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RGB - CCT LED fixtures, with WIFI controls

Discussion in 'Radio and Wireless' started by 808Dave, Oct 24, 2019.

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  1. 808Dave


    Oct 3, 2014
    I just received an order from of LED lighting equipment, intended for my home. Communication with all but the rarest of Chinese vendors is a challenge (though I hasten to say they've got at least SOME English skills, while my Mandarin would be indistinguishable from my Cantonese.) So I've been doing some quick checks of the equipment I've received, and it's all about as I expected, though there are some issues that I'd never considered.

    Standard breakdown of these lights is (a) the head, mounted in the ceiling, in which the LEDs reside, and (b) a driver, which is built into a smallish plastic box, tethered to the LED head by a foot or so of jacketed six-conductor cable. (In the case of these units, it's six-conductor in order to control RGB + warm-white + cool-white LEDS, all bundled together in this design - though most are warm/cool-white only.)

    I'd long intended to extend that tether/pigtail between head and driver, so as to keep AC voltage out of my ceilings. It took some doing to get my question about this answered by the makers, but eventually the factory/seller assured me this wouldn't be a problem -- though I'd be on my own in physically cutting/splicing to make it happen, since these have no built-in connectors (they are directly soldered to PC boards on both ends of the jacketed cable.) So my evolving plan is to collect ~14 drivers for one zone, and centralize them in a flush-mounted in-wall panel. The drivers, not unexpectedly, generate a little heat, and in the event of some malfunction, I would want that enclosure to be somewhat fire-resistant, eg not plastic - also because my 120VAC meets the drivers within that box.

    So there's the rub. The drivers in the case of these units also contain little 2.4GHz copper-wire antennae, directly soldered to the PC boards (see photo.) antenna.jpg
    And that's the means by which they're to be controlled by remotes, so putting them all inside a metal enclosure seems to me like it's doomed to disappoint. No, I never thought that part through.

    Antennae are around 2.9cm, which some shallow reading tells me is quarter-wave-ish for 2.4GHz. Would it make sense to extend these via coax to the point where they're outside my metal enclosure? If yes, as receiving antennae, could they all be somehow coax-spliced out to just one external antenna (vs making my enclosure look like a porcupine?) Other solutions welcome, eg a radio-transparent but fire-resistant enclosure (I know...asbestos...)
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