Pixel data (SPI) is an unbalanced signal, this means that SPI data will degrade quickly, making it unuseable after a few meters after the controller - we recommend a maximum of 3m to ensure a reliable installation.
In some installations this 3m limit can become an issue, this is one of the reasons why we developed our Pixelator/Pixelator Mini systems. Like other Pixel Controllers, the Pixelator/Pixelator Mini converts Art-Net/sACN to SPI data. What makes it different is that is sends out SPI data in a balanced format, meaning that the data can travel up to 300m over Ethernet cable. The Pixelator has 24 outputs and the Pixelator Mini has 8 outputs, with each output controlling 2 Universes (270
The PLink injector is a small box which will need to be located within 3m of the Pixels, that converts the balanced signal from the Pixelator/Pixelator Mini back to a unbalanced signal allowing it to control Pixels.
There are two different varients of PLink Injectors. For the easiest installation method, the varient of the PLink would match the Pixels voltage and the Pixels Power Supply voltage.
- If your LED Pixel Voltage is 5V, use a 5V PLINK INJECTOR and 5V power supply.
- LED Pixel Voltage is 12-24V, use a 12-24V PLINK INJECTOR and appropriate power supply.
If your LED pixels require a higher voltage, look to use our controllers with a wider voltage range, i.e. the ENTTEC OCTO.
The PLink is limited to a 10Amp through-put, however there is a way to wire a PLink which will allow you to use higher current power supplies. See our guide on how to achieve this.
For outdoor installations we also have an IP rated PLINK INJECTOR which can be configured to control either 5v or 12v-24v pixels.
Controlling a different voltage
If you get caught out with the wrong voltage varient of the PLink, then it is possible to use the incorrect varient if you are unable to source the correct voltage vareient of the PLink.
As long as the PLink has the ability to support the pixel protocol of the higher/lower voltage pixel you intend to control, you can use your Plink to pass data and ground to the pixels, while you use a separate power supply of the pixel's required voltage to splice in *VCC & ground * to the pixels you are using.
This arrangement ensures that voltage is not passed directly from your pixel driver to the pixel strip - which ensures that neither the driver, not the pixel strip is damaged by over-voltage.