate data to drive that many.
The only question will be how quickly can it update the whole set depending on the effects you’re looking to use.

The KB has some guidelines: Multi Strip support
I’d definitely suggest a 74AHCT245 levelshifter as that will handle 5 strips with ease and leave you room for 3 more (remember to ground unused inputs and include the 100nF ceramic bypass capacitor)

You’ll probably be in good shape with 5 strips on one ESP32 (preferably dual core).
One trick is to get your ESP32 board, and configure it up without actually attaching the LEDs.
Since WLED has no idea what is actually attached to it GPIOs, you can use a “fake” setup for testing and check the results with the “Peek” button.
It’s not perfect, but it will give you some idea of what to expect.

That’s what I was thinking too, but if they are 12v WS2811 I would assume they are only addressed every 3 pixels. If that’s the case you would only be talking 200 pixels per strip for WLED’s sake. Well within control from an Esp32.

Yep, if they are 3/pixel then the total LED count goes way down, from 3000 to 1000 as far as WLED is concerned.
Only way to know for sure is to see the LEDs, has a link been posted?

Either way, single ESP32 should be up to the task, unless you’re looking for video on a grid (I don’t see that case here).

Seller on AliExpress states IC for 3 LEDs so you guys are right.

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what is the project? I hope I am not rude by asking, I just delight in others exploration and discovery.