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CBirnley

Controller and Timer

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Thank you all so much for the insight you have provided here on the forum, great stuff!

 

 

GOAL:  I want to use a timer to turn on the Controller.

 

QUESTION:  Given that there are two cords (one from each side of the controller), do I just run each cord to the timer and then plug the timer into an extension cord plugged into the outlet?

 

1 - LOR 16 Channel Controller

1 - miniDirector/MP3 Player

1 - Ramsey FM30 transmitter

1 - knucklehead who knows nothing about electricity other than switching on a light switch.  I also know that sparks happen and it disintegrates steel when you use wire cutters to cut a live line.

 

Sincerely, Clark W. Griswold, III

 

 

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Depends on the lights you are using. If you are doing LED's, not an issue to connect both plugs to a 3-way and plug it in. Otherwise if you are expecting a heavy load on each side, channels 1-8 and 9-16, then you might want to keep them separate. 

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dgrant:  for the exercise...

 

=  let's assume I am pushing 14 amps all at once on each side (which I'm not as I have been using a Kill a Watt device and LEDs). 

=  Each side of the Controller is rated to 15 amps - so I am still OK at the controller - correct?

=  By using a three way plug into one extension cord going into an outlet, this would be close to maxing the wall outlet?

 

Please advise as to the potential issues of using the three way (assuming my extension cord could handle the amps).

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If you are pulling 14 amps per side that's 28 amps total! Anyway, in answer to your original question, if the total Amps of the controller can be handled by one outlet AND the timer you are using can handle the amps you are putting through it you can combine it.

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oops 

 

= By using a three way plug into one extension cord going into an outlet, this would be close to maxing the wall outlet.

 

I meant to say...

 

= By using a three way plug into one extension cord (assuming said cord was rated for 30 amps), this WOULD max the wall outlet and trip the breaker.

 

Am I even in the parking lot to the ballpark of getting this right?

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Typically, a wall outlet circuit is rated for 15 or 20 amps.  If you are wanting 14 amps per bank, you need to have 2 different circuits to feed your controller and that would mean 2 timers using 2 extension cords.

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Rayburn...thank you for spelling it out...K.I.S.S. I greatly appreciate everyone's help. Thank you

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Why not put the Mini Director and the transmitter on the timer and leave the controller powered on all the time. The show will then run as long as power is applied to the Mini Director, that is what I do.

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Mr. Earle, currently my mini is powered through the Cat connected to my controller. Please advise as to how you have your system setup.

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Why use a timer? My stuff is powered on 24/7 for the whole duration, every year since 2006. Unless a thunderstorm rolls thru which might happen this weekend, then I will physically disconnect everything. Lightning likes to travel...

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Santas Helper - how do I shut it off at the end of the night and start it again the next day? I do not have it hooked up to a computer and am using Ready to Go sequences (first year and all).

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Ah, the mini director deal. My bad on overlookin that.

I would think a timer on that device as Earle mentioned.

Sorry for not reading thoroughly on your original post.

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Santas Helper...no worries whatsoever. After all, your busy season is ramping up!

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There are two types of Mini Directors - mDM-MP3 and uMP3g3 , look at the documentation about an external power source and go from there, they are a little different when adding the power source.

Earle

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dgrant:  for the exercise...

 

=  let's assume I am pushing 14 amps all at once on each side (which I'm not as I have been using a Kill a Watt device and LEDs). 

=  Each side of the Controller is rated to 15 amps - so I am still OK at the controller - correct?

=  By using a three way plug into one extension cord going into an outlet, this would be close to maxing the wall outlet?

 

Please advise as to the potential issues of using the three way (assuming my extension cord could handle the amps).

Yeah, this is exactly why I mentioned the type of lights you are connecting too them, due to the load. If you were using only LED's it wouldn't be a problem but otherwise if you were going to have a serious load of current draw as you mention, you could not connect both together. Also as stated already, your timer)s_ must be capable of handling the load or just leave your controllers on all the time. Even though I'm %90 LED, my controllers remain on through the season. Adding to that, I bag them to protect from rain, ice and snow. My entire show this year, 12 controllers, are running via 4 circuits just to be sure. I should be able to run it all on two but again, I'm %90 LED which draw very little power in the overall consideration.

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Dgrant. Thank you so much for the info and follow up. Great stuff.

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As Earle mentioned above, the simple way is to apply and remove power to the Mini-Director to run the show. 

First, any outlet of 1, 2, or 4 receptacles (plug-ins) can handle ONLY 15 to 20 amps before blowing the fuse or circuit breaker. Installing a larger fuse or breaker is only asking for a fire.

Second, the two different types of Mini-Directors use different input voltages and connections. Check which type you have! The older unit uses a 9 vole input to the connectors in the rear, and a jumper MUST be removed from the inside. The second uses 12VDC and has a receptacle in the rear for power input...no jumper removal necessary.

NOW, if you hook the controllers as normally, and leave them plugged in, they draw very little power and can be left on 24 a day. Then when power is applied to the Mini, the sequences will begin as you have set them up, and stop when power is removed from the mini. You can use a timer or, as in my setup, a common Outdoor Christmas Light photocell with the transformer (9 or 12VDC) plugged into the photocell. You can set the photocell to a desired number of hours to run the show after dark, or full time if you want. The power supply for the Mini can be purchased online or possibly at best buy. Look for a regulated or switched type!

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I just bought the mDM-MP3 mini director.  I have it hooked by CAT cable to the first controller. (I have 4 controllers) I want to use a timer to control the power.  When the power was turned off to the first controller, the show kept going.  It said to connect the green cable to the first controller but I did not get a green cable withthe unit.

 

I would have no idea how to connect an external power source.  It talks about positive and negative leads from a 9 volt DC power supply.  Where do I get that? It talks about a power jumper. Do I need to take that out?

 

What are my other options? Thank you!

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Tom. There is a " special cable" LOR informed me of. They are out of stock But it connects controller one to controller two and breaks the power leaking back. They told me to make this cable u simply cut one of the greens in the cat 5 as that is what supplys power back now forth. U need regular cat 5 from director to box one then special cable from 1-2 and back to regular from 2-3.3-4 and so on

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The documentation from LOR has, occasionally, been for older units and setups. The documentation that I received this month for a new Mini was for the older one.

My documentation and Controller kit included a "green" wire that had RJ-11 connectors.. It was used to connect the computer to the Controller for original setup and control. The controller itself has 3 connectors. One RJ-11 and 2 CAT-5.

If you  connect the RJ-11 to one of the CAT-5 receptacles, the controller heats up. This is bad. You don't want to let the smoke out of the Controller.

That said, set power on/off to the Mini and FM transmitter, not the Controller to start/stop a show.

You can find a power supply here http://www.amazon.com/9V-DC-Power-Adapter-Supply/dp/B004LX146Q . See if you have a friend with a voltmeter, or pick one up at harbor freight or Lowes or Home Depot to determine which lead is +. (The cheapest one will work fine). Cut the connector off of the end of the power supply (NOT the 110 volt plug), peel off the insulation from a 1/8" on each lead, separate the peeled leads, plug in, check for + with the meter, and connect to the Mini as shown in the directions.

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I just bought the mDM-MP3 mini director.  I have it hooked by CAT cable to the first controller. (I have 4 controllers) I want to use a timer to control the power.  When the power was turned off to the first controller, the show kept going.  It said to connect the green cable to the first controller but I did not get a green cable withthe unit.

 

I would have no idea how to connect an external power source.  It talks about positive and negative leads from a 9 volt DC power supply.  Where do I get that? It talks about a power jumper. Do I need to take that out?

 

What are my other options? Thank you!

Welcome aboard Tom. Noticed it was your first post.

From another member here.

Tom

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HI all - thanks for the help.  So here is where we are.  We created the special cable but nowhere did it say to connect between controller 1 and 2.  So we connected it between the director and controller 1.  Now, the controller will not work.  We put back the original cables and still nothing.  The utility hardware won't find it.  The red light is blinking.  But it willl not accept the show from the computer or from the director.  Any ideas?  It is an older unit 160 15 amp. My thought is that the center  RJ45 went out

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One of the Cat5 connectors (there are 2 in each Controller) will connect from Controller 1 to Controller 2. Another  Cat5 cable will run from either Controller 1 or Controller 2 to the Director. All of the Cat5 connectors and wires become common, so the Director can be plugged into any unused Controller.

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