Power Requirements

[Build Details shown below]

I built my initial setup  the 3 AA battery pack and tested with the 2 coin battery pack. Everything was functioning fine and acted the same as I swapped battery packs. 

Today I swapped out a few 1:2 standard and 1:2 micro expansion boards for 1:4 micro expansion boards and the 9v battery pack.  With this change the light effects boards started blinking different patterns then selected and sometimes changed on their own. I wonder if these 1:4 expansion boards take more power. 

Please let me know what battery packs would work with this setup. 

1x Branch04 - (splits off power to the effects boards)

2x Single Light Effects Boards (came in the Tree03 kits)

2x 1:4 mini expansion boards (1 per Chanel on Light effect board 1)

1x 1:2 mini expansion light board connected to 1 1:4 mini board

2x 1:2 mini expansion light board (1 per Chanel on Light effect board 2)


14 total Pico lights

10x warm white Pico lights connected through Light effects boards 1

4x cool white Pico lights connected through Light effects board 2


Hope this draws a good picture...

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  • In case it matters:

    Light effect board 1 is supposed to run  the effect Jet Engine

    Light effect board 2 is supposed to run the effect Laser Cannon

    I am trying to use an Alkaline Duracell 9V. But same issue with the 2 coin pack as well. 

  • UPDATE: 

    2 coin is working ok now... but I’d like to use   9v for more power and length. 

  • Energizer Ultimate Lithium has been more stable. Not sure why though. 

  • Hi Keith, thanks for your post and for providing the information.  As stated on the packaging for the coin cell battery packs, the maximum number of lights we recommend using with that power source is 4 LEDs, so the coin cell pack would definitely not be recommended for your setup.

    The 9V battery pack should work for this setup.  The breakout boards themselves don't consume any power, so it shouldn't make a difference which boards are used.  Although the total power consumed by any setup is dependent on the way in which lights are connected, so the different boards can impact the total power consumed because of their impact on overall topology.

    The symptoms you are seeing with the effect controllers can be caused by insufficient power, but again this should not have been caused by the change to the 1:4 boards.

    Can you tell us more about where in the chain the 1:4 boards are used?

    Thank you.

  • Here is a diagram of my build

  • Keith Huggins Thanks for the great diagram, Keith!  Definitely helps.  Seems like you have the textbook setup there-- I can't see anything that would be causing problems.  Just so I understand the steps and symptoms:

    1.  Connect new, fresh 9V battery.

    2.  Turn on power.

    3.  System runs ok for <x> minutes (?)

    4.  Eventually effect controllers start resetting and losing their configurations.


    Is that correct?  I'm interested to see how long (approximately) everything runs ok before the effect controllers start resetting.

    Please let me know.  Thank you!

  • I would say that I have seen two variations now. I havent responded yet as I have not seen the issue reproduce its self. But starting last night and this morning I noticed a different behavior I believe.

    Initially it appeared to happen as you changed battery type: Alkaline 9v to Coin to Lithium. 

    • If you keep the same battery type no issues appeared
    • disconnect wait a minute reconnect battery (same type) no issues
    • WHEN battery type changed setting changed. Not sure if it "reset" vs skipping to another effect.
    • IF memory serves me correctly I had consistancy issues early on with the Duracell Alkaline battery (fresh out of the package) which is when I swapped to the Lithium full time.


    Overall the Lithium has been consistent... Until the worse time ever... Right when I button up my build, I go to turn it on for the first time and it moved forward a step. Considering how the button is recessed in, I dont see how the button would be pushed. I reopened it up and thanks to good planning :-) the effects board is accessible with minimal tear down. I reset it back, tested, closed it up and tested some more. All of that was successful and worked when i went to bed last night. This morning the effect skipped ahead to Airport Runway... not sure how that would happen sitting in there alone. only wires laying on top of the effects card are the two output extension wires.


    After work I will tear that part down again perhaps route the extension wires to ensure it does not lay over that button at all to make sure that isnt the problem.

  • Here a pic showing the effects board in the model. 

  • Keith Huggins Hi Keith, that is so odd.  I've really only ever seen anything like this once in the 7+ years we've sold the LECs.  I think I have a hardware solution I can send you-- basically just an extra capacitor on a wire, if you have room for it.  It would sit between the battery and the effect controller.  Let me know If you have room.  Thanks!

  • Rob Klingberg 

    I’m going to email you as I would like to setup some time to show you the behavior over my web chat account. 

    I set the config again but it skipped to the next config fairly quickly, then my other board started doing the same.  But I also noted that the lights were getting dim. So perhaps the battery is getting low. 

    I bought a new 9v battery but the only ones they had were Alkaline. Although it shouldn’t matter, I am seeing erratic bahavior best shown to you vs described. 

  • Keith Huggins Sounds good, happy to see more of what you're seeing.

  • Rob Klingberg 

    I sent a email to support yesterday with my phone number. Feel free to call me to set up a time. 

  • I picked up another Lithium 9v battery (same make and model that was working). Both effects boards are not working as expected.

    When i set effects board two to Jet Engines it auto skips to the next effect. and some other effects appear to do this as well.  Also sometimes skipping through the effects will trigger the other board to change as well, not one for one but its as if some effects trigger the other board to tweak and skip forward one effect.


    I wonder if some effects draw more power then others causing a energy draw impacting this and possibly the other effects board.

  • Keith Huggins Hi Keith, sorry for the delay in responding-- I will call to set up a time this week.  Just trying to get caught up with e-mails.  I would like to send you the additional parts I mentioned to help smooth out the power with your setup.  No charge for these-- we can discuss later this week.

  • Rob Klingberg That sounds good feel free to ship enough of those for the two Light Effects boards. You should have my address on file from previous orders.

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