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I'm battling with Addressable LED tape power. I have 12V TM1812 RGB LED tape and want to run the maximum lenght in pixels , which is just over a 1000 pixels. This means the current will be around 40 Amps at 12V. This comes to about 20 meters of strip.

I will ditribute the 12V and GND along the strips by using a bigger cable to reduce voltage drop and heat. But connecting the GND across for the reference of the data signal will give a path for the current to flow through the thin PCB of the strip which I need to avoid.

I'm adding small restistors to reduce noise betweeen the strips for data, but how can I make sure the high current which is driving the LEDs is not passed through the previous strips and goes through the big ( buzz bar ) cable I use to power the strips.

Each strip of 132 pixels draw just over 5 Amps on 12V.

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You can't avoid some current passing thru the ground in the strip connections but, if the resistance of the busbar cable is significantly smaller then it shouldn't be an issue; most of it will flow in the busbar and do the job as you intend.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would putting a resistor inline of the GND connection between the strips be a solution to this , or will it create other electrical problems \$\endgroup\$ – Bela Props May 22 '15 at 8:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Current will flow through the path of least resistance. The more current that flows through the thin tracks, the more it will heat up and the higher the resistance - therefore less current will flow through it. It ends up being self regulating. You don't need to force current into the easier route, it will take it. Simply providing a lower resistance (higher current capacity) route in parallel is enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Oliver May 22 '15 at 9:18

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