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how to make controllers a little more water resistant?


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Living as I do in the pacific north-west, we get alot of rain. We also get "marine mist" , where its not raining but you still get wet, even with an umbrella.  GFCI's are out of the question. If I had to stop the show every time it rained it would never run! But heres another problem: I have noticed over the last couple years that whenever it rains I get a couple of channels that get stuck on. Often they are only partially on and the effects still come thru but they never turn off fully. If its dry and cold they work fine. I have checked the boxes and there is no accumulation of water in them but they are damp with condensation. I am sure water is getting in and causing current leakage which is triggering the triacs partially on. 

I know some commercial PCB's are sprayed with a lacquer or other substance that helps prevent this. Does anyone have any suggestions on what can be used?

Thanks

Lance

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I'm a little late with a reply but what I have used over the years as a inexpensive work-around to what is known as "conformal coating" for circuit boards is simply to use spray on lacquer, Krylon is the brand I have used successfully.here in Spokane.

A few light coats allowing to fully dry between each, covering all parts seems to be adequate for my environment. I previously lived in Renton and worked at the big B where we used it as a quickie work-around on prototypes. Good ventilation is a must and cleanup can be messy. YMMV...

CAUTION !! THIS IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE !!   DO NOT SPRAY ON ENERGIZED CIRCUITRY !

Jim

Edited by Rockhammer53
To add a caution note.
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On 9/16/2019 at 8:14 PM, beaker020 said:

…...  GFCI's are out of the question......

Thanks

Lance

That statement really concerns me. GFCI's are to protect nosey little kids fingers from getting zapped. We have ice storms in Oklahoma almost every year where everything is coated/frozen solid. When you properly install your show - won't trip the GFCI's. Pay more attention to keeping your plugs out of the moisture, etc.... nothing on the ground... I make my mini trees from PVC not tomato cages, etc,,, No tape on plugs - that just traps the moisture after it gets in. Buy sealed lights from quality sources - not box store. HLE & CLE lights are completely sealed - they will light in a bucket of water as long as the ends are out. If you keep the controllers shut and plugged in - they most likely stay dry.

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