0
\$\begingroup\$

I have designed a system to control LED light strips (Adafruit NeoPixel strips) using an Arduino from a C# program in Windows. I have been through the prototyping phase with a breadboard and a single strip of lights. The system works well. Now I want to design a PCB to act as a hub for for multiple strips of lights so that when I connect them in parallel, I won't incinerate the breadboard.

My system run off of 5V and has a theoretical maximum current of 8.16 Amps (with 3 strips of lights). I already have a 5V 10A power supply with a 2.1mm x 5.5mm barrel jack. The high amperage of the system is where my questions about safety begin...

First, how should I go about connecting the 2.1x5.5mm barrel jack to a PCB? I could use a DC Barrel Jack connector like this (https://www.pololu.com/product/1139), but those are not designed for more than 5 amps. I could use multiple connectors on the PCB, but the splitters that are available all seem to be very low quality (and my final product won't be very clean looking). If you know of a different connector (say, MOLEX) that might have a higher Amperage rating, I would be open to finding a 2.1x5.5mm adapter.

Second, how should I go about distributing the power for the 3 light strips? I am using https://circuits.io/ to design the PCB and the maximum trace width is 80mil. Could I run 3 80mil traces originating from 1 connector? One for each light strip?

Thank you!

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ They make barrel jacks and the mating PCB connectors rated for 10A. Polulu might not stock them, but they do exist. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Feb 19 '17 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Search for barrel jack 10A Cliff. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Feb 19 '17 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ regarding the second point. Consider using thicker copper for the traces, then they do not need to be that ridiculously wide. \$\endgroup\$ – staringlizard Feb 20 '17 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your comments. I decided to go with a 5.5mmx2.5mm jack from Mouser rated for 10A. To connect, I'm going to use a 2.1mm to 2.5mm adapter. \$\endgroup\$ – Schmidty15 Feb 20 '17 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had seen a lot of times (on single home made PCBs) traces leaded all the way, as that added lead layer (many times higher than the copper below) to the profile of the path and allows for larger currents. Not professional looking or factory-usable, but for hobyist it works just good. Some extreme was wide copper wire soldered around and over such power line :) \$\endgroup\$ – gilhad Feb 28 '17 at 19:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.