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RGB wiring help


CFH

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Im a little confused about how to wire 6 (rgb) leads(wires) to a controller...  As of now, its just my towers that are spliced into one wire to my kicker rgb controller.  I have 4 more speakers Ill be installing this weekend and thats for more rgb wires to somehow connect to the controller.   Not even sure if my controller can handle all this.  Should I upgrade to another controller? 

Do I use a wiring/terminal block of some sorts to bring all the wires together like this?

https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Position-Covered-Screw-Terminal/dp/B008DS266M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498162835&sr=8-1&keywords=terminal+block+4+position

 

 

ANY help would be great...

 

 

Edited by CFH
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31 minutes ago, CFH said:

Interesting. Would be curious to see how this works out. I have 4 speaker RGB lights wired into one controller. wired the left pair and right pair together, then wired the two pairs together a little further down stream. Only one set of wires connected to the controller directly.

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1 hour ago, CFH said:

Not even sure if my controller can handle all this. 

It will. Mine powered 2 pair kicker KM speaker LEDs, four 6.5" tower speaker rings, a sub and cup holder. On about 6 days a week average for about 10 hours a day. Lasted 3 years.

Basically you will have 6 wires attaching to head of the 4 leads into the controller. Thats a lot of wires. So, rather than home-run a 4-conductor from each speaker to the controller, daisy-chain from the furthest speaker, around the boat to the controller, wiring in each speaker along the way. Once you get to the controller, you have a 4-con for the in-boats and a 4-con from the tower. Two wires only, to connect to each color lead. Another benefit, uses much less wire than home runs. 

 

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Big_Moose_Wakesetter

Yeah you should be fine.  As MLS was implying, you can basically wire LEDs in series or in parallel.  It doesn't take much to power them.  I don't have the kicker controller but I wired 4 towers and 6 in-boats to a 4-channel Oznium controller.  I used LED strip and was more than sick of soldering so when I had to connect wires I used a lot of bullet style crimp connectors (E.G. split 1 lead off to 2...for all 4 wires).  My cheap harbor freight crimper was invaluable for that.  Same goes for those auto-wire strippers. 

 There are plenty of specific 4-conductor RGB connectors on Amazon that would probably make that a lot easier but I didn't really find cheap ones with solid reviews.  If you use bullet style or small spade connectors just make sure  they're insulated so the signals don't get jacked up. 

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10 hours ago, Big_Moose_Wakesetter said:

As MLS was implying, you can basically wire LEDs in series or in parallel.  

Want to clear that nothing was implied and hope it was not taken that way. I interpreted the OP's post as one about how to best make the terminations, given the number of wires that needed to be connected, and not an electrical 101 questions. With that said, these LED need to be wired in parallel, not series. Once reason, series increases the resistance, reduces light output. Second, with RGB lights, you have 4 leads per light assembly. One is a constant B+ and the three colors are tripped low (ground) by the controller. No way to series them like you could do single color LEDs. Each of these 4 circuits needs to be discrete.  

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Did the piggy back way to cut down on the wires and it worked out great.  Thanks for leading me in the right direction guys. 

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Big_Moose_Wakesetter
6 hours ago, MLA said:

Want to clear that nothing was implied and hope it was not taken that way. I interpreted the OP's post as one about how to best make the terminations, given the number of wires that needed to be connected, and not an electrical 101 questions. With that said, these LED need to be wired in parallel, not series. Once reason, series increases the resistance, reduces light output. Second, with RGB lights, you have 4 leads per light assembly. One is a constant B+ and the three colors are tripped low (ground) by the controller. No way to series them like you could do single color LEDs. Each of these 4 circuits needs to be discrete.  

Always good to be clear MLA (sorry auto-correct got me before) - when I read your reply I initially thought you meant to run them in series.  That's probably because I was thinking in terms of the RGB LED strips I'm used to where you can connect a 4-conductor wire to both ends of a strip if you'd like.

Presumably the Kickers have a single 4-conductor wire so wiring them in series wouldn't be possible.  Just to clarify, if anyone is running RGB LED strips you can definitely connect plenty of LEDs in series before a noticeable drop in brightness.  The LEDs on a 16' strip looks just as bright as they do if you cut it into shorter strips and wire them I series or in parallel.  This can be handy if you add strips under the gunnels or something.  You obviously have to connect each color conductor independently of course.  Sorry for the confusion! 

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BMW,

You can wire a series of LED strips together but you cant wire them in series. Wiring off both ends of a strip is not a series circuit, its a parallel. How? because at both ends, you are connecting the + of one strip to the + of the other strip and same with - side. All you are doing is extending the length of the strip by way of a wired jumper. This is true for a single color strip or RGB strip. 

Sorry to sound picky, but a series circuit and a parallel circuit are vastly different and in such, have a huge impact on the outcome on the electrical device. Left and right brake lights are typically wired in parallel, but yet we often find a park light and side marker bulb wired in series. Low beam head lights run in parallel but you might find the hi-beams wired in a series circuit in order to make them into daylight running lights. They run at half intensity and are much dimmer than the low beams. This is done through the DRL module. Once in regular head light mode, the high beams are in parallel and shine at their brightest when switched on. We can run speakers in parallel or series and each method impact the audio circuit differently. 

I dont think its a coincidence that these strips come in 5M lengths. Wire a 2nd 5M strip to the end of another and see what happens to the intensity. Three 5M strips and a chain is very noticeable.  

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  • 4 years later...
PhoenixKachina
On 6/22/2017 at 3:06 PM, MLA said:

It will. Mine powered 2 pair kicker KM speaker LEDs, four 6.5" tower speaker rings, a sub and cup holder. On about 6 days a week average for about 10 hours a day. Lasted 3 years.

Basically you will have 6 wires attaching to head of the 4 leads into the controller. Thats a lot of wires. So, rather than home-run a 4-conductor from each speaker to the controller, daisy-chain from the furthest speaker, around the boat to the controller, wiring in each speaker along the way. Once you get to the controller, you have a 4-con for the in-boats and a 4-con from the tower. Two wires only, to connect to each color lead. Another benefit, uses much less wire than home runs. 

 

Ok so I did this with my Kicker Marine speakers. I tied in my 50/50 RGB LED strip to the speaker’s 4 wire LED connection going to the Kicker LED controller. Total ft is approx 12’ of strip plus 4 kicker led speakers and 2 -12” kicker led subs. LED works great except on certain colors they have a high pitched sound coming from speakers. I called kicker and they said it’s more than likely a power line from the RGB lines touching or interfering with one of the 2 speakers leads. I still haven’t found the culprit but will rewrite the entire boat to fix it!! 🧐

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On 10/11/2021 at 9:07 PM, PhoenixKachina said:

Ok so I did this with my Kicker Marine speakers. I tied in my 50/50 RGB LED strip to the speaker’s 4 wire LED connection going to the Kicker LED controller. Total ft is approx 12’ of strip plus 4 kicker led speakers and 2 -12” kicker led subs. LED works great except on certain colors they have a high pitched sound coming from speakers. I called kicker and they said it’s more than likely a power line from the RGB lines touching or interfering with one of the 2 speakers leads. I still haven’t found the culprit but will rewrite the entire boat to fix it!! 🧐

is the controller located near the rca’s?  2.5-3 fr minimum distance 

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