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I use to have a setup where I had 20 20a gfi outlets where each one was on its own 20a breaker in my 200a home service. At the bottom of the box was 10 tandem 20a breakers. So technically each 20a gfi could pull 20a each.

Now here in my home I have start from scratch. But I'm going to have to run a feed from my breaker box on one side of my home to the other side. I have at least 20 PC controllers plus the many more I plan to buy. If each one has 2 110v plugs to plug in, that's a [Foul Language Used] ton of outlets I need to install. Plus I was hoping to run all of those outlets to a sub panel that is full for 20a breakers. But wheat I'm confused on is what size breaker I will need to feed said sub panel full of probably 20 tandem breakers.

Any advice with pictures would be great. Also with lights today plugged into the 16 pigtails of a PC controller. Do they "really" need two leads plugged into an outlet? Or can I convert them all over to one...with a jumper to the second side of the board?

Meaning as much power as the controller may pull with lightning today plugged into them and their needed power requirements. Will it be okay?

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Posted (edited)

I don't run incan lights anymore so all of my lights are led now. I have converted all of my ac controllers to a single plug since I can run a ton of led lights and still not max out the controller.

In total I run 10-15 LOR controllers and 30-40 E1.31 controllers and I use three separate power circuits coming out of the house. I test all circuits with a Kill-A-Watt meter so I know how much power each circuit is pulling so I don't overload them.

Next month I am replacing all the siding on my house so I will be adding more outside power while the siding is off.

Edited by Mr. P
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I ran all 7 of my ac controllers and two 27 channel dumb rgb boxes off two circuits last year, and one was on my kitchen circuit, lol... But like Mr. P all are led lights, no incan. Unlike Mr. P I didn't test them, but no issues for the entire show. With jumping into smart rgb this year I am looking at running a couple outdoor outlets on their own circuits.

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1 hour ago, MichRX7 said:

I ran all 7 of my ac controllers and two 27 channel dumb rgb boxes off two circuits last year, and one was on my kitchen circuit, lol... But like Mr. P all are led lights, no incan. Unlike Mr. P I didn't test them, but no issues for the entire show. With jumping into smart rgb this year I am looking at running a couple outdoor outlets on their own circuits.

Kitchen circuits are actually pretty good as they are 20a circuits where most circuits in a house are 15a.

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11 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Kitchen circuits are actually pretty good as they are 20a circuits where most circuits in a house are 15a.

Yeah, but I crossed my fingers every time my wife put something in the microwave during show hours, lol...

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1 hour ago, Mr. P said:

Kitchen circuits are actually pretty good as they are 20a circuits where most circuits in a house are 15a.

Only if it's a really old house.  Outlets are 15 amp, but the circuits are 20.  Even my 58 year old house is all 20 amp circuits except for the dedicated circuit for the garbage disposal and the lights circuits are 15A breakers.

 

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if you are running Mini lights or LED, convert your AC controllers to 1 cord. (total load should be not more than 12A if on 100% for hours (unlikely for a light show)

You will need 4@ BLUE 1/4 Faston connections and  a short piece of stranded 14Ga wire in White (4") and Black.(8")

There is a picture in the Manual of where the jumpers go. 5-15 (straight up  blades) 15A

5-20 (The wide is horizontal. the sock a T on its side) 20A But you can't just change the plug-cord and bump your controller input. A bank has a 15A Limit and now the fuse will cover both (if you did it correct)

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I have 13 AC controllers running all LED lights and I use two 20amp GFI circuits which I know is more than needed but I wanted to make sure I had room to grow in the future.

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Run mine on three 15 amp circuits, 50K of LEDs.  I'm good for a bit longer before I have to run a fourth. 

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18 hours ago, rgardner518 said:

But wheat I'm confused on is what size breaker I will need to feed said sub panel full of probably 20 tandem breakers.

That is a hard question to answer. I have always fed a sub panel with the same amperage rating. If I put in a 100 amp panel I fed it with a 100 amp breaker. The unknown for you is your total amperage load. Back in my mini bulb days I set a 100 amp panel with 8 20 amp breakers and fed it with a 100 amp breaker and was pulling about 72 amps on each phase with everything on static. As stated above, I have also converted to led's and still use the 8 circuits because they are spaced around the house. I have 17 AC controllers and 5 CMD 24 controllers and the last I checked I think I was around 16 17 amps on each phase in the panel. I have also done the power cord bypass to 1 power cord.

 

18 hours ago, rgardner518 said:

But I'm going to have to run a feed from my breaker box on one side of my home to the other side

The bad part is without knowing your amperage, if you are mounting the panel on the other side of the house it could get very expensive if you have to run 2/0 or 3/0 cable (Depending on the amperage you need) to feed that new panel. I think breaker panels jump 100 ,125, 150, 200 amps for residential.

Just my thoughts and throwing it out there, it might be cheaper to go all led lights if you are still using the mini's and get a few circuits out of you old panel.

Wayne

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7 minutes ago, Wayne K said:

That is a hard question to answer. I have always fed a sub panel with the same amperage rating. If I put in a 100 amp panel I fed it with a 100 amp breaker. The unknown for you is your total amperage load. Back in my mini bulb days I set a 100 amp panel with 8 20 amp breakers and fed it with a 100 amp breaker and was pulling about 72 amps on each phase with everything on static. As stated above, I have also converted to led's and still use the 8 circuits because they are spaced around the house. I have 17 AC controllers and 5 CMD 24 controllers and the last I checked I think I was around 16 17 amps on each phase in the panel. I have also done the power cord bypass to 1 power cord.

 

The bad part is without knowing your amperage, if you are mounting the panel on the other side of the house it could get very expensive if you have to run 2/0 or 3/0 cable (Depending on the amperage you need) to feed that new panel. I think breaker panels jump 100 ,125, 150, 200 amps for residential.

Just my thoughts and throwing it out there, it might be cheaper to go all led lights if you are still using the mini's and get a few circuits out of you old panel.

Wayne

 

I plan on all leds. My concern isn't as much about my power draw from lights as much as it is from the controllers.

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8 minutes ago, rgardner518 said:

 

I plan on all leds. My concern isn't as much about my power draw from lights as much as it is from the controllers.

The controllers draw almost nothing other than the load of the attached and controlled lights.  So if your lights draw 10 amps, then the controller will draw just a hair over 10 amps.

 

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AC controllers draw minimal power with no lights on. (Look at the size of the transformer, that square thing near the center: Tiny. Your phone charger probably is bigger.). OTOH your 5V or 12V 300W PSU used for Pixels or dumb RGB have a lot higher 'idle' consumption (warmth is an indicator). Plus the power factor on low cost units, is pretty nasty compared to the old Incan Light load. (💡 scatter them over the Red and Black phases  as much as possible. Do not power them all up at the same time: Really nasty sized power grab) 💡 A 'Killawatt' has a PF readout.  1 is the number (pure restive) that is easiest on the power grid and equipment

70A feed is easiest as those BRANCH breakers fit a standard panel. (100A usually requires a different kind of MAIN panel)  70A of 240V is a LOT of power (140A of 120V). Remember, those branch breakers are there to protect the WIRE from overheating (causing a fire).

 

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