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Doug McKalip

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About Doug McKalip

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  1. ndiaz wrote: Thanks for the kind words. I did not see anything that was a direct replacement for what I was using locally. They either needed much modificaton or were ten times the cost (and still needed some modification). I was looking for something a little easier / cheaper. I found some 6 inch ID shrink tubing and will try to find some new non conductive covers and try the shrink tube. I will report back with the results. Thanks, Doug
  2. Jeff Millard wrote: Yes or no. It all depends on how bonded the box becomes to a path to ground. If it was wet and a little dirty... probably. If it was dry and setting atop grass. No, not until someone picked it up to see what was wrong with it. Then your weight pressing down on Earth would be sufficient for your body to leak current away from the normal path. The protection will recognize a difference in the current on the hot and neutral and trip. Unless it's defective. . . Jeff Thanks Jeff for the clarification on the GFCI, I was thinking it worked that way but was not sure. I seem to read or hear on the radio every year about some guy killing himself working on his 220v pool pump. I never saw an article on someone killing themselves on their Christmas lights or electric hedge trimmer (110v). Maybe some of that is because of GFCI installations, but I know most older homes do not have it and even I had been guilty of plugging in on the only circuits not overloaded already when the lights would not stay on. (not GFCI) In my old house I had one outlet pair that was powered by two phases and it first came to mind when I build my first controller. I thought if I put two power cords on my LOR controller and I plugged into that old outlet, that would put 220v potential in the box and possibly the same display element. I agree totally and I stay away from non GFCI circuits and make an effort to not mix phases in the same area of the display. Thanks for the input. Doug
  3. Jeff Millard wrote: Thanks Jeff, I am a believer and user of GFI and recognizable wire colors. I don't know if it is overkill with GFI, but I also consciously try to not have both phases (220 Volt potential) in any display element. It is possible because I live in Cook County Illinois, where metal conduit is code, my local Home Depot and Menards do not have suitable plastic boxes and covers. I found I could not find the gray PVC conduit here either and needed to drive to Will County to get it. Copper prices are high and multi-conductor wire is unreasonably high. I purchase all the wire and sleeve on EBay and just kept watching the auctions until I found what I needed. The sleeve size is not critical to be exact in size, because when you push it together it gets larger and when you pull it, it gets smaller like a Chinese finger trap. The braided sleeve makes the cables less prone to tangle or knot and are very durable. I would use the sleeve even if I did not need to add conductors. Putting two or three wires into 36' segments of sleeve is a little bit of a pain, but I imagine much easier than wrapping them in tape. Doug
  4. Donald Puryear wrote: Thanks Don, I suspected that would be true and will keep looking for affordable plastic boxes and covers. Otherwise I will switch to a CPC connector with more pins. Pulling the extra conductor, 14 AWG Stranded green, out of the sleeve and bolting to the box is a pain. My first revision had the extra ground wire implemented that way. I do not hook up the ground pin on the outlets and only use two wire plugs for the lights, so it should not make any difference there. These are not regular extension cords and only plug into LOR controllers. I suppose I could epoxy the ground holes shut cheaper than changing the receptacles to prevent the possiblility of someone plugging a drill into one. Maybe you would know this. I lay these boxes directly on the ground and use GFI outlets or GFI circuit breakers coming from the house. If a hot wire came loose in the box and touched the metal box, (not grounded or hooked up anywhere except it is laying on the ground) would it trip the GFI through the LOR controller? Thanks, Doug
  5. The 8 hot wires are 16 AWG stranded 8 conductor jacketed cable and the neutral is 14 AWG stranded. I cover with a braided sleeve and shrink tube the ends. I reduced the fuse in the controllers to a 15A because I did not need the big amps and the available (read: cheap EBay) wire was a little light. The wire and connectors I picked for the suitability to my application and anyone using the total potential of the LOR controllers should size up to match the maximum amperage draw. I had a version that used a 10th ground wire and grounded the outlet boxes, but it was a pain to hook up and I was replacing two wire extention cords so I thought it was overkill. Maybe one of the electricians could give an opinion? Thanks, Doug Attached files
  6. One partially assembled box and one assembled. Remember to break the tab on the hot side of the outlet to seperate them. Attached files
  7. I use open back boxes bolted together. I think I heard an electrician call them box extenders. If anyone knows of an affordable plastic substitute, please let me know. Attached files
  8. I make up these pigtails for the outlet boxes first. The short ones are for terminating boxes and the long ones are for daisy chaining. Attached files
  9. rangebob wrote: I bought a Paladin CrimpALL with a replaceable die set for around $100.00 shipped. I remember that the same outfit had a cheaper tool as well. I will try to find if the place is still around. I found most of the connector and cable items I used on EBay and the electrical stuff from Home Depot or Menards. I have more pictures that may save time if anyone wants to see them. Doug
  10. JimCanfield wrote: Thanks for the compliments Jim and Jeff. Actually two cords per controller. I use 9 wires, 8 hots and a common neutral per cable. Outlets 5, 6, 7 and 8 are on the other side of the outlet boxes. A big part of the extention cord savings is that you can plug into the outlet box and power the next segment. Here is a little closer picture of the wiring. Doug Attached files
  11. JimCanfield wrote: They are AMP connectors. They push in and twist to lock. http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=SW0E2EFvizb2QSZ6CA3fBg%3d%3d I am using them to power 24 double arches: 32 channels times three daisy chained segments or 96 extention cords total. I use 14 of my 'made up' cables instead. 82 less items to install / plug in and unplug / store. Instead of having 32 extention cords running down the lawn per segment, I have 4 cords. Yes I still have to plug in the lights to the outlet boxes, I just eliminate a large number of extention cords. Hope that helps explain it. Doug
  12. I assemble these cables myself and they do take some time to make but putting up the display, taking down the display or changing out a controller is ultra fast. Attached files
  13. 8 additional outlets and cable. Attached files
  14. I have been using AMP/Tyco 9 pin CPC connectors with no problems for two seasons. I have 24 double arches (Dave Horting of Westhaven Light's kits) daisy chained off two controllers. The total length is 192 feet and the pattern in the lights repeats three times. I have been terminating the cables into four or eight outlet groups, but might cut the plugs off some of the new display items and terminate them in CPC connectors. A couple pictures is worth 10,000 more words. One controller, two cables and 16 outlets. Doug Attached files
  15. That was absolutely fabulous! Great job! Doug
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