A couple of power questions

edited February 2016 in General Help

Hello all!
First I want to say that blinkytape is a super fun product. Great job you guys.
I'm considering running a couple strands of LEDs in parallel so they simple to program and cover a lot of space. Anyway, it'll likely be several hundred LEDs which draw a significant current. I've noticed the blinky controller sort of will flicker or not run the sequence properly sometimes. I was only using a 5V 1A power supply so it was probably underpowered for the 144 LEDs. If I ran the LEDs at all white, it takes about 8amps. I guess my question is how much could I run through the blinkytape control board before it behaves erratically?

Also could I solder to the 5V and GND pads on the back of the board to bypass the micro usb when using battery power?

My final question... is there a way to prevent the LED strip from quickly flashing when connecting power? Let's say I make a sequence in pattern paint that is black for the first 5 seconds, then turns on to show color. Say I have an application where I flip a switch to power the blinky controller and strip receive power then start as normal. Is there a way to eliminate that initial flash, or would I need to create a circuit that powers the controller then the strip right after? The flash sort of ruins the surprise of the lights slowly turning on from black.

Thank you for any help!!


  • Thanks! Ah, that is a lot of LEDs. Are you using the default brightness from PatternPaint for the LEDs? They shouldn't draw anywhere near 8A if so- the firmware actually scales the brightness to 1/3 to protect the USB port.

    For the BlinkyTape controller, I'd recommend putting less than 2A through it. You can certainly solder to the 5V and ground pads on the bottom, and it might even be better to solder directly to the LED strip- that way the power is fed directly to the LEDs. It will also feed power back to the controller to power it.

    Finally, for the flashing- are you using a BlinkyTape, or a BlinkyTape controller with your own LEDs? The tapes I have here don't show that behavior. If you aren't running the latest version of PatternPaint (version 2.0.2 at this moment), then I'd recommend upgrading as well.

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